Travel blogging is a unique and exciting profession, but you’re not the only one who thinks so. If you want to make it as a travel blogger, you’ll need to be a skilled writer, a decent photographer and a relentless promoter. If you think you’ve got the skills, check out these smart tips for travel bloggers.
This is not exactly easy, I know. But there are a thousand people out there capable of doing cookie-cutter travel writing, and at least fifty of them are doing it already. You need some unique angle or perspective. Read other travel blogs to get a sense of what’s out there, and then figure out how you can put your own twist on the formula. Maybe it’s about your family, heritage, or personal interests. Do you want to write about spirituality in different countries? Focus your blog around that. Do you want to talk about what it’s like to return to China after living in the U.S. for several years? Also interesting, but maybe done before. Looking at peoples’ vacation photos isn’t that interesting: find a way to hang a compelling and somewhat-unique narrative on top.
Improve Your Photography Skills
A big part of travel blogging is the photographs. We all want to see where you went and what you experienced. Even if you’re a talented wordsmith that can paint a picture with less than a thousand words, images are simply expected. And they shouldn’t be amateurish either. Learn the basic rules of photography and practice extensively. Famed street photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson is credited with saying “Your first 10,000 pictures are your worst,” and it’s absolutely true. Learn about using natural light and the rules of composition, and look to travel photography experts for inspiration. If you’re stumped on what makes a good travel photograph, check out some back issues of the National Geographic at your local library.
Get Tech Saavy
You don’t need to be a tech pro to write a blog. In fact, these days, it’s pretty simple. But if you expect to be successful, you need to use the technical aspects of blogging successfully. This means that you need solid search engine optimization, or SEO. Without decent optimization, you’ll have a hard time getting people to discover your blog. Good SEO has more parts art than science, but you can implement the basics without too much trouble. Learn how to identify competitive keywords, then optimize your text and photos to grab them. You should also brush up on your WordPress skills, and ensure you know how to use all the relevant plugins for SEO and social promotion.
Use Rewards Credit Cards
When you travel as extensively as most travel bloggers, frequent flyer reward credit cards can be invaluable. They provide points for regular spending, letting you save up for airfare. There are yearly fees associated with the cards, but you can often talk your way out of them with customer service. Of course, you’ll need to be careful with your credit cards, and only use them when you can pay off the full balance at the end of each month. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying more in interest than you’ll save on plane tickets. You can get a rewards card with your favorite airline, or you can compare rewards credit cards with Effectify online.
This might seem like a dunce-level tip, but many travel bloggers don’t go heavy on promotion. It might be fear of judgement or a sneaking suspicion that they aren’t really good at it yet, but that’s okay. People still want to hear about your trips! If you can spin a unique and interesting narrative about your travels or take a half-decent photography, people on Facebook or Instagram will probably be interested in hearing about it. Even if you’re not completely happy with your blog, promote it on social media. And consider social media integrations, like Snapchat stories, that could help raise your profile among your network.
Even if you’re not sure you’re ready, you can start travel blogging today. If you’ve already traveled a lot, start practicing by tying your travel photos together with a unique narrative. The more practice you’ll get, the better you’ll be!