TBEX 2016 Inbound Marketing for Travel Bloggers Resources

Hello, TBEX Fan!

Here are the promised resources from my session at TBEX Asia 2016 in Manila. Hope you find them useful! If you attended the session, I’d also love to hear your feedback & what part of the session you found the most helpful. Just shoot me an email at edwina@travelinggerman.com, or comment below.

TBEX will be publishing speaker slides after the conference, I’ll add the link here once they do so.

Also – I’m working on an Ebook on Inbound Marketing Techniques for Bloggers (repurposing content!). Interested? Leave your email address below. That won’t subscribe you to my blog – I will only email you if I have news about Inbound Marketing resources.

Scroll down for links to all the resources I promised!

Inbound Marketing in General

Hubspot are the inventors of the term inbound marketing and have some good, and free, resources on the topic. If you want to go pro, you can also do a full inbound marketing course with certification at the end. It’s more focused on B2B marketing, but you may still find it interesting:
Hubspot’s intro: What is Inbound Marketing?
Hubspot courses on Inbound, Email Marketing etc., free

Buyer Persona / Reader Persona

You can find my reader persona spreadsheet here, free to download. This isn’t an absolute science. The questions I’m using are the ones that I find most relevant to answer for my blog. Use them as a first guide, then think about what information would be relevant for your blog. Expand on it. This should be a living document so go back and edit from time to time!

Download the Excel Worksheet here
Don’t want an Excel? Download the PDF version here


Once you’re confident you know who you’re writing for, here are some thoughts on content by a few very smart people in the travel industry:

Free industry research from PhoCusWright, useful to gain insights on general travel trends
The Online Customer Journey for Travel, from Google, 2013 – great insights but keep in mind it’s a bit outdated
How the Travel Research Process Plays Out in Time-to-Make-a-Plan Moments, Google, from July 2016. Interesting to understand how people plan their trips
Secrets of Travel Content, a great presentation by Sara Meaney at TBEX North America
Editorial Calendars, The Backbone of Your Content Machine, another TBEX presentation that’s very useful for planning your content once you’ve got your strategy set, by Louise Bastock

Optimising for search & Link building

My presentation may have sounded like I’m getting commission from Moz for praising their tools. I’m not. (Although, Moz guys, if you’re reading this, I wouldn’t mind a free Pro account!). They do have great content and great tools though. Here are a few to get you started:

Whiteboard Friday, where Rand Fishkin explains one search related topic in depth in a whiteboard video. I’d watch this way more often if I wasn’t a procrastinator.

Moz’s Search Engine Ranking Factors report, if you want to get into the details of what will affect your search rankings.

SEO Toolbar for Chrome, for SEO research “on the go”. Free.

Keyword Explorer, a great tool to evaluate the potential and difficulty of your chosen keywords, or find related ones. If you get a free Moz account, you get 5 keywords a day free. There’s a pro version (paid) if you need more than that.

Moz Pro, a very powerful suite of search optimisation products. Sadly not free, but if you have the budget for it, it’s definitely worth it.

Other SEO resources:

SEO for Travel and Tourism Brands, a TBEX presentation by Rick Kruize

99% of you are probably already using this, but just in case you’re not, here’s the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress. Easy to install, great tips for on-page optimisation of your blog posts. Free.

Link building opportunities

Travel Collab Post Opportunities. This Facebook group is very active and great to collaborate with other bloggers.

HARO (Help a Reporter Out). Great for offering your expertise to reporters doing research on travel related topics. Get queries from reporters to your email inbox, three times daily on weekdays. I’ve gotten various expert mentions through this. Great as it includes some major, non travel-blogging sources so you’ll reach new audiences. Quite US focused but there are international opportunities as well – it pays to monitor these emails.

Content Timing

Here’s the Google Analytics Metrics by Day/Time report I mentioned. There are detailed instructions in the post, as well as a link to just grab the report that MarketingLand created if you prefer the easy route. I’ve tested it, and it worked perfectly.

Email & List Building Tools

In my session, I mentioned Leah’s email marketing success story with ConvertKit. Here’s a little more detail directly from Leah on how she’s using it:

“When I re-branded my blog in May of this year to focus more on location independence than general travel, I knew I would need a simple way to send new posts to the right people. My original subscribers expected travel tips and stories, not ideas for running an online business from the road. I’ve taken advantage of ConvertKit’s many advanced features to achieve this, including tagging, segmentation, and triggers (automations). Throughout the process of segmenting my existing subscribers, I’ve certainly lost a few. Slowly but surely, however, I’m learning who’s interested in what and can cater future broadcasts to their needs. Building my list moving forward has been much simpler. All new subscribers are immediately given tags based on which opt-in form they use–I have different forms embedded in location independence posts vs. travel tips, for example–as well as which links they click on in my welcome email.” You can read more about her email list building efforts in this blog post.

Mailchimp, one of the most popular free starter options

AWeber, a popular paid tool with more advanced options

ConvertKit, paid, great if you want to segment your list, work with various forms etc.

Hubspot, paid, more of a corporate option but do check out their free resources.

SumoMe, has a whole suite of tools aimed at increasing traffic and conversion. I mainly use the free versions of their popup forms and heat maps. They have a WordPress plugin, so it’s nice and quick to install.

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