Travel blogging has been such a constant source of learning for me and finding what has worked and what hasn’t has been such a trial and error experience. I often hear from new bloggers frustrated about where their blogs are headed and how they feel defeated by the community.
“I’ve been putting so much time and effort into this and nothing is working out,” they tell me.
That is the thing about blogging and writing in general. You’re never finished growing. I’ve had some success lately as a blogger, but it took some time to get there—and I still have so much to learn.
Here are some things I’ve found helpful on my blogging journey and what might be holding you back from yours.
1. You don’t know your angle
Blogging is really building a business, whether you view it that way or not. You’re providing a service for readers and other travelers that they can’t get anywhere else. That means you have to have a strong sense of who those travelers are. I focus on adventure travel that is sustainable for millennials, but it took me a while to realize that was the niche that I cared about. Once I knew my angle, I was able to offer a perspective that readers were interested in.
2. It’s not personal
I never used to include a picture of my face when I posted blog articles. I figured that readers wouldn’t really care if they saw what I looked like or if the information I gave them was a bit more generic. But I was greatly missing the point—readers wanted my take on traveling. If they wanted something generic, then they could easily go to Lonely Planet and get more accurate info. I started to realize that my personal thoughts and feelings were what made my blog different than the thousands of others out there.
3. You’re not promoting
Writing your blog can sometimes feel like writing in a vacuum. Sometimes you post things and they take, other times it takes a few weeks or months, and sometimes it doesn’t take off at all. But at the heart of all this is how much you are promoting your posts. I’m an introvert by nature, and not a huge fan of telling others what they should be reading. But I realized I needed to at least give potential readers the option to read my stuff if they wanted to. Facebook, Twitter, and social media are so necessary in this day in age in getting your work to other people.
4. You’re not giving it enough time
I’m always impressed when I hear success stories about how bloggers managed to land a sponsorship after running a blog three months or less. I have no idea how they do it (maybe this isn’t their first time at the rodeo), but for me it took about a year to feel confident about what I was doing and what I wanted to share with others. Yes, it took me that long to find my voice and find what was missing from the travel blogging world.
I thought many times about giving up, but I’m so glad I stuck it out.
5. You’re not reaching out
Blogging, however solitary it can seem sometimes, is not a solitary activity. Especially if you are travel blogger, interacting with other travelers is important. Your goal should really be about helping other travelers make the most of their journeys—even if that means you’re the one doing the research in order to make it happen. Reach out to other bloggers, answer your comments and Twitter replies, and make time to talk to travelers about their concerns. Making your blog a community is the first step to building an audience.
Blogging is not easy, and it might require some time and thought in order to get it right. Also, every blogging journey is different—so finding the right path for you might mean something completely different than another travel blogger.
Have you had success as a travel blogger? No? Why do you think?