The virtual realm is full of tips and advice on how to become a successful travel blogger. Unfortunately, many of this advice is wrong, and plenty of these tips can lead people to false ideas, bad approaches, and slow down their improvement. However, this is the case with many professions — the internet is full of scams and poor advice. Because of this situation, we decided to write a short guide on how to become a successful travel blogger. We are going to give you tips that are not easy to follow but that will put you on the right track towards successful blogging.
First of all, we would like to bust some myths about travel blogging. Many get an impression that travel blogging is some easy, dream job that is just about having great experiences and enjoying yourself. People tend to believe that travel blogging is having fun all around the world while people pay you for that. These opinions are so far from the truth, especially in the beginning. Travel blogging is a demanding job that requires skill, talent, constant improvement, time, and patience. To earn some money from travel blogging, you will need to invest a lot of time and energy. Many people that advise on how to become a travel blogger will not say this fact openly. Instead, they would rather try to lure people with tempting tips on how to make money by travel blogging and hide the fact that it’s tough to turn a profit as a blogger in your infancy.
However, there is one more harmful myth about this creative profession. Some people that would like to become travel bloggers give up before they even begin for one very wrong reason. These people believe that there is no chance for some new blogger to succeed because the internet is already full of travel bloggers. This opinion is not just wrong — it’s quite harmful. Internet is full of travel bloggers, and generally, of bloggers for that matter. That much is true, but so what? Are all of these writers good? Of course, they’re not! Only a handful of them is up to the task. Never get intimidated by the number of people in some professions, and never let this scare you. Even if there are a lot of people in some business, it doesn’t mean that they make a formidable competition. In the case of travel blogging, they most certainly don’t.
When you start your research about travel blogging, don’t let your first reaction be fear of the number of other bloggers. Instead, ask yourself — are these people a threat to you? Because if they are not, what does it matter how many of them are out there? Your only worry should be to write well. That’s the main thing that you need to focus on and think about — nothing else. A good writer doesn’t need to worry about the number of people in their field.
On the other hand, if someone were a lousy writer, even if they were the only ones in that field, it wouldn’t be of much help to them. They still wouldn’t have an audience; they still wouldn’t succeed. Having said that, let us give you our first bonus tips.
Don’t let irrelevant things scare you before you even begin doing something. Don’t think about others and what they are doing. Think about yourself and how you are doing. After all, your only concern should be the quality of your writing — not how many other people in the world are also writers.
Internet is a vast space, and there is enough room for every talented person in the world. Now, since we cleared this up, let’s move on to the nine tips that will make a good travel blogger out of you. Each of these nine tips was specially tailored for beginners and their needs. This way, even people who are new to blogging and travel blogging can follow them, use them, and apply them in their career. We are about to teach you how to be a travel blogger and a successful one at that.
1. Read, Read, and Then Read Some More
Good writers write well because they learned from the best. Just as in any other line of business, art, or hobby, in writing too, practice and learning make it perfect. For anybody who wants to be a good writer, reading a lot of books is mandatory. After all, how do you imagine to know what is good writing if you’ve never seen it? A writer needs to be well informed about various subjects, needs to be acquainted with the best writers, and needs to be familiar with crème de la crème of your target niche. Knowledge of literature, literary theory, and criticism is, of course, always a plus. But let’s elaborate on this a bit and explain why reading is the crucial method of improvement for writers.
When you write, you communicate with all the top writers that came before you. The language that we all speak was created, perfected, and molded by them, by their genius and talent. It is important to always be aware of this fact if you want to be a writer. Your every word choice must never be accidental — you must always be perfectly aware that a word that you choose, an adjective, a verb, or a noun, correlates with your thoughts in a perfect and the most precise way.
A Book Is the Best Gift That You Can Give Yourself
Your text, ideally, should be one highly precise creation, and you can always easily test and see whether it truly is. Try substituting some sentence, an important word, or an expression in your text with something else. Does it lose its intended meaning? If the answer is yes, then you can be content with yourself and move on to the higher levels of blog writing. By regularly reading a lot, you find out more, various, definitions of expressions, the different contexts in which some words can be used, and improve your understanding of different “meanings” that some words can carry. After all, an excellent text that grabs attention is the one that teaches you something, invents something, and shows the reader how some expressions can work well in different linguistic environments. That is something that you want to achieve if you wish to be a writer. However, you will never manage this if you don’t read and acquire this skill by looking up to the best of the best.
