If you love to travel, then it’s almost guaranteed you’ve thought about how to become a travel blogger like Adventurous Kate, Nomadic Matt and the Expert Vagabond at some point. The number of travel bloggers out there has been rapidly increasing since the noughties. I mean, who can resist the thought of quitting the 9-5 job in a cubicle to go and see the world, whilst getting paid?
Although the travel blogging space is becoming very crowded, the travel industry itself has recently seen very positive signs of growth following the worldwide economic recession. In fact, 69% of global travellers are planning to try something new and many are looking to explore lesser-known destinations. In an age of online reviews and recommendations, this provides lots of new opportunities for travel bloggers to write about untouched and unique places, and to inspire people to travel.
But before you getting pulled in by the dream of a laid-back and glamorous lifestyle, it’s important to understand that it’s not always easy being a travel blogger. It can be a challenge making a living, although no one can deny that it is an incredible opportunity. Still interested? Read on to discover our top tips for getting started:
1. Understand the industry
If you’re looking to start a career in travel blogging, it’s important to understand the travel industry. Familiarise yourself with key travel bloggers, become a member of associations such as the Travel Bloggers Association, and join communities such as Travel Blog Success. These can help take a blog to the next level, whilst having a community of travel writers to turn to for help and advice.
2. Find your niche
Once upon a time, bloggers could write general posts about any destination in the world. However, as the competition for travel blogging increases, it is important to understand your direction, or niche. Consider focussing on a particular topic or a specific location, like Bondi Blogger, Tracy Long. By being focussed, it’s possible to become an authority in the area over time.
3. Know your audience
By knowing your audience, you can start to focus all of your energy on reaching the right people, through the way you design your blog, right through to your written tone of voice.
4. Build your blog
With so many travel bloggers scattered across the web, it’s important that yours stands out. Think of a good name that will catch people’s attention. Next, create the platform in which to blog. There are lots of options, but sites such as WordPress are popular and make it easy to get started. Pick an attractive theme (many are free), add plugins, set-up Google Analytics and then get writing!
5. Be passionate
Becoming a travel blogger is much more than just a career choice, it’s a whole lifestyle change. It’s therefore important that you’re passionate about what you do. If not, it will be obvious in your writing, and if you don’t love traveling and writing, why should other people love reading your work?
6. Make money
The truth is that becoming a travel blogger takes time, and you’re unlikely to make much money in the beginning. Many people decide to start on a part-time basis and then switch to full-time once their blog takes off. However, there are some other ways to generate an income. Some people decide to work as a freelancer alongside blogging, you could sell space on your site for advertising through Google AdWords, allow sponsored blog posts, agree to partnerships with businesses, or even sell products such as eBooks, t-shirts and courses through your site.
7. Keep it up
Blogging can be extremely time-consuming, but for it to be successful, it’s important to keep writing, to build up a strong reputation. One of the secrets of how to become a travel blogger is perseverance. It may be a while before you see huge results, but you can enjoy an incredible journey along the way.
8. Jump on social media
Travel blogging isn’t just about blogging. It’s also important to have a strong presence on social media (so make sure you reserve your social media handles quickly). Not only can social media be used to promote your content, it can also help to show that you are an authority in the industry. If a business is looking for someone to write a travel article for them, who do you think they’ll choose? Someone who has over 10,000 followers, or someone with a poorly branded account and 100 followers?
9. Don’t underestimate your value
Blogging takes a lot of time and hard work and so it’s important that you understand how much you’re worth. Don’t let people undervalue your work and don’t be afraid to say no if you’re not going to get what you feel is due.
10. Set goals
Don’t get complacent. Set yourself goals so you have something to work toward. A goal could be to get featured in a specific publication, to increase web traffic to your blog or to grow your social media following.
11. Write amazing content
Although all of these tips are important, ultimately it’s critical to create top quality content. Stand out from the crowd by being honest with your readers, giving your opinion and being creative.
Have you got any other tips on how to become a travel blogger? Are you planning on setting up your own travel blog? Leave us a comment in the box below, get involved on Facebook, or tweet us @hostelworld.
Elizabeth Harmon is a writer for Open Colleges, one of Australia’s leading online education providers. She is a Social Media Consultant with a number of years’ experience in the field. She has worked with a growing list of clients around the world, helping to build successful social media strategies, create effective content and much more.