A blog is a type of website that is updated regularly in the form of posts. These posts can be stories and/or snippets of information, reviews, photographs, images, podcasts, and other types of content that can be uploaded online. More often than not, a blog is written from the perspective of one person or a couple/small group.
A travel blog is simply a blog where the entire focus is on the world of travel. Travel blogs focus on topics that encourage and support every style of traveler.
Who is a Travel Blogger?
A travel blogger, also known as a travel writer or just as a “blogger”, is someone who travels around the world collecting material for writing about their travel experiences, deriving income from a variety of online and offline sources. Travel bloggers are master storytellers, professional photographers, in-depth curators, and modern-day explorers.
These freelance writers maintain their own blog sites and attempt to derive income from the value in their written articles and features. They often give travel tips about bucket list items, luxury travel, or far-off destinations like South Africa, New Zealand, Hawaii, Thailand, Colorado, or New York City.
Origin of Travel Blogs
The blog originated as a journal-like webpage (originally called a weblog) where people could write about everyday topics, post their photos or videos, share stories, recommend products, and generally make the events of their daily lives available for others.
When people began to realize the popularity of traveling and blogging simultaneously, travel blogs started to appear worldwide. Bloggers who combined their two passions began to recognize that it’s possible to make a living out of it. In time, as bloggers started posting about where they’re traveling on social media, hotels and resorts began offering their services in exchange for posts and complimentary reviews. And that’s how traveling turned into a business for travel bloggers.
Responsibilities of a Travel Blogger
It is not easy to become a travel blogger. There are some basic responsibilities that you need to fulfill if you are a travel blogger. Those are-
- Arranging trips and organizing accommodation
- Contacting hotels and resorts to offer reviews
- Reaching out to companies to advertise on the site
- Writing, editing, and uploading blog posts
- Responding to comments and building followers
- Offering tips and advice to people looking to visit new places
- Traveling to the next destination
- Organizing visas where necessary
- Pitching travel features to print media
How to become a Successful Travel Blogger?
If you want to learn how to become a travel blogger, but not just any travel blogger, a successful one. Here are the few tips that might help you-
- Find your passion
Most blogs on the internet don’t survive very long, with the average life of a blog being something silly like a week and one post. Travel blogs are no different, and being a full-time travel blogger can take a long time. This is often because people aren’t writing about what they are passionate about. If you’re passionate about something, you will find the time to do it, whatever your schedule and your passion will come across in the content you create, meaning it will be engaging and interesting to your potential audience.
Travel blogging has a whole range of niches, from food, to budget, to luxury, to adventure, to family, and more. You need to focus on independent travel and photography on this site because that’s where our passion lies. Find something you love doing, that you would keep doing even for zero rewards, and build your blog around that.
- Pick your Blog Name
Picking your blog name is a key part of setting yourself up, and you want to make sure you get it right from the beginning. It’s important to make sure that the name you choose is both available, and will fit on social media. For example, Finding the Universe is 18 characters, which is longer than the 15 character limit on Twitter. So you’ll either want to pick a name that’s easy to abbreviate or will fit on all the networks you want to use! Having a memorable name that people won’t forget will help.
- Set up Your Blog
Once you have picked your domain name, you’re going to want to actually set up your blog! There are a number of different options for doing this, from using a free platform to going what is known as “self-hosted”. Self-hosted means that rather than having your blog sitting somewhere like yourblogname.blogger.com, with a company like Google in charge of the backend of your site, you have it sitting on a server somewhere with the name yourblogname.com, and you have control over the site. Whilst this might sound complicated and difficult, there are lots of companies out there who will help you do everything from registering your domain to getting your site up and running. These are also usually great value for money as you start out.
- Write regularly, and well
It’s also important to write regularly, or at least, consistently. There is no hard and fast rule as to how often to post, or even how long your posts should be – you need to come up with something that works for you. But you do need to keep at it, and you do need to be consistent if you want to build up an audience.
- It’s all about the content
To be successful, you need to be putting out high-quality content that answers the questions your readers have. As you get into blogging and read advice on building an audience, you will hear people talking about things like search engine optimization (SEO), using social media networks to drive traffic, and all sorts of tips and tricks for getting people to your site.
All these things have a place, but the most important thing you can do in order to be successful is to ensure that your content is the best it can be, every time you post something, to any network. Don’t just throw something up to meet some schedule you’ve invented. Make it your best, every time.
