When it comes to starting a travel blog, there are some things you need to know.
Do you wish you could spend your whole life traveling and not have to worry about a thing? Just explore the world, visiting far-flung destinations, meeting new people and having amazing experiences.
A lot of people share the same dream, but very few manage to make it work. The main reason being that travel costs money. You need an income in order to afford your globetrotting lifestyle, but having a full-time job means you don’t have the free time to get away. It’s a vicious circle that prevents many people from fulfilling their potential and realizing their dreams.
But there are ways to travel the world and make a living at the same time. Many people forge successful careers as digital nomads, professional adventurers, or journalists. If you want to achieve a life of exploration and wonder, you don’t need any specific skills to make it work. All you need is a love of travel and the commitment to reach your goals.
Travel blogging is one of the most effective ways to see the world and earn money at the same time. By documenting the destinations you visit in an entertaining way, you will build a following and eventually find ways to generate an income through advertising and sponsorship. But nothing worthwhile in life ever comes easy, and it will take a lot of time and effort to get there.
If the idea of being a professional traveler appeals to you, here are six tips for starting a travel blog.
Learn the technical stuff
Being a travel writer is not all fun and games. There are a lot of boring technical things you need to learn if you want to succeed. The first thing you’ll need is your own website on which to host your blog. The first thing to decide is whether you want your blog to be hosted or self-hosted. The former means that your website will be maintained by a hosting platform such as WordPress. They will perform all necessary site maintenance and deal with technical issues. The great thing about hosted blogs is that they are often free and easy to set up. The downsides are that you don’t get your own unique URL and you are less likely to appear in search engines. Not the best option if you want to get your name out there.
If you are willing to spend a bit more money it’s a good idea to host your blog. You will have to acquaint yourself with basic web development and design skills. If you have a background in marketing or digital customer experience, this will be a no-brainer but it can be quite overwhelming for a novice. It’s worth taking a course or reading up on how to create a website.
Create your brand
There are so many travel bloggers out there. Some are brilliant, others less so. You need to find a way to stand out from the crowd and get noticed. First things first, you’ll have to come up with a name for your blog. This should be something catchy and memorable, with some relevance to travel or adventure. It’s a good idea to include your name in the title so your readers know who you are. Popular existing travel blogs include Nomadic Matt and The Blonde Abroad, which should give you some idea of names that work.
Find a niche
It’s not enough to go to different countries and visit the most popular tourist spots. The Eiffel Tower and Grand Canyon have been written about extensively, so it’s unlikely you’ll be able to add any new insight.
The best approach is to carve out your own niche. Find an approach to travel that is unique and makes you stand out. This could take the form of a challenge, such as visiting every country in the world or climbing a mountain on every continent. Or you could find a new perspective around travel to focus on, such as sustainable tourism or the feminist history of the countries you visit. The options are endless, you just have to find the one that works for you.
If you want to be a travel blogger, you need to know how to write. Your blog doesn’t exactly have to be a literary masterpiece but you should at least have a basic grasp of grammar and punctuation, and be able to spell correctly. A blog should be informal and friendly in tone. Readers will soon switch off if you are overly professional or boring.
Over time, your writing will improve so it’s essential you get as much practice in as you can. Make it a habit to write something every single day, whether you publish it or not. You will soon find you become more articulate and settle into your writing style. You’ll eventually go over your old posts and realize just how far you have come as a blogger.
Take great photos
Your followers don’t just want to read about the beautiful places you visit, they need to see them. You can’t be a travel blogger without knowing how to take stunning photos and videos. These will bring your articles to life and give readers a snapshot of your experiences on the road. Make sure you have a good camera and know how to use it. A lot of modern smartphones have excellent cameras these days, but nothing beats a proper DSLR for clarity and detail. Take a look at this list of the best cameras on the market.
It’s not a travel blog if you don’t get out there and see the world. When you start visiting amazing places, the content will just come naturally. You can pick up all the blogging skills you need while you’re on the move. The important thing is to start traveling and spreading the word. Once you build your readership up, you will find it much easier to start monetizing your blog and approaching companies for sponsorship. Just remember to be patient and don’t give up!