The lifestyle of travel writing is a hot topic right now, as more and more millennials are seriously considering becoming a travel blogger. As we get ready to plan our summer travel adventures, many of us can’t help but wonder: Would it benefit me to start a travel blog?
If you love travel and you love writing, the answer is probably “Yes”, but there are several different reasons why many young travelers want to start a travel blog. For one thing, a travel blog is a great way to document your memories from the trips you take, and to immortalize those memories on your blog. And, “here’s a link to my blog post” is a lot easier than answering a ton of individual questions from friends and peers who see your Instagram photos from your trip, and want you to give them tips so that they can have a similar experience to yours.
Let’s not forget the other really big reason to start a travel blog, which is that if you become good at travel blogging, you can start getting paid to write about travel. You may not get your whole trip paid for as a travel blogger at first (it’s really only the seasoned travel bloggers who get those comp trips) but plenty of publications will pay you for the article you write about the destination you visited, so essentially you are making money doing what you love: You’re making money traveling.
If your travel blog becomes popular, from writing consistent and informative blog posts that your readers love, that’s when you’ll start getting offers from tourism companies and hotels, potentially even getting free vacations. There are many tips and tricks out there from seasoned travel bloggers on how to get your travel blog popular, but let’s start with what you need to know to actually start a travel blog:
1. Start Writing Content While Everything is Fresh in your Mind
Before you start a travel blog, you’ll need to have pre-written content to put on your blog. Ideally, you’ll have at least 20 articles about different destinations pre-written before you start your blog. The best way to do this is to write a couple different articles for every destination you visit. For example, if you’re writing about a trip you took to Hawaii, you might want to write one separate article on waterfalls to check out, and another article on the best hikes, and another article on the best foods to try in Hawaii. As you’re traveling, take notes about each destination while it’s still fresh in your mind. Write down specific restaurants, beaches, and neighborhoods you loved.
Write articles as you travel, and ensure those articles are detailed and informative, because that’s how you secure a loyal audience. When you’re pre-writing articles for your blog, you can also write about destinations you’ve visited in the past, as long as you still have a clear memory of the trip in your mind and are able to write about it.
2. Learn How to Take Expert Travel Photos
Start experimenting with photo-taking as you travel. Your blog will need high-quality, well-shot photos and practice makes perfect when it comes to taking great photos. A photo of a beautiful waterfall, for example, will be best without any people in the photo, or if someone is in the frame, have it be a candid shot of them enjoying the waterfall. The best blog posts on a travel blog are full of photos that are expertly laid out. To make your blog look professional, install a photobook template on your blog. Flipsnack is an awesome travel-blogging tool which provides an easy way to display photos from your many adventures around the globe.
When you create a photo album on Flipsnack’s editor, you can choose a template and embed a professional-looking photo album directly into your blog post. Each individual collage of photos that you embed using this tool can be used for an individual blog post pertaining to those photos.
3. Think of a Niche or Think Outside The Box
The internet already has enough cliché articles about things like 5 Secret Beaches in Maui and similar overdone topics. When you’re thinking about writing travel-related blog posts, try writing about the unusual. Try finding the quirky, off-the-beaten-path, unique offerings of the destination you’re visiting. If you aren’t sure how to find these unique spots to write about, get help from an excursion company that specializes in showing travelers a more rare and less cliche experience. People will be more interested in reading about the cool stalagmites you found in a hidden cave rather than a pretty beach you found. Another great way to think outside of the box is to start a niche travel blog, rather than a general one.
Choose a niche and target your audience to be either specifically solo travelers, specifically romantic travel, hard adventure travel, or whatever niche you prefer to focus on. Your niche should be something you’re passionate about. Choosing a niche often increases your blog’s traffic and popularity.
4. Research Content Management Systems
When you start a travel blog, a content management system such as WordPress, for example, will be crucial. Before you start your blog, you’ll want to research different content management systems and choose one. You’ll probably also need to hire a website designer. If you choose WordPress as your content management system, for example, you’ll probably choose a theme or layout for your blog, and hire a website developer to customize the design to suit your preferences.
5. Educate Yourself on SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is when you strategically write your content to optimize it for search engines like Google. A blog post written with the use of strategically placed keywords, for example, will help you get a better Google ranking, which leads to more people around the globe finding your travel blog when they search for travel tips on Google. SEO is a skill that will give you an advantage in the blogging world, and if you educate yourself on SEO practices, you’ll get ahead in the blogging world. If you do your research and you enter the competitive world of travel blogging well-prepared, your chances of success will skyrocket.
It’s important to keep in mind that most travel blogs will not become an immediate success. If you’re interested in becoming a travel blogger, know that patience and consistent hard work is required, as most blogs become popular over time rather than instantaneously. If you’re willing to put the work into your travel blog without expecting immediate accolades, it’s very possible that you’ll achieve future success in the career of travel blogging. This career is one that requires dedication and commitment, and it’s not as glamorous or as easy as it seems. Those who are dedicated, however, are likely to succeed.