When we think of travel blogging, we think, “it can’t get any better than this,” right? Who wouldn’t love to travel for a living, visiting dream locales on somebody else’s money? When you observe the surplus amount of travel blogs on the internet, you may trick yourself into thinking it’s an easy job to do – one that will comfortably make you a six-figure salary a year, with all the perks of paid holidays.
We don’t want to burst your bubble, but the reality is slightly different. Travel blogging, i.e., successful travel blogging, doesn’t happen overnight. It takes patience, plenty of hard work, and lots of trial and error.
While some bloggers put in all of the above, they may be wasting their energies in the wrong direction. Smart business strategies are essential to distinguishing your blog as a successful and high-revenue one from the ocean of travel blogs flooding the internet.
Simply travelling and covering dreamy touristy destinations isn’t enough. A travel blogger needs to be able to write well about their travels and be aware of the right elements when creating content if they want to grab (and keep) their readers’ attention.
After much research across the length and breadth of several top-rated travel blogs and studying the success tactics of accomplished travel bloggers, we bring the top eight strategies that will spell the formula for success for your blog. Go ahead and make them your own. But first, let’s clarify our understanding of what a travel blogger does and the traits of a successful blog.
- What is a Travel Blogger?
- What Makes a Successful Travel Blogger?
- 8 Ways to Become a Successful Travel Blogger
What is a Travel Blogger?
A travel blogger is a person who has an online journal or website where they share their travel experiences with their readers.
There is a marked difference between a hobby blog and a professional travel blog. The latter generates a good income and has a list of brand sponsors and clients who use the blog for their own promotions. There’s a certain level of professionalism and business finesse a professional travel blogger has to maintain on their blog to distinguish it from a regular hobby blog.
Thus when we talk about a professional travel blogger, they’re a person who travels for a living, endorsing and promoting different holiday destinations and spots while getting paid by their client for the same. It’s not merely going on trips and sharing pictures online. It’s a business with its own do’s and don’ts – plus marketing and monetization channels.
What Makes a Successful Travel Blog?
So, what are those special qualities that “successful” travel blogs have that the “not so successful” or ordinary ones don’t?
How do you gauge the achievement parameters of a blog?
Success may be a subjective term, with various people defining it differently. However, what does hold true across all travel blogs is a set of indicators that you can measure your blog’s achievement criteria against.
Firstly, a blog’s success level is indicated by the amount of revenue it generates. It should be sufficient for you to consider it one, if not the only, primary source of income for yourself.
Your blog’s number of subscribers and social media followers will also determine its success factor. Then the number of your clients, brand partners and affiliates and their profiles will distinguish your blog from the rest.
Lastly, do you love doing what you do? Does your blog drive your passion? Does it motivate you and inspire you each day to get out of bed and conquer the world heads on? And does it satisfy your career growth objectives? The responses to these personal questions will also decide if your travel blog is successful or not. If you’re in for the long haul, it’s not always about figures and numbers but also personal satisfaction.
8 Ways to Become a Successful Travel Blogger
Are you ready to learn the strategies you can employ on your blog to make it shine and become your success story? Let’s dive right in.
- Be Authentic and Original
It’s tempting to follow mainstream trends and do what everybody else is doing just to avoid FOMO. Don’t make that fatal mistake, or you’ll risk your blog getting lost in the mass of unnoticeable travel blogs on the internet.
While it’s good to observe fellow bloggers’ work for inspiration and ideas, try to be original and authentic while creating content. Establish your niche and individuality. Give people something different from what they are used to.
Explore how other bloggers approach a subject and treat the same subject differently. Thinking creatively and out of the box will get your readers hooked to your content and keep them coming back for more.
Don’t assume something isn’t interesting or exciting enough to put up just because others haven’t. Maintain your originality, as that’s what sells the most, instead of dupes of similar content.
- Produce High-Quality Content That’s Useful to Your Audience
Although you can employ many tricks like SEO, social media, and big brand partnerships to grow your audience, retaining the readers is an entirely different ball game.
The quality of your content is the most crucial factor that will make people want to read your blog and keep coming back for more. Content has to be two things; useful/informative and high-quality.
Your blog should be a rich source of information and reference for your audience, inviting them to return to it whenever they plan a trip. For this purpose, don’t just upload fancy images of your travels. Sure, that’s exciting, but it won’t hook the readers unless there’s something in it for them.
Provide people with helpful information like hotel and flight recommendations, best places to eat, activities to do, and budget travel tips. If you’re unsure what to include, explore what people are searching for the most on a destination and incorporate that into your content. Answer common queries and help people navigate their own experiences through your blog.
Besides being useful, you should pay heed to your writing style. Write in an engaging, fun, yet authoritative style so that people simultaneously enjoy reading your posts and trust your expertise on a subject.
Also, pay close attention to the quality of your images and videos. Images are essential components that add flavour to a text, bring it to life through visual appeal, and break the monotony. Only use SEO optimized high resolution superior, quality images.
