A few years ago, I doubt that I would have been able to answer technical questions related to everything that involves working with a travel blog. I make this comment because I recently received an email from a reader with a series of questions, which reminded me of myself when I just started with bloodyspew.
Questions like “what is the first step to gain subscribers”, “how to get sponsors to travel”, “how much time can I make enough money” or “what social networks are ideal for my blog” were one of so many that this person did, and I understand to the perfection that the beginners in this subject are desperate with all the initial doubts that come to mind.
Given that there is no kind of detailed and orderly guide (none that I know so far) that tells you how to start blogging on the right foot and prevail along the way, the only way to learn is by trial and error. Also, there are many mistaken paradigms that novices have about the environment surrounding a travel blog, which I come to demystify throughout this extensive post.
Then, I leave you a little over 4000 words so you get the most out of it, so put the coffee to heat
1- Answer first that goal you are looking to reach with your blog
People open a traveling blog for several reasons. Whether you expect to earn some money, others want your family and friends to read in detail the details of the trip, are those who seek to show their skills in photography, among many other reasons.
The cause that motivates you to create a blog is unique, as is the vision you have in the future. Do you love telling personal stories or tips on how to travel economically? Would you encourage yourself to sell advertising or do you prefer to sell your own products? How much content do you want to write on your blog? How much do you want to inspire your readers with your stories?
Answering some of these questions will help you stay focused on your personal goals, which will put you on the right track and prevent you from comparing (which I consider unhelpful) with other travel bloggers. Creating a list of specific goals, both short and long term, will make it easier to determine if you are achieving or not.
2- Choose a niche
First of all, what is a niche? To explain it in a simple way, a niche (in the jargon of marketing) is a small segment of a subject in general. An example of thematic would be to write about travel (a subject that is broad), while a small segment is to write about travel on cruises (something more specific).
With the millions and millions of blogs that abound today, the importance of choosing a niche requires a lot of relevance so you can get to know you in a certain area. You must be wondering which niche traveler is right for you. Start by writing down the things that most attract your attention to travel or those aspects in which you are a good connoisseur. For example, if what attracts you most of all is taking photos, a blog is good for you where you can share quality images of the countries you have visited and at the same time provide technical advice on how to take good photos.
You do not necessarily have to talk about photos. You can write off any other traveler niche that you feel comfortable with food, extreme sports, luxury hotels, traveler jobs, personal stories, etc. If you are interested in monetizing your blog, it is very essential that you find out about the opportunities that exist in the niche so that you can generate money.
Finding your niche is a matter of taking your time so that you think well about what you like, how good you are and how profitable it will be for the effort you put into your blog.
3- It is time to create your travel blog
The vast majority of people who are new to this blog think that it is enough to have one free, but if your plan is to take the project seriously the right thing to do is invest in it. You will have to acquire a domain, install WordPress (the perfect platform to have a blog today), install a template and the plugins.
You also get a hosting to host your website. In my case, I use Bluehost, one of the best hostings that there is on the whole internet, and the best thing is the economy that is its excellent service.
Not everything ends there, because it is almost certain that web code errors will appear that you will have to correct or you will want to make a code change to the design of your template. You will need to learn the basics of HTML and CSS programming if you want to make edits without too much inconvenience.
For this point, I invite you to read this writing, which offers all the possible information so that you can create your blog without setbacks.
4- Understanding the SEO area
Some may be attracted to the idea of researching everything related to SEO and others find it boring, but there is no doubt that SEO is essential if you want your blog to appear first in the Google search results.
While there are many tutorials and SEO guides on the Internet, some of them are explained in an almost unintelligible language for those who know little or nothing about web positioning. However, in this free online manual, you will learn the crucial thing about SEO in an orderly and understandable way.
And if that were not enough, for a few years we have among us the WordPress SEO plugin, one of the most complete and useful when it comes to improving the SEO of your blog. This tool falls as a ring to the finger so you do not waste so much time configuring each aspect of it, and with this extensive guide, you have everything to achieve it.
5- Meet the statistics of your blog
If you expect to see positive results in your blog traveler, first you must know the type of information that users want to read, and therefore it is essential to have a tool that allows you to test your website and know more about the tastes, habits, and behavior of those who read you. This is where Google Analytics comes into play.
Their functions go beyond showing you how many visits you had per day. Analytics offers you data about your readers (country of origin, language, gender, etc.) and how they browse your blog. Data of this nature are essential in order to decipher with certainty what people want to find in Google and also improve your website to appear first in the search results.
