My First Year as a Travel Blogger: Why I Learned SEO

March 2022 marks a milestone for me. It’s been one year since I started my blog. Or should I say restarted? Technically, I launched Our Woven Journey with six blog …

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Karee

March 2022 marks a milestone for me. It’s been one year since I started my blog. Or should I say restarted? Technically, I launched Our Woven Journey with six blog posts I’d poured my heart into writing. I posted them precisely two weeks before you-know-what hit the world in March 2020. Not exactly good timing for a newly launched travel blog!

Since all six kids (including our two college kids) and my husband were suddenly home all day competing for wi-fi and making way too much noise, I set my new blog aside and didn’t touch it again for a year.

Fast forward to February 2021, and Rodney and I traveled to Puerto Vallarta for our anniversary. It was such a wonderful trip and it felt so good to be traveling again! I realized while we were there that I was ready to dust off my abandoned blog and begin writing again.

Learning SEO

Even though I didn’t blog that year, I stayed in some of the blogging groups on Facebook. During this time, I started learning more about SEO and keyword research. Wow, am I glad I did!

I took the time to really dig in and learn how to use them to my advantage to grow my traffic organically. By the time I was ready to launch (or relaunch) my blog, I had a pretty good understanding of what I needed to do.

When I started writing again, I used the new techniques I learned (and am still learning!) and applied them to my posts. Instead of writing blog posts about all my favorite things as I had planned to do, I used Keyword research to hone in on the most sought-after aspects of each topic. 

It was a win-win. 

I still get to write about topics that interest me, and visitors to my site come because they are genuinely searching for that information. My traffic has increased far more than it would have, had I tried to grow my blog through social media alone. 

Why is SEO Important?

SEO (which stands for Search Engine Optimization) is based on a complicated algorithm that Google keeps secret. That means you have to understand how to play Google’s game if you want your blog posts to ever see the light of day. It takes a very strategic plan to land on page one, even more so to get in the top three spots when someone searches for your topic.

However, once you understand how it works, a career in blogging can be pretty lucrative. Some bloggers never intend to monetize their sites and don’t worry about learning SEO. Some bloggers work full-time on their site and continue learning through online courses and hiring blogging coaches. Still, others (like me) fall somewhere in between. We’re taking it seriously and monetizing, but it’s not a full-time gig for us.

Other Reasons to Learn SEO

I’ve taken time to learn SEO strategies so I can work on growing my own blog. However, there’s another advantage to knowing how to do it well. Many bloggers either don’t understand or don’t want to spend the time learning how SEO works, but they know it’s important. So much so they’re willing to hire someone else to do it for them. 

Companies also understand the importance of having a solid SEO game. In addition to hiring content strategists, digital marketing assistants, and copywriters, they also hire SEO experts. If you’re a blogger who is strong in SEO strategies, you could work part or even full time performing keyword research and SEO for other bloggers and companies who need help.

What’s Next for my Blog?

As I move forward with my blog, keyword research and SEO will continue to be my top priority. The majority of my posts are on page one of Google for the keywords I’ve chosen. Not only that, but I’ve updated three of those first few blogs I wrote in 2020 using keywords. 

It was quite satisfying to watch them move up in the Google ranks! For instance, when I updated my post on watching the sunset at Haleakala Summit in Maui using specific keywords, it moved from the bottom of page eight to the second spot on page one. How cool is that?

If you have a blog but aren’t focusing on SEO to grow your traffic, I want to encourage you to dig in and learn it. It’s really not hard, and the benefits are so worth it!

Have a question about blogging? Please shoot me an email or leave a comment!

Karee

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