HOW TO PERFECT YOUR TRAVEL BLOG NICHE
Finding your niche in the travel space is what everyone is talking about right now and to be honest, we couldn’t agree more with all of the hype. As the travel space gets more and more saturated, we all have to figure out ways to stand out. And one of the best ways to find your little place in this influencer world is to get a travel blog niche ASAP!
We work with travel bloggers and influencers on growing their business and partnerships and one of main things we cover day in and day out is how to choose a travel niche and make money blogging. Since we also work with brands, destinations and tourism boards on all things influencer marketing, we know how important it is for these businesses to work with niche travel bloggers.
We talk about niche all the time but recently attended a travel conference where some really amazing women got down to the nitty gritty about finding the right niche for your blog – and we just knew we had to share their message with you. So thanks to Cha McCoy and Cha Jones for inspiring this post!
Now, let’s get to business…
First, Let’s Talk About Why Travel Blog Niches Are So Important.
A niche is something that relates to a specialized section of the population and is a specific market – not broad categories like fashion, travel, sports. When you target a niche, there is less people to target then the big box categories but there is also less competition which inevitably means more chance to stand out!
So let’s take the broad category of travel as an example – there are many types of travelers that make up that large group of people – eco travelers, adventurous travelers, luxury travelers etc.
So basically finding your travel blog niche means you are trying to find people that connect with you and what your blog or business is talking about. You are giving them the information and content they are looking to find!
Many bloggers and influencers have tons of interests, after all we are human but…
…you need to focus on having a focus.
We know it’s easier said than done but the more you can focus on niche topics, the more clear your messaging will be to your audience. Since the blogging world is so cluttered, if people can’t understand the exact information you “serve”, how can they order from you?
We all know blogging and creating content is A LOT of work so you want more people than just your mom to see what you’re doing, right? We promise that having a clear idea of your purpose will help you have more than just one dedicated follower or fan. :)
So let’s go over an example: Jasmin is a cubicle worker who is looking to take a trip to a national park during the 2 week vacation she gets from work. She follows a ton of travel bloggers for her causal dose of travel inspo and wanderlust, including travel blogger A and travel blogger B:
Travel Blogger A: General travel blogger, been around the world including a few national parks.
Travel Blogger B: A travel blogger focusing on National Parks and how to best visit them.
Which website do you think Jasmin is going to go to first when she is trying to plan her trip? Definitely Travel Blogger B because she knows they will have the exact information she is looking for.
The truth is, it’s just not enough in the blogger/influencer world to just be “yourself” anymore. At the end of the day, your blog and/or social accounts are a business and just like any company in the world, they need to have a focused product/service and mission so customers know what you’re “selling.”
Another reason it’s super important to focus on a specific niche is because many brands, hotels and destinations target customers who are interested in these niches. They have key messages related to travel which for example are adventure, romance, wellness, culinary, solo travel etc.
So if you have an audience of people like Jasmin who are coming to you for information on the specific niche that the travel brand, hotel or destination is also trying to target, it’s a great way to position yourself when pitching to brands.
Why? Because you have access to the exact people they are looking to talk to about their brand.
How To Find Your Travel Blogging Niche.
This may feel like “travel blog 101: how to find your niche” but trust us, this exercise is totally worth it to improve your blog and business strategy.
Step 1: Put Every Single Idea You Have Down On Paper.
Write all of your interests down and don’t let anything stop you. What are the things you like to talk about, like to see, like to do, like to wear? Seriously, write down anything and everything! There is nothing too specific.
(Ok, yes, you’re going to have to choose in the end but we’ll walk you through other questions to help you narrow it down).
Step 2: Narrow it Down.
Ok so now it’s time to circle all the things you could literally talk about forever. That you’re obsessed with and want to know every last detail about. Another good question to ask yourself in narrowing it down is what would you do for free – no money or strings attached – you would be excited to talk/write about it forever and wouldn’t even care if there was a paycheck at the end.
And if you’ve circled things you think no one else in the world would be interested in…you’re wrong. The world is HUGE and there is no such thing as getting too niche. Just keep in mind you may have less readers but brands you want to work with will be ok with that because they are true fans who value your advice and expertise (aka quality over quantity).
Step 3: If you’re having trouble narrowing it down, here are some questions to ask yourself.
What do people always come to you for advice about? Whether it’s family, friends, friends of friends, what are you the go-to expert on in your inner circle?
What makes you unique/stand out? What are the things a friend or family member would say about you when describing you to a friend? How do people remember you when you leave a room? If a brand had a list of travel bloggers in front of them, with the same statistics, same amount of followers and same vibe, what would make them be drawn to you?
