Travel Blogging Tips For Beginners – Q&A

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Hello ladies!

Here it is, hardly anticipated article on how to become travel blogger. I know you all want to become well known and respected travel bloggers, and I hope my tips will get you through the start. However this article is dedicated to all of the begginers who are starting a travel blog in 2017. I collected few questions, that you have asked me on my Instagram, and I just want to say, thank you for all the messages and support. Like I always say to you, everyone can become a succesful travel blogger, if there is will and dedication. But hopefully my tips and information will show you a new perspective and options of travel blogging. So lets start with questions that you asked!

  1. HOW DO I START WHEN THERE ARE SO MANY BLOGGERS OUT THERE?

Like every beginning, starting a blog is not going to be easy, especially travel blog, where you need more funds and time than in any other niche.

When starting a blog, or I rather say a BRAND, first thing you have to ask yourself is: ,,What do I want my readers to see on my blog/ social media?”.

There are so many sub niches in travel blogging from

  • TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY,
  • ROMANTIC TRAVEL,
  • FASHION TRAVEL,
  • FEMALE SOLO TRAVEL,
  • COUPLE TRAVEL,
  • ADVENTURE TRAVEL,
  • LUXURIOUS TRAVEL to
  • FAMILY TRAVEL,
  • BUDGET TRAVEL and
  • STUDENT TRAVEL.

Decide what inspire you and which sub niche is your best fit as this is the best way for you to create a content that will inspire others! Like TakeoffWithLove is all about romantic travel as I always seek for places that are esthetics, clean and romantic.

Now that you know what your BRAND is going to be about, roll up your sleeves and start CREATING QUALITY CONTENT. It is all about the quality and not quantity, so take time, write what is meaningful to others and for your brand. Always stick to your niche and follow trends!

Ok, now you have a blog and few articles, but in blog statistic it says no one is reading your thoughts! Such a night mare, right? We’ve all been through that! No one is reading your blog, as no one knows it exists!  So you need to be smart and start promoting it! How to do that? SOCIAL MEDIA!

When I started branding one of the biggest mistakes was, that I did all social media at once, even Twitter. Huge mistake! Now I prefer to focus only on the one that is the most powerful and where I feel the most connected with my audience – and that is Instagram.

Remember if you decide to become a travel blogger, from that moment on Instagram becomes your business profile, and trust me no one wants to know what you ate for lunch at your grandmas or what color did you painted your nails. It is strictly business and you are obligated to offer quality content to your readers, for what they signed up for!

Ok, lets continue. Now you have a Blog and Social Media, but still no traffic! When you are building your brand, it is all about targeting the right audience who can relate to you. Now this is the point where the real hard work starts (untill now everything was easy). The third step and the most crucial one at this point is to ENGAGE with your audience and audience in your niche. Whether you join FB Travel Groups (I like WeTravelWeBlog, TravelBloggers, FemaleTravelBloggers ) which share important information or Instagram communities or just engage in your niche. What I mean by that – if i’m a positioned as romantic travel blogger, I will follow similar collective accounts (WeAreTravelGirls, DameTraveler, SheIsNotLost, DarlingEscapes) and I will engage with their followers and people who tags these collective accounts. But have in mind engaging is not spamming! Do not copy paste comments under similar profiles but engage in organic, sincere way.

When you will follow all three steps constantly, you will put yourself on the radar and people will follow your vision. But it won’t happen over the night. So just stay patient. I’ve once read that the right path to become a good blogger is to have a small audience who engage with you and trust your opinion. So focus on that early followers.

  1. IS YEAR 2017 STILL THE RIGHT TIME TO START TRAVEL BLOGGING FROM BEGINNING?

I know you must have heard stories like ,,OhhCouture made it to 1 M in only one year!” Yes she did, but she did accomplished that in 2016 when IG algorithm was still more friendly to users, not that she didn’t stand out by her work.  Nowadays to be honest, starting Instagram and blog from zero, it is a hard task to succeed. But it is not impossible! I track many profiles, that started 6-8 months ago and now they already have 20k followers. If you consistently follow 3 steps from above, you can make it!

  1. DO I NEED A BLOG TO BE A TRAVEL BLOGGER?

Yes! There is a big difference between being a blogger and Instagram influencer, even though one goes perfect with another! Bloggers have a blog and Instagram Influencers build their brand only on Instagram. But remember bloggers are influencers as well, when influencers are not bloggers without a blog! Does it make sense? I thing promoting yourself as a blogger has a greater value in travel industry, as you have a backup promotion platform to offer, when you are negotiating with clients. Plus brands in travel industry love blogs, as it is a place where you can offer them a permanent exposure of their services with direct links.

