So, lots of people have been emailing me asking for tips in how to get started in the travel realm. And so instead of writing multiple emails, I figured I would just post about it here!
These are all things that I have done and have experience with. And I have separated them by categories to help bloggers with different needs or questions.
Website and Branding
How To Pick A Name For Your Blog
The first thing I suggest is that you think of a clever name for your blog. Something that pertains to who you are, what type of travel you will be doing and what you’re going to be posting about.
Also DO YOUR RESEARCH, check if anyone else has the name. And make sure to buy the DOMAIN ASAP!
Creating A Logo
Once you have your name, I suggest you create a logo. If you have a creative idea, draw it out. My tip is to hire somebody to bring your drawing to life if you lack artistic skills. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on this, I suggest you visit sites like Craigslist and look for an artist that can work with your budget. However, if you don’t have a design in mind, and you need a graphic designer please note they will charge more if they create the design.
Picking A Host Website
Once you have those things, pick a website host i.e WordPress. I chose WordPress because I like how easy it makes it to post blogs and the large community of bloggers that are already on the site.
Picking A Website Layout
Don’t be cheap! You’re not going to make money if you don’t put in a little money. Sure the free website layouts are great, but there not always the best or most appealing. If you see a layout you like but it cost money; go for it! Make the purchase. Once you do, play with it. Make it your own. How your website looks is very important because it will determine whether or not brands will hire you and take you seriously. And make sure you make it easy to navigate. Take advantage of categories and pages and menu buttons. If you don’t know how to use WordPress take tutorials. I had NO IDEA what I was doing when I started, I just played with the site and eventually learned a thing or too.
WordPress offers different business plans. This was something I didn’t take advantage of early on. Mainly because I was clueless. I used the FREE version for a year and a half! I finally bit the bullet and upgraded my site. It’s better to upgrade once you’re getting plenty of views because you can get Word Ads automatically instead of applying. If you’re seriously committed to becoming a Travel blogger I say purchase the plans offered immediately. (Not doing so is my biggest REGRET!)
What is your niche?
Your niche is very important. There are so many travel bloggers out there, how on earth do you stand out? It’s pretty much impossible. I think your niche will take some time. You might figure it out way after you’ve already begun posting.
Let The Blogging BEGIN!
The First Posts
Your first post will either be very EXCITING OR SCARY! Don’t write just for the sake of writing, WRITE WHAT YOU CARE ABOUT. The best time to write is when an idea hits you and your brain is on FIRE! (Like mine is right now, haha)
Also, once your begin publishing you will be addicted to checking your views and likes, etc. Don’t get to hung up on that, there your first posts! They might take a while to get some action.
Just keep posting!
You’ve Been Posting For Months…
You’ve been posting for months and nothing is happening? HMM. Go back and figure out what you’re missing?
I came to find that your best posts are the ones with INFORMATION. And you never know which posts will become popular.
All it takes is one post to get the traffic going on your site.
I suggest making your posts as easy to read as possible! Don’t get caught up in using fancy words. Drop the thesaurus! Type the way you talk! People will relate to you if you are real and honest. Not if they feel they’re reading a travel essay. There are many websites already going that STANDOUT.
Don’t overcrowd your posts with pictures. It makes the page longer to load and let’s face it people don’t want to see unedited random pictures of you in sandals holding a cup. People want to see images that MATTER. Be selective with the images you use.
Break down your posts. Chances are if you click on a post you don’t want to read the entire thing. Separate what you’re talking about into sections, just as I did here. That way people can skim and pick what they want to read. Why are they really viewing your post?
Leave A Call To Action
Always end your post with a call to action. Ask people a question pertaining to your post it makes them feel welcomed.
Once you’ve been doing this a while and you have a good chunk of posts on your site. Check your analytics, where are your views coming from? What keywords did people use to find your blog? What is your main traffic source? Explore the analytics page you will find a lot of information and might actually be pleasantly surprised.
Once you begin your website you should begin the social media accounts for your website. However, you’re going to have to make some decisions. Will you be making a separate account ? (YOU SHOULD) Will you be promoting on all sites? What social media app do you want to focus on? I chose to focus on Instagram, just because it was practically made for travel bloggers.
It helps to join Facebook groups where bloggers read each other’s posts. It’s a good way to build connections, views and learn from other bloggers. DO YOUR RESEARCH.
CONNECTING WITH YOUR AUDIENCE
Once you begin getting comments on your blog posts, I suggest you respond TO ALL OF THEM. And RESPOND QUICKLY. The more you connect with your readers, the more they will return to you and other readers will also see that you are easy to reach and therefore participate as well. This goes for blog comments, emails and social media comments. Drive up your engagement. Also, you readers will tell you what it is that they like about what you post. They will tell you what’s working.
HOW TO MAKE MONEY
It took me at least a year to start profiting off my site. And NOPE IT WASN’T BIG BUCKS. By profit, I mean I was working with brands and getting paid a few bucks here and there to talk about their products. Then once I turned on Word Ads, I began making a few more dollars. Again, I turned mine on way too late and should have done so sooner. LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES.
My best advice for making money, is spend it to make it and connect with brands. Also create a media kit with information on your site so that you can use it to pitch your blog to brands. Include, analytics both from your site and from your social media sites.
Alright guys, I hope this impromptu blog I wrote up helped you guys out. Please let me know if you have any questions or need me to elaborate on anything! Happy Blogging!
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