How to Make Your Travel Blog Stand Out; Complete Guide
If you are reading this, that means you own a travel blog or have thoughts of starting yours soon. You are seeking information on how to make your travel blog stand out and how to stay ahead of your competitors.
It may be that you have never traveled out of your vicinity, but you have an interest in the travel niche. Thus, you are thinking about how to write a travel blog without traveling.
I understand your situation.
Did you know?
According to Growth Badger, there are over 600 million blogs, out of over 1.7 billion websites in the world as of 2020.
What does this mean for you?
It means for you to stand out as a blog owner in today’s highly competitive ‘blogosphere,’ you should adopt highly effective blogging strategies.
Coming up with these strategies and other questions crosses the mind of every travel blog beginner. I hope the tips I will share in this complete guide to running a successful travel blog will eliminate your worries.
For starters, one thing should be topmost on your mind before you start a travel blog — what is the purpose of a travel blog.
Why do you wish to blog in the travel niche?
What is your inspiration?
If you can properly align the reasons for starting your travel blog (or planning to start), it would be easy for you to flow and follow the tips that I will highlight in this article.
Lyfe Marketing discusses the purpose of a blog and its importance in this article.
Enough said already, put on your traveling gears, let’s jump right in.
Ways to make your travel blog stand out as a beginner.
1. Be Original
As a beginner blogger, there is always the urge to follow the traditional practice of ‘copy and paste blogging.’
My advice is, don’t do it. Being unoriginal will defeat the aim of starting the travel blog in the first place.
Keep in mind that it is wrong for you to play on the intelligence of your readers.
When people visit your blog, they expect originality and will be disappointed if they read something that they have seen on another blog.
It is okay for you to read through other travel blogs when conducting your research. However, when you do this, ensure that you don’t copy, but write your post in its full originality.
Let research be research. Don’t plagiarize others’ content.
The best way to handle running a travel blog in 2021 is for you to put out original content that would leave readers anticipating your next post.
You might feel that you do not know much as a beginner
Drop that feeling; never limit yourself and your ability.
2. Be a Great Storyteller
It is one thing to nurse the thoughts of owning a travel blog or having one, and another thing to create engaging and captivating content.
The travel niche is built on experience(s).
The more you can captivate a reader’s attention and give them an excellent experience, the more likely they’re to come back for more.
How can you achieve it?
Josh Barney over at Einstein Marketer, has a detailed Storytelling Instruction Kit for Bloggers and Marketers.
While your content and blog post might be original, it may lack the compelling power to grab readers’ attention. If your posts do not interest your readers, they will not come back, neither would they share nor refer others.
The power of any blog to succeed depends highly on its audience and engagement.
If your blog has little to no traffic, it will remain stagnant. This is not something you want as a travel blogger.
As a travel blog beginner, you must be an excellent storyteller. Being a storyteller will help readers have an interest in your content.
How can you become a storyteller?
One of the best ways to be a good content writer and storyteller is to read and write as much content as you can.
I explained this extensively in my piece on how to blog when you’re not a content writer.
Through reading and writing often, you will perfect the art of writing, which comes in handy in growing your travel blog.
If you choose not to write the content yourself (probably you’re still starting up on your writing journey), you may decide to hire a content writer.
If you wish to hire a writer, I recommend looking out for writers who are good at storytelling.
3. Use Visuals
Visuals play a crucial role in giving your readers the experience they expect.
According to Kevan Lee, the VP of Marketing over at Buffer, content with visuals gets 94% more total views.
If you are serious about owning a travel blog, you should not hesitate to use visuals.
Pictures and images have a captivating power; they are engaging and make readers continue reading a post.
The digital atmosphere is fast-changing, and we have gone past the era of reading texts without pictures. Up to 2005, that might be accepted, but beyond that, visual content is crucial.
Your readers don’t want boring texts, do not (and please) do not give them that.
If your post or content does not have visuals, people will see it as boring.
Adding images to your content helps your content become more relatable to the readers.
Images have a way of attaching themselves to the memory of readers. They might be done reading your blog, but the visuals will be etched in their mind for a long time.
This will inspire them to return to your travel blog, or use it for references.
Additionally, visuals can help you boost your SEO, according to Janice Wald of Mostly Blogging. In her post, she highlighted four expert ways to do this.
4. Leverage Social Media
The importance of content promotion and especially promotion via social media can never be overemphasized.
If you are running a travel blog, use all the available social media platforms you can.
Being a blogger requires you to promote your content, and social media platforms are some of the most excellent places to promote posts.
There are so many social platforms out there. You can conduct researches to discover what works best for you.
For travel blogging, I highly recommend Instagram because it allows you to post your content with visuals.
Besides, you can tell visual stories on the platform.
