1. Do it for the right reasons
I hate to say it, but it’s unlikely that travel blogging is going to make you your fortune. Even for the some of the biggest amateur blogs, advertising revenue can be slight. Most bloggers work full time in other jobs, and few make enough to live comfortably on their writing alone.
However this really shouldn’t put you off. The most successful bloggers are passionate about what they do, and that’s what persuaded them to sit down and start writing in the first place. The best (Lost Girls Blog), for example, are dedicated to telling their own unique story. That’s what draws in readers and keeps them coming back.
In this sense, travel blogging is no different from many other forms of entertainment, from books to film and TV. You may not be the best writer or the most skilled photographer, but if what you have to say catches the imagination, then you will find an enthusiastic audience.
Money aside, there’s other benefits too. The Lost Girls famously secured a book deal, but there’s other opportunities too, from reviewing (and sometimes keeping) products for other sites, and even free trips away.
2. Choose a niche
The internet is not short of round the world travel blogs or students writing up their gap year adventure. While these are all fine, to really make a name for yourself, you’ll need to come up with something a little more original.
Placing constraints on yourself can be a great way to do this. Travelling on a budget is a great area, but the most successful – such as Johnny Vagabond and The Professional Hobo – have carved themselves a definite niche.
Instead of just cheap travel try setting yourself a target, such as travelling to as many countries as possible with £500. Alternatively, you could attempt to see every country in Europe by train or, if food is more of your thing, try throwing yourself into a culture that’s not known for it’s cuisine and seeing what you can find. Either way let your sense of adventure shine through.
Again –and this can’t be stressed enough – blogging is about telling stories. Keep yours as clear and to the point as possible, and you’re half way there.
3. Put in the hours
It’s worth aiming to blog at least once a week, at a reasonable length (500 words or more.) Many people aim for more frequent, shorter posts but in my opinion, longer content usually wins out. Take the time to reply to comments too and answer any questions. Aside from being polite, it’s important to keep yourself in contact with your readers.
4. Market yourself
This leads up neatly on to our next point. It’s no good writing a fantastic article and then just leaving it to sit there. Instead, you need to get out there to promote your writing. Luckily, the travel blogging community is large and accepting, and will be willing to help.
Visit blogs that that you like and comment, but don’t try and be too promotional. No one likes someone that comes across as too pushy. There are also sites like Travel Blog Exchange where you can network and meet other writers.
Whichever blogging platform you choose (and WordPress takes some beating), also remember that Google Analytics is your friend. You’ll be able to monitor where your readers are coming from and which kinds of articles keeps them reading the longest.
5. Have fun
This is probably the most important piece of advice. If you’re not enjoying yourself, blogging will quickly become a chore. Instead, relax and have fun telling everybody about the next big adventure you have planned.