Travel Blogging Basics

by Ant Stone on August 5, 2010

in Features

Once upon a time, creating a travel blog was the last thing on the mind’s of travellers. We used to be consumed with malaria jabs, and how many condoms to pack. We left our mobile phones at home with the laptop, and went in search of wild times and wilderness. Things appear to have changed.

Now we’re apparently concerned with which WordPress plugins we need. Which social network to massage, and which blogging platform to choose.

This time of year always sprouts a healthy number of new travel blogs, and 2010 has been no exception. In this blog-eat-blog world, I empathise with those brave enough to build a self-hosted travel blog.

It can be brutal.

Help is on its way

Bloggers have to contend with Facebook and Twitter; they need forty-eight Google accounts; they have to boost their subscribers, reward their readers, engage with their audience, monitor the competition, and please their mothers; not to mention, score quality backlinks and spot a spammer from a hundred paces.

Oh, and it’s a travel blog, therefore one must also find the time to travel.

It’s go-go-go in a 140-characters. Everyone must Like you, Digg you, not to mention Stumble over you a dozen times a week, while they guzzle Google Caffeine.

You could feel extremely inadequate, extremely fast. I know — I’ve been there.

My biggest and most terrifying concern, is that the travel blogs are taking over travel. Blogs used to be the cool alternative to a handwritten journal — now they’re an altogether different beast.

Turning Point

I believe the turning point was monetisation. People make money off travel blogging. Fact. Some even write eBooks about it; which saves you time, and makes them money. Fact.

But think about it. Your earnings are going to increase exponentially with the amount of time and effort you put into your travel blog. After twelve months, you would be fortunate to be earning £200 a month from your blog. Over eighteen months, you would be lucky (and I really mean that) to have earned more than £2,000 (US$3,200).

Now, think about it. Do you want to taint your trip of a lifetime, by sacrificing day after day of this amazing opportunity, to earn £2,000 — or £3.60 a day — over 18-months?

I wouldn’t either.

Work to travel, don’t travel to work (unless you’re a “digital nomad” or an air hostess). You’ve got the rest of your life to sit in front of a computer.

Travel blogs are ultimately a good thing; they encourage a positive attitude towards travel, and blogger’s tips and tricks can save you money along your journey. They can also develop valuable skills; such as interaction with people of different cultures, and writing for the web.

Focus on the Good Stuff

Here’s a few more things to help you focus on the right things, which will help enhance your blog, while not taking up too much of your time.

It’s written with new travel bloggers in mind, but there are lessons to be learned for the most seasoned among us.

After the bath... I like to scream

STOP

Five Things Not to Worry About

Statistics

1

Number of readers. Number of pageviews. Number of comments. These are some of the most common quagmires; simply because bloggers are always talking about them. In my opinion, you do not need to worry about statistics unless you have decided to go hard and use your blog as a platform to sell advertising. Sure, take a look every now and then, but it is one of the least important elements for new bloggers. Don’t get obsessed.

Advertising

2

“Everyone else is doing it, so I should too.” Running advertising campaigns on your blog might look great and make you feel a bit special; but as I’ve already touched on, you have to be semi-serious to make any money at all off it — especially for young, unremarkable blogs. The time you will spend trying to decipher the advertising process is much better spent elsewhere, and over time, decent advertisers may be attracted organically.

Rankings

3

Rank goes hand-in-hand with statistics. Your Alexa and Compete rankings can become the source of obsession. It’s empowering to watch that little number rise, and rise, and rise — until you smash through Dahl’s glass roof — but let’s be honest, everyone’s is. It’s the tide of the Internet. The only people that care about rank are other web site owners, and some advertisers. If you’re writing good content, your rank will find a natural level. Just don’t sit there staring at it.

Other Blogs

4

I have a lot of good friends. They’re great. They each have their own quirks and personality, and they all make me smile in their own special way. Blogs are like people. In the same way that you wouldn’t want to actually be your friend, don’t try and emulate someone else’s blog. The reason the platform is so popular, is that it’s an extension of our personalities. Some are ugly but full of good intentions, some are beautiful but full of crap. Break the rules, and be yourself. You’ll find a lot of reward in this.

