How To Improve Your Travel Blog & Get on The Top 100

Top 100 Travel Blogs
Top 100 Travel Blogs

Top 100 Travel Blogs as ranked by SEOmoz & Alexa indicators.

Over the weekend, I launched a new Top 100 Travel Blogs list that tracks and ranks travel blogs according to SEOmoz & Alexa indicators.  To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t sure how it would be received but the response was overwhelmingly positive.  I totally appreciate the support others have shown with the list and the amount of emails I’ve received thanking me for creating a new an up-to-date list with unique measurements.  This was my goal in the beginning and I’m glad to see that my initial vision was manifested into reality.

Aside from those thanking me for the list, I’ve also received a number of submissions for the next update.  A couple of travel blogs more than qualify as top travel blogs right now while a few others aren’t quite there yet.  I realized with the first update there would be some errors and omissions and I apologize to those who I forgot to include.

I think since this list is new there is still a bit of confusion over what is being measured, how the scoring system works and what the process is for new blogs to potentially be included on the next update.

For information regarding scoring and requirements please click on the following links below:

Top 100 Travel Blogs – Scoring System

 

Top 100 Travel Blogs – Can my Blog be on the List? 

 

In order to make the tracking process reasonable I’ve had to include some minimum standards across the 4 categories in order to keep things manageable.  Since this list is based purely on numbers (and not my opinion) it only makes sense to be tracking blogs that potentially qualify for the list or are very close to being on it.

However, I’m thrilled that many top travel sites are already interested in making this list and I’ve decided to write this article as a bit of a guide for how one can potentially improve his/her rankings in all of the categories to eventually make it.  

My goal is that for any travel blogger who really wants to be on the list is that they will someday make it 🙂

Without further adieu, let’s examine how one can potentially improve their Alexa and SEOmoz rankings:

Alexa logo

ALEXA

 

Alexa is a bit of a cranky cantankerous beast.  It can be your friend one day and your enemy the next.  It’s frustrating to be working hard on your blog only to see your numbers flat-line or potentially even decline; however there are some practical ways you can actually improve your Alexa score.

1)  Download the Toolbar:

Downloading the Alexa toolbar to your current browser.  It will help improve your Alexa rank slightly when you visit your own site and it also helps out other sites you visit.

2)  Ask others to write you an Alexa Review

Ask some blogging friends to visit your Alexa website site page and have them write a review.  I personally haven’t done this but I know some other travel blogs that have over 30 reviews!

3)  Post more frequently

Alexa values fresh content from your site.  If you post more frequently it will most certainly help you improve your score.  I know this personally because I had a very high ranking Alexa score in mid October and then I went on a nearly three week blogging hiatus because of a personal crisis in my life.  I hardly posted at all during this time period.  My traffic levels to my blog didn’t totally plummet (although they did obviously decrease) but my Alexa score absolutely took a beating during this time.

4)  Write epic posts

This should be quite obvious.  If you write some very popular posts you will get more eyeballs on your site.  The more traffic you get to your site the more your Alexa score will improve.  Point number three was a suggestion to focus on quantity but it’s even more important to publish posts that are high quality.

5)  Drive Traffic To Your Site

This is by far the most important tip.  Learning how to drive traffic to your site is extremely crucial to increasing not only your Alexa score but also your overall website traffic.  In a nutshell, rocking social media platforms such as Twitter and Stumble Upon will help you out tremendously.  The effort needs to be consistent and not sporadic.  Commenting on other blogs is also a great way to increase traffic to your site.  If you leave insightful comments readers of their posts may trickle over to check out your site.  Other options to consider are guest posts, forums and facebook groups where you can connect and interact with a potential new audience for your blog.

SEOmoz logo

SEOmoz Rankings

SEOmoz rankings have a lot to do with your link profile.  Your link profile increases and accumulates links over an extended period of time.  It’s not done over days or weeks but instead over months and years.  Links are the currency of trust that search engines place on your site.  Increasing both the total amount of links and the quality of links to your site should be a priority.  Links from a small site (most travel blogs) are like tiny little peas being added to your dinner plate.  It may not seem like much in the beginning but as they build up they form a nice little pile.  One link from a giant site like the New York Times is the link building equivalence of a generous helping of mashed potatoes.  The idea here is to be greedy 😛  You want a plate stacked up high to the ceiling.

