Are you thinking about becoming a travel blogger? If you want to see the world and monetize your travels, then travel blogging is typically one of the best options available to you. Aside from this, the only other option is seasonal work and jobs. This can be difficult to find at best and at worst, impossible to gain a position. You could also think about taking a job where travelling is built into the equation but this will require a massive career change that you’re probably not prepared for. So, back to travel blogging then.
As a travel blogger, you will set up a website that will charter your experiences. Sharing great content will lead to more page views and that will ultimately make companies to sponsor you and use your website to promote services or products. This is the basic business model and it’s quite easy to understand. It’s just a tad more difficult to achieve though, by no means, impossible. There are a few things you’ll need to hit the ground running here and it all starts with a website or a blog.
Setting Up The Basics
To set up a blog, you need to use a CMS or content management system. Examples include WordPress as well as Blogger. Now, you might be thinking, wait a minute, what about building a website from scratch? This is an incredibly expensive endeavour and there’s actually no reason to do this. When you think about setting up a travel blog, you should explore the ones that are already on the market. That way, you can see what people are doing right and what people are getting wrong.
You’ll also discover there’s a lot of variety in design, shading, layout and much more. You might be surprised to learn that all these sites will have been set up with a CMS but it’s most likely true. CMS software provides the option to set up a website on a budget and keep things easy. Theoretically, you won’t even need to hire a web designer or marketer, but we’ll get to that a little further down.
When you set up your website, you will have the option to host. We recommend that you do opt to host your site. It will provide you with more control and ensure that it operates at a fast speed. That’s going to be crucial to ensure that you keep customers visiting again and again. Hosting does cost money, but if you have another source of income it will be fairly budget friendly. You can get a decent hosting solution for about the same cost as Netflix. That’s an absolute steal when you think about the fact that it ensures that your website will run the right way.
With a CMS, you also get a lot of additional features that will prove useful. For instance, you can gain automated SEO services or even helpful hints. That’s going to be crucial to making sure that your website is seen and found. But, as we’ll explain, this doesn’t mean that you don’t need a marketing service. You likely do. You can set up the basic site in less than an hour though and then move onto other things.
Travel blogging does require you to invest a little cash upfront. That’s because you’ll need to invest in some tech. You do need a laptop. This should have:
- A great battery life
- A bright screen
- A keyboard that makes it easy to type
- A fast processor
At the very minimum, you need something like an Ultrabook. While limited on memory, this is fast and light, thus useful for blogging. The importance of the features discussed should be fairly obvious. A bright screen simply ensures that you will be able to use the device in a range of different environments.
You may also want to think about investing in a quality video camera or camera depending on the type of content that you want to produce. It’s worth exploring a few different reviews online before settling on the tech. Make sure that you check what the devices are designed for. There are specific options available that are practically made for the type of media you’ll be capturing for a travel blog.
A decent portable battery is also advised. This simply means that in a pinch, you’ll be able to operate your tech for a little longer. It ensures that you won’t miss a crucial photo opportunity. Let’s say that you plan a day where you’ll be touring the Roman Colosseum. You definitely want to share pictures and video with your audience but there’s a problem. When you wake up, you discover you forgot to put your cam on a charge. That’s okay though if you have a portable battery you can charge it on the go. The best batteries are more expensive but well worth the cost.
If you are looking for the best tech, it can be hard to figure out where to start. We recommend using something like Selloscope. This clever search engine provides the top results for different products available to buy on the market. It also ensures that you can find the number one picks by searching in categories. As such, you’ll always have the support you need when you’re looking for the right type of tech for your blogging requirements.
If you have tech and you have your website, you have to now think about marketing. You should consider this before you start producing content because it has to be built in as part of your plan from the beginning. On the most basic level, you can gain some readers by simply tagging posts correctly. However, be aware that this is only going to help you reach other bloggers. Other bloggers will be curious about your content, but you need to go bigger than that. For this, it’s important to start with your website design. While WordPress and other CMS systems do make it easy to build a website, it still takes a little skill to make sure that it stands out and looks fantastic as well as professional. That’s why it might be worth hiring a website designed specifically for your CMS. They’ll ensure that users love what they find when they click your blog.
In terms of SEO tips, the CMS provides are a good start. But you do also need to consider a monthly marketing solution. While you don’t need to set this up immediately, it should be fairly early on in the process of your travel blog. Otherwise, you’re just not going to see the results that you need to make money.
Of course, your main tool when promoting your business and getting those reads is the content. This is the final piece of the puzzle.
Here’s the good news. There’s a niche audience for every type of content you can imagine online. You could create a blog about a village in a remote region of Scotland. If you use local SEO, you’ll still find an audience but it definitely won’t be big enough to generate a profit. Unless of course, you can find a way to hit the tourist audience. That’s a possibility if you take the right aim when you are creating content.
That said, with travel blog content, there are a few mistakes that you want to avoid. The first is to provide basic info. Nope, this isn’t good enough because your audience can find this anywhere. What you need to provide is ‘insider info,’ ‘hot tips’ or personal pieces. People will love reading about your specific experiences because that’s something that they won’t be able to find anywhere else. So don’t be afraid of throwing in your own voice.
Let’s say that you’re providing content on Disney World. Everyone knows about the FastPass system. What they may not know is that if you complete the treasure quest in Fantasy Land, you can get an extra FastPass for the Pirates of the Carribean ride. Similarly, the Disney sites tell your potential audience when and where the Fireworks displays are each day. They don’t, however, mention the best places to stand where you can get a great view away from the crowds like Rapunzel’s tower. Interestingly, that’s actually the most themed bathroom area in Disney World? You see what we mean?
Fake It Until You Make It
Now, you might not have the money to travel right now and you’re probably wondering whether you can simply post articles without actually going anywhere. You can do this for sure, but you’ll need to complete a lot of research to guarantee that you deliver high-quality content that feels authentic. This isn’t easy but if Google sees you as a useful or trusted resource, it will be worth it. By doing this, you can earn an income from travel blogging before you even begin your adventure. Of course, you shouldn’t spend too long doing this because eventually, your audience will notice your use of free images and video you’ve clearly found online.
We hope this helps you get started travel blogging - the best way to fund a vacation around the world.