If you love to travel and share your experiences, you might be considering combining these two things to help build a successful business that can lead you to a dream job of working for yourself. There are hundreds of travel blogs around that make it seem so easy to travel and write and get paid to do it. But, if it were that easy then why wouldn’t more people jump on the bandwagon and start doing the same? While it can be incredibly rewarding to start a travel blog there is a lot more that goes into creating a successful blog than just booking a trip and sitting in front of your laptop while you soak up some sun on the beach. How to start a travel blog? There are some key factors and fairly simple steps that you can take to start your own travel blog in no time – let’s take a look.
Before You Start a Travel Blog
It is one thing to say you are going to start your own travel blog; it’s another thing to actually commit to it and keep with it. Before you start doing all the prep work to getting your blog set up, carefully consider these factors that will help you set realistic expectations.
- It is work. While traveling the world with a camera and laptop in hand seems like a dream job it does, in fact, have to be looked at as a job. Growing your following, creating content, editing, marketing and more are just a few of the things you will have to focus on doing consistently if you want to have a profitable job. Be sure you can make the commitment to sticking with blogging or it will just end up being a project you do when you feel like it.
- It is a learning process. If you look at and of the most successful travel bloggers first posts, they probably aren’t all that great. Starting your own travel blog is going to take some practice and learning as you go. Don’t pressure yourself to do it perfectly on your first post but do pressure yourself to share that first post. You’ll never know what you’re doing wrong or right if you don’t just share.
- You might fail sometimes. Sometime you will share content and it will go viral overnight, another time you’ll share and It will barely get any views. Sometimes what you are going to provide is not going to get acknowledged. Sometimes you are going to put a lot of effort into growing one aspect of your blog and it is going to stall out. It is going to happen, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have to give up. Take everything as a lesson, what is successful as well as what didn’t work so well.
- Don’t take things personally. It would be nice to just ignore all the comments that readers leave because then you will be able to save yourself from reading the negative ones that are going to show up. You’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, and some of these people are going to go out of their way to make sure you know this. Don’t let any of the negative comment get you down, and don’t let any of the positive ones go to your head.
How to Start a Travel Blog?
Now that you know what to expect you can really begin to think seriously about your travel blog. Before we get to the more technical aspect of beginning your own travel blog be sure you can answer these key questions.
1. What’s Your Purpose?
Your purpose may change over time but before you get to creating content you need to know what that content is going to focus on. Do you just want to share the great images you take through your travels, do you want to share the exotic foods you found, or do you want to highlight the hidden gems in the most visited places in the world? Whatever reason you have for sharing your travel experience you need to have a reason.
2. Who’s Your Audience?
Knowing your audience is going to make creating the right content much easier. Will you be talking about traveling as a family, on a budget, surfing, taking cruises or doing a specific activity like surfing, hiking or fishing while on your travels? Know who your audience is, what their interest are, what they want to know more about and you will be able to build your audience that includes those who will actually find value in what you have to share.
3. What Will Your Travel Blog Name Be?
Your blog name can just be your own name or it can be something more unique and creative. You will need to take the time to check if you planned blog name is available to use as a domain while also considering the social media platforms you will use to promote your blog, which you will want to do a search to ensure it is available on those platforms as well. Something to avoid when choosing your blog name:
- Avoid being too specific like “Sam’s European adventures”
- Avoid the most popular travel terms, wanderlust, vagabond, adventure.
- Don’t pick a dated name that showcases your ages, as this will only be relevant for a year.
- Keep it short and simple, try to only use 3 or 4 words in your name.
4. What Will Your Travel Blog Schedule Look Like?
Beginning a blog can take up more time than you anticipate if you don’t properly schedule the tasks that need to be done. Consider how often you will post, once a week, every other week, every day? In order for you to grow a successful blog, you have to be consistent with your posts as your readers will quickly grow accustomed to expecting new content on the same day or around the same time. Know how often you will post and how much time you will need to dedicate to creating those post and schedule your time accordingly.
Creating Your Blog
Domain Name and Hosting
This you should already have done so all you have to do is register it and choose a hosting site. The most popular of these tend to be Hostgator and Bluehost but many others are available. Do your research to find a hosting platform that is right for you. Some offer great support and can be more reliable in terms of keeping your site up and running. Also, consider than plans they offer and which will suit your travel blogging needs.
Once you have your domain name registration and hosting set up you need to choose a blogging platform. The most popular is WordPress which allows you to easily set up your blog as either a person or business blog. Once you have chosen your blogging platform you can link it to your hosting platform and start creating your blog page.
WordPress offers a number of plugins that you can install on your blog to make it more user-friendly, These plugins can also keep your blog looking clean and professional as well as give you insight on how well your blog is doing in terms of SEO. There are plenty of plugins available for free and even more for those who have a premium package. Carefully consider which of these plugins will help grow your blog and make it easier for readers as well as yourself. Aside from the plugins, you will choose a theme. Your theme can help strengthen the purpose of your blog, set the mood, and let visitors a little bit of your own personality.
- Written post need to have eye-catching images and provide value. Share what you’ve learned, personal experiences and valuable content that your readers want to know more about.
- Video post can be a great way to grow your audience and make a better connection with your audience. Vlogging has been growing in popularity because it allows you to really allow your followers to see your personality and feel as if they are right there in your travels. The most successful vlog focus not just on the video aspect but also the audio quality.
- Keep your content interesting. If you want to stand out as a travel blogger then you need to make your post unique. This doesn’t have to be just based on the written content, many readers will come back to see the images you share of your travels if they are interesting and give them a fresh perspective. Always be thinking outside the box and stay true to your own purpose and brand.
Monetizing Your Blog
Start a mailing list. One of the first things you want to begin doing once you have made your first post public is to set up a funnel system, or a way to collect emails from those visiting your blog. Page views and post views can be a boost to your ego but you want to have a loyal following that is truly interested in staying up to date with the new content you create and as you grow your blog, possibly what else you have to offer.
Affiliate links. Affiliate links are one of the most common ways that bloggers can start generating income. These links earn you a commission when they are traveling or when someone buys from the link on your post or blog. Amazon.com Is the most used way to incorporate affiliate links but others are available as well such as Booking.com.
Think about a product you could sell. Affiliate links are a great way to start generating income but creating a product of your own that you can offer your readers can be a more profitable alternative. Do you have a book in mind about your travels? Maybe you have the idea for a clothing line or accessories? Create a product to sell that also fits with your blog’s purpose.
Promote, Market and Network. In order for you to get more eyes on your blog, you need to be reaching out to more people. Social media is one of the best places you can promote your blog and each platform can make it easy to share content to millions of other users. Each social media can provide you with a different and unique way to reach more people aside from just creating the standard post that includes the link to your blog. Consider the live features some of these platforms offer and how you can generate excitement on your next or current post.
Additional Tips for a Successful Travel Blog
- You can still write even when you aren’t traveling. Write about traveling tips, hacks, how to prepare, what to bring, best deals. Even though you may not be traveling at the time there are plenty of topics you can still write about that will keep your blog fresh.
- Get used to using social media. One of the best ways to network, build your brand again a following is through social media platforms. You don’t have to be on every single platform but you should be using at least one or two. Do your research to figure out where most of your audience is and start there then expand to other platforms.
- Invest in a quality camera and laptop. You will want to take stunning images while you are traveling and while you can simply use your smartphone a professional camera can give you a better quality image. Obviously, you will need a laptop that you can travel with as well with sufficient memory and storage to store all your images and posts.