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4 min read
Content Marketing – My Blogging Journey
Posted in Content & Blogging on 31st March 2017 4:00 pm
My name is Amy Trumpeter, and I am the client services manager at Elephant Digital.
In addition to my full-time role at Elephant Digital, I’m also a travel blogger. I’d love to share my blogging journey with you, along with tips on how to make your blog a success.
Blogging is an important part of content marketing. It can help to drive traffic to your website, improve your SEO rankings and build trust in you and your business.
Two years ago, I started my blogging journey on www.globetrotterguru.com, which was initially a way to record my travels and share them with my family while I was away. I loved doing the photography (which started out on my iPhone 4), and writing travel tips for solo female travellers.
After a few months, I started to see my blog get traction, particularly after I set up the social media accounts for Globetrotter Guru. I would share my posts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus. I would also share blogs on www.stumbleupon.com.
Six months after starting my blog, I secured sponsored accommodation in Marrakech and Ouarzazate through another blogger who I met on Twitter, Joao Leitao.
Once I had secured my first sponsored accommodation, more opportunities started to come my way. That summer, I received sponsored accommodation and sponsored trips in Turkey and Bulgaria.
At this point, I realised that I wanted to become a more serious blogger. I’d heard of many bloggers who were earning money from their blog, through affiliate marketing and Adsense.
I registered with Awin and Adsense to make money from my blog through affiliate marketing and advertising. I also signed up to the online travel blogging course ‘Travel Blog Success’.
From this, I learnt about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), video and developing a niche (specialist area).
My blog became much more personal, and reflected my interests and expertise. It took around a year to develop a writing style that I was happy with, and I started to focus on religious and cultural sites of interest.
I realised that there were a few things that needed to change with my travel blog. I deleted ‘Jetpack’ (a WordPress plugin that monitors statistics) to make my website perform faster.
I was also concerned that the blog name ‘Globetrotter Guru’ was too long for Instagram and Twitter, which caused an inconsistency in my branding (@theglobeguru on Twitter and Instagram because @globetrotterguru was too long!)
12 months into my blogging journey, I registered with TBEX (Travel Bloggers Exchange) for the conference in Stockholm. This was a turning point for me in my blog, because they really hammered home the importance of having a niche.
Essentially, travel blogging as a blog niche was saturated around 10 years ago. The first 50 good travel blogs that were set up gained a good following and plenty of ‘Google juice’. Within a couple of years, however, the ‘generic’ or ‘personality based’ style travel blog had been done to death.
What I learnt from both Travel Blog Success and TBEX is that your blog has to have a niche, because you simply can’t compete with all of the general or solo female travel blogs that already exist on Google.
Following my first TBEX, I started a completely new travel blog www.templeseeker.com.
My newly branded travel blog documents travel with a focus on religious and historical sites. This compliments my degree in Religions and Theology from the University of Manchester.
I applied for Templeseeker as a trademark, and secured @templeseeker across all social media sites, so that the blog branding was consistent throughout, from the very beginning. This is great for social SEO.
Google can recognise this niche or specialism, and means that I can be recognised as an expert in my field. It also means that I’m not competing for the same Google traffic as the thousands of other solo travel bloggers.
So far this year, I have received sponsorship in Italy and Israel, and I am extremely excited about the future of my blog!
If you are interested in starting a blog as a hobby or to create an online income, here are my top blogging tips for newbies…
1. Setup your Blog with a Niche (specialism) and blog regularly.
2. Blog regularly – at least weekly if possible. You will need to blog three times a week or even daily to increase your traffic rapidly.
3. Install the Yoast SEO Wordpress plugin and learn how to use it. Complete your on page SEO on long tail keywords (e.g. instead of restaurants, SEO on the term ‘Vegetarian restaurants in Jerusalem’).
4. Set up Social Media accounts for your blog and share content on social media as soon as it is published. Interact with your audience on social media.
5. Create internal and external links in your articles (linking to your own website and other people’s).
I hope that you have enjoyed the story of my blogging journey, and that it has demonstrated the importance of blogging in your content marketing strategy. There’s a lot to take in here, so if you require further help or information, please do not hesitate to contact me at Elephant Digital.
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