Drive More Traffic To Your Travel Blog: How I’ve Grown To 75k Page Views a Month
Getting more traffic is one of the biggest struggles for bloggers in all niches. But for travel bloggers, in particular, it can prove even more challenging. That’s why I’m breaking down how to increase your travel blog traffic based on my experience. I want to help you avoid the mistakes I’ve made and fast track your traffic growth.
Why is it so hard to drive traffic to your travel blog? First, there are a gazillion travel blogs out there and new ones popping up every day. This niche is becoming increasingly competitive. Then you have to take into account that travel is a luxury. There’s a higher demand for content on to how to lose 20 pounds than how to pack a carry-on. Take a look at the chart blog that breaks down the market value and traffic potential in different niches.
That said, you can still drive traffic to your travel blog by focusing on the right tactics. In this post, I’m breaking down the steps I’ve taken to grow my blog traffic to 75k page views. As I write this, my blog is 22 months old and I’ve seen the fastest growth in traffic over the last six months.
My Traffic Journey
Before I jump into the strategies I’ve used to grow my traffic, I think it’s important to talk about the path I’ve followed to get here and the mistakes I’ve made along the way. When I started my blog in September 2017, traffic was a complete mystery to me so I did what other bloggers were doing:
- Participating in Facebook share threads almost every day
- Leaving comments on other blogs
- Sharing my blog posts on Twitter and Instagram
Those methods didn’t work. In December 2017, I got a whopping 42 page views. I put so much work into writing and promotion and had nothing to show for it!
When 2018 came around, I decided that something had to change. That’s when I started researching traffic growth strategies. As I implemented the strategies, I gradually saw my traffic rise. In six months, my traffic grew by 525%. These are the important changes I made to my traffic strategy to experience the growth I did.
I made getting more traffic my number one priority
As bloggers, we have so many tasks to get done. It can be difficult to prioritize what to focus on. Should you grow your social media? Grow your email list? Pitch guest posts? It can be so overwhelming.
That’s why I went back to the basics. Why did I start this blog and what do I want to accomplish? I realized that my blog is my primary platform to communicate my message with the world. My email list and my social media are also important, but they are supplementary tools. And my ability to grow other areas of my business depends on my traffic. If you want to pitch tourism boards, they’re going to want to know how many page views you’re getting. If you want to qualify for ad networks, your traffic matters, too. Traffic is the lifeblood of any successful blog.
Within this in mind, I decided to make growing my traffic my top priority. Everything else – from getting more social media followers to landing brand deals – was secondary. With laser focus, I started researching traffic growth strategies and came up with a plan.
I dropped low ROI activities
Part of my traffic growth plan was to stop doing activities with a low return on investment (ROI). I stopped participating in Facebook share threads and commenting on other blogs. For the amount of effort it takes to do these activities, the traffic I got in return was abysmal. I used to spend 2-3 hours a day Facebook book share threads and get maybe 50 page views from all that work. Was it worth the time? Absolutely not. There are several reasons why you should not Facebook share threads if you’re serious about growing your traffic. There are much more effective ways to grow your traffic, and I’ll go over them.
I paid more attention to what my audience wants
One of the biggest mistakes I made at the beginning of my blogging career was writing for myself instead of my audience. I didn’t even know whom I was writing for. I talked about my travels, focusing on whatever I thought was interesting. Unsurprisingly, no one was reading my content.
That’s why I decided to get to know my readers. On a group trip to Colombia, I met some female travelers who seemed to fit my ideal reader profile. After the trip, I conducted 15-20 minute informational interviews with five of them to get to know the blogs they read, the type of content they find helpful, and their pain points. Secondly, I started to review my Google Analytics reports to see what posts were getting the most traffic. I used that information to decide on new topics to write about. For instance, I noticed that most of my top posts were about Spain and particularly Barcelona. As a result, I wrote more about Spain.
I wrote travel series based on my top content
Last summer, I came across an article about writing more posts in a set period of time to grow your traffic. Instead of coming up with posts about different topics, you can choose a theme and write a series of posts about it within a given time.
