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If you want to know how to be a travel blogger, this page has all kinds of info for you. The ultimate guide is right here!

Hi, I’m Vicky, or online, VickyFlipFlop. I set up this blog, vickyflipfloptravels.com, back in February 2012.

I had a job when I set it up, and continued to work full time in an office, and part time on the blog for over two years. Things happened and I left that job and became a freelance travel blogger. I lived as a digital nomad for three years, working from coffee shops and friends’ houses around the world, and lived off what I earned from this blog and all related activities. 

beginners guide to travel blogging

In March 2017 I moved back to England, to Southsea, and finally had an address, yet continued to travel when opportunities arose. In October I bought a house, entirely with what I’d made from this blog.

I’ve now been to over 70 countries and continue to be a travel blogger full time.

Travel blogging is an awesome job. So, what I’m here to show and tell you, on a whistlestop tour, is how to actually be one. First we’ll start with my latest blog posts about being a travel blogger, and then we’ll move onto the best things about actually being a travel blogger. And then, I’ll really get stuck into everything you need to know about breaking into the industry, and break down exactly how to be a travel blogger.

I genuinely want to help you get some of the awesome opportunities I have!

Ready?


How to be a travel blogger

Best things about being a professional travel blogger

– I get invited to travel the world on press trips, sometimes paid to visit a destination

– I’ve worked for many of the top travel companies in the world.

– I earn more money as a freelance travel blogger than I ever have.

– I can pick and choose who I work with and for.

– I can get up and out of bed when I like.

– I love the challenge of the technical side of travel blogging.



The most important quality for a travel blogger

Passion

You won’t be able to follow any travel blogger course in the world – free or paid – and become a successful travel blogger without passion. It’s the absolute number one quality you need to succeed as a travel blogger.

Thousands of travel blogs are set up every year and abandoned when the blogger doesn’t see the quick results. 

I think I was destined to be a writer. From diaries, to poems, to letters to my friends who were sat on the same table and scripts I’d make my friends put on, this was the life for me. I just had to find that route to make it happen. Passion falls by the wayside for many people but I kept it and stayed determined.

I’ve sacrificed a lot to travel and it kind of took over my life for a few years. If I hadn’t had the passion for it there’s no way I would’ve carried on.

Passion fires creativity, sometimes when it seems you have nothing else.


Setting up your blog

Write a few posts in Word before you even start to think about domain names for your travel blog and which web host to go with. It will help to actually have some content to play around with when it comes to the design of your blog.

I had loads of (now deleted) posts on my time in Europe. 

Travel blogging for beginners

You can then set up on WordPress.org to start, which is $18 per year, and then when you want more freedom to design your blog how you please, you can move to WordPress.com.

I recommend using Bluehost to host your blog. They have a great reputation, excellent customer service and are widely used around the world. They also have lots of blogging tips. Do not, I repeat, do not, go with Hostgator. They’re terrible and their customer service is whack. 

Choosing a domain name for your travel blog is FUN, but give it some serious thought and check what else is out there too. I have a whole blog post on this from Part 1 of Travel Blogger High, but in short I recommend looking at memorability, suitability, length, SEO, what comes up in Google, and then claiming your name and handles on every social media platform ever.

READ MORE: How to Choose a Domain Name for Your Travel Blog


Travel blogger kit

How to be a travel blogger

Many articles about how to be a travel blogger will say you need all kinds of equipment – this is simply not true.

You can be a travel blogger with just a smart phone and access to a computer, or you can go all out and buy everything ever created.

I have a Mac Air, an iPhone 6S, an Olympus PEN EPL-8 camera, a GoPro HERO 4, a Joby tripod and a Canon G7X Mark II. I’ve dabbled with DSLRs, Canon Powershots, underwater cameras and all kinds of attachments but I’ve just found that that is the kit that works for me.

Sometimes it can make sense to buy a few bits cheap and play around with them to see what you like, and then you can always sell again on eBay if you don’t like them.

