Welcome to Ask Alexa! This is a Q&A episode that is aired once monthly. If you have a question you’d like answered on an upcoming episode, simply head to http://breakintotravelwriting.com/ask-alexa/ to submit your question. I need the Q in the Q&A to continue this segment!
Today’s episode focuses on two travel blogger questions. We discuss the importance of email marketing and how to move from blogspot to WordPress. Click here to listen to the podcast now!
In this episode I also share the details of my upcoming media trip to Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort in Tucson, Arizona and my new method of pitching PR based on advice from Deb and Dave from The Planet D.
Before we jump in, I wanted to check in and share a bit of what I have been up to recently. If you listened to the last show you know I recently had a fun day trip to Valle de Guadalupe, which is the wine region located between Tecate and Ensenada in Baja California. If you didn’t get a chance to listen to last week’s episode and you are looking for more content idea when you aren’t traveling, head to episode 80 to find out some of my favorite methods to keep my content fresh when I’m not traveling.
If you didn’t listen to my interview with Deb and Dave from the Planet D – it has a ton of actionable items and they share the revenue streams that have allowed them to make a full time living with travel blogging. They also share why branding is the key to a successful blog.
I met them on the Fathom Cruise to the DR and had the chance to hang out with them quite a bit. One of the topics we talked about was pitching and they shared their method of pitching PR and DMO’s which was to go in prepared and with a full idea of how they want to help the brand.
I’ve taken this method to heart and now when I reach out or follow up with destinations or PR I am giving them more than my intro and stats.
The bottom line that Deb and Dave shared with me is that the easier you make it for the PR and destinations the better. By sharing your story ideas they can see you have taken the time to think about the brand and how you can promote them via your platform.
Question: From Jen with LongHaulTrekkers
It’s seems that when researching successful blogs, experts say the most important part is building your email list. Is this still the case? If so, why is this so important and how does it help my blog grow and gain traffic? Where does one even begin to build this list? Where do the names come from?
There has been a lot of talk lately of email marketing and I think it is back in the headlines as something entrepreneurs and bloggers need to focus on.
The bottom line is an Email list is important if you are trying to build a brand and want your blog to be more than just a place to share your adventures.
I do think that it’s low on many travel bloggers priority list because it’s one more thing to do on top of the obvious travel, writing and photography. After that for most people comes social media, which can be a huge time consumer. After that is additional and planned out marketing.
Email falls into the marketing piece and I am the first one to admit I am not as consistent as I should be with email marketing.
For me, proper email marketing involved more than sending out a notice to your followers to please follow you on social or please click this link to read my latest blog posts. It takes time to strategize and think of a campaign that will be interesting and effective.
So, let’s break this down a little more. The reason a list is important in my opinion, is if you want to sell something — photos, ebooks, courses, travel packages. The bigger your list the most potential to make money if you sell thru your site. This can also include monetized pages with sponsors or affiliates.
Speaking of sponsors and PR – this is a stat they want and another reason to work on building your list. When you work with sponsors many want to know in addition to writing about their product or destination, and doing social media that you also have a list to share the post to which will give them more exposure.
On top of these reasons, e-mail marketing can also drive a lot of traffic to your site if done well. Done well, means sending emails on a consistent basis with information that will benefit your readers and followers.
Another reason marketers say to build your email list is because you control it. What if tomorrow your favorite source of traffic disappeared? Now, I don’t think Facebook will vanish, but what if it did? Or what if Twitter or some other platform that drives the bulk of your traffic merges or shuts down? Those people are gone too. While social is important, we don’t have control. For example Facebook used to show business pages much more often and then they went pay to play, so to get as many likes and comments as we used to organically, we have to join social ladders or run ads. It’s out of our control how often our content is out there in an organic fashion. Same with IG, at least for me, since Facebook bought them, I’m getting less comments and likes and have to work harder to get my engagement.
Getting to your questions; Where does one even begin to build this list? Where do the names come from?
I’d say the best advice I’d give you is to join my Travel Academy. We have done multiple challenges on emails marketing and list building. The challenges walk you through the process step by step. These give you the how to and not just the how, which I am happy to share with you. I know that is salesy, but I know you would benefit from these if you really want to build your email list!
But here is the how. I believe the best way to get started is by creating an irresistible opt-in. This is a pdf, infographic, video, e-book or any other form of media that is only accessible after they opt-in to your email list. Basically you are trading information for an email. They key is to offer something your blog readers will find truly interesting and useful and they will want enough to give you their email.
Gone are the days of people signing up in mass for a newsletter without a promise of what they will receive unless you are a recognized brand and even these guys are tempting us with opt-ins to gather our emails.
Question: From Andrea from anotherdayforgrace.blogpot.ca
I listen to your podcast all the time and have learned so much! I’ve been writing and blogging for quite some time and began to focus on blogging about my own travels and adventures but I’m ready to start taking my blogging and writing more seriously and would like to change my blog to be more professional and the first step I want to take is switching my blog from a blogger blog to something like WordPress or similar. I have zero money at this time to spend (well, maybe a small start-up fee would be fine but if the blog were to generate money in the future, I would consider investing more into it) and, most importantly, have zero knowledge about how to transfer a blog in such a way.
I don’t want to lose my followers or lose my content or anything like that. I just want to take the current blog and put it somewhere else basically but I know that is easier said than done, or so I hear. I tried to find out how to do this in the past but only got confused about the answers I got because I didn’t really understand what was being said as I am new to much of the blogging world and the terms used. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated 🙂
Step 1. Find a good hosting company such as Godaddy or Siteground
Step 2. If you don’t own the .com, but your URL
Step 3. Find a friend with a bit of tech knowledge to review free WordPress themes with you.
Step 4. Ask your new hosting service to install WordPress and transfer content from blogspot.
Step 5. Join a few WordPress groups in Facebook for additional questions.
Step 6. Start outlining new pages and navigation for new site
You can head to the audio version for the full answer here: http://bit.ly/1OQwBVz
Click here to listen to the podcast and full answers now!
Viñas De La ERRE
Dona Lupe for Olive Oil
Deckman’s En El Mogor
Ask Alexa Episode 69
Elaine Masters from Trip Wellness
Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort
Podcast Episode with Deb & Dave from The Planet D
Fathom Cruise episode
Ask Alexa form to ask a a question
Connect with Break Into Travel Writing
The Aspiring Travel Writer Facebook Group
That is it for today! Thank you to Jen & Angela for today’s awesome questions! If you have a question about travel blogging, writing, photography or SEO, Web or Social Media for travel blogging that you would like answered on my Podcast, simply submit your question to bitw/askalexa and I’ll answer it on an upcoming episode.
Great question from Jen with @LongHaulTrekker via @writetotravel podcast http://bit.ly/20fE69b #travelblogger [Click To Tweet]
Great question fromAndrea from anotherdayforgrace.blogpot.ca podcast http://bit.ly/20fE69b #travelblogger [Click to Tweet]
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Very informative post…..now I completely understand the real importance of email marketing.