How to Become a Travel Blogger

You have been writing on a travel blog to share your travel tips or to keep your relatives and friends updated about your life overseas. But now you feel this has more potential than just a hobby and you want to become a travel blogger.

Since you won’t make any income before building an audience, it takes a lot of strategies and business approaches to present your stories to turn your passion to an income source. 

If you have already started your own blog, you know in the beginning the promises of six-figure income a year are just click-baiting. You’ll spend more to start-up and develop your blog into a business than what you’ll earn until you build enough audience to monetize.

And it takes time, a few years to be more precise, trials and errors until you find the growth hacking triggers for your blog.

Why did travel blogs explode?

Since the internet has consolidated as a media, travel writing is not exclusive anymore to magazines and publishers as it used to be in the 1990s. Everyone can write and share travel tips using the numerous tools available nowadays.

With possibilities to push the boundaries in a way, the traditional travel media would never do. Due to low entry barriers, travel blogging gets crowded every single day. It pushes travel bloggers to develop more creative selling points that make them stand out from the crowd. 

Why did travel blogs explode? A great explanation is given by Chuck Thompson in his book Smile When You’re Lying¹, almost all magazines exist for the purpose of selling.

The editors routinely dismiss story ideas if something new to sell can’t be attached to them. Such limp editorial practice prevents thousands of good stories each year from seeing print and reinforces the magazines as mere catalogs.

Monetizing Your Travel Blog

For monetizing blogs and social media, it’s valid to learn Gary Vaynerchuck’s approach he described in the book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook². Before converting traffic into a sale, you need patiently conquer the trust of your audience by engaging with your stories. Bring readers to buy your offers requires to inspire them to do something with what you post and share.

If traveling isn’t fun all the time, why do travel blogging must be a perfect dream job portrait? While hotels and airlines don’t want to publish the unsexy parts of the story, you as a travel blogger have the autonomy to describe your experiences the way they happened without being attached to a sales pitch for every word you write.

To become a travel blogger that knows what he is doing and can make money out of the blog, don’t fall into sharing the same opinion about everything. And here we share a couple of tips to guide your content planning for monetizing your blog. 

  • The first step is avoiding boring writing. Instead, show fearless honesty to write your real opinions and the real facts are critical to building your own style. Set the voice of your travel blog and grow the audience in the long term.
  • Please don’t go too much to press trips and sponsorships, it’s more important to focus on refining your expertise and on attending the needs of your audience. If you already have readers, what are the contents generating more engagement? What are the frequently asked questions you receive?
  • Digging deeper, pay attention to what people are searching for on Google, on Facebook groups, forums, Quora, Reddit. Hence, as the Google related searches at the bottom of the page. Help your readers solve their problems, answer their questions and provide the information they care about. It may be travel tips, how to travel cheap, amazing photography or entertaining stories, focus on offering value to your readers.
  • Don’t tell your readers what to do, even less how to feel about the travel experiences you are describing. Never write your content starting a sentence with “Don’t miss”, “Be sure to…”, “Eat this exotic dish…” and cliched phrases that only show you’re a lazy writer and is being soulless word by word, as described by Chuck Thompson. 
  • Collaboration with other travel blogs and platforms is helpful to build your authority. Also branding and positioning on the topics of your interest while being in contact with the audience of your guest blogs. Don’t limit your networking strictly to the travel industry! Observe the opportunities to connect with related niches to your topics of interest.
  • Invest in the design of your blog! People are attracted to beautiful websites. In the travel industry, it counts a lot for the readers. Good pictures also play an essential role to hook the readers to your website and social media channels.
  • Last but not least, at a more advanced stage of travel blogging, you must master social media, email lists, and SEO techniques. This is crucial to expand your audience and establish a relationship with your readers. As Gary Vaynerchuck says from time to time: “where is your reader’s attention?” There it’s where you have to be present. 

It takes a lot of work to become a travel blogger. You have to monetize a blog and make it professional. The motto to follow on this stage is – start small and test what works.

Books:

¹Smile When You’re Lying, Chuck Thompson.

²Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, Gary Vaynerchuk.