12 Pro Travel Bloggers Share their Tactics to Drive an Avalanche of FREE Traffic

I haven’t cracked the traffic code yet. There, I said it.

Admittedly, I did have a couple of viral traffic days when an article would skyrocket to 10,000 views in less than 24 hours but let’s be honest those are just a handful and far apart. Honestly, I don’t even count those abrupt hikes of blog traffic as I’m more realistic whilst crunching numbers.

Sadly, since there is no magic wand to generate free traffic on demand, I rounded up these “pro travel bloggers” to help us clueless souls out by sharing their deepest darkest traffic generation secrets. These are awesome, actionable steps you can start implementing NOW to drive a shit ton of free traffic back to your blog. But remember ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day‘ so if you follow these tips, don’t expect a miracle to happen overnight – it WILL take time and hard work is the key!

How do I define “pro” you ask? Well, since I am so far behind in my traffic goals, I would say if a blogger can drive a whooping stable 50,000 views a month to their blog for free, well they GOT to be doing something right. That’s my definition of “pro” and that’s how these kick-ass bloggers have been picked to participate in this killer traffic tactics free guide.

12 Killer Tactics by Pro Bloggers to Drive an Avalanche of free traffic to your blog #TravelBloggersClick To Tweet

Tips from Experts to Drive a Truckload of Free Traffic back to Your Blog in 2017

Alex & Sebastiaan from LostWithPurpose

The secret to my blog’s traffic? I write good and informative content that no one has written before, which people can then find through Google. Organic search is my #1 source of traffic, and it’s brilliant because I don’t have to do much to maintain my blog’s traffic!

So many new bloggers waste a lot of time and effort writing posts about places and experiences which have already been covered to death, then wonder why no one ever finds—or reads—their posts. No one needs to read another list about things to do in San Torini! If you write about topics that haven’t been covered yet, people are much likely to find your posts through Google, leading to passive traffic to your blog.

Most Popular Post: https://www.lostwithpurpose.com/drugs-in-the-netherlands/
Monthly Pageviews : 62,600 (3 month average)

Traffic Tip #1 Write about things no one else talks about via @lostwpurposeClick To Tweet

Sharon Gourlay from Where’sSharon

My biggest tip is to have a marketing plan for every article you write. Before you write anything, consider who your target audience is and how you will make sure they see (and read) your article. If you are not sure then I recommend cutting back how much time you are spending producing writing content until you have a clear idea of who your target audience is and how you will reach them.

There are many ways to go about this. On my travel blog, I use SEO to reach people. Because I want to make money from affiliate commissions, my target audience is people (usually families) who want to spend money on gear or make travel bookings.

On my other blog, I use Facebook groups to reach my target audience.

It doesn’t matter how you do it, but you should have a plan of how that you are always working on to improve. I describe how to go about this here.

Most Popular Post: http://www.wheressharon.com/x-featured-discussions/best-travel-backpack/
Monthly Pageviews : 480,000 (3 month average)

Traffic Tip #2 - Have a marketing plan for each and every article you write via @WheresSharon Click To Tweet

Natalie from Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown

My number one tip to growing a successful travel blog would be to devote time to your social media accounts with special attention to Pinterest. When I first started out blogging, I didn’t have a Facebook or Twitter account, and I barely touched my personal Pinterest account. My monthly page views would reach between 3,000 and 4,000 on a good month at that point, and I was becoming increasingly discouraged with the time and effort I was putting into my blog without much return. Then, one day, I decided to go all in on the social media thing. I created my own blog Facebook page, started a Twitter account, rebranded my personal Pinterest account to a business one, and signed up for StumbleUpon (this was back before Instagram was a thing, which totally dates me as a blogger!). My life changed almost overnight: within a few months, my page views had shot up to over 10,000 per month, I’d booked 3 press trips, and I started to get offers for sponsored content. Nowadays, my life revolves around my social media channels and building those relationships and followings every day. The day-to-day of growing a social media can be seriously monotonous and anything but glamorous, but work each day towards chatting with a few new people on each channel, sharing their content, and bringing your brand to them.

