One of the greatest joys of traveling is sharing your experiences with friends and family. For an avid globetrotter, starting a travel blog website creates a portal to share stories, photos, and videos with the entire world. Whether you are looking to write your very first vacation post, or increase the visibility of your existing site, this guide to travel blogging will be a trusted friend along the journey.
A travel blog is simply a blog about travel, and it is considered by some to be the holy grail of social media marketing. Just think about how many people use Instagram and Facebook and Pinterest to show images and videos of their adventures. This online trend began on travel blogs and continues there to this day.
For site visitors, the biggest draw of travel blogs is imagery. Whether your readers are researching a remote location, or planning their own trip, they expect to see pictures and videos, along with your personal stories about them. Sure, friends and family might be interested to learn about your travels, but there are likely hundreds if not thousands of people that might benefit from your descriptions and experience.
With multiple tools readily available to promote one's website, creating a travel blog is simple and incredibly effective as a creative outlet and means to generate revenue. Even if you are a novice blogger, you can leverage the following tips to be successful.
We know first hand here at Namecheap that it’s important to find a domain that sets you apart. At the very least, pick a name that's easy to spell and memorable. Most importantly, pick a domain name that has a meaning and purpose for your audience.
You’ll also need a well-constructed, scalable blogging website. There are multiple content management systems available for bloggers, but WordPress is the best. It allows for flexibility and complete ownership over your site content and data.
Building a travel blog is an art. It is also a business that you’ve got to grow and nurture. Blogging about travel offers a plethora of possibilities. You can run your blog as a purely leisure-oriented enterprise or a business blog that sells products and services. These are the two forms of blogging most travel blogs are formed from.
The primary thing to understand about your blogging strategy is that it needs to be about you, your travel experiences, and what you love to do. And, ultimately, you need to write about what you know best. By sticking with your unique story, you offer insights that are not available from any other travel blog, thereby engaging site visitors in an exclusive way.
As you brainstorm and play around with different ways to engage users, it’s a good practice to set up a coming soon page for your blog. This helps you psychologically commit to your new project, and gives you a link to share with your social media contacts. Build excitement for your travel blog, even before you write your first post!
Travel bloggers and travel websites publish numerous travel articles, blogs, and tutorials every day. If you’re serious about your blog, you need to become an expert in all aspects of publishing – whether your passion is travel photography or teaching English in Japan.
So write about what you know! Travel blogs are made up of real-life travel experiences. It doesn’t matter how many photos you’ve taken of Big Ben if you can’t convey what made it magical and meaningful to you personally.
When you choose to publish your posts while you are traveling, be sure to access your WordPress dashboard using a VPN for security. The internet connections at hotels and cafes are targets for hackers and identity thieves. By using a VPN when you travel, you protect your own data, as well as that of your readers.
It also doesn’t matter if you have never visited Europe before if you can relate your dreams of another country to the experience of your travel blog readers. That is to say, you can write about a place you want to visit in the future if you can create a vivid story about why you love a destination. A travel blog is your destination.
As your post library expands, you’ll also need tools to help you manage your content. You may even end up with multiple travel sites for different niche audiences. Since travel blogs focus on vivid photographs and galleries that can slow down page load speed over time, you may eventually need a WordPress plugin to help you offload & safely store media to a cloud service, such as Dropbox or Google Drive.
Once you have your website up and running, the next challenge to tackle is promoting your site. There are a number of avenues for boosting the exposure of your blog, but one of the most effective is through social media. With each post you publish, venture onto multiple social media sites to engage with other travel enthusiasts.
Consider re-posting your travel blog posts to each of these platforms:
Of course, your travel images and experiences must be repackaged to a certain extent for each of these platforms. Medium, for example, is a kind of blogging platform that favors long passages of text, while YouTube is focused on video content. Think creatively about how each of your stories might best translate to these individual channels.
Integrations with Google Maps are very engaging for some users. You can include location markers to destinations within your posts, but you can also post excerpts from your posts directly on Google Maps. Just be sure to include the name of your blog in your Google Maps profile, so users can easily find your website.
Inviting other travel bloggers to write guest posts on your site is a great way to build readership as well. Other blog authors bring relevant, engaged readers from their site to yours, and might even add a citation for your post page to their own website. Be sure to feature a guest author box and the end of each guest post, helping readers understand the expertise they bring.
Another way to promote your blog is through reviews. By including product reviews that are relevant to travelers, you open yourself up to additional readers and partnerships. When you review a product, especially if it’s a favorable review, reach out to the manufacturer and ask them to share your review on their website, helping your blog expand awareness.
As you develop your blog, you will also want to set yourself up with different affiliate programs. Affiliate programs allow you to generate revenue by promoting products online. You don’t even have to buy inventory or print shipping labels - you simply talk about a product and then link to the seller’s website. Just remember that the products you promote through affiliate marketing should be relevant to your blog readers in order to keep your brand consistent and meaningful.
For some, a smattering of loyal readers for their travel blog is enough. For others, the end goal is to make money via offline print publication. Fortunately, the number of publications interested in sharing news and travel stories online is extensive.
How do you get in front of these outlets? Do your research. Set aside time every day or every other day to research potential publications. Start with their online blogs to gain insight and ensure that you are targeting the correct platform. Then move onto their print editions. Make sure you read a wide variety of their lifestyle and editorial sections.
Then, keep writing. Make sure that you maintain your writing standard and keep a steady flow of content flowing onto your travel blog. This should be an ongoing process, as you will find you will become more and more recognizable and your traffic will increase.
When you are ready, submit your content for publication. For the love of all that is good and holy, submit your articles before it’s too late. If you are nervous or hesitant, address your fears and know that most submissions to print publications are rejected. But the fact remains that 100% of unsubmitted articles are never published, so you have to get past the nervousness and submit if you ever want to appear in print.
Once you create a distinct brand through visual storytelling, there are opportunities out there to get paid to travel. That might seem like a far-fetched goal, but it’s a very real part of the travel blogging world.
The all-expenses-paid trips are typically offered only to high-traffic blogs, with thousands or millions of monthly readers. However, with billions of people logging onto the internet every day, achieving this level of traffic isn’t as hard as you might think. In fact, if you practice the previous tips in this article, you’ll be well on your way to success.
Still, small-time travel bloggers have the opportunity to get free airfare, hotels, theme park admissions, and more. The key is to offer value to the people handing out the free travel vouchers.
The most obvious resource you can offer to a travel company is potential paid customers. If you can prove that your readers are likely interested in their product, a free voucher could be headed your way in exchange for promoting the product online. For example, if you get 10,000 readers a month to an article about traveling to Australia, reach out to resorts and airlines that specialize in travel Down Under, and suggest negotiating a marketing partnership.
Once your travel blog becomes well-established, other ideas will likely come to mind.
Travel blogging is a great way to share your experiences and potentially earn extra income as you travel the world. It can also increase your social media connections with like-minded people, which makes your life more fun in the long run. But if you’re not aware of the technical aspects of blogging, you are simply not ready to get established in this competitive space. So, allow this guide to travel blogging to help you along the way.