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The Complete Guide to Start a Travel Blog

JalanJalanMen! - Many people dream of traveling the world and making a living from it; and there are people who are actually able to do this but are not pilots, flight attendants, or business people. Known as travel bloggers, these people get paid to follow and write about their one passion in life: travel.

Before you think it's all just a dream, it's time to debunk a few myths and tell a few truths about starting a travel blog.

Travel Blogging Truths

Who wouldn't want to be a travel blogger? Travel can be expensive, and the thought of someone else footing your bills is certainly tempting. But it's not just about snagging first-class trips to Paris. Travel blogging is like a job.

Travel blogging is not easy. The fact that you travel and get paid while staying in top accommodation is what most people see. They don't realize that there are many struggles that come with the question of how to start a travel blog.

Here's what you need to know before you start as a travel blogger:

  • It's a saturated niche. Everyone wants to ride the wave of being a travel blogger and think it's only rainbows and sunshine — that thanks to a travel blog (and a few followers) they can apply for compensated stays at 5-star hotels. But that is not that easy. There are many travel bloggers who have spent a long time building their image before getting to the point where they have received special perks (or compensation).
  • You have to spend a lot of time on the laptop. Being a blogger is like having your own magazine and being an editor, photographer, writer and stylist all rolled into one. Some bloggers have teams now, but in the beginning you're on your own. Taking and editing photos and/or videos, paperwork, SEO , social media planning: all these tasks require a certain amount of time to be spent in front of the laptop.
  • writer's block. Companies pay you for content, and to be a successful travel blogger you have to meet deadlines just like a regular job. Creating great content while experiencing what each place has to offer isn't easy, especially when you just want to relax and are on a tight schedule.
  • You will not earn a fixed income. As with freelance work in general, you are only as good as your next project. Also, travel blogging needs to be viewed as an expense in the beginning. How will you eventually start writing about places you haven't been before? You have to invest some money to make the trips that will serve as the theme for your content.
  • If you're a solo travel blogger, it can be lonely traveling from place to place by yourself. And since you won't be in one place for very long, you'll have to make and break friendships and connections all the time.
  • You don't know what's coming next. Becoming a travel blogger might seem exciting at first, but you have to be constantly planning what's next. There may be a time when traveling becomes less exciting or you run out of money and you need to plan accordingly.

If you just want to learn how to start a travel blog to share your travels, then these truths might not apply to you. Your expectations and ambitions will be based more on self-fulfillment (and maybe sharing your adventures with friends and family) than on building a brand to attract sponsors.

How to start a travel blog

Aren't you spooked by the hard truths of travel blogging? How to start a travel blog, step by step:

Choosing a niche

There are two basic ways to get started: travel and then figure out how to start a travel blog , or plan to start a travel blog and then do the actual travel . The motivation for people in the former situation is probably just that they are looking for a medium to share their travels with family and friends, while the latter is more suitable for those who are planning to grow their travel blog in the future and to monetize .

Like food blogs , there are a lot of travel blogs out there, so it's best to start by choosing a niche (especially if you eventually want to make money from travel blogging) that will help you stand out from the crowd, since general travel blogs don't usually fare well when it comes to SEO efforts.

Travel blogging sub-niches

There are so many travel blog niches that you can think of that have a need. For some, their niche comes naturally. For others, it might take a while before a decision is made. Here are some questions to ask yourself as you niche your travel blog:

  • Why do I want to run a blog?
  • What am I passionate about telling other people or teaching them?
  • What are my skills, strengths, interests and expertise?
  • Can I write long on this topic? The niche should be neither too wide nor too narrow.

If you're looking for inspiration, here are some of the more popular travel niches:

  • City Blogging: Focused on your city (you don't have to travel that far and you may know the subject better than most)
  • Country Focused: Destinations across the country
  • Territory/Region: Focused on like South America or Southeast Asia
  • Demographically targeted: Like travel blogs that specifically target Germans/Swiss or Austrians.
  • budget travel
  • luxury travel
  • Solo Travel
  • travel by women
  • travel for work
  • Adventure Travel
  • Travel with family
  • Travel for seniors
  • Traveling with Disabilities

Or if you're really ambitious, you can even blog about your trip around the world like Gary Arndt did at Everything Everywhere . He sold his house in 2007 and has since traveled the world (over 175 countries and counting).

To be sure someone wants to read your blog, research your competitors (to check if there is an existing audience for your idea). You might even want to use a tool like Ahrefs or BuzzSumo to look up some of the most popular content in a niche like South American Travel to get an idea of ​​what other bloggers are writing about. Then ask yourself, can you do better?

Alternatively, you can also try to be the first in your niche. You might find a gap in the market. If you're wondering, "Why hasn't anyone done this before?" then do it yourself!

Branding

Most bloggers market themselves as a brand. Your brand is what you are known for and what you are known as. It's what makes people say, "That's so XX!" when they see some of your content.

Aspects of branding in blogs include:

  • Your blog name and niche
  • The general look of the blog: the theme, fonts, logo, color palette, images you use, and so on.
  • Your style of writing

Choose a name for the blog

The name of the blog is important because it is also what is referred to as your blog (your brand). While you can change many things about your blog over time, stick with your name. Think carefully before deciding on a name.

Not sure what to call your shiny new travel blog? You might start with your own name, play around with that name a bit, or a mix of your name and travel-related terms. A few general rules for choosing a blog name (which will also be your domain name):

  • The name must be easy to remember and easy to spell
  • It shouldn't be too long either.
  • It cannot contain a hyphen or a number.