The bottom line for new travel bloggers is this: don’t expect people to flock to you as soon as you hit “publish.” You need that social media foundation to support all of that great content you’re writing, so get out there, work those channels, interact with your following, and share everyday on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Stumbleupon, and Instagram. You should also find like minded bloggers in selected Facebook support groups: not only will you find a tribe of people who will help spread your best work, you’ll also be able to plug into an incredible network of experienced (and other newbies!) who can help you with everything you’ll need. Your blog will thank you in the long run!

Most Popular Post: http://www.cosmosmariners.com/2015/10/9-things-you-probably-didnt-think-to.html
Monthly Pageviews : 55,100 (3 month average)

Traffic Tip #3 - Social Media is the key, pay special attention to Pinterest via @cosmosmarinersClick To Tweet

Sarah-Jane from ChasingTheDonkey

When you first start blogging, you’re on a high. You have so many ideas. So much to say. Then, after a short while the buzz wears off, and you start to wonder why no one is reading all that juicy info. You need traffic. Readers. Eyeballs.

There are lots of ways to get eyeballs onto your blog, but the one way I’d suggest is to do guest blogging. It’s an excellent idea for two reasons. 1. You get to reach an established audience and convert those readers to your own. 2. The site will give you a link back to your site, which in turn helps you to build your link profile. Score and score.

That said, you can’t guest blog for just anyone. Think about it. Find a blog that will have readers that are likely to want to become your newest fan, and or find blogs that are large enough to warrant all that hard work writing (after all you have to submit only your blogging best!).

You can find blogs that accept guest posts by networking with other bloggers in your niche. There are loads of Facebook groups you can try. You could also attend blogging conferences and or look at lists like this (www.theexpeditioner.com/the-top-50-travel-blogs/) and contact bloggers who you think you can offer a valuable blog post for. Hint: We accept guest posts on Chasing the Donkey, so if you have an idea – contact us!

Most Popular Post: https://www.chasingthedonkey.com/what-to-do-on-holidays-in-croatia/
Monthly Pageviews : 350,00 (3 month average)

Traffic Tip #4 - Guest blog on quality sites to grow your audience via @chaseTHEdonkeyClick To Tweet

Meg Jerrard from Mapping Megan

Flipboard is an incredible way to gain viral traffic to your content, whether you’re publishing via a personal blog or business website, and if you’re not already utilizing the platform, you would do well to start using it right away.

Marketing your content here is the easiest way to drive thousands of page views to your site, and introduce your brand to a potential 90 million new fans. And all you have to do is add content to the platform with a simple click (two clicks if we’re getting technical!)

To learn how to use Flipboard, and get set up, click here. Keep in mind though is that viral traffic is often traffic which is short lived. On average, Flipboard traffic to a post will die out after 2 days, and for continued traffic you will then have to create another post. For those who are content rich, this won’t be an issue, as you can gain quite steady traffic from continuing to produce content and flipping it regularly.

While once used to a site average of 2,000 page views a day, all of a sudden my new posts would see up to 3,000, 4,000, and 8,000 views on a really good day. Flipboard began outranking search engine traffic, and referrals from all other social media platforms combined. This post went particularly viral on Flipboard, with 12,000 views within 5 hours of publication, and 23,000 views the following day.

Most Popular Post: https://www.mappingmegan.com/countries-dont-celebrate-christmas/
Monthly Pageviews : 219,500 (3 month average)

Traffic Tip #5 - Use Flipboard to Skyrocket your pageviews and make your articles go VIRAL via @mappingmeganClick To Tweet

Andrew and Emily from AlongDustyRoads

At the beginning of our blogging career, we realised that we were very tiny fish in a massive sea, and that in order to be found via google, we had to create a number of incredibly SEO friendly posts. So, as well as producing our regular content, we focused on answering specific questions (which were common for those taking the same trip as ours) for which there was no good answer available online. People would come to our site organically looking for a solution to one issue but then stay and browse our other blog posts – this was so effective that for the first couple of years we discovered that our page views were approximately four times that of our uniques! As Along Dusty Roads has grown, we now rank highly for many posts on our site, but those first few we created to bring people in still perform exceptionally well and we can say with some certainty that we wouldn’t be here without them!

