How to Promote Your Travel Blog in 2024

It’s never been more difficult for bloggers in any sector to succeed than right now.

As the housing, stock market or travel blogger yourself or for a client, you face stiff competition online.  You’ll need to step it up to become more creative, resourceful and promotional. Because promotion is a key and neglected part of the marketing mix. Without it, your marketing could fail.

You (or your boss/client) might think you’ve generated some outstanding entertaining and emotionally engaging content and that should be enough. Well, you may realize now, it isn’t. The promotional element of the marketing mix is vital to success for a number of reasons. Without promotion, your marketing isn’t complete. You fell just short of the goal line.

Promotion reaches prospects at the right time and place and makes an emotional impact to grab their attention and get your focused message of value presented to them. It’s about reach, timing, impact, clarity, and sincere interest in being their provider. Without promotion, they don’t feel like you want them as your customer/client.

Active Promoters are Rewarded

And Google/Linkedin/Facebook look for websites/accounts that are active, purposeful, rewarding and engaged with audiences. Those who don’t engage nor present new content appear to want to fade away into oblivion. The NOW is more important than ever (what have you done for me lately?). Promotion means you are sincerely in business and it gives FB/Linkedin/Twitter/YouTube/Instagram the signals to be confident to display your link/content.

Promotion is about:

  • reach
  • timing
  • focus
  • sincerity and intent
  • optimizing lead generation

Organic Content Promotion

Whether you have a $100k marketing budget or zero marketing budget, the task is still the same for organic visibility. Yes, you’ll need to create more engaging, valuable, and EATT-validated content. Junk content is being devalued, but never fear, you can revitalize any content piece and enhance its value and potency.

The thought may have crossed your mind that since everything is 100% monetized these days, that your freebie traffic has come to and end. And yes, Google would like to cut off traffic to small blogs and push more traffic to corporate sites. Presumably, their business model is improved by doing those dastardly things.

It Likely is about the Quality of Your Content

Bloggers have to fight back with better quality content and build the most relevant, desirable brand. You are a brand.
Of course, great content with no reach to the right audience will fail. Then you don’t blame it on the content, but rather how you’re not reaching the ideal audience, connecting with the visitor, entertaining and activating them to take action.

Your content quality/relevance/significance still is the number one issue because bad content can’t be promoted well. Leading-edge content does have a way to build its own following. Which means we all need to optimize our best pieces as pillar content and funnel traffic into them. These top core pieces are great brand builders too, lending credibility to everything else you produce.

Without the high-quality content pieces, your promotion will be less fruitful. It can’t be “much ado about nothing.” If your brand and content suck, then you might end up wasting your promotional budget. I’m assuming you’ve nailed the high-quality content challenge and it’s ready to go.

Take a good look at your website and blog posts and have someone knowledgeable and credible in the housing, finance or travel segment critique your blog’s emotional impact and value. Tell them not to hold back — you need honest opinions.
When you’ve established 2 or 3 key blog posts on specific key topics, you’re ready to promote them. Always remember, when visitors arrive, they need to be wowed/engaged with more content of their interest. No one shares or links to a single isolated post. They want to know they’re promoting something of distinctive value.

And several good articles/videos let them know you’re credible and worthy of citation.

Promoting Your Content/Brand Wisely

A good portion of success comes from engaging with others on social media in your niche. The big factor here is — time. You need plenty of time and energy to plug away at social engagement and promotion and develop expertise in it. Yes, influencers as an example have developed expertise in this sort of thing, and it’s a precious asset.

Make more connections with people in your industry/sector and share their posts where possible. Don’t be shy, the more you connect with them, the more promotional potential you have. It’s more points of contact where something might click.  This is the inner circle you need to build and nurture via organic and paid promotion.

And social media isn’t so simple. It does some social skills and savviness to connect with people. Your empathy, sense of humor, vocabulary, experience, and helpfulness all help to make people like you and pay attention to you. Being positive, useful and relevant are social skills too.

Interact With Others Content

Complement them on posts/posts/videos, and ask them thoughtful intriguing questions about their posts or the people in their posts (family, friends, coworkers). Being interested in them helps build more relevance.

Commenting on, then sharing their content via Linkedin, Facebook, Linkedin, YouTube and Instagram with your points (double promotion), helps to build their post’s popularity and visibility, which means your efforts also get seem more. You’re creating heroes which you can tag along with to reach the best people in your sector (their connections and additional reach).

Their popular posts are then recycled, making them even more popular. I’ve done this frequently before and it’s surprising how many people you can get in front of.

What we really need are strong tactics, as opposed to cheap tricks and gimmicks which actually pushes our audience away. That’s the challenge of promotion, to do it professionally and sincerely.

