In today’s competitive landscape, travel writers and content creators are tasked with putting a unique spin on their work. And it’s not enough to just niche it down anymore. There are thousands of travel articles, blogs and content relating to Atlanta, family travel, budget travel and anything else I’m writing.
Here’s what I’ve been up to. Last month I quietly launched my hyper local travel website, Intown Kids, and already generated a little income from it and have connections with PR teams in place. Lately, I’ve been getting questions on how I generate unique ideas for it. But I knew if I wanted to launch a travel site mainly catering to Atlanta families that it couldn’t just be about what’s going on at the zoo. While there aren’t a ton of travel focused blogs around the Atlanta area, it’s still hard to compete. Why would someone read my article about the zoo or traveling to Florida on spring break over someone else’s blog?
What I’ve learned over my career as an editor at a family travel website and writer for travel guidebooks, magazines and newspapers is about differentiating and creating a unique spin. That’s similar but not the same thing as finding a niche. What I focus on is creating a niche followed by generating content that helps it stand out within that niche. Here’s what that could look like.
Examples of Travel Niches:
- Atlanta travel
- Family Attractions and Events in Atlanta
- Budget Family Travel
At one point, having a niche was about all you needed to stand out online. But now all of these niches are a dime a dozen. That’s why you need to focus on doing something unique with your content.
Examples of Differentiating within Your Niche:
- (X Things) About Atlanta Attractions Families Never Knew About (history, programs, perks, free days, etc)
- Atlanta attractions for kids ages 2 and under with special needs
- The best educational attractions for Atlanta homeschoolers and how to find the best activities
Choosing a niche first gives you a foundation to build off of, but isn’t so rigid you can’t infuse new ideas to differentiate yourself to stand out from the competition. That’s why it’s important to continuously generate fresh ideas that relate back to a niche everyone is looking for.
Goals, Research and Scaling a Travel Website
However, if your goal is generating more traffic and growing a large reader base, it’s important to focus on long tail keywords that people are actually looking for. Otherwise, you’re creating some really great content that’s unique and laser-focused around your differentiation, but not enough people are going to read it because they’re not searching for it online.
You can use Google Keyword Planner to look at search volume. You want to find a variety of search terms that show at least 1,000 people searched for the term and shows low competition. The ‘competition’ actually means advertising competition. However, even if you have no plans to do paid advertising, this number will tell you how competitive it is over all. After all, a highly competitive keyword like, “Statue of Liberty” would naturally bring up millions of results on tours, reviews and travel packages, along with paid advertisers also looking to rank with those keywords. We’ll go more in depth into keyword planning in another post, but here’s what you’re looking for:
I honestly don’t spend too much time on keyword research, even though I probably should do more of it. What I’m really doing is making sure people are interested in the topic, and then running with it. My goal is to give my current base of readers something new to read while simultaneously attracting new readers.
And I don’t necessarily only want to write about things that people are searching for because I know my current readers probably like it. At the same time, only writing for my current writers won’t scale very far when it comes to attracting a new audience. So take keyword planning with a grain of salt. It should matter to your travel website plan, but isn’t the only thing to focus on to get quality traffic.
For example, I wrote a post about what happened when the film Bad Moms 2 (A Badder Christmas) took over my daughter’s preschool. I’m sure no one in Atlanta is really looking for those keywords or specific content, but I know my readers who live in the area will relate to living in a neighborhood increasingly being taken over by film crews and paint some flavor into life around Atlanta.
But what I’ll do next is focus on a unique tour like a Walking Dead selfie tour or something unique about Fernbank Natural History Museum.
Chart out 1 hour a day in your schedule to complete the following:
- Define your niche (1 hour)
- Study how your keywords rank (1 to 2 hours)
- Create 10 unique blog post ideas around your ideas (2 hours)
- Write 1,000+ word blog posts on each topic (15 hours over a 2+ week period)
- Schedule your posts over a 10-week period in WordPress (30 minutes)
You should be able to complete the above steps in less than 3 weeks, but it’s also fine if you get hung up on a step. It only takes me about a little over an hour to write a 1,000 word post, but that doesn’t have to be your reality. Just schedule in more time and get it done in 4 or 5 weeks instead of 3. You’ll still be ahead of the game.Once you’ve gone through the process
Once you’ve gone through the process, you can work your schedule around it to create a year’s worth of weekly blog posts in roughly 4 months. Once you’re done with this step, you can focus exclusively on areas like earning money from your site or promoting the content.
I personally prefer doing about a month’s worth of content at a time and then focusing on other areas, then repeating my process. But everyone’s strengths and areas of interest are different. There’s really no right or wrong way to work on your local travel site, but the point is really about forward momentum. Without that, you’re just sitting around dreaming about what your travel website could do for you and your family.
How do you generate unique content ideas for your travel website? Let me know by leaving a comment below!