Congratulations, you’re now the proud curator of a travel blog! You’ve spent hours toiling over the perfect layout. Your site is eye-catching and easy to navigate. Your content is top-notch, chock full of your professional expertise and personal experience. Everything your reader could possibly desire, you provide.
Weeks go by. Your traffic statistics are dismal at best, and tragic at worst. Where are all the readers hiding? How will you find them? And after that, how can you make them stay?
Luckily, there are hundreds of individual things you can do to boost the presence of your blog. Furthermore, these things fall into five distinct categories:
You’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: social media is the wave of the future. It can be daunting to sign up for an account on Facebook and Twitter. How can you expect your one little voice to be heard among the millions of others? But the advantage of these networks is clear. By interacting with other people on these websites, you directly appeal to your future audience. You can also interact with already established bloggers writing for the same or similar interests. Potential readers will see your conversations with these familiar voices and become interested in what you have to say on other topics.
One way to strengthen the bonds you form via social media is to exchange links with your networking contacts. This has the added benefit of affirming your social media relationship on your blog, and directing traffic to your actual website. The exchange of links benefits both sides of the relationship. Audiences are a shared commodity, and are eager to read multiple opinions on a given subject. They welcome the chance to click a link you provide. You have done their research for them! Link exchanges also help you to form a community with your peers, enforcing your status as a recognized member of the online community.
Facebook and Twitter aren’t the only sites through which to capitalize on direct interaction with potential readers. Sites such as Tumblr and Pinterest, which specialize in visual media, are ripe for use in the name of developing your travel blog. The visual aspect of travel is one of its strongest draws. By curating an account on Tumblr or Pinterest that accumulates and shares relevant visual media, you not only bolster the content of your site, you entice the eye of your audience.
Once you’ve gotten a reader onto your site, make it easy for them to keep coming back. Put your subscription button in an easily located part of the screen, provide multiple options by which people can subscribe, and include links to your Twitter, Facebook, and RSS feeds. Also ensure that your content can be shared by your readers, so that they can do your social media work for you by broadcasting your content across the net.
While it should go without saying, the most important factor in developing a readership is to provide quality content. Flashy pictures may convince a reader to click onto your blog, but only worthwhile content will make them your loyal audience. Resist the urge to update with fluff. Create worthwhile posts at a steady rate, and your readers will continue to return for the latest updates.