Creating a blog seems to be THE solution when someone decides to start traveling, right? Come on, haven't you heard the words "I need a gap year. I will start traveling, create a blog, upload some content and see what happens."
I've heard it. Several times, in fact.
Well, I have a blog too. And it helps me a lot. But because it has a meaning for me. I don't just write for what society demands;what some algorithm wants. I write what I feel, what I need, and what I am good at. And that makes my blog unique. Not better, not worse. Simply unique.
For me, this means having a successful blog. For others, monetizing their blog might be more important, which means catering their content to specific interests.
Creating a travel blog is not that easy. It takes time, but it is possible.
In this article, I give you tips on how to create a successful travel blog — on how to stay true to yourself, and create amazing, unique content for the community.
Come on, let's do it.
The rewards of having a travel blog
As I said before, having a travel blog can be the way to put your feelings out there and share your travel experiences in a way that is true to you.
You will not always travel with other people and, even if you do, you will not always have the chance to have deep conversations with them. Sometimes, you will travel alone and need time to process and reflect, and doing so in your own head will not be enough.
In those moments, having a travel blog becomes quite important. It becomes a place where you can write about what is going on in your mind, soul, and heart. It becomes a place where you can express freely. No one will tell you what to write, or what not to write.
You can talk about whatever you want. The 17 things you loved about Paris. What to do in Barcelona in one week. The ultimate guide to Myanmar. Anything. Your posts can talk about the value of a hotel or how your heart was broken by a summer romance in Europe.
Of course, with consistency over time,a travel blog can become a way of earning money. But it's not that easy, and it definitely doesn't happen overnight. And, let me tell you a secret... those that only think of a blog as a way of making money are the ones that stop writing after a week.
Your travel blog has to transmit what you feel and what you think. People will get that when they read your content. You will start gaining followers. An audience that actually wants to read what you are writing; your content. They will wait for your posts. When you reach that point, you can have a drink and celebrate. Your travel blog is successful.
The obstacles to creating a travel blog
From afar, it may all seem like sunshine and rainbows, but nothing is that easy on the travel-road. Not even having a blog. Come on. This is life. And life is not easy. If it were, it would be boring, right?
Creating a travel blog can be a little bit tricky and you will have to face some obstacles.
Thankfully, nowadays, internet makes everything easier. As you create your travel blog, you have the chance to watch hundreds of YouTube tutorials or read dozens of other blog posts about the technical process! You will need all the knowledge you can get.
You will need to learn what a domain is, what hosting is, what Wordpress means, why SEO is importantand so on and so forth. Be warned; you will cry so many times. Building a website is tricky business, and when there's a glitch, it's not usually that easy to fix.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you are not the only traveler creating a travel blog.
Your main challenge is how to make your travel blog unique.
How can you make it different from all the other travel blogs? How can you offer your readers special, exclusive content?
What do you — and only you — have to say to the world?This is a key question. Consider it thoroughly before you make the decision to create a travel blog! And, when you do start your blog, allow it to guide you in your blog-creation process.
Commit to staying true to yourself first and foremost. And make your blog a representation of your most authentic self!
How to create a successful travel blog
Before we dive in to the steps necessary to creating a successful travel blog, let me tell you: don't get scared and run away. You will read some words that you may not have heard before, or that you may not understand. Don't worry. It's never late to learn, right?
There are a few steps you need to follow in order to create a successful travel blog. For starters, how will you get your travel blog out there, on the web, available and presentable so that people can find and read it?
Think of "domain" as a name. That's what it is, basically. Your travel blog needs a name. Needs an address. For example, my blog has a domain, has a name: Una Vuelta Por El Universo.
Once you decide on your blog's name, you'll need to check if the domain for that name is available. Sometimes, the name is taken. Because there can't be two websites with the same name, if the domain is taken, you will have to think of a different one.
Once you find a domain that you like and that is available, you will have to buy it. Normally, you buy it for a year. Think of it as a lease... that you will then renew on a year-to-year basis.
If there is a moment when you decide that you do not want to have that name anymore, or you do not want to keep on writing your travel blog, you don't renew your domain. And your name then becomes available again for everyone.
There are several pages where you can check if your domain is available and where you can buy it. These pages usually also offer hosting services. Let's talk about hosting first and then I will tell you a few good companies from which you can purchase your domain.
Pro tip: Pick a nice and easy name. Of course it should represent you in some way; it should speak to who you are and the message you wish to convey with your blog. But don't complicate things too much. Choose something simple and straightforward that also resonates with your personal vision.
Once you have picked a domain and purchased it, you will need a place where you can host that domain; a place where you can host your travel blog.
Your blog needs a “house." It needs a place to live. That's what hosting is all about. Just like the domain, hosting services usually last for a year, and are available for renewal on a year-to-year basis.
Pro tip: It's a good practice (and it will save you a lot of headache) if you purchase your domain and host in the same places.
Before writing about this, I have to say that Wordpress is not the only solution for a travel blog. You can create your blog yourself, coding in HTML or PHP. Even you can use Joomla if you want!
But, nowadays, Wordpress is the easiest and fastest solution for websites in general. But mostly for travel blogs. It is easy to handle, easy to learn and, as far as design goes, you have plenty of options. You will hate it a few times but well, it's really not that bad.
