Instagram is full of travel bloggers galavanting around the world and getting paid to live a carefree and luxurious life. The dream job, right? We explore what it’s like to be a travel blogger and what it takes to make it in this fiercely fought market.
Travel Blogger Basics
Blog; a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style
It comes as no surprise that aspirational bloggers tend to lean to the “sexier” topics such as fashion, beauty and travel. With popularity comes competition but don’t let that put you off, allow it to excite you to find your audience who are captivated by your style. Before you have an opportunity to develop your tone of voice, you need to have a platform to distribute your content on!
You don’t need to be a technical expert to have a website. Here is the list to get you started with your own website:
- Register a domain name.
- Choose your name – keep it short and relevant e.g. samstraveldiary.co.uk
- Get a free .co.uk domain here
- Get WordPress hosting for £3.99 / month here
- Search Themeforest for a theme that reflects the look, feel and functionality you are after
- Upload your theme to your WordPress site (it is easy to do and will come with instructions)
- Register all social media accounts with your blog name (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest)
- Register a domain name.
You now have a platform to share your thoughts on so it’s time to work out what to write.
“48 hours in Amsterdam” has been done a million times. This doesn’t mean it should never be done again but you will need to be different to cut through the noise. Consider finding your angle; are you the travel blogger who goes everywhere on roller blades? Amsterdam On Skates. Love accessible restuarant eating? Affordable Gastro Guide to Schiphol Airport.
Find your niche and make it work for you. You will need to write a lot of content to attract and engage readers so having a theme to base your content around will help with that process! Need help coming up with topics and titles, check out this tool.
Not many people start a blog to not have it read by others. At first this may be friends and family but overtime it is likely that you want to reach a much wider audience. You don’t need to buy adverts to start increasing your reach, you just need time.
Firstly, you should optimise your blog posts for search engines. Google is a beast and can deliver thousands upon thousands of interested readers to your blogs front door. However, you need to help Google help you. Get Yoast SEO as a plugin on WordPress and it will give you a step by step guide for each article you write. It’s free, it’s simple and it works.
Spend time sharing your post on social media. You may get lucky and hit a home run with Google search rankings but it’s unlikely (and first, anyway). That is where social media can be your blogs best friend. Share, share, share. Post a headline image of your post (works particularly well for travel bloggers) on Instagram with a whole host of relevant hashtags. Comment on other relevant pictures. Join in conversations on Twitter that are related to your blog topic. Post in Facebook groups that are themed around your blog subject. Don’t just do it once and run, keep going and engage with those who react. Build up your tribe!
It is a worthwhile exercise to find, read and comment other bloggers blogs. Embedding yourself in to the community and be a positive part of it can only help you as you grow your blog.
Make Blogging Pay
Blogging is a hobby for most people but that doesn’t mean you can’t make money out of it! Once you have built up an audience and domain authority you will be eligible to do some paid blogging work that is managed by blogger outreach services. Companies are willing to pay to be featured on your blog so that they can reach your audience with the stamp of credibility that comes with it!
If you focus on quality of content and audience building then the paid opportunities will come. Chasing the money before you have the fundamentals in place will prove to be a fruitless adventure.
Tip: make sure you have an email address or monitored contact form on your website to make it easy for brands to get in touch with you!
You can often spot opportunities to collaborate with brands using #bloggerswanted on Twitter. Only respond to relevant requests and don’t spam the channel; it gets noticed and you get blocked by the marketing teams!