- July 6th 2011
Looking to publish a guest post on the Taking Off Travel Blog? Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions.
What kind of guest posts are you looking for?
We have limited space available for guest posts, but will consider well written, high quality travel guest posts of 600-700 words that are relevant to our key audience. Park Ride Fly USA provides off airport parking mainly for the US business travel market. We give priority to posts from real travel bloggers (as opposed to reps from SEO and marketing firms/online colleges/people looking to link drop etc) or posts that offer something different.
I have an idea; what should I do?
Here are some general guidelines:
1. Search the blog to make sure the topic has not been covered before (or at least not in the same way.)
2. Contact me with your post idea (sharon at parkrideflyusa dot com). We welcome posts from both new and experienced travel bloggers. You don’t need a resume or a long list of previous blogging credits to be considered.
3. If I like your idea, write it up and get it back to me ASAP, and I’ll see if I want to publish it. Please make sure it is error-free before you send it. If I don’t acknowledge it within a couple of days, send me a tweet (@parkrideflyusa) to check that I’ve received it.
4. Include a link to a suitable image to accompany the piece (Creative Commons or public domain, preferably).
5. Provide a two sentence bio with one link to your travel blog.
6. If your post is accepted and published, please reply to any comments on the post and feel free to promote it via social media (I will too).
7. I have final editorial control and may make small edits if I think they are needed. If I need to change anything major, I’ll discuss it with you first.
- June 8th 2011
This is Part 2 of Seven Steps to Setting Up A Successful Travel Blog. If you missed it, here’s Part 1.
Keywords are not the be-all and end-all of good content. In fact, over-emphasis on keywords can make your posts unreadable. However, using the right keywords will help people to find your posts. They are also a useful source of post ideas. Use a free online tools such as the Google Keyword Tool to find keywords that people are searching for in your niche and use these to help you generate content for your new blog. Use keywords in the title, first paragraph and near the end, and maybe a couple of times in the body, but make sure it’s useful and readable rather than getting hung up on keyword numbers.
When you buy products in the supermarket, you’re attracted to the ones that are nicely packaged and appeal to the eye. It’s the same with a blog. Sure, you could keep the default theme, but why would you want your blog to look like thousands of others? There are hundreds of different themes for your blog, many of them free, which will give your blog a visual edge. If you’re stuck for ideas, think about the sites that you find most appealing in your niche and see what theme they are using. Many themes allow you to change colors and fonts so that you can achieve a completely different look. If you’re looking at your blog as a long term investment, you can also consider a premium or custom theme that will include exactly the functionality you need.
When you set up your first blog, you know your friends and family, plus any contacts you’ve made online will visit it at least once. You need to make it easy for them to follow your updates and to share them with others. That means making email subscriptions available, having a prominent RSS feed button and including social sharing buttons with all your posts. Sometimes you will be able to do this with a plugin, while at other times you will need to edit some code. Whichever method you choose, buttons for Twitter and Facebook are a must, and you should also consider Google +1 or a catch all button service such as Add to Any.
Blog conversation is a two-way street. Attract commenters to your blog by including CommentLuv (which links to commenters’ previous posts) or a Top Commentators plugin. And share the love by visiting blogs in your niche and leaving relevant, useful comments. The blog owner will check your blog out and you may make a new online relationship.
These seven steps will give your new travel blog the best chance of success? And if you’re already an experienced travel blogger, what other tips for success would you add?
- June 7th 2011
So you’ve decided to set up a travel blog – congratulations! But before you get carried away with the excitement of your first online venture, there are a few things you should think about before you start.
1. Free Site or Self-Hosted?
It’s never been easier to start up a blog. With Blogger and WordPress.com, as well as other free blogging platforms, you can go to a free site and be up and running in a few minutes. I’ll come to the question of which platform to choose in a minute, but first, here’s why I think it’s best to go self hosted. Think about how you feel when you go to a major site and it doesn’t have its own domain name – instant credibility loss. Do you want that for your new travel blog? I didn’t think so. Spend the money it will take to get a domain name and hosting – it will be well worth it. The exception? If you’re not really committed to the idea, then a free site can make a good playground, but make the move to a self-hosted site once you’re sure that you will stick with it.