Wordpress is an open-source software you can use to create a website, blog or even app.
Wordpress is free. You can download it and install it in your website. Most hosting providers offer this service for free and, in a few clicks, you will have Wordpress installed.
Pro tip: Watch a few Youtube tutorials for this step. It can get tricky if you don't do it the way it should be done. Believe me, with just two or three videos, you will get the idea.
4. Picking a theme
A theme, or template, equates to the design of your blog.
Thanks to some amazing, creative people, there are hundreds of design templates already out there for you to choose from. Some of them are free, some of them are not. It's up to you. Usually, the ones that are paid come with more features and are customizable. Free design templates are more "rigid" and harder to change.
Picking a theme — a design template — for your travel blog is the easiest part of all of this!
Just pick the one you like the most. Think about how you want to organize your website, think about which theme will be the most helpful for you. Make sure to consider the beauty and appeal of your website, but most importantly, focus on how user-friendly it is.
5. Time to write
Once your theme is installed and once you have watched a few tutorials about Wordpress, you will be ready to write your first post!
It will be as easy as clicking on "New Post", writing it and hitting "Submit." Done. Your first blog post will be out there, with a link and everything. Now it's time to share it!
Tips on how to make your travel blog successful
Okay. Let's assume your blog is online and running perfectly. You picked a nice travel blog name, something catchy but personal. You achieved a nice design and you have written your first few posts. Now it's time to improve and take your travel blog to the next level.
1. Post regularly
It doesn't matter if you write once a week, once a month or once a year. Well, once a year may be too much. Just joking. What matters the most is that you write on a regular basis, with consistency.
If you decide to write once a week, commit to write once a week. Your audience will know your blog-posting schedule and will be waiting for your post. If you say that you will write once a week and then you don't write for a month, you will lose engagement and eventually, your audience.
If you think that once a week is too much, write every fifteen days. It's all good. There is no rush. Just make a commitment to do it regularly.
2. Create quality content
Make your blog unique. Write something no one will be able to find elsewhere.
Don't copy and paste things from different blogs and don't write what everyone else is writing about. I can find the top ten things to do in Berlin everywhere. So, if you still want to write about Berlin, you should ask yourself the following questions: Why will my article offer that is special? What about my content is exclusive?
If you can answer these questions in relation to the content you post, you have made a HUGE step towards making your travel blog successful.
3. Put your feelings in your words
Write with your soul, not just with your mind.
Write with your heart. Write as if you were telling a story to your family and close friends. Cry if you need to, even if no one is seeing you. Shout while you are writing, if that is what you feel.
Putting your feelings into your words will make your content unique!
Don't write about things, but about the memories associated with them. Of course you can write about that one time at the Colosseum. But do not write only about how much you paid for a ticket and how long the lines were and how you beat the crowds. Tell your audience how you felt when you saw the Colosseum for the first time!
4. Be aware of SEO
SEO stands for SearchEngineOptimization, which is essentially the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.
English please? Yes I know. It sounds difficult. But it is not that difficult. Basically, your post should have words or phrases that are important for your business and that people will search the web for.
If you write words that rank highly for SEO, your post will have more chances to be found in an organic search (organic meaning not paid) in, for example, Google.
SEO is a topic I could talk a lot about, but it is not the main objective of this post, so you may want to read a little bit about it. Moz is a nice place to do this.
One really important thing. Do not sell your soul to SEO. Please. Yes. There are certain keywords that will make your content rank highly. If you write a certain title for your post, it may pop up on the first pages on Google. Know this, but do not write your post thinking ONLY about SEO.
Write with your heart, as I said before. Keep SEO strategy in mind as you write, but don't make it your only priority.
At the end of the day, your audience will read your blog for the content you create that is unique and special to you. Quality before quantity, remember that. Your audience will be happier if you stick to your style, rather than changing the way you write just to reach to more people.
5. Have patience
Having a successful travel blog takes time. A lot of time. So be patient. Don't panic and don't stop writing, please. If making money with your blog is your objective, this will take time... so be patient, put in the work, and stay committed.
Can I give you advice? Don't only think of the money. If your travel blog is successful, money will come. People will get in touch with you, and business will be on the table. But, if you just think about the money, your blog won't get too far.
Top travel blogs
Having a successful travel blog is possible. One hundred percent possible! There are lot of people out there who have done it... who are doing it.
Kiki, from The Blonde Abroad, is one of the top travel bloggers in the field. She produces her own extensive, amazing content, and has a whole team of bloggers also creating top content for her blog!
Stefania Guglielmi, from Every Steph, is an Italian girl who mixes glamour and healthy lifestyle, while she travels. She writes incredible, unique content but, you know what? She needed a few years to see her blog to success. Without effort, nothing is possible.
Aniko Villalba, from Viajando Por Ahí, is my favorite blogger ever. She is the perfect example of writing with your heart and writing what you genuinely feel about a place, and not just what you have seen. If you want to read her content, you need to know Spanish, as she is Argentinian and hasn't written in English yet.
Alan, from Alan X El Mundo, is a Mexican guy that took travel blogging to the next level. He is not only an amazing travel blogger but also makes incredible Youtube videos. Check him out!