1)  Link Exchanges

Link exchanges with other travel bloggers is an excellent way to help improve your link profile.  Moreover, it encourages a social relationship with the other blogger.  My suggestion is to develop some rapport before requesting a link exchange.  One can do this by leaving comments on their blog, sending a friendly email or connecting with them on facebook or twitter.  Although some travel blogs accept a request for a link exchange totally out of the blue, many curate their blogroll with higher standards.  It never hurts to ask but you ought to be prepared for rejection or silence.  I’m always willing to do link exchanges with other travel bloggers and my travel blogging directory links section is one of the largest out there.  If we haven’t done a link exchanges before just send me an email and I’ll gladly put you up on mine.  Take into consideration that if you’re going ask for your link to be put up on another blog that you ought to be willing to offer the same courtesy by returning the favour.

2)  Guest Posts

If there is one thing that has helped my blog personally more than anything else, it is without a doubt guest posting.  I’ve contributed photo essays, interviews and articles to many of the most popular travel blogs that can be found on my Top 100 Travel Blogs list.  From a link building perspective this has been a golden opportunity.  Mature travel blogs have an excellent link profile (SEOmoz score) and provide plenty of one way link juice back to your site.  From a traffic perspective (which is more of an Alexa consideration) the exposure you get from having your materials viewed by new eyeballs is going to result in people visiting your site and potentially becoming new fans.  Moreover, you develop a relationship with the blogger and they benefit from having free materials on their site.  It’s a total win-win situation.

In fact, I’ve had some special things happen before because of guest posts I’ve done on other sites including being offered a press trip which I unfortunately had to turn down.  It’s important if you’re going to submit a guest post to understand the nature of that particular blog and to bring your A game by submitting a quality finished product.

I’ve become such a fan of guest posting that I now offer travel bloggers the opportunity to do it on both of my sites.  If you would like to guest post on Nomadic Samuel click here.

3)  Become An Authority or Do Something Unique

One of the most sure-fire ways of obtaining backlinks naturally is to become an authority in a certain area or niche.  If you’re considered an expert or a trusted source in a given area the chances of others linking to your articles on that given subject are significantly increased.  With specific regards to travel blogging this might include a particular style of photography, expertise on a certain region/culture or skill-set that you’ve recently developed.  The possibilities are endless.  Moreover, something else to consider is zigging when others are zagging.  Try to cover something unique.  An example that comes to mind might be destinations not typically covered or a topic that is ground-breaking or possibly even taboo.

4)  Write Epic Posts

You may have noticed this was also point number 4 under the Alexa section.  If you create a masterpiece the chances of others wanting to share it is undeniable.  One of the best ways to get one-way backlinks is to create an article that is so appealing other sites will make reference to it often with a link.  This is going to help improve your Domain Authority and Page Authority.

5)  Get published outside of the travel blogging community

Finally, the last tip I have is to get yourself published on-line outside of the travel blogging community.  This not only diversifies your link profile but it also will increase your traffic at the same time.  It’s been mentioned by many reputable sources that a common mistake many travel bloggers make is to not cast the net wide enough or seek an audience outside of our travel blogging niche.

Hopefully some of these tips will help those who want to make the Top 100 Travel Sites list or provide a boost for those who are already on it to move up even further.

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115 Comments

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  1. says: chandan

    I love reading your posts! This one is so true and so crucial and I’m just beginning to learn that. Failure is definitely not an option and as I learn, I can’t wait to gain more readership and for the blog to grow!

    Keep doing you! Loved reading this.

  2. says: UK writer

    Thanks for sharing this, I’m sure that your tips are relevant not only for travel bloggers, also it will be very useful for different niches in blogging. I hope that you will continue doing this type of content. Look forward your new articles.

  3. Thank You for curating such a refined list. I am new to this blog and marketing thing. I have been reading many blogs about how to promote a Travel Agency and ended up here. I am positive these plugins would help me a lot
    Thanks again

  4. Hey, thank you so much for this post. So helpful to have the difference between all the tracking scores and what matters most to each explained for once.

