How to create a successful travel blog
Creating a Blog seems to be THE solution when someone decides to start traveling, right? Come on, haven’t your 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. It is not just writing what society demands, what some algorithm wants. I write what I feel, what I need, what I am good at. And that makes my blog unique. Not better, not worst. Unique. And that, for me, means having a successful blog. Let me give you some tips on how to create a successful travel blog. It is not that easy, it takes time, but it is possible. Come on, let’s do it.
What are the rewards of having a travel blog
As I said before, having a travel blog can be the way you need to put your feelings somewhere. We do not always travel with people and, even if we do it, we do not always have the chance to have deep conversations with them. Even sometimes we need time for ourselves and talking with our mind is not enough.
In those moments, having a travel blog turns quiet important. It becomes a place where we can write what is going on in our soul, mind and heart. No one says to us what to write, or what not to write. We can talk about whatever we want. The 17 things we loved about Paris. What to do in Barcelona in one week. How did I feel when I wen to London and I didn’t like it. How did I get lost in Myanmar. Anything. Our posts can talk about the prices of a hotel or how our heart was broken because of that person that left without letting us know.
Of course, with time and with consistency, a travel blog can become a way of earning money. That’s true. But it doesn’t’ happen so quickly and, let me tell you a secret, those that only thing in 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 you. You will start winning followers. An audience that actually want to read what you are writing. They will wait for your posts. When you reach that point, you can have a beer and celebrate. Your travel blog is successful.
What are the obstacles of having a travel blog
Yes. Nothing is that easy on the road. Not even having a blog. Come on. This is life. And life is not easy. It will be boring, right?
Creating a travel blog can be a little bit tricky and you will have to face some obstacles. First of all, the technical ones. Even nowadays internet makes everything easier and you have the chance to watch hundred of Youtube tutorials or to read dozens of posts about it, you will need some knowledge. You will need to learn what a domain is, what a hosting is, what WordPress means, why SEO is important and you will cry so many times. Because when you break a chair, you know what to do to fix it. But when you break a website, things are not that easy to fix.
Another thing to have in mind is that you will not be the one having a travel blog. Being one in a lot is not a trouble at all. I mean, if that would be a problem, no more restaurants should be opened, right? Your challenge should be how to make your travel blog unique. How to make it different from the other ones. What is that you have inside that no one else has? That’s the key question. And that’s something you should think a lot before becoming a travel blogger. If you open a travel blog, commit 100% with it. And make your words a representation of what your mind thinks and what your soul feels.
What are the necessary steps to create a travel blog
Ok, let me say you something before. Don’t be scared and don’t 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 we need to follow in order to create a travel blog. How do we do to have our travel blog out there, in the web, where everyone can read it? It is not that hard, really.
Domain. Let’s think in a domain as in 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. www.unavueltaporeluniverso.com. Every blog needs one of this. So the first thing is to check if the domain is available. It may happen that, sometimes, the name is taken. And this is no as real life. There can’t be two websites with the same name. So, if the domain is taken, you will have to think in a different one.
Once you find a domain that you like and that it is available, you will have to buy it. Normally, you buy it for a year. Kind of a lease. And you renew that lease every year. 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 in your travel blog, you just don’t renew your domain. And that name 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 tend to be the same that offer also hosting services. Wait, let’s talk about hosting first and then I will tell you a few good companies.
Tip: Pick a nice and easy name. Of course it should have something of you, and something of the things you like. But don’t complicate the things too much. Don’t pick a name as heyguysthisisthebestravelblogyouwilleverfind.com. Please not. It will be hard to communicate, hard to read and people is too lazy out there. They will just not type it. Believe me.
Hosting: Once you have picked a domain and once you bought it, you will need a place in where you can host that domain. Or where you can host your travel blog. Your blog needs a “house”. It needs a place where to live. That’s what a hosting is about. Hosting services are most of the times for a year and, after this year, you can renew it. More or less as the domain.
It can be a good practice (and it will save you some headaches) if you pick buy the domain and the hosting in the same places.
Siteground is the hosting provider I recommend the most. It also offer you the chance to buy the domain. But GoDaddy and Bluehost are also good options.
Installing WordPress: 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 solutions for websites in general. But mostly for travel blogs. It is easy to handle, easy to learn and, talking about the design, you have plenty of options. You will hate it a few times but well, that’s not that bad.
Basically WordPress is an open source software you can use to create a website, blog or even app. It is free. You can download it and install it in your website. Most of the hosting offer this service for free and, in a few clicks, you will have WordPress installed.