2. Which Platform?
Blogger, WordPress or TypePad – there are so many options out there that it’s difficult to know which one to choose. I’ve used all three and definitely have a WordPress bias. WordPress is available with most web hosts, is easy to customize via themes and plugins and since it’s one of the most popular blogging platforms, many people are already familiar with it. And if something should go wrong, you’ll be able to get plenty of help from the many experts out there. Of course, that also applies to the other platforms, but I’ve found WordPress the easiest blogging platform to use and millions of people agree with me.
3. Finding a Niche
Travel is a crowded niche, so you will want to identify an area that makes you stand out from the crowd. What are you bringing to the table that’s different from what’s already out there? Is there something in your background, experience or current life that gives you a competitive edge – or just makes you interesting? And what are you passionate about? Is there something that inspires you enough so that you will be able to keep blogging about it for years? If you can’t answer these questions, think about whether having a travel blog is the right move for you. If you’ve ever read a blog post and thought, I’d do this differently and I’ve got tons of ideas, then maybe you’re onto a good thing.
Check back tomorrow for Part 2 of Seven Steps to Setting Up A Successful Travel Blog. (Photo: salendron)
- April 15th 2011
Blogging during your travels is a great idea. It can keep friends and family updated on your experiences while you are away. And, if you produce a following of online readers you may even be able to make some money from travel blogging. Here are some quick tips for writing your travel blog while on the move.
- A great way to start your travel blog is to make a commitment to write regularly. This means that if you start writing two or three times a week then keep the same schedule. Your readers will expect that from you so commit to your writing once you select the frequency. Remember, this is your way of staying connected with your readers.
- Most of your audience will be reading your blog as a form of entertainment. It’s important that your writing be fun, informative, and positive. Most of your readers will not appreciate any tones of negativity especially if this is time that they’ve taken to read something that supposedly is meant to be enjoyable and entertaining.
- When writing your blog posts try to write them as you would normally speak. Do not try to sound sophisticated or intellectual because it just won’t be authentic, unless of course you do speak in that manner. Just be yourself because readers will be turned off by your writing if they don’t feel that it’s the real you. They want you to share your experiences and the best way that you can convey those experiences is by using your own words.
- Keep your blog posts short and interesting with articles that are related to your traveling experience. If you write long posts on your blog more than likely your readers will be turned off by this. If the subject demands a long post then divided into two or three different posts. Also keep your post on subject without going off on a tangent.
- Write some humor or human interest stories regarding your travels, this always makes for an interesting read. Too much detailed information that the reader can get from an encyclopedia is not what you’re travel blog reader is looking for. Remember this is a form of entertainment and information for your reader so keep them informed, keep it fun, and make it short.
- Another thing is to encourage your readers to participate in your blog and encourage them to participate. This way you can also see which of your articles has been a success. You can use that information to provide your readers with more of what they’re looking for. So, making it an interactive blogging experience is beneficial not only for your readers but also for you.
- While writing on your travel blog it can also be useful to expand your audience by interacting on social networks. This way people can relate to you on a personal level and they can decide to follow you on your travel blog. It is important to be consistent at these sites as well. Be sure to have your updates and tweets all related to your travels.
The previous tips are a good way to begin and maintain a travel blog that will be fun, intriguing, and successful. It is important to always keep your readers in mind, be consistent, have fun, be yourself, and enjoy your travels.
Tom is a keen walking enthusiast who works for Catalan Adventures – a company specialising in Walking holidays in Europe.
- February 28th 2011
I found a lot of great posts to feature in this month’s round up. First up, the inspiring 101 Reasons to Get Off Your Ass and Travel from the Travelated site. Numbers 7 , 42 and 49 really appeal to me, and you’re sure to find a few reasons that appeal to you – or at least make you laugh!
Next, Fox News takes you on a tour of Universal Orlando, including this description: “The Universal resort as a whole treads a line between playful and boisterous, decidedly louder than Disney, but with some unique eye poppers. ”
NomadCouch got a relaunch in February, including a statement of four core principles. Location independence was conspicuously absent. Here’s why: “almost every online business is a location independent business in their own way. If you run a business that has it’s main presence online (meaning, it’s not a brick & mortar kind of business) – it is, ultimately: a location independent business.”