Six months into 2018, I’ve been very happy with the progress this old travel blog has made so far this year. There are a few reasons behind the improvements. For one thing, visiting 17 countries in one year is very helpful in terms of travel blog content! Keep reading to learn the other reasons, as I share my top blogging tips for 2018.
Making Pinterest a priority
Firstly, I had previously read several other blog posts, from all different genres, mentioning the power of Pinterest. From looking at my site statistics, the majority of my daily traffic is from search engines and Pinterest. So to keep improving my blog traffic, I continued to focus on Pinterest and SEO.
I decided to invest in Tailwind, a Pinterest scheduling platform. I probably spend about an hour every week scheduling Hayley on Holiday pins, as well as pins from other travel bloggers. Tailwind also recently established a Tribes tab. I liken Pinterest Tribes to more collaborative group boards, where you usually have to share 2 pins for every 1 you pin to the Tribe. Finding Tribes specific to your niche just adds another sharing element to your strategy.
I also realised you never know what pins will get the most traffic. At the moment, I am getting a lot of daily blog traffic on my things to do in Portland post from a few years ago, and my recent post on the best cities to visit alone in the US.
Tailwind is a very cost-effective way to grow your blog. I also have a referral link to share, which allows you to experience a free month of Tailwind Plus. This is what I use and highly recommend.
Completing the Blog Boost course
I knew I wanted to invest in a blogging course this year. The thing is, there are SO many courses out there, focused on growing travel blogs, fashion blogs, you name it. But then I received an email from Rachel of The Department of Wandering, regarding the launch of her Blog Boost course. I was one of the first people to complete the course through a Beta program and I am so glad I took the time to do it (even if juggling this with four jobs was intense).
Rachel was very hands-on, always responding to discussion posts and answering questions in the weekly Facebook Lives. Personally, it also felt good supporting a blogger I had been following for years, and learning tips from a fellow travel blogger. Here’s a taste of what I learned through the Blog Boost course.
Focusing on my niche and reader
I found it very helpful zoning in on my ideal reader, as it made me shift my attention. Although Hayley on Holiday is a travel blog, I realised I wanted to focus on being a resource for other females wanting to travel solo; hence the influx of solo travel posts over here lately. From messages I’ve received from readers, this is the area where I can be most resourceful. I will always publish an assortment of travel posts, but I believe my solo travel and expat experience will be the dominating theme.
It’s all in the keywords
Guys, Rachel dives deep into SEO. Although I think I have quite a good SEO knowledge right now, I learned a lot about the importance of keywords. Rachel takes you through using both Google’s Keyword Planner and the paid tool, Keysearch. This is one tool I know I will continue to use in every. single. blog. post.
The official launch of Blog Boost is happening next week on the 2nd July. So if you want to spend eight weeks learning the most useful tips from a pro blogger, don’t wait. I guarantee this course will help you and your blog grow.
Deleting old posts
This is a continual process, but recently I’ve been deleting old posts that don’t really serve any purpose. I’ve also updated a lot of old posts with improved images and new pins (to you know, schedule on Tailwind). It’s also been worthwhile for me, as I’ve been able to see gaps in my content, particularly when it comes to the past cities I’ve called home.
Increasing affiliate links
Although I really only earn enough through my affiliate links (for now) to pay for maintaining this website, it’s minimal effort to include affiliate links in different blog posts. For example, I’ve started linking to all hostels through Hostelworld, and including day trip options with Viator and Get Your Guide. It can only go up, right?
These are the main things I’ve done so far in 2018 to grow my travel blog. It’s a slow process, but I still love blogging and the opportunities Hayley on Holiday has given me around the world. I know it’s just going to get bigger and better. Maybe I’ll do another review at the end of the year?
Do you have a travel blog or are a fellow blogger? What has helped you improve this year?
I’m an affiliate for Blog Boost, but I wouldn’t recommend the course unless I found it to be very informative and useful.