Starting a travel blog is the dream job of many a world traveler. After all, who wouldn’t want to earn a living by pursuing their passion, especially when that passion can take them to every corner of the world?
But running any successful blog, nevermind a travel blog, is easier said than done. Even among experienced bloggers, 59% admit to having started and abandoned at least one blog.
If you want to beat the odds, you are going to need all the travel blogging tips and tricks you can get. Fortunately, we have you covered.
Our Top 7 Tips for Starting a Travel Blog
Though you can certainly point to success stories of writers who went into blogging cold with no writing experience and even less idea of how to run a blog, their experiences are not universal.
If you want your blog to actually be read, you would do well to take a few key points to heart. Starting with making sure your blog is not only seen but remembered.
1. Branding is the Backbone of Blogging
There is a seemingly bottomless supply of travel blogs already out there, and more are entering the picture all the time. Only about a fifth of travel bloggers have been running their blogs for five years or more, which means that the lion’s share of bloggers is those who have just gotten into the business.
As a new blogger, this means you will have some serious competition. With so many new blogs all jostling for a limited audience, your blog will live or die on its ability to stand out.
This is why branding is the first and probably most important thing that you need to consider. Besides, there’s not much point in buying a domain name if there’s a good chance you’re just going to change it in a few months.
Before you do anything, take the time to sit down and decide what you want your blog to be. Will it be a general travel blog or about a specific niche like mountaineering or fishing? Would you rather maximize your potential audience, or would you prefer to be seen as an authority in a specific are?
These are the kind of things you need to iron out in advance. Having done that, you should start researching similar blogs to see how they handle things like layout and design, content schedules, and the like.
You don’t want to make a carbon copy of an existing blog, but when a certain format works, it’s usually considered fair to adopt a similar style.
2. Once You Have Branded Yourself, You Can Arrange for Hosting
Once your brand, name, and voice are more-or-less set in stone, you can start thinking about actually getting your blog up-and-running. This means registering a domain name and signing up for hosting services.
A domain name is pretty much mandatory for cultivating brand recognition and credibility. Especially down the line when your blog starts to grow and you consider trying to attract sponsors.
Fortunately, you can usually register your domain through your hosting service of choice. Bluehost is one of the more popular options for bloggers. Their entry-level services are affordable, and they offer easy WordPress support.
3. Come Up with a Content Strategy
Once you have your blog up and running, it’s time to finally start putting some content out there. However, if you want to build a dedicated readership, it will behoove you to have a strategy starting out.
The main objective is to put out material on a regular schedule. This will incentivize your audience to keep coming back for each new update.
Now unless you’re independently wealthy, odds are good that you won’t be able to travel continuously when you’re just starting out. So you may need to get creative with respect to coming up with material between your travels.
How exactly you do this will depend on what works best for your blogging style. If your blog is strictly autobiographical, you may consider turning one travel into an extended series that you publish sequentially. If you allow yourself more latitude, you can publish research articles that don’t pertain to your personal experiences between travel pieces.
It will probably take some trial and error, but stick with it and you should find a formula that works for you.
4. Optimize Your Views with Search Engine Optimization
So you’ve branded yourself, got a domain and hosting, and are putting out new material on a regular basis. So why isn’t your viewership growing? Odds are, you’re just not being seen by enough potential readers.
Since most people use Google to find whatever they’re looking for, getting your blog in front of new readers means doing some search engine optimization.
Search engine optimization (SEO for short) is simply the practice of making your content easier for search engines like Google to find.
It is a skill that most people can learn, however, as running your blog will take up much of your time, it might be worth your while to invest in a marketing firm that specializes in SEO services. Particularly if you want to see results right away instead of losing time and potential readers while you figure it out for yourself.
5. Set Up Your Social Media Channels
Love it or hate it, social media is a big part of the blogging business.
Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter can all become important extensions of your blog. They can allow you to maintain your presence and give your audience a reason to remain invested in between updates.
Now you don’t need to sign up for all of those, especially when you’re just starting out. But really investing in one or two of them will give you an opportunity to reach new readers and keep the ones you already have interested in your product.
6. Don’t Get Discouraged
Any blogger who sticks with it for more than a few years will eventually look back on their early work and wonder what they were thinking.
You won’t produce your best work right out of the gate, and your level of success will probably reflect that. What’s important is not to get discouraged.
In any endeavor worth doing, there will be a period where you feel like you’re struggling to make an impact. Consider it paying your dues. The good news is that there’s nowhere to go but up, so if you stick with it you can expect to see yourself climb.
7. Create a Business Plan Now
There was a time when it was common for people to blog as a hobby, but these days most people who are putting in the hours are at least hoping to eventually turn their blog into a full-time job.
If that describes you, then now is the time to start formulating a business plan. How do you plan to monetize your blog? Are you interested in attracting sponsors, and if so, how are you going to do that?
You may be just starting out, but it’s never too early to start planning for your big break.
Begin Your Blogging Journey
You already have a passion for traveling, but now is the time to embark on a different kind of journey.
Blogging is work, and the blogosphere gets more crowded all the time, so starting a travel blog and turning it into a success won’t be easy.
But nothing worth doing ever is. So what are you waiting for? Draw up a plan, pack your bags, and get going on this new journey. Check us out for more ideas on how to succeed in your new journey.