Most Popular Post: https://www.alongdustyroads.com/posts/2016/6/27/guide-things-to-know-driving-the-north-coast-500-nc500-scotland-planning
Monthly Pageviews : 147,000 (3 month average)

Traffic Tip #6 Help your readers by answering very specific questions in your posts via @alongdustyroadsClick To Tweet

Natalie Deduck from Love and Road

My Blog Traffic Secret is content, and how you deliver it to the readers. I believe, the first thing you need to think about is what type of traffic you want from your blog post. If you just want numbers, a spike on your GA, you can work on a trendy or viral subject and focus on Social Media promotion like Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard and Instagram Stories. You might hit the traffic jackpot for a few days or maybe a week.

On the other hand, if you want a steady and long lasting traffic, my bet is on an outstanding SEO in the blog post and some specific Social Media promotion (Pinterest). Good content with a good SEO takes time to rank on Google, but once you are at the top of the first page, that traffic will last for a long time, and if you create a post to convert sales, this is the best way to make it happen.

Our top blog post is about our experience traveling with the Eurail Pass and we aimed for good traffic and good conversion. So I worked on the SEO and also focused on Pinterest. You must remember that Pinterest is not only images, but also SEO. Once you have done a good job crafting the post, working on your keywords on the blog post and on your Pin, the magic will happen. It takes about 3 months to see the results, but it’s worth the wait. Our blog post about Eurail got over 56K page views and it’s one of our best blog posts in traffic and conversion.

My second traffic secret is: keep updating and promoting your best post. Google love updates, and once a while it’s good to promote the content to a new audience. So you can keep your traffic growing and your readers happy with useful information.

Most Popular Post: https://loveandroad.com/travel-with-eurail-pass-7-reasons-why-you-should-do-it-or-not/

Monthly Pageviews : 77,898 (3 month average)

Traffic Tip #7 SEO & Pinterest are a powerhouse combo to growing your blog and a viable long term strategy via @LoveandRoadClick To Tweet

Alyson Long from World Travel Family

Write great content, the stuff that people Google for and need. Make sure your post answers every question they could possibly ask about that topic. Be useful, be authentic, be real and be an authority. Put in the on-the-ground research methodically and don’t try to write knowledgeably if you’ve actually only been to a place for a short holiday or don’t know your topic inside out. If you get that part right from the start the post will increase in authority, attract backlinks and you’ll tick a lot of your SEO boxes without even trying.

Monthly Pageviews : 80k (3 month average)

Traffic Tip #8 - Be authentic, be real and be an authority in your niche via @worldtravelfamClick To Tweet

Sandy & Vvjay from Voyager

It is about a year since we started off with our own site Voyager and have always since inception focused on how to improve the traffic to our websites.

We are Travel/Lifestyle couple bloggers. Though we are yet to channelize our time to drive traffic through SEO, we have and we still use the many social media platforms that include Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, etc. to drive traffic to our site. We have found that the most impactful of these for us has been Pinterest` Pinterest has fueled almost a 35% to 40% increase in the traffic to our site. It is important to note here that apart from the numbers, the quality of the traffic is also organic and consists of people looking for information. We have also found the rich pins are big drivers of organic traffic. They continue to attract and garner visitors to our site.

Most Popular Post: http://imvoyager.com/jungfraujoch-travel-switzerland/
Monthly Pageviews : 60,000 (3 month average)

Traffic Tip #9 - Channelize the power of Pinterest to drive quality audience who love information rich content via @IMVoyager Click To Tweet

Vicki Garside from Make time to See the World

Pinterest. It is amazing how one platform can drive so much traffic. The first thing to realize is that Pinterest is a search engine and NOT a social network. And like a search engine, people are looking for information, which is something to keep in mind when crafting your text overlay for pins and the description that you use. Here are some of my top tips for getting the most out of the platform:

  • Design beautiful pins – now obviously this is objective, but long pins using bright colours and incredible images are a good place to start. If your own images are not ‘the best’ – don’t be afraid to use stock images. Pinterest is a visual platform and unfortunately your travel snaps for 5 years ago are (probably) not going to cut it. I know mine don’t.
  • Unless it’s a personal tale or related to kids – do NOT put your face on pins. People want to imagine themselves somewhere – so unidentifiable people – silhouettes, backs of heads etc are fine but you posing in front of somewhere are not. It’s like being invited round to look at someone’s holiday slideshow. Not cool.
  • Check the competition. Before even thinking about designing your pin, do a quick search as to what pins are already successful for your topic. You don’t have to copy these pins, but it will give you an idea of what works and what pinners like.
  • Develop branding for your pin – work on a design that differentiates you from everyone else. It could be using the same fonts, the same template – just keep it consistent.
  • Write SEO friendly descriptions so your pins can be found in search.
  • Join Group Boards
  • Re-pin your pins to your own category boards and these group boards. Repeat this at regular intervals.
  • Manually re-pin as much as possible – especially when you are starting out – Pinterest rewards you for being active on the platform.
  • Re-pin high quality/viral content.
  • Use re-pin threads via FB groups to kickstart a pins momentum. Ideally you should focus on re-pinning quality content but these threads make it difficult as some people do not follow Pinterest best practices. The ideal would be to be in a re-pin thread where the pins are already successful so I have created a group recently for just that. If you have awesome pins and have a minimum of 5 pins with more than 350 re-pins, please send me a request to join the group: Travel Bloggers – boost your high performing pins. We set limits on entry so that there is a set standard for pins and run threads for pins with 350, 500 and 1,000+ repins. Pinning high quality content results in Pinterest seeing that your profile is great and so shows your pins to more people.

For more Pinterest tips and strategies, feel free to get in touch with me at – maketimetoseetheworld(at)gmail.com

Most Popular Post: https://maketimetoseetheworld.com/what-to-pack-in-your-carry-on-in-flight-essentials/
Monthly Pageviews : Last 30 days – 53.8k, 30 days before that: 47.9k, 30 days before that: 40.5k (implementing the above strategy has seen on average 6-7k rise in Pageviews over the last few months)

Traffic Tip #10 - Pinterest is a search engine and NOT a social network via @VickiLouise86Click To Tweet

Laura Lynch from Savored Journeys

My number one traffic secret isn’t really much of a secret at all, although I think it takes a while for many bloggers to realize its true potential. It’s SEO. Finding the right keyword that has both a high search volume and that you can actually rank for, is the key to building sustainable and ever increasing traffic to your blog. Social media promotion is great (I love Pinterest, and it brings me a ton of traffic), but as we all know, algorithms change, making social media traffic unreliable.

Before you write a post, you should do keyword research to make sure the topic you’re writing about has the potential to bring in traffic. If it doesn’t get a high search volume, maybe consider a different topic. Likewise, if the other post that are ranking in the top 10 for that topic are way bigger than you, consider a different topic or angle that you have potential to rank for. As your blog grows, so will your ability to rank for topics you write about.

Most Popular Post: https://www.savoredjourneys.com/50-things-every-international-traveler-know/
Monthly Pageviews : 103,000 (3 month average)

Traffic Tip #11 - Never write a post without proper keyword research via @SavoredJourneysClick To Tweet

Sonal from DrifterPlanet

I was able to increase my traffic threefolds by just doing two simple things. The first – being a Pinterest ninja and the second – reducing website load time. I did the first by creating at least 3 or 4 aesthetically pleasing pins per post and sharing them in different group boards. I automated this process by using tailwind. It took three months of continuous pinning to build a steady traffic to my website through Pinterest. The second thing about reducing my speed took less than a week and moving to a new host definitely helped. On a typical day, I get minimum 1500 page views and a majority are through Pinterest. I’m able to maintain a monthly average PV traffic of 45000 to 50000 without much effort.

