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Tripsget’s Birthday: what I have learned from 1 year of travel blogging

posted by Liza 31st January 2017 26 Comments
1 year of travel blogging what I have learned

Hello, everybody. This time I would like to tell you what I have learned from 1 year of travel blogging.

Have you tried our brand new Tripsget Trip Cost Calculator app for iPhone?

 It will tell you exactly how much money you will need in your next trip based on YOUR travel habits! Try it for free now or read more about Tripsget in this post.

When we decided to create this blog with Pepe 1 year ago, I was new to travel blogging. I didn’t even have my favorite bloggers or blogs I was following, nothing at all. I only knew that there was not enough information every single time we were traveling abroad. Planning a trip to Asia was probably the biggest struggle ever, and after that comes our road trip around Balkans. Finding relevant and useful information was hard to get even before, and that made me think about starting the blog, where I would write about our travels and mention the information that I couldn’t find before.

So I created an account on Blogger and started writing, but soon Pepe persuaded me, that WordPress.org is definitely a better idea. I argued first, but then… agreed. That’s how my blogging life has officially started. Choosing a WordPress Theme was a pain in the neck. I chose a free design but after 3 weeks, that was already not enough and we bought a paid one. I still think it’s not enough either, but I haven’t seen any better options…yet. Changing the theme was quite challenging and some of the designs (featured photos) just looked horrifying with the new design, so it was a lot of work, to change many of them.

Mistake 1: Not spending enough time to find a theme you like and not buying a theme right away

From the very beginning, I knew that the cheapest hosting option didn’t include much storage space, that’s why all the photos featured in the posts were uploaded from Flickr. That was a great solution in terms of storage, but we missed a really important factor – image SEO, that could bring us many more visitors if we uploaded photos to the blog and indicated the attributes and keywords properly. This only occurred to me last September, so since then, I was trying to upload photos to the blog. However, I still count edit all the previous posts and replace the images.

Mistake 2. Screwing up all the Image SEO and using Flickr

Also, I only had a faint idea about general SEO for the blog, and I started doing ridiculous things thinking I actually do everything alright. Only after 4-5 months, I figured an idea about backlinks and link juice and even later – about keyword density and content optimization. I’m not blaming myself for not knowing basics of SEO from the very beginning, nope, I actually read some literature about it, that I didn’t understand. It’s quite hard and it’s not for everybody. I’m happy that I managed to figure it out now, at least a little bit. My advice after 1 year of travel blogging: read as much as possible, check the posts by our fellow travel bloggers, where they explain SEO in an easy way. I hope that one day I’ll manage to create a small basic SEO guide for travel blogging beginners.

Mistake 3. Not paying enough attention to SEO (not only image SEO)

1 year of travel blogging what I have learned

 

For some reason, I thought that teaming up with other bloggers is not for me. Moreover, I didn’t know almost anything about Facebook groups for travel bloggers. When I finally found some groups and joined them in November, I was astonished by how much valuable information these groups have! I was so disappointed that I didn’t know about them before. Now, after 1 year of travel blogging I would like to share with you 2 of my favourite Facebook groups for travel bloggers:

Female Travel Bloggers

Bloggers United

Mistake 4: Not being a team player from the very beginning 

I didn’t pay much attention to Pinterest and didn’t know that it’s actually one of the most powerful sources of traffic for blogging beginners. However, just creating beautiful catchy pins doesn’t help. You need to join some Facebook groups for Pinterest and participate in various Pinterest threads almost every day. I did that for 3 weeks and our traffic tripled! However, once you stop doing that, your traffic will slowly decrease. Participating in Pinterest threads is definitely not the best activity, and it really resembles procrastination and waste of the time, but in case you want to be noticed, especially at the earliest months of your blog, it makes sense to participate. Don’t forget about Flipboard and Stumbleupon, sometimes they also bring a decent amount of people to your blog.

I participate in them from time to time, for example, when a new post is up. Doing it all the time is way too time-consuming, though.

