Last week we asked 12 established travel bloggers to share their tips, to help aspiring bloggers take the plunge and set up a blog. If you missed the article you can catch up here – Expert Tips for Setting up a Travel Blog. In the second part of this series, we delve a little deeper to learn from their valuable experience and knowledge by asking the question – If you could go back in time to when you first set up your blog would you do anything differently?
We share their insightful answers below which we hope will save you time learning to travel blog by trail and error!
– SELECT BLOG NAME WISELY
Trish from Mums Gone To… has been travel blogging for seven years. When asked what she would change if she could turn back the clock she replied – “If I had known in 2009 that I would still be blogging today I would have bought my own domain name much earlier than 2016. My blog name – Mum’s Gone To… doesn’t particularly fit now that my son has left home but it’s been with me for so long, I couldn’t change it now. In the early years I was in a bubble, just writing travel stories for myself and a small band of readers. I think if I had been more savvy I could have been more professional and aware of my value to brands.”
– TAKE ADVANTAGE OF NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES
Travel fanatics, Emma & Keri from Ladies What Travel reflect back to when they started blogging and regret – “Not focusing on a niche earlier… We also both wish we’d got out there and met more bloggers much sooner too – networking is really great as you can learn so much from each other. There’s loads of local blogging/influencer groups as well as the larger more-established meetups and conferences. We always learn so much from each event we attend.”
– START AS YOU MEAN TO GO ON
MAD 2016 finalist, Claire from Tin Box Traveller, regrets not starting off on a self hosted website – “I started on Blogger, which was great at the time as it was free and I wasn’t sure where I wanted my blog to go. However, I wish I had started out on WordPress.com as it would have been much less painful to transfer everything across to my self-hosted site. It was worth it though!”
Carrie from Flying With A Baby, currently ranked #57 for Trips100, also wishes she had gone self hosted earlier – “Being self hosted is great for your DA (domain authority) as PR’s usually like to know this when working with you. I would recommend WordPress because it has the most support and help plus the majority of bloggers use it. It may seem daunting but you will soon get the hang of it. I would also have researched more and joined blogging communities earlier as they are invaluable for advice. It took me nearly 4 years to hear about DA and SEO (search engine optimization)! I’m amazed anybody found me!”
– CREATE LOTS OF CONTENT
Marta from Learning Escapes shares ideas for cultural family travel to her 27K followers. She recommends aspiring travel bloggers spend time writing lots of content before hitting the publish button on a new website. – “The one thing I would do differently, if I was to start again, would be creating a solid amount of content before putting the blog live. A regular publishing schedule is crucial, to grow numbers, and writing in a rush just to make a deadline doesn’t make for the best content. Now I always have at least a few posts ready at any given time so I know even if something happens (with the kids, with work, with anything) I can keep my schedule going.”
– ATTEMPT TO MAKE MONEY FROM THE START
Lucy from On the Luce, currently ranked #61 for Trips100, recommends that new travel bloggers start affiliate marketing from the beginning – “I would definitely start affiliate marketing earlier on, it’s so easy to put in some links to hotels when you mention them and even if you only make a few pounds a month it adds up over time – and is a lot easier than having to go back through everything you’ve ever written to try and add them in.”
– BE INSPIRED BY OTHERS
Claire from Weekend Candy, the UK’s only weekend break blog, regrets not spending some time reading other peoples blogs before setting up her own – “I’d read and follow more blogs! I didn’t follow nearly enough and so started out quite blind to what the blogging community was about!”
– LEARN SOME TECH BASICS
Chloe from Wanderlust Chloe, currently ranked #10 for Trips100, advises aspiring bloggers to learn some tech basics before hitting the publish button. “I didn’t know anything about SEO when I began my blog and now wish I’d come up with keyword friendly titles for my first blogs! I also wish I’d got into Pinterest earlier as I’ve discovered it’s one of the best sources of travel inspiration and with that come referrals.”
CREATE A PROMOTIONAL STRATEGY
Lisa, Editor of Trips100 and Travel Loving Family would spend more time promoting articles if she was to turn back time. “When I set up my blog 18 months ago, I would just publish posts on the blog and promote via my Facebook page and Twitter account and then move on and work on my next article. During the last six months I have used Pinterest group boards, joined Instagram and I am co host of a popular travel linky – #Monday Escapes. My statistics have certainly improved from having a promotional strategy. Of course if I had done this from the beginning, I would have seen these results earlier.”
– KEEP TRACK OF BLOG EXPENSES
Clare from My Tunbridge Wells, currently ranked #67 for Trips100, regrets not saving receipts to make her life a little easier at the beginning. “If I could go back in time, I would have tracked all of my expenses daily/weekly for my self assessment as going back over them several months later was a complete headache. I also would have started to build my email subscribers list earlier.”
Next week we reveal our top travel bloggers most read posts! If you want to know the secret to increasing your blog statistics check back soon. If you already have a travel blog please comment below and let us know what you would change about your blog if you could turn back time.