HOW TO BUILD LINKS FOR YOUR TRAVEL BLOG
If you have been travel blogging for any amount of time, you should be aware of the importance of link building in improving your blog’s performance.
If you rank anywhere below page 1, your content is unlikely to get many visitors from Google. So why not make the effort and get some links to some of your posts that are stuck on Google’s page 2 and 3.
Don’t know how?
Well here are 7 ways to get backlinks that will help you start ranking higher.
- 1 Link Building for Travel Blogs. 7 Ways to Get Great Links…
- 1.1 HOW TO BUILD LINKS FOR YOUR TRAVEL BLOG
- 1.2 GUEST ON TRAVEL PODCASTS
- 1.3 PITCH TO TRAVEL BLOG DIRECTORIES
- 1.4 FIND COLLABORATION OPPORTUNITIES IN FACEBOOK GROUPS
- 1.5 MAKE LINK BUILDING BUDDIES
- 1.6 REVERSE IMAGE SEARCH
- 1.7 3 WAY LINK EXCHANGES
- 1.8 GET LISTED ON BLOGROLL PAGES
- 1.9 SUMMARY
- 1.10 Related Posts
- 1.11 Get In Touch
GUEST ON TRAVEL PODCASTS
Podcast usage is increasing, mostly, due to the fact that you can multitask while listening to them. For example, many people enjoy them while commuting, washing the dishes, doing laundry etc. Podcast fans represent a huge untapped audience and one that is mostly ignored by online content creators.
Not only do very few people create their own podcasts, they rarely pitch to be a guest on other people´s podcasts. This is a big opportunity being missed.
Guesting on podcasts is a lot easier than landing traditional guest posting gigs is. Not to mention the fact that appearing on podcasts has the added benefit of giving you a break from writing.
Here are the top benefits of guesting on podcasts and gaining powerful backlinks:
- You receive tons of traffic just as you would if you wrote a guest post.
- You don’t need to create new content. All you have to do is answer the podcast host’s questions about your expertise (we all have one)
- You get to connect with your audience on a more personal level. They hear your voice and get a glimpse of your personality. This enables you to form a far stronger connection with them than the written word does.
- You get great backlinks, from the show notes, for your homepage and often for any articles you mention.
Getting featured on a travel podcast is a simple 3 step process:
1. Find email address
2. Pitch what you want to talk about
3. Arrive on time for the podcast interview
First, you need to find the email address of the podcast host. You can usually find that information on the “about me” or “contact” page. Or, you can use a free Chrome extension like Voila Norbert or Snov.io. With just one click, these find and show you all of the emails that are connected to a domain.
When using Hunter, you can even type in the name of a person and search for his or her email address.
Next, you need to send him or her a kickass email explaining why they must have you on their podcast.
When writing my emails, I like to leverage the “6 factors of influence” that Robert Cialdini revealed in his book ‘Influence’. For those who don’t know – Cialdini is to the science of modern persuasion what Henry Ford was to automobiles.
Here are the 6 factors:
1. Social Proof
People are more likely to do something if others are doing it too. That is why we like to read Amazon reviews before we buy a product. If an item has a 4 and 5-star rating, aka social proof, we are more inclined to buy it than a recently listed product that has no reviews. Good reviews create a “tried and tested” vibe. To us, positive buyer reviews provide social proof that the product is worth buying.
So how can you include some social proof in your email?
There are lots of ways to do it. For example, you can mention a couple of your recent podcast appearances. Or, perhaps a couple of recent guest posts, a major award you have received, etc. In short, anything that shows you in a good light and relevant for that podcast.
People are hardwired to be consistent, in all areas of their lives. Once they take a decision, they try to make sure all future behaviour is consistent with it.
To make use of this principle, reference a podcast they have already done which talked about a topic that is similar to the one you want to talk about. This helps the website owner to realise that they like the topic, which makes it more likely they will agree to let you revisit the subject as a podcast guest.