How can you serve the world? So often we forget that blogging is a business so what is your product? People read travel blogs and follow influencers for information, tips, wanderlust etc. so how can you offer them something to better their life?
What have you achieved? If you’ve had some incredible achievements in your life we all know it wasn’t easy to get there. These things add to your value and credibility! Are you an accomplished marathon runner and want to help other runners find the best marathons around the world? Are you a CPA that wants to help travelers create budgets so they can travel more? You get the drift..
What have you gone through in your life? Yes, adversity is tough and most of us have been through things that are not easy but since you’re not alone, people may connect with you on this point. For example, did you lose everything and have to rebuild your life so you could travel the world? You may have helpful tips for people going through the same thing.
Are you able to deliver a product or service like no one else? This could definitely be a way to stand out. Are you an amazing trip planner, have the best travel photography tips or are good at teaching languages? What can people learn from you?
Basically Your Main Goal Is To Figure Out Your “Genius.”
Ok so you may feel like Pinky and the Brain right now but stay with us, we promise this will make sense. Some call it a “special sauce” but here at Sidewalker Daily, we call it your “genius.” What is the one thing about you that makes you shine and gets you noticed 9 times out of 10?
Whatever it is that makes you special is your “genius.” It’s what comes natural to you and allows you to effortlessly shine. Figuring this out will really put a lot of things into perspective.
And yes, everyone wants to find blog niches that get good traffic and get good money but at the end of the day you need to be true to yourself because people can smell inauthenticity from a mile away and not being true to yourself will actually hurt your brand in the long run.
The Talking Is Over – Now You Have To Walk The Walk.
Now that we’ve helped you figure out how to find your travel blogger niche, it’s time to own it! Think about it…if you don’t believe in yourself, how is anyone else going to believe in you?
We know it’s sometimes harder said than done because most of us in the “travelpreneur” world have had a past life – lawyer, accountant, marketing director – and it used to be so clear what we were good at. Now we’ve made this huge life change and feel in limbo but it’s time to change our mindset.
So we all have this prehistoric idea of what an expert is – someone in a stuffy business suit that has spent 85+ years in school has 35+ degrees and probably spends their free time reading the encyclopedia. But think about it, what makes someone an expert? They know their field inside and out and people go to them for advice.
So guess what? If you fit the bill then you’re an expert – you just have to own it!
And if you don’t feel 100% confident that you’re an “expert” just yet, there are some simple ways to boost your confidence. You can take some specialized classes (on or offline), subscribe to online publications or even do some in-depth reading to improve your skills. These little extra things will definitely make you feel like you have it going on.
If you’re going to be focusing on certain travel blogging niches, let people know! Audit your social media accounts and website to figure out ways to communicate your new direction to your audience, followers and fans. If brand partners come to your website or social accounts, would they be able to understand quickly that you’re an expert at finding the best hotel restaurants around the world or would they have to try to figure it out themselves?
Changing things up may also help you change your mindset too- after all it’s a fresh start so a new coat of paint will only help make you feel your best!
Finding Ways To Make Money Within Your Niche.
Once you perfect your niche(s) you should then try to figure out how you can earn income in this specialized space. There are tons of creative ways to earn income in the travel world and now that you’re getting into something so specific it may open up new doors for you.
You also may be able to get more paid sponsorships because brands who are looking to target the specifc type of person that comes to you for information and advice will now see you as an opportunity to get more customers.
So don’t forget to talk about the niches you cover in your media kit. Trust us, it’s definitely a selling point!
We have to tell you just one last thing – our favorite thing actually – the “Theory of 1000 Fans.” When you break it down, all you really need in a business is 1000 people who are die hard fans, who care about what you have to say and trust your advice to no end. We all tend to get caught up by numbers but at the end of the day, just because you have a lot of followers doesn’t mean you have influence over them. Having true influence is important no matter if you are selling someone else’s product or your own.
So the Theory of 1000 Fans goes like this – if you have 1000 people that will pay you $100 for a product or service in a one year period that means you have just made $100,000. Maybe you want to make more than 100 grand every year so you’ll have to adjust the formula but $100,000 is not too bad to do something you love.
So focus on cultivating true relationships with people rather than focusing on the numbers. Getting niche will help you do just that and also help you attract followers and fans who will be “true” to you and your business.
Perfecting your niche is a lot like perfecting your elevator pitch. If you have 30 seconds to tell someone what your business is all about and make yourself stand out, what would you say? Being all over the place and being an “expert” at 25+ things is a great way to get FORGOTTEN.
Getting niche will help you build a sustainable business and actually make your life easier – it’s hard (and exhausting) to try to be good at everything.