Keep putting out high-quality content, and your audience will find you, they will grow, and they will keep coming back.
- Define your goals
One great way to keep yourself on target and turn your blog from a hobby into a business is to set out a series of goals that you can track. The only person you are in competition with is you, and setting goals will ensure that you know you are doing well against your targets.
- Pick a Niche
According to Worldometers, today alone there were 2,760,019 blog posts published on WordPress somewhere in the world. Those aren’t strictly travel-related blog posts, but still, that’s a lot of content!
It is easier to be successful if you have a specific area of expertise that your blog focuses on, that over time results in you being the go-to place for certain things.
Here are some examples of travel niches-
Budget family travel
- Travel in (city or country-specific)
- UNESCO travel
- Traveling with a pet
- Luxury adventure travel
- Travel in Europe
- Traveling on a sailboat
- Traveling with a disability
- Scuba diving around the world
- Vegan travel
- Traveling in a van
- Traveling in a van as a vegan
- Know your weaknesses
Not everyone is great at everything. You might be a whizz at writing and social media, but terrible at website design or time management. Figure out your strengths, and identify your weaknesses.
- Pick your social media platforms
Love it or hate it, social media isn’t going anywhere! And, for those who want to become successful travel bloggers, this is a good thing.
Every time you write a new blog post, share it across your social media accounts – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and of course, Pinterest, etc. Use relevant hashtags on Twitter and Instagram, and to get a further reach, tag people who you think would be interested in your post – without being spammy.
- Build a mailing list
Social media platforms are all well and good, but the reality is you have no control over them. One day, you could wake up to find they’ve switched the algorithm around, and suddenly no one is seeing your content anymore.
A blog is different. It’s your castle, and no one is going to be changing the rules on you. A mailing list is the same thing. A reader letting you e-mail them directly is a hugely powerful example of their trust in you, and it’s a great channel to directly contact people. It’s also a good way to sell products, down the line.
What Travel Bloggers really do
When most people think about what travel bloggers really do, they picture carefree globetrotters galavanting around the world. However, in reality, there’s a lot more that goes into the job of a travel blogger than just taking pretty photos and writing about it. Here are a few examples-
When you first start your blog, although you might not see it instantly, you immediately take on the role of CEO. Even though most bloggers start as solopreneurs, you are still the big boss as you decide what kind of content to publish right down to how you want to monetize your blog.
Beyond just calling the shots, you get to take charge of your business! As CEO, you get to build your future and profit from something you’re passionate about. What could be better than that?
Writing, just like everything else is a skill that all bloggers develop throughout the course of their journey. The more you spend time creating content, the easier it will be to find your own writing style and voice. You just need to be authentic with what you write and find unique ways to share your experiences, avoiding the usual cliches that everyone does. With each article that you write, find ways to improve it. From incorporating new vocabulary into your articles or finding a different angle to approach a topic.
Similar to writing, you don’t need to be a professional photographer to start a travel blog, but it certainly helps if you have a decent camera, at a minimum. Learning how to take great travel photos is pretty simple and the more you do it, you will soon start to develop your own photography look and style.
- Social Media Strategist
Social media is an inevitable part of the job as a travel blogger. To be a successful social media strategist for your blog, come up with a game plan ahead of time! Don’t try to tackle every single platform out there. Instead, choose a couple to focus on, and use them to redirect traffic to your blog.
- Email Marketer
Email marketing is a huge part of being a travel blogger, especially if you want to automate your business. As a travel blogger, email marketing is the best way to directly connect to your audience.
Don’t let email marketing intimidate you, but rather, use it to your advantage. As a travel blogger, start collecting emails right away! Build your list so that by the time you’re ready to use it, you already have a steady tribe who wants to read what you have to say.
- DIY Accountant
Whether it’s affiliate marketing, digital products, an online course, or any other way you choose to profit from your passion for travel, there will be money involved. So, another travel blog job that’s practically unavoidable is a DIY accountant. Managing money is a role that all travel bloggers fall into naturally as their blogs begin to earn. All it takes is some practice and a steady head on your shoulders to be a successful DIY accountant. As your blog begins to earn an income, you’ll have more money to spend building out your blog to make it the best it can be.
Finally, a job that all travel bloggers will embody, no matter what stage they’re at in their journey is a student. As a travel blogger always try to improve yourself and your business. Whether it’s through reading blogging books, reaching out to other bloggers, taking courses, chatting with mentors or just reading articles online, be eager to learn more about the blogging world and how to take your business to the next level. Being a student will help you to propel your travel blog from a hobby to a full-blown business.
