How to Create a Travel Blog? Hmmm.
Yeah, it’s a loaded question.
Honestly, it’s not too much work to create a travel blog itself.
A lot of people create hobby blogs to chronicle their travels. And that’s awesome! If your goal is to write for family and friends, I support you 100%! Lots of spirit and authenticity can be found in these hobby blogs. Plus you can leap to a professional blog once you’ve a clearer vision for your site.
Needless to say, how to create a travel blog like a pro requires more careful thought. Money too. If you want your blog to transition into a business, it’s important to have a plan from the start.
Full Disclosure time. I knew in the beginning I wanted to turn my blog into a sustainable business. Sure, I may not earn a full income from travel blogging (ha, I wish), but monetization is a reality for me.
Cultivating an audience and partnerships takes time. Even if you follow all my steps, you may not earn a cent right away, which is normal in this field. I earned my first dollar a year into blogging. So you need to have passion and dedication. Otherwise you’re in for a bad time. Travel blogging isn’t a “get rich quick” scheme. If it was, everyone would do it.
I’ve been travel blogging for roughly two years. Not very long. Still, I’ve learned a few ways to help you establish a “professional” blog in the beginning of your journey in this ever-changing career.
Think of a niche or two.
Ahh, niche. A dreaded word, but important. Why? Because general global travel blogs are a dime a dozen, especially if you’re young and white, and produce English content. It’s not even enough to market yourself as a solo female, family, food, or adventure travel blogger anymore. Hundreds exist. You need to think outside the box to attract followers.
You need to think about what makes you “different” than other bloggers. How do you figure that out? Ask yourself the following questions —
- what inspires me?
- what goals do I want to accomplish for myself and my blog?
- what do I want to help my readers with?
Hopefully, after you mull over your answers, you’ll find your niche(s)!
Find an original name that will grow with you.
It’s all in a name. Avoid names that include “nomadic,” “wander,” “adventurous,” etc. Soooo many blogs use those adjectives, which will make it super hard for you to stand out in a crowd. Your blog name should fit nicely into a URL and not consist of a million words either. Blond Wayfarer is short and simple.
In addition, you want to create a name that will evolve with you over time. Perhaps you’re living a nomadic lifestyle now, but you may eventually fall in love with a place, and find an apartment and job. Then what? I can give you another personal example. I loved hostel dorms when I began my blog in 2015, but then my travel style drifted away from the “backpacker” scene. If my blog was called “Backpacker Rachel,” I would’ve had to re-brand everything, which would have been time consuming.
Come up with a few possible names and then ask for feedback in blogging groups.
Go self-hosted and buy a premium theme.
WordPress is the way to go for all blogs. Lots of people understand the platform, so it’s easy to get help if you’re not tech-savvy like me.
However, you want to avoid a “wordpress.com” blog if your goal is to expand beyond hobby blogging and create an actual business. You need to go completely self-hosted to develop partnerships with DMOs, brands, and more! Personally, I use Siteground for my hosting service. I couldn’t be happier! Siteground’s customer service is awesome. Plus the prices are reasonable for a newer blogger.
Then the fun part! Picking your theme! I use Canvas by WooCommerce, and it suits my needs fine. I eventually want to change my whole design, because it’s not the best in the world, but website design is a constant process. Don’t beat yourself up if it’s not perfect. Sure, you could shell out thousands of dollars for professionally designed themes and graphics, but stick with a reasonably priced premium theme in the beginning.
Go self-hosted with Siteground to have creative freedom!
Treat your blog like a business.
If you ever want to earn money, then you should treat your blog like a business from Day #1. And yes, this means “spending money to earn money.” Sure, it’s frustrating to spend $65 for that plugin which automatically backups your site, but the alternative (read: losing everything) is so much worse.
As your site grows, you’ll want to spend money to attend conferences and workshops. My decision to go to BlogHouse Philly provided me with a stronger vision for my blog and contacts in the industry. The cost was well worth it.
