Okay, so the internet is already awash with posts about how to start a travel blog, how to monetize a blog, how to get sponsored trips and so on. And I can’t stand bloggers that suddenly stop talking about travel/make-up/life etc and start talking about blogging. Like, boring, I assume most of you don’t want to hear about that. BUT this post is somewhat different. Rather than focusing on the technicalities, SEO tips and techniques, design, marketing, growing your audience, newsletters, content and so forth, it’s based more around what you should think about before even starting. So if I’ve somehow inspired you to start a travel blog, or just a bit curious about what it takes, then this post might be for you.
If you want to start a travel blog to keep your friends and family updated about your adventures, this post probably isn’t for you. There is nothing wrong with having a hobby blog, but it’s just that none of the below will apply to you. If, however, you see a travel blog as a means to make money to fund your traveling lifestyle, a professional endeavour, AS WELL as somewhere to write about your passion, then keep reading …
5 Things to Consider Before You Start a Travel Blog
1. Do You Have the Funds to Invest in Your Own Business?
As with any potential business, you will need to invest a certain amount of money to get your project off the ground. Of course, setting up a blog in itself doesn’t need to be pricey. But to stand out among the crowd, learn more about the business, and increase your earning potential, there will be associated costs that you will need to think about.
Most successful travel blogs are self-hosted, meaning that you can’t rely on free web hosting forever. The cheaper hosting packages aren’t always the best either; ensure you are prepared to pay for good hosting, especially as your site grows. Check out reviews of popular hosting companies before committing.
Free themes are available for your site design, though many travel bloggers pay for a theme to make their site more attractive. It’s also highly likely that you will want to buy a logo for your site. Prices can vary considerably. Don’t user ANYONE on Fiverr. Although you may start with a free newsletter service you will almost certainly want to upgrade as your business grows.
Would you eventually look to outsource certain tasks? Are there courses you plan to take? Would you want to invest in programs, tools, or equipment? While actually setting up a blog doesn’t need to be costly, growing your blog into a business does usually require some outlay. It’s important to think about the costs before you start a travel blog.
2. Do You Have the Time to Grow Your Business?
Many people are shocked by the amount of time that it takes to run a successful website. Especially when starting, you will need to devote a lot of time to your project. As well as setting up your actual site you will need to produce content with images. You’ll need to manage several social media channels. You’ll need to keep on top of your emails. You’ll have to network. There will likely be many questions that you need to find answers to, and you’ll have to allot time for research and development.
Be realistic with the amount of time that you have to spare before you start a travel blog. It’s all too easy to throw yourself into your blog and neglect other parts of your life. Don’t burn out! Make sure you have the time to also socialise, exercise, rest and take care of yourself. I’m really bad at this, but I’ve been trying to make sure that I go for a walk or get out for a coffee break at least once a day.
3. Are You Great at Networking and Self-Promotion?
Operating a successful travel blog requires a fair amount of networking. If you don’t feel confident in putting yourself out there and promoting yourself a travel blog may not be for you. You will be your own spokesperson and biggest champion. You’ll need to market, promote and sell yourself; if you don’t do this nobody else will do it for you! Sometimes it’s tough and you just get sick of smiling at people and repeating your pitch/bio over and over again. BUT, it’s a necessary part of blogging (and a lot of other jobs), you kind of just have to suck it up and sell yourself.
4. Do You Enjoy Constant Learning?
Running a travel blog is a constant learning process. If you dislike learning and have no interest in trying different things, you may not enjoy the challenges of having a travel blog. There are many free resources available online as well as ebooks and paid courses (Personally I never pay for courses but lots of people do). Absorbing everything can be time consuming and mentally taxing. You should already have a certain thirst for knowledge before you start a travel blog. The industry is constantly changing. In order to keep up you have to keep learning.
5. Do You Think That Starting a Travel Blog is a Get-Rich-Quick Scheme?
Growing a blog to the point of making any meaningful income can take a significant amount of time. It is no easy feat to monetise a blog. It took me 1.5 years to even start making money and now the income is still SO variable. The good months are great and the bad months can be abysmal. Patience, determination and a desire to succeed are vital. If you believe that starting a travel blog is a fail-safe way to see the riches quickly rolling in, unfortunately you’ll almost certainly be in for a big disappointment!
None of these points are meant to discourage anyone from starting a travel blog. However, being a travel blogger isn’t a walk in the park in any respect! You should carefully consider everything before you start a travel blog and begin with your eyes wide open for the greatest chances of success.
Have you ever thought about starting a travel blog?
Let me know in the comments!