Whether you’re just getting started with your blog or you’re an experienced travel blogger, growing your travel blog is likely one of your most important goals. Maybe you want to monetize your blog but need to increase your blog traffic to make it worthwhile, or perhaps you want to establish your brand to explore other opportunities in the travel industry. Or, maybe you just want to become the top travel blog on the web. Whatever your reason for wanting to grow your travel blog, it’s easy to get lost and overwhelmed in the sea of blog promotion tips and strategies.
How do you know what strategies work, and where to spend most of your time and energy? To help you get started with proven, actionable tactics that work, we reached out to a panel of blogging pros and asked them to answer this question:
“What’s the #1 thing bloggers can do to grow their travel blog?”
Meet Our Panel of Blogging Pros:
Read on to learn what our blogging experts had to say about the best ways to grow a travel blog.
After six years in the 9-5 digital marketing world, Hilary realized corporate life wasn’t for her. She’s always loved traveling, so now she’s working independently as a freelancer and feeding her travel bug by building out a van to live in full-time as she explores the country. You can follow her adventures at greenvango.com.
“The best thing you can do to grow your travel blog is to find a healthy balance between meeting the needs of your target reader and being authentic. Since the travel blogging arena is oversaturated, you must identity your niche audience and create content that speaks directly to them. For example, rather than writing a generalized blog post about the excitement of traveling, instead share what you learned about the culture, food, and best destinations during your three-month stay in Greece. Quality (and specific) content will naturally draw attention over time – but you must stay consistent.”
Laurence is a full time professional travel blogger and photographer. With his wife Jessica he runs the travel blogs Finding the Universe & Independent Travel Cats, where they share tips and advice on planning independent travels, as well as getting great photos.
“The best way to grow a travel blog is to create amazing content that really helps your readers with something they are trying to do. From a travel point of view, that could be helping readers plan trips or providing them with tips on what to do in a destination. And when you do that, make sure you write the best content that covers as many questions as you think they might have.
As an example, see our guide to spending two weeks on Route 66. The idea is that when someone reads this, they can get on with it and take the trip! It’s easy to focus too much on yourself and your travels, which can definitely work if you are building a personality based blog, but I think that real traffic growth comes from finding a need and answering it definitively.”
Laura Peters started the blog, Travel Blogging Success, after turning her primary travel blog into a thriving business.
“The best thing a travel blogger can do to grow their blog into a money-making business is to learn proper SEO strategies. I’ve been in the travel blogging industry for over five years now, and it wasn’t until I bit the bullet and learned SEO that my blog turned into a flourishing business. I see so many travel bloggers avoid learning SEO because they believe SEO is too difficult and Pinterest will provide. In my experience, Pinterest is a bandaid for your problems, and learning SEO to increase organic search is conducting surgery. Using proper SEO strategies benefits travel bloggers long-term, rather than a quick fix.”
Jason Lee is the CEO and lead instructor for Freelance Master Course, a company focused on training better web writers. Additionally, Jason is a husband, an officer in the military, an overly-excited dog-mom, and a passionate writer about dating and self-growth at his blog.
“You’ve got to make sure your blog content is presented in a digestible format. If you’ve got walls of texts, too many links, or a confusing page layout, you’re not going to capture your visitors. Additionally, if your font and color scheme are tough to read, it’s time for a makeover. The key to growing your travel blog is capturing every single lead that comes in. You have to make the most of the traffic you’ve worked so hard to generate. If you turn off your readers with how you present your awesome information, they won’t be making the trip back to your blog.”
Katie Dillon is a renowned lifestyle and luxury travel expert who loves mother-daughter trips, Pinterest, her husband’s sense of humor, a nice glass of wine, one very needy pit bull mix, and nice hotels. For the last ten years, she’s been helping people select luxury hotels worldwide (often with VIP perks) and has developed a niche of helping people of all travel styles plan perfect San Diego vacations.
“The number one thing that bloggers should do to grow their travel blog is to define their niche. The landscape is very competitive — anyone can write a list of the best things to do in a city — and you need to be able to convey why you are different to both readers and search engines. Is it because you specialize in a certain destination? Is it because you love a certain travel style or type of hotel?
