posted by Various guest bloggers | 3 Comments
Are you about to set off on an adventure in Europe, South America, or even around the world? If so, you may be thinking of starting your own travel blog. To help you get your blog on the go, I've asked seven top bloggers what advice they would give to newbie travel bloggers...
Cailin O'Neil, Travel Yourself
Starting your own travel blog can be very easy and can be done very cheaply and even for free, depending on where you would like to set your blog up. Your first step should be to pick a good name that:
1) Represents you,
2) Represents the focus of your blog and/or the message you are trying to get across and
3) Is easy to remember, understand, and would be something people would search for.
If you have a travel blog named after your first dog, people aren't going to find it. Also, know that you don't have to be travelling to keep up your travel blog (but of course it helps) – maybe you have travelled already? Or you are in between trips or are about to go? Anyone can have a great travel blog at any time. Also, be sure to connect with other travel bloggers and travel sites that are looking for guest posts as it’s a great way to get even more practice and get your name and website out there. The biggest tip that I can give you is really just do it and good luck.
Matt Preston, Travel with a Mate
Once you've launched your blog, the most important aspect of making it successful is momentum. Creating regular blogs every week and engaging with your visitors and fans on twitter and facebook every day will make all the difference to your success. For a start, Google loves websites that are updated frequently so lots of new high quality content works well. It also helps keep your blog in view of all those who follow you on social networks, so your blog is more likely to be remembered than someone who only blogs once a month or hardly ever tweets. You can always write multiple blogs in one day too and schedule them to go live on future dates. Keep the momentum up and you'll achieve a lot more in a short space of time.
Candice Walsh, Candice Does the World
From day one, brand yourself. Pick a theme, and go with it. It doesn’t mean you can’t change, but consistency works in travel blogging. For example, I’ve set myself up as a humorous, drink-loving Newfie ginger. Perhaps when I’m 40 I won’t find this so amusing anymore, and neither will my kids, but for now it works. This also works especially if you hope to use your blog as a launching pad for a career in travel writing: become the expert. After a while, people will be seeking you out—that’s how I got started with AOL Canada. Have fun. Tweak your writing. And, if you’re super serious, enrol in a program like MatadorU. I’m an editor for Matador Network, but I started from there and the school set me on the path I needed to get out there.
Chris Richardson, The Aussie Nomad
Being a travel blogger means you are the editor, writer, promoter, tech support and more all rolled into one. Before all of that comes the most important part, choosing the domain name for your site. This sets the tone for your travel blog and will be what people use to remember you. It needs to be catchy, reflect your personality and your travels. Treat it like your own personal brand and make sure it’s available for registration across twitter, facebook and all other forms of social media. The next think you want to do is set yourself up with a paid hosting account. It costs less than a couple of coffee's a month and gives you ultimate design freedom for your travel blog, which the free sites do not allow. With this foundation you are then free to write to your heart’s content, wowing us with your travel tales.
Juno Kim, Runaway Juno
You want to be a successful blogger right from the moment you start the blog. Naturally you could be tempted to follow other bloggers’ style and even writing tone because you can see they are successful. It is true, however, that readers can see through whether you are writing with your own heart or not. Taking tips from other bloggers is a great way to learn, but try to find your own voice along the way. There are numerous travel bloggers out there, but the ones who have lots of readers are the ones who put themselves and their hearts into their content. Don’t be afraid if you have a slow start. If your heart is in the right place, you will get there.
Caz Makepeace, yTravelblog
Travel blogging is not just about writing great content. A big factor in your success is going to be your ability to build a community around your blog. You have to form an interactive and engaged community who feels a valued part of your adventure. This will keep your readers coming back and wanting to follow your personal story more. We have found the most effective way to do this is through facebook. Start a fan page and connect it to your blog. Ask your fans to contribute their stories, tips and photos through the fan page. Be creative with it, be yourself, and have a lot of fun.
Diana Edelman, D Travels round
If you are going to take anything to heart as a new travel blogger -- take this to heart: Write for YOU. If you have a vision of making the big bucks, being whisked away on lavish press trips and the sort, it won't work. Sure, these are great goals to have, but you have to go into travel blogging because you truly love to travel and love to write about it, not because of anything else. In time, the rest falls into place. Once you have established you want to write a travel blog, think about the different, or unique perspective, you bring to the table. If you write the same content that other travel bloggers write, you will fade into the background. Instead, try a creative approach. Then, work on outreach. Get involved in Twitter and Facebook groups. Let people know you are just starting out. There is a HUGE community of extremely supportive travel bloggers who were in the same boat as you at one point in time. Reach out to them. Become a part of the conversation. Don't just sign up for Twitter and expect people to start following you. Interact. Share. Find out if there are groups in your region like a TBEX that hold regular meetings to network with other travel bloggers. Or, start organizing your own Tweet Ups in your city. Soon, you won't be the newbie anymore ... you will be the person helping guide someone else and teaching them how to start their blog. And, finally, be patient. Travel blogging, getting involved, eventually making money (if that's what you want) and more, all take time. And heart.
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