Being a professional travel blogger sounds nice, doesn’t it? Traveling the world and getting paid is a pretty awesome gig. Before you adventure into the world of travel blogging, you’ll want to create a plan and build your website.
To help you kick things off, this guide will focus on two main subjects:
- How to start a travel blog
- How to become a travel blogger
Are you ready? Let’s take off.
How to start a travel blog
Your first task in starting a blog — getting the website set up — is relatively straightforward. To do so, all you have to do is follow these steps:
Step 1 – Pick a website builder
Like you, your blog needs a place to live — a place where your readership goes to see what you have to say. For this, you’re going to need a blogging platform that is optimized for both desktop and mobile, and easy to use. The best website builder platforms have the features you need for a travel blogging website, including:
Drag and drop builder
This easy-to-use, intuitive platform features everything you could desire from a website builder, such as:
- A domain database and the ability to connect already-owned domains
- A logo maker to brand your travel blog
- Tools to help you collect information for new blog subscribers
- Performance and analytics dashboard to see how your blog is performing
A good travel website builder is made with travel bloggers like you in mind. With dozens of templates, tools, and features you can utilize to share your voice and travel experiences with the world. Enabling you to easily create, manage, and organize the chronicles of your trips. Optimize each page to appear in search engines with tags, images, videos, and website SEO tools.
Photo and video capabilities
Travel bloggers don’t simply use their words to share their stories, they also use other visual mediums like photos and videos. The right website builder will allow you to easily add HD videos and pictures to your page in order to stoke your audience’s imagination and take their breath away.
Step 2 – Register a domain name
The name of your website is important and not something that should be taken lightly. It’s the first clue your audience will receive about what you and your travel blog are all about. A great name will pique their interest; a bad name may convince them to search elsewhere.
When selecting your domain name, consider the following tips:
Make sure the name is available
Even if you come up with the most clever and witty domain name in existence, that won’t matter if someone has already claimed it. Ideally, your name — or a very close variation of it — will also be available on social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
Tell a story with the name
Like your blog, your name should tell your story, but in a few words. Think of it as a hint or a wink to your audience about what they’re about to read. As you brainstorm, ask yourself questions like:
- What are the best words to describe your blog?
- What will be your focus?
- Are you a world traveler? A European specialist? A tropical island lover?
- Who are you?
Keep it short and memorable
Your name should be short, memorable, catchy, and easy to vocalize. Avoid numbers, hyphens, or overused words.
Your goal is to make a career out of this, right? If so, a name like the “20-year-old traveler” or the “year-long wanderer” puts a limit on both your identity and your target audience. What happens when you get older or decide to travel for longer than a year? Go with something that will stand the test of time and be as relevant today as it will be in a decade.
After you’ve come up with your favorites and then checked for their availability with a search tool, you can select the winner.
Step 3 – Create your website
Now comes the exciting part — choosing a travel website design that works for your travel blog. Depending on the platform you’ve chosen, you should have dozens of templates to choose from. Take your time to carefully browse your selection before landing on the one that speaks to you.
Step 4 – Customize and build out your web pages according to SEO
The words you put on your website are not only important for what they convey to your audience but also for how they appear in Google’s search engine. So, it’s important to not only fill each page — the Homepage, About page, and Blog page — with informative and enthralling content but to make sure that the content is SEO-friendly.
Qualities of a website that is optimized to appear in search engines include:
- Relevant search terms to your brand, also known as keywords
- Easy to read and scan
- Clean URLs
- SEO titles and descriptions on each page
- Anchor texts
- Internal links to other pages within the website and external links to credible websites
- Alt text on images
How to become a travel blogger
Now that you’ve got your website up and running, it’s time for the fun stuff. It’s time to figure out how to become a travel blogger and start blogging. We’ve compiled some great tips below to help you be a successful travel blogger.