  1. HOW MANY BLOG POST DO I HAVE TO WRITE PER WEEK?

At least 2-3 post per week. But even I’m slow with following this rule. When you travel a lot, it is hard to find time to clear your mind and write quality content. So what I do is to prepare few articles before my travels.

  1. HOW DO I START TRAVELING IF MY FUNDS ARE LIMITED?

For clients to notice you, you need a good portfolio on your blog. Than means before you establish yourself as a travel blogger and get invited on press trips, you have to risk a few bucks to create good content. So what I would advise you to do, start LOCAL. I’m sure there are plenty of trip options and events around your home that won’t cost you a lot. Make it as a weekend trip with friends or family, just make sure you create quality content and pictures.  Also check in newspaper or tourism board of the country if there are any events in your area, and don’t be shy to send them an email saying you would love to attend and write an article about it.

  1. THERE ARE SO MANY ASPIRING TRAVEL BLOGGERS OUT THERE ALREADY, HOW DO I GET A SPONSORED TRIP OR STAY?

True. But there are also so many writers, movie stars, singers… and they still get jobs. With travel industry is even better. Imagine how many hotels are in your city, then in your country. Now imagine how many hotels are in the world! Do you see where I’m going? Now imagine how many other clients in travel industry need exposure (Airbnb, Car Rentals, Culinary Events, Travel Agencies, Festivals, Airlines, Travel Related Brands, Theme Parks..) Trust me if you stand out just a bit from the crowd, you will eventually get a job.

  1. DID I EVER ALMOST GIVE UP?

YEEEEESSS, ohh yes! So many times. Even now I sometimes feel like giving up, when there is a slow day. But I really love what I do and like I said every business is hard, whether you have a shop, being a lawyer or having a bakery! You have to fight for clients, and in our case we fight for collaborations.

  1. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR HARD WORK TO START PAYING OFF?

One friend once said to me, that it took 2 years to start making a living out of blog and social media. I must say it came quicker, given my blog is only 7 months old, but I do have quite powerful Instagram. So I would say the answer is when clients see a VALUE in you. Now what is a value? Clients pay a lot of money for sponsored trips (Hotel, Food, Activities, Trips) and their goal is to get something in return. So always when you pitch to a hotel or destination ask yourself what do you bring to the table? What is your worth? Your worth, my dear travel bloggers is engagement on blog and social media. The higher the ratio of engagement is, more value you carry.

  1. IS TRAVEL BLOGGING A REAL JOB?

100% yes! Since I started my blog I’m working 8 hours per day on my blog and social media. It is funny when people say ,,ohhh you finished Law school and you have MBA and now you do blogging”! My everyday involves a lot of legal (preparing contracts for clients), marketing (writing emails and negotiating with clients), management (organizing trips, flights, hotels) and digital management and marketing knowledge (creating campaigns for clients over social media). So I would say, I’m doing exactly what I studied and I’m using my degrees in everyday business practice. Not to mention I’m a creative director behind every campaign, and I’m a journalist, as all of my article are original stories. So ask me one more time if Travel blogging is a real job.

  1. CAN YOU MAKE A LIVING OUT OF TRAVEL BLOGGING?

At the beginning, no! Once you establish yourself as a travel blogger, first clients will offer you sponsored stays, but no payment. As you grow, and you have quite wide portfolio of collaborations, you can start charging for your services. On a long run, Yes! Those 1M bloggers are making 5.000 -9.000 $ per Instagram picture. Not bad, right?

  1. HOW DO I GET SPONSORED STAYS?

Well that is a one million question every traveler wants to know. And I’m going to tell you how to do it. You are traveling to one place and you love nearby hotel. What do you do? YOU PITCH TO THEIR MARKETING TEAM! For that you have to create a lovely email, explaining why would you love to visit this hotel and what can you offer them in return – VALUE as I mentioned before. When you are pitching make sure you focus on them only, so prepare an email that will give marketing team the impression that the pitch is dedicated only to them and it is not copy paste collaboration proposal.  And don’t forget to attach great MEDIA KIT, where you have all of your statistics gathered. You will probably receive plenty of NOO before that final YES that will change your business. So just don’t give up and fight for what you want!

 

I mostly explained all of the things that are important for beginners. If you have any more questions, feel free to as me here or on Instagram. In my next post I will as well explain how I manage my Instagram account, what apps do I use and what gear do I use to create beautiful photography. So stay tuned…

With love,

Vanesa S.

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