Figure out where your passion is and then build a lot of well-written and well-optimized content around it. Not only will this help you brand yourself as an expert in the niche you choose, but you also should see your rankings rise as a result. This is the single most important thing I did to pivot my business. My traffic increased when I started lasering in on San Diego content because I live here. It takes time, so you also have to be patient.”
James Canzanella is the Owner of Isolated Marketing Nights.
“The #1 thing that bloggers can do to grow their travel blog is focusing on creating content for long-tail keywords. There are a few reasons for this. First and foremost, these types of keywords have the least amount of competition, which makes them easier to rank for. Next, they are highly-targeted, which also means that it’s easier to convert to a lead or sale.
Focusing on long-tail keywords will also allow you to get traction quicker because you won’t be always focusing on some of the more challenging keywords – you know, the ones that can take a year or more to rank for. And just because you have a travel blog doesn’t mean that you can’t create video content around these long-tail keywords, too. Put a link in the description of the video to help get even more people back to your travel blog.”
R.J. Weiss is a Certified Financial Planner and founder of the personal finance site The Ways to Wealth.
“A lot of the questions, and therefore search queries, people have regarding travel have changed overnight. People are no longer searching the best travel backpack or entertainment options on a flight; instead, most of the questions asked today are about cancellations, refunds, and vouchers. Positioning your blog as a quality source for these topics, as well as answering similar questions travelers are facing today, can help strengthen your readership for the long-term, as well as grow short-term.”
Will Hatton is the founder of a travel blog called The Broke Backpacker. He is a writer and hustler, adventurer and vagabond, master of the handstand pushup, conqueror of mountains, survivor of deserts, and crusader for cheap escapades. Will has been on the road for nine years, traveling to far-flung lands on a budget.
“Blogging for many seems like a dying media, yet I still enjoy grabbing a cup of coffee and reading up on some travel stories from people I’ve never met before, but somehow feel like I’ve known them for years. That’s the power blogs have: You build a relationship with your audience, and that in itself is the #1 thing bloggers should aim to do. Interacting with people who read what you get up to builds the connection that you might not even have with some of your closest friends. It always helps when the audience has the same view on the topics you look to cover on a daily basis. After all, it’s why they look at your content in the first place, isn’t it?”
Kristin Addis is a solo female travel expert who inspires women to travel the world in an authentic and adventurous way. Kristin has solo traveled the world for over eight years, covering every continent on her blog, bemytravemuse.com. Her advice, all-female adventure tours, and courses have served millions of readers worldwide.
“My advice is current to the situation at hand, but has always been good advice for bloggers: Put your readers’ needs first. Think of the reader when you write. What can you say and in what ways can you be vulnerable, share your personality, and be relatable with what you share? Dreamy destinations and ultra luxury got a lot of eyes for a while, but when people really trust you, appreciate you for who you are, and feel like they can learn from you, they’ll be much more likely to recommend your site, to become super fans, and to trust you. This has been my biggest growth tactic, and best of all, it comes naturally.”
Veronika Primm is a travel blogger based in Prague who writes practical travel guides on her blog, TravelGeekery.com, about places near and far, mostly covering Europe and Southeast Asia.
“Advertising costs are at their lowest now, so it’s a great time for travel bloggers to see their investment go a lot further than it would normally. Facebook ads, especially, are very cheap these days, so just a low ad amount can help grow Facebook and Instagram audience. Bloggers with good lead magnets can also use Facebook ads to generate traffic to their blogs and capture emails via their lead magnets.”
Christina Vidal has turned her passion for travel, wine, and swimwear and shameless love for all things luxury into one of the most compelling, honest, and useful travel resources online today, Jetset Christina.
“The most important thing a travel blogger can do to grow their following is to be authentic to who you are. The best advice I can give someone starting out blogging is to ask themselves: What would my friends want to read about? Your blog and personality online should be an authentic extension of who you ARE, not someone you’re trying to be or trying to portray. So, who are you among your own friend group? Maybe you’re the one people come to for camping recommendations, or the one who knows all your area’s best hikes. Maybe you always know the best happy hours and new restaurant openings. Or, maybe you’re the one who backpacked around Europe and knows all the best hostels. Or, maybe you’re the girl, like me, who would never be caught dead in a hostel and can most likely be found with a glass of rosé in hand at a Four Seasons infinity pool instead.
