The Ultimate Travel Blogger's Toolkit

Having the right tools for the job can go a long way when it comes to growing and maintaining your travel blog. Not only can they save you a heck of a lot of time, but the right tools from the get-go can really save you money switching in the future. Today I wanted to share with you the best tools I have come across in my 2+ years of travel blogging, what they do and how they can save you time and money to better spend on other things. These form the ultimate travel blogger's toolkit. 

Hosting

Bluehost

For me, the best hosting you can have for your domain is one that is reliable, recommended my others in the industry and provides 24/7 support for when shiz goes down. Since I started my blog, I have had my domain hosting through Bluehost and I have never had any issues at all. The other great thing is that they have a one-click install feature for Wordpress so you can kill two birds with one stone.

Plugins

Backup Buddy - Similar to your computer files, you must backup your blog files otherwise you risk losing everything. 

Essential Grid - Essential Grid is a plugin I use for my travel blogger's resource library. The resource library is a great incentive for people to subscribe to my blog so essential grid makes this easy by creating grid layouts with all of the library files.

Yoast SEO - Improve the SEO (search-engine optimization) of your website with this great tool. Each time you write a blog post, Yoast SEO makes suggestions on how you could easily improve the SEO.

Disqus Comment System - The best way to keep a track of comments on your blog posts and prevent spam.

Scheduling

Hootsuite

Let's face it! You want to be consistent but scheduling your social media posts takes up the bulk of your time. A social media scheduler is so important if you want to save time with your blog and spend more of your time actually creating content. Hootsuite is a great scheduling tool which allows you to connect your social media accounts, batch your posts, set and forget. The free plan lets you connect up to 3 social profiles and gives you access to basic analytics to keep a track of how your social followings are coming along. The paid upgrade also offers some great features with up to 10 social profiles (if you're a social media addict like me), real-time analytics and auto-scheduling making like oh so much easier. 

Board Booster

Board Booster is a lifesaver when it comes to scheduling pins to Pinterest. Unlike other scheduling tools, Board Booster allows you to drip out a certain amount of pins each day to specific board and group boards. Another great feature is you can set up looping so your old pins get repinned making them fresh in peoples' minds again. Then, the least popular of the two gets deleted. If you haven't yet discovered the power of Pinterest for your travel blog traffic then you are missing out. You can read more about why you should be on Pinterest here. And if you're still not convinced then why don't you pre-register your interest for my Passport to Pinterest course to be released in March where I am going to show you how to triple you traffic on auto-pilot.

Boosting Your Email List

Active Campaign

To build your email list, you first need a reliable and effective email service provider. I started off with Mailchimp and whilst I recommended it for beginners to travel blogging, it really isn't the best option for you if you want to get serious about growing and promoting to your email list. Active Campaign offers many of the same features as more popular email service providers such as Convert Kit or Infusion Soft but for half the price. You can set up automations, tags and various lists on Active Campaign so easily. Looking back, I wish I had started with Active Campaign in the first place. 

Leadpages

I love Leadpages! Leadpages is software that helps you turn leads into subscribers like that. I originally signed up for a free trial but I was so impressed by how easy it was to use and how easy you can grow your email list with Leadpages that I never cancelled my subscription. The two main options in Leadpages are leadpages and leadboxes. Leadpages are stand alone pages where your potential subscribers enter their details and get added to your email list. Leadboxes are pop ups you can connect to links, pictures, buttons etc. When you click on the trigger, the leadbox pops up and they enter their details.

You can easily connect your Active Campaign account to capture your subscribers details. The best part about Leadpages is you can use high-converting templates, just add your personal touches and BOOM! you've got a landing page ready to grow your list. This is the number one tool I use to grow my email list like crazy!

Inspiration

Lonely Planet's Guide to Travel Photography 

I don't know about you but I'm not a great photographer naturally so this book gave me so many great tips for improving my photography skills (or lack thereof). Improving your graphics can go a long way when promoting your blog posts on social media, especially in this ever-increasingly visual world.

Travel Writing 2.0: Earning Money From Your Travels in the New Media Landscape

Learning how to be good at travel writing is one thing, but how to actually promote and pitch your writing in this increasingly digital world is another. This is a great book for learning the basics and applying those skills to your blog.

 

Learning Resources

Travel Blog Bootcamp

A FREE 8 day email course designed to get you ready to launch your travel blog from scratch. We talk about the myths of travel blogging, the mistakes I've made and exactly what you can do to establish your ideal reader and niche.

Travel Blog 101

Launch your unique, beautifully-designed and valuable travel blog in just 30 days. Learn the basics, tech and promotion techniques to set the foundation for a successful and profitable travel blog.

 

Community

Facebook Group - Come and join our Travel Blog Squad Facebook group and get to know your fellow blogger. Share your struggles, wins and questions in the daily threads. 

Affiliate Disclosure: I am grateful to be of service and bring you content free of charge. In order to do this, please note that when you click links and purchase items, in most (not all) cases I will receive a referral commission. Your support in purchasing through these links enables me to keep information free and accessible to empower more people worldwide to launch and grow their travel blogs. Thank you! :)

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Sally Cochrane

Sally is a Brisvegas (Brisbane, Australia) born travel blogger and founder of Travel Blog Squad, an online community for travel bloggers. Among many other experiences, she has skied down the Austrian Alps on Christmas day, gone for a ride in an army tank through the mud in Slovakia, woken up before dawn to see the sunrise over Angkor Wat and attended university in Mexico. Hola! Her non-travel-related interests include tea (of any and every kind), TED Talks and running at her local Parkrun.