Learn the #1 goal for travel bloggers for 2022 during my Travel Writer & Blogger Survey results show. I share travel blogging tips, blogging advice, and the biggest pet peeves and complaints about the travel writing and blogging world.
It’s never too late to implement good travel blogging techniques and tactics.
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Travel Blogging Tips, Advice and Blogger Pet Peeves
Today’s show is a follow-up to episode 185 which was my Travel Writer & Blogger Survey for 2022 Plus Goal Setting Tips.
As I share in eps 185, I wanted to pause for a second to reevaluate the content I’m creating for this show and the website for this podcast. That is why I created the survey. I wanted to know your goals as a travel writer or blogger or aspiring travel blogger. I also wanted to understand what your writing or blogging goals are for 2022 and in addition, I was curious to know which of the content I’m creating is most useful for you.
To all of you who took the time to take the survey, I really appreciate your feedback. It is going to help me so much in creating my content for you in 2022 and to get a pulse on what goals are most important to you in 2022.
Listen to the Full Podcast
Travel Writer & Blogger Survey Results
Your travel blogging questions answered. I share the #1 goal for travel bloggers in 2022, plus blogging tips, blogging advice, and the biggest pet peeves about the travel writing world.
Survey Question: Your Favorite Break Into Travel Writing Podcast (1st, 2nd, or 4th Wednesday Show)
I’m currently posting 3 podcasts per month. Travel Writing and Blogging tips on the 1st Wednesday of the Month, the 30 Days Ebook Series on the 2nd Wednesday, and an interview show on the 4th Wednesday of the month.
- 48% said their favorite show was the Interview Shows on 4th Wednesday
- 40% said the quick tips on the 1st Wednesday of the month was a favorite
- 3% said the Ebook Tips to Launch Travel Blogging Career on the 2nd Wed of the month was a favorite
Based on the feedback of the survey, I’m going to pause the 30 Day E-Book Lessons. For the 3% of you who loved these, please know that there is an actual ebook with all 30 days. The entire Ebook is available on the website as a downloadable pdf. The ebook shares the steps to become a travel writer or blogger with step-by-step instructions for each day.
This ebook comes with 30 days of tutorials and a pdf worksheet for every day is normally only $49. but I’d love to give you a discount since I am not finishing the series. So you 3%-ers — email me at alexa@breakintotravelwriting and let me know you heard episode #188 and simply ask for the 30 Days 50% discount and I’ll send you a link.
You can do this at any time — no time frame for this. I’ll honor it for anyone who is currently listening to the series or anyone who stumbles upon it in the future.
Travel Bloggers #1 goal for 2022
In the survey I asked the #1 goal for the #1 travel blogging or travel writing goal and here are the top answers.
- 57% of bloggers #1 goal is to Build web Traffic in 2022
- 33% want to increase Affiliate Income
- Tied at about 20% each was SEO, Solo Media Trips & Travel on their own dime
There are three more sections from the survey I cover on the podcast and feedback on. 1) Biggest pet peeve or complaint about the travel writing/blogging world 2) Suggestions for future podcast topics and 3) Your questions about blogging.
What I shared on the podcast and what is below are existing blog posts and podcasts for anything relevant to the request or question and I will also dive in deeper with future content.
Topics & Guest Requests for 2022
Not everyone answered this in the survey and some answers were similar. I’ll be taking these topic ideas into mind as I create my content calendar for 2022. I’ll also be writing a few round-up pieces sharing information for specific types of information.
Topic Request: Tips for writing blog posts that readers will like and share.
