5 tips for new travel bloggers
April 28, 2017
Often I get the question: how do you do it all? A job, traveling, writing books, managing a travel blog, finding time for sports, dogwalks, friends and loved ones? It turnes out many of my readers want to start a blog themselves, but they feel they are too busy to do it. I think many people confuse being busy with being productive. Many times our priorities are completely misaligned with our daily efforts. The quality of your life in the long run directly depends upon how you set and respect your priorities today. That means you have to say ‘no’ to good things to be able to say ‘yes’ to important things. Big results come whe you narrow your focus. When your efforts are diffused over a wide area they won’t have much of an impact. You can’t do it all. Be mindful and choose wisely how to spend your time. The real gain is deciding what you are not going to do. Overcommitting is the biggest mistake most people make against living a happier, simpler life and against achieving their goals. It’s tempting to fill in every waking minute of the day with to-do list tasks or distractions. Leave space for yourself and for working towards your big goal. Invest your time and energy into getting to where you want to go. Channel your energy into thoughts and actions that actually benefit your life right now. So if you want to blog, be committed, work hard for it and set your priorities. Start now, not some day soon. Some day is not a day at all. It’s a foggy generalization of a time that will never come. If you want to travel, travel. If you want to blog, blog.
And for those of you who just don’t know how to start, here are 5 tips.
1. Choose your medium
When I started my travel blog, I did my research. I found out that building a website is better than using a blogging plaform, at least if you to reach people around the world. Websites give much better results on search engines. So start building a website that suits your plans.
2. Invest in your set-up
If you want to be a travel blogger, buying a plane ticket isn’t enough. If you want readers, you need to have quality content. So pratice your writing, take a writing course if you need it. Buy a good camera and learn how to use it. Invest money in decent equipment and invest time in mastering your skills. Learn to write and learn how to take better photos. And look for blogging tips.
3. Master social media and built an audience
Your blog looks good, your writing is good and so are your photos. But why don’t you have thousands of readers? Readers have to know about your blog and they need to be able to find it. Mastering SEO and using social media are the fastest ways to grow your blog audience and get people interested in what you’re doing. But be careful: make sure you manage your social media well. Don’t get carried away and let them take most of your time.
4. Do your research
There are many blogs. So quality content alone isn’t enough. Offer something new with each post you publish. Don’t copy travelguides or other bloggers. And always, always check your facts, be sure you give your readers the right information.
5. Be authentic
Find your own voice and love what you do. It doesn’t really matter if you blog for yourself or go for the big succes, you need to be authentic. Make clear choices. I want to have a travel blog, because I love to travel and to document my trips. Diving is an important part of my life and my travels. So my blog also contains diving blogs. If I would go for the big succes, I would change my travel blog into a diving blog. My blogs about diving are read 8 times better than my regular travel blogs. But that’s not what I want. I want to see the world above water and under water and document my travels and experiences.
Discussing the topic of authenticity, I have a strong opinion about hosted trips and sponsordeals. My intuition and bucketlist tell me what my next journey is, not a paying compagny. I decide what clothes I wear on my travels and which gear I use, not a paying compagny. I believe you are not credible and authentic when you let others decide where you travel to and what you blog about. Last lines of blogs like this annoy me; ‘This trip was offered by xxxx but ofcause this blog expressed my own opinion.‘ Yeah, sure! Or: ‘XXX was welcomed to XXX as a guest, however my opinion is as always, my own.’ I realize I could make good money from blogging, by having my site covered with banners and adds and by going on paid or hosted trips to places that are not on my bucketlist. But I choose to manage my blog in a different way, my way.
And finally I want to expel two myths about blogging;
1. You don’t have to travel fulltime to be succesful. I am living my life the way I want, dividing my time between a job and writing and traveling. Between exploring my own country and far away places. I choose to split my time between a home life (I love nothing more than strolling in nature with my dogs and camera) and a ‘travelblog life’. And I enjoy both.
2. You don’t have to find yourself a niche to be succesful. Quality content and offering something new are enough. But don’t don’t sacrifice your vision and authenticity in the effort to be different and original. Just be you.