There’s a lot to think about when you’re starting a new blog.
I know, because I’m going through that process at the moment.
Over the last month or so, I’ve put a lot of thought and planning into every aspect of this blog to make sure it’s a success.
So I thought I’d share some of my thoughts and tips with you all on some key things that I regularly see new travel bloggers either doing wrong or just not thinking about.
Hopefully you can use some of this to help make your new travel blog a hit!
Mistake #1 – Not Offering Something Unique
I can’t underestimate the importance of finding your niche, and owning it.
Just creating a “travel blog” is far too broad.
And besides, you’re up against a LOT of competition.
Take some time to think about you. What is it about you that makes your situation and your travels unique?
Finding your own little niche also helps you to find your own voice. And that’s a crucial part of building your blog and growing your readership.
Focus on a particular aspect of travel, be an expert at one style of travelling, becoming an authority on a particular country or region.
You could be the go to guy for travelling around Italy, the budget family travel blogger, the backpacking chef….there’s a million ways to ‘niche down’ and make your blog different.
Your niche is what’s going to make your blog unique. It’ll help you connect with people easier and make your content more relate-able. It’s why people are going to keep coming back.
Mistake #2 – “Write It, And They Will Come”.
Ahh…if only it were that simple!
It’d be awesome, wouldn’t it? If the web worked like that?
Write something cool, hit publish, let the traffic role in.
Unfortunately life’s not that kind.
Even the best content ever written isn’t going to get a single reader unless you know how to promote it. How to get your blog noticed.
Any idea how many other travel blogs there are out there? Just type “travel blog” into Google if you want to see what you’re up against.
I just did, and the search results say there’s around 16 million results.
That’s a lot of people, publishing a lot of content.
In short, the internet’s pretty crowded. If you want to stand out and have your content seen among the crowd, hitting ‘publish’ isn’t the end. It’s the beginning.
You’ll need to find out exactly where your users are online, and go to them.
Get involved in forums, discussions, social media. Get involved on other peoples blogs with comments, guest posts. Get involved on big industry media – write for some already well known publications.
It’s all about getting your name out there.
Mistake #3 – Leaving Monetization Until Later
Ever heard someone saying “Build your audience and the money will follow”?
I can show you plenty of great bloggers with huge audiences and reach, who struggle to make much money at all.
That’s because they’re trying to add revenue streams in, rather than building around them.
The most successful bloggers build their sites with monetization in mind from day one.
Their content and the type of stuff they produce from there on in, support their monetization strategy.
So before they even write a word, they’ve already decided what their income streams are going to look like.
And that helps to focus your content production and your efforts in general, on the things that are going to help you make money.
Let’s say your end goal is to make money from managing travel companies’ social media accounts for them.
Having your own travel blog is a good start. Doing that while building up your own social media following is an even better start. But having a travel blog which also features loads of great articles and advice about how to grow your social media following…now you’re onto a winner.
Mistake #4 – Not Starting An Email List
“The money is in the list”.
Now there’s a blogging saying that I actually do agree with.
As a new blogger, starting from scratch, you’ll sink hours upon hours of your time into traffic generation.
Getting people to actually come to your site.
Pretty much everything you do, you do to get peoples attention. To get them to notice your blog among the thousands of others, and to get them to read what you have to say.
But when you’ve worked so hard to get that person onto your site for the first time, surely you want to give yourself a shot at getting them to return again?
It makes sense, right? It’s easier to get someone who already knows and liked your blog to come back again, than it is to get a stranger to come to it for the first time.
You work so hard to attract readers to your blog, so why the hell wouldn’t you want to grab their email addresses and give yourself a shot at getting them back again.
And think about what it means when you do.
Getting a readers email address is the best possible endorsement they can give you.
They’re inbox is their personal space on the web. And they’re inviting you into it.
So if you can convince them to send you the invite, you can be pretty sure they’ll turn into fans and long term readers.
I’ll be honest with you…if you haven’t already started an email list, you’re leaving visitors (and money!) on the table.
Mistake #5 – Being Indecisive
Nothing kills success more than indecision.
Being indecisive and inconsistent with the type of blogger you are and the content you want to produce is never going to get you anyway.
Consistency is the key to success in blogging.
Think of each thing you do as being a step towards your end goal. If you keep changing directions and heading towards a new goal, it’s going to take you a long time to get there.
Building traffic to a new blog requires momentum. And you can’t gather momentum without being consistent in what you do.
Think hard about what you want to write about before you start your blog. Because if you want to make it a success, you’re going to be writing about it a lot!
There’s a lot you can do wrong when starting a new blog. That’s true of any niche, but especially one as crowded as travel blogging.
But the biggest mistake you can make by far, is not starting in the first place.
Take the first steps – start your travel blog today with Bluehost for only $3.95 per month.
Even with the best will in the world, all the research and planning you can imagine, you’ll still make mistakes along the way. I make heaps, every day.
So, take all of the above onboard, and then go out there and keep on making more mistakes. That’s how you’ll learn to be a better blogger. And hopefully how you’ll find your own success.
What are your tips for new travel bloggers? What mistakes did you make when you were starting out? Let me know in the comments below.
Full Disclosure – this page contains some affiliate links to products and services I know and trust. There’s no added cost for you, but if you click through and end up making a purchase, I get a small commission. It’s not much, but it helps to keep this blog running and I only ever recommend stuff I trust and would use myself. Thanks for supporting me.
Yesterday I spent 3 hours playing around with structured data, trying to help Google understand that Matt Burns the actor and Matt Burns the writer are two entirely different people. ...
Don’t start your travel blog until you’ve read these 5 common travel blogging mistakes and how to avoid them.
This is the 1st in a monthly Traffic, Growth & Travel Update series as part of the Travel Blogging Experiment, where I lay out step by step what I’ve been ...
Wondering how to make money travel blogging? This definitive list of ways to start making a living as a digital nomad has something for everyone.