Is blogging about your travel adventures your passion? Do you want your blog to grow and make a solid income from it? Check out this blog post for a list of top tips and tricks to help you stand out as a travel blogger.
Hello everyone & welcome back to my blog! Today’s post is a little bit different than my usual. Rather than me talking about one of my adventures, I am going to be giving you my top tips and tricks that I learned during my blogging journey! It hasn’t been easy and I have a loooong way to go. However, every day I strive to give my blog my all and reach my goals.
Before we get started, follow me on my Instagram to see where in the world am I today ✈️
1. BE REAL:
Travel isn’t always easy. There are missed flights, cancelled flights, getting lost, problems with hotels and the list goes on. Just like anything else, travel has its ups and downs. Some travel bloggers paint travel as being problem-free and non-stop pure joy. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. For instance, when I travelled to Malaga, we had a lot of problems with our hotel which caused a bit of a damper on our trip. I was honest in my post and mentioned that we did have some issues and I also gave my general opinion on the hotel we were staying at.
If you are not real with your readers, then you will find it extremely hard to have a genuine and loyal following! Readers will find it hard to connect with you and your site. On the other hand, if you show everything: the good and the bad, there is a higher chance that you will have a more loyal and understanding following.
2. TREAT YOUR BLOG AS A FULL-TIME JOB:
This is something I do every day. I bought a planner off of Amazon (the exact same one that I bought is currently unavailable but this is a good alternative!) and every Sunday, I sit down and plan out my blog, Instagram/FB/Pinterest posts for the whole week. Then, each day I make it a point to accomplish all of those tasks. These tasks range from publishing a new post, making new Pinterest covers and behind the scenes work such as optimizing old posts for SEO or engaging with other bloggers.
Just like everything in life, you need to put in the effort if you want to see results. I spend a good 10-12 hours every day working on my blog. It does feel like a full-time job to me but it is a job that I love and a job that brings me immense happiness every day.
3. DON’T FOCUS ON THE DOLLAR SIGNS:
This is something that I was guilty of. When I first started my blog and discovered that I can make money off of it, I would refresh my Google Adsense page multiple times a day to see if I made any money. Since I just started, the amount would remain at €0 and I would get so bummed out! Making money from blogging takes time. You will not earn thousands from your blog within the first year. Focusing on the money really made me dislike blogging and I actually stopped for a couple of months! However, after I realigned my focus, I fell in love with blogging again.
The other day I was scrolling through Instagram and this post by another fellow blogger and graphic designer, Fallon Travels, whom I really look up to really hit home and inspired me to write this post. Basically, she said:
When you are not giving your all because you’re sidetracked by other things, readers can pick up on that and it can turn them off from reading your blog.
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4. WRITE HELPFUL CONTENT:
Making your content useful will help you stand out from the crowd. When I first starting blogging about my travels, I treated my blog as a journal, meaning I would write solely about what I did and not give any tips, what I learned from my mistakes etc. Readers aren’t looking for diary entries, they are looking for helpful tips to help plan their travels and make them as easy and smooth sailing as possible.
For example, in my blog post about my solo trip to Krakow, I divided the post in the following manner:
☆ Resources I used for my trip
☆ Somethings you should know
☆ Is Krakow safe for female travellers?
☆ Where & what to eat
☆ What to do & see in Krakow
☆ Other recommendations
Under each section, I go into detail about it and give my honest opinion about it. Furthermore, I also add all the links and resources I used and a lot of pictures! There is nothing wrong about linking other people’s content to your website. Furthermore, diving your posts into headers is 1) very pleasing to the eye and 2) makes it much easier for your readers to read and digest what you have to say. Thus, making your content helpful!
Another thing I do is at the end of my post, I add a map of all the places I mentioned. This helps the reader plan out their trip more easily by checking the distance between the airport, sights etc. Creating your own map is very easy. Simply go to Google Maps, click on the three lines next to the search bar, click on ‘Your Places’, click on ‘Maps’ and at the bottom there is ‘Create Map’. I divide mine into categories and add a different colour and icon to each one to make it more aesthetically pleasing but you don’t have to do that. Once you’re done, simply change the privacy to everyone, go to ‘Embed My Site’ and add the code in the ‘Text Section’ of your blog post and you are good to go!
Writing this kind of content and going into much more detail is a lot time consuming than simply writing about what you did. However, that is the kind of content the readers will react to and share!
5. FIND YOUR NICHE:
There are new travel blogs popping up every day. If you do not have a strong and unique voice, no one will listen to you. There are a lot of niches you can choose from. For example, are you an adrenaline junkie? Write about that! Or are you maybe into festivals and want to share your knowledge with the rest of the world? We’d love to hear about your tips and tricks! Be very specific about what you are writing so audiences can easily find you and read your content.
