Nowadays, travel blogging is more than a hobby or a side hustle as it was, like, five or even ten years ago.
It has become a fashionable “job” that people want to have (or at least other travel bloggers made them think they want to be a travel blogger, too), just simply by “quit-my-9-to-5-boring-job-and-travel-the-world-ing”.
Since we’re talking about a job, travel blogging is as competitive as any other popular job out there, mate! There is no such job that you can both enjoy your life and make money and live happily ever after whatsoever. Sorry!
Anyway, as a travel blogger and admin of a small group of Vietnamese bloggers community, I always get questions about travel blogging, both from those who want to become a travel blogger and those who already are bloggers but still unsure about their choice.
The today’s article is all about answering those questions. Enjoy reading!
Do I Have to Be Tech-Savvy to Become a Blogger?
NOPE! Let me tell you a little bit about myself!
When I was in the university, we needed to have an A-level MS Office certification (plus other requirements) to fully graduate from university/college.
At the age of 21 (back to 2010), I had no idea what to do with all the Excel stuff. I could have failed dramatically if I didn’t get some “help” from another girl in the room that day.
Years ago, I looked at a website/blog/somebody who owned a website with full admiration! I mean, how cool they were to own a website, right?
Coding and IT stuff were not my thing back then.
However, thank to the development of technology, the www, and services like BlueHost (for hosting and domain) and WordPress.org (for blogging), nowadays everyone can make a website of their own in less than 30 minutes.
Of course there a huge difference between having a web and having a nice, great web, but I mean, building up a web from scratch is not anything too tech-savvy or just-for-the-geeks.
Got stuck with SEO, HTML, CSS, online marketing, etc.? Google is there for you. You’re just a few clicks away from the vast knowledge from the internet.
It will take times. No doubt. But believe me, you can do it!
Do I Have to Travel a Lot to Become a Travel Blogger?
Of course it would be great if you can travel a lot, meaning you’ll have many things to write about. But it doesn’t simply mean you have to travel a lot to be a travel blogger!
A travel blogger can write about how to prepare for a trip, how to save money to travel, how to pack like a pro, their wish list, how to apply for visa, just to name a few.
See, there are many things you can write for your blog. Just find some inspiration, do some research, hear from your readers, and you’ll figure it out.
What to Write Since the Market Is Already Saturated?
That’s when the importance of finding your niche sparks in. Having a niche – a USP (unique selling point) – will help you and your blog stand out from the crowd and grow faster travel blogging without a niche. And just so that you know, travel is not a niche. Or at least it’s not as niche-ish as it should be.
If you want to blog about travel, think Europe travel, Asia travel, travel with toddlers / kids / teens / seniors / pets / wheelchair, affordable vacations, weekend trips, or be the expert of your place.
I’ve seen many travel blogs focusing on just a country, or even a city, and they’re doing extremely well creating their own blue oceans.
There are many factors that will affect on how you choose your niche. It can be your hobby, something you are good at, something you love to talk about, etc. Be wise and choose the one that you can pour your heart into, and don’t go after trends.
When it comes to starting a travel blog, one of the biggest challenges is deciding what to write about. Here are some suggested topics that you can consider for your travel blog:
- Destination guides: Share detailed information about different destinations, including top attractions, local cuisine, transportation options and accommodation recommendations.
- Travel tips and hacks: Write about your personal experience and share tips and tricks that can help other travelers save time and money while on the road.
- Cultural experiences: Share stories about your interactions with locals, their customs, traditions and way of life.
- Adventure activities: Write about thrilling experiences like hiking, scuba diving, bungee jumping or paragliding in different parts of the world.
- Budget-friendly travel: Give advice on how to travel on a budget, including tips on finding cheap flights and accommodation, and ways to save money while exploring a new destination.
- Sustainable travel: Share your thoughts and experiences on responsible tourism and the impact of travel on the environment.
- Food and drink: Write about your favorite dishes, drinks or food tours from different countries and cultures.
- Travel photography: Share your stunning travel photos and provide tips on how to capture the best shots while on the road.
The one thing I like about travel blogging is that you can write pretty much about what other bloggers have already written, but with your own unique experience and perspective.
For example, even North Korea is no longer a secret destination. You’ll find many travel blogs and videos about it, but each story will be different depending on the blogger’s personal experience, their background, and even their writing style.
So, don’t be afraid to write about popular destinations or topics. Instead, focus on showcasing your own perspective and sharing your own tips and advice.
Be THE trend!
Should I Invest Money on Travel Blogging?
It depends how far you want to go with your blog. If you just blog for the sake of sharing and connecting with like-minded people, it’s OK to opt to free options out there.
However, if you aim to become a professional travel blogger and monetize from your blog, you have to invest. A proper .com URL, a nice and responsive theme so that it can function on different devices, useful plugins to help boost your traffic and enhance your readers’ experience… All need money.
In the beginning, you don’t have to buy a theme that cost $70, or buy some online courses that may cost you up to $200. You can invest on them later, when you can see some steady income from your blog.