    I know you wrote this a number of years ago so I wondered if you’d heard the rumour that google don’t like link exchanges now? They still love links going into your site obviously but a lot of people have said if both sites post a link to each other now they discount it since they’ve cottoned onto the whole link exchange thing. Do you happen to know if this is correct? Given the in-depth knowledge you have on the topic I feel it’s likely you’ll know about this if it has changed. I’ve been trying to find out for definite if this is the case for a while now but it’s not my area of expertise and haven’t had much luck. Your post just reminded me about it!

    Thanks again for the really helpful post.

    Chantell

  5. says: Vividscapes

    Ohhh my, so much to do, wow, we have been travelling for quite some time along with our day jobs et al and also blogging our trips as just a travel diary and a note to send when our friends want ideas and suggestions to travel, but quite a lot of work to be done to be on the popular list….. Hmmm makes me think!!

  6. says: Damon and Jo

    I love how down-to-earth you are! Many people are completely opposed to guest posts and random bloggers linking to each other, but you seem to be willing to help the little bloggers like us out!

    WE APPRECIATE IT! THANK YOU!

  7. says: Jungle

    I was wondering if you wanted to do a link exchange. I added your link to my blog, but your email address isn’t working. My site is a travel blog about traveling the world. In the past year I have lived in Colorado as a ski technician, New York as a parachute packer for a skydiving company and ChengDu, China. I am currently traveling through SEA to Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Laos! Check it out if you’d like. Thanks.

  8. says: Yayawar

    Hmmm.. so perhaps you forgot to take my site into account too! 🙂

    Never mind, do keep a check at my site – yayawar.com and lemme know if it makes it in your list ever.

    Cheers!

  9. says: Ken Kai

    Great write up there Sam.

    I’m working on Alexa at the moment and am getting some pretty good results I feel. However, the SEMrush is new to me. Looking into it now!

    Thanks Sam,

    Ken

  10. says: Ray

    Hey Sam, what an impressive list! I know how tricky it can be to start a blog and am in the early days at the moment. I think it will be super satisfying when more people start looking at my travel photography and are inspired to leave the daily grind to travel the world!

  11. says: Gourav Garg

    Hi! I have started my travel blog (www.teasingearth.com) 2 months back. I have been consistent since then i.e I am writing one article every week. According to my known viewers, the content in each every article in very interesting and the quality has improved drastically.. Initially my Alexa ranking increased by 7 million in just one month but after that it’s more or less same. Please help!! I know it is bit early but in my openion it should not have been constant.

  12. says: traveldoozy

    thanks for sharing a nice post, infect onpage and offpage seo both are important for any blog plus link building.

  13. says: Yara Coelho

    I’ve heard about your blog even before I had ever set eyes on it 🙂 And now, by accident (call it accident or call it google search, lol) I found out you elaborated this wonderful list.

    There are wonderful travel blogs out there, some very unique, very original and extremely informative. Thank you so much for sharing this info with us and some of the blogs I didn’t know about.

  14. Hey, great list.
    It’s fantastic and so helpful that you have this little section on how to improve your rankings, especially with Alexa as that’s something I’ve been struggling with on my site for quite a while.
    Been focusing on the ‘epic posts’ side of everything, at least that is within my wheelhouse… but this certainly helps many others out there (like myself) increase their scope and skill, much appreciated.

  15. says: Chris @ ThaHoliday

    Thanks so much for your tips. I will work on those to improve my travel and I think the most important is to improve the DA and PA of my blog.

  16. says: Abdul Razzak

    Hey, Thankyou so much for these tips, really important info. I will work on the link exchange idea as well as guest posting. Being a new blogger these are really really helpful directions to work towards.

    Cheers!

  17. says: The Guy

    That is a great guide Samuel and consistent with the information I’ve read in many dozens of books about building your website. It is a slow and very demanding process to build your websites popularity. You need to get out there and let people know about it- social media, blog commenting and guest postings are all great ways.

    On a slight aside, my Alexa toolbar is showing “Alexa Rank not available” for this site. Do you know why that is?

  18. says: Rob

    Some very helpful tips, thanks for sharing! I have just started using StumbleUpon which I think over time will be great for driving more traffic. I have read that google does frown upon link exchanging now, any thoughts on that? Thanks

  19. says: l1v.in

    Great info! We’ll be doing our best while greatly enjoying travelling through Europe! Cheers! If anybody is happy to do a link exchange please let us know, we’ll be creating a friends page soon. Find us on http://l1v.in for more info.