Through reading other great bloggers, literary classics, and other great works, you will learn a lot about the nature of writing. You will start to understand the tradition of the written word as a live entity that always speaks to you and demands intellectual and moral responsibility from you. To understand the importance of this point of view towards tradition in writing, we advise you to read T. S. Elliots’ essay “Tradition and the Individual Talent.” This text will help you understand how a writer, blogger, poet, or anyone who wants to write in any genre should look upon the past, themselves, and their creative goals. Besides this masterpiece of the American literary theory, we advise you to enrich your library, if you already haven’t, with the following works.
- Walt Whitman, “Leaves of Grass”
- Ernest Hemingway, “The Sun Also Rises”
- James Joyce “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”
- Michel de Montaigne, “Essays.”
You can never bring a more valuable thing to your home than a good book. A great book is a gift for your soul, enrichment of your life, and a best friend of your intellectual strivings. As an author, you cannot afford not to collect books, read them, and cherish them.
2. Be an Inventor
Now that we gave you a short introduction to the principles of good writing, in general, let’s talk about business. Blogging is writing, but not just writing — it’s an industry, and you should understand it as such. Being a blogger doesn’t require just being a good writer — it requires talents for business and entrepreneurship. As a blogger, you are a brand, and you should build your brand and then sell it!
What makes a good brand? Well, first of all, a good brand is built on ingenuity and uniqueness. A successful brand is original, or at least it presents itself as original. Our advice for you is to try to reinvent travel blogging, to be one of a kind, new, fresh, the first one to do something. As a travel blogger, you are not just a creative writer — you are the owner of a business, and you need to sell it. Now, the smartest way to stick out from a crowd and to promote your business is by creating a completely original brand, service, business approach, or, in your case, content. So explore the market, see what others are doing, and don’t do it — do something different, new, something that you can’t see anywhere online. Let your originality promote you!
3. Don’t be Afraid to Spend Money
Henry Ford once said — “A man that stops advertising from saving money is like a man who stops the clock from saving time!” This quote perfectly illustrates the point that we are trying to make in this section. No great business is built without investing and spending money. Running a successful blog without spending any money is impossible. Each time when you think that it’s smart to save money by cutting on marketing or design quality, the only thing that you are going to cut down on is your success.
Saving money by hiring lousy web designers, bad developers, or bad marketing experts is faulty and dangerous practice — it’s like getting a broken car that can’t take you anywhere so that you can save some money. Don’t be afraid to spend to improve your business — it will pay off, and it will pay off well. Invest in a great, custom website that runs smoothly, instead of downloading some cheap theme that everyone has and that takes ages to load. An average person online has a very short attention span — if your website needs more than a fraction of a second to load pages, they will move on, and they will not bother. That is all quite old and well-known wisdom — you need to spend money to make money.
4. Having a Niche Is Important
A smart move in travel blogging is choosing your niche before you start to build your website. You will draw many more people to your content if you promote yourself as an expert in one field. You can try to write about traveling in general and success, but it’s a risky practice, and we don’t advise it in the beginning.
Specializing in one narrow field is good both for the quality of your content and for your marketing strategies. First of all, you will need less time to specialize only in one niche than for every aspect of traveling. Plus, people that search for some particular niche will find you faster and stick with you longer.
5. Sell the Merch
As we said, blogging is a business, and as such, you will have to expand the limits in which you run and operate it. Why should you earn money just from one thing, such as affiliate marketing, when you, as a travel blogger, can have various sources of income? You can earn from selling your merchandise, and a lot at that. Many people from creative online industries are doing this; it’s a method that’s been proven to work. People like to support artists and bloggers that they respect. Those who follow your blog will be more than glad to support you through buying your merchandise. Selling your merchandise is not just a way to get financial support — it’s also a way to show to your fans that you wish to provide them a chance to be part of your goals, dreams, and creative strivings. People will always want to support entertainers, composers, artists, writers, etc., by buying some merch that means something to them.