People don’t want to follow someone who is like everyone else, or trying to be anyone else – so focus on what makes you YOU, what kind of travel you love to do at your core. I’m a luxury travel blogger through and through, and my audience knows and loves that. They follow me for five-star recommendations, and I stay true to that every day, in every piece of content I write or create. If I started blogging about the best hostels in Southeast Asia, that wouldn’t be ME. My audience (and friends) would be confused. Write about what you know and what you’re known for. Your audience will grow stronger and bigger through your authenticity, every day.”
Manny Hernandez is the Founder & CEO of Embarky and co-Founder/and CEO of Omni, Inc. Manny is a travel fanatic and blogger who has a dream to travel around the globe. He has been on a voyage with his wife, Yadi, since August 2019. At the end of this trip he will have traveled 6 different continents, 59 countries, and 113 ports.
“Social media plays a huge part in putting your blog out there and generating traffic. It is best to use social media platforms regularly, follow loads of people, be genuine, share selflessly, and really engage.
Staying active on social media is important if you want to grow your blog, but it can be labor-intensive and time-consuming. To really succeed in social media, you have to use all of the popular social networks. My advice is to be efficient with it so you don’t waste a lot of time on haphazard use. You can first create all of your accounts to get the ball rolling, then focus on mastering one social media network at a time.”
Richard Jackson is the Content Manager at World Weather Online.
“Hard work and investing smart is the trick. Growing a blog isn’t an overnight thing and therefore, hard work will be required. Speaking of hard work, be a travel-enthusiast yourself. Take time and explore the world. Travel to different places. Take plenty of photos and videos that you can share on your blog. Tell your readers that you visited a certain place and prove it through your videos and photos. That way, you’ll build trust with your readers, so they’ll want to keep visiting your site to see what’s new.
Also, hiring a virtual assistant to help you build links for your travel blog is another approach that works perfectly. Ensure that your VA works on getting you backlinks from top-tier websites and brands, especially travel blogs.”
Bradley is the cofounder of Dream Big, Travel Far, an adventurous couples travel blog. Bradley’s on a mission to visit every country in the world, all while helping and encouraging others to do the same!
“Tailor your message. Many people believe that the best way to build a blog quickly has something to do with SEO, social media, or email marketing. Well, based on our experience, none of those quite fit the bill, especially if you are trying to build a long-lasting travel blog that people will use for years to come.
Instead, the best way to build a strong and popular blog is by clearly displaying what it is that makes the blog unique. Once you hone in on this specific niche, those within that community are far more likely to follow you and share your content. For example, look at the strength of big name brands like Nomadic Matt and The Blonde Abroad. They clearly appeal to a very specific community (budget travel vs. female travel). They are both extremely popular blogs that have done an incredible job of defining their niche and tailoring their message to an exact audience. This audience then uses them time and time again, all while praising them to friends and colleagues who they know will also benefit from them.”
Kate McCulley is the publisher of Adventurous Kate, one of the world’s top women-run travel blogs for 10 years. She is a blog consultant and coach specializing in helping bloggers develop their personality.
“The most underrated tip for growing your blog is to write personality-driven posts that tell fun and interesting travel stories. Too many bloggers focus exclusively on SEO-driven content, which might bring in traffic, but personality-driven content will win you an audience. Once you have a loyal audience, they’ll be there for you, reading and sharing your content and investing in your products. And while everyone needs some SEO-driven content, if you only write keyword-stuffed posts about the best things to do in different cities, nobody is going to go to bat for you.”
Rameez Ghayas Usmani
Rameez Ghayas Usmani is currently working as a Digital Marketing Executive for PureVPN. He loves to travel, read books, and occasionally writes to spread his knowledge via blogs and discussions.
“One of the most effective and useful tips for growing your travel blog is to convert it into interactive visuals in the form of infographics, quizzes, and videos. Written content is undoubtedly useful, but today, visual materials such as infographics or videos are outperforming, and repurposing content into these formats will continue to be one of the most frequently used content marketing strategies for 2020. Because the human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text, it is far simpler for people to remember visual information compared to the same information in a written form. That is why marketing videos, and especially infographics, are all the rage now for increasing traffic to your website.”
Jens Madsen is the Sales Manager at Heatxperts.
