Earning a living
Do you like exploring? Does learning about the world interest you? Then not only can you explore the world, you can actually make a living doing it. How many people do you know wake up every day and eagerly hurry off to work? None? One? Probably very few.
Everyone has their opinion on how this is done and more than a few have made it happen. You must be diligent in your research and drive to create content for your blog. And, it certainly helps to love what you do as well. Hey, you don’t have to write about every place on the planet. You can focus on just one country, part of the world or area, depending on the detail and rate of tourism. Heck, I’ve seen websites that focus on just one issue more or less, transportation in a particular area.
Now that you’ve decided on “Your” area and have begun to jam pack it with useful information you have to monetize the content. Some would suggest this is a science in itself and there are myriad sites with this sole purpose. Advertising is one of the mechanisms that creates income when eyeballs visit your site. You can accomplish this with an advertising mix of rotating ads, affiliate marketing, maybe some sponsors and you’re off Of course you have to ensure as best you can that the resultant ads are a good fit for your site.
Sound easy? Too good to be true? Well, possibly. The truth, like any endeavor, you get out what you put in and with a blog you will put in some serious time if you ever want to be successful. There are a sea of blogs, a cacophony of voices all demanding time and reader attention You desperately need a niche or some area you love to increase the likelihood of success. And, stick with it.
One thing you may wish to avoid is having your site come off as site who’s sole purpose is to sell ads. I’m sure you’ve seen them, each page is absolutely filled with ads of various types, Yours may start out like that but have a look around your site as if you’re a visitor and reflect on how you would feel if you were a visitor to your own site.
Like I said earlier, pick a topic that’s close to your heart and the work shouldn’t be more drudgery added to your day. This is why travel blogs seem to be something people like to focus on. Hey, who doesn’t like to travel to new and exciting places and also make a living.
When you’re creating your blog be sure to focus on what you would like to read, learn about, know or receive insight or help on. You have to differentiate yourself form the sea of me’s so to speak. There are travel blogs literally everywhere, like locust.
As you create here is a bit of information I learned some time ago and comes in handy from time to time. It is unlikely you are or have the time to be an expert in all areas of your endeavor. It’s likely there’s a core you feel passionate about so focus on that. And, “Let people do what they do”. In other words if possible, seek advice, assistance or whatever from people who are experts in a particular area.
There are a few sites out there to assist you in measuring your website traffic and visitor demographics, In case I forgot to mention it you need to know your audience to effectively implement a marketing plan. If your audience is people from 25 – 35 in North America, then guess where you probably want to spend your advertising dollars?
Another good idea is “Know your Competitor”. Visit other travel sites to get a fee for what they are doing right and check travel blog rating sites so you have some idea which site(s) are best.
To increase traffic flow you can also pay for hits as this type of activity may bring you to the attention of search engines or rating sites (maybe now but you never know). Also establish membership on other major travel opinion sites and post, post, post with a handle or name associated with your website so even if you’re not allowed to mention your site you indirectly do exactly that. I’ve set up accounts at a few of these sites and on one or more of them I have made quite few posts to help get the word out.
Somethign I also do is take lost of photos and ad a link to them from different pages so people can make use of the content without slowing load times but still look at the pictures if they like. Keep in mind, not everyone on your site is doing it from a high speed connection with unlimited bandwidth. Some are on phones, tables, fiber optic to dial up and bandwidth restrictions. Placing the photos as an option rather than a requirement gives them the option to view should they see fit. I do have a a picture or two on many pages but the bulk are offloaded to other pages.
Oh, don’t forget to set up your own sister sites on places like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram … well you get the picture. Different audiences have their own preferred means of socializing but they still like to travel.
More on this later, I post as I learn.