Most Popular Post: https://drifterplanet.com/beautiful-spots-bali-instagram-worthy/
Monthly Pageviews : 50,000 (3 month average)

Traffic Tip #12 - Focus on reducing your website load time and then become a Pinterest ninja via @DrifterPlanetClick To Tweet

Other Free Traffic Resources THAT WORK!

This single trick by Neil Patel took me 60 mins to implement and I saw a surge of traffic to optimized posts within a week. Its fast, easy, actionable and FREE!

This free traffic ebook By Lena Gott of 17k to 400k views in 10 months ebook fame, can be a good stepping stone for newbie bloggers or the later for more experienced bloggers.

Click here for more posts from my special Travel Blogging 101 series.

So, what are your thoughts about these actionable ways to drive free traffic to your blog? Have you tried any and succeeded or are you like me and still struggling to meet your traffic goals? Or maybe you have your own traffic tips to share? Either ways, I love to hear from my readers so drop your thoughts in comments below.

49 Comments

  1. This is such great advice and from some really successful bloggers. It’s never easy gaining traffic, but all of these bloggers are proof that you can if you put the effort in. Pinterest and SEO have always been my go tos for traffic. They work! The bottom line is – make great content with really good SEO and market it on the right platforms and traffic will come.

    • Thats sound advice, Laura. I have been focusing more and more on SEO & Pinterest too and I can see my traffic has doubled with a little bit extra work – so much better than blindly sharing on all platforms without much ROI! Great tips indeed.

  2. Loved this awesome post. Thanks Jo for taking pains to compile such invaluable tips from travel bloggers. Each and every tip is worthy to be tried out and we are going to definitely try them out. 🙂

    • It was a pleasure to compile all these tips – I got SO many ideas for my own blog 🙂 Can’t wait to see results in few months, maybe next time I can share what worked for my site too! Stay tuned.

  3. What an insightful post. It’s a good reminder for me to pay more attention to Pinterest and think about doing guest posts. One tip that works for me is doing longer posts, with a ton of helpful information about a destination. To stand out, I often try to add a narrative, then have a long fact box. But I’m definitely going to implement the ideas above.

    • So happy to hear you liked this Carol and got some key takeaways for your blog 🙂 Oh yes, I agree long form does perform best as Google recognizes you as an authority in that niche (if you target a smaller one). Afterall content is king!

  4. Really great article! So helpful & I loved the little tips reminder tweet at the end of each paragraphs! Well done for combining all that info! And thanks for sharing it with us!! 🙂

  5. Some very useful tips here – I’m a Flipboard fan too and have been lucky to have some posts go viral there

    • Happy to meet a fellow “flipper” (Yeah I just made that term up lol). Would you like to share what works best for you on Flipboard, what sort of content goes viral and what kind of traffic do you receive when it does? Any inputs would be great – always learning!

  6. Thanks for sharing those valuable lessons learned by those pro bloggers. We are just dipping our toes in the travel blog world, so it’s all very exciting.

    • Good luck in your blogging adventures guys, I am sure you will find it exciting as well as challenging…hope these tips help build a solid base for your blogs.

  7. This was so interesting! I’ve been dipping my toe in Pinterest, and it certainly seems like something that I should follow. Flipboard hasn’t done much for me, but I really haven’t had time to play with it yet. Great tips all around, and I’ve bookmarked this (as well as stumbled and pinned it) so that I can use it for a reference. Thanks!

  8. This advice was all so helpful. I am definitely feeling inspired to take on the world…I mean my travel blog tomorrow.

  9. This is amazing! Its exactly what I needed today when I’m trying to build my trafic. Right now about 70% of my traffic is organic google search which I know is great. But I’m still on 2k views a month and have been stuck there for 4 months. BUT I’ve just invested in tailwind and I’ve been through all my old posts and fixed the SEO. Most of this advice I can easily implement.

    • Yes thats the beauty of these tips – they are actionable and you can easily implement them and start reaping results. Nothing will change overnight but if you keep tweaking old posts, adding fresh pins to your tailwind queue etc, traffic WILL go up. I worked hard on the blog this month and my pageviews have already almost doubled up 🙂

  10. I definitely agree that quality content is so important and being original. It is hard to write about something no one have written about, especially as a travel blogger. My strategy is using pinterest for sure.

