When I first began writing about my travels, I never had the thought that I would put together a travel blog and that it would end up taking up a good portion of my life. I’ve been able to see much of the world because of this blog, and it has constantly pushed me as both a writer and a traveler to think in new ways and consider a certain culture in a new light. Blogging has been a lot of work, but it has also helped me to experience the world in a variety of ways.
I’ve been asked by a number of people how to begin the process of writing a travel blog. To be honest, I don’t think many people realize how much work it can be and that there is a difference between documenting your travels for friends and family and creating a blog that could potentially lead to press trips and sponsorships.
Here are some things I’ve noticed starting my travel blog. Hopefully these tips help you!
Know your brand
With so many travel blogs out there, you need to find a way to make your site stick out. My first blog with Wanderlust and Lipstick was based on millennial travel, but it soon became clear that most of the bloggers out there were now millennials! I had to think about what I was passionate about and if I had something to say that was different. I care about helping travelers find ways to make their journeys worthwhile by creating a better world and adding meaning to their journeys—which is how I narrowed down my brand of sustainable travel.
Start out simple—and consistent
Starting a blog usually means that you need to start writing—and writing a lot. Consistency has been the biggest reason why I’ve developed some followers. Blog about what you’ve noticed in certain locations or tips and tricks for other travelers. Take some time to find your voice and your rhythm and don’t be too hard on yourself if things don’t blow up immediately. It took me a year to feel comfortable with what I was blogging and how that would come across. Give yourself some time and believe that eventually your project will pan out and it will.
Expand to social media
Unfortunately, nowadays running a travel blog is more than just writing and taking great photos. It also includes being active on social media and posting on a regular basis. Once you feel comfortable with your blog and you’re ready to share it, you’ll want to create separate Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts for your brand so you can find new readers. Social media is my least favorite aspect of running a blog, but companies like how I can connect with other travelers in a number of different ways.
Choose a good hosting site
I started out with WordPress as my site host, which has been great as a beginning blogger who just needed a basic design. I would recommend something easy when you are starting out—finding out whether you can use a site domain and building a site from scratch can be a nightmare for a newbie blogger. However, once you’ve gained some experience, it might not be a bad idea to switch the site that you are using to host. I’m planning on doing it this year (yay redesign), but there’s no way I could have started out feeling comfortable with putting together a site that required some coding experience. It goes to show that there is always something to learn as a blogger!
Creating this blog has been one of the major projects I feel proud of, and it has allowed me to work with a number of companies that I am happy to recommend to others. It’s not easy, but being a travel blogger has opened up a number of doors for me that wouldn’t have been possible to begin with.
Have you ever had some reservations about starting a travel blog?