Let’s look at a few promotional tactics now:

Top Tactics for Top Flight Promotion

  1. Blogs on popular topics (people only pay attention to topics they’re interested in, so you’ll need content that touches on their interests. Do your social and keyword research to find those topics that are of big interest). This can be unearthed within a good digital marketing or SEO audit.
  2.  Research popular content on social platforms (using social media management tools including buzzsumo, discover the most popular posts, which get the most likes and shares). Develop your own similar versions on your topics.
  3. Create Impactful visual graphics — create (well-designed, compelling charts, photos, illustrations and infographics) that are fun to consume, and also makes you look more enabled, successful, and powerful.
  4. Boost your posts on Facebook/Linkedin which performed well — Do paid boosts of many of them so you can discover which are of interest and which can generate leads. Use retargeting or provide a list of users you want to reach.
  5. Repost old content/links but with an updated message/title — make them correspond more to something they’re interested in (news, trends) such as a more friendly message than what the media reports (don’t share their negativity).
  6. Update old content  — refurbishing, enhancing, and celebrating old content pieces rekindles old memories and presents info in a new, current light that’s more relevant to them
  7. Share/Celebrate other Bloggers’ material which doesn’t directly compete with yours. Create a select club of “special people” which means you’re one of them. Very often, their best posts are valuable and shareable. You might as well be their biggest fan and get that great content out to big audiences, with your hashtags.
  8. Publish market reports (data) — people want reliable and useful perspectives on various markets such as pricing, popular products/destinations, and so on to help them make better shopping/investment decisions. This can include surveys, polls, research reports and Hard data has credibility.
  9. Create a post or content piece on one specific aspect of a very popular social media post — expand on that most relevant bit with your typical flair.
  10. Publish at the right time — View your social post stats to find out when people are actually seeing them. This is essential to reaching them, as you want to crowd that time span with more material they might find useful.
  11. Be First to report real-time News Stories — jump on the latest news stories first, by using a great title and creating a context for the news story so you have them experiencing it from your point of view.
  12. Top recent news stories — Regurgitate older news stories from the last few weeks or months which they may not know about and incorporate the latest news in your published blog posts to prove your points made.
  13. Read other’s blogs, posts, comments, shares — leave a comment and speak of how you solved a similar problem.
  14. Create polished but valuable YouTube videos — another big budget item that might reach a much bigger audience on YouTube, but also on FB, Instagram,Twitter and Linkedin too. Videos can be included in your blog and shared in newsletters and there’s no denying the multimedia impact.
  15. Use great hashtags — you can use the most popular hashtags of course (#travel, #stockmarket #hotels #homse #realestate) but they’re so competitive, you won’t get many views. Instead, use the hashtag suggestion tools to try words that are more nichey and relevant for your specific audience (e.g., #homesforsaletampa)
  16. Use snazzy, share buttons in your blog posts — remind them that they should share something with their followers. Make them feel empowered and connected.
  17. Pin your most valuable content to the top of your social profiles and top blog post on your blog — these are the first content pieces your connections will see, so it should be most relevant to your goals.
  18. Hold a contest — whether a free book, cash, gift card, tickets, or merchandise, your followers and customers will like to participate. Make it worthwhile and sincere. Chintzy gifts send the opposite message which can damage your long-term credibility. Always be generous.
  19. Product Discounts – offering discounts gets attention from those who are on the fence, and your discount offer is a sharable thing on social media because it’s valuable to someone.
  20. Write content for popular websites — these posts published on major sites ramp up your credibility. Being on the same site as top industry people is powerful. Of course, you’ll need to take your time to create something epic. Lots of work but this can be your most effective tactic because you might leverage the full power of a top site in your industry.

My experience with the promotional part of the marketing mix is that it needs strategy, time, funding, energy and commitment.  Most often, it has none of these. You must create value to share as evidence of your good nature, generosity, expertise, authority and popularity too.  This whole promotional thing comes down to the give and take of life.

In fact, to most business owners, promotion is PPC ads. And PPC ads are quick, painless, and can reach a finely tuned audience or a giant audience across the planet. Yes, advertising is promotion, but it never works alone.

Your content and UVP have to be finely developed to generate the focused impact you need today. Over and over, I repeat that focus creates impact.

With epic-level content and a thorough value-building promotional effort over time, the rewards will accumulate.  And as always, this is something that makes you and your brand stand out from competitors and puts you at the top of the pyramid.

With your new approach, your competition will fade away from consumer’s view and your customers/audience will see only you. That’s when you’ve achieved market leader status and when great financial success appears.

At this point, you need to clear out all the available time you can get, to devote the time, energy and resources needed. It’s always time that gets in the way.

See more on travel marketing, real estate marketing and more here on Gord Collins blog.

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