6 travel blogging mistakes you need to stop making now
Sometimes you need a BFF to tell you when to JUST. STOP.
Assuming that your BFF’s not a travel blogger, I’m going to go ahead and take that responsibility for a sec. Because when it comes to blogging, your time is precious beyond belief. You cannot afford to keep chasing the wrong goals or pursuing the wrong tactics when trying to get your blog off the ground.
The only place that will lead is a puddle of tears with your forehead on your keyboard.
Today’s post will smash some travel blogging misconceptions so you can spend less time worrying about the wrong things, and more time earning your blog the attention it deserves.
But before we pick apart some of the nastiest (yet easy to make) blogging mistakes, I want to set you off on the right track.
Vagabonds, let me introduce the #20ToTraffic Travel Blog Challenge.
What’s #20ToTraffic? 20 days of step-by-step, super easy to follow strategies that you can implement in about 10 minutes or less to boost traffic to your travel blog.
The first 10 days cover the best foundational traffic-boosting strategies, while the next 10 days will delve into more involved and advanced techniques.
It’s free to sign up for the challenge, so get in the game right now.
As much as I’m excited to share #20ToTraffic’s tried-and-tested travel blogging strategies with you, I’m even more excited to host the private online community devoted to the challenge. Once you sign up, you’ll be prompted to request to join the exclusive #20ToTraffic Facebook group.
I’ll be in there each and every day of the challenge, as well as your fellow travel bloggers, encouraging, supporting (and holding you accountable!) along the way. You’ll also get plenty (as in, unlimited) opportunity for personal feedback for YOUR travel blog. Got a question? We’re there to answer it.
If you’re ready to get serious about travel blogging, join the challenge now.
I’ll see you on the inside 😉
Though #20ToTraffic will cover all the things you should be doing to boost blog traffic, we should probably put the breaks on some common things you definitely shouldn’t be doing. That’s where today’s 6 blogging mistakes come in. Vagabonds, if you’re making these travel blogging moves, no shame. Just. Stop.
Then devote your time to strategies that actually work.
1. Prioritizing quantity over quality
You’re really busy. I’m really busy. Everyone who’d dabbled in the world of blogging while juggling a “traditional” job, school, family, or friends is busy. But too many travel bloggers buy into the lie that people will only find and read their blog if they post every single day. Or 3 times a week.
The results are click-bait articles that do nothing to truly captivate your audience and turn readers into subscribers. If being busy is your motto, remember that post quality counts over quantity.
And when I say “quality,” I’m talking beyond nice word choice and applicable info. I’m talking images. SEO. Promotion. Write quality posts, and then treat them with the quality respect they deserve. If you’re trying to post every day, each post is not getting the attention it deserves.
And if you’re posting less and still not putting out your best work? No worries. Post even less. Your audience would rather get a high-quality, bookmark-worthy, Facebook-sharing post once a month than a quick, bland read once a week.
What exactly do I mean by quality beyond good writing? Learn how to give every post the 5-star treatment in the #20ToTraffic Travel Blog Challenge>>
2. Pretending to be the world’s foremost travel guru
You don’t know it all, and that’s okay! In fact, no matter how well traveled and globally-minded, no travel blogger knows everything there is to know about travel. There’s always something more to learn. (Because how would the alternative be any fun?)
Yet too many new travel bloggers feel like they have to look like they know more than they do. Writing content based on what you’ve read, rather than your own experience, will turn readers off. Your audience wants authenticity, not travel fluff info they can find anywhere online.
If you want to become the foremost travel go-to on your niche, then stick to covering what you know. Even if that means only writing about your home state.
3. Fearing – and avoiding – SEO
SEO (“search engine optimization”) can seem scary. The fact that some really smart person’s algorithms control whether or not your posts show up in massive search engines like Google is enough to make many travel bloggers slam the laptop shut. Or ignore SEO all together.
There is a happy medium that allows creative freedom while optimizing your writing to rank well in search engines. And no, you don’t need any special tech-knowledge or internet superpowers to figure it out.
Learn how to easily optimize every post for SEO in the #20ToTraffic Travel Blog Challenge>>
4. Basking in the limelight
What do you do when you get a taste of success? Give yourself a pat on the back and get back to work (I hope!).
Audience recognition means you’re doing the right thing with your content – it doesn’t mean you’ve got the go-ahead to start writing all about yourself. Authenticity is one thing, but shifting the focus from your topic to your random musings? Not going to go over well with your readers.
The bottom line: readers want to read what you have to say about your travel blog’s topic, not about you. Sorry, it’s harsh. But it’s also reality. Remember to keep the focus travel, and you’re good to go.
5. Favoring social media over list building
I hate to break it to you, but your Facebook following doesn’t belong to you. It belongs to Facebook. Same goes for Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and any other social media platform. With the click of a button, social media superpowers can install new algorithms that change how many of your followers actually see your posts. Sometimes (here’s looking at you, Facebook) this reach can be as low as 10%.
Now consider your email list: each and every one of your subscribers receives your email in their inbox. Every one. That’s a much more direct line to your audience. Think of it as simply picking up the phone and calling your friend to tell her something, whereas social media can be more like tying morse code notes to carrier pigeons.
Whatever you do, do not forsake building your email list – even when you’re just starting out.
I’ll show you how to turn readers into email subscribers with the #20ToTraffic Travel Blog Challenge>>
6. Imagining you’re in competition with every other travel blogger
The travel blogging community is one of the most supportive online communities I’ve ever encountered. (As a girl of many professions, ranging from fashion freelance and political journalism to teaching and chemical lab-work, that’s saying something!) When I first started blogging, I was overwhelmed by the number of other travel bloggers already out there. I assumed this meant that I had even less chance of making it as a successful travel blogger.
I was dead wrong.
Once you design and own a specific niche, your blog becomes unique enough to captivate readers. No, you’ll never be the only travel blogger. But you will be the only you. In the world of blogging, that’s not just a sweet catchphrase. It’s true.
Start connecting with other travel bloggers online. You’ll create amazing collaborations, learn lots, and make friends who actually get your travel blogging passion.
Meet your own travel blogging tribe in the #20ToTraffic Travel Blog Challenge>>
What mistakes did you first make as a travel blogger? Let me know how you changed in the comments! And don’t forget to join the #20ToTraffic Travel Blog Challenge>>
The globetrotting wordsmith behind Take Me With You, Sierra specializes in sustainable, smart blogging strategies for part-time travel bloggers. Her wanderlust has taken her across 3 continents and 11 countries. She is the creator of the free ecourse, Travel Blog In 5.