Are you an avid traveler? Do you like documenting your experiences no matter where you go? Then why not turn those experiences into a side venture or even a full-time venture by becoming a travel blogger.
As the definition describes – a blog is a website maintained and run by a small group or an individual to provide information using an informal writing style.
Travel blogging means blogging about traveling. It could be your own travel experiences or curated well-researched details about others' travels, or a combination of both.
Just as with anything worthwhile, building up a successful travel blog takes persistence and hard work. You will have to put in time, effort, and energy if you want to make a living as a travel blogger.
A Few Tips for Getting Started
Set your goals
Do you know why you want to become a travel blogger? What do you aim to achieve from it? Ask yourself these questions so that you can understand your goals, both short-term and longer-term. Setting goals helps with planning and with staying focused 😊
Figure Out Your Niche
Never try to be a jack-of-all-trades.
Instead, identify the type of travel and the type of location you enjoy the most. Do you like cities more than the countryside? Do you like local travel within your own country or state more than you like International travel? Do you travel solo, or do you travel with friends/family? Do you like backpacking or staying in hotels?
Once you’ve asked yourself a few questions to figure out a broader niche (such as backpacking versus hotels etc.), narrow it down a bit more.
For example, ‘backpacking through cities in Western Europe’ or ‘solo traveling in the US on a budget.’
Whatever it is, identifying your niche will give you clarity and help you to channel your energy in the right direction.
Identify Your Weaknesses
Everyone has weaknesses, and once you acknowledge them – you can look for ways around them.
For example, you’re a great storyteller who loves to talk about your travel experiences, but you don’t find writing easy. Accepting this shortcoming is the first step to overcoming it. There are lots of online creative writing classes and e-books available.
And, as almost any writer will tell you, the more you write, the better you get.
Writing software will correct grammar errors, help your writing flow better, and improve the overall readability of your written content.
Naming Your Travel Blog
What's in a name? A lot! The Internet is full of content. And the attention span of people browsing through this content is minimal. Having a creative and catchy name will help grab the attention of people interested in the subject of your blog.
The name of your blog should also resonate with the story you are trying to tell. Whatever you choose should feel right to you, and you should be able to identify with it.
Names should be:
Easy to pronounce
Easy to spell
Should not be overly long
Should not contain numbers or dates
Preferably should not contain hyphens
Plan Your Content
It helps to set up a calendar and plan your posts. If you aim to put up a blog post every week, make some notes about what you want to include in the next few posts. You could list 10-12 topics and order them according to which ones you want to write about first.
This breaking down of ideas will help you create a structured flow to your blog. If the topics are distinct and exciting, they will fetch more readers. Your content will not feel repetitive or boring.
Unless you’re writing exclusively from personal experience, research is a vital part of creating content. Your readers will keep coming back for more if you’re putting out content they can trust.
Take notes constantly while you’re traveling. Every time you see something, hear something, smell something, experience something that you might want to include in a blog post, make a note of it. Even if you’ve taken lots of photos and videos, written notes can make the post creation process a lot faster and easier.
Create Unique Content
It doesn't matter which niche you're in; there will be a ton of similar content out there. Don't let it put you off. Those who are not deterred are those who succeed.
In almost any niche at any time, anyone can carve out their own share of the action. And, providing your travel blog is focused on a specific travel niche, the amount of competing content will be much lower than if you tried to create a more general type of travel blog.
Find your style, your perspective, and your unique voice. Putting your own twist on things will make your content more interesting to readers.
Set up Your Socials
Social media platforms are the best way to get noticed. Everyone (or almost everyone) is on Facebook or Instagram, or both.
The following social media channels should be your starting point. They can help you open yourself to readers from all across the world.
Instagram – The perfect place to flaunt your travel images. But, Instagram is much more than a mere photo-sharing platform now. You can post short videos, make reels, post Q&A sessions in your stories, and create amazingly engaging content.
Facebook – 'The' platform to build a business. It has a broad reader base across all age groups. 34% of the World's total population uses Facebook (Statistica). It's almost unbelievable when you think about it!
Pinterest – Like Instagram, Pinterest is an image-based platform. Being active on this channel and sharing interesting content will help you build up your blog's audience.
YouTube – If you like making video content, this is the place to be. The YouTube app for mobile is often the go-to place for Internet users searching for a quick video guide or looking to spend a few minutes watching an interesting video.
Twitter – Short and sweet; Twitter is a social channel that helps you capture the attention of busy millennials. If you can create a catchy post with a picture and a few words - this is a social media platform that can get the numbers over to your blog.
There are many ways in which you can market yourself for free. It can be with shout-outs, collaborations, or commenting on others' blog posts or forum posts.
Facebook' boosted post' ads are a good option for low-cost advertising. It allows you to advertise, for a few dollars, a post you've created on your Facebook page. Boosted posts target specific audiences who are most likely to be interested in the content.
Making Money with your Travel Blog
How do you make money being a travel blogger?
There are many ways!
Advertising - you can put up paid promotions on your blog and charge money for advertising other's services or products.
Affiliate/product partnerships - you can partner with people or companies who make products and showcase them on your blog. Either use them in your travels or write about them in your posts.
Ad publishing – Google Adsense is a no-brainer. The downside is that it doesn't pay a lot, but it can be combined with other options listed here.
Creating content for websites - being a blogger, you could create content for other travel blogs. In this way, you put your name out there and get paid for creating the content.
Merchandise - creating merchandise is a great way to make money. When you get a decent following, think about selling small stuff like keychains, notebooks, even t-shirts. There are platforms where you can have these products created on demand—for example, Printful and Printify.
Social media shout-outs - once you've gathered enough followers on social media, you can become an influencer and get paid for giving a shout-out to another brand's product or service.
Influencer marketing is not as profitable as it once was. However, it can still be worth doing, even if only on an occasional basis.
Collaborating with tours - If your blog starts doing well enough, you can collaborate with tour companies to get free (sponsored) trips. You get paid to travel, write, blog, and talk about your experience with the tour company.
What You Shouldn't Do
Comparing yourself to successful travel bloggers can be overwhelming. It's easy to fall into the trap of feeling inferior. Do not do this. Remember, almost every successful blogger started where you are right now.
Don't stop learning
Learning should never stop. No matter how popular your blog becomes, there will always be something new that you can learn.
Don't take your audience for granted
Don't put up content just for the sake of putting something up. Doing so would be taking your audience for granted. If you're running late with your posting schedule, so be it. Don't make the mistake of posting sub-standard content to stay on schedule.
Don't give up
Keep writing, keep traveling, and keep posting. That's how you'll succeed as a travel blogger. Everything takes time, and providing you don't give up; you will see success.
Live the Dream
Becoming a travel blogger is like living the dream. Making money from traveling, having fun, seeing new places, and having incredible experiences. Who wouldn’t want that!
But, in reality, many bloggers give up before they start to see any real success. Often, this is due to a lack of knowledge about blogging in general. Or a lack of understanding about what it takes to develop a successful blog.
That doesn’t need to be you. Decide on a niche for your travel blog, choose a great name, and get started.
Know that it will take some hard work and persistence. Expect it, embrace it, and most of all, enjoy the journey 😊