6. Stay Authentic, Avoid Sponsors
The internet gives us an opportunity to liberate ourselves from so many annoying things — irritating advertising, dishonest promotions, sponsored “art,” “news,” and much more. A lot of online users have learned to recognize dishonesty, and thus, they tend to avoid promoted content altogether. Plus, people like to enjoy online content that they can relate to — they wish to read about the travel experiences that they can afford. So avoid aiming for big sponsors that are willing to pay you for a luxurious holiday that none or just a handful of your readers can afford. Instead, aim for traveling experiences that your audience can experience too. Go on a backpacking tour around some city or a region — your readers will be thankful for the advice that you give them because they can really have an opportunity to apply them. And if you prefer most of your readers to be, let’s say, average U.S. students, what would the point of writing an article titled “10 tips on how to have fun in Musha Cay in the Bahamas” be? Give your readers an authentic, real, honest, likely, experience. Online readers always reward honesty.
7. Widen Your Horizons
As a travel blogger, you cannot afford only to hang out, be in touch with travel bloggers, and learn only about traveling. You need to meet web developers, web designers, hotel managers, tourist guides, historians, museum curators, artists, entrepreneurs, economists, marketing specialists, and many other experts. You can’t afford to widen your horizon. As a travel blogger, you need to know something about everything — people will expect this from you.
8. Don’t Be the Center of Attention
One of the harmful mistakes that you can make so easily is to put yourself in the center of attention in your articles. Yes, readers will want to hear about how you felt when you first saw, let’s say, Petra in Jordan. They will want to hear about your excitement and how you were enchanted by the view. However, they will want to hear about that in a few sentences, not in 1,000 words. What they will want to hear the most is about the location, the facts, the history, how to arrive there, how to buy some tickets, how much a cab fare is, where to get souvenirs, how to find a book about that place, and more. As we said before, each reader wants to learn something. People read to learn something new. Yes, they want to relate to the author, but not too much. As a travel blogger, you need to inform and inspire people — not read them your diary.
9. Never Be a Quitter
There is only one scenario in which you are going to fail at travel blogging for sure, and that’s if you give up. Nothing that is worth doing is done easily or quickly. If you can do something fast, it probably doesn’t have any value at all. So relax, take time, let your blog grow in peace, don’t rush it, don’t try to speed up success. Also, don’t expect impossible things from your blog. Don’t expect it to be good after one week — it’s not going to happen. Even when months go by, it’s still most likely not going to be good — it’s probably going to be terrible. However, this is natural; it’s normal.
All beginnings are hard. The first texts of the best bloggers were lousy and laughable. The sooner you understand that all of those bloggers who you admire were bad in the beginning, the sooner you will start to make progress. So set realistic goals for yourself — try to be somewhat good after a year. Try to have one great article after six months. Expect some first attention, money, and positive reactions after two years. Relax, and nourish your blog; let it become successful when it’s ready, when it’s the time, not when you want! So our last advice for you is to be patient and realistic with your objectives. Ancient Greek philosophy has taught us, a person is happy when their expectations are harmonious with plausibility.
Travel blogging is a creative, inspiring, and gratifying business. We are glad that you are interested in it, just don’t allow anything to scare you from starting your own blog. Follow our tips, and remember that as an author, you always need to learn, read, work on yourself, and improve. Those who wish to teach others need to teach themselves first. Those who want to inform others need to be informed themselves. An author, more than anybody else, has to be a student all their life. Hold on to our tips, and enjoy writing, traveling, and inspiring others. Understand that travel blogging has the potential to be a noble profession, that you can teach people a lot and open their minds for new, rewarding experiences. As a blogger who focuses on traveling, you will hold an opportunity in your hands to bring remote and beautiful corners of the world right into someone’s living room and inspire your readers to follow your steps towards discoveries, excitement, and creating memorable moments.