When you start writing, you do it because you love doing it. But don’t we all just want to do what we love? Yes, the bills need to get paid of course, but there is nothing better than working at something you have created yourself, out of passion, out of love. Well, that’s what happened with Wander-Lust. It started with a crazy idea and grew into something that I could not have dreamed of. A successful travel blog.
A few weeks ago I talked about how I became a fulltime travel blogger and I noticed that a lot of people had more questions after the article. All very positive (thanks for that!) but there are certainly more tips that I can give you so you head in the path of successful blogging.
Set Up Your Blog On WordPress
Many of you already know this but when you first start, you may not have a clue just like I did. I was a WordPress dummie and believe me, I’m still learning! Go and buy yourself a theme and don’t go for one of those free versions because they will give you headaches in the end when you want to expand. At themeforrest there are many options but ask around and compare the idea in your head with the themes you see online. We used the Brooklyn Theme but changed it around to suit our needs. Think before you do this as it may slow down your website! Also, add content onto your blog so you don’t start with an empty website when you go live.
Invest Time & Money
When I started Wander-Lust with Sarah, we didn’t have a lot of time but we made sure we made time. We worked into the early hours to get it right. Thank god we had so many articles in our heads ready to be written! We also didn’t have a great deal to spend but we did it anyway. When you want a professional blog, you need to look it. Yes, it starts with the theme but also your server host, plugins you may need and any technical support. We saved a lot of money by getting friendly people to help us for a trade of lunch or gifts. Also, if you want to become a travel blogger, you need to get your hands on a good camera to shoot your pictures. We both use the Olympus PEN and OMD camera’s but I am also making most of my photo’s with my Samsung Galaxy S7 phone. (almost all our Instagram photo’s are made with this phone)
Get Your Social Media Game On
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube and more. Start creating accounts for all of these platforms and make sure they look good. (use the same filter for example) It all starts with your header picture, name and description. Social Media is important because this way you will grow your audience to your blog. We started out with Instagram because we are very visual but find out what platform works best for you. Facebook is still great for gaining traffic to your blog so keep some budget aside to promote your page in order to gain more likes.
Connect with Fellow Travel Bloggers
This may seem a bit weird at first but don’t be scared, travel bloggers are really nice people! It’s good to learn from each other plus you will also make a bunch of new friends! Sarah and I met a lot of nice bloggers over the years and we even collaborate with some of them now! How to get in touch? Well, you will meet them at PR events most of the time but if you’re just starting out, you can just reach out via Social Media and ask them for a coffee or advice!
This doesn’t always mean that you need to have a niche but it means you bring something fresh to the table. Find your writing style, your layout, your photo filter on social media and get people to recognize your blog. Try to be better in everything that has been written before. Yes, many people have visited Los Angeles, but make your story 10 times more interesting. How? That’s totally up to you. Be creative and find your style.
Set A Goal For Yourself But Be Realistic
Setting a new blogging goal is a good idea but be realistic about it because getting a successful travel blog doesn’t happen overnight. My goal was as follows; Get at least 600 people to read my blog in the first week. That seems like a lot but spam the hell out of your friends and family and trust me, it will happen. Now, if your content is good and your blog looks like a million dollars, people will read it again. Another goal could be to get your first press trip within 1 year. Work towards it by gaining followers, creating a smashing Media Kit and meeting with PR Agencies within your region. Find the relevant agencies by checking their client list so you know if they represent any travel related brands that suit your blog.
Travel and Share Tips!
Well, you didn’t see that one coming right? Yes, if you want to be a travel blogger you need to travel as much as you possibly can. In the beginning it’s hard but if it’s your passion, you will spend all of your free days abroad anyways so you might as well write about it. Check if you still have stories to tell about your previous adventures so you have a start ahead. Share as many tips as possible, your readers are not just interested about you but need to feel like they gained some new information after reading your blogpost.
I hope these tips will help and get you that successful travel blog you’ve been dreaming of! And maybe the most important tip: never forget to enjoy it. We travel for love, at least I do.