Travel Writing Resources
Writing blog posts your readers love and will share really boils down to good writing. A few resources on the BITW podcast you can listen to or check out the blog posts on this topic are:
This show shares 9 tips from travel bloggers about how to write a great first sentence for a blog article. If you struggle with how to start an article with a great lede (intro, paragraph) to hook a reader to so they continue reading your article this is a great resource
- Episode 170 Brainstorming Blog Post Ideas is another good resource to make sure you are writing content your readers want. Podcast | Blog Post
As far as becoming a great writer, my suggestions are to listen to:
- Episode 110: How to Find Unique Travel Stories with Joe Baur Podcast | Blog Post
- Episode 16: Master Class in Travel Writing with Perry Garfinkel Podcast | Blog Post
- It goes without saying Episode 52: How to Become a Great Travel Writer with Don George is a must if you want to master good writing. Podcast | Blog Post
- Most recently, episode 180 is a show where I share my favorite travel writing tips from 10 previous episodes. It’s the Best Travel Writer Tips from 10 Travel Writers Podcast | Blog Post
Topic Request: Anything specific about building an audience
How to Build an Audience Resources
- The first thing that comes to mind is my interview with Deb & Dave from the PlaneT D about Building Your Brand Podcast | Blog Post
- I also think eps 139: How to Build Authority as a Travel Writer with Gary Arndt is on point. Podcast | Blog Post
Topic Request: Do 50+ travel bloggers have a different approach to building blog traffic and revenue streams or have any formal or informal networks to share industry insights and guest posting opportunities.
Response: I think there is a difference. I think 50+ has a different point of view than a 20 or 30’s blogger. It probably also depends on if you have been at blogging for a while, or you are just starting out. I think based on age and potential audience, bloggers are drawn towards certain subjects and social platforms. Overall, I think this would be a fun topic to pursue for the podcast, so thank you for this suggestion!
Topic Request: Episodes on SEO, income generation (affiliate marketing, ad networks), what products to sell (e.g. ebooks, courses), technical details of building a new blog (what theme to use, what hosting service, how to improve site speed, etc.)
For hosting, I like and use Siteground for all three of my websites. For site speed, that is a subject I’d like to get an SEO expert to come on the podcast.
Travel Blogging SEO Resources
Regarding SEO I’d take a listen to the following podcasts on the subject that are already published on the site:
- Episode 183: White Hat Link Building & SEO Strategy with Alex Schnee Podcast | Blog Post
- Episode 187: How to Optimize Blog Posts for SEO Podcast | Blog Post
- Episode 040: SEO 101 For Travel Bloggers with Joe Robison Podcast | Blog Post
- Episode 109: SEO for Travel Bloggers with Dan Bagby Podcast | Blog Post
Affiliate Marking Resources
As far as affiliate marketing; I have several posts and podcasts on the site.
- Episode 047: How to Master the Affiliate World with CJ Affiliate Biz Dev Manager Podcast | Blog Post
- Episode 085: Maximizing Your Affiliate Strategy with Orr Shakked of Trip Advisor Podcast | Blog Post
- Episode 138: Monetizing Your Travel Blog with the Intrepid Tour Affiliate Program Podcast | Blog Post
- Episode 158: How Travel Bloggers Can Monetize a Website With TravelPayouts Affiliate Network Podcast | Blog Post
- Episode 164: Affiliate and Instagram Strategies with Mike Clegg Podcast | Blog Post
- Episode 175: 16 Tips How to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing Podcast | Blog Post
- How to Make Money from a Travel Blog using Affiliate Links Blog Post
I also have FREE 5-day Affiliate tutorial where I walk you through taking the first steps to start earning money from your travel website with TravelPayouts.
Topic Request: How to build relationships with DMOs and editors
How to build a relationship with DMOs and editors Resources
Current resources for pitching and connecting with DMOs and Editors.
- Episode 8: How to Pitch a PR Director with Robert Arends from the San Diego Tourism Authority Podcast | Blog Post
- Episode 11: How to Pitch a PR Rep with Shae Geary Podcast | Blog Post
- Episode 18: How to Pitch an Editor with Bruce Anderson from Sunset Magazine Podcast | Blog Post
- Episode 137: How to Pitch an Editor with Travel Writer Betsi Hill Podcast | Blog Post
- Episode 142: How to Pitch Brands, Destinations & PR with Jon Bailey Podcast | Blog Post
Topic Request: Maybe you can touch sometimes the legal part of blogging? I know it’s the “boring” side, but still it’s important for bloggers.