This is the simplest influence principle to apply. It is effectively – you scratch my back, I scratch yours.
We tend to return the favors others do for us, even little ones.
Therefore, you could mention one of their podcasts that you shared on Facebook, Twitter etc. Or how you have told your blogger friends about their podcast, something they know helps them to reach more people. Only say this if you really have done it. Honesty really is the best policy.
People listen to people they like and trust. Building trust takes a while. But, you can get them to like you fairly quickly.
Complementing them about their work is a great way to get your likeness meter to climb. When doing so, always be specific and reference something that you genuinely like. For example – “Episode 24 where you talked about health and sanitation was sooo good. I did not know that squatting toilets are common in India and that I would need to carry toilet paper with me while travelling there.” This is way better than using a general comment like “I love your podcast, great work”.
Cheap praise is worse than no praise at all.
The other way to get someone to like you is to be more human. Way too many people write their emails like robots. Often, what they write is void of any emotions and far too formal. They use awful stiff sentences like “ Looking forward to your favourable response”. *Puke*
You really want to let your personality shine through. Write as if you are writing to a friend. Use informal language and avoid the standard things you expect to hear in outreach emails.
People have a tendency to obey figures of authority. All kinds of things can represent authority to us. For example, job titles and uniforms are both signalling mechanisms that indicate authority. You are more likely to take the advice of a dentist for your tooth problem than your aunt’s home remedy if you have just those two opinions.
Using authority in your emails is a tricky one. You can’t say that you have a Ph.D. in travel or that you are the three times backpacking champion.
So, here is what you can do:
Mention the number of years you have doing what you are pitching about. Let’s say you want to talk about making money by selling your travel photography online. You should state the number of years you have been selling your snaps for. Generally speaking, the longer you are involved with something, the more you know about it.
Secondly, you can mention, the kind of results you have achieved, to date. Continuing with our last example about selling pictures, you can mention the money you have made so far or the kind of places your photography has been featured. Even if you have not been doing it for long but have had impressive results, the host will definitely want to have you on his or her podcast.
The shorter the supply of something, the more you want it. That is why sales pages have those “deal ending in” counters. They really do make you take action right then and there.
To be honest, I have not yet found a way to use scarcity in my pitch emails and don’t think it necessarily applies in this instance. You don’t want to sound too pushy so it might be best avoiding this one.
So those are the principles. Here is an example pitch email. It is for “7 things you need to know before you travel to South East Asia”:
To make your job even easier, here is a huge list of travel podcasts you can appear on.
PITCH TO TRAVEL BLOG DIRECTORIES
There are tons of travel websites that selflessly maintain a list of other travel blogs. It is really great to see how supportive the travel blogging community is. Thanks to these lists, thousands of readers find hidden gems and upcoming bloggers can easily get more exposure.
To get listed on these directories, all you have to do is send an email to the blog owner. But before you send the email, carefully go through the fine print mentioned on the page itself.
Some blog owners ask for a link in return for adding your site to their list. Usually, this is a bad deal for you. Sure, you get a link, but it is usually a weak one. However, in return, they get a strong link from an actual blog post on your website. I would suggest that you only email those bloggers which will include your site on their list without asking for anything in return.
To find travel blog directories, just search for the following query in Google – “Travel blog directory”
To save you the trouble, I have compiled a list of the best travel directory sites. Included in the list is the contact details you need.
LINK TO GOOGLE SHEET(Make a copy of it)
Remember to use the email etiquette you learned above when approaching these site owners.
FIND COLLABORATION OPPORTUNITIES IN FACEBOOK GROUPS
Collaboration posts are where the travel blog owner invites other bloggers to contribute content to a topic. For example – a blogger might ask for contributions for an article like “The best places to visit in Paris with children”
All you have to do is send one or two paragraphs to them to contribute to the post on their website. Think of it as a mini guest post. You could perhaps suggest visiting the Eiffel Tower and add something a bit more unusual like the fact the Aquarium has a petting pool or that you can book children’s cooking classes in Paris.
