How to Start a Travel Blog: My Top 10 Tips Hello, people of YouTube. I’m Kristin and welcome to Be My Travel Muse. Today, I’m going to talk to you about how to start not just a travel blog that helps you travel for free or get little freebies here and there but a travel blog that is a real business, that makes money, that can change your life. I’ve been a travel blogger for five years now. Since then, I have made just about every mistake possible, but I’ve also learned a lot. So, I’m here to share with you my top 10 tips for what helped me to become successful. Now, if you don’t know me, allow me to qualify myself first. My blog, bemytravelmuse.com, focuses on solo female and adventure travel. I am in the top 50 travel blogs by traffic.
I have been featured by “The Washington Post,”by BuzzFeed. I have over 100,000 followers on Instagram. My blog received 1.5 million viewers in thepast 12 months and, it is well known as one of the top female travel blogs in the world. So, now that I’ve sort of shamelessly promotedmyself, let’s have a seat, shall we? And talk about the top 10 things that youcan do to have a successful travel blog. Most important thing number one about buildinga successful travel blog is, be original. The most important thing that you can do isdevelop your unique niche. Figuring out how you can stand out might seemsuper daunting. Yes, there are thousands of travel blogs butif you think about it, there are also thousands of restaurants all over planet earth.
Does that mean you shouldn’t start and opena restaurant? Or that a new restaurant can’t be successful? No. Travel blogging is a super young industry. It’s only been about a decade now that peoplecould actually make solid money with a travel blog. So, when you think about it that way, if youcan innovate and come up with a really clever niche then you’ve got a really good chanceof succeeding. Really think about what is the one thing thatyou love so much that you’re obsessed with it. You’re thinking about it all the time. You kind of eat, sleep and breathe it. That is the thing that can help you becomesuccessful because there are other people who also are obsessed with that one thing. The deeper that you can go into a niche, themore that you can find your tribe of people who are also super into that thing.
Don’t even know who originally said this anymore,”The riches are in the niches.” Basically, the deeper you can go into a niche,the better you can do at differentiating yourself and finding that one thing that hasn’t beencovered yet that you can provide your unique voice on. Now, you might be saying to yourself, “I haveno idea what sets me apart.” That’s okay. It may come to you as you start, when you’reon the road. If you don’t know yet, just go. Just get started, that’s okay. For me, it took a while to figure out whatmy niche really was. I focused on Solo Female and Adventurous Travel. The Solo Female thing just kinda happenedbecause I’m a girl who travels by herself. And the Adventurous side of me is somethingthat I discovered it once I was out on the road.
So don’t feel like you have to know that rightaway. But really think about what you are so obsessedwith that you spend a bunch of time on it whether people are paying attention to youor not, and that is the thing that you should focus on. Most important thing number two, write forother sites. When I was first starting out, my biggeststrategy was to write for anyone who would let me, who was bigger than me which whenI started out was absolutely everybody. In the beginning, you’ve got time to writefor other people. You’re not super busy with checking your emailor responding to comments because you probably don’t have any yet. So, when you’re first starting out, use thatextra time to your advantage by writing amazing content for other sites that points back toyour site. This helps for search engine optimization. This also really helps for getting an audience. Now, the best way to approach people withyour articles is to, number one, have something really stellar that you’ve already writtenthat has amazing images to go along with it and that goes with the subject of their site. So, someone writes about traveling in SoutheastAsia, maybe it doesn’t make sense to approach them with an article about Spain. Number two, if you’ve noticed that they featureother bloggers, there’s a really good chance that they may say yes to you.
But if you notice that their site only hasstuff from them, maybe they’re not as open to guest bloggers and your time is betterspent elsewhere. The third important thing to think about iswhen you email them, have a clear pitch in mind. If you just email someone saying, “Hey, I’mgoing to Paris. Need anything?” What are they supposed to say? “Yes, I could use a baguette.” So, really think about if you were on thereceiving end of that email, what would make you say yes? And lastly, make sure that you give the persontime to respond before you approach other people with the same article. You don’t wanna look spammy and like you’rejust trying to get backlinks because trust me, whoever you’re approaching gets a lotof emails that are like that. So, you just wanna make sure that you comeacross as genuine, that they know that you’re also a travel blogger, and that you’re nottrying to sneak a link in their for a company and that what you’re providing is going togive them value. Number three, probably the most importantthing I’m going to tell you today is that you should focus on serving your audience. One of my favorite internet entrepreneursis Pat Flynn, and his motto is, “Serve first.” And this is really good advice because ifevery time that you get started on something you think about how it benefits others, you’remore likely to find success. Think about it. If you write an article that is just aboutme, me, me, then other people might not necessarily connect with it in the way that you’re hopingfor. In order to have mass appeal, you wanna makesure that you’re really providing something of value.
Maybe that’s something that’s funny and makespeople laugh and just brightens their day a little bit. Maybe that is the end all be all guide forwhatever it is that you’re writing about. Another way is to make them feel really goodabout themselves and to be relatable. So, if you write something that people canreally connect with here, they’re more likely to think about you long after they’ve readthe post and to wanna go back to your site to see updates. Put some soul into it and make it somethingthat is appealing for people beyond just yourself. Most important reason number four, be reallyclear on why you’re doing it. It should be really obvious that you needto have a clear reason why you are blogging but a lot of people simply don’t. A really good place to start with this isSimon Sinek’s Ted Talk and his book, “Start With Why.” This can help you conceptualize how you cancome up with a really clear purpose because when you have a clear purpose and you alwaysgo back to this purpose you can clearly communicate that to other people and inspire action fromthem. That is linked below in the blog post whichyou can find in the show notes. Reason number five. Don’t be afraid to spend money. Businesses need money to grow. What do I mean by that?
