We all start from scratch
Let’s say you’ve been toying with writing a blog and you finally landed your niche. Travel. Then, the little devil sitting on your shoulder whispers in your ear “hey, you don’t ever go anywhere”. But, you WANT to go everywhere! Did you know that most travel bloggers started right where you are now? No, not in YOUR living room, but in their own homes, dreaming of the places they want to go.
Some travel bloggers are lucky enough to have actual travel day jobs and are paid to write about their experiences. This post is not about them. Personally, I have lived in 4 states, traveled to 25 American states and 5 international countries. Have I visited all 50 states yet? Not yet! I don’t have a goal of how many countries to visit yet either, but, I do have a few more on my bucket list. I write about places I’ve been to and will be writing about places I’m going to go to. This is the best part of writing a travel blog – you’ll never run out of things to share!
DISCLOSURE. The following post contains affiliate links. Should you access a product through my links, I may make a commission to no added cost to you. I only promote products or services I personally use and endorse.
Start with what you know
If you have travel experiences under your belt, think about what areas of travel do you want to discuss? Your readers are looking for information, for answers to their questions. I think back to when I traveled for work in the southwest part of the USA as a Speech-Language Pathologist. I was looking for help by others who had done it – regarding how to negotiate pay rates, how to handle housing, what questions to ask, etc. What type of travel did you experience? Have you taken multiple road trips? Then write about how to prepare for a road trip! Did you know that travel this summer is going back to smaller adventures thanks to COVID? Meaning, more road trips, more RV rentals, greater interest in those roadside motels to avoid too many people in small places (hotel lobbies, etc). Here’s a topic for your first post-travel COVID style! Hey, great idea! I’ll write about it too! I’ll just put my own spin on it, then it’s claimed as mine. That’s how you do it.
One of my recent posts entitled the Top 20 Road Trip snacks fits right into what’s needed for road trips! I take great joy in planning snacks for road trips. I’ve done it enough times that I have information to share with others who may be going on their very first road trip! Writing becomes easy when you just start with what you know.
Where do I find Ideas?
Something to consider when starting a blog is you need to find an area that you can write about for years to come. It has to be sustainable. This is why the travel niche is so wonderful. People of all ages love to travel. Any tips you have to share, your readers will appreciate it! I know I am always looking for “tricks of the trade” with any part of travel! Anything that will save money or make the travel experience better is what we all are in search of. Remember that ideas for post topics first come from your own experiences and second, answers questions. This is why people are searching online to begin with, they are looking for answers to their questions.
If you haven’t experienced many vacations just yet, write about other forms of travel. What is the best clothing to wear on long trips? What clothing is best for frequently changing climates? How to pack a suitcase? What about how much clothing is too much to pack? Why do I pack 6 pairs of shoes on long weekend trips? I don’t even wear that many pairs in a week yet when I travel for some reason I need to have them! Perhaps research a place you WANT to go to and write about it. There are so many endless opportunities for topics when you think about it. In order to write a travel blog, one doesn’t ONLY need to write about the places they’ve been.
So how do I really start?
It’s not just about sitting at your computer and writing. You need to decide if your blog about travel will be just for fun and sharing stories and information, or is your intent to also make money for your efforts? If the goal is to write a travel blog for fun, not use any affiliate links or advertisements, then you can do this for FREE using WordPress.com. Should the goal be to eventually turn the travel blog into a business, then you will need to purchase a hosting company. This is a decision to not take lightly, as money does need to be spent upfront. Grant it, you can do it as cheaply as possible (my offer with Bluehost starts at $2.95 per month), and I recommend that as well.
The reality is, that many people give up when they realize if you want people to read your blog, you need to work on other areas to draw people in. It’s not like you write it; they will come. Yet, that is what we all want to happen. To learn more about the technicalities of starting any blog, refer to my article titled Blogging 101 – Tips for starting a blog.
What did I do?
Before I began blogging, I researched several other bloggers to learn how they did it. Everything I know today took me six months of learning from others. I appreciated their knowledge as they stated “learn from my mistakes”. When my blog first began, I didn’t have a niche exactly. I wanted to write about multiple topics but kept coming back to travel. After I finally decided to declare a travel blog as my actual niche, the global viral pandemic hit. Thank you, 2020. The Universe sure has punked us this year! So, I chose a niche that was essentially placed on HOLD worldwide! But, instead of wallowing in my pity, I decided to be grateful that, as of this writing, I have yet to test COVID-19 positive, and I had enough travel experiences up my sleeve to be creative with my topics to write about.
What I’ve learned
This past year, I’ve discovered who some of the most successful bloggers are, as the blogging community is pretty small. As bloggers become successful, they return the favor and teach others how to be as successful. It has been through these avenues that I have found leads and learned invaluable tips.
I started by doing Google searches, then quickly learned that Pinterest is the real avenue for finding all the information you ever wanted to know about blogging.
Did you know that Pinterest is NOT a proper form of social media? Pinterest is classified as a search engine, just like Google!
But the difference is – it’s a VISUAL search engine! If you have never explored Pinterest, I highly recommend it.
This is where most of your blog traffic will come from too. If you want to use this avenue. As with all things, there is a right way and a wrong (non-productive) way to interact on Pinterest.
You will most likely find bloggers offering ebooks or courses using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic.
Another tip for you is to take multiple notes on everything you learn. It may make sense when you first learn the information, but as you continue to delve deeper into your blog development, writing posts, adding plugins, and working on building traffic, it is easy to forget some of the great tips you learn along the way.
I have recently gone back through the past six months of information I’ve gathered and can now better apply the advice and tips. I am not yet an expert blogger (far from it), but the more I work and learn, the greater my understanding and the more I can share with others. Remember, we ALL start in the same place!
I started reading other bloggers’ posts, liking their content, and leaving comments on their pages. But not random comments. Their posts led to real questions important to me as I build my travel blog.
I signed up as a subscriber to their blogs so I could follow what they offered next.
So many bloggers have been willing to offer advice and provide recommendations and tips. It astounded me at first how much information they shared about what programs, plugins, media platforms, and other nuggets of information to help others get ahead.
But, the more I learned, the more I realized the world is a vast place, and they are not “losing out” on business by sharing their knowledge to help others get ahead.
Tap into the resources available – many are free, and others charge fees from $5. up to thousands. You determine what you can or are willing to afford.
It is a good idea to search Facebook for blogging groups. Some are private, invite-only, and others are open to the public. The best way to find them is first to search Facebook.
I have found a few by reading others’ blogs, engaging them with questions, and building rapport. You eventually learn that many full-time bloggers work with each other, promoting their products and building a blogging community.
The wealth of information they share for free and paid is well worth every minute of your time. Being a new blogger will be overwhelming with the amount of information to learn. But, taking things step by step at your own pace and budget will make it all worthwhile.
Wrapping up, Moving forward
I hope this information is enough to get you started. There is much more to learn, but nothing is more important than diving in. If you love writing and want to get your story out to help others with information, education, or entertainment, there’s no better time than NOW!
Please leave me a comment or question. I’d love to hear from you! Don’t forget to subscribe, so you don’t miss what’s coming up next!
Looking for extra funds to spend on travel fun? Check out my post on Making Money with a Side Hustle – the Top 15.