Travel Blog Workflow 6: Promotion
How to Promote your Travel Blog:
How did you find my travel blog, or website the first time?
Was it through a search engine when you were looking for something?
Was it through an email someone forwarded to you?
Or was it through a social media site like facebook or twitter?
Either way, somewhere along the line it wouldn’t have got there if there wasn’t some promotion out there.
My Travel Blog Promotion Workflow:
We already looked at a little of this in the previous work flow. But, here’s a recap.
- I ensure my images are search engine friendly
- Metadata is written out (many people don’t agree with this, but I use it in conjunction with excerpts)
- Posts or articles are automatically listed out on social network sites like twitter, facebook and stumbleupon.
- Subscribers are sent out an email with my latest article.
- Replying to emails sent in by readers.
Why spend time promoting a blog post?
How many good content websites are there out there? I really don’t know. If I type travel blog into a search engine these days the chances are I’ll get back corporate, sponsored or paid for content.
It’s getting harder and harder to narrow down your search criteria without coming across someone else’s sales criteria. Be it for self promotion, or for sales.
The idea that “content is king” is in my estimation, a fallacy when it comes to today’s internet search.
There are so many people gaming the system of search engines for profit and promotion, that great content is lost.
In my estimation a great marketer, will rank a lot higher in search engines than a great writer.
A writer, unless they are tech savvy, have time, money and capability will lose out every time.
They want to write, they don’t want to spend countless hours looking for link exchanges, advertising, using Search Engine Optimization techniques, adding themselves to the latest top listed directories or buying themselves some votes.
A travel marketer or photography marketer is solely focused in ranking high in search engines. They may have some content, but, the priority will be to market it more than to write it.
There are incredible travel blogs, and photography websites out there that never see the light of day in the general circle of promotions due to this.
Hence, in this day and age – I do try to promote The Longest Way Home as much as I feasible can given my circumstances. Otherwise, it simply will never see the light of day.
It is however, not my number one priority. The journey is. As it had been from the start, the best promotion I have had is from the content I produce, and word of mouth.
Travel blog promotion workflow:
Once a blog post or article is released, the most common way I promote it is via twitter.
I use my phone a lot for this. I’ve tried tweeting out my latest post links on a frequent basis. If I am reading tweets, and replying to people. I usually tweet out my latest link before signing off.
From my own statistics I’ve found that once every 12 hours for a couple of days is good. The tweet needs to hit different time zones around the world.
After that, it’s an element of luck that the right person sees it, reads it, likes it and Retweets it to their followers etc.
I’ve also recently taken to asking an occasional question on Facebook regarding my journey and articles. I really don’t have the time for facebook, but do try for something different there.
I’ve written articles on several other websites. Here I like to diversify my content and write about something I wouldn’t normally do, just like I am doing now. But I put an emphasis on high quality here, after all there will be a lot of new readers that will see you for the first time.
Attracting new subscribers:
I launched my first ebook 5 Top Places to Travel & Photograph earlier this year. It’s a free photo ebook to anyone who wants my free journals via email.
What people have found is that my statements are truthful and honest. They don’t get spammed. They get an update on average twice a week. They get additional content not seen elsewhere on the site. And, of course as promised they get a great photo ebook with lots of tips.
I have a travel blog & photography directory. Anyone can ask for a link exchange. I do however ask you put you link up first, and then tell me about it via a comment on that page.
I get emails asking for link exchanges, but it really is better to just leave a comment on this page. It’s gets updated once per month.
Leaving comments on other sites:
Leaving comments on other websites is a great way to be noticed. I don’t do this for that.
I only comment regularly on a handful of blogs or websites. I do so because I like that particular article or the person who’s written it.
I simply don’t have time to do what I call “communal” commenting. Or “I’ll comment on your blog, if you comment on mine.”
This maybe a mistake on my behalf, but I simply don’t have the time nor inclination to leave a comment, for a comments sake.
However, if you do comment on my site, the chances are huge that I will go to your website and read it.
These days I tend to comment mainly on non travel blogs, simply to get away from “travel” 24/7. Or on helpful and constructive travel sites.
What happens next is up to you! (hint: great content)
Ask for a comment or suggestion
One of the biggest mistakes I see people make, is ego. There’s nothing wrong with sending a tweet, email or comment asking for your opinion on an article you’ve written. Try it, ask someone for their opinion and chances are they will give it.
I wrote about this in the previous article about content writing and revisions. I feel it’s important to reply to anybody who takes the time to contact me.
I do this not because of what I just wrote. But, it has the side impact that the person who took the time in writing got a reply. Just like if I write to a stranger via a website and they reply back, I think well of them.
But there is only one of me, and I am traveling so there is a delay.
This is a personal website, and I feel it’s important to establish ties with people this way. Word spreads via email very quickly. This in turn, may provide a return in time and investment via work coming in. Increased readership.
And, so the word spreads.
What I don’t do is send out spam like emails to my subscribers. I know it’s a huge marketing bonus. But if you sign up to my updates, its finance free, spam free, marketing free, you even get a free photo ebook for free.
It doesn’t get much better than that.
What happens if you don’t promote?
An excellent example of a non-promoted travel blog is Karl Bushby’s. I can’t think of a traveler out there, today, who should be more promoted than Karl. But isn’t.
The reality of it is that Karl is working his butt off just to make ends meet. And, to complete his epic journey. To spend time and money promoting his blog everyday just isn’t feasible.
It’s a catch 22. Become a marketer with average content, and you will do very well these days.
Be an extraordinary writer, photographer or traveler and do nothing to promote your work in the realm of today’s internet. And, the chances are very few people will ever read or see your work.
I think of the above everyday.
The reality is, if you don’t want to be seen, don’t do anything. If you want to get noticed, do something. There are, however, limits.
What path you go down, is up to you.
Next will be the tacking of cost in running a travel blog
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