So you want to be a travel blogger? Traveling to places, getting sponsorships and exchange deals, posting breathtaking photos and writing meaningful captions and articles on social media, getting likes and praises, earning, and the cycle continues. Ahhhhh. Welcome to the good life. That’s typically the world of a travel blogger. But the question is, how to be a travel blogger this 2020?
In this era when almost everyone can travel anywhere given several airline promo deals, the entry of cheap hostel-type accommodations in the hospitality industry, and the rapid flow of information which allows anyone to create and follow his own itinerary, the cost of traveling became really, really cheaper. Therefore, everyone is posting their travel photos and stories in social media, and hence can be potential travel bloggers.
However, not everyone is explorative about the business of blogging and how to create your own brand in the travel niche.
I was among those people who was so passionate about travel and want to make a business out of it. But let me tell you this now: How to be a travel blogger this 2020? It does not happen overnight. I myself have been blogging for more than a year now, but I still have a lot of things to learn. Of course, I really want to continue what I’m doing with the hope that one day I can be a digital nomad who travels for a living like the others.
I’m not (yet) an expert on this, but for starters here are some of the things you have to do or consider on how to be a travel blogger this 2020:
1. Just start! And invest
For newbies, almost everything has to start from scratch, right? So create that WordPress or Blogger account, right now! But before that, you have to think of a name that will suite your niche/theme. Since mine is a travel blog and I want to instill an impression to my readers and followers that I am always away, so they have to check my blog or Instagram stories to know where I’m at. My co-workers and friends then started to call me by my Instagram username, @wheressherlyn!
With investing I don’t exactly mean it in a purely financial sense. I actually started with a free WordPress blog, so I came from a wheressherlyn.wordpress.com domain before I bought my own ‘digital real estate’ in the world of blogging. The point is, if you might be doing this as a hobby, then you could completely do it for free!
What you have to invest at this point are effort, consistency, and time. Blogging takes a lot of your time. You’ll find yourself always brainstorming with yourself over so many ideas. Eventually you have to invest money on it. After all, nothing in this world comes for free these days, right?
So rule number one on how to be a travel blogger: You need to have your eyes on the prize and hustle hard to achieve it!
2. Look for inspirations, but try to be unique
Sure, there are a lot of established and successful travel bloggers out there, and some of them came to the point that they quit their day jobs already to pursue travel blogging full-time. It is good to get inspiration from their accounts – what they write, how they take photos, and how they market their respective brands.
You could take off from that, but if everyone else is writing an itinerary on a specific city with the same destinations, what makes you different from them? You have to stand out and be different. Maybe you could explore off-the-beaten paths, or write on something about a place that has no write-up so far. If someone Googles about it, no other results would come up first but yours!
So, rule number two on how to be a travel blogger this 2020: be unique and stand out!
3. Identify your niche
Okay so now you have settled that you want to have a travel blog, you have to identify a specific niche. This will make you target the right kind of audience for your content. You have to clear about the specific part of travel you want to focus on. Are you into (1) Instagram-worthy places, (2) food crawls, (3) cultural appreciation trips, (4) budget travel/luxury travel, (5) solo/couple/family travel, etc. The choices are endless.
You don’t have to choose only one. It can be a combination of different niches. In my case, since I teach history, I want to provide history trivia to my readers. I also want to provide tips on where to eat and where to stay, and what are the Instagrammable places in the places I visit.
So rule number three on how to be a travel blogger this 2020, get to know yourself, your brand, and identity as a blogger in a deeper sense.
4. Keep your content as authentic as possible
Some readers get turned off whenever they see contents that happen to be sponsored or turn out to be an advertisement. Blogging is a business, and bloggers need income-generating mechanisms to maintain their websites and fund their travels to produce more content, hence this is just normal. Most bloggers accept partnership with brands they really patronize so that they can be as authentic as possible in creating content for their readers and followers. It’s okay to write sponsored content, but make sure you will be as real as you can, and if possible, I encourage you to partner with brands that align with your niche.
Rule number four on how to be a travel blogger this 2020, identify your (future) clients!
5. Engage and network with other travel bloggers
In this business, networking is a must. You can work with your blog alone, yes, but hearing from the experts and more experienced travel bloggers could contribute in clarifying your direction for your blog. You can even get insider tips on how to gain followers, land sponsorships, how to pursue full-time blogging, etc. This has been very useful to me in growing my blog and Instagram because engaging with other bloggers helped me in so many aspects. The blogging community operates in a spirit of cooperation, it is not a competition. So don’t be afraid to reach out to bigger names, after all, they can be your new BFFs.
6. Be consistent
Once you start your blog, you have to continue producing content to keep your existence and grow your brand. There are a lot of new travel bloggers on a daily basis, and the key to institutionalizing yourself is to be consistent. I committed a huge mistake when I suddenly lost interest with blogging after 6 months of starting it, and how I felt like I got left behind and there are more bloggers now out there. Try as much as possible to produce new up-to-date contents periodically, depending on how much time you have. It will eventually grow, trust me. Consistency is the key.
Since I am blogging on top of a full-time job, I wrote about my typical day as a blogger and 20-something Professor.
7. Always try to learn new things
Blogging and the business of blogging is not limited to just taking photos and writing articles to be posted in your blog. If you want to make it big, you have to learn other things such as basic HTML and CSS, photo editing, SEO, digtial marketing, social media engagement, and the like. But don’t get intimidated. Google and YouTube are your bestfriends. Literally everything is there for you to learn, for free!
Now that you have posted contents from your blog, it’s time to increase its exposure and readership by creating social media accounts of your blog. In my case, I created instagram.com/wheressherlyn to promote my blog, and surprisingly, it grew really fast – faster than my blog! It depends on your objectives and target audience, but you can also create Facebook pages, Twitter account, etc.
9. Blog for the right reasons
Lastly, the moment you start blogging, don’t think too far and look forward to earning 6-digit income monthly like the ones you see in the internet. While it’s true, these established bloggers worked so hard to reach that far. But you can, too! But first you have to tell yourself that you want to blog because it is your passion to share your experiences to the world, and opportunities will eventually come, trust me!
How to be a travel blogger this 2020? Are you ready to become one?
So, are you already inspired enough and convinced to be a travel blogger this 2020? Good luck and happy blogging! You can always hit me up for questions, just send me a DM at instagram.com/wheressherlyn.
For sample travel articles to help you inspired to get started, refer to this link: https://www.sherlynmaehernandez.com/archives