So you’ve finally realized that you want to start travel blogging?! Congratulations because you’ve come to the right page! In this article, I will dissect all the necessary step-by-step guide on how to start travel blogging and the relevant things you should know before you enter this type of industry.
Firstly, Travel Blogging is a form of “freelancing” — What is Freelancing and How to Earn Money From it? Check out this link if you want to know more about how to earn money from freelancing. But before that, it is important to know how to start your blog first. So more on that topic later!
So here’s a shocker, Travel Blogging is a job that didn’t even exist 10 years ago.
Nowadays, we see lotsa aspiring travel bloggers. They are frequent travelers who wants to become story-tellers. In my case, a solo backpacker who wants to conquer all 81 provinces of the Philippines without having to spend big amount of money. While doing so, I became a story-teller of my own website. Sharing all tips and suggestions to my viewers. As a result, Joan’s Footprints travel page and website was born. Aye!
Table of Contents
What you need to know
Before I show you all the necessary stuff on how to start a blog, first let’s learn a brief info about what to expect.
First step, erase all the beautiful images of doing photo-shoots everyday, receiving PR packages, all expense paid tours, getting free entrance at a high-end bar or free massage in a sophisticated spa — nope! That’s definitely not blogging. It’s just the front cover of the book but there is definitely more in the table of contents.
Let’s slowly turn the pages and get to know blogging..
BLOGGING IS NOT EASY
Let me repeat that. Blogging is not easy — if you don’t have passion. Passion is key! If you are only up for blogging for fame, then I may have to tell you to quit now and never ever start blogging. It may sound cold blooded but it is what it is.
Blogging is not just about fame. Blogging goes deeply for passion. I could probably relate blogging to marriage as a form of social phenomenon which significantly affects every single behavior and attitude of a blogger. From change of lifestyle and goals in life. All those things may have to change in short span of time.
Things to Consider
“So Joan, what makes blogging difficult?” Good question, check out the list I’ve gathered below:
- Firstly, blogging requires patience for who knows how long. Nobody knows how long you have to work hard. Some only needed a few months and some needs more than 5 years on the process. This is because we all have our own pacing in life.
- Secondly, blogging goes by a bunch of unwritten rules. Meaning to say, there will be no definite rule book here. You play by unwritten rules of business and marketing.
- Thirdly, crab mentality. It would be nice to say that all bloggers uplift each other but sadly, not everyone will be up for this. The toxic culture of crab mentality lives on even in this kind of industry. So if you meet one along the way, be prepared on how to handle ’em.
- Fourthly, consistency and deadline. Consistency with the work you do and being able to deliver at the end of the bargain on time.
- And lastly, building up a website with a one-man team who doesn’t know a thing or two about web developing is one hell of a ride. Web designing and developing is not easy. And to learn it by yourself on Youtube or Google is definitely not enough. So might as well get your own web developer if you have extra money to pull. But if you’re broke like me, you’ll be your own writer, editor, web designer, web developer and photographer. It might sound really hard, but trust me, the result is worth it!
PREPARE YOURSELF PHYSICALLY, EMOTIONALLY & MENTALLY
Blogging doesn’t only require physical effort. It also requires emotional and mental investments.
Travel Blogging involves outstanding negotiating skills to possible clients and/or readers. Prepare to exhaust yourself physically, emotionally and mentally. There will be lots of ups and downs, probably even more downs than you expect. But these challenges are part of the journey. It will test every inch of your patience gone, every project rejections.
If it helps, I have failed more than I have ever won. But now, I have turned rejections into brand offers, failures into countless travel projects and average website views into constant readers.
So whenever you need a boost, just put in mind that every successful blogger today started with nothing! 🙂
INVEST ON RELEVANT TOOLS
Investing on relevant tools like domain, hosting and cameras will be the biggest extension of your blogging career. In order to present a quality product and/or output, first invest on gadgets and tools.
“When we say invest, does that mean to bring out money?” YES. To start blogging, you need to build yourself a strong foundation. And by doing so, you have to invest on quality gadgets, develop talents like photography skills and create professional websites.
The Step-by-Step Guide to Travel Blogging
Now that I have filled you with information on what to expect, let’s now take a look on the steps on how to start travel blogging!
1. CHOOSE YOUR NICHE
Narrow down your niche and choose the best topic. It should be what you are normally good at. Something that you are confident well on doing. Once you have chosen your niche, focus on it. If it’s travel and lifestyle, then it should be travel and lifestyle. Or if it’s food blogging, then it should only be about food blogging.
It’s important to focus on 1 content when you are just starting. It will help filter the kind of audience you will have which are the same audience who will stay on your blog to stalk more. If you keep on changing contents, it might be confusing for your readers.
