The travel niche is a fast-growing one where the web is concerned, presenting a slew of opportunities to talented writers given the wide range of people interested in learning more about the places they plan to visit.
Like any unique niche, being a travel blogger requires that you stay up on the latest in SEO, social media and other marketing tactics, helping you to rank among the best of your peers when it comes to attention from both search engines and potential subscribers.
Take your travel blogging game to the next level with this SEO and social guide for the travel niche:
The Devil is in the Details
Before you can get down to the business of writing compelling, engaging content on the world’s wonders, you’ll need to set yourself up with the best platform to support your words. This will include focusing on a few key points:
- Choosing a domain name. Any travel blogger worth their salt should register a top-level domain name for their website, giving it an air of professionalism along with a memorable address to get visitors to their home on the web. Try to find a good compromise between a name that clearly lets potential visitors know that travel is what you’re about, and a name that is catchy enough to find its way into their memory banks.
- Choosing a host. Trusting your publishing efforts to someone else is as big a deal as it sounds, and this means that you should choose a host that you have reason to trust and depend on. Luckily, this trail has been blazed by millions of bloggers before you, so the web is rife with reviews on every hosting service imaginable, corporate giants and small-scale businesses alike. Take the time also to identify and cover your needs, ensuring that your host is offering the features that you require at a palatable price.
- Choosing a publishing platform. Truth be told, this section can more or less be summed up with a recommendation of WordPress, the world’s favorite publishing platform. It’s free, trusted by hundreds of millions of people and offers every feature imaginable that a blogger could require, offset by millions of plugins that allow for even more functionality.
Determine Your Keyword Focus
Given the stiff competition that you’re up against in such a busy niche, you’ll need to pick and choose the keywords that you want to target very carefully, helping you to land the visitors best suited to the content that you’re offering. This doesn’t require scientific precision, but you will need to take the time to identify keywords and terms that people are actively looking for, using that knowledge to tailor your content to serve those needs.
The simplest way to do this is by using Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool, a handy search function for webmasters to narrow down the most popular terms being searched for among the more than three billion that take place on Google each month. This will allow you to identify some of the more narrow travel niches that are underserved, helping you to focus your content on the minute, but ever-so-important aspects of travel blogging that your readers will thank – and reward – you for.
The second aspect to keyword research is staying on top of things. While Europe may have been all the rage in 2012, it could be that current events sway the average traveler to interest in visiting Asia in 2013; when your visitor’s needs change, so should your content creation endeavors. In order to make sure that your travel focus is always cutting edge, set a weekly schedule of taking 30 minutes to use the AdWords Keyword Tool so that you can keep up with the changing tastes and areas of interest of your readers.
Great Content = Great SEO
Even while you’re investigating and implementing the many particulars involved in properly optimizing your website for Google and friends, it is important to keep in mind that the most important aspect of SEO is good, quality content. This will encourage readers to share your content via social media, talk about it in online discussion forums and link back to it from their own websites, all crucial aspects of getting search engines to notice and reward your efforts.
Use the keywords you found by using the tips above to choose your focus and, for the sake of helping Google and friends to properly rank your blog, include those keywords in your content, but never lose sight of the fact that enjoyable, engaging and fun-to-read content is the best SEO of all.
Be the Epitome of Linkbait
One of the keys to good ranking and visibility on the web is backlinks – that is, obtaining a link to your website from another location on the internet. While there are a myriad of ways of obtaining backlinks, the best way is to encourage others to do the work for you.
“Linkbait” is often used as a negative term to refer to deliberately misleading article titles, but it also describes the ability of a writer to entice readers to get excited about their content by publishing words that generate passion. As a travel blogger, you can achieve this by provoking commentary with in-depth locale reviews, recommending destinations that are typically off of the charts of most travelers, or focusing articles on specific, exciting aspects of a given potential holiday; the possibilities are endless.
Let’s Get Social
Once you’ve got a site structure in place that houses a good amount of quality content, it’s time for you to get the word out about who you are and what you have to offer, and social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and others offer you a fast, free and user-friendly way to do this. The ever-evolving social landscape will keep you on your toes with the new opportunities it presents over time, but here are a few key ways to take advantage of social media:
1. Gather Your Readers on Facebook
With more than one billion users, Facebook is the world’s biggest meeting place, virtual or otherwise. This means that almost all of your readers are probably already active there, making it a simple thing for you to encourage them to talk about your travel blog’s content in a natural, viral way.
The easiest way to achieve this is with a Facebook fan page, providing a platform-within-a-platform for people to seek out your content and share it with friends; given the general popularity that the travel niche enjoys, you’re certain to find new potential subscribers every single time someone publicly “likes” your links on Facebook.
Be sure to be personally active on your page, engaging readers and initiating conversation and debate that will help to draw attention to what you have to say!
2. Be a Travel Tweeter
Twitter has emerged as a strong number two to Facebook, providing you with a unique way to alert interested readers about your new posts. While you’re unlikely to find yourself in deep debate about a visitor’s favorite holiday destination here, the mere volume of Twitter’s user base will help you to get noticed, quickly and easily.
3. Pinterest for Travel Beauty
A relative newcomer to the social media world, Pinterest has quickly become one of the most talked about platforms on the web. With its unique focus on the sharing of photographs, it’s a particularly useful place for travel bloggers, allowing you to link your written content with the sheer beauty of the world’s endless list of travel destinations, making it much easier to entice visitors to your Pinterest board to continue on to your blog in order to learn more about what they’ve seen.
Everyone loves to travel, whether in reality or only in their mind’s eye, giving you a great head-start before you’ve even come out of the blogging gate! With an eye for detail, a solid plan for success and a good effort to produce enjoyable, reader-worthy content, you’ll find your blog a trusted source for travel news and opinions before you know it!
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This article is a guest post provided by a third party, its content was added to Digital Ethos to help provide additional information for our readers and followers. While the Guest Blogger posts do not undergo the same scrutiny as Authors and lack sources, the content was reviewed and approved as valuable to our mission.