The management of Analytics can read more than one the first time you use it, but I hope that everything is easier with the following manual.
6- Write with style
Maybe you do not know, but most people on the Internet try not to read an entire article, but scan as much as they can. In an online world with an excess of distractions (social networks, work, Whatsapp, online games), time becomes very limited and the patience of people reading becomes shorter. Therefore, the appropriate strategy to attract and retain new readers is to make your content understandable and easy to read.
When it comes to writing for the web, the first impression falls more on how you present your writings and not so much on what you write. It does not matter if you write posts less than a thousand words or more than 3,000, if the structure of your writing looks messy it will be difficult for you to understand.
Writing well is a task that requires too much practice, which is normal for the learning process. Only perseverance will make your writing progress gradually. If you need more recommendations to write better, take a walk around here.
7-Interact with your audience
It is no secret that every blogger loves to be read by others, and why not, that they think in every post they post. However, when you start you will not have anyone commenting on your articles, and in the best of cases, you will see one or another random comment. Only when you have time with the blog and have published several posts is that you will see the comments come more often, and only if you have tried to market it as it should be.
But regardless of whether they comment a lot or little on your website, the important thing is that there is interaction on your part, and that is the key. It does not help to have dozens of comments if you do not respond to them, or if they send you emails and you do not answer back. The same applies to the social networks of your blog.
The task of interaction is something constant and you should not neglect it if you plan to win new readers and, by the way, keep them. The tips you will read in this publication will tell you how to proceed at this point.
8- Be original with everything you post
In the meantime, more and more people continue to open travel blogs, more often it will be to discover posts about a particular activity or destination. Given this scenario, how can one distinguish oneself from the rest and draw readers’ attention to what you are doing? Everything is summarized to be original with what you post and the approach you give to your words.
With being original I do not mean that if a blogger writes about the city of Buenos Aires, you will not do it just because that individual already talked about that place. It is about you talking about Buenos Aires using your own personality to relate something. The posts impregnated with your emotions (fear, joy, panic, joy, humor, anger, intrigue, etc.) capture more the interest of the people, since they let you see the perspective that you have of the topic that you approach.
It also helps to offer the kind of information that you can hardly find in other blogs. Let’s say you discovered a super economical way to travel a costly country and nobody else knows, so an article detailing the details of this adventure will guarantee you visit for a long time.
Unlike what many people think, you do not need to be a traveling scholar to start writing about it. The more you keep writing (and of course traveling), the faster you will develop your writing and, consequently, your tone and use of words will progressively improve.
9- An image says more than a thousand words
Post a very thorough post of the city of Madrid without adding a single photo is like having a garden without flowers. This rule applies nothing more to blogs, but to most of the visual media such as newspapers, billboards, magazines, and pamphlets, just to name a few. If you really want to capture the curiosity of readers and convince them 100% that what you say is true, do not obvious to use images, and especially when it consists of writing about travel.
As a useful fact, when you travel take as many photos as you can and try to make the images you use in a writing are of the best possible quality. You will not want to complement your articles with mediocre photos, so take the time to get to know your camera and achieve the ideal result with the images you take.
The good quality photos do not limit only the blog, also use them in your social networks if you are looking to gain followers. On sites like Facebook or Instagram, photographs are the main focus of attention and make the difference between going unnoticed and being seen by others.
As for taking pictures of the internet and using them in your posts, never do it without giving due credit to the author of the image. Better yet, ask for permission first and let the owner know if you will use it on your blog or on your social networks. In this way, you will save yourself unnecessary and blunders. Most bloggers will agree to your request, as long as you notify them and mentions them as the true owners of the image.
10- The importance of the video
Today it is not enough to write good articles adorned with spectacular images, you also have to know how to create content through the video if you want to reach more people. Maybe some overwhelm them is an effort to make videos or they just do not care, but that does not mean you can underestimate the fact that this medium is here to stay and not using it would be counterproductive.
If you are one of those who is reluctant to create traveling videos, you must first understand the power that transmits: beyond having the readers captivated with photos or texts, you will be transporting them to those places you have visited. On the other hand, your audience will know more about you to see you interact with each word you say, gesture you make an experience that you experience, which will undoubtedly increase your popularity gradually.