My niche, at the moment, is European travel. I am affiliated with the American military stationed in Europe and my target audience is military families looking for travel inspiration and guides for their travels. Therefore, I focus on that when it comes to my blog!
Furthermore, I am also venturing into lifestyle and travel blogging/blogging tips. Hence this post and my tutorial on how to create your own Instagram highlights! You can have multiple niches as long as you are well informed in each one.
6. ARE YOU TRAVELING JUST FOR THE GRAM?:
One fact about me is that I talk to myself a lot. As I was having a very heated debate with me, myself and I, I asked myself this question: Do you travel because you genuinely enjoy to travel or do you travel for the gram?
Heleneinbetween, who is another fav travel blogger of mine posted on her Insta story yesterday saying don’t take travel advice from fashion bloggers. At first, I was confused but I listened to what she had to say and it all made perfect sense! In a nutshell, Helene said travelling is about exploring the country, learning about its history, experiencing a new culture. It is not about going to a country in a flowy dress and taking a picture in front of a monument just to upload it on Instagram.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with dressing nice and posing for a picture and sharing it with the rest of the world! I do it too. However, I travel because I genuinely love to. I genuinely love to learn about new cultures and visit new places. Then, the knowledge that I gain I share it on my blog, with you guys!
This point ties with point #1. If you want a genuine and loyal following, you need to be real. You need to talk about the good and the ugly and not just show a pretty picture in front of a monument!
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7. COMPARISON IS THE THIEF OF JOY:
Another habit I am guilty of 🙋🏻♀️ I find myself comparing my blog to other better-established bloggers and make myself feel bad. This leads me to feel discouraged and almost giving up on my blog. However, you cannot compare your step 1 to someone else’s step 25. Take it day by day. Blogs don’t grow overnight. It takes time, patience (a lot of it) and dedication!
Make your blogging experience enjoyable and rewarding by not comparing and making yourself feel discouraged!
There is nothing wrong about modelling on what other successful bloggers are doing. However, there is something wrong when you are comparing and not being yourself. Which brings me to my next point 👇🏼
8. BE YOU:
This is your blog. This is your space on the internet. Success comes with originality. It might be tempting copying exactly what other successful bloggers are doing but readers can sniff out who is being fake and who is not. What is something about you that makes you, YOU? Focus on that! Being genuine does wonders for growing your blog. There is no set guide on how you should blog. Blog about something that you love and do it your way! It makes your blogging journey way more fun and memorable.
9. DON’T BE AFRAID TO PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE:
This is also another thing I struggled with. When I first started my blogging journey, I refused to share it with my family & friends. I was scared they were going to judge me and think I am stupid or that my blog isn’t good enough. One day it clicked and I stepped out of my comfort zone and made my blog known! For example, I was scared to share my Facebook page with my friends. My best friend nudged me in the right direction and what do you know! I gained 200+ likes in a day!
Another instance was when I started my Facebook travel group. I was petrified of sharing it on Facebook groups where I know some of my friends are members of. But, I wrote a catchy description, pasted the link and click on post. Granted, I did close my laptop and turn off the WiFi on my phone for a couple of minutes but I am so happy I took the plunge!
This helped me a lot. Nowadays, I am not scared to share my latest blog post or a picture of my most recent adventure. At the end of the day, we all want readers coming to our blog so why not start with the people close to home?
10. STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE:
This ties a lot with the above point. While comfort zones are nice and cosy, nothing really grows there. I was scared and nervous to even tell my partner about my blog! However, I am glad I did because now he helps me with it and corrects my English (I am not a native English speaker) and he is super supportive!
Start small. Publish a picture on Insta and let people know you have a blog. Link your blog post in your bio so people can click on it. Message your parents or best friend about it. Post the link to your recent post to Twitter. Baby steps are key.
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11. Don’t be afraid to fail:
This is real life. You are bound to fail! And guess what? That is perfectly fine. No one was born perfect or an expert in their field. They all took the time to learn and grow. Failure is inevitable but failure helps you grow. Instead of letting failure defeat you, use it as motivation to better yourself next time. Learn from those failures and apply those lessons to help you reach your goals! Counteract that nagging voice in the back of your head that’s constantly telling you you’re not good enough or your dreams will never come true. I failed many times but I didn’t let it get to me. That is why I am where I am today!
And these are my 11 tips for all you fellow travel bloggers out there! I hope you found this post helpful. As always, don’t forget to follow me on my social media (linked below) and subscribe to my newsletter to get updates when I publish a new post!
Yours Truly, Rebecca.