Social Media interactions as a way to success in travel blogging

On: September 11, 2014
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About Agnieszka Walewinder
Independent travel blogger and photographer currently doing a Master's Degree in New Media and Digital Culture at the University of Amsterdam. Social Media expert and SEO geek interested in marketing and PR. Co-founder of eTramping.com and an author of two travel eBooks.

   

Nowadays, blogging is a rapidly evolving form of media. 77% of Internet users read blogs and there are twice as many more bloggers today than there were in the previous year, shows Social Media Today. According to BestWebHostingGeek.com, there are over 152 million blogs on the Internet, many of which are travel blogs (including my own blog called eTramping).

A girl working on her laptop

Working on my social media interactions at Düsseldorf airport, Germany, late June 2014.

For some people, including myself, it is a full-time job. It is not only a way to kick-start a career, it is actually a career on its own.

“Becoming a professional travel blogger has been a dream come true for me in so many ways.  I’ve found a way to get paid for my favorite hobby, and do so while following my dream of traveling the world.”

                – Kate of Adventurous Kate, currently no.10 most successful solo travel blogger according to Nomadic Samuel’s Top 100 Travel Blogs ranking based on Alexa, Moz Domain Authority, Moz Page Authority, SEMRush, Compete and Similar Web (1 September 2014).

However, it turns out that most people who start blogs quit within the first 3 monthsThe questions arise why someone who put the work in, simply give up. Why the majority of travel bloggers, and the blogs they create, fail?

The answer lies in: THE LACK OF SOCIAL MEDIA interactions.

Social media platforms are extremely mighty when it comes to online marketing as they provide you with a direct way to communicate with your audience. As you will quickly notice, most of your traffic comes from Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Blog lovin’ on top of Reddit, StumbleUpon and Pinterest, which are currently the most effective social media platforms in the world of blogging.

eTramping.com - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

An example of social media channels eTramping.com belongs to – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Going further, the most important principle for everyone to understand about creating a social media strategy is that it should not be about you and your blog, but about other people. Joining a particular social media platform to promote your content and gather new visitors is not enough. They should be only used as a tool to:

1. Mainly interact with fellow travellers and travel bloggers, often featuring links to your blog but not always.

2. Keep your readers and followers updated on your recent travel plans and trips (if you’re a travel blogger).

3. Find new blogs to comment on.

4. Get involved in various groups.

Facebook image share

This picture on our Facebook Page has been liked and shared by over 200 people in just 24 hours.

Once you have set up your travel blog, the focus should be on adequate and proper promotion. What I mean by “proper promotion” is not to waste your precious time on creating too much content or constant change of design. You’ll NEVER build a blog that fuels your business if you do not interact with people online. Engagement with other bloggers’ social media platforms and content attracts them and their readers to follow you. How should you interact with people online? Rule no. 1 – less is more. It’s much better and more efficient to focus on one or two social media channels and build your audience daily rather than working a little on all of them at the same time irregularly.

graph

The graph showing that 80% of your blog traffic depends on its promotion. Source: Social Triggers.

Secondly, you need to be consistent. Interact with your followers, Facebook fans and readers daily and make sure you reply to their comments and questions. Engagement is the key to social media community management. Tweet/ update your posts on Facebook/ change status on Google+ on a regular basis. It’s as simple as “you forget to tweet, people forget you”. Comments are extremely important, so get yourself busy with visiting other blogger’s websites and always leave a comment, never forget to share their content. Lastly, focus on the frequency and try to update your social media status regularly. It’s also unprofessional to post a flurry of updates one week and nothing the next. But keep in mind that posting too often can annoy your followers and tarnish your image. It’s a balancing act.

To sum up, in order to become successful in travel blogging, gain audience and increase the number of your visitors, you need to build followership by interacting with others via social media channels. In this way, you can build trust and become recognized in the travel industry.

References:

Kaplan, Andreas M., and Haenlein, Micheal. Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. France: ESCP Europe, 2009. Print.

Gilbert, Eric., and Karahalios, Karrie. Predicting tie strength of with social media. New York: ACM, 2009. Print.

Walewinder, Agness and Krol, Cez. Travel blogging: build audience, improve rankings and earn money. China: eTramping, 2014. Print.

Further reading: 

Baird, Carolyn Heller, and Parasnis, Gautam. From social media to social customer relationship management. United States of America: IBM Corporation, 2011. Vol. 39 Iss: 5, pp. 30-37. Print.

To what extend do you believe that Social Media interactions can guarantee you a success in travel blogging? Share your thoughts in comments.

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