Editor’s note: This is part five of my series on becoming a successful travel blogger. Here’s the first one, the second one, the third one and the fourth one. I’ll have the final installment tomorrow.
You’re missing a key ingredient to your super-successful travel blog: your audience.
Notice that I said “your” audience. Not “an” audience or “the” audience. When you become a travel blogger, you will make a deep connection with your users that goes beyond anything you had in old media. These aren’t simply readers, viewers or listeners; they are members of your extended family.
Earlier in this series, I mentioned that the best bloggers put themselves into their work — all of themselves — and if you want to find your audience, you’ll have to do that, too. Don’t hold back.
It used to be absolutely fine to be an objective, dispassionate observer of the news. But that’s so 20th century. It doesn’t work online, at least not in travel blogging.
Travel blogging is about big personalities and exciting destinations. It’s about oversized, emotionally-charged photos, jaw-dropping destination videos, drop-dead gorgeous women with cameras, handsome guys with Indiana Jones complexes and leather jackets for added authenticity … it’s about being there, and if you’re not there, dreaming about being there. Travel blogging is the most exciting thing you could do, and once you find your passion you’ll connect with your adoring fans.
Alright, I have to make a confession: As someone who deals with consumer issues, I get to mostly watch these beautiful people go on their trips. Occasionally, they let me out of my prison here in Stepford to take a little trip with my family, but I would hardly call most of my travels exciting.
But you … you! You are about to join an elite group of writers and photographers who don’t just dream the dream, they do it. I’m so jealous.
That said, there are ways you can amplify your voice online to attract new followers. Let’s go over them now.
Facebook – This site has become the primary driver of traffic to my site in the last year. I recommend a one-two punch of a personal Facebook page and a “fan” page. Here’s mine. I think Facebook works because it’s all about conversations, which is essentially what a good travel blog is — a conversation.
Twitter – This is my number-two traffic source. Here’s my account, in case you want to follow me (of course you do). Twitter is great for securing instant feedback on your posts and interacting with readers in real time. A few months ago, I dismissed Twitter as yet another social network, but it is the real deal, and it will bring you serious eyeballs.
Google+ – I included this fledgling social network because it shows a lot of promise, and it does deliver visitors to your site. With one hundred billion users — well, that may be something of an exaggeration — Google+ has the potential to send lots of new followers your way. You need to be here, even if there’s not much to see.