Traveling is a great hobby that many people love to experience throughout their lives, but it can be quite expensive, and to be able to fun it - you often need to be tied down to a job. I get a lot of questions about how to start a travel blog or what factors allowed me to have success with building ManTripping into the site it is today. The simple answer is ... a HECK OF A LOT OF HARD WORK. Here's some tips though to help you guys think about if it is something that is right for you as well.
Do Not Star A Blog If You Want To Make Lots Money
The first thing anyone considering becoming a blogger needs to realize is that while I lead a fantastic life, you only see the front end. You don't see the 30 photos that didn't turn out well. You don't taste the cold steak that has been sitting on the table while Heather and I record video, take photos and adjust positioning. I wouldn't have my life any other way but it is a lot of hard work and much of it is unpaid.
That’s why you should consider looking for ways to make money from your traveling, and there are a few ways you can do that. However, you should be prepared to do silly things like standing on the side of the road eating pork rinds while someone takes your photo. It's not glamourous but it pays for things we don't get for free from brands. Luckily though, people love traveling, and because of that, people love to read and learn about different traveling experiences we do ... and you may be doing. You can use your experience as someone with a love of traveling to share with the world and inspire others to do the same as you. You could be an inspiration for others’ love of traveling, so it’s worth sharing your stories and experience!
It's not easy but if you are determined enough and have a story that people want to follow ... it can be done. Most people will get tired of all the hard work before the money comes in though. So don't start your blog thinking you'll get rich.
If you are still interested in starting a travel blog, here are some more tips!
Pick Your Focus
There are different kinds of adventures that people like. You could write a blog about backpacking, or one more focused on the best beaches. No matter what you like, it helps to know what you want to write about, rather than having a mixed bag of blog options. If you want your blog to have an audience and a theme, then you need to figure out what that’s going to be before you start naming it. It helps to name it similar to the blog you’re going for if you want more people to be able to find out about it.
When picking a name, it helps to make sure it’s something memorable. Some people go with a play on words, some people keep it simple and work their own name into it to make it more personal. Whatever you go with, you’ll want to make sure it’s something that your viewers will remember should they ever decide to come back.
Branding Is Essential To Define Your Blog
Once you know what kind of blog you want to be writing, you can think about getting yourself a name, logo, and ultimately a domain. You’re going to need somewhere to post your blog, after all, and there are services that will help you get things going. You need the name because you can choose the domain to be relative to your website. It’s not critical to have something based on your site, but it’s more convenient for your audience when they’re trying to search for you specifically.
Your site is going to be hosted at that domain, but you have to buy it first. The quicker you get to this step, the better, as you’ll have more opportunities to get what you’re looking for. Domains must be unique, and if someone else beats you to it - you’ll have to go with something else.
Good Looks Are Important But Site Speed Is Essential
Branding is important for any kind of business, and while a blog isn’t your typical format for earning money, it’s important to consider how you’re going to design things. You want to keep things looking professional, as you’re going to be looking for partners in the future. You want a theme that’s interesting, but not too over the top. You should still express yourself while choosing a design, but it’s important to think about what opportunities you’ll have later on, and what others will think when visiting your blog.
If you’re doing this all yourself and you’ve got no prior experience, then you’ll likely have to pick from the ones that come with the website designing application you’re using. It might feel basic, but unless you’re willing to put a lot of money into this initially, it’s going to have to work for you.
Once you’ve got a design down, you can start to add things to it to make it more interactive and interesting for your viewers. There are a lot of plugins you could consider to impress your viewers, and you could even look into how to set up live chat on your website. This will make it so that you can interact with viewers on your site and talk to them about the topics of your blog. It’s not something that every website needs, nor is it something that you should add unless you’re looking to create more interaction on the site.
Think About User Experience
When making additions to the website, you should keep in mind how the experience is going to be for new viewers coming in. Having too much going on is going to be a little overwhelming for your viewers, and it may cause them to leave. As it is, upon visiting every website you have to accept or decline cookies before you can browse. If there are all kinds of pop-ups that disturb browsing, then it could cause people to go elsewhere.
A flashy website might impress some people, but it can run slowly on other devices if they’re not up to date. An unresponsive website will turn people away quickly, and that’s not what you want to happen at all. User experience is typically something that can take a lot of testing, so don’t worry too much about getting it perfect straight away.
You could think about opening up a way for people to talk about problems they have with the website. For example, if you have a section where people could leave comments, they could inform you of issues that they’re having on their end when browsing your blog.
Your blog needs a style that goes beyond just your theme and the topic you write about. It needs to be your own personality worked into it. Every business has its core values and goals that get worked into its products and services, and you can do the exact same thing with your blog. It’s about what kind of standard you hold as the owner of the blog, and what kind of style you write to your readers.
A blog is much more interesting to read if it comes off as if they’re having a conversation with the writer, rather than just reading something that’s a wall of text without personality. People will come back to read more about what you’ve done because they enjoy how you write and talk about the things you’ve done in the past.
Start Posting Your Blogs
Now that’s been established, you should start posting your own blogs! You’re ready to get writing, and it can be quite enjoyable! Telling a story is exciting as you get to relive it and include all of the details that you liked the most.
A lot of people struggle with the first step because they worry that their writing isn’t going to be the standard they want to put out. However, if you never write anything and get the ball rolling, you won’t get the opportunity to practice and improve. If you want to learn how to write quality pieces, consider reading others and see what they’re doing to interest their readers.
Consider that the bigger blogs have been doing this for some time, and even if your writing isn’t a hit, to begin with, it will take some time for people to notice what you’re doing. Use that as an opportunity to learn and improve.
Visual Storytelling Is Essential
If you’re going to add images to your blog, you should make sure that you either own them or that they’re royalty-free and credited to the actual owner. Having pictures on your blog is important, as it gives the viewer a better idea of what they’re actually looking at. Generally, a piece of writing can go down easier if you have something to set the scene, and it helps to break up the text that you’ve written.
Attracting Larger Amounts Of People
Bringing in a large audience is something that takes work, and it goes beyond just writing your own blog. You have to consider that you’re not the only result that shows up when you search for travel blogs, and you’re going to have to compete with the others. To do that, then you need to know how to work with the system and improve your chances of being someone’s top search result. Unless people know how to look for your blog specifically, they’re going to have to come by chance or through an advertisement.
The first thing you could do to improve the traffic on your site is to learn about SEO. Search Engine Optimization is about playing by the rules of a search engine’s algorithm to have your site ranked higher on a search engine results page. You’re manipulating the system to make your site more popular. Doing so makes blogging a bit more work than just simply writing whatever you want, but you can tailor your blogs to be more optimized.
You’ll find that you have to use a lot more keywords to get more people in. You don’t have to tailor the whole blog around one keyword, but you should consider throwing a few in to raise your chances of someone discovering your blog.