Everyone has a “bucket list.” It’s composed of all the things you want to do before you quote “kick the bucket.” Interestingly enough, there’s one entry that you’ll find on almost everyone’s list:
I want to see the world.
Who doesn’t? There’s so many things to see and do around the world that we live on, but most of us will never see anywhere as much as we want because we’re stuck in one place in one job. What if I told you that you could make traveling your lifestyle and your job?
The answer lies in how to start a travel blog, which coincidentally I’m here to show you. It’s not easy, but it’s absolutely worth it. Here’s what we’ll be covering today:
- The basics of starting a blog
- Key elements of a successful travel blog
3 Quick Tips on Starting a Travel Blog
It doesn’t matter if you’re starting a blog for fashion, travel, food, or anything in between.
They all start the same way.
Once the blog has been established, that’s when you differentiate yourself.
The process of getting it set up is simple and quick, but it does require a few key inputs from your creative side. Setting up a blog can be done in three steps:
- Purchase a domain (your web address)
- Choose a hosting service (the servers that will put your blog online and keep it there)
- Set up your blog through WordPress
Within ten minutes, you’ll have a working blog, and within an hour you can be writing your first post once you’ve chosen a theme and installed a few WordPress plugins. This is the easy part honestly, the next step is making your blog something specific.
In the world of blogging, we call it your niche. This is your specific focus within the broad subject of travel. For travel, some people focus on a specific part of the world, or they write about the various cuisine they sample. Still others will travel exclusively by car, boat, or plane and write about that specific method of transportation.
Choosing your niche involves researching the travel blogs that are already out there and finding a place where your knowledge and passions can be put to use. You want to make sure it has an audience, and it’s something useful for people in the traveling world. Just writing about travel in general isn’t enough.
To help you find this focus, let’s take a look at some of the key aspects of a successful travel blog.
Finding Your Niche: The Key Elements of a Successful Travel Blog
You know you want to blog about traveling, and that’s awesome. You’re probably full of ideas, but your unsure of what you should write about first. Before you start throwing down the keyboard gauntlet, let’s try and narrow down your focus so you know how your travel blog fits into the world with all of the others.
1. A Passion for Traveling
Any blog, no matter what it’s about, needs to be based out of a strong passion for the subject matter. If the idea of seeing the world and experiencing new things makes you want to stay in bed, then this isn’t the right blogging subject for you.
In order to make money blogging, you need to be wholly dedicated to your blog’s content and success. That being said, what is it about traveling that excites you? Is it the stories you bring back with you? Perhaps the interesting people you meet are what makes it so worthwhile.
Seek out those aspects of traveling that make you want to leap out of bed in the morning, and you’ll be well on your way to finding the proper niche. Ultimately, your readers will feed off of the energy you provide, so if the fire isn’t there, then it won’t shine through in your writing.
In short, choose something about traveling that you’re passionate about.
2. A Sense of Purpose for Your Traveling Readers
This builds off of the previous element. Once you’ve struck gold with a passion that you have, you need to put that aspect of traveling into the real world and see how it benefits your readers. Simply dropping everything and wandering the world with generic posts isn’t going to attract readers or build a successful blog.
Value is the name of the game. If you’re simply trying to talk up a specific place without providing any in-depth knowledge or useful information, then you’re wasting your reader’s time and that’s never a good thing.
Just like your itinerary, your blog needs a general direction and a purpose that benefits your followers. Focus on something profound or in-depth in your posts and always give the reader something to take away, be it knowledge or a great story of an experience you had. Don’t let them walk away empty-handed.
3. Establish Yourself as an Authority on Traveling
There are already plenty of websites out there with travel tips or information. If people want to know about the climate in the Caribbean during the summer months, trust me, they’ll find it on Wikipedia or Tripadvisor long before they look for a blog to give them the info.
Broad and general information are a dime-a-dozen. You want your content to be unique and uncommon. Part of this comes from having a specific approach, but a large portion of it comes from you being yourself.
That’s right, you don’t need to put on a persona for the world. In fact, I would caution against it. People aren’t looking for a boring textbook travel blog, they’re looking for information and content that was written by a person who loves what they do and isn’t afraid to be themselves.
Be honest, be real, but most importantly, be yourself. Your blog exists as a platform for your voice and your opinion, so let it be heard. By doing this, and focusing on what you know and love, people will come to trust you as an expert on that niche. If you can build trust with your readers, then you can build a successful blog.
4. Don’t Give Up On Your Travel Blog, Practice Makes Perfect
Success doesn’t come overnight, always remember that. Blogging takes passion, but it also takes work and commitment. If you’re worried about your skills as a writer, don’t be. One of the best things to know before you start blogging is that you don’t need to be a writer to be a blogger.
Anyone can write, and the more you do it, the better you’ll become. Blogging gives you an outlet to hone a variety of skills, writing being one of them. Albert Einstein, generally regarded as a really smart guy, once said “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”
There’s a blogger inside of you just waiting to get out. Unleash it, and push yourself to continue growing with each post you publish.
5. Get Comfortable With Social Media
When it comes to a travel blog, a good portion of your success is tied to how you handle your social media profiles. Since you’re going to be all over the place, these profiles will be the ties that readers can use to keep up with you. The major sites where you should have a presence include, but are not limited to:
People rush through their social media feeds, so you’ll need to grab their attention fast if you want them to come check out the blog. These sites allow you to upload incredible images and videos from your travels that are sure to catch a glance.
Having a strong presence on these sites will not only garner new readers, but it will attract opportunities. Many travel bloggers are given free trips or experiences based solely on their readership, so never stop updating and posting on these key sites.
6. Maintain Your Integrity and Your Focus
Travel blogs are huge right now and they’re growing. There are countless opportunities for new people to jump in and find their place in this exciting world we live in. That being said, there are always going to be people who are just in it to make a quick buck. You of course are not one of these people, but the simple fact is there are some bad apples in the bunch.
How do you prove yourself as a valuable asset worth investing in? You do so by always going above and beyond. You will be approached by various companies with offers, but keep in mind that anything you do or write about should be connected to your brand as a whole.
Don’t accept a free trip somewhere to sample the local cuisine if your travel blog is about meeting unique people in various countries around the world. Be realistic about your workload as well, if you take on a free trip, you should be prepared to put in the work for an outstanding post when you get back.
When opportunities present themselves, ask yourself if this is something your readers would want to see, and if it’s something you’re passionate to write about. Don’t be afraid to say no if it’s not a good fit. Stick to your guns and resist the temptation of a free trip if it doesn’t fit with your niche. Be faithful to your readers and to your vision.
Now that you know how to start a travel blog, the next part is using the information above to craft and cultivate a blog that stands the test of time. Remember to make it unique and true to yourself, and never compromise the trust of your readers or the focus you’ve established. See the world, tell your story, become a travel blogger.
Do you have a travel blog? What tips would you offer new bloggers? Share your thoughts in the comments below!