I switched from GoDaddy to SiteGround after scoring my very first sponsored post. I also bought a theme called Raspberry on Theme Forest (which cost only $30 at that time) for my blog, but now switched to Ashe after a while. For pictures, I opted to Haute Stock and Ivory Mix.
Life is too short to search for license-free photos on the internet.
For How Long until I Can Make Money from My Travel Blog?
Again, it depends on what niche you’re are in. For some bloggers, it took them only 6 months to see money rolling in. For me, it was one full year until I scored my first sponsored post. And thing just happened.
As far as I can say, if you’re building a nice blog with great niche, a steady number of engaged audience who truly enjoy following you and what you wrote, it will take shorter time to monetise.
But keep in mind, shorter time doesn’t mean less work! You cannot just create a website, post like ten articles, and call it a day! Nope, that’s not how you will make money from travel blogging.
Work hard is the keyword.
Can I Make a Living from My Travel Blog?
It depends on how you define “make a living” and “income”. If you already have a full income from a normal job, then $1000 extra per month is perfect. But if you rely on your blog to generate income, make sure you can earn at least $40.000/year from it.
Moreover, making money from travel blog is not as stable as your monthly salary. The more you’re into the world of blogging, the more you’ll see that some months you may earn big bucks, and other months you can just barely make ends meet.
I know some fellow bloggers who can earn like $5000/month. But hey, it’s not easy money. Nobody will ever pay you that much money for some random status on a round-five-hundreds-likes Facebook page or for several pictures on an about-one-thousand-followers Instagram account.
So, before thinking about how to make money online, I recommend you focus on TWO things: Create great content. And by great, I mean GREAT, AND build up your community, your tribe of loyal readers.
Then things will start to roll in.
What Makes a Good Travel Blog?
IMHO, a good travel blog is the one that is informative, authentic, and inspiring. It should provide practical information such as budget breakdowns, transportation tips, and accommodation recommendations. At the same time, it should also capture the essence of a destination through personal stories and experiences.
But what truly sets apart a good travel blog from the rest is its ability to inspire readers to explore new places and cultures. A good travel blogger should be able to paint a vivid picture with their words and photos, evoking wanderlust in their readers.
When I blog with my Europe travel blog for my community, one thing I’m confident that stands out is my passion and deep knowledge of the places I write about.
I didn’t just come to the place, stayed there for a couple of days, and fly back home, I really immersed myself in the culture and explored both popular and hidden gems.
For some places, I stayed there for months. Other places, I stayed for a week or so, but I made sure to experience the local life as much as possible.
So, well, a good travel blog is the one that, for me personally, is written by someone who truly loves traveling and exploring new cultures.
Do Travel Blogger Travel for Free?
As a travel blogger, I often get asked if I travel for free. The answer is both yes and no.
Yes, because there are times when I am invited to visit a destination or collaborate with a brand in exchange for coverage on my blog and social media platforms. This can include complimentary accommodations, flights, meals, and activities.
However, this is not always the case. Most of the time, I still have to pay for my own travel expenses and I am not always invited on sponsored trips.
Normally, when a micro travel blogger like me (I’m not talking big names like Nomadic Matt or Expert Vagabond) reaches out to companies for collaborations, we have to prove our worth and value in the travel industry.
This includes showcasing our blog’s reach and engagement, as well as providing examples of previous collaborations and partnerships. Then, the company will decide if they want to work with us and what type of compensation they can offer.
I’ve heard and read many cases where travel companies try to take advantage of bloggers by offering “free” trips in exchange for a large amount of content and exposure.
Also, the other way around when bloggers or influencers ask for freebies without providing enough value in return, and end up damaging the reputation of the blogging industry.
At the end of the day, there’s nothing wrong with getting compensated for our work as bloggers, just like any other job. However, it’s important to be transparent and ethical in our collaborations.
Can You Be a Travel Blogger without Traveling?
For that very question, I have written a blog post that dives deep into my personal experience and thoughts on the matter. But in short, it is possible to be a travel blogger without constantly traveling.
There are many ways to create valuable content for your audience without physically being on the road. This can include sharing tips and advice based on past trips, writing about local experiences, or collaborating with other bloggers who have been to the destination you’re writing about.
Some people believe it’s important to clarify this with your audience and be transparent about your current travel situation. This way, they can understand and connect with you better as a blogger.
But, if I’m being really honest, I don’t think it’s necessary to disclose this information. At the end of the day, what matters most is the quality and value of your content.
But of course, if you don’t physically travel to one place, you should not write about it as if you have. It’s not about ethics, it’s about being authentic and genuine in your blogging.
You Have Other Questions?
If you’re new to the blogging world, or even if you’ve been doing it for a while, you might still have some questions when it comes to working with travel bloggers.
Although I cannot answer everything and everyone’s specific questions, I hope to address some common ones that might arise.
So, if you’re considering working with a travel blogger or becoming one yourself, leave a comment and I’ll do my best to provide some insight.