TOP stands for Travel Online Partners, a partnership of great travel bloggers founded by Andy Hayes, and including Shannon, Sara, Hannah and Rachael. I met Andy just over a year ago through my alter ego as a corporate travel blogger and have been following his sites ever since. Although he’s known as the “travel guy”, he’s got a lot of useful info to offer about the blogging side of travel blogging. The TOP site offers online marketing support for travel bloggers, but even if you don’t blog about travel, there’s still a lot of value in the site. Here are some examples.
Write Right Online
First up, is an ebook titled Write Right Online. The book tells you what you need to know about online writing. This is great for new bloggers and writers in other disciplines who are transitioning into web writing. In a previous review, I said:
For me, the best feature is the checklist, which goes with the book. Each point on the checklist relates to a tip in the book, so you can easily refer to it if you need a refresher. Even experienced writers will benefit from pinning this checklist up on a notice board in their office, as we all need a reminder some time.
I stand by that.
Marketing Your Blog
Another offering is titled How to Nail Marketing in Unfamiliar Territory. While its focus is on travel, the tips inside can help any blogger develop an online marketing strategy, how to use your blog as a marketing channel and how to build a community through social networking. (By the way, the ebooks aren’t free, but they’re affordable and offer valuable content.)
The TOP blog is just as useful. Recent posts that caught my eye include Are you Blogging with a Strategy? which outlines some of the pros and cons of blogs and some key questions to think about in deciding whether you should have a blog and how to use it effectively. Another great post on blogging is Why Having a Blog is Like Being Married – I don’t want to spoil it; you’ll have to read it for yourself.
Andy and friends also write on SEO, Twitter and much more. What I like about the blog posts and the ebooks is that they are all clearly written and easy to read, making it easy to learn the lessons offered. I’d recommend that you browse the site and see what catches your eye – there’s bound to be something.