You do NOT need a whole arsenal of kit before you begin, promise.  

Writing

Some people stumble when it comes to what to write about, I’m lucky that it hasn’t been a problem for me. Even when I was working full time in travel, and doing my blog, I still had lots I wanted to write about for both. I have a really long spreadsheet that I will never get through, with all the titles I hope to write some day. 

If you don’t travel much you could write a guide to your local area, write about travel in England, or write about past travels – you just need to write and get used to writing regularly. We can all suffer from blogger’s block though, but I have some tips to get you through.

READ MORE: Travel Blogger High – What Shall I Write About? 

Keep SEO in mind

I’ll be publishing a guide to basic travel blogger SEO very soon. But in short you need to look at keywords before you start, you need to know your topic well, write over 100o words, use the Yoast plugin to help, research and act on the data on Google Analytics, but then don’t use too many SEO techniques that it makes the article unreadable. 

Anyone who’s ever done any SEO will know that that is simplifying the whole process ridiculously.

Social media

Your work is not done once you’ve written your post. You need to know how to get your work out there in front of people’s eyes so they can actually read what you’ve done.

Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter – you need to work out where your readers are, where to find new ones and where you can make the biggest impact, or you enjoy the most. It’s so hard to keep up with them all that I’d strongly recommend you stick with one or two to focus on, and do well on those first. 

Travel blogging for beginners

Knowing how to promote yourself is one of the most difficult but important things for a lot of creatives. Your social media feeds are an extension of your blog and need to have the same thought and care gone into them. It can take a while to work out what your readers want. 

I find that most of the time that’s visual content, of you.

ASSESS – Find the people who inspire you. 

INTERACT – It’s like turning up to a party and standing in the coner just shouting things to people.

PLAN – In an ideal world you’d be on all the social media posting unique content every day. In the real world you won’t have time for that. Decide on what’s important to you.

ENJOY – have fun with it or you’ll soon give it up. 

There’s a school of thought that you should spend the most time on your blog as that’s the only thing you actually own. But some people who identify as ‘travel bloggers’ can actually be big Instagrammers or YouTubers and their blog is actually their bit on the side. 

Many of the most successful travel bloggers will have entire teams set up to do their social media for them. It’s just so much work when you really delve into it. 

READ MORE: The Social Media Checklist for Travel Bloggers to Live By

Photo

Photography is without a doubt one of the most important aspects of travel blogging for beginners to focus on. If you look at the top travel bloggers in the UK, their photography is incredible. This is something I want to work on over the next year, but then, to be fair, I’ve been saying that for the past three.

Travel blogging for beginners

There are so many free courses online, or you could sign up to Lawrence Norah’s How to Become a Travel Photographer course. He’s one of the UK’s leading travel blogger / photographer people, and has developed this course with Nomadic Matt to help you be better at taking pics for your blog.

Travel bloggers and video

YouTube is the second biggest search engine after Google. Increasingly brands want videos of their destinations and products to show off – it helps to give more of a narrative and story to what they’re trying to sell. And seeing someone doing the experience is definitely the best way of selling something.

If you’re going to set up a blog it’s a good idea to start a YouTube channel too, or at least bag the handle name you want. Having a fun personality on YouTube, in travel, is where you can really stand out in the UK.

READ MORE: Lessons Learned from the Top Travel Vloggers

Subscribe to my channel on YouTube!


Blogging alongside a job

I ran my blog alongside a full time job for almost three years. It’s hard but if you’re super passionate you can do it. And also, just remember the word of warning on success: work out what success means to you

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to create content when you have a lot of other things going on. Use all time available – the commute, during TV time etc. And if you’re chasing numbers from the start, then I’m afraid you’re most likely setting yourself up for disappointment. 

Keep your expectations real!