Instagram is so popular amongst travel bloggers that it’s not unusual to see people searching for ‘how to be a travel blogger on Instagram’ or ‘how to start a travel blog on Instagram’.
Social media platforms help you expand your reach and visibility.
Lisa, from Inspire to Thrive, has an in-depth article on reasons you may need Instagram for your site in 2020.
A Quick tip to leveraging Social Media;
- Use top-notch graphics when you post on any social media
- Bad images do not appeal to people.
5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This piece on making your travel blog stand out cannot be complete if I don’t mention search engine optimization.
SEO is definitely on every blogging guide you’ll come across.
Because it’s crucial if you wish to get traffic from search engines.
According to Moz, of all US searches, only about 2.8% of people click on paid advertisements. This means a vast 97.2% clicks go to organic searches on search engines. Furthermore, Moz points out that SEO has 20x more traffic opportunities than PPC on mobile and desktop.
The incredible thing is that organic traffic is FREE.
The idea of search engine optimization is for your website or blog to be the highest-ranking site across different search engines.
When you analyze it, you will notice that some blogs appear on the first pages of search engines when you search for a particular ‘keyword’.
SEO makes this possible.
Imagine the inflow of traffic you’ll get when your blog is what searchers see first when they’re looking for a particular topic you’ve written about on your blog.
Starting a travel blog requires many things, amongst which is learning SEO.
Must you be an SEO expert before starting your travel blog?
There are many SEO experts for hire out there you can hire to assist you.
However, I always recommend you learn some basic SEO strategies to execute yourself; SEO content writing, probably.
Some Basic SEO Tips
As a travel blogger, ensure that your content has words surrounding the keyword you’re targeting — something called semantics in the SEO industry.
If you’re writing about Nigeria, for instance, you should use related keywords.
There are also some SEO plug-ins you can use to make optimizing your blog easier.
If you do your SEO correctly, your blog will be on the first page (if not the first spot) in a search relating to ‘travel in Nigeria’.
6. Be Interactive and Social
Earlier in this article, I mentioned how it is essential for a beginner travel blogger to leverage social media to promote their posts.
Your social media efforts shouldn’t stop at sharing your posts on social media.
Continuing with the plant illustration, if you grow a plant without taking care of it, the plant will wither.
If you’re on social media and do not interact with your followers, you will stagnate. When this happens on your social media accounts, the ripple effect will reach your blog.
You sure want to leverage every traffic generation channel you can get.
Sometimes, your followers may have questions. It is right for you to give answers. Other times, it can be a comment appreciating your work, which you should respond to create a connection.
People love to bond with individuals they follow, and this is possible through interaction (a typical example of networking I mentioned above).
Being interactive and social is not limited to social media platforms. It also applies to your blog.
Engaging with your readers helps you grow as sometimes they will point out an error or give an idea that you can implement.
7. Have an Email List
Having an email list is one of the ways you can make your travel blog stand out.
As a beginner, you can start by collating the email addresses of friends and family. This way, you will send them an email as a reminder whenever you have a new blog post.
Understandably, people are busy and would not always have the time to check your blog.
However, many would appreciate it if they get reminders from time to time.
You can also go the extra mile to send your audience random check-up emails and tips that can help them. It shows that it is not only when you want them to check out your blog that you remember them.
The larger your email list, the higher your visibility.
Before you start creating an email list, ensure you’re ready to commit to consistency.
8. Hire Writers
Some people feel that it is strange for them to hire writers for their travel blog. It’s not.
In my article on how to blog when you’re not a content writer, I pointed out that many famous bloggers aren’t good content writers. However, they’ve achieved success in the industry through the options I explained.
Even if you’re a content writer, there are times when you might experience a creativity block, and it would be best for you to hire a content writer while you’re dealing with your writers' block, instead of leaving your blog stagnant.
Understandably, you want your travel blog to have a personal feel.
You can also achieve this when you hire a ghostwriter.
A content writer can help you tell the tale you wish to tell on your blog more engagingly; that’s why they’re the experts.
When you can’t write, hire a freelance content writer to do the work for you.
Related: Why It’s Difficult to Determine the rate of Content Writer and What You Should Do to Hire The right writer.
9. Do your Research
Before you start your travel blog, conduct your research, and know ways to make your blog the best.
It could be that there are no travel bloggers near you so that you will be the pacesetter in your community.
You can also discover the interest of those around you. This will help determine your travel blog niche.
The goal is to have constant traffic on your blog, so you need to ensure that you do not leave any stone untouched.
It is better to do this research and excel with your blog than to skip it and not do well.
A person who’s well equipped with information never loses direction.
Get your research done correctly and work your way towards being on the list of successful travel blogs.