Mistake 5: Neglecting Pinterest, Flipboard and spending too much time on Twitter

I didn’t know much about various affiliate networks either. I started joining them in November, as soon I entered various Facebook groups, and by that time I already had quite a solid Social Media following: around 20000 people. Why I regret not doing it before? Well, it’s possible that I would have received some nice offers even before. Now, with more than 37000 followers on Social Media and 1 year of travel blogging, I receive offers from time to time.

The networks, where I received at least 1 offer include:

Inzpire.me
Buzzoole

Mistake 6: Not joining affiliate networks right away

I always considered myself shy. That means I really don’t enjoy approaching people, talking to them and offering some sort of services. I was always waiting for offers, where people would approach our blog first. Of course, there were various offers, especially offering affiliate partnerships. However, that was nothing compared to others bloggers’ tales. Nobody has offered us a week in Maldives or at least a weekend in Italy yet, but it’s also because we never actually pitched for tourism boards. I was always insecure about our traffic and social media following and avoided pitching to hotels, agencies and tourism boards because I thought what we have is clearly not enough. When I carefully went through the information in “Female Travel Bloggers” I realized, that many bloggers started successfully pitching, when they had one-third of our traffic and following. So I would have probably started pitching earlier.

Mistake 7: Not pitching to hotels and tourist boards

1 year of travel blogging what I have learned

 

The lamest thing you could do (as a travel blogger) is probably comparing yourself to the others. I confess I do it very often and I hate this in myself. You won’t get anything but disappointment from that, because there will be always someone who has reached way better results than you, even within the same amount of time. Travel blogging is not a competition, you should not blame yourself for not working on the blog hard enough to get to 10, 100, 1000 visitors a day. As long as it isn’t your only job or your only source of income, don’t worry, you will slowly get to what you would like to reach. All you need is time, motivation and patience.

Mistake 8: Comparing yourself to the others

Well, travel blogging is a job for some people. And I have never seen it as such. For me, it was always a hobby, and a tiny bonus for my CV (additional skills, you know). However, for some reason, I was sure that we will have plenty of offers straight away. Of course, I didn’t and it was stupid to think so from the very beginning. Offers come when you are of potential interest for various companies and to reach that, you need to work on your traffic, engagement, and content.

Mistake 9: Hoping to get plenty of offers right away 

After 1 year of travel blogging, I understood many things. Blogging is amazing, but if you want to see a serious outcome, prepare to work hard. Participate in various threads to grow your social and referral traffic and social media following, pitch to the hotels and tourism boards. Take some time to study the basic SEO and don’t spare time in order to create beautiful pins and images. And most importantly, don’t compare yourself with the others.

Have you tried our brand new Tripsget Trip Cost Calculator app for iPhone?

 It will tell you exactly how much money you will need in your next trip based on YOUR travel habits! Try it for free now or read more about Tripsget in this post.

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26 Comments

Katie - Round The World Magazine 31st January 2017 at 7:14 pm

Amazing tips! Thank you, do you have any recommended Pinterest Facebook groups? We’re just starting out and loving the challenge! Also, any good sources for image SEO? So many sites out there! Safe travels to you.

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Liza 1st February 2017 at 7:06 pm

Thanks a lot for your comment, Katie! I would recommend a group called Pinterest for Travel Bloggers. As for the image SEO, you just need to set the alt and the name of the photos properly (using your main keyword for the article). I’m planning to expand this guide very soon 🙂

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Ellis Veen 1st February 2017 at 10:22 pm

I am still in the start up phase and this is a very useful post.

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Liza 4th February 2017 at 2:09 pm

I hope you can learn on my mistakes! Thanks for your comment!

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Sara 1st February 2017 at 11:28 pm

As a first time blogger, I know I could definitely learn from these!

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Liza 4th February 2017 at 2:09 pm

That makes me very happy! Thanks for your comment, Sara 🙂

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33andfree 1st February 2017 at 11:58 pm

Great information for anyone starting a travel blog. I did a lot of the same things and realizing what a community can do for you is great. I am glad someone wrote something like this for the new bloggers out there!

