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A Simple Travel Hub - Your Critique Appreciated

  1. TedWritesStuff profile image85
    TedWritesStuffposted 21 months ago

    http://tedwritesstuff.hubpages.com/hub/ … ian-Beauty

    Is a little travel hub that I did on a trip to Cesky Krumlov. I don't think it's too bad. I kept it short and sweet, added some useful information based on my dining, drinking and wanderings and tried to avoid making it either dry or an opus on the joy of this Czech village. But I just cant get it ranked in the magic of google.

    I have missed something, so apparently I know nothing ;-! Any critique, whether it be harsh, brutal or just insightful would be appreciated.

    Here's a big thank you in advance and I hope to pay forward any help given.


    1. Marisa Wright profile image92
      Marisa Wrightposted 21 months ago in reply to this

      If you can't get ranked, then the first thing you should do is check the competition. 

      I just Googled Cesky Krumlov and the results I get are from a dedicated site about the place, Tripadvisor, Lonely Planet, and the Czech Tourist Board.   I fear that no matter how good your article is, it would have a tough time outranking any of those.

      Google has said it favours dedicated sites now - sites that concentrate on one topic.  So that means, if you're writing about travel, you really need to be writing on a travel site.  Your HubPages sub-domain is not a completely separate website so it doesn't count as a travel site, even if that's all you write about.

      Since blogging is an obvious way to make a living while travelling, there is a lot of competition in the travel blog market, but there is also quite a bit of camaraderie.   Google "make money travel blogging" and you'll find lots of bloggers talking about their experiences and offering advice. Here's an example:

      http://www.ytravelblog.com/how-to-make- … -blogging/

      1. TedWritesStuff profile image85
        TedWritesStuffposted 21 months ago in reply to this

        Hi Marissa..

        First..thank you for taking the time to respond.
        I already have a dedicated site..The Travel Room ...it has 100's of pages yet I make more on a hub in a month than I do for the entire site in a year ;-9. I have played the blogger community game and the big players seem to make their real money selling the dream of travel blogging to others.

        After 5 years of trying to make a few bucks to travel, this is my last throw of the dice in regard to writing about what I am really passionate about. And since the HP community has been there, done that on just about every aspect of writing on the internet.. this and another question I asked about travel writing are my "hail marys"..

        1. Marisa Wright profile image92
          Marisa Wrightposted 21 months ago in reply to this

          That's the case anywhere in the blogging world.  The saying goes, when there's a gold rush it's best to be selling shovels. 

          I met many highly successful, full-time bloggers when I joined HubPages - in those days Hubbing was a serious income earner. Not one of them is still blogging for a living - they've all moved on to selling shovels, i.e. providing services to bloggers (SEO, website design, blogging courses etc).  That shows you how tough the blogging field is these days.  However, Hubbing has exactly the same challenges. 

          I found your blog and it looks well-developed, but I'm wondering if you understand how to promote it and how to make money from it?     I notice you haven't put a link to your blog on your HubPages profile and you don't have a link to your blog on your travel Hubs - two obvious steps which I'd expect an experienced blogger to do without thinking.

          The other thing is that nobody makes serious money from banner ads these days - they make money by building an email list and then using the evidence of their traffic and subscriber list to sell sell ad space to suppliers, or partner with suppliers to offer special deals on newsletters, or to sell their own ebooks.  If your blog isn't 10% writing and 90% newsletters/linking/SEO/Facebook/Pinterest/Twitter/forum posting, then that may explain why your blog isn't doing well.

        2. Marisa Wright profile image92
          Marisa Wrightposted 21 months ago in reply to this

          Just a bit more feedback on Thetravelroom.net

          I found your Pinterest account - you have 22 pins and very few followers.   

          Your Google+ profile isn't filled out at all. 

          Your Facebook page had a huge gap between March 13 and January when you posted nothing at all.  Even before that, your posts were just reposting your blog posts.   I couldn't even find your "Like us on Facebook" link on your blog.  You're missing huge opportunities there to market on Facebook and also to sign people up to your newsletter direct from there.

          You're using your Twitter account to post your paper.li paper and nothing else - and your "about" page in your paper isn't hyperlinked which it should be.  I trust the primary source of posts in the paper is your own site?

          All that tells me that you haven't got a proper handle on how to promote your site effectively, and that has a massive effect on how well it does.

          1. TedWritesStuff profile image85
            TedWritesStuffposted 21 months ago in reply to this

            thank you ;-) especially for the time and effort you have taken. It is appreciated. There was a certain air of build it and surely they will come..which is naive (I now know..) Am in the process of completely revamping the site..making it cleaner, fresher and once I have done that I am going to social media the hell out of it.. I have learnt a few things fro my experiments with the "tedwritesstuff" brand" which I will be applying as well as advice from experts such as yourself.

            Onwards and upwards ;-)..and I look forward to any further thoughts you or fellow HP writers have..

            1. Marisa Wright profile image92
              Marisa Wrightposted 21 months ago in reply to this

              Hi Ted, I was a bit worried I'd offended you as i hadn't seen a reply to my post.  Glad it helped!

              The thing is, when I looked at your site and saw what you had (or rather hadn't) done with it, I recognised where you were - because it's set up exactly like I was doing mine two years ago.  At the time, that was the prevailing advice - it has ALL changed now thanks to Panda and Penguin.

              Forget "social media-ing the hell out of it" - if by that you just mean doing more tweeting and facebooking about your posts.  That won't work.  You need to build your Twitter and Facebook page  so they gain followers in their own right because of the interesting stuff you're sharing (reTweeting and sharing other people's Facebook posts/photos are a bit part of that).  You need to have a sign-up for your wonderful newsletter on your Facebook page (both Mailchimp and MadMimi offer that facility) because your biggest asset is your email list - that's what will persuade advertisers and suppliers to pay for advertising and give you deals to offer your readers, and THAT is how you make money online these days.

              1. TedWritesStuff profile image85
                TedWritesStuffposted 21 months ago in reply to this

                What is this word offend you speak of ;-).. The more I investigate what you say, the more I find that mailing lists and subscribers are the way of today... Build a decent mailing list, interact with your subscribers and then you have something to show potential business partners.. that seems to be the way of todays world..only two years behind..lol...

                Have played with wordpress (unsuccessfully..www.thetravelroomalbania.com.. now defunct due to lack of even google indexing all my unique content..doh) and it does have widgets where you can sell advertising... so I begin my quest to build a loyal following!

                Though again..am always happy to hear any further thoughts you or any HP writer has to share..I'm like a sponge for information at the moment ;-)

    2. Nimblepins profile image86
      Nimblepinsposted 21 months ago in reply to this

      I looked at it and I think it's fun and quirky and interesting. I like the short and sweet approach. I'm sorry I don't have any advice about improving traffic - still new here, but Marisa is very helpful here, I think.

  2. ipakistani profile image37
    ipakistaniposted 21 months ago


  3. DzyMsLizzy profile image89
    DzyMsLizzyposted 21 months ago

    I have nothing to add or offer, as I'm not very good at any of those things Marisa has already explained.
    However, Marisa, might you be persuaded to explain how anyone "sells advertising" for their blog?

    Many, if not most, bloggers are using a third-party platform, such as Google's Blogger, or Wordpress.  I rather doubt you can stick in your own adverts on those sites.  To my knowledge, those ads are put there by the host platform, and the user has no say or choice in the matter of which ads appear, let alone any ability to place self-sold ads.

    If this means having a separate computer in your own home to act as your own private server and hosting platform, that is something that I would think is technically beyond the ability of, and not feasible for most people.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image92
      Marisa Wrightposted 21 months ago in reply to this

      You  are right, many bloggers are using a third party platform, but most of them are amateurs. My advice is directed at someone who is trying to make an income from blogging.

      Most serious bloggers would use the Wordpress.ORG software to create a site and pay a hosting company to host it.   It costs less than $100 a year to do that, not a big investment if you are serious about setting up a business, and that gives you total freedom to place any advertising anywhere you like. 

      However you can, in fact, put any advertising you like on Blogger too.   Blogger places NO ads on the site, it's entirely up to the blogger.

      To sell advertising, you need to identify suppliers in your niche, then you need to convince them you have a large enough readership to give their products good exposure.   That probably means thousands of visitors, or hundreds of people signed up to your newsletter.

      1. aesta1 profile image86
        aesta1posted 21 months ago in reply to this

        Marisa, you always give us worthwhile info. I shy away from e-mail list as regularity is really not possible for me so I don't bother with newsletters. Is there an alternative?

        1. Marisa Wright profile image92
          Marisa Wrightposted 21 months ago in reply to this

          Not really, as far as I'm aware. Although I'm giving out this advice, I should disclose that I don't use it myself - for exactly the reason you mention.   I gave up on blogging as a career when it became necessary to put so much work into it!   

          The old blogging model - put affiliate ads on your site, write a few guest posts on other blogs, chat on relevant forums, and you're set - worked for me, because the whole point of blogging was to build a passive income.  These days, to make money from a blog you need to post regularly on three sites not just one - the blog, Facebook and Twitter - AND send out a regular newsletter AND actively seek out advertisers AND preferably, create your own products or sell something direct.  If you want to make a full-time income you have to treat it as a full-time job and put in the hours.

          If I have to choose between working full-time on my blog or working full-time in the real world, I discovered I actually prefer the real world - so blogging is now just a hobby and I've dispensed with newsletters etc.

          1. aesta1 profile image86
            aesta1posted 21 months ago in reply to this

            Thanks Marisa. I think you made it clearer to me. I just want to improve my writing without the stress of producing.

          2. TedWritesStuff profile image85
            TedWritesStuffposted 21 months ago in reply to this

            That's been my light bulb moment over the last few weeks... With some gentle nudging from those who have trodden the path before me... If you want to make a living blogging it is a full time job.. Will give myself till the end of the year to try and get the ball rolling and if I fail then at least I tried.. nothing worse than always wondering "what if".. if you see me sitting in a office cubicle working for a nameless conglomorate on 2/1/2016.. you'll know the outcome

            1. Marisa Wright profile image92
              Marisa Wrightposted 21 months ago in reply to this

              Yup, the "Four Hour Work Week" dream is just that nowadays - a dream!   

              The big advantage of blogging over a real job is the fact that you can do it anywhere - so you can travel and still work.  The downside is that if you have any professional skills at all, you're going to be earning a much lower hourly rate from blogging than if you can go out and find contract work.  I'm not travelling so I may just as well go back to the office - I found I could work for two days a week and earn as much as I could blogging seven days a week. 

              They used to say, work all-out at your blog for two years, then you can sit back a bit and let the money roll in.  I'm not sure you can say that now, because Google keeps changing the goal posts so there's a good chance you will still be working just as hard in two years, three years, four years etc.  to keep up.

  4. Sharlee01 profile image68
    Sharlee01posted 21 months ago

    I enjoyed your hub. I found your title attractive, well thought out, and I appreciated how your blog flowed giving helpful information on food, drink, as well sites not to miss. You provide great photos too.  I think it was wise to only add one amazon feature. I can't offer any information on how to get traffic, it's sort of hit or miss with Google. However, you did A Great job...

    1. TedWritesStuff profile image85
      TedWritesStuffposted 21 months ago in reply to this

      Thank you for taking the time to read it and comment..all thoughts greatly appreciated..

  5. Canita Pro profile image80
    Canita Proposted 21 months ago

    I enjoyed your blog.  I would have never read it because I didn't know the place by the name.  Czech Republic I know the name of the place I did not.  Maybe,  Czech Republic in the caption?