HOW TO BECOME A PROFESSIONAL TRAVEL BLOGGER – STEP 6
DON’T GIVE UP
Ahhh finally… the last step. I know, it’s been a long way until here but I am glad you made it! Because THIS is the step were 90% of all travel bloggers fail. But why? Because they give up… and I can totally understand it. I think most of us hobby travel bloggers start with the same ambition: We want to make a blog for our families and friends. But then we see all the travel bloggers who seem to live the perfect life with unlimited income and we want to be like them.
But as I said in Step 5 already, a successful blog needs money and time. Here comes the problem: Who actually has time and money? Right. Nobody. Most hobby travel bloggers give up because they can’t afford to quit their job. They aren’t freelancers, teachers, or journalists. They work in a company and have a few holidays a year. If you belong to this group of people, I have to tell you: DON’T GIVE UP!
Maybe you can’t post 5 times a week or you don’t have enough money for a private server. Who cares? As long as you like to write about your travels, your adventures, your dream – you should do so!
Every successful travel blogger out there started small. They are also human beings like you and me. Be patient and you will see it will get better and better. Just please, never stop posting.
DEFINE YOUR GOALS
If you want to change your hobby into business, you need goals. They help you to stay focused. NEVER look at other travel bloggers and compare yourself with them. The only person you are in competition with, is you! You just get frustrated, if you check other blogs every day (believe me, I had those times).
When setting up goals they need to be SMART:
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time based
That’s why I would recommend to set up goals around things like visitor traffic, social media statistics, or later on your income from travel blogging. Check regulary, if you are still on track (e.g. every month) and don’t forget, you can also change goals if you set them up too high in the beginning.
I am glad you are willing to keep on working, so let’s have a look on a few important last things regarding your blog. There are many ways to monitor your blog but as my 6 steps are more for beginners, we will concentrate on just one programm. You probably heard about Google Analytics. It is pretty complex for a free tool but don’t worry, you don’t need to use every option it has to offer.
Before we can start, you need a google profile and have to connect your blog with google analytics. There are WP plugins to help you. Just follow the instructions.
IMPORTANT: As soon as you start with google analytics you can get addicted to it Don’t check your analytics statistics every day! It makes you going crazy. I recommend to check your pageviews etc. once a month. This is enough to control your data and to set up a strategy for your blog.
Once logged in, you already see interesting information when clicking on Audience → Overview on the left sidebar: Sessions, Users, Pageviews, Bounce Rate etc. All these information is good to know but not important for your strategy.
Let’s have a closer look on something else. We start with geografical information. Just go to your left sidebar again and look for Geo → Location. Check where your readers come from. Maybe you could concentrate more on one specific country and therefore change your writing style, topics etc. Always keep in mind that people from South America probably find other topics interesting than people from Asia.
Now you know where your readers come from. But how did they get on your blog? Just click Acquisition → Overview. Here you can see how they find your blog. If you have less than 50% coming from organic search, you should rethink your SEO strategy. You can also check, if twitter gets you more trafffic than facebook etc. It helps to see in which social media channel you should invest more time and effort.
Okay, that was already interesting but to build up a strategy, you should have a closer look on Behavior → Overview. It shows you in a very detailed way which page or post of your blog is successful and in which one nobody is interested in. This is super important, because very often we tend to think that we know what our readers want, but very often we have no idea.
When I was working in the marketing department I always said: The bait has to be tasty for the fish and not for the fisher. (I am sure that sounds way better in German but I hope you got the point) That means, just because YOU think it is super cool, it doesn’t mean your readers like it as well.
Go and check out your 10 best posts and analyse why there were so successful. Was it the topic? The writing? The pictures? Compare them with your 10 worst posts and you will hopefully find an answer. You should also check the whole blog itself. On which page do you have many bounces? Did your readers stay very long on a certain page? The possibilities to analyse and to set up a strategy are endless. Just remember not to change your stategy every week, as it needs time to see differences and developments.
DO’S AND DONT’S OF TRAVEL BLOGGING
Last but not least I would like to give you some Do’s and Dont’s
DO be professional
If you want to become a professional travel blogger, behave like one. Dress appropriate when you meet clients, sponsors, and partners. If you commit to do something, do it. Never be rude, except for these so called SEO “experts”… no just kidding… NEVER!
Being a professional travel blogger also includes a professional travel blog. If you haven’t read about it, you should do so now in STEP2.
DO know your weakness
Nobody’s perfect. Some professional travel bloggers are great in writing and photography but they have no idea about social media or don’t know how to build a website. That’s totally okay. There are always people out there who are good at things you are not, so why not ask them to help you out?
DO keep learning
Talking about weaknesses, there is always something new to learn. We live in the 21st century and new trendy things, social media channels or great plugins for your blog come up every day. Good that we can use the internet to learn. There are tons of great posts, youtube videos, and free ebooks.
And don’t forget the conferences, travel trade shows, facebook groups etc. If you are willing to learn something about professional travel blogging, you can do it! (and hopefully you are learning right now)
DON’T think it is easy
Because it’s NOT! I talked about it a hundred times – I think that’s enough now
DON’T cheat your audience
YOU are nothing without your audience. NEVER forget that. I think this point is totally clear but I have to repeat myself. If something isn’t right for you, don’t try to sell it to your readers. They will find out that you are not honest and that you just blog to make some coins.
DON’T copy other travel bloggers
I think many beginners make this mistake. It is easy and fast to copy the ideas of others. But hey – that’s a dead end. You will never have success with it.
DON’T think you are special
There will be a time when you get your first invitation to a press trip etc. You will be treated very well and you might think you are a VIP. To make a long story short: You are not. Always keep in mind that you are a representative for all other travel bloggers, so behave like a professional!
Oh my God, you really made it. THANK YOU so much for reading my 6 steps to become a professional travel blogger. I hope I could give you at least a few tips for your own travel blog. BoB, Liane and I will keep this travel blog runnig, no matter how successful it will be. I will keep the 6 steps updated on a regular basis. Take my word for it!
WHAT, you want to buy me a beer? Thanks, just click here my friend ?
Now go and start your own successful travel blog! I wish you ALL THE BEST and hope to see you around!
Cheers and safe travels!