Design

5

Everyone wants a good-looking blog. I respect good design, and it’s something I try to get across here on my own site. But let’s be honest, many of your readers aren’t even visiting your blog. They’re viewing them through RSS readers. In the beginning, just find a blog theme that isn’t fussy. Something that isn’t going to tie you up in forums. Something that isn’t going to break every five minutes. This site is built on K2 (although it will be changing soon) and it’s just about the most unfussy theme there is.

Seedlings Common chickweed

START

Five other things not to worry about — but are worth doing

SEO

1

Learning how to harness search engine optimisation (SEO) for your content, is well worth the time investment if you want to be found by curious strangers. It’s not rocket science, and can be quite interesting. In layman’s terms, SEO helps search engines understand what your content is about. If you run WordPress, install the All in One SEO Pack plugin (other plugins are available). A useful website for learning about SEO is http://www.SEOBook.com.

Social Media

2

There’s a high probability you found this post through social media (Facebook, Twitter etc.) Loyal readers will keep returning without prompts, but social media remains the quickest way to kickstart the buzz around your content. Signing up for Twitter account, or creating a Facebook page is not the end of the story however. It takes time, and it takes commitment to build up a quality following to support your blog content. You have to be prepared to give as much as you take, but blogs aside, it’s a decision that will enhance your journey. Sites like Mashable will keep you up to speed on tips, tools and trends.

Content

3

I cannot stress this enough. Content is the number one thing you need to concentrate on. If you think of a good angle for a post, write it down, or scribble the context down as a draft (that’s how this post was born). Create a simple editorial plan and think a few posts ahead, by looking at your travel plans. Look at what’s trending across the entire Internet, and think about how you can turn this into a useful post. I believe all posts should be born of desire, not need. What makes you tick, not what makes me tick. Passion glows, apathy aches.

Learn HTML & CSS

4

This can be a veritable nightmare, not least because by the time you’ve learned it, it’s probably been superseded by a new version. Many bloggers don’t realise how much HTML is needed to create even the simplest of blog posts. Spend a little time learning HTML and CSS whenever you can, and it will ultimately save you time in the long run. The HTML, XHTML, and CSS All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies (affiliate link) is a useful book for beginners, while http://www.w3schools.com/ will encourage good coding skills.

Link Building

5

Rome wasn’t built in a day, but, by the time it was there were a hundred arrow-straight roads leading straight to Caesar’s bedroom. As you’re exploring other blogs (never, ever use the word blogosphere in my company) check to see if they accept link exchanges. They’re not the most powerful, but any link in the early stages is worth it if you want to improve your online presence, and support the online travel community. Once you’re in the swing of things, consider guest posting for other blogs to attract new readers (as I did, on this subject for TravelBlogAdvice.com).

love balloon

BREATHE

Now you’ve read this, you should know that I have left myself wide open. I have tried to help you, but this will inevitably lead me to criticism. “Why didn’t you say this, do this, tell me this, do that yourself?”

I really don’t care. I just want to make sure travellers are getting the most out of their travels, and they are not getting blinded by less important matters.

Let us not forget, ten years ago we had no interest in “blogging”. And if you’re starting a blog today, you will still be considered one of the early adopters in one hundred years time.

Finally, if you’ve recently started a new travel blog, I applaud you.

You might feel that a lot of the work you’ve already put in “behind the scenes” has gone unnoticed. While that’s true in some respects, most seasoned bloggers do realise the amount of effort it’s taken for you to get those posts up, and those images in just the right place.

Keep things simple, and focus on the most important things — like making sure you’ve packed enough condoms.

Are you a travel blogger? What has your experience been like? What’s the best advice you could offer to new travel bloggers? Perhaps you could share what it is that you would do differently, if you started all over again?
Related Posts with Thumbnails

{ 180 comments… read them below or add one }

nike react September 7, 2018 at 1:27 pm

I intended to compose you one very little note to finally say thanks a lot over again relating to the exceptional basics you have discussed here. It has been remarkably open-handed with people like you to give unhampered what many individuals would have offered for sale as an electronic book in order to make some profit for themselves, especially since you might well have tried it if you ever wanted. The points as well served to become a great way to understand that most people have similar dream like my personal own to find out whole lot more concerning this problem. I think there are a lot more pleasurable situations in the future for those who browse through your blog post.

