FHR and Pork Pies, a social media agency, conducted a State of Travel Blogging survey among travel bloggers. I was surprised by two of the stats. While it seems obvious that most travel bloggers try to monetize their blogs I was surprised to learn that the majority runs more than one travel blog. We run two travel blogs ourselves for historical reasons (and some others) but I thought that would be an exception, not the rule.
The majority of travel blogs are between 1-4 years old, the vast majority of blog authors is fluent in SEO and the preferred social media outlets by far are Twitter and Facebook with Google+ in a surprisingly high third position with 67%. I assume that the general penetration of Google+ among web users is lower, but probably those in the know – bloggers – are aware of the potential importance of Google+ for their authority and publisher rank.
In Comparison We Seem to be Boring Average…
Here are some of the main findings:
Our own blog was created in November 2010 and now sports a Google Page Rank 3 which puts us in a good average in the travel blogging industry.
Since 59% of authors run more than one travel blog we are with the majority again since we run a second travel blog in German. It’s actually where we started our blogging venture and since it was very successfully very quickly we thought it would be even more interesting to tab into the English speaking (global) market. Which, of course, proofed to be much more competitive. Today our blogs reach 3’000+ monthly visitors each, one predominantly from our Zurich, Switzerland, hometown alone (!), the other from a global audience.
As the regular travel blogger we are also avid readers of SEO publications and we even write about it on a third blog called webmemo.ch.
As with most other travel blogs our traffic mainly stems from non-brand search with direct traffic a distant second. Direct traffic, though, makes up almost half as much as non-brand search which seems a lot given the fact that hardly anyone will know our travelmemo.com brand.
As most other travel blogs we also monetize our publication and sponsored posts are one of the main income sources. The challenge here is to keep a good balance of sponsored posts content that may or may not fit into the chosen content niche versus your own genuine content. We tend to be extremely strict on this and only accept content that deals with luxury travel.
In terms of pricing we are with the average blogger again in that we charge a one-off payment of $200 per sponsored post. We will rise our fee, though, since we put
too so much effort into our posts and blogs that we want to be compensated accordingly.
The last two categories are the ones we are below average: We work exclusively with travel brands and we rarely manage to publish as many posts per month as the other bloggers. Hence we also publish less sponsored posts per month.
And here’s an interview with Kristian Bannister, creative director No Pork Pies and mastermind of the blogger survey.