The effort required to contribute to a collab post is way less so, ROI wise, collaboration posts can be an easier approach than guest posts.
Here is a list of facebook groups where you can find collaboration opportunities:
Just search for collab in the search bar and sort by most recent results like this:
MAKE LINK BUILDING BUDDIES
This link building strategy was introduced to me by Glen Allsop, founder of viperchill.com in this post. Basically, you, along with a couple of travel blogging friends, link out to each other’s sites whenever you guest post on a third-parties´ website.
This is how it works:
When you publish a guest post on someone’s site, you not only link to yourself, as normal, you also link to one of your link building buddies. Your link building buddies do the same when they are guest posting on other sites and links to you.
This approach enables you to get way more juice out of your guest blog posting efforts than if you are just getting one link every time you write a guest post.
Don’t overdo this so it looks unnatural though, you should always respect the place you are writing the post for, always writing great content and only including links to resources that add to the content of the post you’ve written.
REVERSE IMAGE SEARCH
Your images are a link-building goldmine. As you know, sourcing good travel pictures takes a ton of time and effort. Understandably, most site owners resort to using other peoples pictures.
If you want to build links using your images, you need to make sure that they are easy to find. To do that, just upload them to Flickr and categorize them under Creative Commons. This step is very important. Categorizing pictures under Creative Commons tells anyone that they are free to use the images if they link to your site along with it. Most people comply with this and link to your site when they use your pictures. There is no other link building tactic as passive as this.
While most people do link to your site, there are always those lazy ones who don’t bother. So, how do we deal with them?
First of all, make sure you only upload your very best pictures. Ones that people are the most likely to use in their posts.
Why not upload everything, you ask?
Well, this is because you will be using Google Reverse Image Search to find out which sites have ended up using your images and check you have got the requested link. Therefore, you really do not want too long a list of photos to wade through.
After you find the sites that are using your images and not linking to you, all you have to do is email the site owner and ask for the accreditation link. Nine out of 10 times, you will get your well-deserved link.
3 WAY LINK EXCHANGES
A three-way link exchange looks something like this – Travel blogger A links to Travel blogger B. Travel blogger B links to C and Travel blogger C links to A. This is a crazy effective way to build great backlinks and help others at the same time.
Three-way exchanges are better than two-way ones. This is because two-way exchanges are super easy for Google to detect. In the past, they were heavily used by spammers to manipulate rankings.
However, in my experience even two-way link exchanges are beneficial. Just be careful not to use them too often and do them in a natural way. If you want to be completely safe, just take part in three-way exchanges, which are slightly more difficult to arrange.
The way it works is that someone shares details of an article that they need links for, along with articles on their site that they are happy to link out from. Mentioning your Moz DA is also required. This enables people to decide if they want links from you or not. Usually, people prefer to exchange links with bloggers with a similar DA to theirs.
Bloggers who are interested in an exchange, comment on the post. From there, you add the commenters with whom you wanna exchange links to a group chat and discuss how it will be done.
GET LISTED ON BLOGROLL PAGES
I bet you have at least a dozen friends in the travel blogosphere which you check out, and leave comments with, regularly. Visit them again and see if they have a section similar to “Blogs I follow” or “Blogroll”.
Many blog owners like to share a list of blogs similar to their own or ones that they like, with their readers.
Sending a simple email asking to be included will bag you a solid link. Of course, if you already know the blogger, it will be easier to get the link. Even if you have not talked to the blogger before, you can use the principles shared in the first tactic to write a persuasive email and get your blog mentioned. If your website is similar to theirs it is an even more effective way to build backlinks.
So there you have it people – 7 super effective tactics to get solid links to your travel blog. If you choose just one of these that appeals the most and apply it you’ll undoubtedly see an improvement in performance. If you can develop things over time so you cover many of them then you’re performance will make great strides forward.
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