How to become a travel blogger
“How can I become a travel blogger?” – this is, by far, the most popular question I get since I chose to leave my 9-5 job and dedicate to my blog completely. Each time, before answering, I try to get know the person a little better to understand his/her objectives. And this is exactly where I want to start with this article.
Let me ask you a question: why do you want to start a travel blog?
Based on my experience, the most frequent answers are “because I want to share my passion for travel” or “because I want to earn a living as a travel blogger”. The subtle difference between the two answers represents the determination and the desire to get started despite the thousands of travel blogs out there.
In the first instance, if you only want to share your favorite travel experiences, just open a blog (there are many free platforms even if I always recommend to rely on WordPress and buying a domain – www.valentinacarbone.it in my case), create nice graphics, publish beautiful photos, write well enough and share as much as possible on social networks. You really don’t need anything else.
If you want to earn living instead, the above are all a must.
HOW TO START A PROFESSIONAL BLOG
- Buy a domain with a “sitename” that distinguishes you and your passion.
- Rely on professional hosting that can always come to the rescuet (in my opinion, Siteground is the best).
- Choose a theme that reflects your preferences and can easily adapt to the content you want to publish. On WordPress, there are many free themes that already perfect without spending a dime. If you have chosen to allocate part of your budget to the purchase of a professional theme, you just have to choose the right one for you, one that suits your personality.
- Regardless of whether you will create the blog autonomously or leave it to a professional, make sure to express all your creativity. Tip: make your website easy to use because first-time visitors need to get an idea of the site within the first 8 seconds.
- Create a logo or a signature image you’ll use both on your website and on social media. Remember that the logo is a graphic element that represents you, so choose one that’s easily recognizable and makes you stand out. The next step, if you need it, will be to create business cards in which your logo will play the leading part. For this reason, do not underestimate this aspect.
- Find an angle, even better if it’s something unique and original. I know it’s difficult to find a niche that nobody talks about these days, but you never know, maybe you’ll come up with a brilliant idea that will get you noticed in no time.
- Write well and pay attention to the grammar. This could be the reason why the reader leaves your blog for another one.
- Publish valid material that can be useful to your readers, accompanied by high-res photos.
- Many say that it is necessary to publish at least 1 article a day for the first year. I disagree. I am more inclined to recommend one well-written article a week.
- Take the time to optimize your text otherwise your article may be the best ever written but Google won’t index it and therefore nobody will read it.
- Share your updates on social media, make your posts interesting and easy for readers to share on their feed.
- Create a network. Don’t be a loner, collaborate with other bloggers, it’ll keep you inspired and motivated. As we’re all human beings, sympathies and antipathies will emerge. The only advice I can give is to stay away from negative people because in this work you need a huge dose of positivity.
These are the steps that you must follow to create a professional blog, one that can, over time, earn you a living. The tips above are valid to open a blog in any niche, in the next section I’ll talk about what can help you start a travel blog specifically.
HOW TO START A PROFESSIONAL TRAVEL BLOG
- Take high-quality, professional photos because your future clients (i.e. travel brands) will expect that as the bare minimum. The same is true for video editing: shoot in Full HD and, if you want to really impress, in 4K.
- Have an interesting point of view. If you always claim that everything is fabulous, people will be quick to judge you a phony and will think that behind every post there’s a sponsor. This is a matter of some debate, I know, but I prefer to always be honest with my readers because I think that’s the only way to establish trust.
- Do not copy from Wikipedia or other websites you find online. Try to publish original material or, at least, from a different perspective.
- Provide useful information. A reader looking for “The top 10 things to do in New York” expects to find detailed information on attractions, transportation, prices and opening times. If you talk about the beauty of New York for 3/4 of the article, the reader will feel tricked and – almost certainly – will not read you anymore. That is unless he/she is so loyal that can gloss over this one instance, but that usually happens only with big web-stars 🙂. To avoid any mistakes, ask yourself “what would I want to know if I were in the readers’ shoes?” before you start writing. Answering people’s questions is the most fundamental part of internet search. Supply and demand. Question and answer. It’s simple like that.
- Make sure your article previews look good. If you do not want to use your photos you can use Pixabay to find free stock photos. After that, for editing, you can always rely on Canva, which never disappoints.
- Don’t just focus on numbers. There are actual people on the other side of the computer screen, who will read your articles searching for answers, if you manage to satisfy them they’ll trust you and your blog. On the other side of the computer screen, there are also companies and brands potentially interested in working with you. For these reasons, always keep in mind that you’re constantly observed – that’s the reality of being a blogger 🙂 !
HERE’S HOW TO TURN TRAVELING THE WORLD INTO YOUR JOB
If you’re doing a good job, you can start working with brands. If your blog ranks well on search engines you’ll be, almost certainly, be contacted by companies interested in being promoted through your channels. If this hasn’t happened yet, you need to let them know.
- Put a media kit together (your blog’s CV) including your experience, your approach and your stats. Make the first lines memorable, or people won’t bother to keep reading 🙂
- Engage with your readers: word of mouth creates more opportunities than you think.
- Contact brands or tourism authorities directly and propose them an idea for a campaign.
- Have a rate card ready. The more visible you get, the more you’ll be able to negotiate your fee.
Most people will have probably stopped reading by now, but perhaps some of you may be interested in learning about my story.
When I decided to start a blog I had no idea about what I could have achieved nor what other had done in this field. My naive goal was just to share my travel experiences around Europe, nothing more. I didn’t follow any of the rules laid out earlier in this article. I swear, not even one! Well … maybe I was already a good writer, I can give you that, but I don’t think that my first articles were perfect either. In short, I was a terrible blogger! 🙂
Over time, however, I understood the potential my blog could have and I changed my approach. I improved my writing, the quality of my photos and my overall storytelling got better. If before I only had a container without substance, now I was trying to make it something more.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Now it’s your turn. Have I answered all your questions with this article? Let me know!