Reply

michael kors handbags September 9, 2018 at 6:12 pm

I want to express some thanks to this writer for bailing me out of this type of difficulty. Just after surfing around through the internet and seeing concepts that were not powerful, I figured my entire life was well over. Existing without the strategies to the problems you have solved all through this post is a serious case, and ones that might have badly affected my career if I hadn’t come across your blog post. Your primary talents and kindness in dealing with almost everything was very helpful. I don’t know what I would’ve done if I had not come across such a solution like this. It’s possible to now look ahead to my future. Thanks so much for the impressive and sensible help. I will not be reluctant to refer your web page to anybody who should get guidance about this issue.

Reply

hermes belt September 12, 2018 at 9:25 pm

I precisely needed to say thanks yet again. I’m not certain what I might have implemented in the absence of the actual secrets contributed by you on this question. It previously was an absolute scary crisis in my opinion, however , looking at a well-written form you solved it forced me to jump with happiness. Now i am happy for the work and thus pray you recognize what a great job you were doing educating others all through a web site. Most probably you’ve never come across all of us.

Reply

van shoes September 14, 2018 at 2:56 am

I want to show appreciation to this writer just for rescuing me from this type of incident. After surfing throughout the online world and getting methods which were not beneficial, I was thinking my life was done. Existing without the answers to the difficulties you have sorted out by way of your guide is a crucial case, as well as the kind which might have in a negative way affected my entire career if I hadn’t discovered your blog post. Your good mastery and kindness in controlling the whole lot was crucial. I don’t know what I would have done if I had not encountered such a point like this. I can at this moment look ahead to my future. Thank you very much for this impressive and results-oriented help. I will not be reluctant to refer your web page to anybody who needs to have assistance about this area.

Reply

Ulrich September 16, 2018 at 10:07 am

For most recent information you have to visit world wide web and on the web I found this web page as a most excellent website for most recent updates.

Reply

tom ford eyewear September 17, 2018 at 4:34 pm

I am just writing to let you know what a wonderful experience my daughter obtained studying your web page. She learned so many details, not to mention what it is like to possess a great helping spirit to get folks without hassle thoroughly grasp various advanced things. You truly surpassed our expectations. I appreciate you for giving the priceless, trusted, explanatory as well as fun thoughts on your topic to Julie.

Reply

adidas iniki runner September 18, 2018 at 3:05 am

I really wanted to write a small message so as to express gratitude to you for these amazing suggestions you are posting on this website. My extensive internet investigation has finally been rewarded with reputable insight to go over with my family and friends. I ‘d declare that we site visitors are rather fortunate to exist in a fine network with so many awesome professionals with helpful things. I feel extremely blessed to have seen your website page and look forward to some more brilliant times reading here. Thanks a lot again for a lot of things.

Reply

acai berry September 20, 2018 at 9:03 pm

The saffron that is used in capsule form is
then extracted from that and can be used for coughs, asthma, hair
loss, cancer, hardening of the arteries, and even dry skin. Josie Maran (a former fashion model
turned eco-entrepreneur) has developed her own line of cosmetics aptly called Josie Maran Cosmetics.
In particular, the Acai berry contains a very high concentration of compounds
known as anthocyanins.

Reply

driveway paving November 1, 2018 at 8:08 am

Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful post. Thanks for supplying this info.

Reply

lolitab048351.Hatenablog.com November 13, 2018 at 7:25 am

I don’t even understand how I stopped up here,
however I believed this put up was good. I don’t understand who
you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger in the event you aren’t already.
Cheers!

Reply

Shayne November 23, 2018 at 7:00 am

You can too have inexperienced tea or raspberry
leaf tea.

Reply

SEO November 24, 2018 at 3:50 pm

You really make it seem so easy along with your
presentation but I in finding this topic to be actually one
thing which I believe I might by no means understand.

It kind of feels too complicated and extremely wide for me.
I am having a look forward on your next submit, I
will attempt to get the grasp of it!

Reply

flag mounted sign December 6, 2018 at 4:47 am

What’s up colleagues, its impressive article concerning tutoringand entirely explained, keep it up all the time.

Reply

온라인홀덤 December 14, 2018 at 9:31 am

It’s an remarkable post in support of all the web people; they will take advantage from it I
am sure.

Reply

먹튀검증 December 15, 2018 at 6:27 am

They are kept as cherished mementos of a new life
containing entered this earth. Take a periods and jot down how
it’s you would want to create for yourself in the event you may have it
completely your way. It is the most effective ever
made with the company and priced at about five-hundred and $ 50 it is
just a excellent buy.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: