Online travel publishers are in a state of panic. Nearly overnight our businesses have gone from increasing web views as travelers prepare for spring break and summer travel to crashing with the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Many of us are watching our income sources dry up like a shallow creek in a drought, leaving only questions of what we should do now.
While these tips are directed to my friends in the travel niche, all of the tips are good options for any online publisher if you find yourself in a state of flux – or national emergency.
Ideas to Improve Your Digital Business While in Quarantine
It’s easy to get swept up in the hysteria. But the truth is that ‘This too shall pass’. So if you’ve got the time, why not prepare for that day?
Use these ideas to help prepare your digital business so it is ready when the virtual crowds return.
Idea 1: Learn Something
How many courses have you purchased but never done because you were just too busy? How many groups do you belong to that you haven’t fully taken advantage of? How many podcasts do you have marked to listen to, or articles have you saved to read?
Now is the time to dig into those! Turn this feeling of incarceration into a gift of time.
Idea 2: See Where You Might Have Waste
With a drop in income it’s necessary to look at your expenses. Really dig into these and see where you might have waste. Do you pay monthly for a tool you don’t use? Are you paying for 2 automation tools when one will do? Now is the perfect time to look at your business from the back end.
Idea 3: Spring Clean Your Website
Why not update the images on your homepage or even change the layout? Now is a terrific time to study your site with fresh eyes. Dig into your analytics and follow the path people take as they move through your website.
What page do most people land on? That might be a smart post to put on the home page.
Do people leave after visiting one page? If not, where do they go next? Why not create a guide through your most popular posts?
If you are considering the creation of a post ’roundup’ download the Create plugin from Mediavine (it’s free). It’s an easy way to bring ‘like articles’ together. (See it in action here.)
Idea 4: Update Your Media Kit
I recommend you update your media kit quarterly, but if you haven’t done it in a while now is a great time to get it done!
Not sure what to put in a media kit? Mine are all right here– have a look!
I use Canva to make my media kits look great.
Idea 5: Connect with Your Email List
Now is a perfect time to connect with readers who have given you permission to contact them! Keep it short and sweet. Give them ideas for things to do at home, give them prompts for planning future trips, or just invite them to reach out to you.
Whatever you do, don’t leave them hanging!
Idea 6: Update Old Posts
It’s hard to care about producing new content right now when so few people will see it. And though that is the wrong attitude to take**, I totally understand. So why not go back through old posts. Refresh the images. Rewrite bad sentences. Remove out of date information. Make it better.
**Now is a perfect time to create new content. Even though the world feels shut down right now, Google is still at work. Get those new articles written and in the system so when people begin searching for that topic again -and they will!- you are ready for them!
Idea 7: Create a Product
Do you have an idea for something you know your readers would love, but you’ve put it off ‘until you have time’? Well, now is the time!
Ideas: digital books, one-day itineraries, multi-day itineraries, printables for kids, packing lists, planners…
Idea 8: Promote Travel Planning
After a period of isolation people are going to want to get out. Cabin fever will turn into a full blown contagion! (Maybe a poor choice of words at this time?) Now is the time to inspire your readers! Guide them to a new location. Help them rediscover an old haunt. Just don’t go silent.
Idea 9: Goals and Planning
Review your annual and quarterly goals. See how they might need to shift and make those changes. Plan for your next month or quarter and begin implementing.
Idea 10: Evaluate What You Have Been Doing
Dig into your business plan. What has been working? What hasn’t been working? What could you do better? What should you stop doing?
This is pretty eye opening. Be sure to be honest with yourself and remember your goals as you do this.
Do not think you should do something because it works for someone else. Do things because they are right for you- and your readers/ customers.
Idea 11: Make video
Video consumption is going to rise over the next few weeks- are you ready?
You don’t have to appear on camera- though I highly recommend you consider it.
To make quick videos from your website that can cross post anywhere try Lumen5– it’s super easy!
Go live directly from Facebook and talk to your audience. If you want a tool that is more professional I use BeLive.tv. BeLive can also stream to YouTube.
StreamYard is another pro livestreaming tool.
Which idea will your try first?
Let me know your plan in the comments! Or leave a question if you have one. I always reply!
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