Most people get travel blogging wrong. They imagine that if they have a steady base of followers, brands will fly them around the world. Their only job there will be to meet the locals, eat their foods, take some Instagram-worthy pictures, and post a few words about the experience on their blog.
Well, that’s just part of the deal. If you want to make it in this overly competitive blogging niche without hiring an article writer, you need to treat your travel blog as a business. That means setting clear objectives, finding a point of differentiation, and looking for ways to generate revenue.
If you plan to start travel blogging, then here are seven tips to keep in mind:
1. Pick a Niche.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when starting a travel blog is thinking that the bigger the audience, the greater their chances of succeeding. In reality, the broader the subject, the tougher the competition.
There are a lot of well-established travel blogs on the market, and it would be extremely difficult to compete against them. By choosing a niche, such as sustainable travel or luxury travel, you can build your authority in that particular industry. If you become the expert people turn to for information on a specific topic, then brands are more likely to notice you too.
2. Focus on Improving Your Writing Skills.
Get out of your head and into the minds of great thinkers. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to blogging. But, you can make it better by reading a lot.
Don’t limit yourself to travel related content. Business, marketing, management topics, as well as industry best practices will give you valuable insights on how to attract new readers and grow your blog. Topics like writing, history, biographies, and fiction will broaden your horizons and allow you to approach subjects from unique perspectives. For example, instead of reiterating the same boring facts about the Colosseum, you can awe your audience with fascinating stories and secrets.
3. Built Your Expertise.
Before you launch your blog, make sure you can create compelling content in the travel niche you’ve picked. It’s one thing to imagine yourself writing about your experiences and an entirely different thing to actually do it. So, book a trip, document your journey, and write a few blog posts about it. Or, simply describe your last travel experience.
Have someone read the content to make sure you’ve created an engaging story that transports the reader to the county/city you’ve written about in your post.
4. Be Unconventional.
“How can I make this better and different?” is one of the questions you should ask yourself before writing. Don’t try to mimic what others have done before you. Make a video or podcast when everyone else is writing about a subject; be funny when everyone is serious. Innovate whenever you can.
5. Think of Your Blog as a Service.
High-quality blogging is not journaling, but more like a service. Talk less about yourself – what you ate, your thoughts – and more about the destination. Describe in detail what makes it unique and how is it culturally different. Tell your readers what they can do to recreate your footsteps. Always ask yourself what type of information can improve your reader’s experience when traveling to the places you’re describing on your blog.
6. Network Outside the Industry.
Participating in specific traveling events will help you become better known in the industry, but if you want to grow your blog, you need to break out of your shell.
Identify where your expertise overlaps with other industries and approach the top bloggers. Look for industry leaders that want to include travel articles on their blogs but don’t know anyone who can help them. That way, you can become the travel blogger other industry leaders go to for advice, quotes or interviews.
7. Create Your Own Products.
Like any business, you want to sell, whether it’s your own products or others people’s merchandise via affiliate marketing. It’ll help you support your website without depending on sponsors and brand deals – which is not sustainable and easy at all.
Ask your audience what would they need help with and build courses or eBooks around the topic. Or, you can offer consulting services. Just keep in mind that few people are actively interested in traveling. They usually care about it before a vacation. So, whatever service you design, make sure it doesn’t require a long-term investment.
According to Google, “how to start a travel blog” is the seventh most searched question around the web. If you are one of those searchers, you’re in for some tough competition. The tips above will help you stand out and build a successful travel blog.