How To Become A Travel Blogger (and make an income while doing it)
Start at home. Do not set off into the wilderness without setting yourself up as a travel blogger first. You need to be sure you can earn an income from writing before you set out. Here is how you become a moneymaking travel blogger.
Also see our article about how to make money as a travel blogger.
Pick A Niche Area
You will not make money if you do not pick a specific area of travel blogging because there are too many websites on the net that are doing it better. There are websites that cover most of the globe and have all the information a person would ever want. You need to find a specific area. For example, some blogs are all about the food you may eat, and others are about the brothels you may visit.
A niche area mainly revolves around specific things that people are looking for. Think about it in terms of fishing. You can cast your rod into the sea with your bait and hope for the best, or you can cast your line into a carp pond with a piece of processed ham for bait and see what bites.
How Many Fish Are Swimming In The Pond?
Some niche areas are underserved, and some are stuffed with competition. Finding a mildly untapped niche is a good thing, but you have to ask yourself how many people are looking for the information you are providing. For example, there are probably very few websites about the mask stores you may find in other countries, but ask yourself how many people are searching for overseas mask stores on the Internet.
When you search for a niche area, you may be better off searching for an area that has a fair amount of competition, but where they are not doing a very good job. Think up niche areas and search for them. If you find some amazing websites on the subject, then keep looking for another area to concentrate on.
How Tasty Is Your Bait?
If you have found a niche area that you think may draw a reasonable amount of attention, you need to consider how good your content will be. For example, if you choose “Dating whilst on holiday,” then consider how you will research the information you provide.
If you are naturally good looking, then how much genuine and useful information can you offer to people who are not good looking? How are you going to research your information whilst traveling, and how are you going to test the advice you give? If you make it up as you go along, then people will notice and will stop attending your website. Or worse, they may start badmouthing your website within the online community so that other people do not visit your blog.
Make Sure You Have A Ready Crowd Of Willing Readers
Picking a niche area is tough because you need to find an area that is not too well served already, and then you need to be sure that there are still lots of potential readers out there crying out for the information you can provide.
Are There People Out There Looking For Your Information?
Things such as Google trends will not help you in this case. You need to do market research to be sure there are people out there that are crying out for the information you may give. This article is not going to give you a big rundown of how to conduct a market research project, but here are a few ideas. You can create a number of different articles revolving around certain niche areas and post them on suitable social media platforms to see which get the best response.
You could post a bunch of different blog posts on your blog about different niche areas and create affiliate adverts pointing to the posts. The posts with the most clicks may be the most fertile. At the very least, if you need to resort to affiliate advertising to kick-start your blog readership, then at least you know the topics with the most clicks will get a response.
What Are Your Competitors Writing About?
You have to remember that the topics you choose in your niche area may affect how many people become loyal readers. You may decide to write about legal brothels in other countries and run social media and affiliate advertising tests with posts about sexually transmitted diseases. However, people interested in the niche area may be disinterested with the topic of sexually transmitted diseases. Check to see what your competitors are focusing on. They too may have topics about sexually transmitted diseases, but it may only be a small part of their blog.
How Well Are Your Competitors Doing?
There are thousands, if not millions, of blogs and websites about traveling. It is an area where money may be made, so there are a lot of people drinking from the well. A great many travel blogs fail, so before you choose your niche, ask yourself how healthy the niche is based on how well your competitors are doing.
Why Do Travel Blogs Fail?
The biggest reason is one that transcends travel blogs. The biggest reason is that people become bored with their blog. They realize it isn’t making enough money, or they become bored with the content, or they run out of things to write about. Some travel blogs are truly brilliant, but they are so poorly monetized that the blogger quits.
As a side note, if you are planning to sell your content to other websites and travel blogs, be ready for a higher-than-usual client turnover. Most of your clients will start blogs that fizzle out because they spend a fortune on the content and cannot make the money back. This is especially true if your clients are planning to make their money through placing affiliate advertising on their websites.
Create A Marketing Plan
Now you have picked your niche area and some suitable topics, you need to consider your marketing plan. Too many bloggers do this “after” they have started their blog, and it takes them months to build up a solid readership. Just like with market research, this article is not going to give you a crash-course in blog marketing, but here are a few factors you should consider.
Where May You Find Your Target Audience?
What websites is your target audience visiting right now? Where are they getting the information from already? Can you tap into that stream or insert links to your website in areas where they congregate?
Who Would Pay Money For Your Information?
The goal is not to have people buy your content from your blog (unless that is your plan). It is all about your state of mind. If you are creating content that people “would” pay for, then it has value. In turn, this means your blog has value if it is giving away valuable information for free.
People expect information to be free on the Internet. The only time they will pay for information is if they cannot find it elsewhere. If you create generic posts that people can read on other websites, or if you create informative posts that people can read on Wikipedia, then people will not pay for your content.
What Makes Your Information Valuable?
Is it just that people will have trouble finding the information elsewhere? It is that your content is the most up-to-date? Is it that your content gives information that contrasts what people are reading elsewhere? Does your content have a direct use that readers cannot find on other websites?
What Do All These Questions Have To Do With Marketing?
You cannot sell or promote something if you cannot show its value. A diamond is of value once it is cut, but to the untrained eye, an uncut diamond is just another rock. Before you start pushing your product, you need to know what is so great about it. More importantly, you need to know why other people would want it. No amount of advertising or promotional tactics will work if you cannot speak to the reader and address their wants and desires.
You Are Hunting For Loyal Readers
Getting new readers is important, but keeping the ones you have is more important. For example, shortsighted bloggers will add pop-ups, auto-start video adverts and plenty of affiliate adverts. They do it because they want to maximize their affiliate advertising profit, but they annoy the readers to the point where they stop visiting. If you keep in mind that your goal is to keep your loyal readers, then most of your moneymaking and promotional decisions will work out in the long-term.
Things You Can Blog About
Maybe you are having trouble picking your niche area, or maybe you are struggling to find an area that people are interested in. Here are a few ideas to get you started. These are general ideas, so if you wish to find a profitable niche, you need to drill them down or produce new and more appealing content that your competitors cannot compete with. For example, there are millions of websites offering travel tips and advice, but you could drill it down to tips about finding hotels or tips for finding a job.
Local Customs And Things People Should Know
The truth is that many websites and blogs concentrate on this subject, but it is usually a sideline to their larger and more comprehensive website. In other words, people tend to have to search on other websites to find this sort of information, but you could make it the main focus of your blog.
Learning The Language, Sayings, And Colloquialisms
Maybe setting up a language-learning blog is a little too tough, but what about a blog that gives people just enough language information to get by. Plus, many websites forget about common sayings and colloquialisms, which results in people going abroad and hearing words/sayings that baffle them. When you visit these places, you could dig out all the most popular and commonly-used sayings/colloquialisms and write about them. They change all the time, so you often have something fresh to write about when you visit a new place. You could even add an edge to your work, such as finding the most funny or insulting sayings.
Untouched Places And Villages
Many people want to visit the tourist areas because they are often safer and easier to traverse, but there are also many people out there that consider themselves to be explorers, and they want to find hidden and untouched places where tourists are rare.