Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe it’s 2017, right?
We’re excited for the start to a new year: everyone is working on content calendars and analyzing stats from last year. We – like you – have set goals to make the TBS blog (and our own blogs) even more successful in 2017!
To help you achieve that success, here are some travel blogging resolutions we recommend focusing on, along with contributions from our community who have shared their goals for the new year. Let us know which one you’re committed to in the comments.
Improve Your Writing & Story-Telling
The process of improving your writing and story-telling on your blog is never-ending – it’s like making the resolution to “be a better person.” It may seem hard to define or “complete” a resolution like this, but that doesn’t mean you should skip setting it as your goal!
There are certain elements of good travel writing and captivating stories – and you can learn how to incorporate them into the stories you tell. Our Travel Writing for Bloggers course was released in mid-2016, and can help you get started achieving this goal.
“My New Year’s Resolution is to focus more on the writing side of travel blogging and not focus as much on the website, traffic, and social media side. I’ve already stocked up on some books and plan on working my way (finally) through the TBS Travel Writing for Bloggers Course.” — Mary of Calculated Traveler
Stick to a Posting Schedule
We know – this is one of the hardest resolutions to achieve. It’s like saying “I’m going to go to the gym every day!” in travel blogging.
Having a schedule for your posts is important for several reasons, most of which you probably already know. With a consistent posting schedule, you can manage your time better – and your readers can know when to expect new stories. You can keep brands and partners updated as to when they can expect blog posts to be delivered, and you can automate social media with tools like CoSchedule.
Unlike a few years ago, you don’t need to post five times per week to achieve blogging success – all you need to do is write high quality content on a regular basis (1-2x per week is enough!). Start by setting a schedule and aiming to stick to it for January. If you succeed, set the same goal for February. Before you know it, you’ll have a consistent habit for publishing all year long!
“I would love to improve my photography and videography. and be constantly writing 2 posts a week. Furthermore, my blog still needs a lot of improvements! Talking about social media, I will try to boost Pinterest and Twitter. I would also like to earn a little money, enough to cover travel expenses.One of the biggest challenges will be keeping the cost down.” — Stefano of The Travel Bakery
Optimize Your SEO Efforts
Many of us bloggers try to do SEO, but haven’t invested the time and effort to really make it effective for driving traffic to our blogs.
If you are looking to learn more about SEO, be sure to check out our recent post about SEO simplified, re-read the lessons about SEO in the Fundamentals of Travel Blogging course, and subscribe to a high-value SEO blog like Moz.
Once you understand SEO, start testing a new SEO strategy each season. January through March, you might try updating and optimizing old blog posts; in April through June, you might map out and write stories to become an expert in the eyes of Google. SEO is something you should focus on each time you write, but it can (and should) also be a bigger, year-long blogging goal.
“2016 was the year to break the mold, jump out of the square box of routines. We didn’t always travel the easy way or the smart way, so for 2017 our resolution is to explore our victories, our painful miscalculations and to grow our travel blog to inspire a new wave of travelers.” — Dan Conerd of Global Giraffe
Add Video to Your Blog Posts
We mentioned this in our goal-setting post for 2016: video is a major part of the future of travel blogging. Did you start adding it to your strategy yet?
While shooting and producing videos can be time consuming, more readers (or should we say “viewers”) are eager to see and hear about your experiences – in your own voice and perspective. Video helps you do this!
Social media channels like Instagram and Facebook are also encouraging videos through preferential treatment in their “news feed algorithms.” You may get great reach from a video about a destination, whereas a written blog post won’t perform nearly as well.
We’ll say it again: 2017 is the year you should add video to your blog!
(Need help to get started? We have a course for that!)
“In 2017, I will continue to focus more and more on travel photography. I plan to write a guest post or contribute to a collaboative post at least once each week. This can be everything from photo essays to photography tips and articles about great destinations for photography. Doing so, I hope to extend my travel blogging network, which should lead to more partnership opportunities, photo sales and followers as the year progresses.” — Bram Reusen of Travel. Experience. Live.
Keep Your Readers in Focus
As you work on other resolutions for your travel blog this year, there’s one more you should consider: how you can keep your readers coming back time and again.
Returning readers are the heart and soul of your blog. They connect with your stories and love your perspective. If you forget to focus on your readers, you may lose those connections (and the traffic they bring!).
To keep your readers in mind as you plan blog posts and stories, consider sending out a “reader survey” a few times per year. Ask your readers which stories they most enjoyed – and which they want to read. Ask them what they want to know about the places you visit (or plan to). Then, make your 2017 content plan (using your new posting schedule) to keep your readers happy.
“My biggest goal for Our Escape Clause in 2017 is to grow quality traffic and start working with companies. Both of these goals require elevating my authority, and to accomplish that I plan to guest post and dip my toes into freelance writing–both things that I’ve been too nervous to do in 2016.” — Kate of Our Escape Clause
Good luck in 2017! Have you set any other resolutions for your travel blog this year?