Google ‘how to create a travel blog’ and the results will probably be a good few years old, aka, out of date. Travel blogging is a fast moving world – the tips and tricks that worked a few years ago just aren’t right for any wannabe bloggers setting up in 2018.

As someone who’s watched the travel blogging industry change and evolve for the last six years, who’s successfully made a living from it, and also seen new bloggers come up through the ranks and eclipse my social media stats and page views in their thousands, I wanted to share my advice on how to successfully create a travel blog in these crazy, competitive times.

How to create a travel blog in 2018

So imagine me as an old lady rocking back and forth in my rocking chair talking about the ‘good old days’ and wanting to impart my advice to anyone who’ll listen, pipe and all.

Along with a whole load of passion and a ridiculous amount of hard work, here’s where I’d say you need to focus your efforts if becoming a travel blogger is on your list of things to do next year.

1. Perfect your photography skills

2. Know the business inside out

3. Get comfortable on video

4. Stop, collaborate and listen

5. Good technical knowledge

6. Engaging social media skills

7. Never stop learning


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How to be a travel blogger


How to Successfully
Create a Travel Blog
in 2018

1. Perfect your photography skills

This is it, this is the key. Readers don’t have time to READ any more. Entice them in with some expertly taken photos and then they’ll come back for more if they actually do want to know how to spend two weeks in Belize, or trudge across London with their luggage, for example.

IMHO Photography is my weakness, and I’m pretty sensitive about it. I know that going forward into 2018 I need to up my game so that I can hold my own on Pinterest and Instagram too, and to make my blog look more ‘aesthetically pleasing’. Those big blogs, with traffic in droves, will almost always have super impressive photography.

– When I took this pic I thought it was the best one I’d ever taken 

One of the reasons I’m a successful travel blogger is thanks to the advice I’ve had from Nomadic Matt over the years.  First with his ‘How to Be a Travel Blogger’ book, which he’s since expanded into an entire course. I did that back in April. Knowing that photography is my weakness I’ve invested in his Superstar Blogging Photography course. He partnered up with Laurence Noah – he of National Geographic fame, and from the travel blog Finding the Universe – to create the photography course specifically for travel bloggers.

CYBER MONDAY SALE (till the 30th)

Right now the course has been reduced to $69 – that’s £51.70 – what else are you gonna spend that on? I’ve just paid the money and bought the course to read on my flight to Malawi, so if you buy today we can get better together.

How to create a travel blog

“Laurence Noah is widely considered one of the top travel photographers online and has worked with numerous clients, like Panasonic and Vanguard. His work has appeared in magazines and news sites, including in USA Today, The Times, BuzzFeed, and the Evening Standard, and on National Geographic and the BBC.”

I’m excited to actually sit down and learn something about photography. I really think that your photography skills are the key thing that will set you apart from all the other travel bloggers out there.

2. Know the business inside out

If you want to make it as a travel blogger in this over saturated world you really need to know your shit.

Back in the day we were all stumbling along together following a similar track and working it out together. If you’re planning on successfully creating a travel blog in 2018 you’ve got years of prestige from other bloggers to make up for. They’ve got their reputation holding them up – what do you have?

It’s not impossible. Think of it as if all those stalwart bloggers are the respected and iconic London black cabs, and you’re the cool and fresh new Ubers come along to shake things up. I know, controversial, but it’s survival of the fittest and just because things have been done a certain way for a while it doesn’t mean it’s been done the right way.

I’d recommend you study what’s what, who’s who, do a course or two, go to conferences and do your research. See what people are doing and how they’ve done it, and then work out how you can add your own spin on it and improve on the foundations already laid.

3. Get comfortable on video

Video is it. We’re here. I’ve been saying for years I want to up my YouTube game and given approximately 10% effort and got 10% back. I can see those YouTubers who started making videos when I said I’d make videos, partnering with the brands I love.

Coulda been me.