Blogging when you’re travelling 

And then for the next three years I ran this blog alongside travelling – I was a digital nomad. As I travelled to over 40 countries I blogged, took photos and created films about my adventures. Here’s a cool video I made of my travels in 2017. 

What travel blogging on the road looks like

Blogging on the road is hard and brings about its own set of difficulties, mainly trying to find good WiFi or at least trying to find any Wi-Fi.

Also, trying to plan accommodation, routes, meals, activities, while trying to make the most of where you are and the people you meet too. And then of course, there’s the working. 

travel blogging for beginners

Staying productive when everyone around you is out having fun and drinking and not having a care can be difficult. That’s why it’s important to have friends that understand you. At first the self control can be difficult but as you start to work out that you want to do this as a lifestyle and not just a certain period of time then you know that you need to work. You’re not a care free traveller anymore, you have responsibilities to your business. 

Networking

My career really took off when I started networking. It’s how I jumped from my HostelBookers job to the gapyear one, with a huge pay rise!

I met people, I found out about jobs in my industry, it obviously helped that my travel blogging and full time work were related, but I also made sure I knew the right people. Substance behind the bravado.

Networking can be scary, Walking into a room and trying to find someone to talk to is definitely not my idea of fun, but the hardest time is the first time. And you can get that over and done with pretty quickly.

First meet up, now pretty much everyone I met at that first meet up I went to in 2012 I’d class as my best mates in travel blogging. Now when we’re on a press trip or at a conference it’s just like hanging out with friends. 

– Find events in your niche

– Make friends

– Share practices

– Boost each other

– Get to know people who can help your career, and help them

READ MORE: How to Make Friends With Travel Bloggers and Why

Press trips

Beginners guide to travel blogging

I’ve been on some incredible trips – California, Costa Rica, Germany, Florida, Norway, Israel – the list is incredible, impressive and absolutely blows my mid. 

The thing is though, press trips are not a free holiday. Getting your first few is an incredible feeling. I still remember my first one to Porto and I totally thought I’d made it in life. You start to learn that they are work, awesome work, but work. I’m going to write another post about this, but for now…

READ MORE: What’s a Travel Blogger Got to Do to Get a Press Trip Around Here?

Making money

How do I make money travel blogging?

Generally the number one question when people find out I’m a travel blogger. I wrote this post on the 7 Ways I Earn Money Travel Blogging a few years ago, but I do need to do an update. 

Nowadays travel bloggers earn money like celebs – they do appearances, endorsements, they have managers putting them forward for campaigns. Some of the amounts my friends earn from their huge Instagram accounts are just insane. 

I also make money writing for travel companies as a freelancer, taking photos on the road, through sponsored posts and campaigns, talking at universities, colleges and events, creating videos and through affiliate marketing. 

Other ways travel bloggers are making money include writing paid for courses, selling products, offering training, running tours, giving one to one blogging advice and though travel advice and consultancy.

The list is endless. 

Travel blogging for beginners in 10 steps

Beginners guide to travel blogging

1. Start writing – the best thing about blogging is that you don’t have to get approval from others to publish. It’s good to have some words to play with when you start your blog.

2. Domain and theme – having a few posts to play with should give you an idea of the kind of topics you’re naturally drawn to. Think of  a name, sort your theme and get going.

3. Keep writing – I write all the time. Whether it’s for clients, my blogs, or just me. In fact I have RSI in my finger right now, and have had it in my thumb too. Not a good sign. 

4. Photography and videos – photos and videos are now a huge part of any blogger journey. Skill up! 

5. Promotion – it’s said you should spend as long on the promotion as you do the words. How will anyone know about your site in the millions of others if you don’t promote it to the right people across social media?

6. Goals – what do you want your blog to be? What’s your measure of success? How will you know if you’ve scored a goal when you don’t know where the goal posts are? 