I tried this method, writing a 10-part series about Spain called the ‘Spain Bucketlist Series.’ Within two months, my traffic nearly doubled! I tried this again with my ‘Barcelona Travel Series’ and my traffic more than double within two months. Currently, I’m working on my ‘Madrid Travel Series’ and can’t wait to see how the results compare to the previous two series.
I focused on building a Pinterest strategy
Google is the largest search engine and the top source of traffic for a lot of blogs. The only issue is that it takes time, anywhere from 9 to 24 months, for Google to trust your site and start showing your posts in search results. You need to build up your domain authority, a measure of how much Google trusts your site, by getting other websites to link to your blog and using keywords strategically. This is what we call Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The higher your domain authority, the easier it is for your blog to rank on the first page of Google. Building your domain authority, however, is a long and time-consuming.
That’s why I turned to another search called Pinterest. This platform has the biggest game-changer for me in growing my traffic, and I’ve written a comprehensive guide to Pinterest for travel bloggers. Pinterest levels the playing field for bloggers because it doesn’t care about your domain authority. A brand new blog can get traffic from Pinterest from day one. In fact, a blogger I follow, Paul Scrivens, was able to drive 400,000 page views to his 2-month old blog using Pinterest.
My Pinterest strategy consists of actively promoting my top 10 posts using manual pinning and automating my pinning for other posts using the Tailwind scheduler. Pinterest consistently sends me around 35k page views a month. The best part is that I only spend about 2-3 hours a week maintaining my Pinterest strategy.
I optimized my posts for Google
I mentioned that it takes time for Google to trust your site. That means that even if you use the right keywords in your posts, it may take some time for you to rank on the first page of Google. Still, it’s important to optimize your posts for Google. My strategy has been to optimize my posts for Google based on keyword research and promote them heavily on Pinterest. It took around 19 months for me to see the results of my SEO work, but my Google traffic almost doubled within the span of weeks. I’m a big fan of Pinterest, but I still believe you can’t beat targeted traffic from Google. It’s still the best and most reliable source of traffic because, unlike Pinterest, you don’t have to work create new pins and promote your posts. You need to optimize your posts for keywords and build backlinks to grow your domain authority. It takes time and effort, but the work pays off.
If you want to learn how to get started with SEO, there’s a free course called the 5-Day SEO Bootcamp that I highly recommend.
I spent more time promoting my content
In the past, I would write a post, share it on a Facebook thread, tweet it, and post it on Instagram. Just once. Then I’d wait for the traffic to roll in and…crickets. You don’t need to share your posts on social media over and over because, again, the ROI from doing that isn’t great. What I’ve done is share my posts on social media once I publish them – just once. Then I create multiple pins for the post to share on Pinterest. Of course, this is what I’ve found works for me. If you have an engaged Instagram following, then you could reshare the same posts every few months.
I’ve found that the return on investment for Pinterest is far higher than any other social network. In fact, Pinterest accounts for almost 99% of my social traffic. That’s why I focus my energy on promoting my content on Pinterest.
Every month, I check Google Analytics to see how my posts are performing on Pinterest compared to the previous month. You can find this information by going to Acquisition>Social>Network Referrals. Select Pinterest. Then on the next page, go to the top right corner where you can choose the dates. Choose a period of one month. Then click the button that says ‘Compare to.’ Select ‘previous period’. This will show you the performance of your posts on Pinterest compared to the previous month. Based on that information, I create new pins for my posts that are lagging behind and share them on Pinterest.
There you have it – the steps I took to drive 75,000 page views to this blog every month. I know traffic can be such a challenge, but I promise you that if you really focus, you can achieve your traffic goals. Before, I thought 25,000 page views was far off, let alone 75,000. But, whatever the number is you’re aiming for, it’s possible!
What’s the most challenging part of driving traffic to your travel blog? Comment below.
Want to learn more about how I drive traffic to my travel blog with Pinterest? I’ve written a 125-page ebook that breaks down the strategies I use to drive 40k page views to my blog.
Click here to learn more about Pinterest Traffic Takeoff
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