Some people start blogging to become world famous travel bloggers whose readers hang on every word and have Lonely Planet, Expedia and Simon Reeve knocking their door down to work with them. Others just want a creative outlet to write about their adventures and post their pictures. There are many reasons to start but wherever you see yourself on the spectrum of travel bloggers the most important thing is to have a travel blog to be proud of.
I’ve boiled down the many, many steps of travel blogging to just ten to follow in order to start you off on your travel blogging journey.
1. Start writing
The writing is the bare bones on any travel blog that everything else hangs on. Before you even start setting up your blog I’d advise you to write a few blog posts just in Word so you have some material to play with when it comes to the design. This can also help you to start to get a feel for your writing and maybe even refine what part of travel in particular you want to write about and to find a niche.
2. Buy your domain and theme
Next up is your domain name. The pre writing stage should have given you more of an idea of what to name your blog. Claim all the social media handles, whether you plan to use them immediately or not, and purchase your domain name for at least two years. Then you can start looking at themes to use. WordPress comes with some great free ones that you can use to start off. Once you learn a bit more about design it can be worth investing in a paid one from sites like themeforest (like this one) or Woo Themes. I’d keep things as cheap as possible to start though and save your pennies.
3. Keep writing
One of the biggest blockades to a successful travel blog is mind block. It’s a good idea to get in the rhythm of writing as much as possible – I do it every day, whether I publish it or not. As you’re starting out make use of the ‘notes’ section on your phone and write down your favourite ideas to come back to in the future or find another way to store your thoughts as you go. Make sure you schedule time into every day to work on your craft, as much as you can.
If you start to doubt yourself, or find the inspiration, check out these affirmations for writers to get you in the flow.
4. Learn to take great photos
Photography is one of the most important aspects of a travel blog. Stunning photography can keep your audience coming back and engaged just for that purpose. Create your own style so your photos are instantly recognisable and learn how to edit them well too. If you need some help developing your own style, be sure to check out some guides online. For example, this guide to photo background blurring can teach you how to create fuzzy backdrops that help bring more focus to things in the foreground.
5. Spend as long promoting as you do on the words
If no one knows your amazingly helpful and beautiful content is there how can they read it? And if they can’t read it how can your visitor numbers improve? You need to invest time and energy into marketing your posts to get them in front of the right people.
6. Start thinking about what you want from your travel blog
If you haven’t thought about it already, now’s the time to start thinking about how your travel blog will improve your life. Do you want a creative outlet? A place to do what you want? Or do you want press trips, money, speaking gigs, a new career or a way to meet people? Draw up a plan of what you want your blog to do for you, and how you can get to that point.
7. Start to network
Networking is one of the most important things to do in any business. No man is an island, you need to find some countries to feed off.
Read: How to Make Friends with Travel Bloggers and Why
8. Stay innovative
Travel bloggers have been around for a few years. From Nomadic Matt who’s been around since 2008 and has millions of views, to me at who started in 2012 and has thousands of views, to someone who set up just last week and has their mum and Grandpa loving their work.
It’s still so young, yet, so many things have already been done it’s a challenge to stay innovative and interesting. Thousands of blogs are set up worldwide every week, how are you going to make yours stand out?
Whether it’s where you go, what you do, how you do it or the way you record it, try to think differently from the estimated xx travel bloggers out there.
9. Stay confident and take a break
There’s going to be peaks and troughs when it comes to travel blogging. You need to stay confident in yourself and your work, and keep going when time gets tough. You also need to know when to take a break. Many of the travel bloggers with large audiences have posts about blogger burn out. It may sound ridiculous to hear, particularly if you’re reading this on your lunch break with a pile of work on your desk and a night of blogging to look forward to so you can see your friends at the weekend, but full time bloggers can collapse under the stress of it all too. If only because of the pressure they put on themselves.
Read: How to Overcome the Self Doubt that Will Ruin Your Travel Blogging
10. Keep going!
Refer back to 1 and 3. Maintaining a travel blog requires dedication and hard work but if you have the determination you can create a travel blog you’re proud of and have fun along the way!