How to Become a Professional Travel Blogger
I get asked all the time: How to become a travel blogger?
And how much money can I make?
So I decided to create a whole post and video about it, especially since most Digital Nomads also run a travel blog and it's a nice way to generate some extra income, build an audience - and - get a lot of travel freebies, including free stays....;-)
So - How DO you become a professional Travel Blogger?
Well, the first thing you need to understand is: with Travel Blogging you are building a Business!
That is, if you want to make money and grow a following beyond just friends and family.
You are building a brand and that takes time and the mastering of new skills.
Most travel bloggers fail at monetizing their blog in any significant way, because they never bother to learn the necessary skills and don't treat travel blogging as a career or business venture, but rather as a hobby.
So let's cover the skills you need to master - not dabble in, not try around a little - but really master (though not from day 1...;-)
To become a Travel Blogger you need to master the following 5 skills:
1) Writing - Blogging Style....
Whether you are an experienced writer or a total beginner doesn't really matter, because blogging requires a totally different style. It is colloquial, like having a conversation with a good friend over a cup of coffee - not a serious essay or newpaper article.
Writing good headlines is an art. Structuring an article so people in the rapid internet world will actually read it is also an art as is engaging people to leave comments and share your posts etc.
No worries though - it can all be learned and doesn't have to take a lot of time.
There are numerous courses for blog writing and the best writing course was created by one of the most successful bloggers and writers in the world - Jon Morrow.
Jon was paid up to $7000 per article until he decided to focus more on his own business & blogs. Just click on the picture to get to the course:
Guest Blogging is also a great way to build a following which brings us to our second point of important skills to master as a professional travel blogger:
2) Growing a Large Following for Your Travel Blog
You need to build a large following, both blog subscribers and very importantly on Social Media.
Without a substantial following sponsors and travel boards will not be interested in collaborating with you, because there is no potential for them to market their products, hotels etc. - and we are talking 5-6 figures in followers ideally.
This also includes mastering the art of ranking high in Google: SEO = search engine optimization.
One of the most important skills for anyone doing business online is to learn SEO. You need to understand how to structure an article, how to perform keyword research, how to set up your travel blog, how to build authority with Google etc. - and you need to start from day 1 because Google ranking takes time - usually months - to show any results, especially for a brand new travel blog that still needs to build authority and credibility with google.
You can start with this free SEO Beginner Video course.
3) Become a Budget Travel Ninja
Of course, you also need to become an expert at free and low cost travel, getting paid to travel and anything else that helps to put minimal strain on your budget. Travelling will always cost more than you expect and you don't want to be stranded in another country with no money - or not be able to engage in any activities to explore that country. What's the point of travelling then?
To help you become a budget travel ninja...;-) I'm giving you a free copy of my Bestselling Book, just sign up below:
4) Building Partnerships with Travel Brands
This is where the big money can come from - and great travel savings! Over time as you build your brand and fan base you will be approached by travel boards, hotel chains, travel gear providers and even sponsors like AMEX etc.
Learning how to set up a press kit, even when you are brand new - how to approach travel brands, negotiate, gage their interest - all this and much more is covered in the course series of Travel Blog Success:
The main course is a must-have for every travel blogger and comes with the added bonus of a facebook group that includes pretty much every major travel blogger in the world whose advice you can ask and most of all who you can network with.
That alone is worth the whole course, but it also gives you a great start in many other areas.
TBS has a new course, specifically for Travel Partnerships. This course shows you in-depth how to build successful partnerships with major travel brands, how to market yourself, create a press kit, negotiate etc. - and you can ask questions any time from top level experts.
5) Start a Location Independent Business
Finally, you should have another source of income, at least for the first year. You will probably not make much money from travel blogging in the beginning and travelling is expensive, even if you are a budget travel ninja.
You can also do travel jobs to get you started, but you might be faced with visa issues and are tied to a country and employer for each job wheareas a Digital Nomad Business allows you to travel freely and location independent. Great flexibility to have for a travel blogger!
There are plenty of resources on this website on how to start a location independent business with zero experience - ideally one that also creates passive income long term. But most people start with online freelancing of some sort.
Try to get that started a few months before you leave, so you don't have to spend a lot of time setting things up while already on the road.
How do Travel Bloggers make Money?
Generally, through a combination of these 6 categories, all of which are discussed in the above mentioned Travel Blogging Course:
* Affiliate Marketing
* Product Reviews
* eBooks & Courses
* Sponsors & Partnerships
* Press Trips
* Sell Photos
The Biggest Travel Blog in the World
As an example of a great - and immensely successful - travel blog check out The Planet D - one of the absolute top blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of followers.
It is also one of the most visually stunning websites I have ever seen, so be sure to check it out - it will inspire you!
And don't worry - they, too, didn't start big, but build their brand over many years, became experts and entrepreneurs and eventually reached these heights - and you can, too.
I wish you all the very best!