“Sell products. While content is the first consideration when it comes to blogging, selling some stuff that is related to travel is a good way to grow your blog. If you are a good writer, for example, you can write books on travel and sell them to your readers at a friendly price. Alternatively, you can choose to sell other people’s products through affiliate marketing programs. However, you need to be patient since this method won’t work miraculously overnight. Besides, the effort you put into guaranteeing its success is what matters most.”
Katie is the co-founder of Two Wandering Soles, a website focused on responsible travel. Along with her husband Ben, she spent the last six years traveling and living around the world before relocating to the USA where they are currently building their second campervan!
“Do keyword research! One of the biggest mistakes new travel bloggers make is they write articles without doing any keyword research beforehand. We did this for many years before realizing we were writing articles on topics that nobody was searching for. Delving into keyword research will show you how many people are searching for the content you are planning to create, and it will tell you how difficult it will be to rank on Google. This information is valuable because often times it can help you find a better focus and will allow you to create content that is truly helpful to your readers.
Focus on your reader, not yourself. Like many new travel bloggers, I started my website as more or less a journal about my travels. I told stories and shared my experiences in each city I visited, and I wrote for the purpose of entertainment instead of providing useful information. This type of writing made it so that the only people who cared about reading my articles were those that personally knew me.
While I believe all travel writers need to be good storytellers, they should also focus on their audience’s needs. Your travel blog will be successful when your writing simultaneously transports your reader to the destination with you and also answers their questions like:
- What should I pack?
- What should I eat?
- Where should I stay? and
- What is there to do?”
Nausheen Farishta is a Chicago-based travel blogger who is also passionate about food and wellness. She currently balances her travel adventures with a full-time desk job and grad school.
“The #1 thing bloggers can do to grow their travel blog is to put just as much, if not more, effort into promoting posts as they do writing them. Having a blog post promotion strategy in place is key to helping the right audience find and engage with your work. Leveraging social media, indexing each post on Google, and sharing your posts with the businesses you’ve highlighted within them are three ways to gain exposure and grow your travel blog strategically.”
Laurice Wardini is the founder of ClothedUp and a freelance SEO analyst. Laurice has worked in SEO for years and has developed great insight into the tactics needed to build a large website.
“My #1 tip to growing your travel blog (and any blog) is to get backlinks. If you’re unfamiliar with the basics of SEO and backlinks, you should do a bit of research. There are some great tactics and some other tactics you should avoid. For example, it’s against Google rules to purchase backlinks, and your website can be penalized for it. Additionally, when getting backlinks, it’s much better to get links from reputable websites within your industry. One idea is to run a collaborative giveaway with a few other travel bloggers and have them post it on their website, social media, etc. There should definitely be other SEO tactics used aside from backlinks, but this is the backbone of your website, and it can take a long time to build a good portfolio of backlinks to your site.”
Chris writes for mauiguide.com.
“Beyond the obvious most important travel blogging task (developing best-of-web material on a subject you understand and love), an equally crucial and often overlooked task is creating real-life relationships with consistent interaction. An introverted nature and tendency to stick to online tasks are common characteristics of bloggers (even travel bloggers).
What I’ve found from almost two decades of travel blogging is that developing relationships (both IRL – in real life – and via social media and other online connections) with those in the travel industry, your core audience of travelers, and other bloggers is essential for creating a core group of fans and brand ambassadors. These relationships are imperative for the growth of your site traffic by reaching new, ideal visitors.
Many would say this is counter-intuitive. Many would say that achieving top organic search engine rankings should be the main focus of any travel blog.
At one point, I had all my eggs in the search engine basket. Many years ago, with one of Google’s algorithm updates, I lost it all! Since then, I’ve put all of my energy into developing solid web and IRL relationships with the intention of growing a solid audience and fostering an environment for mutual sharing of audiences. With these friendships, social media visitors accounts for 25% of site traffic, direct traffic at 26%, and referral traffic at 22%. If Google doesn’t like us anymore, we have REAL alternative sources continuing to reach target visitors. This all comes from what your competitors will find far harder than anything else they currently do: creating strong relationships with peers and fans.”
Stacy Caprio is the Founder of her.ceo.
“The #1 thing bloggers can do to grow their travel blog is to find other travel bloggers to collaborate with. If you share a different travel blogger’s articles or photos on your own blog and social channels, they are likely to do the same for you, and you can even organize trading mentions with your audiences. Even better, if you can organize a trip with the other blogger and take photos and write stories together, your audiences will get to know each of you even better and likely start to follow both of you at the same time.”