Tip: if you are unsure of what your niche will be, ask your friends and do some crowd-sourcing. Some people knows us well based on how we interact with them.
2. CREATE YOUR BRAND NAME AND LOGO
Your brand name will be the face of your business or your brand. The first impression will always be with the brand name and logo. Therefore, make sure that you think of a unique name that you will carry.
Nowadays, most bloggers would go by their own names in a minimalist style. Some bloggers would create a totally different name of their brand. In my case, Joan’s Footprints was based on a nursery tale of a mermaid and I combined my name on it. So that depends on you, but make sure to create something for a long term use.
3. START YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA FAN BASE
After finally creating your brand name and logo, now start your social media fan base and encourage your friends to engage on your posts. One of the most common social media fan base are: (1) Instagram, (2) Facebook Page and (3) Twitter.
The most popular fan base will be Facebook or Instagram since more people are on these 2 social media platforms. You will get more engagement on your website if you link your website to these platforms in the future.
“Why do I need to start social media platforms?” I fairly believe that no matter how good you are in writing or how informative your articles are, it will not matter if people are not seeing it. So in order to get readers on your website, you have to build a strong social media fan base first.
4. BUILD YOUR AUDIENCE
Encourage your audience to interact with your page and/or website. Target readers who are particularly interested on your niche. In this way, you will gain more viewers and readers on your platforms.
Building audience is a very important marketing strategy. Some brands are looking on blogger’s organic posts reach. So what’s an organic post reach? Organic post reach are the number of followers who sees your posts without monetarily boosting your posts. This is why building audience is important.
Tip: once you have your social media platforms, always interact with post commentators or people messaging your page. It’s a great way to show that you are active and encourage them to turn on post notifications so they will get updated every time you have a new post.
5. START YOUR WEBSITE
The most relevant part on how to start travel blogging is building up your website. Starting a website can be really tricky. To help you out, check out the link below and start blogging with WordPress.
Helpful Read: How to Start a Blog
Choose A Platform
There are lots of platform to choose from. For instance, WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr. These 3 platform are all good. However, if you are looking for a more professional site, you’ll want to choose WordPress.
Buy Your Domain Name
If you want to monetize your website with Google Adsense someday, buy your domain name first. Take note that Google Adsense do not allow free websites to acquire advertisements. In this case, invest money on your website first.
You can buy your domain name from a number of providers like: (1) Namecheap, (2) iPage, (3) SiteGround, (4) BlueHost, etc. I highly recommend purchasing your domain name with SiteGround.
Example of Domain Name: www.joansfootprints.com
Choose A Web Hosting
In addition, you will also have to purchase your web hosting. Your web hosting will be your work area and it will be where all your files will be stored in. Check out SiteGround for your web hosting, they are available at USD6.99/month. What I personally like most about them is their built in SG Optimizer plug-in. It increases the website’s load speed by optimizing images.
6. PUBLISH QUALITY CONTENTS
Content is King. Quality contents attracts good reputation. The only way to get your readers coming back on your website is to publish quality content. Quality contents over quantity.
7. IMPROVE YOUR SEO AND DA SCORE
SEO or Search engine optimization is the process of growing website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website or a web page to users of a web search engine. A good example will be Google searches. Take note that publishing a content doesn’t necessarily mean that it will come out once you searched the title on Google. Nope. It doesn’t work like that. Your SEO will be your guide to help your articles come out on search engines like Google.
The best tool to help you out with SEO will be YOAST SEO plug-in. It’s a free WordPress plugin and it’s one of the first plugins that beginners should install upon setting up their website.
Website DA Score
Now what’s DA score? DA score or Domain Authority score will be the ranking of your website from 0 – 100. Your DA score determines your websites standing (load-speed, SEO, image optimization, number of viewers/day/month, etc.). Hence, it will be the strength of your website depending on what specific industry or niche you will focus on.
To check your DA score, click here.
8. MONETIZE YOUR WEBSITE AND/OR SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
Once you’ve set up all necessary things listed above, it’s time to monetize your platforms! I created a list of things on how to monetize your social media platforms. Check it out below!
How to monetize my platform? Read Here: List of Ways on How to Earn Money from Freelancing/Blogging?
Tips from Joan’s Footprints (How to Start Travel Blogging)
- Read more about SEO and DA score online.
- Be patient! Growing a website takes time. It’s not something you can learn overnight.
- Improve client engagement and proposals.
- Think of interesting and unique contents.
- Don’t overdue yourself, everything comes with passion.
- ENJOY! 🙂
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