- Network With Other Bloggers
When you’re new to the business, you’ll have a limited following. The best way to promote your content and get more people familiar with your work is to network with fellow travel bloggers who’ve already made a name for themselves in the industry. This will help you establish your identity in the bloggers’ circuit.
You can always get valuable tips and strategies from other bloggers and request them for cross-promotions of your page on their blog. Another great way is to guest post for other travel blogs. When you write a travel post for a blog with a large following, you’ll benefit from promoting your expertise to a larger audience and having people divert to your blog.
- Integrate Blog With Social Media
Social media is a potent source for building new organic traffic and fostering relationships with your audience. Where it can be a good instrument in funnelling traffic to your blog, it’s a platform for engaging with a different kind of audience also.
Maintain a strong and active social media presence to kickstart your blog on the success ladder. Craft compelling and entertaining posts about your work that establish your identity as an expert in your niche and build your blog’s reputation. An excellent way to get people excited and encourage conversation is by conducting audience polls and contests.
Be active in replying to comments, as this speeds up user engagement. Research into the right time to upload content, as statistics show each social platform has different hours in the day for high usage and consumer engagement. Also, share others’ content on your page and use hashtags to read a wider audience outside of your network.
Social media is a wonderful place to socialize and integrate with community members. Though it can sometimes be overwhelming, with so many different social platforms, each with its own rules for crafting effective content. Invest a reasonable amount of time on social media, and don’t get carried away by spending several hours designing your social media posts, a time which you’d rather spend crafting quality content for your blog.
- Work on Your SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is often a scary word for many websites and blog owners – they think they’ll need to use a technical mantra on their content to optimize it for SEO.
While SEO is a whole separate field with a lot of subject matter, data, numbers, and techniques, we can suffice for now with the basics of what SEO is, why it’s essential for the success of your blog, and how you can make your page more SEO friendly.
So what’s SEO in a nutshell? It’s a process of modifying or tweaking your content to provide it with superior search engine rankings. When your page enjoys one of the top positions in a search, it will have more people visit it, and subsequently, your site will experience a higher click rate. More clicks for you means more readership and subscribers.
Some basic SEO techniques you can use on your blog to optimize it are:
- Placing keywords in the title, a subtitle, first paragraph, a few times in the content, and meta description.
- Optimizing your images for SEO by working on their size and resolution and incorporating keywords in their titles. Also, making use of alt tags.
- Use internal links from your other pages to a page of your site.
- Use backlinks from other sites to your page to increase its authority.
- Build an Email List
Next to a fabulous website is a growing email list of subscribers. Ask any successful travel blogger, and they’ll tell you how an email list is one of their most potent tools for marketing and growing their audience.
An email provides more control to the blogger in conveying their message and making contact with their reader. It’s a direct means of communication that gives the reader a personal experience, quite different from those hundreds of posts they see on social media daily. Thus, with an email, you have greater chances of your message being heard and people reading your content.
Providing links to your blog in the email enables more significant traffic to your website. It’s an effective way of building long-term relationships with a base of loyal followers. So investing in good email marketing software will be wise if you want a higher conversion rate on your blog.
- Invest in Your Blog
Your blog is your business; treat it as such. Don’t take it like a hobby venture; instead, consider it your primary source of income. For that, you should focus on the quality and finesse of your blog so that it displays professionalism and a no-nonsense attitude.
If you want to be successful at what you do and convert your travel blog into a gold mine, you must invest some capital. Remember, wise investments bring higher returns on profits.
Don’t hesitate to spend those extra bucks on website designers, video and audio editors, SEO specialists and copy editors. Each dollar you spend outsourcing to professionals will improve your blog quality and user experience, enabling you to focus on creating great content.
- Monetize Your Blog
This is the point where you get to earn some money from your blog and convert your high-end travel blogger lifestyle into a reality. Although by this time, you may be aware that putting up nice pictures of picturesque places will not automatically generate traffic or revenue flow on your blog.
Besides marketing your blog through email, guest posting, and social media to build your audience, you must incorporate monetizing strategies to earn. The most common practice of doing this is through affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing helps other brands sell their products and services on your blog through affiliate links and banners. You earn a commission each time your site visitor clicks on their banner and makes a purchase.
You can also earn money by running ads on your blog. However, you’d require a larger audience and a good understanding of how ad agencies and networks function.
Partnering with brands and getting sponsorships will also help you earn bucks and promote your blog to a larger circle of people.
The best way to earn some money right away during the initial phase when you don’t have many followers is to sell products and services on your blog. These can be your own products or those of other brands and businesses. Either way, it will help generate good income in the beginning phase when your blog is still new and finding its feet.
Make Your Travel Blog a Success Story
It’s great that you’re passionate about travelling and have the urge to share your experiences with your readers. Remember, a successful travel blog is not merely about posting and sharing but incorporates a range of business acumen and strategies to make it work.
Convert your passion into a profitable business that can enable you to earn a six-figure salary per year. Expand your knowledge base, network with like-minded professionals, and market your content like crazy. Allow yourself to make mistakes, but never compromise on originality.
Persistence, hard work, and intelligent planning are the keywords you’ll need to make your dream a reality.