How to Start Your Own Travel Blog
Being able to travel while blogging about your experiences seems like the ultimate dream job. Think about it: you get to explore the world and record your travels without having to worry about returning to a cubicle from nine to five. These days, working as a travel blogger seems like one of the best ways to get out and see different countries, but what a lot of people don’t understand is how much work goes into blogging. Planning to travel is already tough enough, but attempting to blog on top of that makes the task even more challenging. This isn’t to say that it isn’t worth it or that running a travel blog is impossible. There are always a few steps that beginners tend to look over when they’re in the beginning stages of getting their site up and running. If you’re interested in starting your own travel blog, here are a few tips and tricks to help you along the way.
The technical stuff
First thing’s first: you need a place for all your content to go live. What this entails is that you have to find a platform where all of your content will be uploaded. It sounds intimidating, but if you take things step by step, you’ll have your website set up in no time at all.
The first step to creating a website is acquiring a domain name and web hosting. Your domain is essentially the URL visitors will be typing into the address bar in order to get to your travel blog, so make sure you think of a good name for your blog. The web host is the service that puts your site up onto the internet in the first place, and both the domain and web host are crucial to having a fully functioning blog. These two items are usually purchased; however, finding a host service and registering your domain name is fairly inexpensive.
Once that’s all squared away, you can start building your site. These days, because most websites are operated under a content management system (CMS), learning HTML isn’t absolutely necessary to create a website (though it is very useful.) A content management system is an easy to use platform used to build websites. With a CMS, you can easily update your website without having to consult with an expert.
As of 2017, the most popular CMS is WordPress, as its user-friendly platform can cater to any kind of website.
If you’re interested in setting up social media accounts that will ultimately be used to develop your brand and help push out your content, then the best course of action would be for you to decide which social media platforms would be most beneficial for you. Remember that it isn’t always necessary to be on every single social platform under the sun. When you’re just starting out, it’s always best to begin with two or three social channels before adding more.
In the case of travel blogs, Twitter and Instagram seem to be your best options. When you set up your social accounts, make sure they all have the same handle for consistency’s sake. Your blog is a brand, so make sure that all your branding is the same across all outlets.
Twitter is always the fastest and easiest way to break into the social sphere. With Twitter, you’re able to develop your brand’s personality better and engage more with your followers. Additionally, Twitter allows you the ability to research trending topics and connect with other industry experts.
Unlike Twitter, Instagram is heavily dependent on images rather than text, which is great for people running travel blogs. On Instagram, you’re given the freedom to craft your own aesthetic and post pictures from your travels to peak your followers’ interest.
Now, if you find yourself wanting to dabble in the world of Youtube and vlogging, then more power to you. Vlogging is a great way to record your travels, as you’re inviting your viewers to join you on your trip. They’ll get to see where you’ve been and what they should expect should they go where you’ve visited. Before you start any kind of vlogging, you need to have a decent camera. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a Canon Mark-III which, by the way, retails at a whopping $2,300 on Amazon, but it should be decent enough to record in 1080p. The higher the resolution is, the better the quality of your video. It’s also important to note here that when you’re shopping around for a camera, make sure you have someone with you who understands the specifications.
Regarding editing software, most laptops and PCs already have movie editing software like iMovie and Movie Maker; however, if you’re looking to include more advanced edits in your vlogs, then it’d be better to invest in better video editing software. Some great programs include Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro and Sony Vegas.
If you’re planning on using Youtube for vlogs, keep in mind that there are certain requirements that have to be satisfied before you’re able to monetize your videos.
The actual traveling
The first step is always to plan (and budget.) By failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail.
Your first step should be to set up a budget. Write down the maximum amount of money you’re planning on spending, and allocate your funds appropriately.
Let’s say you’re going on a trip to Hawaii. Not only should you be looking up flight information, transportation around the islands, food and lodging, but you should also be looking into developing an itinerary. If you don’t know where to start, then try checking out different apps and websites that list suggestions.
There are even apps, such as Groupon, that will give you a ton of suggestions that range from local restaurants to fun activities you can do on the island while offering its users coupons. Research your options carefully and plan out what you want to do each day. Remember that you’ll be vlogging, so make sure that what you choose to do is actually interesting. Vlogging is a lot tougher than many people would think, as you’re investing time capturing the moment rather than fully immersing yourself in it. It might seem a bit tedious when you’re filming your first vlog, but if you keep at it, whipping out a camera and recording everything will become natural.
Patience is a virtue
If you think you’re going to immediately become an internet sensation after uploading a few blogs and vlogs detailing your most recent vacation to Honolulu, then you’re in for a rough awakening. Your blog is something that has to constantly be given quality content, especially if you’re trying to improve your search engine optimization (SEO.) In addition to regularly updating your site with new material, you should also be posting your blog links on your social to help increase your social reach in order to drive more web traffic towards your site. This isn’t something that happens overnight, so this kind of project only really works if you’re doing these because you really love traveling and blogging.
If you’re only in it for a large following or for money, then you’re going to end up disappointed when your blog’s growth doesn’t meet your standards. However, as long as you’re passionate about your craft and patient, you’ll find yourself happily traveling all over the world and blogging about it in hardly any time at all.
Author Bio: Jayson is a strong believer that you don’t have to be wealthy to live a rich and full life and wants to share tips on how to do exactly this. Whether its saving money tips, smart everyday hacks, or budget travel, he hopes to inspire others to do more with less.