7. Network – one of the most important things you can do to once you’ve done the groundwork of setting up your blog.

8. Stand out – think about how your travel blog can be different and stay innovative with what you’re doing.

9. Stay confident and take breaks – don’t be one of those travel bloggers who burns out. Know when to take a break. There’ll be highs and lows in blogging and you need to have the strength to cope with both.

10. Keep at it! – Millions of blogs are set up every year, and millions are also abandoned. Keep at it, as much as you want to and make sure it stays fun!

READ MORE: 10 Steps to Travel Blogging Success

Confidence

Beginners guide to travel blogging

Having confidence in your abilities as a travel blogger is probably the number one problem most travel bloggers have. It can be difficult, especially if everyone around you looks like they’re doing everything so well, and so easily. Lack of confidence is definitely an occupational hazard in travel blogging, and one I suffer from repeatedly.

– Look at your success

– Compare yourself with your yesterday, not with someone else

– Stop following people who don’t inspire you.

– Remind yourself regularly of your achievements

– Be confident that your writing matters. It does, if it matters to you

Travel blogging for beginners

And that’s the quick guide to travel blogging for beginners, the first session in part 2 of Travel Blogger High.
Brace yourself for the next edition, out Monday!

Also, if you have anything you want me to write about in particular – let me know in the comments box below.


Recommended travel blogger course

You can learn more about how to make money from travel blogging, and how the world’s number one travel blogger, Nomadic Matt, has made it work by completing his course on the Business of Travel Blogging. He’s made the complex world of travel blogging more understandable and accessible in his series of courses.

He’s one of the reasons I managed to make the jump from hobby travel blogger to full time professional. His course explains everything you need to know to become a travel blogger.

READ MORE: How I Learnt to Make Money Travel Blogging from Nomadic Matt

Super Star Blogging

And there’s even a money back guarantee if you don’t agree!


Making money travel blogging

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how to make money blogging

top UK travel bloggers
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41 comments

  1. Hi Vicky,

    I am going to be setting up my own travel/lifestyle blog and (although the advice you gave is wonderful and all) still have a few questions. I really love your site, style and tone and I have seen a lottt of blogs as I’m sure you have. You aren’t too wrapped up in that pretentious, hipster way of describing everything and throw your personality at a location not just repeat how beautiful/nice the people are (aka everything that has been said before. I think what you are doing is great.

    Anyway, so I’m also not very tech savvy. So basically:
    > set up a WordPress .com with a theme (is it better to pay than get a free one? How much can I mess about with the layout, number of pics etc? I really wana upload videos is this feasible?)
    > Get a webhost, will that be around 5 quid per month? How much do you pay as the speed of your website is perfect

    Then is that it as far as getting it up and running goes?

    Hope you can answer me, I know you seem very busy.

    Thanks for the inspiration,

    Chris 26 (Bristol, UK)

    1. Hi Chris, thanks for your message and I’m really happy to hear you like my blog so much! I know what you mean about all the OTT / everything’s great kind of travel blogs, very proud to read you think mine is different :).

      I set up my blog originally with an org, which was fairly easy to change. If you know you want to be serious about it from the start then you can just go straight for the .com. Having a .com allows you to play around with it all a lot more, and to customise the site more to be how you want. Unless you have a very clear vision I’d advise you to just get started, rather than start worrying about every aspect. I’m sure any blogger would tell you that their site is a constant work in progress.

      I am hosted by hostgator but to be honest I wouldn’t really recommend them. I’m looking to change. I pay $60 for half a year. I need to upgrade but it’s all very confusing!

      Yep, that’s what I pay – so $18 to WordPress a year, $120 to hostgator per year and then around $10 for my domain name a year to 123reg.com. That’s it.

      Just let me know if you have any more questions.

      Vicky 🙂

  2. Hey Vicki, that’s awesome advice. I might want to get a co.uk but i notice bluehost doesnt offer co.uk.

    Do a lot of hosts not offer hosting for uk domain names?