How do Travel bloggers make money?
When you start writing and traveling, you need to keep in mind that your blog most likely won’t be profitable in the first year. But what you can do is to make a strategy of the various techniques you’ll need to perform to start accumulating profits. There’s a lot of ways to earn from your blog, and here are just a few of them-
- Banner Advertising
Banner advertising places ads in various locations on your website. If your website traffic numbers are good, you’ll have a profitable start. After a while, if the number of visits to your site starts growing, you’ll start getting even more money.
- Sponsored Posts
A great way to generate income for your website is to use sponsored posts. For instance, a brand that wants to reach your audience will pay you to mention their products or services in your post.
For any travel blogger, partnering with particular brands can prove extremely useful, especially with brands whose products you’re already using. It’s vital to pay attention to brands that are relevant to your blog and audience.
- Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a well-known tool through which you get a percentage of the sale of every product that someone buys through your website.
If you’re writing a post explaining how some particular product helped you while traveling, the chances are high that a reader to click on the link and potentially buy the same product.
- Place ads
Ad revenue is based on traffic and these days, the biggest networks require at least 50k visits per month. It does make your site a bit uglier, but your loyal fans will be happy to see you making money.
- Paid Brand and Destination Campaigns
Eventually, when you have built up your audience and social media channels, you may have paid opportunities come your way. It might include product partnerships or destinations, wherein you agree to deliverables in exchange for an all-expenses-paid trip and some cash.
If you have a well-chosen niche, create great content, form real bonds with your followers and readers, and consistently put out valuable resources, that is the magic formula. Differentiate, build your audience, build historical data to prove that you are worth spending money on, and the work will follow.
- Develop Your Own Products
The most successful entrepreneurs in this industry have their own products for sale. It could be a course, a book or several, tours, or a whole host of other options. The more creative you can get the better!
There are not many travel bloggers who have a podcast, but this is another great way to make money and contribute something meaningful that is not already incredibly saturated. Podcast popularity is skyrocketing, especially when people are at home more and have more time to listen.
How much money do you need to become a travel blogger?
How much it costs to be a travel blogger is infinite. Yes, a blog is cheap to set up, but with blogging, instead of money, you pay with time. But here is a rough sketch of the budget you need to spend to be a travel blogger-
- Hosting expenses per month = $30
- Word press expenses per month= $1.50
- Domain expenses per month= $1.33
- Independent trips per month =$200+
- Podcast hosting per month= $12. 14
- Events per month= $40
- Total expenses around $300 per month
What equipments do travel bloggers need?
Here is the list of blogging gears and equipment that each blogger should contain for the best-
- Blue Tooth Remote
- Ring light
- Action camera
- Mirrorless camera
Disadvantages of being a travel blogger
Travel Blogging is not entirely a work-for-pleasure kind of job. It has its pros and cons. If you want to enjoy working as a travel writer, then you need to understand the pros and cons of being one. But here we are going to discuss the cons of being a blogger-
- Financial risk
Travelling can sometimes require considerable investment. Though it varies, you may end up spending too much whenever you travel to distant places. So, to succeed as a travel blogger, you must be ready to splash the cash.
- A huge risk of life and property
Being a travel blogger is also a dangerous job. Keep in mind that even if you are staying in a hotel or a friend’s place, your security is still not guaranteed. Besides, you are in a new neighborhood, and anything can happen.
- Stressful job
If you are nursing the idea that travel blogging is all about having fun, you will know better when you become a travel blogger. The thing is you will likely spend many hours in the airplane, enter different buses and other means of transportation throughout your journey. However, all these activities can take a toll on your body. Another thing is after going on and off various buses and cars; you still have a lot of blogging to do.
- No fixed salary
Working as a travel blogger means that income varies from month to month. Everything that comes up to you will be a fixed salary, without a definite amount.
- No colleagues
Being a travel blogger means that you will spend all your time on your own. There will be no regular colleagues like your office job.
- No routines
Being employed at an office job with a fixed salary, you have your routines when you come and leave from work, lunches, etc. But, a travel blogger has no fixed routine. You are your own boss and you need to manage your routine according to your convenience!
- Lack of social life
Traveling a lot may cause you to lose your friends. As you are out every time, you might miss important invitations which may hamper your social life.