    • I agree its hard but when I think about it there are LOT of things which bloggers don’t usually cover like answering a single query in your article, nor there are many blogs about traveling from point a to b, which I feel are searched for quite a lot!

  11. A lot of this hit home as things I’ve tried do and also things I’ve never thought of! The ‘write about things other people havent’ was a stupidly surprising one….I guess with a luxury focus I have to be careful to keep it classy so ‘drugs to do in the netherlands’ isn’t something I can cover but maybe I can figure out some other angles! 😀 I tried Flipboard but couldn’t get it to go viral, maybe another try is in order! Thanks!

  12. It’s no surprise to me that Pinterest is the biggest common thread here. I hear that all the time! I need to invest in Tailwind, but there’s just always something else ahead of it on the list, ya know?!

  13. This is an incredible resource. Expect lots of traffic from me as I’ll be referencing this for tips! What a great idea and how kind of these bloggers to share a bit of their knowledge. Thanks for writing this!

    • Laura, that would be WONDERFUL. Would love more eyeballs (well, thats what the post is all about anyways) and my motto is pretty simple – every pageview counts 🙂 bring em in, girl!

  14. This is such a helpful article! Many of the things like SEO and social media is all advice you hear everywhere but the one about Flipboard is new to me. It also seems like Pinterest is a big driver in this. I can see why. While planning a trip, Pinterest is definitely one of my go-to places for research.

    • Yeah I have been hearing about SEO & Pinterest since the first week of blogging really but I appreciate these bloggers sharing their secret sauce on exactly what aspect works for them for ex, a different angle than run of the mill posts, focusing on reader questions, Pinterest strategies (instead of just saying Pinterest works, go figure it out lol). Yup and I def agree Flipboard is cool. Did you read my flipboard guide?

  15. This is a great post! There are some great tools that are often overlooked. Its great to hear from some pros who have been successful! Thanks for putting this together!

  16. Thanks for sharing these tips! I totally agree with the SEO and Pinterest tips. Those two, if handled correctly, can be a double threat when it comes to generating traffic to your site. Btw whats flipboard? I’ve never used that before.

  17. Interesting list of traffic tips. It’s great that successful bloggers talk openly how they achieved their high numbers. What I noticed is that everyone has a different success story from different channels. Good food for thought.

  18. Thanks girl for this awesome collab post! Good to know what works & what does not! Pinterest surely looks like a winner, although surprisingly the things that work for each of them are a bit different!

    • Oh yes totally everyone’s audience differs and what works for one might not for other – Like they say.. one size does not fit all 🙂

  19. Wow! I’m got sooo much to do! I’m just starting out and I’ve been getting bogged down with all the info out there. I’m going to just use this post and focus on the tips one at a time! Thanks for this. It has all the best bits from my favourite bloggers. You are a star!

    • It can be SO hard and overwhelming when you first start out – I mean it still is for me but a handy guide like this sure does make it less complicated. Happy this helped 🙂

  20. Jo, such an awesome guide. Thankfully I am on the right track and following up consistently on SEO and Pinterest. Hopefully, it will start showing better results soon.

  21. Thanks so much much for having us! It’s a great list of tips and tricks – hopefully it helps a bunch of people out 🙂

    • Thanks for your wonderful tip dear and surely everyone who has been reading this is very happy with the truckload of useful tips for free traffic this post has.

  22. Jo, such an useful post. Great tips from all bloggers. Well try and use Pinterest for my blog, I don’t today. Thanks so much fir sharing

  23. Jo, I am so thankful for this post. I often get-‘You write well but you need to know how to sell.’ Never knew Flipboard & Pinterest can be so useful.All I knew was SEO. Will get working right away!

    • Glad you found it useful, Shivani! I always say writing is just 20%, 80% is promotion. If we keep churning out great content and garner no eyeballs to our posts, what’s the point, really? Let me know how it goes with flipping and pinning!

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