One of the big challenges when you first start blogging is getting eyes on your content. You can create the best blog post in the universe but if you can’t get anybody to read it, what’s the point?
This gets easier as your blog matures and you manage to build your email list and social media channels, but at the beginning you are most likely starting from zero. Luckily there are many ways to promote your blog to audiences, even without a big following. Below are six simple ways to get your content out there.
1. Promote your travel blog on Facebook
You’ve got a Facebook page, right? Your friends are going to be some of your earliest fans, and if your content is good, they’re going to share it too! This was actually the main driver of traffic to my blog for the few month or two, as many of my friends started tagging others in my personal posts, and my traffic started to build from there.
The secret here is an oldie but a goodie – content is king. If your posts are crap, then you might get a few polite likes but that’s about it. Nobody likes promoting crappy stuff. If your posts are great, your friends will be excited to share them for you.
2. Use Pinterest
Pinterest is huge right now, and the perfect place to promote your travel blog. The great thing about Pinterest is you can use group boards to promote your content before you build your own following. Group boards are collaborative boards that anybody can pin to, the hard part is getting invited to the boards in the first place.
The first step is finding the group boards that relate to you. Head to Pingroupie and do a search for whatever your niche is (food, travel, photography, whatevs) and you’ll get a huge list of group boards you can apply to. Then click into each one and look for contact details:
Then, just ask. Send a polite message letting them know you’re a blogger and you’d like to contribute to their board. My advice here would be to start small. Don’t go after the big 50,000 follower boards right away. Build up your account so it looks respectable first – you can do this by joining a few smaller group boards and working your way up. Here are a few good ones to start with:
This is a really effective way to get your travel blog in front of thousands of readers from the very beginning.
3. Leave comments on other blogs
Blog commenting is not only great for building links to your site but also for getting exposure and bringing in traffic.
Whenever you leave a blog comment, there’s a space for you to enter your blog URL. Then once your comment is posted, you’ll have a link back to your site.
What’s the secret here? Leave good comments. Don’t just say, “Hey, cool post, I liked it a lot, spaghetti-oh.” That makes you look dorky and spammy and the type of person that deserves to stub their toe twice a day. Instead, write a comment that adds to the post or adds to the discussion. For example if it was a post about saving money in Berlin, add a few cheap restaurants or areas or budget hacks you know of in the city.
And if you can’t think of a good comment? Don’t leave one.
Pro tip: Don’t just leave comments on travel blogs. Fitness blogs, food blogs, personal finance blogs – these are all great places to leave insightful comments with a travel edge and bring over some new readers.
Lots of travel bloggers run interview series and it’s up to you to reach out and ask for a spot. You can find these series with a simple Google search or hashtag searches on social media. Usually interview series are themed such as “Female travel” or “Family travel” so try and find something in your lane. These are really great ways to get introduce your travel blog to new audiences.
What happens if you can’t get an interview? Think about hosting an interview series instead. Send out some emails inviting other bloggers to be interviewed on your blog, and there’s a good chance they’ll share the finished interview with their own audiences. That equals traffic for you!
5. Guest posting
Offer to guest post! A lot of travel blogs accept guest posts, especially if you’ve been to some off-beat destinations or had unique experiences. The secret with guest posting is to make it super easy for the hosting blogger. Don’t just send an email like this:
“Hey, my name is Brendan. Can I guest post for you?”
Try to realise how much work this becomes for them. They need to go look at your blog, they need to find out who you are, they need to ask questions about what kind of guest post you want to write and try to decide if you’ll be a good fit for their readers. Do you know how many bloggers are willing to do that? Not many. We’re busy people. Your email will most likely be ignored.
Instead, write an email like this:
“Hey, my name is Brendan, I’ve been following your blog for a while and noticed you accept guest posts. I’d like to pitch an idea if that’s okay!
I noticed you write a lot of posts about [insert subject] and because I also [insert subject] I thought I could contribute something. I recently spent a few weeks doing [insert relevant activity] which I think your audience might find quite entertaining. Perhaps I could write a how-to guide on [insert subject], really breaking it down for beginners with lots of detail. I really enjoyed your post about [insert subject] and I think our writing styles are quite similar, I like to use a lot of photos like you, such as this post I wrote here [link something relevant].
If that doesn’t work, perhaps I could do something about [insert alternate subject, then give second pitch].
A little bit about me: [insert really cool bio about yourself that makes you sound awesome].
Will wait to hear from you!
Notice how this makes things so much easier, and makes you come across as far more professional. The host blogger literally has to do nothing – just say yes or no. That’s what they like!
6. Facebook groups
Facebook groups are amazing places to get some collaborative promotion for your travel blog, and are great for new bloggers. Most Facebook groups have “promo days” where you can post your content for others to add to their Pinterest/Facebook/Twitter schedules, and some Facebook groups are specifically designed for this.
Some Facebook groups you can get started with are:
Just send a join request! It’s that easy.
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Leave them in the comments below 😉