- Part 1 for How to Start a Travel Blog – Find Your Brand
- Part 2 for How to Start a Travel Blog – Social Media
- Part 4 for How to Start a Travel Blog – Monetizing Your Blog
- Part 5 for How to Start a Travel Blog – Using Webcasts to Grow Your Audience
- Part 6 for How to Start a Travel Blog – Becoming an Expert Source
Started a website or blog. Check. Launched your social media networks. Check. What’s next? Finding other venues to promote your concept and content. The perfect next step in our start a travel blog series is establishing a newsletter to your readers. Today’s post will cover how to start your newsletter and some tips for making it successful.
Getting Started with Your Newsletter
You’ll need to first establish what platform you’d like to use to send out your newsletter. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly method, consider using an email with hyperlinks. You may even be able to find a suitable template for free to plug-in but be conscious of formatting so it will be visually appealing to your readers.
If you’re able to create a small budget for your newsletter, you may be able to leverage one of the many email marketing software programs out there to create something that looks very professional. A few of the popular and easy-to-use ones include AWeber, Constant Contact and Emma. Most programs like this have a free trial so go ahead and jump in and see how you like it!
Designing a Newsletter for Your Travel Blog
Once, you have developed your platform for sending, you will be able to get to the fun part: designing it! In keeping with your overall branding, consider choosing colors and patterns that mirror or compliment your website. You’ll also need to establish what features your newsletter will have. Some items to consider:
-How many stories do you want to feature per newsletter?
-Do you want to integrate advertising (graphic or text) or photos into the layout?
-Will there be a unique feature to your newsletter to encourage readership?
Also be sure to look at what the purpose of your newsletter is. Is it to share exclusive content? Is it a re-cap of the week or month? DIWYY uses the model of highlighting a few of our recent blog posts in each issue. This allows for each blog to get a little extra air time in case someone missed it earlier on. We also use our newsletter to highlight upcoming events, contests and other useful links. In sum, it is a snapshot of what happened in DIWYY that past week.
How often will you publish is a good question to ask yourself at this point. Factors to consider include how often you publish new content, what your budget is (as most sites charge you per email sent) and how much time you have to work on it. The time factor is critical as a simple newsletter takes way longer than you’d expect. A good starting point may be monthly to give you the ability to put a lot of time and energy into your final product. If you are successful and in a good rhythm, you can consider publishing more often.
Growing Your Reader Base
When should you start your email marketing database? As soon as you’re site is up and running! Even if you are not at the point where you are ready to publish, you can always start collecting names and emails for when you are. To get started, add a widget to your website or blog to collect email addresses as a way for readers to stay connected. You can also consider doing some sort of contest or promotion where a stipulation of entering is that they will be added to your marketing list (just make this clear to readers so they anticipate an email from you!).