Well, no time like the present so I’ve just signed up for Nadine and Kirsten’s How to Be a Travel Filmmaker course, again in partnership with Nomadic Matt. They’re two of the longest serving travel vloggers and their partnerships and numbers prove that they really know their stuff.

I think video is a huge area of opportunity for new bloggers, it’s where your enthusiasm and passion can really stand out.

Usually $299 (£224) it’s now only $199 (£150) in the sale.

I’ve bought it this morning. I’m planning on doing as much as possible of it at the airport later so I can use my new found skillz in the Malawi wilderness this week.

The best travel videos out there, in my opinion, combine a good mixture of quality and story telling, with some technical skills to help tell the story too. Nadine Sykora and Kristen Sarah know exactly how to do that kind of thing, which is why I’m trusting them with my money.

Take a look at the syllabus for How to Be a Filmmaker.

4. Stop, collaborate and listen

Stop, collaborate and listen. Exactly. Collaborating with people is fun. That time I went to Greece and Antigua with Jayne, Kuoni and Elite Island Resorts. And then there’s been the hundreds of brands I’ve worked with, and the festivals I’ve supported. I think it’s key to do campaigns with other bloggers and companies so you can help each other leverage your audiences and support your goals.

create a travel blog

In life creative people collaborate all the time – look at Elton John, Stella McCartney and Snoop Dogg (first people that came to mind). I think one of the keys to other blogger’s success is identifying authentic opportunities to collaborate and acting on them – make friends, think up cool campaigns to work on together, and have FUN.

READ MORE: Why Make Friends With Travel Bloggers?

5. Good technical knowledge

Not only do you need to know all about cameras, keywords, travel logistics and the latest trends if you want to create a travel blog, but you also need to know as much as possible about the technical side of it all.

In a kind of ordered nutshell…

– Decide on a domain name (click for advice on choosing a domain name)

Sign up to Bluehost to host your site (right now they have a Cyper Monday sale, get in!)

– Install WordPress

– Get to know it

– Design your blog

– Create your logo and look

– Get your plugins sorted

– Entice an audience

– Never stop creating backlinks

– Make friends

– Use Google-friendly SEO technique

– Keep your traffic up

– Write interesting posts

– Repeat

6. Engaging social media skills

how to create a travel blog in 2018

Gawd social media is ESSENTIAL now. You can either pick one platform to be on fire on, or try and do them all. I kind of tried to do them all and do ok, but it honestly blows my mind how quickly some people manage to pick up their followings.

You need to love it, to invest a lot of time in it and to actually be social. The most successful Instagrammers / Tweeters I know spend HOURS on their platforms of choice.

7. Never stop learning

Over the almost six years that I’ve been travel blogging so much has changed. It’s key to be able to adapt and identify opportunities, and also to learn to say no. One of the biggest burn outs for people in this industry is just picking up too much stuff, or wanting to do everything. You need to learn to listen to yourself and your mistakes and choices and learn when to say yes to things, and when to say no.

How to create a travel blog

I think it comes to trial and error, learning what you like to do and trying new things. It’s an exciting and fast-paced world to work in, and, if you’re up for the challenge then I’d definitely recommend it.

Disclaimer

As a friend Matt gave me access to the Business of Travel Blogging course back in April to see what I thought – which you can read all about here in How I Made Money Blogging thanks to Nomadic Matt. I thought the course was great and since I reviewed it he’s added even more sections, and taken out the Webinars and free themes so he can now offer it at $299, rather than the $499 it was. For someone’s ten years of knowledge, from the number one travel blogger in the world, I’d say that’s an absolute bargain.

Today I’ve bought the filmmaker course and photography course with my own money in the Cyber Monday Sale. If you buy from any of the links on this page I will receive a small amount as an affiliate. 

*This blog post contains affiliate links

How to be a travel blogger

How to be a filmmaker

 How to be a photography course


More on how to create a travel blog

I’ve actually got a ten-part course on how to start a travel blog, called Travel Blogger High. Work your way through and let me know what you think. If you want to take your blog to the next level, I’d recommend Nomadic Matt’s course.

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