I started my travel blog, markstraveljournal.me, 8 years ago. The idea came from a course on “improving your brand”. From the course, I learned that if you wanted to have a presence on social media, you should be using it to promote your brand or blog. If you’re considering starting a travel blog, here are some things to consider before you jump in.
Do it with a purpose
Your purpose may be simple – to inspire others to travel. You may just want to write about your own travel and trips; that’s very noble and potentially therapeutic for you as well. Hopefully, you’re also offering useful travel information and tips for both first-time travellers and frequent flyers. Or perhaps you’re inspiring others to visit a new destination, or simply catering to those that love everything travel.
Be prepared to learn
When I first started, I had no idea how to build a blog or even use WordPress. I’m still learning about SEO, blog posts and design themes. I’m approached every week by people who would like to contribute a post. Some people are very good writers, and others aren’t. Be very careful with guest posts and the links they may contain. A guest post needs to fit in with your blog focus without detracting from your efforts.
Don’t do it for the money
Travel blogs with high traffic make money largely from affiliate links, but the average blog gets very few affiliate sales. Guest contributors may offer payment for posting their article. Again, “bigger” blogs make more money; the average blog gets paid very little, if anything. At some point, you may be offered a “fam trip” (a trip at minimal or no cost) in exchange for a post and defined promotion, like these travel influencers. If you get paid in addition to the trip, it won’t be much. The point: don’t quit your day job (at least until your site traffic takes off)!
There are no rules
You’re the boss of your blog. You’ll quickly learn what works and what doesn’t work, and it changes over time. You need to post at least once per month, or you’ll be deemed inactive by some. Twice per month is good; weekly is better if you can keep up. Work at your own pace and be consistent with quality. Actual topics vary, and so will the length of posts. Make sure your facts are straight. I visited the Auschwitz Concentration Camp site in Poland, and subsequently, I wrote a post. Within one day, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum sent a note to me with a couple of fact corrections. I was thankful and made the corrections immediately. It’s one of the posts that I’m most proud of.
Enjoy the process
I started my travel blog mostly because I enjoy writing. I write on a part-time freelance basis (just like I do here, for TuGo). When I’m finished writing a post, I never really know whether it’s good or not. I certainly put my best effort in, but does that mean it will be a success? Who knows, but what’s most important is that your posts are engaging, with good tips and travel insights.
Once you post to your blog, you need to promote your post. Social media becomes important and can be done via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and others. It’s also important to connect with other bloggers and share comments on WordPress. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a very large and important item. Keywords, link building and site optimization are part of SEO and will need your attention.
Keep at it
Consistency is very important. Adding regular quality content will draw in new readers. It’s very rewarding to receive kind comments, and equally as important to respond. It’s also great to get blog promotion from fellow bloggers, but just know that you should do the same in return. Whether you’re a new blogger or a veteran, keep at it and do it to share your experiences and knowledge.