Well my friend, today I wanted to share the 3 biggest mistakes you're probably making when it comes to your travel blog, the ones I made in the beginning stages of my blog and the ones I wish someone had told me about right from the get-go. But don't worry! Because even if you are making these mistakes, it is never too late to make changes and improvements to your blog. After all, consistent and continual tweaks are what will make your blog successful in the long run.
TRAVEL BLOGGING MISTAKE #1 - Focusing on Social Media Instead of Your Email List
Ok, so this was a big one for me in the beginning because I focused a lot, I mean a lot on my Instagram account and my following there. I get it, because each new follow is like a little confidence boost but it is kind of like a fake confidence boost. Sure, you get that instant gratification of someone following your account and having a large number of followers means you must be doing some right, right?! I figured out way too late that I should be focusing on my email list instead of my social media followers and there's a few reasons why:
Firstly, having someone's email address is having a direct line of communication to them. Sure, you can post on social media in the hope that your followers will see it, but often posts just get caught up in the news feed or (in the case of the new algorithms) don't even show to half of your followers. With emails, they go straight into your subscriber's inboxes.
Secondly, you own your email list. You don't own your social media followers. This is so important because think about all the effort you put in to growing your followers. If your account is hacked, deleted or suspended where do those followers go? The same goes for social media platforms that get fazed out and this brings me to my next point.
Thirdly, email has been pretty consistent since the creation of the internet as the most reliable form of communication. Social media fads come and go but email remains. Remember, there was MySpace, then there was Facebook, then Instagram and now its Snapchat and Periscope.
I talk about the importance of growing and cultivating your email list in the Travel Blog 101 course and how your email list = dollars in your pocket if you nurture it right. I talk about the particular strategies I have used to grow my email list including content upgrades and guest posting and how you can do it too.
TRAVEL BLOGGING MISTAKE #2 - Inconsistent Branding
Inconsistent branding is another travel blogging mistake you are probably making, especially if you are still finding your voice and establishing your travel blog. I find this is something I struggle with even today and something that if done wrong can really affect your readership. Your brand must be consistent in its design and graphics, its fonts and style guide and in its voice in order to be recognisable by your readers and in order to look professional. If your travel blog is not consistent, it will struggle to get readers to hang around and stay loyal.
In the Travel Blog 101 course we do a whole section on branding because it is just so important not to make this travel blogging mistake, including clearly defining your niche and exploring design elements such as colours and font. We also focus on how to centre in on your unique brand voice.
TRAVEL BLOGGING MISTAKE #3 - Trying to Do It Alone
For the travel blogger just starting out, or even in their first year or two of blogging, trying to do it all alone can be both overwhelming and can actually hinder your success. Now this can apply to two areas:
1) Not having a community surrounding you that offers mutual support and masterminding when you need to ask a specific question related to the travel blogging industry. This support is crucial because it helps with creativity, encouragement and the promotion of your blog. Joining Facebook groups or other communities can be a great way to get the support you need without having to physically go out and network. This is why I made a point to start our own Facebook group for Travel Blog Squad. Anytime you are in a learning situation, it is vital to have the support of a community behind you so you can give it all you've got!
2) Delegating your work is a must if you are going to stay sane (and especially if you still work full-time also). You may not have a ton of money right now to invest in your blog, but even delegating little things such as your logo design or email templates could make a huge difference. Think about the things that take you the most time to complete and about how you could either delegate these or see if there is a course or product that could help you get there faster, for example, a social media scheduling tool.
Are you making any of these mistakes with your blog at the moment? Comment below and let me know.
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