Blogging Tips Travel

Travel Blogging Tips (For the First Three Years)

By
on
July 8, 2021

The following article contains the most popular travel blogging tips that I’ve compiled throughout the first three years of having started a family travel blog.

I detail exactly how I went from zero writing experience, zero pageviews, and zero income to 82,000 monthly sessions, 105,000 monthly pageviews, and earnings of 5K/month as part of the Mediavine Publisher Group – all within 2.5 years of having started my blog.

Keep reading until the end for the helpful Blogging Tips Q&A (told by way of sharing my story) that will give you insight on some of the most common questions that bloggers ask during the first few years of owning their business.

This article contains affiliate links. If you click on these links, we may earn a small commission at no charge to you.

Travel Blogging Tips from Top U.S. Family Travel Blog, Travel With A Plan!

Travel Blogging Tips

It’s been almost three years since I’ve started my family travel blog.

As with any business, building a blog takes plenty of time, patience, and dedication.

Along with travel stories, I have published detailed articles about my blogging journey.

These articles include realistic timeframes with regards to the growth of monthly page views, social media followers, and monetization throughout the initial months and years of owning a family travel blog.

Though I realize that my blog is still quite young and that I do not possess the same degree of travel blogging tips and experience compared to those who have been in the business much longer, these are the invaluable travel blogging tips that I’ve learned thus far.

So as not to repeat any previously share information, my original articles are titled and summarized here:

Month 1 Travel Blogging Tips

Month 3 Travel Blogging Tips

  • Read, “How I Made My First $13.33” which includes information on how to:
  • Create a strong “About Me” page
  • Learn about and focus on SEO
  • Identify and use keywords
  • Utilize Pinterest as a search engine to help grow your blog
  • Write consistently
  • Learn and understand blogging terminology
  • Start affiliate marketing
  • Set new monthly goals

Month 8 Travel Blogging Tips

  • Read, “My Month 8 Blog Income Report” that includes information on how to:
  • Study and learn from your Google Analytics
  • Collaborate with other bloggers to learn and grow
  • Build backlinks and write guest posts to build domain authority
  • Create a “Work With Me” page
  • Explore more ways to earn passive income
  • Keep up with consistent, quality writing
  • Set new monthly goals

Month 12 Travel Blogging Tips

  • Read, “My Blogging Journey: A Look Back on Year 1“, that includes information on how to:
  • Focus on blogging being a business vs. a hobby
  • Continue to build your social media following
  • Invest in a keyword resreach tool if you haven’t alreayd
  • Reach out to brands and destinations for sponsorship
  • Continue with growth and monetization strategies
  • Develop new ways to maintain your blogging motivation
  • Set new monthly goals
Travel Blogging Tips from Top U.S. Family Travel Blog, Travel With A Plan!

Travel Blogging Tips Q&A

Along with taking a lot of photos and taking notes while traveling, I find it very helpful to research and study my destination ahead of time.

Also, before I embark, I always look for the most popular things to do in an area, as well as start researching the keywords and phrases that I can potentially rank for.

Here are the answers to some common questions that I get in terms of my travel blogging website.

1. Who are you and what travel blog did you start?

I’m Jen Brommer, the founder and primary writer of Travel With A Plan, one of the United States’ fastest growing family travel blogs.

I share stories and tips, as well as free family vacation itineraries, that make travel easier and more enjoyable for families.

I however, do not sell or manufacture products or book travel for others.

My mission is to help break down the barriers that prevent families from traveling by sharing our own personal experiences while traveling with 3 kids.

Likewise, I write about what I wanted to know before we left home, what we learned while we were there, and what others need to know about a particular destination in order to have a seamless family vacation there.

Most of our stories focus on family travel but we also cover girls’ weekend getaways that feature me and my fellow mom friends.

2. Describe the process of launching your business?

I had zero writing experience and zero technical experience before starting my blog.

In Travel With A Plan’s first year, I started off with 78 pageviews the first month and grew to 31,500 pageviews/month by the end of the first year.

Now, after 2.5 years, Travel With A Plan reaches an audience of 82,000 monthly sessions and 105,000 monthly pageviews.

In reflection, I have always kept my business expenses fairly low and have only spent money on blog-related services with the money that I have made from the blog itself.

I manage this by having my own personal checking/savings account just for blog-related income and purchases, as well as by keeping a spreadsheet of both blog income and expenses.

Over the years, I have invested in:

  • My theme and hosting
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization) consultations and analysis
  • Royalty-free images through Deposit Photos
  • Newsletter development and circulation
  • A Pinterest virtual assistant
  • Blogging tools including Keyserach and Tailwind
  • Travel expenses for stories

3. Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain readers?

My primary focus with growing my blog pageviews and sessions has always been on attracting organic traffic.

This is done by having a strong understanding of SEO.

Not only do I write new posts with a strong focus on SEO, but I also edit old posts with the new SEO practices that I learn along the way.

(For every new post that I write, I revamp 3 old posts.)

I keep track of this with an editorial spreadsheet that includes the titles of all of my articles, as well as the date on which they were last reviewed and optimized.

I want readers to find my articles because they are truly looking for the information and answers that a particular post will cover.

In other words, my goal is that someone’s Google’s their inquiry and they find my article on page 1 of Google to help answer their question.