Response: I totally agree. If anyone knows of someone who would be great to talk to about this — a lawyer, or someone who understands copyright or blogging laws, please connect me.
Interview Request: This was my only request for specific people to interview; Jessie on a Journey and She Knows SEO.
Response: I’d love to interview Jessie. As far as she knows SEO, curious if you mean Mags at https://www.sheknowsdigital.com/about/ or Nina from She Know SEO. Please hit me up and let me know.
Topic Request: I’d love to know current best practices for Pinterest. The last time I checked updates I was so confused and essentially abandoned it, but I think it’s such a great source of traffic for travel bloggers I’d like to refocus on it.
Response: Me too! I think Pinterest is frustrating and confusing many of us at the moment. Between algorithm changes and new features, it’s a lot to understand. I would love to do an updated podcast, so if you know of a blogger killing it on Pinterest, I’d love to be connected! In the meantime, I have a few podcasts focused on Pinterest.
Pinterest Blogging Tips
- Episode 159: How Bloggers Can Create a Pinterest Traffic Avalanche with Kate Storm Podcast | Blog Post
- Episode 87: Turn Up Your Pinterest Presence using Tailwind with Melissa Megginson Podcast | Blog Post
- Episode 132: Pinterest for Travel Bloggers with Melissa Megginson from Tailwind Podcast | Blog Post
Topic Request: Building a media kit/prices for work
Response: Tips for Creating an Effective Media Kit is my next scheduled episode topic, which will air on the 1st Wednesday of January. I’m currently looking for contributions. If you have a tip about creating a great media kit, I’d love for you to be a part of this show!
Topic Request: The last request was to do a show on how to bring your significant other on trips.
Response: Interesting, but this can be tricky. Every media trip is different. Every destination or PR agency handles trips differently. Some trips a friend or spouse is invited — such as cruises. Every cruise press trip I have taken has included bringing a guest.
In general, if you always want to bring your spouse, do it legit. There is nothing that will irritate PR or DMO’s and other bloggers & writers, if it’s a group trip more than you stating your spouse, is a photographer or assistant if they are not. Be upfront and honest — but don’t pull the fake photographer.
I’d say the easiest way is to niche your blog so that if focuses on romantic getaways. Those types of stories are much better written and locations experienced when you are with a partner. It’s more genuine.
Or don’t go after group trips. If you do solo trips, it’s much easier to bring a friend or spouse. Be prepared that the 2ne person’s ‘comps’ may or may not happen.
Travel Blogger Pet Peeves About the Travel Writing and Blogging World
The next section, shares the answers to the question … What is your biggest pet peeve or complaint about the travel writing/blogging world?
Not everyone answered this question and some answers were similar, so I’ll combine like answers, but
Here we go….. in the order, they were submitted
- Constant hands out for freebies and unwillingness to incur personal expenses.
- Constant changing algorithms (especially Google, also Pinterest and Instagram) and constant introduction of new features (reels, idea pins, Pinterest TV)
- My primary vehicle is a podcast (100,00 DLs a month) but most PR & media firms haven’t caught onto the value of my audience. Often there is not even a slot for podcaster on most contact or information sheets. I wish PR people would get on board with the influence and storytelling value of podcasts
- Editors that don’t respond back.
- Brands insisting on “product as payment”!
- You can’t just learn it once because it is always changing. none
- That all bloggers are lumped into a single category with all kinds of stereotypes that don’t apply to all of us. Because anyone can call themselves a blogger, it’s hard to be thought of as a professional, no matter how hard I work.
- Hard to get sponsored
- Needing to have an assignment before you can do a media trip. I would write and post about any trip I take on my own social media and continue to pitch that destination to paid publications
- People who write posts about places they haven’t even seen as if they have, that and PR reps who don’t do their homework.
- Breaking into writing gigs.
- There is no clear road map to success. You just keep pushing and you aren’t sure that you’re even going the right direction.
- The most popular content often isn’t the best, most informative content.
- Constant uncertainty.