Tim Mack writes on the blog RoamingSprrow.com. From Circus Ringmaster to global traveler and photographer, Tim has a passion for seeing and capturing the world in photos while inspiring and helping others find their paths in life.
“Travel blogs are much the same as any blog in that the same rules apply to grow followings. The #1 rule is new content. The better the content, the more engaging the more your audience will grow.
Here’s an example: When I first arrived in Hoi An Vietnam, I went to a tattoo shop with a friend. I took photos of their tattoo process, then posted a small write up about the tattoo place along with some images and a link back to them. That was it. I thought it would just be a sweet story for me to remember. However, several months ago I saw a spike in traffic. When I went to look, the tattoo place was promoting my article and that was bringing in additional traffic for me!
Back to the main point – content, content, content. As a travel blogger, you should be posting new articles at least once a week. If you can syndicate them to Facebook, Instagram, and other sites, all the better. The #1 key to growth is creating new content.”
Kimmie Conner is a travel blogger at Adventures & Sunsets.
“Here are my best tips for bloggers to grow their travel blog:
- Invest time into learning SEO! Organic traffic is truly the best way to get large traffic numbers to your travel blog. Posts on social media are buried quickly, whereas posts that are optimized for search engines ‘mature’ and rank better over time. If you can grasp the basics of SEO and answer popular questions that people type into Google, you can explode your traffic.
- Pinterest is another incredible driver of traffic to travel blogs. While Pinterest may not be AS strong for travel blogs as it might be for parenting or DIY, it should absolutely not be ignored. Many people take to Pinterest to find inspiration or information about upcoming trips, so learning to navigate Pinterest (Pin creation, scheduling, group boards, and more) you can increase your reach by a lot.
- Write to your target audience. Picture your ‘perfect’ blog reader/follower in the niche you have chosen (which should be narrower than just ‘travel’) and have them in mind whenever you write a post. You should cater all your writing to your target audience and more will follow.”
Taylor Randolph is a Travel Blogger at The Travelling Souk.
“Create bingo boards on Instagram. Bingo boards are the latest Instagram trend that’s taking over everyone’s Instagram stories. Jump on this trend by creating a cute bingo board template with a fun travel theme like European Cities Bingo or Crazy Travel Experiences Bingo. These posts get a lot of engagement as people share with their friends and tag your page in their story for other people to do the same.
Bingo boards let your followers share experiences, relive fond memories, and relate with your page in a new way. Engage with the people that share your bingo board, and you will start building your audience on Instagram.
Create posts that match your story, like sharing your favorite European cities or telling the story of your craziest travel experience, and link the post back to your travel blog. Engagement is super important on Instagram, as this is the basis of their algorithms. If your posts have more engagement, then they are more likely to appear in people’s Instagram feeds. Bingo boards are an easy way to grow your following, increase engagement, and get your posts in front of more people.”
Mark has traveled extensively in Asia, Europe, South America, and Africa. His passion is adventure travel with an emphasis on hiking. He founded Mountain IQ in 2014 with the sole aim to be the best online information portal to some of the most popular mountain destinations around the world. When not writing for Mountain IQ, Mark is out exploring the outdoors with his wife and young child!
“One of the best ways to grow a travel blog and build an engaged audience is to consistently write epic content! This means using your travel experiences to bring to life guides and travel stories that readers will love. I always start an article thinking about what my audience would really value and like to know. The more detail you can provide, the better.
I focus specifically on destination and activity guides. I always start off by first identifying what people are searching online for in a specific destination or for an activity. This gives me the universe of primary search keywords I want my article to rank in the search engines for. It also helps me identify the most frequently asked questions about a destination or activity. I then use this information to create very detailed articles covering everything from when to go, what to pack, best places and things to do, accommodation, food, and other top tips.
To bring my articles to life, I use lots of photographs from my trips and sometimes even make an accompanying video, which I then share to YouTube. One final top tip that I’m using nowadays is creating a Pin for my articles and driving traffic from Pinterest.”
Chris is a world traveler, animal lover, and hopeless optimist. He runs Click A Tree to fight climate change, create habitat for endangered animal species and jobs for local communities. With B’n’Tree, he developed a travel platform that plants trees – the simplest way for travelers to travel more sustainably.
