Getting paid to travel sounds like a dream job. It actually sounds so perfect that many people jumped to the opportunity to travel on someone else’s expense. Social media became saturated with amateur and semi-professional travel bloggers who thought that their work begins with choosing a travel destination and ends with booking an airline ticket. Far from it. Here are some tips on how to run a successful travel blog.
It’s a full-time job
Having a travel blog, or any blog for that matter is a full-time job with a lot of overtime. If you are serious about making into your career you should have a professional approach. In recent years, travel blogging has seen some harsh competition with blogs popping up in thousands every day. Just because you can write and post, doesn’t mean that you can write well and that the postings are going to be trending on Google. It’s going to take some time, a couple of years actually, for you to get some practice and for people to recognize your effort. Also, don’t hold your breath to seeing any income from the blog in the first years. It’s demanding, time-consuming work, so don’t expect any overnight miracle.
As stated before, the competition is ruthless, but that shouldn’t put you off. On the bright side, there are very little quality competitors. In other words, if you have the drive, and the ambition to do it better than most, you are already halfway there to reaching your goal. Determination is another important component that you need to have an endless supply of. If you set your mind to do it the right way, professionally and make it your primary source of income, then keep reading.
Short, sweet and to the point
First of all, you need to research other travel blogs, see their content, and try to do something different. If their posts are too long, you write short 2-minute-read texts; if you think their blogs are too dull and news-like, try to include some funny stories or quotes in your posts. You get the picture, right? Uniqueness is something that’s going to distinguish you from the crowd. Innovations are something that will keep readers to want to come back, to check out your blog often.
Writing about travels is a very wide area of expertise that can easily slip into being a general content webpage. To avoid this, the best thing would be to pick a certain theme and stick to it. Let’s say you’re a foodie that likes to travel; stick to trying out native foods from different corners of the world, make signature cuisine your personal stamp along with the exploration of the area. A good example is the travel blog of Bashar Ibrahim, a guy that found his niche traveling and trying out different dishes around the world. To find out more about his amazing travels visit here. Another good example would be: if you like Asia, explore that continent to the fullest before presenting other areas. In short, choose a theme for your blog, and go into details, go deep, write stories and adventures that happened along the way. Set the bar high and keep it there.
Invest in your business
Yes, it is a business, and like every other start-up out there, this one needs some investing. First, you have to invest in yourself and I don’t mean buying new clothes or a suitcase for your next travel. Rather, invest in your knowledge, in your mind, broaden your views. Start with reading a book, any book that has to do with travel, marketing, management, politics, geography, archeology, and writing. There is no traditional school where you can learn how to be a blogger, so everything comes through your personal experience.
Another thing you should invest in is your website. Assuming that you’re not web designer, hire someone to create an interesting, vibrant webpage that’s going to be appealing to the readers. Reach out for people that are professionals, like SEO auditors, video editors, and designers. You should concentrate your energy on what you do best, hopefully, travel and writing. Running a blog is not a one-man show, you need the whole crew of people for your blog to look inviting. Needless to say, don’t hire everyone at once. Your business is a start-up, so add more help in time, one by one, and grow from there as your website gains more readers.
You are going to have a lot of expenses at the beginning of planning your travels. Try to save, if possible. Have a frequent flier credit card, and save on airline tickets. As far as lodging, it doesn’t have to be a five-star hotel, people are more interested in a local culture anyways than if your room has a view. Mingle with locals, visit fresh markets instead of high-end restaurants and save that money to maybe visit something more interesting. Having a funny story to tell from your travels is worth more than talking about eating with a silver spoon. Make it interesting, and stylish, not expensive.
It’s not all about you
Of course, it is your blog about your travels, but don’t make every story on the website about yourself. People who read it may get the impression that you are self-consumed and egocentric, writing a blog for the sake of self-promotion, meaning there’s nothing for them to see there. You need to find a way to relate to your audience.
Not every text has to be about travels, you can mix it in with some unique stories that the native people told you, or their beliefs, or myths. Try to bring the destination to your readers, since it’s highly unlikely that all of them are going to visit Papua New Guinea someday. Be funny, relaxed, crack a joke here and there, and people will start responding.
Build a network
Stay connected to other bloggers, whether you have the same area of interest or not. Or, better yet, reach out to them and show some initiative and interest. People like that, and it will be greatly appreciated. Also, don’t limit yourself to travel sites only. Find webpages that are relatable to travel, like history, or archeology, and exchange thoughts with them.
If you’re still reading that means that you are serious about starting your travel blog. Good for you, that shows that you have the persistence needed to be successful in this line of work. Remember not to be too harsh to yourself at the beginning since you are bound to make mistakes. Everyone did and that’s okay if you learn something from them. Believe that you can do it, and you will. Bon voyage!