Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Monetising my travel blog with a long list of tasks (and a stats update)

Well, it seems that there are plenty of you out there keen to see how my journey to monetise my travel blog goes, judging by the feedback I got to my first post inviting you along for the monetisation ride. I wasn't planning to update monthly (more likely quarterly) but since I have other relevant stuff to mention I decided I would this month - and we'll see how we go from here on in! If I have exciting enough news, I guess I will report in more often!

Why my blog traffic rose in February

Here are the stats for the second chunk of the year - following straight on from what I showed last time.

Not A Ballerina traffic statistics - all looking better since last time
Now there's nothing majorly spectacular to report except that everything is going up. Visits, uniques and pageviews have all risen somewhere around the 40% mark. This, of course, would be super-exciting if I thought it would be a continuing trend every month, but remember that I had a blogging break in January so much of this is the result of simply blogging. (Oh yeah. Big reminder to self. Important to blog consistently!)

I have also tried to be a bit more regular with my social media promotion across all the major platforms but I am still struggling with having so few working hours now that my son's at school (much shorter hours than daycare!) and I've been teaching UWA Extension courses left, right and centre.

But still, it is much better than the traffic going down, and next month when I'll have been blogging and promoting a bit more consisently should be more telling and hopefully a bigger cause for optimism.

What I'm planning to do to improve my blog traffic in 2014

Oh goodness, what am I not planning to do? I have a rather long list. Some of it is stuff I have known about forever and only half-heartedly done. Some of it is new ideas. Some of it is quick stuff, some of it time-consuming. If my life was my blog, I'd have done it all by now but this blog gets worked on around the corners and edges of a rather full life, and that's OK.

Anyway, there's nothing magical or secret about some of the plans I have. In the hope that it might give you some ideas (or inspire you to tell me other things I should do), here's my list, or at least the "so far" list as I keep adding to it. (In no particular order, I might add.)
  1. Make an editorial calendar and stick to it with minimum of 2 posts per week (this is working so far, yippee)
  2. Create a giveaway for those who sign up to my newsletter list (part way there, watch this space!)
  3. Work on an income-producing product (ebook of some kind)
  4. Create more postcards for good posts (especially for Pinterest but for promotion in general)

    Example of a Not A Ballerina postcard
  5. Update more of the old posts into the new categories (necessary after a revamp of direction/topic/theme from a year or so ago)
  6. Pin more of the archived posts to Pinterest
  7. Add "Tweet this" links into some of the best/most popular posts
  8. Schedule promotion (Twitter, Facebook, etc) for good archives
  9. List and contact more potential advertisers
  10. Follow up for more work with previous PR/sponsors/etc
  11. Do some guest posting
  12. Increase frequency of Instagram posts from blog (I've started this lately with Schedugr.am which allows me to schedule Instagram posts for the middle of my night, which is the time when the largest part of my travel blog's audience - North Americans - are online, thanks to the time difference)
  13. Look at the pages (eg Country Guides) and re-do, revamp, delete, optimise
  14. Create an editorial calendar for the newsletter and ensure it is always sent on time
  15. Look at travel blogger groups on LinkedIn
  16. Update my media kit (great tips from Brand Meets Blog post)
  17. Add headlines and other SEO-related optimisations
  18. Continue to comment on the other travel blogs I feel are closest to my niche (something I do regularly at the moment but should still be on the list)
  19. Continue refining my ideal customer profiles
  20. Transfer the blog from Blogger to Wordpress
Phew. That's it for now.

What about you? Is there something on this list you want to do straight away? Or do you have any suggestions for me?


36 comments:

  1. What great results so far and an impressive To Do list. A hugely useful post. I too have lots of those things to do too, but never quite get round to them. Now I'm motivated again. I've found that commenting on other blogs, particularly those with the Comment Luv plug in helps drive traffic to my sites too, as does good but basic SEO using a Wordpress plug in by Yoast.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh you're right I should include commenting on other blogs on the list, it's something I do regularly each week but to keep the list complete it needs to be there - thanks Jo!

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  2. As newbies to blogging, this is all really helpful advice. We are still at the editorial calendar stage but your tips will be useful as we move on from the basics!

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    Replies
    1. Absolutely Ginny - it's certainly not a do-it-all-now list, not even for me! I'm so looking forward to seeing how your blog develops over time.

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  3. Valuable tips. Great info about how to improve travel blog traffic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Journey Cook, glad to be of use.

      Delete
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