- The trend towards inserting ads after every paragraph (especially for Mediavine ads) is distracting to readers and undermines the travel blog world’s credibility. It makes articles look like they are incidental to the ads rather than the other way around. Maybe it’s my imagination, but I think that it has gotten a lot worse during the pandemic.
- Too much of “pop content” around
- Too much gatekeeping of tips to grow and make money. Many people use very general examples for how to affiliate market, use SEO, etc. I want to know EXACTLY how people do it and not just how they make money off of selling things to other bloggers to seem like they know stuff.
- Other travel writers who feel helping others will hurt them. There is plenty of work for all.
- Courses that tell you what you need to do, but don’t really tell you all the steps to do it. They charge a fortune but in the end you don’t have anything worthwhile.
- Writing to the Google Gods.
- It’s so oversaturated it’s really hard to find high-quality keywords you actually have a chance of ranking for as a newer blogger.
- Not hearing back from PR folks – I know they’re busy, but even an automated/cut and paste message is better than crickets.
If you want to hear my answers and advice for the above pet peeves, please check out the podcast here.
Your questions about travel, travel writing, travel blogging, podcasting or me answered!
Question: What are good pitching strategies
Answer: Please head up to the pitching for the answers (above in the section for 2022 show topic requests).
How to Get Press Trips
Question: How do I get FAM Trips (also known as media trips and press trips)?
Answer: I have several podcasts and articles on the site focused on media trips. If you are interested in learning how to book media trips, understanding how to apply and more.
- Episode 121: Year in Review & How to Book Media Trips Podcast | Blog Post
- Episode 111: How to Plan a “Do It Yourself Media Trip” Podcast | Blog Post
- Episode 41: My Local Media Trips to Carlsbad and Ventura County: How to Plan a Local Media Trip Podcast | Blog Post
- Episode 28: How to Book an International Media Trip & My Trip to Cebu, Philippines Podcast | Blog Post
- Episode 19: How to Land International Media Trips with Richard Basch Podcast | Blog Post
- Episode 133: How to Work with 8 Tourism Boards to Plan a Summer Road Trip Podcast | Blog Post
- Episode 10: How to Book a Hotel Media Visit with Rana Kay from the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego Podcast | Blog Post
- How to Plan Local Media Trips to Keep Your Travel Writing Flowing Blog Post
- How I Got 3 Media Trips With 3 Emails Blog Post
- 3 Unique Ways to Get Press Trips (Guest post from Katrina Julia) Blog Post
How to Contact PR Firms for Media Trips
Question: How do I contact PR firms to get press trips step by step to getting trips especially with examples of how u or other people did it. 🙂 i took one class about it and the answers were so vague that I didn’t get any of my questions answered.
Answer: The above podcasts and articles will be super helpful. In many of the above podcasts, I walk you through how I connected with the PR company or visitors bureau and the steps I took to book several media trips. You can work directly with tourism boards or PR firms or you can book a solo trip, by arranging individually for accommodation, air, activities, etc.
I know it can be frustrating if you pay for a class and don’t get your questions answered.
My first suggestion is to have good outlets to start with. Whether you are a blogger just starting out or a freelance writer, the more outlets you can write for, the more media trip opportunities you will have.
Second, know what you have to offer the destination.
As far as contacting a PR firm for a press trip. Simply Google “Travel PR firms”. If you have a particular destination in mind Google the name of the location and “visitors bureau” or “visit” plus destination name and head to the media center. From there you will be able to see if the destination does in-house marketing or works with a PR firm.
From there, join their media mailing list.
How to Land River Cruise Media Trips
Question: One dream I have is to get a gig or propose a gig of blogging for a river cruise line and travel on all their tours and ships and cover the different routes with stories and photos and videos. I am in their target age group but I am currently traveling solo most times (river cruises don’t normally have solo bookings from what I understand but I may be wrong). Do you think that is a possible reality to get a gig like that?
Answer: Yes, but know the value of what you can offer. Will your readers book a cruise based on your articles and social you produce? If it’s a win-win situation, the cruise line would most likely be happy to work with you.
