HOW TO BECOME A PROFESSIONAL TRAVEL BLOGGER – STEP 1
Hello and welcome to my six steps to become a professional travel blogger. I will give my best… my very best to help you create a cool, inspiring and of course, successful blog. Even if you are a great travel blogger already, you may find some tips and tricks. Who knows? 😛
But before, we start to set up YOUR cool and awesome blog, you should grap a beer (or better a coffee) and make yourself comfortable. It is a looong way to become a professional travel blogger and I highly recommend to read all my six steps carefully which could take a while.
“Hey Lars, what is a professional travel blogger?“
That’ s a damn good question. For me a professional travel blogger earns money with his/her travel blog, or because of his/her travelblog. That’s what seperates the hobby blogger from the professional. But if you think there is an easy and fast way to earn money with your blog
I have to disappoint you.
I know some people out there try to tell you that travel blogging is easy and that you can easily live from it. It sounds like the absolute dream job… you can relax on beautiful beaches and all you have to do is to write a post from time to time and to share some cool pictures on facebook. Unfortunately the reality looks a bit different but YES – it is a true fact that some professional travel bloggers live from blogging (not as many as you probably think though) and if YOU have the right attitude to see blogging as a business and when you have enough passion in your pockets, you CAN DO IT too!
PS: You don’t need to travel with a golf ball…that’s just a nice add on 😉
ARE YOU A TRAVEL BLOGGER?
Me writing a post..or playing Candy Crush… can’t remember
GOOD NEWS: Everybody can be a professional travel blogger. It really doesn’t matter if you are 18 oder 88 years old, as long as you have a passion for writing, a laptop, internet and time. Much time… I am talking about a few years my friend, so make sure you really have time.
There are a few things you should think about before starting your blog. Check out these 10 questions: If you can answer at least 7 of them with YES, we can move on!
- Are you always open to learn something new?
- Do you have a passion for writing?
- Do you like to share pictures of YOURSELF?
- Do you mind to sit in front of your laptop 5 to 8 hours a day?
- Do you like to travel?
- Are you an outgoing personality?
- Are you a creative person?
- Can you live on a basic living standard?
- Are you patient?
- Are you ready for a great adventure?
So? Do you have the 7 YES I was asking for? I am sure you do, so we shouldn’t waist time and move on. But before, I have to talk seriously to you. My 7 questions are not a joke or something. The life as a travel blogger is so freaking hard, especially in the beginning. I recommend every new blogger to start slowly. Don’t quit your job. Don’t invest hundreds of dollars right from the start for things you don’t need. In every job you have to learn first. It is the same with travel blogging. You can’t be an expert right from the start – no matter how many people try to tell you. Let’s face it. If it was such an easy job, everybody would probably do it. And how many travel bloggers do you know in person who can afford their living from blogging? See,
“Don’t believe the hype!“
Travel bloggers are still far away from being recognized as serious professionals even if the reputation is getting better and better. When I went to the German finance office to register myself as a travel blogger, they just looked at me and loughed because this “job” doesn’t exist in Germany. It is a hard and long way. Please keep that in mind! And now, let’s move on.
FIND YOUR NICHE
This is our niche: Golf
THIS is the most important step in your blogging career. It is responsible if you will fail or become one of the best professional travel bloggers in the world. Before we even think about building you a blog, you need to find your travel blogging niche. There are at least 5,000 to 1,000,000 other travel bloggers out there. The competition is huge and only the best of the best have success. That’s why you need to be absolutely, I mean 100%, passioned about what you write. It is all about great content (you will hear that probably a hundred times more in the next steps). You need to find a niche that fits best to you and your passion.
To make it a bit easier for you, I give you some niche examples and show you three successful professional travel bloggers of every niche (random order). You can learn many great things by just reading and observing their blogs but NEVER try to copy them. Believe me, it wouldn’t work! By the way, it is not necessary to choose one of my examples. You can easily create a completely new niche. There are thousands of options.
Traveling on a budget
To be honest, this is the most difficult niche of all. I am sure you agree when I say 90% of all travel bloggers travel on a budget. If you want a blog in this niche, you need to post some killer travel tips. The good thing however is, that you could reach a huge audience as almost every traveler wants to save money and is looking for some great tips and travel deals.
1) Nomadic Matt – http://www.nomadicmatt.com
2) etramping – http://etramping.com
3) The Savvy Backpacker – http://thesavvybackpacker.com
The photographer travel blogger
I think this is a niche with a great potential as readers love stunning pictures. BUT of course you must have an eye for great motives, you need to be super patient to wait for the right moment, and it is absolutely necessary that you are a total… nerd! If you don’t have any computer experience (especially with image manipulation software), it will be hard to set up a successful travel blog within this niche.
