Travel bloggers truly seem to have one of the best jobs on earth. Not only are they bombarded with freebies, paid to review hotels and holidays, but think of all the sweet free mini bottles of shampoo they must have collected? Behind the scenes it’s not all that glamorous, though. It takes years to get to the level where you’re being sent free stuff or invited to review fancy resorts, and some hotels don’t even have mini shampoos any way.
If you’ve got a genuine passion for travelling and writing then why not try make it your job? You too can become one of those people whose posts make the rest of us with desk jobs feel like our life is boring and inadequate! Here are a few tips on how to start a successful travel blog:
When it comes to how to get started, most travel bloggers will have the same advice: just do it. If you keep waiting until you’ve got the perfect amount of posts, the dream camera or that GoPro footage you’ve been envisioning, you’ll never start. Just go to WordPress, create your blog and get the ball rolling.
Choose your niche
To avoid blending into the background with the many, many other people trying their hand at travel blogging you need an edge. Think of something that will set you apart. Maybe you love to surf and can review surf spots all over the world. Maybe you combine your love of desserts and travel and take a photograph of you eating a doughnut in every town you visit. Maybe you have a cute green car that takes you on your travels. Think of something that makes you unique and run with it. Just be sure not to pigeon-hole yourself; you might not want to be known as ‘that doughnut girl’ five years down the line.
Do it for the right reasons
Becky of I See The Sea says you need to assess why you want to become a travel blogger. If you just want free stuff and your flights paid for – think again. You should have an intrinsic love of travelling and sharing stories. She says to think of it like this: if you weren’t blogging about it would you still be doing it? If yes, then you’re doing it for the right reasons. That way if no one reads your blog or no one follows you it doesn’t matter because you’re still living the life you want to live.
Don’t stress if your budget is more East London than London. Start by travelling locally while you build your blog. Driving to a wine farm one hour out of town totally counts as a road trip and is worth a post.
Take good photos
Soz, but the camera resolution on your Samsung SIII Mini isn’t going to cut it. There’s no need to put yourself in debt by immediately splurging on a fancy Canon DSLR, though. The cameras on most high-end smartphones will do the trick while you find your feet (and save up for that GoPro).
Let’s be real: most people these days are just scrolling past the words to look at the pictures. It’s a bummer but it’s true. Make your photos interesting enough that people want to take the time to read what you have to say too. Make use of the internet’s resources and binge on photography tutorials and free Photoshop how-to’s because there’s no excuse for shoddy photos TBH.
Have a guest blogger
You want people who aren’t just your mom and aunts to read your blog (not that you aren’t really grateful for their dedication). Find another blogger you admire or relate to and get them to do a guest blog post. This way they’ll share it on their platforms and your blog will be exposed to a whole bunch of new people.
Don’t hold your breath for the free stuff
Don’t quit your job just yet; the free stuff could take years to come, if ever. The only reason someone would pay you to write about their hotel, review their airline or feature their ad on your page is if they are going to get something out of it. Companies want a blog that is being noticed and read. Know that for the first while it’s just going to be your family and friends, but with time, hard work and good, original content your audience should grow.
You’d be a fool not to use social media to further your blog. Instagram is great for live updates via your Story and for finding a community of fellow travel bloggers through following relevant hashtags. Use Twitter to tweet links to your posts (be sure to use a photo to pique peoples’ interest). And Facebook is still great for getting strangers, friends and those people you haven’t spoken to since high school to visit your blog.
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