Earlier this year I wrote a post titled ‘7 top tips to running a successful travel blog‘ which proved to be quite popular. If you’ve been following all the tips there, hopefully you are starting to see some benefits from your efforts, so here I’d like to take that post a little further and give you a little more food for thought.
Whether you run your own blog or contribute to third party blogs, here I’m going to give a few tips on what content seems to ‘work’ when it comes to travel blogging. I’m taking it as a ‘given’ that you are producing well-written, quality content. Here I’m talking about those blog posts that increase your audience, bring in new traffic, and can have a tendency to attract lots of views.
Depending on the nature of your travel blog, your needs may differ slightly. For example, a hotelier with a blog is likely to regard a blog post that ‘works’ to be one that results in direct sales. But here the focus is upon what pulls in new visitors and has the potential to simply increase the overall awareness of your blog and/or travel business, rather than about the kinds of posts that are directly geared towards selling.
So, without further ado, here are some ‘top tips’ based on my own experiences of what I have found seems to work well.
An enticing title
Perhaps this is a little too obvious, but the title of your blog posts can be all-important. Think of magazine covers… they highlight particular articles within the magazine and try to capture your imagination (with the ultimate hope of you buying a copy, of course). Now think also about social media… what is it that goes out on your Facebook, your Twitter, your RSS feeds, etc. … yes, you’ve guessed it, it’s invariably the title of your blog post. So make sure it’s one that is appealing and likely to entice someone to click.
Practical and helpful information
Don’t lose site of the fact that blogs should ideally be useful as well as entertaining to read! Hopefully this post will fall into this category, but what I’m getting at here is that if you offer something that is genuinely useful to people, it is more likely to be passed on to friends, thus increasing your readership. Some examples of useful posts we’ve had in the past that have done quite well might be 6 tips on getting upgraded to first class… for free! and this overview of the top 10 luxury restaurants in Berlin.
‘Top 10′ style lists
Don’t ask me why, but people seem to love ‘top 10 style posts. I believe curiosity just gets the better of people and they want to see who (or what) has made the list. Of course, it doesn’t have to be 10 necessarily… it can be any number… but these kinds of posts do seem to work well which is probably why you see many of the newspaper sites using them, too.
Our top 20 most expensive hotels in the world post has been re-tweeted more than a thousand times, and it’s no co-incidence that I’ve chosen to name this post ’10 top tips on how to widen the appeal of your travel blog’. Since you’re here reading this, I’m guessing it may have worked!
First hand experiences
There’s nothing like giving a first-hand account of your own travel experiences. Whilst this travel blog isn’t as individual as many out there, we still notice that people like to read about our own travels and experiences, wherever they may take us.
For example, the accounts of our family holiday in Jura, Scotland, our skiing trip to St. Moritz, Switzerland and various other trips have all been consistently popular. Similarly, something as simple as this post – which is someone else’s personal video account of his experience of a first class suite on an Emirates A380 – has also attracted lots of visitors.
Quirky or amazing content
People love something unusual, incredible or just simply different. Whether it be some rather quirky hotel rooms, an amazing swimming pool or just some ideas on something different to do in Paris, these kinds of posts are likely to capture your readers imagination and, if it’s something really compelling, they’ll share it too.
Extreme or controversial content
This eye-watering video of an elephant’s extremely unfortunate encounter in Botswana is one that has garnered lots of interest and clicks! As for controversial, the 10 rudest nations on the planet, although a very short post, has been very popular and resulted in plenty of discussion! And, disgraceful though it is, this Disney World ‘top tip’ (and I use that term very loosely!) understandably got lots of people’s backs up!
People love to know about ‘the best’ (or ‘the worst’). They like extremes, not the boring run-of-the-mill stuff. Our post titled ‘The best resort in the world‘ unsurprisingly attracted lots of views and continues to do so to this day. Similarly, the 10 rudest nations on the planet post (just mentioned) also falls into this category – in fact, it falls into several of the tips I’ve already mentioned here which perhaps explains why it’s been one of the blog’s most popular posts of all time!
Competitions can be a great way to draw people to your travel blog. Who doesn’t want to win a holiday?! The golden rule here, we find, is that the better the prize, the greater the interest. It’s common sense really but when if the prize is just a pair of flip-flops versus a week-long stay in a luxury villa in Bali, including return flights from anywhere in the world, then… well, you get the picture!
Once you post a competition on your site, don’t just leave it at that. Make sure you tell people about it! We also look after and run www.travelcompetitions.net which of course helps when it comes to spreading the word, but there are lots of other very popular places where you can advertise any competitions that you happen to be running on your travel blog.
If you’re writing about a particular event, or with respect to a particular time of year, setting your post to schedule just before the event can often make sense. Posts such as 12 of the most stunning winter sun locations in the world or Where’s warm for a holiday in March? need to be scheduled carefully at a time when they are most likely to perform for you. Recent news events can also do really well if still on-topic with your site’s theme, particularly if you are among the first to post about them.
On the same note, think also about the time of day for your posts – consider your audience and who is likely to read your posts. It goes without saying but if an article is geared particularly towards Europeans, for instance, make sure it goes live when they are at least awake, and ideally at a time when they are known for being ‘active’ with their online activities.
If you’re struggling to get your blog ‘seen’, then how about posting on other, more established travel blogs. This is common practice and a good way of increasing awareness of your own blog. Regrettably, it’s something I rarely find time for myself, because I am so busy here, but A Luxury Travel Blog has more than 300 guest bloggers now. If you are involved in the luxury travel industry and would like details about being a guest blogger here, please get in touch and we will send you more information.
If you have any ideas of your own, or would like to pick up on some of the items I’ve mentioned here, please post a comment below…