Brilliant travel blog names to use for inspiration include Nomadic Matt , which is about a man who travels the world, Adventurous Kate , a blog about a girl who quit his job to travel the world and The Blonde Abroad , which is about a solo traveler who is (you guessed it) blonde. There's also Tanks that Get Around , a travel blog/travel tank top shop.

Content Creation

The most important part of a blog is the content. Content should not be limited to just articles (or text) but can also take the form of photos (graphics, infographics), videos and audio ( podcasts ).

Of course, don't start with all these different types of content at once - they can be overwhelming. Instead, you can add new content types as your blog starts to grow and you get the hang of running it.

Content

There is no right or wrong way to write. Many people adopt a journalistic approach to writing about their day or experience, while some choose to be more guided in the way they write.

The best type of blogs are those that offer a mix of different types of content. Many people who read travel blogs want information about a place, which you should give them, while it's your unique style (which contributes to the branding part of the blog) that draws readers to you.

When planning a trip after setting up your travel blog, you can think about what content you want to write, what places you want to show, and what aspects you want to write about. Ideally, you have prepared at least 15 posts before you start. This gives you enough time to publish the articles bit by bit as you work on your next pieces, so readers stay tuned in.

Photo

Humans are visual creatures, which is why platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are so successful and growing fast .

Taking great photos or videos that make viewers feel like they're there or want to be there will attract more visitors to your blog. The photos will also be used for your blog promotion; pretty photos with catchy titles draw people to sites like the aforementioned Pinterest.

While you're thinking about images, don't forget to optimize your images , both for performance and SEO . You can't just upload full-resolution photos to your blog and expect them to load quickly. You will need a little help from an optimization tool or plugin. Name your files something meaningful (and short), as Google looks for such things when choosing what to index for Google image search. 

Promotion

There are three main ways to promote your blog:

  • Social Media : The easiest way to promote your travel blog is through your own network, but social media, with hundreds of millions of monthly active users, is also known for targeted advertising, which means it can help your Content reaches the people most likely to care. Hand Luggage Only's Instagram is a great example of a beautiful travel photo journal. Another great platform to promote your content on is Pinterest. 
  • Traditional Media: Being in newspapers and magazines is good publicity, even for an online business. This is how popular blogger Nomadic Matt quickly grew his followers.
  • The search engines: The biggest potential source of traffic, but with a lot of competition.

Guest posting is another way to get backlinks to your website from prominent travel blogs. Another way to get multiple opinions is to collect email addresses and send out email newsletters, as this gives you a direct connection to your subscribers (unlike social networks, which have the reach limited to your existing followers).

Arguably the most popular travel blog, Nomadic Matt saw the potential for these tactics but went in a different direction . He suggested guest blog posts to help fund blogs about how to save money while traveling. He wrote guest blog posts on Entrepreneur Podcasts to talk about how he was able to start a business with his travel blog.

These tactics set him apart and also introduced his website to several different audiences.

Travel blog monetization

There are different ways to monetize your travel blog , but when you start it can be difficult. What many travelers (or digital nomads) do to maintain their traveling lifestyle while working on the go is accepting jobs as virtual assistants, copywriting, consulting, or providing some other type of service.

Ways to make money from travel blog

Besides using your personal brand to attract clients to services you may be interested in, there are many other ways to make money from your travel blog:

  1. Affiliate Marketing: There's an affiliate for everything! Travel accommodation, travel insurance, travel gear and even web hosting. Every time someone clicks on the link and makes a successful purchase, you earn a small commission. While many bloggers have made a lot of money using this tactic, it's wise to note that merchants pay a relatively small amount for each sale made. So don't expect to earn much - especially if you're just starting out and don't have a lot of traffic.
  2. Sponsored Posts: Some companies will ask you to write a sponsored post in exchange for money, but the downside is that your readers may find it fake.
  3. Sponsored Travel: Work with private companies or brands and tourism boards. Tourist boards usually want the press to encourage more people to visit their country. They usually pay for food, accommodation, activities, and sometimes even airfare. Since they want the resulting posts to reach a wide audience, this may only be offered to those who have a larger following base. Some companies may also invite sponsored trips to get their products to market—all paid for.
  4. Display advertising: companies pay for advertising space in blogs; Ads can be placed in sidebars, headers or footers. This monetization strategy is the easiest to set up, but they don't pay that much (most people don't respond to ads). Another disadvantage of display advertising is that it relies entirely on high traffic volume to be successful. For those who are just starting out, this method will not be very lucrative.
  5. Make and sell digital products: Many bloggers offer digital products and they are a good way to make money. Digital products offer unlimited sales with minimal production costs (You can even outsource the creation of digital assets). Even if your products are cheap, as long as they sell, you'll still get recurring/passive income. Common examples of these products are eBooks and online courses. Easy Digital Downloads is our favorite plugin for selling your ebooks and guides.
  6. Workshops: After you've built followers and been recognized as an expert, you may be invited to lectures or workshops, which you can charge for.

Is the blog still not making enough money? Check out these 65 ways to make money online on the side as you continue to grow your travel blog to the point where it hopefully one day makes you financially free.

Conclusion: How to start a travel blog

A travel blog is a great way to document and share a love of travel, but it also comes with income potential. First decide if you blog for passion or for profit, then follow these guidelines to help you through the ins and outs of starting a travel blog.

Rudolfus Kikkert
Rudolfus Kikkert Interest In City Tourism

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