My Journey: Meeting Blog Goals
As we seemingly sprint towards the end of the year, I wanted to give an update on meeting blog goals and how things are going as a travel agent. I occasionally like to write these check-in posts, more for myself than for the world, but if you’re reading… enjoy!
Just to recap, I started this blog nine months ago and this is my 85th post. I started this blog as a way to share my passion for planning all things in life. I desired to help people like me who prefer a checklist of items to make sure they don’t miss a thing.
Meeting Blog Goals
In my last update, I outlined three goals I wanted to work towards for the following three months. For the most part, I think a did a good job of meeting my blog goals for the last quarter.
Promote travel services
In order to better promote myself as a travel agent, I have continued training with different vendors to provide larger variety of options for my clients. I have officially finished training with Disney, Universal, Exoticca, and Norwegian Cruise Line. This allows me to offer help planning family vacations, romantic international excursions, and all-inclusive cruise options.
Additionally, I have been working to share my services more through Facebook, where I post a new travel promo every Sunday. I have had a few people reach out, but no bookings outside of friends and family so far.
80 blog posts
I easily passed 80 blog posts this last quarter and have upwards of 200 potential posts planned out for the future. I try to pick 2-3 categories to focus on each month to make sure I cover each planning topic equally.
This is where my blog was able to really take off these past few months. I had my 10 Make Ahead Freezer Meals go viral on Pinterest, which has greatly increased my blog traffic. I am now averaging 14,000 blog visitors per month.
Having additional viewers coming from Pinterest has also allowed me to grow my audience subscribing to my monthly newsletter. In my newsletter, I provide updates with current blog posts and new travel deals.
I started this blog as a passion for planning that I wanted to share with others. However, I would be lying if I said I didn’t see it as an opportunity for a side hustle as well. As someone who works in television, it has been an unpredictable year with mergers and multiple strikes so I have to look at other forms of income.
The challenge for me has been finding ways to monetize this blog without sacrificing the user experience. I do not want to inundate my readers with annoying emails or a million ads like many other blogs do. I have tried to apply to various affiliate programs that I feel have products that would actually be useful to my readers that I myself use regularly.
My second major challenge has been keeping up with recipes. A large basis of my readers come from the recipe posts I write. I love creating them; however, it takes a lot of time, which can be draining. I am glad that this is is not 100% just a cooking blog.
The fun part of it all has been learning how to take better photographs of all my recipes as everyone says “you eat with your eyes first”. I look back at some of my first pictures and recipes and I just laugh. I hope others can see improvements there as well.
New Blog Goals
A lot of blogs fail in the first year because people get discouraged and stop writing. 100 posts has always been a big time goal for me to work towards because it represents how I kept going despite the challenges.
I currently have plenty of posts planned out to finish out the holiday season so hitting 100 posts before the end of the year shouldn’t be too hard. I plan to have a small giveaway to celebrate the big milestone, so stay tuned!
35k monthly visitors
This is a lofty blog goal that requires me doubling my current viewership. However, blogging is a marathon not a sprint. It takes time to gain traction on platforms like Pinterest or on Google.
I am hopeful that the hard, consistent work I have been putting in so far will help my blog grow exponentially as we head towards the end of the year. I will also continue to use social media as a way to promote all blog posts and travel deals.
Market travel services
There is often a stigma with travel agents. People think they are just greedy sales people or that it costs money to use one. The truth though is that travel agents are 100% free to those who use them. I truly enjoy being a travel agent because I love to travel and plan. So, for me, it is exciting to work with someone to create their dream vacation.
As an introvert, it is sometimes hard to put yourself out there. However, I am challenging myself this next quarter to make a more concerted effort towards marketing my travel services.
There are few people consistently planning cruises, big trips to Disney, or international trips. My hope though is that I can continue to network in different groups that I can be top of mind when people do eventually get to that point of booking a vacation though.
If you are interested in working together to plan your next vacation, contact me through my travel inquiry pages or reach out to me directly!
Overall, I look forward to working towards my goals this quarter and finishing out the year strong. It is hard to believe that it has almost been a whole year of blogging. I was very nervous when I started to put myself out there, but I am thankful to my readers that kept me going.