This post's overview:
- 1 How was the travel blogging industry five years ago?
- 2 How did travel blogging change me?
- 3 What did I learn from 5 years of travel blogging & mistakes to avoid as a blogger
Starting a blog? Learn about the main mistakes to avoid as a blogger!
It’s February 2021, and that means that Tripsget just turned five years old. I honestly can’t believe my eyes because I’m not that kind of person who commits to something for a very long time (unless it’s relationships and friendships). However, travel blogging has been my passion for the last five years now.
I started this blog together with my then-boyfriend (now husband) Jose to a) promote our brand new travel budgeting app and share our travel itineraries with like-minded travellers from all around the world. Five years ago, there was little information about some destinations, and we had hard times planning our trips because we simply couldn’t find the information we were looking for. I decided to change that and share the information we were getting while travelling these destinations with everyone.
How was the travel blogging industry five years ago?
When I think of how the blogging industry used to be five years ago, I must say that it is much less developed, much less monetised and much less competitive. I think it was also much more genuine than now. In the last two years, I saw endless courses offered by my fellow travel bloggers – the courses teaching you how to become successful with a travel blog, quit your job and travel the world.
While it was a very successful monetisation model for these fellow bloggers, there are only that many people that can earn enough money blogging full-time. Why? Well, simply because there is too much competition, and not everyone can rank on the first page of Google for enough high volume keywords. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you can’t become a successful travel blogger. You absolutely can! However, to become very successful in 2021, you need to produce outstanding well-researched content and really treat your blog as a business from day one.
I [personally] like travel blogging as my part-time job. In the ideal world, I would love to be working three days a week for a company and two days per week on my blog and YouTube channel. However, that hasn’t been possible (and wasn’t a good idea in 2020 as well, as you can imagine).
I also like seeing other travel bloggers as my colleagues rather than competitors. That’s not always possible when you depend on your travel blog income as your main source of income.
How did travel blogging change me?
I’m very happy that I started this little travel blog five years ago. Not only it helped me to become more confident, meet new people and gave me some pretty amazing opportunities. I also learned a lot for my career in Digital Marketing. I learned SEO by myself, I tried various Pinterest strategies, and I also taught myself Adobe Premiere Pro and basic videography. Most importantly, the learning doesn’t stop there, and I feel like every month, I’m improving and learning something new, which is amazing for self-development.
My blog is also my portfolio. When I was freelancing, Tripsget was basically my success story and my testing ground at the same time. I was confident I could help clients in a similar industry by applying similar growth tactics.
What did I learn from 5 years of travel blogging & mistakes to avoid as a blogger
Every year, I try to publish a post with my main blogging mistakes and things I learned about travel blogging, so let’s not ruin this tradition.
You need to be patient
Everyone’s blogging journey is different and while someone might be bragging that they already have 100,000 MPV after one year of blogging, believe me, that’s not the case for 99% of people.
While you can significantly boost your traffic with Pinterest and Tik Tok in the first months of travel blogging (if you know what you’re doing), organic traffic just takes time.
Google needs time to understand that your blog is legit and that it’s a trustworthy, authoritative website. Here’s my organic traffic trend over the last five years – see how it’s going up with time?
During my first four years of travel blogging, 70% of my visitors were coming from Pinterest. I was spending A LOT of time pinning new content every day and participating in Pinterest threads. Now I do it once per month. My Pinterest traffic has dropped; however, my organic traffic grew a lot. Despite the pandemic that is still going on pretty much everywhere around the world, I got back to my 50,000 monthly page views and then grew my traffic to over 70,000 page views, and hopefully, once travel is allowed again, this number increases even more!
You need to revise and rewrite your old content
Another very important thing I learned during 5 years of blogging is that you constantly need to revise and rewrite your old content. It’s much easier to get an old blog post to rank better by optimising it for SEO, adding a few new, very important sections, replacing images for better ones.
However, there are posts that just won’t rank no matter how much you optimise them. Some people just delete them, but in my case, I leave them be; however, I try to link to them from my more successful post so they still get a small share of views (just to do justice to my time spent on these non-performing posts – your readers might still find them useful).
See what works for your blog and write more of that content
Another travel blogging advice might seem obvious; however, you’d be surprised how many people follow that. Basically, you need to see what already works for you and write more content of that kind. Example: you started ranking very well for the keyword “budget-friendly things to do in Bucharest” – then you can expand your Bucharest posts and write a lot more on “best hostels in Bucharest”, “free things to do in Bucharest”, “Weekend in Bucharest on a budget” – you’ll have more chances of ranking as Google already values your opinion of budget-friendly things do in Bucharest and if you interlink all these posts, you’ll probably get more page views and happy readers that you helped with these tips!
Diversify your traffic sources
I think I mention this tip every year, but I think it’s just worth repeating again and again – don’t rely just on one traffic source. Google is not your friend – if they could, they would immediately replace all your blog posts with their travel guides.
Pinterest isn’t your friend either. Tik Tok, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook aren’t thinking of the welfare of their creators; they think about their own profits.
I know so many people who relied on their traffic in Google, and once Google introduced a new algorithm, boom, they lost 70% of their traffic! If you can, try to diversify your traffic sources, so you don’t depend on just one if you want your blog to be your full-time job one day.
Be authentic and different
This last one, unfortunately, doesn’t apply to me, but I’ve seen a few stunning blogs that are just different. The writing style is captivating, they write stories rather than guides and listicles, and their photography is simply something different.
If you feel like SEO isn’t your strong side and you don’t want to deal with networking, link exchanges and all that background work that goes into blogging, just try to be authentic. Improve your storytelling skills, write sincere, genuine posts, switch off ads and take beautiful images – I must assure you that people value that kind of content, and you will find your readers and even brand collaborations.
Sometimes I just wish I could write like that, but it’s hard when English is your third language (I only started learning English when I turned 14) – despite the fact that my writing has improved throughout the years, I just don’t have enough mastery of words and fluency to be able to tell beautiful stories. But if you can – you should definitely write them, and I will be your loyal reader!
Well, I hope you found this post about the mistakes to avoid as a blogger useful and hopefully, it will help you on your blogging journey in the future.
You can find me on Instagram as @lizatripsget (get in touch if you have any questions)
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