“The most important thing a blogger can do to grow their travel blog is to create a proper site structure to their blog, which includes silos. Silos (or hubs) are parent pages that link to a lot of child pages. In return, the child pages link back to the parent page. The parent page contains brief introductions of the subtopics, and the child pages dive into a lot of detail on one single subtopic.
Example: You write about travel. The parent page could be about traveling in Thailand, giving an overview about the country, its culture, the food, the costs, the infrastructure, a few things to do, and so on. Then you have a child page diving in-depth into the things to do in the country. A second child page talks about nothing else but the Thai culture. A third one about the food and so on. That way:
- Your parent page gets a lot of internal link juice from your child pages, which makes Google judge it as authoritative.
- The parent page offers an excellent overview to your readers about what you have to offer on a subject. They can read the basics only, or dive into more depth with the child pages.
- This silo structure offers you a lot of flexibility with your content marketing. Pitching to Thailand travelers? Pitch the parent page. Talking to food lovers (who may not even care about Thailand yet, they only care about food for the time being)? Pitch the child page about food. And so on.
Building a silo structure is an incredibly valuable way to optimize your website for website visitors and search engines, and it’s invaluable in growing your travel blog.”
Simonas Steponaitis is the Marketing Manager at Hosting Wiki.
“Here are my top actionable tips for growing a travel blog:
1. Contribute to community. A community platform is a great place to discuss or hold a conversation with many other contributors about an interesting topic. A real example of an online community is the forum. There are plenty of online forums that are available such as Tripadvisor, Travellerspoint, Lonely Planet, etc. Just being an active member helps you start building trusting relationships with other like-minded contributors. If your blog has an informative guide that is relevant to the discussion, you can mention it, and the forum’s readers are likely to visit your guide to find useful information. It will increase your website traffic, and some of the visitors will become long-time readers and fans.
2. Be consistent with your content creation. Whether you publish blogs every day or once per week, it’s crucial to be consistent with that schedule. When your content quality, quantity, or schedule isn’t consistent, it can confuse your readers. Content creation is aimed at long-term results, and failing to keep up with developing and publishing new content can damage your travel blog’s standing. Being consistent with content creation keeps your audience engaged and encourages recurring traffic. Over time, you will be seen as a thought leader and build influence within your industry.”
Lauren Juliff is a professional travel blogger and walking disaster who has been exploring the planet full-time for the better part of a decade. She’s been to 90 countries across five continents, and writes about every beautiful moment and disastrous mishap on her blog, Never Ending Footsteps.
“I would recommend spending half of your time on building the most useful travel resources on the internet and the half telling some of the most interesting stories. Once you’ve left a country, you should be heading straight to Google to hunt down other travel blogs to see how they covered a similar trip. Your aim is to produce helpful travel guides and advice to ensure your readers learn everything they need to know about visiting that destination.
You’ll want to make sure you’ve covered everything in a better format than everyone else. At the same time, you want to show your readers that you’re interesting and human, rather than a walking guidebook. Tell stories! Be vulnerable, admit to your mistakes, share funny experiences, write about the bad as well as the good, share behind-the-scenes updates. Inject your personality into everything.
With a 50-50 mix of both styles of blog posts, you’ll be able to build a large and loyal audience who are invested in your travels. Your detailed, helpful resources are what will bring new people to your travel blog, and your storytelling and personality are what will keep them hanging around.”
Sage Scott is the traveler behind Everyday Wanderer, a travel blog for people with wanderlust and a real life.
“One of the easiest (and most overlooked) ways of growing a travel blog is to regularly update old content. Use Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and other tools to gather insight that will help you infuse your updated post with fertile keywords that will drive growth. Ensure that the facts, figures, links, images, and other pertinent information is up-to-date. So many writers are focused on the next experience and the next deadline that they don’t go back and tend to past pieces, but these efforts will help your travel blog grow more than anything else!”
Looking for an easy, effortless way to grow your travel blog that works alongside your other blog-building efforts? Get more traction on visually oriented social media platforms like Pinterest by installing our Pinterest Pin share button. It takes just minutes to install and makes it easy for your blog visitors to save your top-notch travel photos and videos to their Pinterest boards with a single click, giving your travel blog more exposure in the process!