Tips for Travel Bloggers During the Coronavirus Pandemic
It’s a tough time for everyone right now, and us travel bloggers are suffering in ways we could never have predicted before the coronavirus hit. The global pandemic has not only pressed pause on our ability to travel but has also squashed our income streams and halted the growth of the businesses we’ve spent years building.
With the whole world on lockdown, nobody is researching or booking travel. Our travel blogs are, to put it bluntly, flopping – but there is a positive way to look at this.
Between gazing at your Google Analytics dashboard in horror and stuffing your last packet of emergency biscuits into your mouth, try to focus on the things you CAN control.
We can use this period wisely. Personally, I’m trying to view this weird and uncertain time as a gift – albeit an unwanted one. In the absence of brand campaigns and press trips, I have time to work on all of the (admittedly boring) tasks that have needed tackling for a while.
There are things you can do now to help prepare your blog for the surge in travel searches and bookings that are bound to come when the pandemic is beaten, whenever that may be.
Here are a few things you can do during the lockdown to help your travel blog succeed when this is over.
1) Optimise Old Posts
How long have you been blogging? What have you learned in that time? Every blogger cringes at their early work and wishes they could go back and implement all of the strategies and tactics they’ve honed over the years to their old posts. Now is the perfect time to do that!
Look back at your old blog posts and work some magic on them. Give them an SEO makeover, swap the grainy pictures for prettier ones and update the information about the destination. Add affiliate links to help you monetise your content and sprinkle in some relevant links to other blog posts on your website to help Google understand what you blog about.
When the travel bans lift, your old posts will be ready to start working for you again.
2) Give Your Site a Makeover
Nobody is looking at your website right now, so this is the perfect time to work on that redesign you’ve had in mind for the past year. Experiment with a new layout, a change of colour scheme or even just a new header.
If you’re changing your website branding, remember to also create new cover images and logos for your social media channels.
This is a particularly good time to support other self-employed creatives by hiring an expert to redesign your site, if that’s in your current budget.
3) Refresh Your About Page
Ah, the About page: probably one of the most neglected pages on your website. Maybe you set it up when you first started your blog and have barely glanced over it since. Or perhaps – shock horror – you don’t even have an About page?
A concise overview of who you are, who reads your blog and what topics you cover helps readers get to know you better. An About page also makes it easier for brands to work with you. Use the lockdown as an opportunity to create an About page that boldly introduces you and your brand or update the one you currently have.
4) Consider a Side Hustle
Since we don’t know how long the pandemic will last or what state the economy will be in when it’s over, it might be time to think about securing other streams of income.
Many bloggers subsidise their travel blogging income with freelance gigs that make use of the skills they’ve gained from running their own website. You could look for writing jobs, try to secure work as a virtual assistant or start social media consulting. Or perhaps you have another skill from a previous career you could use?
It’s time to get resourceful. Trust me, having additional income streams alleviates some of the pressure!
5) Experiment with New Topics
While some of us crave escapism in the form of travel photography and tales, many feel it’s a bit tone-deaf to publish or promote travel content right now. And, of course, it would be irresponsible for any of us to encourage our followers to take a trip any time soon.
As travel bloggers, that leaves us in a bit of a pickle.
This uncertain time is ripe for introducing new topics to your website. Whether it’s food blogging, photography tips, beauty tutorials or a review of your new sewing kit, branch out and try something new! Your audience might just love it.
6) Remember to Breathe
This will pass. When it does, the world and their dog will be ready to plan their trip of a lifetime. Our travel blogs will be waiting.