1) Finding the Universe – http://www.findingtheuniverse.com
2) Everything Everywhere – http://everything-everywhere.com
3) Stuck In Customs – http://www.stuckincustoms.com
The single (often female) travel blogger
If you want to travel on your own, you might choose this niche. You need an outstanding personality as you are the main reason why people visit your blog. You should be funny and it helps, of course, if you are good looking. You write tips about solo traveling but you can also use the travel blog to promote your lifestyle in general. A very effective way of making money with your blog, if you do it right.
1) Young adventuress – http://youngadventuress.com
2) Just One Way Ticket – http://www.justonewayticket.com
3) The Blonde Abroad – http://theblondeabroad.com
The EXTREME travel blogger
If you prefer high adrenaline, you should think about this niche. There are not many extreme adventurers out there, so this could work out. But you need to be EXTREME Bungee jumping and a guided 2 day trek through the French Alpes is not what I mean! The action cam is your best friend, so it helps, if you have a bit experience in filming.
1) The EXPERT VAGABOND – http://expertvagabond.com
2) Off The Path – http://www.off-the-path.com
3) I just know two…THIS is still a real niche!
The couple travel blogger
If you are two, you should think about a couple travel blog. Tips for romantic hideaways or couple activities are a must, and of course you should explain how it is possible to travel long-term without killing each other. We are not a specific couple blog but Liane wrote some tips for couples here. Feel free to check it out.
1) The Planet D – http://theplanetd.com
2) The FIGHTING COUPLE – http://1000fights.com
3) Goats On The Road – http://www.goatsontheroad.com
The family travel blogger
If you think it is not possible to live your dream and to travel around the globe because you have kids – think again. You will find loads of great travel blogs who give tips about how to travel with kids long and short term. But be aware, a family blog is REALLY hard work!
1) Y travel BLOG – http://www.ytravelblog.com
2) WHERE’S SHARON? – http://www.wheressharon.com
3) Have Baby Will Travel – http://havebabywilltravel.com
There are more niches in the travel blogger world but it is important that you concentrate on just one or two. It is impossible to satisfy every reader who visits your blog, so you need to focus.
TRAVEL BLOGGING VOCABULARIES
When you are new in the blogging world, you get overwhelmed by all these words and shortcuts like SEO and SEM etc. I also use most of them in my 6 steps, so I think it is a good idea to explain briefly what they stand for. I will keep the list updated and if you have more terms… or better explanations, please let me know!
These vocabularies are especially for non-native English speakers (like me) and I tried to explain them as simple as possible… hope it worked.
Search Engine Optimization – The better you are in SEO, the better search engines, e.g. google or bing, find you in the internet and bring traffic to your website. It is a super complex topic, so check out my friend Wiki, if you want to know more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_engine_optimization.
Search Engine Marketing – The promotion of your website through optimization and very often paid avertising within a search engine.
Every visitor who visits your blog causes traffic.
The percentage of visitors who enter your site and leave it again without viewing other pages within the same site.
Content Management System – The software on your computer that manages your blog.
One of the best and biggest CMS in the world.
Plugins are all kind of extras for your blog, like SEO-tools or programs to make your blog faster etc.
The Server runs your CMS.
The host runs your server. (There are also hosts who can run both, server and CMS).
Pograms and apps to share your life on a certain platform. Examples are facebook, twitter, or pinterest.
A theme is like a framework for your blog. It helps you to create it.
Small applications that can be embedded to your blog.
Keep It Short and Simple.
Unique Selling Point.
A word usually prefixed with “#“. It allows grouping of similarly tagged messages and allows an electronic search to return all messages that contain it. Works perfectly in social media channels.
Uniform Resource Locator – A web adress like www.bobaroundtheworld.com.
You recommend a product on your blog, and if someone buys that product, you get a commission.
Cost per click – imagine you have an advertising on your travel blog. Every time someone clicks the advertising you get money.
Cost per thousand impressions – Similar to CPC, but you get money every time the advertising has one thousand impressions.
Got everything? Great. Don’t forget, you can come back anytime you want. I will keep the post updated and add new niches and vocabularies. Feel free to sign up for our newsletter, so you won’t miss anything.
Okay, this was the first step on your way to become a professional travel blogger. Just 5 more to go
In Step 2 we finally start to build your own blog. For now, take a small break and think about your niche and what you are passioned about. It is an important decision, so take your time!