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The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Travel Blog

The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Travel Blog

Travel blogging may sound like a dream for many. Best case scenario, it’s a side gig that makes a few bucks every month, right?

But there are thousands of travel bloggers who not only afford to fund their travels but also use blogging as a primary source of income.

The secret?

A match made in heaven between marketers and bloggers who have a wider outreach to an audience that is most likely to invest in travelling. It’s an audience that traditional marketing channels can’t reach.

As the focus switches from television to media created by bloggers, vloggers, and social media influencers, the marketing budgets of resorts, restaurants, and museums are also poured on the smaller influencers with laser-focused niches that bring in high-conversion rates.

To find out more about the best way to get started with your blogging adventure, read on.

Pick a memorable blog name

If you want to see it later on t-shirts and mugs, make sure it’s short and memorable. It needs to be the kind of name your audience will remember telling their friends about.

Long names with hyphens and numbers aren’t good for word of mouth marketing or for search engines. It’s not necessarily bad from an SEO perspective, but from the perspective of the reader who needs to remember a complicated name before typing.

Find your niche

You may protest and say travelling is a niche, which is true, but it’s a very broad one.

There are many types of travellers out there. There are those who always wanted to travel and are there for the espresso in Rome, the croissant in Paris, and for the chocolate in Switzerland.

There are also tourists who are more interested in the cultural aspect of the countries they’re travelling to. For example, some travellers spend most of their travelling budgets on museums, guided tours to historical artefacts, etc.

There are so many ways to tell a story, so find yours.

Learn how to write for the online reader

Writing for the web is different than writing for print publications or the type of writing you did for essays in school.

Computers tire your eyes. There are so many sources of entertainment, and many times you probably juggle between tabs. No wonder it’s so hard to keep someone engaged.

Controversial, helpful, or emotional headlines are the ones who get the most clicks, and if you don’t invest enough time in headline writing, chances are that your readers for good.

Think about it—the first thing a reader sees, the first bit of information they’re exposed to, is the headline. If it doesn’t elicit curiosity, they won’t read it.

Being short and concise is another trick to keep your audience engaged. Don’t be long-winded with topics that can be explained in fewer words.

Build your online persona

Branding is what sets you apart from other bloggers. Your personality, writing voice, and core beliefs are what your audience connects with.

They might come for you blog content, but they stay for who you are as a person. So if you don’t invest any effort in telling your audience your big who you are beyond your travelling writing, there’s nothing for them to connect with.

The first step in creating your online persona is to write an about page. It’s the only page on your blog that should focus only on you.

Don’t hesitate to showcase your personality and share your life story with your audience.

The second step is to make at least a few social media accounts where your audience can follow you. You don’t have to have an account across all platforms, but you should be on at least the ones where your audience is more likely to hang out.

Final Thoughts

No matter what niche, what kind of writing style you pick, always make sure you have your audience in mind. Most bloggers start their journey thinking that their blog is all about them. But the truth is that it’s all about how their experiences can inspire and help others as well.

More importantly, only start a blog if you really really love the topic you are going to be writing about. Earning money from your blog is difficult, and takes time. If you are not in it because you really enjoy it, you may end up disappointed. Bloggers put in a lot of work, for a very long time, and never earn a penny from it. That’s OK though, because blogging is a lot of fun.

 

Photo at the top of the page by Andrew Neel on Unsplash 

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Christine Buske is a former academic who left science at the bench, and now considers herself a woman in tech. She is a frequently invited speaker, and enjoys talking about career transformation (particularly leaving academia for the business world), tech, issues around women in tech, product management, agile, and outreach. She is a proud Canadian resident, and qualifies as a "serial expat".

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