10. Think out of the box
One thing that will assist you in growing your travel blog and staying outstanding is your ability to think out of the box.
However, this is hard to achieve when you do not believe in yourself.
As a beginner or intermediate blogger, view your blog as your jet or car. As the pilot or driver, you know that it will go in any direction you navigate it.
If you do not go the extra mile to do extraordinary things with your blog, your competitors will overshadow you.
You can think out of the box in the way you structure your blog, content, and designs.
You can check your blog’s analytics to know the type of readers you get and strategize on the best ways to give them the best experience.
This is something discussed extensively in this post.
If you notice that majority of your readers are young people, you should use vibrant colors. This resonates well with the audience.
The point is, understand your audience and think of unique ways to capture and retain their attention.
11. Choose a Niche
This is one of the most popular blogging tips out there.
Ahref discussed extensively this tip and other blogging tips you can adopt to succeed as a blogger.
If the goal is to start a travel blog in 2021, you should not be in a rush.
You need to understand that the travel blogging niche (just like many other blogging niches) is broad. This is why you should define the purpose of why you want to start a travel blog (remember the introduction?).
Knowing your purpose will help you pick a suitable niche.
But travel is a niche already.
Do I need to have a niche in a niche?
Yes. You do.
This blog explains why you should be specific in choosing a niche, even within a niche.
Having a blogging niche is crucial and will help you channel your efforts and boost your SEO easily.
Besides, it helps your readers to know the direction you are headed when they read your blog.
There are different niches under the travel blogging niche, so you need to pick one.
It could be that you want to blog about travelers’ lifestyle, travel tips, travel in a location, travel deals, and packages. These or you just want to tell stories of places you have visited (this might not work for you if you’re looking for ways of starting a travel blog without traveling).
No matter your niche of choice, always choose what will work for you best.
Undeniably you have heard that no man is an island?
This applies to travel blogging too.
Yes, the goal is to have an outstanding travel blog. However, I always recommend you collaborate with other bloggers.
When you network and spread your wings, you will be able to gain knowledge from others.
Besides what you’ll learn from fellow travel bloggers, there are other benefits of collaboration between bloggers, which Eniola pointed out in this article.
Through networking, you can also meet different bloggers who are not necessarily in the travel blog niche. They can help you with mind-blowing tips you never thought of using on your blog.
As a beginner travel blogger, you should be open to more knowledge. Having a growth mindset is one of the things that will help you succeed in blogging.
You are probably curious about how to be a travel blogger and make money. Networking can help you to achieve this. These bloggers have been in the industry and might have one or two words of advice for you.
If you collaborate with other bloggers, you can become a guest writer on their blog. This will help you establish your authority as a blogger, writer, and travel enthusiast.
This will also give you more visibility and an audience.
Hard work pays can never be more accurate than it is in blogging. If you wish to make your blog stand out, you ‘must’ be consistent. Traffic and readership on your blog do not appear out of the blue.
No blog becomes popular with magic.
Hard work pays.
Sometimes, it may seem like results are not forthcoming. That does not mean you should be discouraged.
Treat each new day as an opportunity to conceive thoughts that would skyrocket your blog. The more you come up with ideas is, the more ideas will come.
It works with a positive feedback mechanism.
The same way a plant needs water to grow is how your blog needs your consistency to flourish.
Do not be the type that remembers their blog once a month.
If you forget your blog, why should the readers not forget it also?
Stay consistent in blogging, and you will be happy with the results.
14. Be Convincing
Some persons might say that it is not easy to write content for a travel blog compared to other niches.
This is because travel blog content must not be bland.
For you to become a travel blogger, means that you have an interest in the niche. Thus, people should feel passion when they read your blog.
When possible, I recommend using personal experiences when writing to help your audience connect and understand better.
Earlier, I talked about perfecting the art of story writing.
Readers love stories, and if they know that it is a personal story, it would have them hooked on your blog.
If your travel blog focuses on the dos and don’ts of traveling, you must be assertive.
Your readers should see the reasons why they must follow the guidelines that you give. Ensure that your work is convincing enough to stick to your readers; only then will they return to your blog.
Final thoughts on a complete guide on how to make your Travel Blog Stand out
Starting and running a travel blog is not rocket science.
Others have been doing it, and it’s something you can do with the right information and guidance.
This article is a perfect guide to teach you how you can make your travel blog stand out. Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or pro blogger, there are definitely certain strategies you’ve not implemented yet.
If you have been doing it wrong, ensure that you make corrections.
If you have been doing it right, continue the good work.
Whether it’s a personal travel blog or a travel blog for a travel agency, the rules highlighted in this guide apply.
For beginners, I hope that your cold feet go away!
So tell me, which of these strategies on how to make your travel blog stand out is your favorite? I’d appreciate your feedback.