    1. Hi Dave, it’s always better to get the .com as people trust it more and it has other benefits too. Most hosts will offer you the .co.uk so you could buy that too if you wanted to make sure you had all bases covered, but it’s not neccessary.

  3. I LOVE that you have a blogging tips tab! I felt like my prayers have been answered when I saw it! I am an aspiring travel blogger and I am kinda walking into it blindly- but I can’t help but follow my heart and figuring it out along the way. I haven’t paid for anything yet- but I am looking to reach out to more followers. I know consistency, great photos and good content is the to achieve this. Do you have any other suggestions? I hope one day I can be in a position to help other bloggers like you do.

    Natalie

  4. Pingback: How to Start a Travel Blog in 4 Easy Steps | The Fashionable Backpacker
  5. Hi! The picture with the “10 easy steps” links to a different post instead! Would really wanna read the 10 easy steps!

  6. Your posts were so useful for us beginners. Been following what you write on festivals and travel for a while now but we hadn’t noticed these blogging tips (how i don’t know!) Thanks for all your insights!

    1. Ah no worries. I’m happy to help and glad that you can learn something from my experience. Hoping to write some more very soon 🙂

  7. Hi. I will be going to Alaska in March working for Holland America Princess as a Tour Guide/Driver. The end of my contract is in September then I will likely be working on a cruise ship. I want to start blogging. Should I start blogging now or wait until I get in Alaska? If I should start blogging now what do I blog about until I leave? Any suggestions would be helpful.

    1. Start now! There’s so much you could write about – your first holiday? Your favourite places to eat and drink where you are? Where you’d like to go? Holidays from the past? Your top bloggers? There’s loads you can write about when you’re not travelling, trust me!

  8. I am will set up my own movement/way of life blog and (in spite of the fact that the guidance you gave is brilliant all) still have a couple of inquiries. I truly cherish your webpage, style and tone and I have seen a lottt of websites as I’m certain you have. You aren’t excessively wrapped up in that vainglorious, fashionable person method for depicting everything and toss your identity at an area not simply rehash how lovely/pleasant the general population are (otherwise known as everything that has been said some time recently. I think what you are doing is extraordinary.

  9. i am working in the travel company in Vietnam and i want to promote our product and want to write the blog but that is not easy for me. 🙁

    1. Hello Tony, I’m afraid it’s not easy for anyone! Takes a lot of hard work and energy to be a blogger, but I hope my free series will help you achieve your goals!

  10. This site content is really impressive and informative I learnt lot of about destinations, festivals and blogging.

  11. Hey Vicky, I am pretty much impressed with your work! You’re awesome, and inspiring too. I am planning to create my own travel blog. So, for how many platforms I need to pay apart from buying premium membership of WordPress? Thanks for the help in advance! 🙂

    1. Hello, and yay for becoming a blogger!

      My advice would be to spend as little as possible at the beginning. Just to make sure that you definitely want to give this whole blogging thing a go, and that you can stick with it. Just pay for your premium WordPress and that’s it. And then, in the future, you can decide whether you want to sign up to Canva, Epidemic Sound, TailWind, and all the other platforms bloggers like to use.

      Take your time with it and don’t jump in with money before you’re ready. I’ve definitely wasted a lot of money on blogging platforms and equipment I thought I needed when I clearly didn’t.

  12. I read your blog and it is very interesting to know all the things that you have mentioned here. Becoming a travel blogger is one of the coolest things I always wanted to do and now I after reading your blog I have gained a lot of insights on how to accomplish these things.

  13. Thank you so much for this nice topic I have not a lot of information about it but I have got an extra unique info in this post.

  14. Your posts were so useful for us beginners.Extremely intriguing theme will bookmark your for visit again..nice post…….

  15. Hi,
    Thank for yours effective blog post. This post is really helpful advice that you have given to us. I am pretty much impressed with your work! You’re awesome, and inspiring too.

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UK Solo Travel and Festival Blogger

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