More than the blogging part of Travel Blogging, we take the Travel part very seriously.
Blogging is a crazy world. We are still clueless on how did we dabble in this world. A lot has happened — fam trips, loads of collaboration, digital marketing campaigns, growth in traffic, winning contests and loads of exciting opportunities.
The blogging journey so far has been a roller coaster ride. At times it has been too demanding but we have been in love with this journey so far and are extremely grateful for all the opportunities.
Be it flying business class with British Airways to afternoon tea at Landmark London, from a stay in a luxury suite of Oberoi Cecil Shimla to fully sponsored trips to Malaysia, twice. There have many other amazing collaborations that have happened with the best of brands.
Don’t get us wrong, this post is not about self-promotion and/or exaggeration. This post is all about the mistakes that we have made along the way and the learning over the years from these mistakes.
We get way too many emails every day asking how do we manage to travel so much, blogging tips, how to get freebies and many other queries. So, we thought we will do a travel blogging series sharing our experience, mistakes, tips, and tricks so that it does help others.
Well, we are no experts here but yes we have learned it the hard way and this post is just a small attempt to make your travel blogging journey easier.
Blogging Mistakes To Avoid
#1. Not being Regular
If you have followed us from the beginning, you would know that we have never had a fixed schedule for posts, we blogged when we had time. We were not serious, we never scheduled our posts. There was also a time when the blog was silent for days or months. Yup, the blog did suffer a lot.
Being Consistent is the Key
Handy Tips: Be regular, fix a day in a week and posts religiously. If it’s not possible to post every day. Post twice a week or just once a week, but be consistent. Follow whatever time works for you and stick to it.
By doing that you are also not going to disappoint your readers when they revisit and your Google gods will be also happy. 😉
#2. Not focusing on Quality Content
When we started blogging, we used it as a platform to share some random thoughts and travel tales. We are still learning. We used to take part in lots of contest, months later we realized our blog was getting way too generic and random stuff adding no value.
( PS: We keep posting/updating travel contest on our website, do keep a tab if you are interested )
We started focusing on creating more posts which are helpful to readers. Today, when we read our old posts we feel pathetic, the posts are riddled with errors. The cleaning and updating are still in progress 😉
Content is the king. Start building a quality body of work. Rest everything will follow.
Handy Tips: One thing that we have learned from all these years is that you don’t have to write to please anyone. The world is huge and you will always find people who would like your work and people whose work you would admire.
If you are serious enough, make sure you post kick-ass content which adds a value to your readers. Plan your posts and templates the way you want to present. Keep focusing on churning out quality posts and rest everything will be taken care of.
#3. Not moving to Self-Hosted Domain
After 2 years of blogging, one fine day we decided that we want to move from wordpress.com to wordpress.org. It has been one of the wisest decision ever.
Own the domain because PA and DA of your blog does matter in a long run.
Handy Tips: Having a self-hosted site gives you a lot of scopes to experiment with your template, design and moreover the ownership of your content. Believe us, you won’t regret later.
#4. Not giving importance to SEO
To be honest, initially, we were clueless about SEO. We used to just write posts the way we wanted to — fancy titles, URLs and even content with no focus on keywords. Our content used to be lost in the cyber world dying a silent death every time we used to publish.
Few articles and some research later, we feel elated to share that a lot of our posts ranks on the first page of Google search and some posts rank first suppressing even Tripadvisor and other big sites. Even some of our high ranked posts also landed us the opportunity to contribute few excerpts for different travel guides for biggies like Expedia, Skyscanner and few others that are soon going to be published.
Don’t underestimate the power of SEO and don’t let your content die a silent death in the cyber world.
Handy Tips: SEO is the most important factor that contributes to your blog’s popularity. Writing posts around targeting SEO centric keywords where the competition is low is the best thing to do, instead of writing 100 random posts write just 10 posts that are SEO friendly and see the difference in traffic. Quality does matter a lot.
#5. Taking Social Media for granted and not being active
When we started the blog, we neither had a Facebook page nor Instagram/Twitter account. We never gave a thought that being socially active is as much important as the content itself.
Be Social !!!
Handy Tips: Leave your cozy cocoon and explore and appreciate others. Retweet other’s posts, share the links you find worth sharing, comment on others blog and start building a small virtual community of bloggers you love to read and you will see the mutual feeling being reciprocated from the other side.
Bottom line — Show some love to others.
#6. Not joining Facebook groups was another blogging mistake
I had no idea that there were Facebook groups for like-minded people. And sharing your content is a great way to reach out to the group in one shot. Not just your traffic will shoot up, but you will also connect and build contacts with many like-minded people.
Handy Tips: Post to groups related to travel and don’t forget to like and comment on others post.
Some FB groups worth joining:
#7. Not interacting much with other bloggers
When we started we were very active, we used to visit all blogs, comment and read all blog posts on our network. But, then life happened and a new job, new place and loads of responsibility kicked in. There was a time when we were so busy that we neglected our blog for months.
We are still lacking on this one. To add to the woes our office network restricts all blogging related sites… We are not that active like the way we used to be in the past. But this year we are planning to focus more on interacting with fellow travelers and bloggers.
Stop judging and start appreciating.
Handy Tips: Blogging is a happy world of like-minded people sharing their experiences. There is no competition. Don’t compare who gets freebies/fam trips. Stay happy in your own space. Keep giving your best and you will surely get the best.
#8. Not editing pictures
Initially, we would just post any pictures without any watermark, iPhone pictures which are nowhere compared to the quality of SLR pictures.
You might say why do we need to edit pictures? I could say — Why not? Editing no way means going overboard and over editing your pictures. Audiences are smart enough to figure out the real and edited pictures.
Retouch, Resize, Post
Handy Tips: Every picture needs a bit of post-processing. Because a camera can never capture what an eye sees, make sure you share the best shots with your readers. Not everything and anything. Never post any pic as it is, resize the picture for web viewing, add your copyright or watermark to prevent plagiarism, and a bit of correction, cropping if needed.
#9. Not Being Serious
We started this blog just to share our experiences and to helps others in planning their own vacation.
At a very nascent stage when we started getting emails from PR’s related to sponsored posts, collaborations and fam trips invite, we had no clue and how much to quote. So over the years, we have tried to be more professional while working with PR, coming to the delivery of article for campaigns. Now we don’t accept anything and everything that comes our way.
Even we have missed many lucrative opportunities. Once we were invited by a luxury resort in Maldives but one of the deliverables was to write about the resort on some lifestyle magazine. We had to decline the invite as we are Software Engineers who are in love with travel and we know our contact lists.
We are not journalists or amazing travel writers that publication houses and magazines are dying to work with. We know our shortcomings.
Get your business card done and stick to timelines when it comes to deliverables.
Handy Tip: Whenever you accept any collaboration or say “YES” to any digital marketing campaign. Make a thorough research about the brands, their expectations, and deliverables. Try always to deliver more than they expect. Take it up like a mini project. Have a proper plan and give your best. One opportunity will lead to other and then another and the rest you say will be HISTORY.
#10. Taking the blog for granted.
When it comes to blogging we definitely lack seriousness and dedication. We never treated it the way we should have always treated our blog. The blog needs the same care, hard work and time like any other startup.
Keep revisiting, changing your strategies, analyzing readers interests, figuring out the posts that are doing pretty good as compared to others and plan things well.
Treat your blog well and it will return back the favor
Handy Tips: Treat your blog as your startup.
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