I use a software program (Keyserach) and spend a lot of time studying keywords and whether or not I can rank for them.

Specifically, I look for keywords that have a search volume greater than 0, a green-light score for ranking potential, and of which a least 1 other article on Google page 1 has a lower domain authority ranking than mine. (These stats are all shown on my Keyserach dashboard.)

In other words, I do not waste time writing articles for which I have no chance of ranking on Page 1 or 2 of Google.

This is because my personal feeling is that if your article is too far down the pages of Google, it will never be found in a Google search (meaning no pageviews or sessions for that particular article).

I also use unpaid social media and occasional newsletters to draw in readers.

Pinterest is by far my most successful social media channel and is what I primarily focus on, where as I use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to help keep my name and blog relevant with daily posts and engagement.

4. How do you currently generate revenue?

Travel With A Plan currently generates revenue through:

  • Ad network sales which are ads served to readers based on their preferences. I moved from Google Adsense as a beginner, to Ezoic (10,000 pageview/month), and finally, Mediavine (50,000 sessions/month), which I feel is the holy grail for bloggers looking to generate revenue from their blog.
  • Affiliate sales (purchases and bookings made through links for which we receive a small commission at no extra cost to consumers). I currently earn affiliate income through: Amazon, Booking.com, and a small amount from CJ affiliates.
  • Freelance writing (writing stories for other travel blogs for a fee).
Travel Blogging Tips from Top U.S. Family Travel Blog, Travel With A Plan!

5. Do you get paid to travel?

Though I have not yet landed any trips where I am actually paid to travel there, I have been hosted by several destinations and attractions.

When I know that I want to travel to a particular area, I start by finding their local tourism bureau online.

I then go to the bottom of the page where you will typically find contact information for their PR rep, or for someone who is assigned to work with the press.

Next, I email them a personalized email about myself, about the stories I hope to write about their area, and ask if they are open to a mutual collaboration – a story, backlinks, and social media coverage in return for hosted opportunities (the chance to visit an attraction/hotel for free).

I also reach out to theme parks, museums, restaurants, etc. directly from their website with a similar pitch.

These places naturally get bombarded with emails from travel bloggers, so it is important to follow up at least once before giving up on the opportunity to collaborate.

If I have not heard back after reaching out to a destination twice, I move on.

You will find that most destinations will ask for a screenshot of your last month’s Google Analytics, as well as for a media kit before offering any free or discounted opportunities.

(They want proof that you’re legit, and that your article will have eyes on it.)

Additional travel blogging tip: Be sure to send a ‘thank-you email after you’ve participated in a hosted experience. Also, send them a link to your published article and tag them on social media mentions.

6. What platform/tools do you use for your business?

My favorite tools for travel blogging include:

  • WordPress (blogging platform)
  • Bluehost (hosting service)
  • Canva (graphic design tool for social media and media kits)
  • Mailchimp (e-newsletter service)
  • Google Spreadsheets (for my editorial calendar)
  • Grammarly (editing tool)
  • Keyserach (keyword reserach tool)
  • Mediaine (ad network affiliate sales program)
  • Tailwind (Pinterest scheduling tool)

7. What are the most influential resources that you use?

I limit myself to a few online resources that I know I can depend on for reliable and up-to-date information. They include:

Travel Blogging Tips from Top U.S. Family Travel Blog, Travel With A Plan!

Rapid Fire Travel Blogging Tips

  1. What makes a travel blog good? In my opinion, doing interesting things, taking good photos, and writing useful content that answers common questions is what makes a travel blog good.
  2. What is the best way to grow your travel blog initially? Guest post for other blogs who will offer you a backlink (this helps build your domain authority).
  3. Do travel bloggers make money? Yes, but it is hard work and takes a lot of persistence. Most travel blogs don’t last longer than 1 year.
  4. What is the easiest way to make money as a travel blogger? By serving ads on your site.
  5. How many articles do you write a week? During the first year of blogging I consistently wrote 1 new article a week in order to grow. I have a full time job outside of blogging, so now I only write 1 new post every 2 -3 weeks.
  6. What is your social media strategy? As mentioned, I focus more on SEO and organic traffic, however I also value Pintereset as a serach engine and create 1 fresh new pin every day. I try to consistently engage on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well, but those are not huge traffic drivers for me. If looking to work with brands, however, they expect you to have a strong Instagram account.
  7. Are your flights paid for by airlines or destinations? I have yet to receive any free flights.
  8. What is the best part about being a travel blogger? I love getting to see and do things for free in return for writing about them, which I feel helps others. I also love when managers of a particular restaurant or destination approach me, knowing that I am a travel blogger, and strike up conversation.

What other travel blogging questions can I answer for you? Feel free to ask in Comments!

Jen

Hello, fellow travel bloggers! Click here to follow my journey and continue reading my For Bloggers Series:

Monthly Blog Reports:

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Travel Blogging Tips from Top U.S. Family Travel Blog, Travel With A Plan!
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Welcome Friends!

We are the Brommer family from Minnesota, and I'm Jen - the travel planner for our family of 5! We are passionate about traveling together for it's what keeps us happy and healthy at home. The free family vacation itineraries and tips you'll find here are crafted with love to be shared with you. We hope our experiences inspire you to start planning your next family adventure!

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