Writing is part talent, part skill. Some people have it, others don’t. However, like any skill or muscle, it can be developed by practicing and honing your craft. So, you’ll simply need to start blogging.
You’ve probably heard the 10,000-hour rule, which claims it takes 10,000 hours to master a task. While there is an element of truth to the importance of repetition and practice over countless hours, there’s no exact figure you can say which will turn you into an incredible writer. You simply have to practice and keep on doing it. So, each day push yourself to improve your abilities. Don’t just limit yourself to blogs. Consider also writing:
- Short stories
By focusing on improving daily and being persistent, your writing skills will grow.
Travel a ton
It should go without saying that it’s very difficult to be a travel blogger if you’re not actually traveling or don’t have any experiences to speak of. Naturally, this might create a bit of a dilemma since you need money to travel, but you want to use your travels to make money.
If you can’t afford to visit the world, then you have to be creative. Write about the area you live in and the various local destinations or spots worth visiting nearby. Or make your blog focus on an audience like you — people who love to see and experience new things but are on a limited budget.
Read… a lot
You’d be amazed by how few travel bloggers invest the time to read great writers or travel-related books. Reading books gives you a chance to learn dozens of things, including:
- What good writing looks like
- What the best travel writers talk about
- Important historical information about countries and cultures
If you don’t have the opportunity to travel as much as you like, reading gives you a doorway to a thousand other world’s cultures, and lives. A good book — whether fiction or nonfiction — can give you inspiration and expose you to new places, ideas, and possible travel destinations.
Find your voice
Although your travel blog can be an eclectic mix of travel-related journals, it’s best to find your voice and focus your blog. You can do this by determining what you’re trying to accomplish. There are several kinds of travel writers, and you need to figure out what kind you are. These include:
This type of blog is written through a narrative lens. While traveling plays a part in each story, it’s more about entertaining and amusing your audience with your tales and adventures. It’s not just about the places you go — it’s the people, the experiences, the lessons learned, the funny stories, and the horror stories — it’s about you.
Maybe your goal is to simply get people out the door and to a place you love. For this type of blog, you may even help them book their trip, or at least give them the information they need to do so.
If you’re wondering how to make money as a travel blogger, all of these travel blog styles present opportunities; however, this type of travel writing can be more lucrative, since you have the opportunity to monetize your travel blog. You can partner with hotels, restaurants, businesses, or tourism boards to encourage people to make a purchase and book a visit. If you’re a successful travel blogger, you may receive a cut of the profits.
The deal finder
This blog style is for the savvy traveler who wants to share with their audience how to travel on a budget or get the best deals. Excelling at this takes dedication, research, and developing relationships and contacts around the world.
The spiritual traveler
For some, traveling can be a near-spiritual experience. Similarly to the storyteller, it’s not so much about the place itself as the way it made someone feel, the lessons they took away from their journeys, or how it changed them as a person. Although it’s not a blog, the book, Wild: From Lost to Found on The Pacific Crest Trail, is the epitome of this genre of travel writing.
For some, the best part of travel are the amazing restaurants, hole-in-the-walls, and cuisines you experience along the way. You view your travel against the backdrop of foods, wines, and desserts and so, you share that in all of your blog posts.
The tour guide
This type of blog focuses on sharing the best things to do in each place, including:
- Tourist attractions
- Things to do and see
- Places to go out
Naturally, this will require an intimate knowledge of the area you speak about.
Now, your blog can and should be a mix of all of these styles. That said, to distinguish your travel blog from many others, it’s important that you clearly define what your blog is about, who it’s for, and what you’re trying to say.
Starting a travel blog
Start your travel blogging journey by writing and traveling and then writing some more. By doing this, and following the advice above, you’ll find your voice, build your audience, and turn your dream of starting a travel blog into a reality. The possibilities are limitless. Who knows? You might even learn how to develop a travel business out of your blog and become a professional travel blogger.
All set? Good. Your journey to a successful travel blog starts now.