How to Start a Blog in 2020 (and Make Money)

Get paid to travel – become a travel blogger

Could you build a successful career as a travel blogger? This expert guide could help you on your way…

Becoming a travel blogger seems like a great idea in theory, but as you get the ball rolling the process can get increasingly overwhelming. To be full time and make a living from your travel blog, it’s not quite as simple as just throwing up a few posts and having a Twitter account or Facebook page. Being successful in blogging takes a lot of strategies and good business sense, as well as talent for telling stories and presenting them in a way that inspires people to see the world.

From finding your niche to website design, social media tips, and knowing your audience inside and out, this guide is designed to take you from the beginning stages right up to how to make money from your blog, with advice from some of the most successful travel bloggers in the industry.

1. Find your Niche

Consider what you love the most about traveling – is it people, foodies, activities & Tours or history – and make that the main theme of your blog. Write about something that you are passionate about and make that shine through in your blog-video will keep readers interested. 

You don’t have to cover everything about travel on your blog. If you hate the beach when you’re traveling, don’t bother writing about subjects related to it; if you love luxury hotels but hate camping, stick to luxury hotels advice. You don’t need to catch everyone on your net – do what you love !!!

2. Design your website

First impressions are key – and this philosophy also applies to websites. Creating a strong design for your blog – one that’s easy to navigate and understand – is important as this is one of your first chances to hook in a reader. And this is the travel industry: visuals are key.

Stand out from the crowd with a distinctive logo or blog theme, publish an engaging photograph content on your Instagram & Facebook account to keep the reader informed of all your move.

“Make it easy for your readers to interact with your articles by activating a social sharing plug-in and commenting system if they’re not already implemented within your chosen theme. And put together a captivating ‘About Me’ page to grab your readers’ attention and inspire them to follow your adventures.”

3. Know your audience

Knowing your audience will help you guide your every blogging move – from the kind of stories you’re writing and which social networks you’re using, to which brands you partner with in the future. 

My first piece of advice would be to start by asking yourself a lot of questions: How old are my audience? Are they mostly male or female? What kinds of things interest them when they travel? How do they behave on the web – do they like long stories or quick posts? What other travel publications do they enjoy reading?

Try to answer questions and create an ideal reader profile. Use this profile to guide your content, blog design, social media strategy… everything. Your reader should be the first thing you consider when making any decision for your blog.

4. Start Learning the technical stuff

As you become more advanced with blogging things will get more complicated and you’ll start to hear words like ‘Google page rank’, ‘affiliate marketing’, and ‘SEO’ (search engine optimization). Getting started with your own website could be technical behind the scenes,  and that can be overwhelming for beginner bloggers and make you want to quit. You probably would like to try to learn it all at once, but getting too deep into it, will draw your attention away from your writing good content articles – not a place you want to be.

5. Social media

“To start building your following, try to concentrate on quality and consistency”, do not try to find a way to build followers too quickly,  be patient and let your audience grow organically and naturally. It takes a lot of dedication and time to get your work noticed on social media: interact with influencers and brands, and consistently share quality information with them. Over time, they will begin to notice your work.

“Post daily on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, tweet regularly, and join Twitter chats to meet new people and followers. Post on social media a little bit each day, using scheduling tools like “Later” to make it easier.

“Most of all, have fun with it! Write and share the things you love, and your readers will feel that energy. People want to be inspired – so inspire them.”

Quality needs to be a top your top priority, and as the industry is becoming more crowded, you are going to work hard to stand out. Take the time to research the subject you’re writing about – look at it like a reporter or journalist would (because you are one, remember?) 

6. Work with engaging brands

Once you’ve got the ball rolling and built an audience, you can start thinking about working with other travel brands. Successful partnerships rely on pitching to brands that share your values and travel style, so you have to be strategic about whom you choose to work with (instead of taking anything you can get!)

“A professional blog is a media outlet – treat it as such “Don’t chase after a brand for free stuff, but instead formulate a campaign idea and mutual relationship that has longevity. Make sure your pitch includes a solid overview of how your blog aligns with the client, and that your idea is on-point with the key messages of the destination or product, (Example: No need to contact a luxury brand if you write about traveling on a shoestring.

“Do your research and know that brand, browse their website and social accounts, find previous campaigns, and learn about their product – show this knowledge in your pitch. Golden rule: the blog and brand should complement each other, and offer mutual benefit to a shared audience.”

7. Monetize your blog

The big question on everyone’s lips: How can I make money from my blog? Money won’t come quickly, in huge amounts, or without doing any of all of the above, but it will come if you’ve taken the steps to create an engaged, loyal audience. There are a number of ways you can leverage that audience in order to start earning cash – affiliates, brand partnerships, freelance writing work, creating your own products… to name a few – and the most successful monetization techniques will always keep that audience in mind.

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