Lastly, if you want to treat your blog like a business, do not work for free. Let me repeat myself. Do. Not. Work. For. Free.
I can’t stress this point enough. Why would you ever hand over thousands of dollars worth of photos or video content in exchange for nothing? Don’t undervalue yourself.
Working for free extends to your time, too. For instance, I receive multiple emails a week essentially asking for free advertising on my site. Half of those requests fall far outside my niche. And I’m expected to promote them or let them write “fake guest posts” in exchange for … what? Exposure? Regardless of the fact that their domain authority is less than mine? Um. Nope. Not happening.
Value your blog and time. Don’t work for free.
Join Travel Blog Success.
Travel Blog Success is one of the main reasons I’m still blogging two years later. The fundamentals course will give you a solid foundation for creating a strong website from the very beginning. If I didn’t join this community, it would have easily taken me three times longer to produce quality work that reaches a real audience aka people who aren’t my mom and best friend.
My personal favorite part of Travel Blog Success is the Facebook group. Successful bloggers freely share their advice with newer members. For instance, I learned a lot about SEO and link building. We all support each other.
So, if you’re eager to “get your blog off the ground,” then join Travel Blog Success for tons of support and guidance. Trust me, it’s worth every dime.
Travel Blog Success is running a summer sale on Monday, July 17 through Friday, July 21 (ends 11:59 pm EST). You will receive 30% off membership and courses.
Develop your voice and produce quality content.
Use your “voice” in writing. No one wants to read dry generic tips about New York or London. Google exists for that. People come to your blog because they like you. Let your emotions shine in your writing. Use slang. Use puns. Even curse if you want. The realer you are, the better.
To tell you the truth, I can’t tell you how many bloggers (and other influencers like youtubers) I decided to follow, simply because I liked their personalities. Don’t shy away or try to be like someone else. Be you.
In addition, you want to produce high quality content on your site. Which means edited photos and proofread posts. I’m tolerate about grammar errors in the classroom (they’re kids!), but not on travel blogs and neither is the rest of the internet. A typo or two happens. We’re all human. Misspellings in every other sentence? Not good.
Finally high quality content will help your site’s DA or domain authority. Aim to link to experts. Try to write over 1000 words per post. Share everything on all your social media channels. The effort will pay off.
Join BoardBooster and Pinfinite Growth.
I’m sure you already know that you ought to have Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts for your travel blog. I do. However, Pinterest is my favorite social media platform. I love designing graphics, pinning pretty pictures to boards, and seeing my traffic grow higher and higher. If you want to take Pinterest seriously, then invest in BoardBooster. The scheduling features doubled my traffic.
If you want to take your Pinterest game even further, you ought to check out the course Pinfinite Growth that teaches you how to design brand-worthy pins and leverage BoardBooster’s abilities. This course is especially helpful if you’re new to Pinterest and have the goal of growing your blog/brand’s traffic. Worth it! Like Travel Blog Success, Pinfinite Growth has an active Facebook group for members.
Stay out of Drama.
Finally you want to avoid e-drama. Travel blogging is a positive space. Most of the time.
However, like all corners of the internet, it’s easy for drama to spread. You’ll come across a lot of differing opinions about “what is right” in blogging. You’ll also read a lot of disparaging comments about the ways other bloggers do business – even if their behavior is perfectly ethical. You’ll meet people who have WAY too much time on their hands, so they’ll nitpick what everyone else is doing. You’ll also encounter many colorful trolls. Screw that noise. Ignore it.
Instead be kind to others and focus on yourself. Your productivity will go through the roof, I promise. Expressing jealousy about a prettier blogger or raging about someone who unfollowed you on Twitter is a waste of time. Focus on creating the best possible content instead of fretting about petty nonsense. Your audience (and Google) prefer it.
Drama is normal for my teenage students and Netflix originals, not you.
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