Creating a video these days is nothing complicated, to the point that all digital cameras and cell phones today allow you to record with an acceptable quality so that you can build travel videos. However, it is the editing of a video that will absorb you the most time, especially if you have enough recorded material. Regarding the software to use for editions, iMovie and Windows Movie Maker are the basic options since they are free, although limited. Personally, I edit with Camtasia Studio and I have been great.
Bloggers go to sites like Vimeo and YouTube to upload their videos, the latter being the best known. Opening a YouTube account to create a channel is not difficult and the process is intuitive. In the same way, read this article so that you start with the appropriate strategy.
If you like the plan to start creating videos for your travel blog, but you have no idea how to start, I recommend you take a look at the accounts of Mola Viajar and Daniel Tirado, which will serve as a source of inspiration.
11- Take it out the benefit to social networks
Social networks are one of the phenomena with greater popularity so far in the twenty-first century, and we see that in a large number of social networks that currently exist (and every so often appears more), each of these oriented to a theme in particular.
However, I will be talking only about Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, social networks that, in my personal opinion, are excellent to complement with a traveling blog.
Facebook: There is no doubt that Facebook is the heavyweight champion of social networks today, and ignoring it would be wasting a good percentage of readers who spend a lot of time browsing this online universe. Its use is not only to get in touch with friends and old friends; It is also a powerful tool that will expand the reach of your blog if you use it as it should be.
Creating a page on Facebook is not something from another planet and the process will take less than 10 minutes. The next post will tell you everything you need to start.
Twitter: The famous platform of 140 characters is one of the most used media in the world, and this is due to the speed with which the information is known. Unlike Facebook, which displays content randomly through an algorithm, Twitter shows it chronologically, making it more attractive. The key to this social network lies in the interaction you can create with conversations between other tweeters (this is what the user of Twitter is told).
For those who have never handled Twitter, the first time will look somewhat difficult to understand and unable to find meaning, so I leave a post to shorten the learning process.
Instagram hacken: This social network is exclusively for mobile devices (cell phones, iPods, tablets) and I consider it as the third most important after Twitter and Facebook. Instagram is an application that allows you to upload photos and videos (with a duration of 15 seconds), which can be seen by those who follow you. Its interface is so simple to navigate that in a few minutes you will understand the simplicity that has put it on everyone’s lips. To be successful on Instagram you need to follow some of the tips that appear on this page.
Pinterest : There are bloggers who have not turned to Pinterest because they see it as if it were a gallery where you upload photos and already, but the truth is that if you have quality images and you keep a record of use, Pinterest can be useful to you by directing traffic to your web I suggest you do not underestimate Pinterest and this tutorial will tell you how to squeeze it to the fullest.
( Personal recommendation: although social networks are essential in our days, you’ll know how much time they take away, they are just an extension of your blog, so spend a few minutes a day and do not get too distracted with them ).
12- The tools that need all travel blogger
Today, technology has advanced by leaps and bounds, and the enormous reception of laptops in this century has allowed many to work with their blogs anywhere in the world. The best thing about this technological wave is that the devices have been decreasing in size, so it is common to see a traveler carrying a small briefcase with all kinds of gadgets in what decades ago would have been impossible.
The most important thing to take into consideration is the laptop that you are going to carry with you. There are of all sizes and brands, and each with a wide range of specifications. Choosing the one that best fits your budget, style, and need is a task that you will have to dedicate some time to, and in this article, you will know what aspects you should keep in mind when buying your laptop.
On the digital camera, the process of choosing one that photographs and films with an acceptable resolution should be as thorough as that of a laptop. Know here what are the details that will help you decide for a good camera.
It is very important that you have a universal power adapter because there are countries where the electrical voltage is different from that of your region, which means that by force you must use a different plug to connect your electronic devices.
Do not miss the benefits of having a smartphone, with which you can use exclusive applications of this device (Instagram is one of them). On the other hand, access to the social networks of your blog from a cell phone is invaluable and fast, an advantage that you should not ignore.
Finally, do not forget to buy some of these devices: a mouse for your laptop (you will see how easy it is to work with one), a USB memory to store your photos or any program you use, a portable universal battery charger and a protector suitable for your computer.
13- Create a list of subscribers
Optimize the SEO of your blog and promote it constantly in each of your social networks are worthwhile efforts to interact with your followers, but if there is something that will give you direct access to them is to get them through a mailing list (known as a newsletter in English). It is common to relate email marketing with sending spam everywhere, but nothing is further from reality than thinking like that.