I would invest in a course. I just had to self-teach myself everything that I learned. It took me about two months of constant study of various blogs and reading the comments and just trying to figure out, how are people doing this? If a course had existed back then, I could’ve saved myself so much time. I have tested out the two biggest courses in the market and I highly recommend Nomadic Matt’s “Superstar Blogging.” Spirit of full disclosure, I am an affiliate for this course but I wouldn’t recommend it if it hadn’t helped me. He takes you through the basics of how to build and starts a travel blog using WordPress, how to grow it with search engine optimization and social media, and how to really approach it from the right angle from the beginning. Basically, you can throw a stick these days and hit someone who has a course on “How to get rich real quick” on the internet. How to Start a Travel Blog: My Top 10 Tips
How do you know that you can trust these people? You don’t. But the thing is Matt has been around for10 years. He has the top travel blog and he makes good money with it without playing games. Yes, you could spend months self-teaching yourself how to do it on your own. You could do that with quantum physics, too. There are reasons for taking courses, you learn from someone who really knows what they’re doing because they’ve put in the time, they’ve tested all of these things themselves, and they know what works and what does not work. Most people are not willing to do that, they wanna do this in the cheapest way possible. So, by spending 200 or 300 bucks, you can jump way ahead of the curve. The most important thing, number six. How to Start a Travel Blog: My Top 10 Tips
How to Start a Travel Blog: My Top 10 Tips
Don’t be afraid to hire things out that you don’t know how to do. I’ve had people helping me out since the very beginning. I know the places where I am stronger and can shine and that’s where I want to focus my time. It’s much better for me to hire out the things that don’t have to be done by me and that can be better handled by someone else. So, in the beginning, you probably will be bootstrapping and doing most of this on your own. But as time goes, don’t be afraid to hire other people to help you. That’s how you can grow. Number seven, hone in on your unique gifts. What I mean by that is, in the beginning, you might feel like you have to do absolutely everything. “Oh my God, I have to have a blog, I have to have Youtube, I have to have Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, a podcast?!” Calm down, focus on your unique gifts. If you try to do everything at once, you’re just going to be able to give a little bit of attention to each thing.
But if you focus on the things that you are really good at and just make maybe two things, in the beginning, your main focus is…your main foci, your main focusses, I have no idea. Focus on the things, in the beginning, that you are good at and that you really feel like you can put a lot of time and energy into. And then focus on the other things a little bit later on. But in the beginning, it’s super important to give as much of your attention as possible to the things that you want to be your main events. Most important thing number eight. I don’t see this advice in a lot of places. Not to pay attention to your competition. In the beginning, I do think it’s important to do some market research. See what other bloggers are doing that works for them, ask questions in the Facebook groups, become part of the community so that you at least have an idea of what the current environment is like. How to Start a Travel Blog: My Top 10 Tips
But once you establish yourself, don’t pay attention to what anyone else is doing anymore. It can kill your creativity when you’re comparing yourself to other people and no matter what, the more that you look at what other people are doing, the less you’re going to have your own unique light shining. Logging onto Facebook or reading other blogs can suck hours and hours of your time without you even realizing it. I’m not saying you should stop reading blogs for pleasure. I am saying that there is a line at which point it starts to be unhealthy for you and your brand. Instead of trying to do what everyone else is doing, do you. Do what you do best and don’t worry about the competition. I’m not always successful in this. In fact, this is one of my biggest struggles but it is something that I’ve been really focusing on over the past month and it’s amazing how much more time in the day that I have when I’m not on social media. The most important thing number nine, resist the urge to fake it. I know that it is really tempting to buy followers because it’s hard to see really small numbers in the beginning and feel good about it. But what’s the point if you’re not making real connections with real people. For me, there is no point. So, the most important thing you can do to try to find those real followers is again to hone in on your niche, find your unique gifts, really develop those gifts without paying too much attention to what other people are doing and not playing games to look like you’re more popular than you actually are.
All through the last five years, I’ve seen people doing black hat techniques either to look like they have more readers than theydo or more followers and engagement than they actually have. Well, those people don’t really last, theymight look super popular now because they shot up real quick, but these stars burn outfast because they’re not actually stars. It’s not about having millions of fake followers. It’s about having 100 real followers. If you can do that, that is already huge. Number ten most important thing, never stoplearning. I spend more money on courses and books thanI ever did before these days. The industry is changing really fast, always. So, the more that you can learn and innovate,the better you can do. Again, that goes back to being willing tospend on courses. Some podcasts I really like are Smart PassiveIncome, Entrepreneurs on Fire, and read “The 4-Hour Workweek.” I know it got a lot of buzz but if you followthe advice on there about being efficient with your time, it honestly can be life-changing. These are my best tips for how to become atravel blogger. Thank you so much for tuning in. I hope that you enjoyed this video. If so, give it a thumbs up. If you would like more videos like this oryou still have more questions like exactly how to make money or if you want a littlebit more on my personal journey, let me know in the comments below and I can make morevideos like this. Make sure that you subscribe for new videosevery Wednesday just so that you don’t miss any incredibly helpful advice, and I’ll seeyou guys soon. Bye. How to Start a Travel Blog: My Top 10 Tips