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Liza 4th February 2017 at 2:11 pm

Thanks a lot for you comment! That’s exactly what I was thinking – there is not enough information for the beginners, so I decided to help a little bit. I wish I encountered something like this when I was just starting 🙂

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Shannalyn West 2nd February 2017 at 2:32 am

This is wonderful! Great insight. My friend walked me through the startup process, but as a new blogger, it’s great to see the mistakes and steps you took and learned from. Great read!

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Liza 4th February 2017 at 2:13 pm

Thanks a lot, Shannalyn! It’s very nice that a friend helped you 🙂

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veronica 2nd February 2017 at 4:04 am

I found this post extremely helpful, I have been blogging for just over a year and I have done/still guilty of making some of these mistakes. I would be really interested in reading a post on how you grew your social media..really struggling with that and not sure what I am not doing/doing wrong. Thanks for sharing all these tips and keep up the good work 🙂 x

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Liza 4th February 2017 at 2:14 pm

Thanks a lot, Veronica 🙂 I’m planning to expand this guide and will def write about Twitter and Instagram (my most successful channels). I’m still a beginner of YouTube, though 🙂

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Anna Hammerschmidt 2nd February 2017 at 4:20 am

Congrats on 1 year! There are some great lessons you learned and I will be taking those into account for my own blog. I definitely neglect Pinterest and need to do that more often! And am considering switching my blog over to WordPress.org!

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Liza 4th February 2017 at 2:16 pm

Thanks a lot, Anna! Yes, Pinterest is definitely a must – it brings soo much traffic comparing to other channels. Switching to WordPress.org is a bit hard, but it would definitely benefit you in the future

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Asia 2nd February 2017 at 4:34 am

You’ve made strides in just one year! Great work! I’m learning a lot and picking up tips from this post as well. I def need to up my Pinterest game and SEO knowledge.

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Liza 4th February 2017 at 2:17 pm

Thanks for your comment, Asia 🙂 Both Pinterest and SEO are very important and I wish you the best luck!

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Jackie Taylor 2nd February 2017 at 11:38 pm

Super impressive you have gain so many followers all in your first year! Great work, and helpful advice for new bloggers. 🙂

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Liza 4th February 2017 at 2:18 pm

Thanks a lot, Jackie! It wasn’t actually so hard to start gaining them, the biggest problem now is to keep them growing as fast as they were 🙂

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Brigitte 3rd February 2017 at 11:48 pm

Great post! You seem to have learned quite a bit in this year, it makes me thinking I should maybe invest more.. but then again, I have a full-time job as well, and not Always the energy to devote so much time to social media and all that!

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Liza 4th February 2017 at 2:23 pm

Thanks, Brigitte! Well, that’s true, having a full time job and working hard on Social Media is very hard. However, it’s not impossible. I was working full-time until last November and still managed to achieve quite a high social media following. Working on Pinterest with full-time job is way harder though (

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Karin 4th February 2017 at 12:18 am

Not focusing on Pinterest was also my mistake in the beginning! I thought Facebook is important, but with their algorithm, it is not a great traffic source. I also didn´t set up other social media accounts, i only started with instagram many months in…but there is so much to learn all the time that I don´t have time to regret what I did, I need to work on what I already know is necessary 🙂

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Liza 4th February 2017 at 2:25 pm

I totally agree with you, Karin! Facebook is extremely hard these days, if you’re not paying to show your posts to your followers. This freaks me out a bit, too. Seems like as a beginner, you just can’t be successful on Facebook.

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Tracey 4th February 2017 at 8:49 am

Thankyou for these tips! I started my blog in January and constantly compare my blog to other bloggers! You are so right in saying that it will take time and patience! Keep up the good work 😊

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Liza 4th February 2017 at 2:27 pm

I think in the beginning comparing is good, because you sort of have examples of great work, but at some point it’s necessary to stop comparing, otherwise you’ll end up being sad. Good luck with you blog, Tracey!

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Bilyana 8th February 2017 at 9:51 am

I’m also at my first year of blogging and facing a lot of struggles, but I’m sure that when you want something bad enough and work hard on it, it will happen. It was very nice to read about your first year of travel blogging experience. Happy travels!

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Liza 8th February 2017 at 2:58 pm

Thanks a lot for your comment, Bilyana! Good luck to you too!

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