How to start a successful travel blog
Your passion for travel and exploration can easily turn into a source of income. Here’s everything you’ll want to know when starting and growing your blog.
How to Start a Travel Blog
1) Choose a Niche
Opting for a generic travel blog (similar to Frommer’s Travel Guide, for example, is not a good idea. This has been done a thousand times already and finding popularity in a general niche will be almost impossible.
Instead, choose a sub-topic within the travel niche. Your blog could focus on outdoor adventures, culinary tourism, tips for frugal travellers or ideas for communicating with local people in different countries. Choose one aspect of travel you enjoy the most and are knowledgeable in. Sharing this knowledge with the world will help you create a niche blog that finds its target audience quickly.
Don’t worry about making the travel blog too niche. There are people drawn to the specific topic. These are the people you want as an audience. A large and general audience may seem like a good idea but the engagement level will be low.
2) Give Your Blog a Suitable Name, Start Development
What will you call your travel blog? A good name is both original and relevant. It has to be short and catchy and it also has to tell the audience exactly what the travel blog is about.
The Penniless Traveller is a good blog title for a website that discusses frugal travel trips. Gal Searching for Nature is another catchy name that tells potential blog visitor exactly what the main topic of discussion is going to be.
Don’t be afraid to brainstorm and explore different ideas, even if these seem somewhat ridiculous or irrelevant in the very beginning. If you’re finding it difficult to produce a cute title, try this blog name generator for some inspiration.
Once you have a blog name in mind, it’s time to get your website set up. Don’t worry, this is much easier than it sounds and can be easily done in less than an hour! Check out our full guide on the best and easiest way to set up a WordPress blog here.
3) Find Your Blogging Equipment
A travel blog needs to have quality photos and videos. It’s best to produce these multimedia on your own instead of relying on image banks (although a subscription in an image bank could come in handy for certain types of content).
To begin travel blogging, you will need a quality camera, a tripod and some image editing equipment. If you plan to make and edit your own videos, the right software for that purpose will also be required. There are free of charge video editing options you may want to explore. Choose the one you feel is the most user-friendly and filled with the features you’re looking for.
A good laptop or a tablet enabling you to post on the go will also come in handy, especially if you enjoy the digital nomad lifestyle. Don’t opt for the cheapest option. Investing a big more in quality equipment will extend its longevity and provide the highest return on investment.
What content do travel bloggers create?
Epic travel content will help you differentiate your blog from all of the competitors out there. Start with developing your original writing style. Let your personality shine through in the recollections and anecdotes you share with your audience.
Always write with your audience in mind. You need to have a more or less accurate idea about the type of person interested in the respective content variety. If you’re speaking to young, adventurous travellers, the writing style will have to be casual, warm and friendly.
Podcasts, image essays and video clips are also a great addition to a travel blog.
A podcast or an audio recording gives you a chance to share the genuine emotion of exploration with your listeners. You can easily create podcasts on the go, sharing the authentic process of experiencing a destination for the very first time.
Create engaging and relevant content
Creating relevant and engaging content will necessitate preliminary planning and hard work.
You have to start with a genuinely good idea.
Avoid the clichés and the stereotypical travel accounts that are already online by the dozen. Think about who you are and what makes you unique. What is it that you want to share with your audience? What’s the best and most innovative method of accomplishing the goal?
Using unusual media and formats can help you accomplish the goal. Show your audience the world as you see it through your lens. Travel essays aren’t easy to create but they’re incredibly enjoyable and people will have a great time observing your adventures.
The same applies to video footage. While you don’t have to shoot clips everywhere you go, short video presentations or vlogs presenting different destinations will diversify your content.
To find the right approach and style, you may want to experiment with different formats and styles. Keep track of the audience’s response to pinpoint the type of content bound to deliver the best results.
How to grow your traffic
Creating quality content is solely the first step. Next, you’ll have to determine what it takes to reach a bigger number of people.
Explore the key search engine optimisation (SEO) elements. Content that isn’t optimised will not make it to the top of the Google search results for keywords of preference. Google traffic is the engine that will drive your blog’s growth. Quality content is a part of SEO but there are a few technical specifics you’ll also need to master.
Social media marketing is another powerful tool that will help you grow your online presence.
Travel bloggers need to build their profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and even Snapchat and Periscope. These are inexpensive promotional channels that will, however, require work and consistency in order to deliver results.
Interacting with other travel bloggers and becoming a part of a community will also provide a chance to expose a new audience to your content. Collaborations, interviewing interesting people and writing travel blog posts are great ways to have your content exposed to a much broader audience than the one your website is currently reaching.
How to make money with your Keyword Blog
Just like every other blog, a travel-related website can be monetised in numerous ways.
Start with the basics. Google Adsense, affiliate programs and other types of contextual ads can be displayed on your pages regardless of the audience’s size. This type of advertising, however, is not going to produce massive monetisation.
As your audience grows and your reputation improves, you will benefit from additional ways to make an income.
Travel bloggers could be paid to write about destinations, resorts and travel products. Often, companies are willing to pay for Instagram pictures or videos that feature a sponsorship. To benefit from such opportunities, however, you will need to work on growing your follower count.
A final option to explore is the creation of your own product.
Ebooks and photo albums are two great choices for travel bloggers. To make a photo album, you will have to partner up with a graphic designer and a printing company. Think about the expenses and make a sound pricing choice. Any investment you make in the growth of your business should enhance monetisation.
Top #3 Travel Bloggers
Here’s a wonderful example of what a single traveller can accomplish. Dan started the blog in 2014 and ever since, he has been on the road for 1,467 days. The blog features exceptional travel articles, videos and image galleries.
Ever since the blog’s inception, its content and Dan have been featured on Lonely Planet, National Geographic, BBC Travel and Forbes Travel Guide to name a few. Dan contributes to Skyscanner and Lonely Planet on a regular basis.
Dan’s photography has been recognised through the years, as well. In fact, he’s been commissioned to do photos for various travel-related media. Check the pictures out – they truly capture the spirit of the respective place.
Social media-wise, Dan has worked hard to establish the popularity of his pages. He has 22.5K followers on Instagram and over 15K followers on Twitter.
According to some travel blog surveys, Nomadic Matt is the blog that generates the most revenue in the industry. This analysis suggests that the blog generates over 50,000 USD per month and that’s certainly impressive!
Matt Kepnes started blogging over 10 years ago. His primary goal was to showcase his work and get freelance gigs. Eventually, the blog started featuring travel guides, essays, accounts and personal tips to help other travellers.
Today, Nomadic Matt has become a popular brand. The business includes the original website, a blogging course, ebooks, best-selling books and even a charity hostel and a conference under the name.
Nomadic Matt’s blog also features an ecommerce section where travellers can find budget city guides and other useful resources.
When exploring those who have excelled in terms of monetisation, we will have to take a look at OneStep4Ward.
Johnny Ward’s travel blog reportedly generates anywhere between 20,000 and 25,000 USD per month. The blog has been online for over 10 years. Johnny started as a penniless global traveller who taught English in Asia to make a living but eventually ran out of money. That’s how the blogging idea came into existence.
OneStep4Ward has been featured on CNN, Forbes, Lonely Planet, National Geographic and The Guardian. The content is organised by type of tourism, destination and travel specifics (required gear, choosing accommodation, finding inspiration, working and travelling overseas, etc.).
The blog makes money in several ways. SEO and sponsored posts contribute to significant monetisation opportunities. Affiliate marketing and brand ambassadorship are also a part of Johnny’s strategy that has made it possible for him to turn blogging into a full-time job.
Don’t forget to try our Blog Name Generator!