There are several reasons why someone would not bother to create a mailing list (lack of time, money or do not want to be seen as sellers), but it is more than certain that you will miss many opportunities for web traffic and monetize your site how do you wait?
An email list, apart from helping you with traffic, provides that direct and personal communication with your readers. In addition, you can achieve more chances to monetize your list by offering your own products, affiliate programs or advertising sales (the latter works best if you have thousands of subscribers). If you are looking to immerse yourself more in the subject of email marketing, I leave you the following article.
It is often said that Feedburner is ideal for email marketing, but it is not. Its functionality is quite limited, a fact that should not surprise anyone, taking into account that it is free. In contrast, MailChimp and Aweber are more complete in this field, although you have to pay a monthly fee for their use (MailChimp is free up to 2,000 subscribers).
More than an expense, look at it as an investment that will benefit you in the long run. If you decided on Aweber, click on this guide so you know how to use it. If you prefer Mailchimp, visit this other page.
14- Learn to make money with a traveling blog
If you have been investigating the issue of making money with your traveling blog for a while, I assume that the illusion of winning lots of money in a short time during your trip, thinking that the only work to do is to write.
If you thought that the subject was rosy, it is good that you know at once that reality is very opposite and not as easy as you think. I’ve been with bloodyspew for five years and I can tell you that making money with a travel blog is possible, although not so easy and it takes a lot of dedication.
But as complicated as it may seem, it is an achievable goal if you set your mind to it. I wrote this article very detailed that you should look at it if you have concerns about the monetization issue.
15- Weapon a half kit
One of the things that most bloggers ignore is having a half kit, this being a colossal error if you plan to work with tourism companies. If you do not know what a half it is, to explain it in simple terms, it is a PDF file that explains what your project is about, the statistics of visits / social networks, your rates to charge for advertising and how you can be contacted. In a few words, it is the curriculum vitae of your travel blog.
Having a half kit is essential to get to know you as a blogger that has a lot of potential and a lot to offer to companies that look for websites to discuss with them. If you are interested in creating a half kit, read the information that appears in Bitacoring so you can guide yourself better.
16- Traveling and blogging is a big challenge that you have to deal with
The success behind a travel blog, like everything in life, lies in persistence. You will be exploring other destinations, away from home and your comfort zone, and it is just when you are looking for a moment to sit down and work that the universe begins to conspire against you.
Imagine arriving at a hostel and once you make friends, which invite you to a party in a bar, but you say no because you have to edit several photos for a post that needs to be published in the evening. When you are looking for a place to sit next to your laptop, you notice that the internet of the accommodation stopped working, which forces you to go to the first cybercafe you find on the way or wait for the next day to see if it was composed.
The scenario that I have just described is just one of the many situations that each blogger must face away from home, far from their comfort zone. I do not pretend to show a negative image, but understand that mishaps and distractions are the order of the day, and only preparing yourself thoroughly will prevent your experience of working with a blog from becoming quite heavy.
17- No There is the “right time” to start
I am one of those who believe that the closest thing to laziness is living life awaiting the perfect opportunity to get down to work. Tomorrow as such is not promised to anyone. You only have the present and today is the opportunity you need to start with your traveling blog. If you do not take advantage of this moment, you will always postpone it and you will never start.
18- Be patient and eager, but more important is not discouraged
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, it is at the point of trial and error that you can become a popular blogger and get a remuneration. I would like to make it clear that the work behind a traveling blog is not for everyone, and this can be seen in the huge number of websites that end up abandoned by their owners.
Why abandon something that you started with a mentality of wanting to succeed? Discouragement in the absence of results leads to it, which does not work if you seek to go beyond the rest.
The task of the blogger is not easy since it takes a lot of time and an extensive effort before seeing the first fruits. How to know if you have wood as a travel blogger? I’m sorry to say that there is no exact formula. Nothing else you should start with enthusiasm and time will tell if you have what it takes to be one.
Long post? Of course, but that was the purpose. If you read these lines, it is because you reached the end, and to reward you, I will take the time to answer any questions you may have regarding the subject. Every word you have read is based on my personal experience and what I have assimilated throughout all these years. As much as I know about this blogger world, there are many other things that I do not know and I will gradually discover.
If you liked what you read and think it will serve your friends or acquaintances, do not hesitate to share it on social networks.