  20. says: Matt

    Some great tips! If I could add or agree with anything it would be consistency, it’s very hard to keep on top of interesting posts especially when you still have a month to go before traveling! The numbers will get better, just stick with it and stay strong!

  21. I loved this post and wrote a long comment but can’t seem to get it submitted – it keeps telling me it’s a duplicate comment, but I don’t see a duplicate here!! Hopefully you got it… perhaps the problem is that I’m trying to write this from Mexico… a lot of blogs block me out of commenting because of my Mexican IP address…

    Thanks for sharing…

  22. Hello Samuel —

    Great post and thanks so much for the ideas. It is posts like this that are helping us emerge from the shadows of the internet.

    My husband and I have been traveling full-time for 6 years and I have been blogging about our travels for the past 5 years. Until recently, all I was ever concerned about was making our website as beautiful and informative and entertaining as possible. We have published 6 glossy travel magazine cover photos with two more in the queue for 2013, and we have published over 30 feature stories in those magazines as well. We also became recognized authorities on full-time RV travel in North America and cruising by sailboat in Mexico because of our many “how to” blog posts and feature articles on those subjects in the print media.

    As a result, we have a devoted following but haven’t “scored big” in the general blogger ratings online.

    Since we travel without a cell phone and have always had sporadic free wifi, things like social media were technically impossible for us for a long time (you still can’t get an internet signal while camped for weeks on a most mountaintops, or out in the desert, or deep in the woods, or while on a sailboat at sea, which is where we spend much of our time).

    In the beginning of our travels, I thought all that mattered for being recognized as a great website or blog was great content, but obviously there is much more to getting noticed than merely writing fabulous posts decorated with awesome photos!!

    Beginning last year we began to pay for internet access via a USB modem in Mexico and Verizon mifi unit in North America. This was a big step for us budget travelers. However, now that we get internet in our RV and on our sailboat in Mexico, we’ve started integrating with followers via Facebook, Google+ and Twitter and we’ve started reading other blogs and communicating with fellow bloggers. What a world of difference!! Now we routinely get 40-60 Likes and Shares on every post we put up. Last summer I could barely spell RSS and now we have a whole bunch of RSS followers. It’s crazy — and it’s cool!

    All in all, getting Alexa to flash her beaming smile on us is taking time, but thanks to informative posts like yours that tell us what we need to do, I’m confident we’ll get there!!

    I really appreciate you sharing these tips and helping get us out of the dark!!!

    (unfortunately, your Comment Luv couldn’t parse my most recent post — it’s here: http://roadslesstraveled.us/cruising-mexico-shipwreck-at-paradise-village-resort/)

  23. says: Julio Moreno

    Hello,
    This is such a cool idea. I always liked reading blogs when preparing to travel or just all the time. I started blogging myself only last month, but I don’t really understand the exchanging links thing. How do I do this exactly? Also, what would you consider good progress as far as total views after 1 month? I post every other day (scheduled in advance to keep regularity). Maybe my style is too unorthodox as its more informational than anything. Any tips?

  24. says: Iran Visa at Airport

    I wanted to say thanks to you for this great read!! I’ve you saved as a favorite to see fresh stuff you post.

  25. says: Manosha

    Hi Samuel,
    This post is really useful for those of us who are just starting out and want to share our stories with more than a handful of people. Thanks for sharing your tips with us newbies.
    ~M

  26. says: Josie

    Hey Samuel,
    The quality and awesomeness of travel websites is astounding. There are many savvy, intelligent and creative bloggers out there. The bar has been raised! Your Top 100 is a quantifiable way to rate ourselves, so I thank you — and also a big thanks for this blog about ways to improve. As a new, (3 months), blogger, I need to soak up everything I can get my eyes on. I am a long way from qualifying for the Top 100, but your information gives me a yardstick from which I can measure myself.
    Take care and safe travels,
    ~Josie

  27. says: Blogging Tips

    Hi Samuel,
    Interesting post .Now I have got an idea about my blog.Simple & Crystal clear post Samuel. Thanks for the post.

  28. All those seeking submission into Nomadic Samuel will not unroot Traveling Ted from the 100 spot. Even if I am kicked off I will be remember as the best number one hundred of all time.

    1. You’re welcome. That’s great you’ve seen your metrics improving. It sure is a nice feeling when that happens, I must admit. I think if you keep at it you’ll be amazed at how well your blog can perform over time.

    1. You’re welcome! I think being resilient and keeping with it is half the equation. I’ve felt like packing it in at times but I try to ignore those thoughts as best as I can.

  29. says: Deb

    Super tips for everyone to follow in General. We have to work on writing for other people more ourselves. We get so bogged down with the workload that coming out with articles for other people is tough, but something that needs to be done indeed. Cheers.

    1. Thanks Deb, it sure is hard to find time to guest post! As my blog has grown and I’ve taken on more projects I’m finding it tricky to juggle it all as well. You two are a great inspiration though. I think you’ve found the right balance for work and play.

  30. I’ve guest posted all over the place – Copyblogger, Zen Habits, Gadling and many more. That’s my top traffic building tip. Guest post as much as you can and think big:) The best part is that you get an instant traffic bump as well as the permanent incoming link from a popular site. Guest posting on smaller blog is also great and the bonus there is building strong relationships.

    It’s always hard to rank websites but I really appreciate your taking time to set this up. It’s such a useful hub for the travel blogging community and a great motivator too:)

  31. says: William

    I have read several tips on how to quicken the process of increasing traffic and rank. I know better, which is why I continue to focus on quality. I am yet to explore doing guest posting. Currently, I am consistent with my contents and making an effort to make them as epic as possible. Thank you for the tips. They really coincide with my principles.

  32. says: Angie Away

    Such good tips… I’ve been meaning to get around to guest posting and link exchanging, but gahhhh, trying to find the time is tricky =) Thanks for the great post & hard work!

  33. says: LozinTransit

    “Moreover, something else to consider is zigging when others are zagging”
    The eternal struggle with art seems to be the worry that if you zag too much the audience might take longer to find you. A lot of people might prefer the zig stuff, it is mainstream for a reason afterall. It just about finding the most charming of the crowded pack. The motivation to keep on with the zagging is tough. Guess it only applies if you consider travel writing as art.

  34. says: mina

    wow! thanks for all the points given here. i’m a new travel blogger and i would love to share my experiences on the road. looking forward to more informational posts that’ll help me eventually build my own site. thanks again!

  35. says: Bula @ The Irreverent Traveller

    Well done! So, does this mean you’re taking guest posts then? Because let me tell ya, I can write an exciting post about sandwiches in Vietnam. Or Extreme Sitting in Taiwan. You are ripe for choice.

  36. says: Sam Walker

    Thanks. This was one of the better lists Ive read. Very down to earth and accurate advice in my experience. I have heard that with link exchanges, they can be very valuable if you have a few, but you need to be careful not to go crazy with them as Google doesn’t tend to like too many. However I’ve never experimented with them myself, so don’t have personal experience to back that up.

  37. says: Jeff Dobbbins

    Thanks, Samuel, for this incredibly helpful information. It’s really generous of you to offer this kind of expertise.

  38. says: Turtle

    Ah, if only there were another 24 hours in the day we could do everything! 🙂
    They’re great tips, mate, and offer some good encouragement for those of us who are still relative newbies.
    How people manage to spend so much time on their blogs while travelling full-time, I’ll never know, though!!

  39. Hi Samuel… great tips, I hope to be on the list one day! As you know (and have taken advantage of).. .I have a link exchange, the “Mad Love Travel Directory”. I just wanted to let any of your readers that have a travel blog know, they can also take advantage of my link exchange.

    Now, I’ll have to submit a post to your Smiling Faces website!

  40. says: Ron

    Great article Sam! Lots of tips here that are very useful for me and quite a few things I haven’t done yet to move ahead in my (ahem…our) niche!

  41. says: Nina F

    Very much appreciate the tips, Nomadic Samuel – I have put quite a few links to other blogs on my Other Voices, Other Blogs page primarily because I have enjoyed reading them! I was unaware of link exchanges until you pointed them out.

  42. Great list. I like the fact it is an ongoing list not a static one time list for the year. My congratulations and sympathies. Sounds like a lot of work making sure the list is up to date and accurate.