Travel blogging is an ideal venture for those who love to hit the road and share their adventures, so it’s no wonder that every year, a fresh-faced round of travelers seek advice for starting a blog. The benefits are numerous: you can earn income, share your travels and cultivate a community, all while following your passion: travel. However, one of the biggest mistakes that people make when it comes to starting a travel blog is losing patience and relying too hard on the old adage “if you build it, they will come.” The best travel bloggers work on heir blog for lengthy periods of time before getting any recognition at all.
So without further ad, here are 6 tips for starting your own travel blogs
1) Focus on A Niche
The travel industry consists of many sub-categories. As a new travel blogger, you’ll need to find a niche that aligns with your overall goals. For example, let’s say you love to sail and traveling by water is your transportation of choice. This is a niche travel blog, and you’ll certainly attract people who are interested in setting sail for their travel adventures. And when it comes to travel, there are plenty of smaller topic umbrellas to go under nearly any niche. To give you an idea of how other travel bloggers are spearheading their niches, check out these blogs:
- Windtraveler focuses on traveling with children on a liveaboard boat
- The Points Guy gives advice on airlines and mileage opportunities
- Two Wandering Soles focuses exclusively on South Korea travel
- Mr. & Mrs. Adventure follows a couple as they travel the world by van
- Will Travel For Vegan Food is one blogger’s journey traveling the world for vegan food
As you can see, coming up with a niche doesn’t have to be as complicated as you might think. Make a list of the things you enjoy most while traveling, and build your niche around that. Then, research existing blogs to see how others are currently covering your niche.
2) Choose the Right Hosting & Platform
The platform you choose to host and manage your travel blog on can be a game-changer. Hosting is so important because it’s where your blog will live. Your host needs to be reliable and easy to scale as your traffic changes. Making a wrong decision here could result in subpar site security, dreaded site downtime, and privacy issues.
When it comes to platforms, you’ll need a system that’s customizable enough to convey your blog’s aesthetic, but intuitive enough to navigate easily. Platforms like WordPress.com, Tumblr, and Blogspot are great for content management and ease-of-use, but don’t do so well in search engine rankings. Additionally, you can’t sell ads on those types of free-hosted systems.
If want more creative freedom, or plan to monetize your blog (important aspect for anybody that is regularly traveling), then look into using a platform like Shopify or Woocommerce.
Take a thorough read, and do your own research on what is important to you. Heavy on visual content? You may want to look at Wix. Branding important? You may to look into more customizable platforms like WordPress. Conduct research on the pros and cons of many platforms to help you decide which better suits your goals.
3) Monetizing Your Travel Blog
There are a few ways to monetize your travel blog, especially if you’ve built an ecommerce store to complement the blog (or started the blog to complement the ecommerce store). Some travel bloggers post sponsored content, which is when a company or brand reaches out the blog for coverage on their product or service, as well as a link to their site. This is similar to the “Sponsored Ads” you see in magazines.
Through affiliate sales, you can also receive commissions on products or services you recommend to your visitors. For example, let’s say you recommend an awesome REI travel backpack––if the visitor clicks on it and makes a purchase (anywhere from now to several months in the future), you’ll get a portion of the profits.
You can also sell products and ebooks. Most acclaimed travel bloggers sell ebooks, and even courses as well. For example, if you were working on a sailing blog, you might publish an ebook called “How To Sail Around The World With Kids.” Furthermore, there are endless travel-inspired products you can put on your site if you plan to be more commerce-minded. You can also become a brand ambassador or go on press trips to widen your scope and travel for free.
4) Take Care of Design Basics
Before you launch your travel blog, you’ll need to take care of your design basics. You can get a well-priced logo on sites like Upwork and Fiverr. If you have a little more money in your budget, consider hiring a design studio for the work. The same goes for themes. If you’re building on WordPress, you’re in luck: there are thousands of WordPress themes on market. The best travel themes are great places to start as a first timer. You can always undergo a redesign when your travel blog starts picking up momentum. During this stage, you’ll also set up all your pages, such as “About Me,” “Contact,” “Destinations,” or other pages relevant to your blog.
5) Start Creating Content
Once you’ve chosen the perfect travel theme, you’ve got to start putting up content. Set a “launch date” and start putting together a log of content before then. You should have a thorough editorial calendar to manage all content. There are editorial calendar WordPress plugins if you want to manage everything in-house. With an editorial calendar, you can better maintain your content and topics, organize your work, plan ahead, and manage your guest blogs/teams (if you have them).
6) Be Consistent
Like most ventures, starting something is easy––but maintaining it is an entirely different story. Your travel blog is no different. It’s critical that you keep pumping out stories, even when it feels like no one is listening. This is one of the biggest pieces of advice that most well-known travel bloggers offer. Blogging requires a high level of commitment, and if you aren’t able to dedicate the time, it’s best to wait until until you can better allocate your resources.