Tip: Watch a few Youtube tutorials for this step. It can get tricky if you don’t do it how it should. Believe me, with just two or three videos, you will get the idea.
Picking a theme: A theme, or template, means the design. There are some people out there that did the job for us and created hundreds of designs for us to pick. 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 have the chance to be customizable. Free ones are more “rigid” and harder to change.
Picking up a theme for your travel blog is the easy part of all of this. Just pick the one you like the most. Think in how you want to organize your website, think what theme will be more helpful for you. Don’t put focus only of the beauty of the website, but also in how user-friendly it is.
Time to write: Once your theme is installed and once you have watched a few more tutorials about WordPress, you will be ready to write your first post. It will be as easy as to click on New post, write it and hit Submit. Done. Your first 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
Ok. Let’s assume your blog is online and running perfectly. You picked a nice travel blog name, something fancy but personal. You achieved a nice design and you have written your first posts. Now it’s time to improve and take your travel blog to a next level.
Post regularly: It doesn’t matter if you write once a week, once a month or once a year. Well, once a year it may be too much. Just joking. What matter the most is that you write in a regular basis, with consistency. This means. If you decided to write once a week, because you don’t get a good wifi, because you are too busy doing a volunteering experience in Laos or because the shifts at your hostel in Barcelona are too tiring, that’s all good. But if you decide to write once a week, write once a week. Because your audience will know that and will be waiting for your post. If you say that you will write once a week and then you don’t do write for a month, you will loose engagement and audience.
If you think that once a week is too much, write once every fifteen days. It’s all good. There is no rush. Just do it regularly.
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 is writing about. I can find the ten top things to do in Berlin everywhere. So, if you still want to write about Berlin, you should make yourself the following question: Why should I read your article and not an article from another travel blog? What will you give me that the next travel blog won’t? If you can answer that question, you will give a huge step.
Put your feelings in your words: Write with your soul, not only with your mind and fingers. Write with your heart. Write as if you were telling a story to your family and closer 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 in your words will make your content unique. Don’t write about things, but write about memories. Of course you can write about that time in the Colosseum. But do not write only how much you paid the ticket. Tell your audience how did you feel when you saw it for the first time. For example, my dad cried when he saw Magic Kingdom for the first time. If he, one day, creates a blog, he should tell that, 100%.
Be aware of SEO: This may be a little bit technical too. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is 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 may want to search on the web. If you write these words, your post will have more chances to be found in an organic search in, for example, Google.
SEO is a topic we can talk a lot about and it is not the main objective of this post, so you may want to read a little bit about it. Moz.com is a nice website to do this. But have it in mind while writing your post.
One really important thing. Do not sell your soul to SEO. Please. Yes. There are certain posts or words that are easier to be found. I know. And if you write a certain title to your post, it may pop up on the first pages on Google. But do not write your post thinking ONLY in SEO. Write with your heart, as I said before. Then, at the end, try to put some SEO make up. Just if you feel to. If not, your audience will still read 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.
Be patience: Having a successful travel blog takes time. A lot. So be patient. Don’t panic and don’t stop writing, please. Not sure if making money with your blog is your objective. But, in case it is, this will take time too.
Can I give you an advice? Don’t think on the money. If you 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 on the money, your blog won’t get too far. Believe me.
Top digital nomads
One thing you should know is that having a successful travel blog is possible. A hundred per cent. There are lot of people out there that did it.
Stefania Guglielmi, from everysteph.com, is an italian girl that mixes the glamour and the healthy style, while she travels. She writes really good content but, you know what? She needed a few years to see her blog being successful. Without effort, nothing is possible.
Aniko Villalba, from viajandoporahi.com, is my favorite blogger ever. She is the perfect example on writing with your heart and writing what you feel in a place, and not just what you have seen. If you want to read her, you need to know Spanish, as she is Argentinian and haven’t written in English yet.
Alan, from alanxelmundo.com, is a mexican guy that took travel blogging to a next level. He was an awesome travel blog but also makes awesome videos in Youtube. You should check it out.
Have a look to these travel blogs, and try to read lot of other ones. Not to copy them, but to get inspired about them. Find inspiration out there, and, the most important thing, find what makes your blog unique. I won’t be tired of repeating that. Making your blog unique is the most important advice I can give you.
Remember, with effort, you can achieve whatever you want.
This article was written by me and also published in Worldpackers.com
I am from Argentina and, therefore, my blog has most of the content in Spanish. Not sure if I will translate all of the articles into English but I will try to post some English content every month.