For many, it’s not just enough to travel. They have to share their travel experiences in a way that sends their friends green with envy. Each bite of luscious, unfamiliar food, and each crooked, cobbled street is intimately documented.
Sometimes, it’s not just enough to plaster Facebook with your travel photos. You need to start a travel blog. In the past, we’ve discussed how this can be a highly lucrative vehicle for catapulting you around the world. But how do you create a travel blog that’s successful?
As someone who is launching my own travel blog, this is something I’ve been contemplating for a while.
Pick A Niche
Okay, let’s be blunt. Unless you’re Rick Steves or Anthony Bourdain, nobody actually cares what you get up to on your vacation. At all.
The reason why most travel blogs are successful is because they pick a niche and stick to it. Be that backpacking or luxury travel, you need to make your blog stand out from the crowd.
So, how do you pick your niche? Well, firstly, what are you interested in? A blog is only successful if you are constantly uploading new content, and you’re only going to be prolific if you’re writing about something you love. And you definitely don’t want to hit a blogging burnout.
Secondly, what do you know? If you’re addicted to five star hotels, you’re probably not in a position to be talking about hostels. Think about your expertise, and what you could offer your readers.
Learn About Photography
Pictures are useful. Most blogs (including the one you’re reading right now) actually mandate that their writers have a minimum quantity of photos per post. Google likes them, and it makes your post infinitely more sharable.
Photos break up large blocks of text, and add an extra level of engagement to your posts. They’re incredibly useful for illustrating the points you’re discussing, especially if you’re talking about an experience that has happened to you.
So, how do you get started with blog-quality photography?
Firstly, you need to invest in a good camera. Your cheap point-and-click isn’t going to cut the mustard here. Neither will your cell phone camera, even if you’re rocking the latest iPhone.
After that, it’s all about practice. Learn about lighting and angles. Read into aperture and F-numbers Research the places you’re going to capture, and then spend time taking pictures. Photography is a skill, and like all skills it develops with practice. If you want a bit more guided help, check out these six open online photography classes you can learn from at your own pace.
Some of the best travel bloggers spend hours upon hours curating their social media presence. Google Plus. Twitter. Even Pinterest. They use every weapon available to develop their brand.
Not convinced? Have a look at the Twitter account of travel blogger JohnnyJet. He posts content related to his brand on a daily basis, which is shared with his sixty thousand followers. Likewise, check out Jodi Ettenberg. This Quebecois former lawyer travels throughout the world, blogging and taking photos, and then sharing them with her thirty thousand followers.
It’s impossible to be a successful travel blogger without a community engaged with your message. If you’re not sure about where to get started with social media, you might find this earlier post on sites where you can learn the basics of social media useful.
Success doesn’t happen overnight. Indeed, it comes after hours and hours spent building articles, engaging with your audience on social media and writing guest posts, just with the aim of getting your name out.
It may take months before you see a return on your time. Until then, ensure that you’re writing about something you love, and try and create a daily flood of articles, each being well written and boasting interesting, well taken photos.
There are a lot of travel blogs out there. Some are more successful than others. Here are some of the best.
- Peter Greenberg: An Insider’s Guide to Travel
- Dave’s Travel Corner
- OttsWorld: Travel And Life Experiences Of A Corporate American Runaway
When your site reaches the popularity of these blogs, you might also want to consider joining the Professional Travel Bloggers Association. Membership costs $75 per year, and makes your site more visible to companies looking to work with influential travel bloggers.
There are some other things to consider. Firstly, have you got a solid web host? Does your site have its own domain name? Have you considered how you will monetize your site, and what ad network is best for you?
It’s important to consider these questions when working out how to turn your site into a success. But did I miss any? Do you have a travel blog? Have you made it a success and now you blog and travel around the world? Drop me a comment and tell me all about it.
Image Credits: Colloseum At Night (Wesley Dryden), Sydney Harbour (MickiTakesPictures), Marvelous Melbourne (phunnyfotos), Bâtiment des Forces Motrices (Didier Baertschiger), Space Needle and Seattle Skyline (Anupam_ts)