You can travel solo, but another idea is to partner with other bloggers for the trips. If you brought a different blogger and shared one stateroom and they got coverage from 2 writers that might be very compelling for a pitch. Again, bottom line is that you have to know what you offer and why that benefits the cruise line.
How to Build Traffic to a New Travel Website
Question: My site is very new and has zero traffic. I’m going to keep writing content, but what are the other best steps I can take to grow traffic? Also, what are good ideas for products to sell on a travel site? (E.g. ebooks or courses).
Answer: First I would make sure the site has a focused niche. I would also make sure to build a keyword library. Last, I’d focus on writing articles with good keywords. The keyword strategy is to not go afterwords based only on volume. Instead, go for keywords that have low difficulty and lower volumes (unless you can find high volume + low difficulty).
The Keyword tool I use is Keysearch. It’s just $17 a month and offers lots of great reports and features. I love this tool so much, I signed up as an affiliate, which means you can get an extra 20% off using the code KSDISC when you sign up.
I would listen to the below episodes to make sure you are starting with a great foundation for your site.
- Episode 163: Defining Your Travel Website Niche Podcast | Blog Post
- Episode 176: How to Create a Keyword Library Podcast | Blog Post
- Episode 184: How to Write an Article Title Podcast | Blog Post
- Episode 168: Marketing a Blog & Facebook Ads with Amanda O’Brien Blog Post | Blog Post
Traffic Building Resources for New Websites
- Episode 159: How Bloggers Can Create a Pinterest Traffic Avalanche with Kate Storm Podcast | Blog Post
- Episode 108: How to Get Huge Traffic from Flipboard with Meg Jerrard Podcast | Blog Post
- 5 Day Free Traffic Course: Increase Your Website Traffic Day 5 [Challenge] Podcast | Blog Post
- Episode 184 White Hat Link Building & SEO Strategy with Alex Schnee Podcast | Blog Post
- Episode 178 How To Get More Website Traffic To Your Travel Blog Podcast | Blog Post
- Google Ranking: How to Find the Keywords You Rank For Blog Post
Creating a Blogging Routine
Question: How much time does it take you for your blogging/podcasting/writing? How much free time do you have? And how did you get into such a routine?
Answer: I spend a lot of time working. I have three websites, a podcast, my travel academy. I also have my family.
I work in some fashion every day. I’d say I rarely take a full day off, that doesn’t include work of some sort. What might be considered a ‘day off’ is usually me heading out on a day trip to explore somewhere in Missouri I plan to write about. Or it’s planning a media trip for 52 Perfect Days. Plus, travel is work for me.
I do have free time though and am pretty good about ending my workday in the early evening. I also honor the fact, that I am not tied to a schedule and take a break if I want to.
My routines shift a lot. Currently, I diving my projects by days, so I can focus 100% on one website project or the podcast on specific days. This helps me focus and get more done. I divide up my days based on the tasks I need to complete that week. So, the amount of days I give to one project versus another changes week to week.
Staying Organized as a Content Creator
Question: I’d love to know how you keep it all straight — the websites, the pod, the media trips, etc. Do you use Slack? Planner? Excel? How do you organize your life? 🙂
Answer: I love Google Docs for organizing, but honestly I’m pretty old-school pen and paper for day-to-day organization.
I love Google Docs for keyword research and article research or bullet points.
I have one composition book for each project, that I keep my notes in. I love to use these books for brainstorming as well and to-do lists.
For the full & in-depth answers, please check out the podcast here.
2022 Totally Anonymous Travel Writer / Blogger Survey Results
If you haven’t already, please take this quick travel writer/blogger survey — and it’s anonymous. I would LOVE feedback on your blogging, freelancing or writing goals for 2022. I’d also love to get your feedback on this podcast. I’d love to hear what topics you want to understand more, and any guests you’d like to me interview. You get the gist! I promise it’s a short survey, but I would absolutely love for you to take a few minutes and give me your feedback — the good, bad and ugly.
To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below:
Before we go, I wanted to say, If you haven’t spent time to set goals for 2022, now is a great time. Please head back to episode 185 where I share how to set goals and stick to them so you have less overwhelm and are super productive in 2022!
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