From an unstoppable need to travel, to The Age of Coronavirus, these are testing times for the travel industry. Let’s accept it, the virus will inevitably cripple the tourism sector in the next six months, including the stress on hotels, restaurants, theme parks, tours and other attractions. For those who are running a business which is completely based on tourists as their clients – will need to be patient, or reinvent.
Amid this chaos, is also the “travel blogger” who will face halts in travel plans and will have to relook at content differently. No more can you run a blog on itineraries published post travel; be on the road for sponsored trips; and earn through collaborations without travel. It is obvious that generating content will slow down too. But on the brighter side, as a community we ask, can we finally reinvent through “quality over quantity”?
While we, the travel bloggers, sit back at home and social distance ourselves in quarantine, here are some potential ways in which you can use this time productively to look at your blogs, reflect and renovate.
#1: Re-read your own work
Now that you are home, sit back and read your own blog as a distant reader. Look at your old posts, and reflect on your writing style. Ask yourself how far you have come? Have you improved? Re-judge the quality of your blog and make a list of everything that needs fixing, or rewriting. Take this time to re-read your old posts like an editor and correct the small mistakes, correct your grammar and fix your broken links.
#2: Work on your writing style
If you plunged into travel blogging without having a writing background – this is a good time for you to read up other peoples writing and brush up your writing style. Good journalism is essential for the future of blogging. Not having strict deadlines means you have more time to write, edit, improve and re-write your drafts. Read travel magazines, or popular articles of other travel writers from the past. Make mental or written notes of the vocabulary they used to build one of your own. Look at some writing tutorials and learn how to structure an article effectively.
#3: Update your old articles
Add updated information to your old articles. Delete information that is redundant. The tourism industry changes in a matter of months. Research if new routes/flights to your old destinations were introduced? If new and better hotels were built? If a climate crisis hit the destination and hence document new data. For example, you visited Bali five years ago and since then many new attractions have come up and the old ones are redundant? – Update! update! update!
#4: Clean your old hard-disks and write about your old trips
Look at your old pictures, edit them. Write about your old trips that you never got the time to write down. Most of the content that you need right now, is lying in your own hard disk – so plug it in, clean it, revisit. Launch a new series on your blog if you like. Make an edit plan for yourself and give yourself new deadlines to write and publish more. Remember to “do more”.
#5: Learn a new skill, or a new feature to add to your content
Start looking at travel data. Make infographics on platforms like Piktochart using their free templates. Learn how to use video editing apps to add videos to your articles or social pages. Or learn how to illustrate and make your own visuals on softwares like Photoshop or Procreate. Reinvent your content. There are many free apps and free tools/youtube tutorials to learn these from and now you have the required time too.
#6: Build community and guest blog
Get in touch with other bloggers and get back actively on those blogger support groups. Write for other bloggers, guest post for each other and create collaborative posts with other writers. Work on your back-linking during this time and push to improve your blog stats. Help each other as a blogger community to keep up the organic traffic.
#7: Pitch to other publications
More time at home, means more time to write those article pitches! Research on all the online/print publications that accept writer pitches. Read tutorials on how to write a kick-ass pitch and start emailing different publications. This being a tedious and time consuming process, is often overlooked by many travel bloggers – hence, now is the time to expand your content and get it published elsewhere. Build a wider portfolio and remember that credit lines are everything!
#8: Revamp your website!
#9: Learn your own SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO), as we all know is everything that makes or breaks a website. If you have been outsourcing it all this time – self teach basic SEO to yourself now. Study google analytics, and learn about google Adwords. Update your Metadata and descriptions, and add/delete/update your keywords. More ideas: Get onto HootSuite and learn how to social share effectively as a versatile blogger. Add ‘alt text’ to your images, resize them for the web, and pin them on pinterest.
#10: Design a newsletter for your readers
Newsletters are the best way to achieve successful email marketing and growing your traffic as a travel blogger. However, designing and keeping up with a newsletter needs time and commitment. Learn how to use Mailchimp and experiment with their free templates to start with. Put your old content into new newsletters and re-market them. It’s always good to re-share your old yet best content from time to time!
#11: Read! Read! Read!
Science proves, reading makes your writing better. The more you read your competitors work, articles by other travel writers, travel magazines, journals – the more you will re-energize your brain with new story ideas and polish your travel vocabulary as a blogger. Reading good content is what will truly teach you more, so take this time to read and learn good journalism!