How To Become A Travel Blogger
Twenty years ago, travel blogging as a professional career was probably unheard of. These days, it sounds like a dream job. There are tons of travel bloggers, travelling around the world, writing about it and making money from it. However, it isn't as easy as it looks. There is a lot of hard work that must be done before one can get to that point.
As a South African travel blogger, I often get asked about how to become a travel blogger . I began travel blogging in 2013. Although I still have a long way to go before I am at the stage I want to be at, I have learnt a lot of valuable things along the way. Here are some of them:
- I’ve always been passionate about travelling and writing. In 2013 , I decided to combine both my passions and start a travel blog. Which brings me to my first point – you have to be passionate about travel blogging before starting a travel blog. Don’t just do it for the rewards because although they do exist, it takes time to build a good reputation before you can reap the rewards.
- Make sure that you produce quality work. Read good travel writing in order to write better yourself.
- Proof-reading your work before publishing it is a must. Better still, get someone else to proof read it for you.
- Good photographs enhance blog posts. These days, you don’t need an expensive camera to take good photos. Smartphones also take good photos. You can also get photos from stock websites. Just don't use copyrighted photos without permission.
- You don’t have to visit expensive exotic destinations if you don’t have the means. You can start locally and become a specialist travel blogger on your city or province. eg a South African travel blogger or a Johannesburg travel blogger.
- Starting a blog requires a little bit of technical know-how. But help and courses are easily available online. Although there are many platforms out there, I prefer WordPress for its flexibility and ease of use. Don't use WordPress.com websites because they make you look as though you're not serious about travel blogging.
- Build your online presence: Create social media accounts dedicated to your travel blog. Social media is a great way to network and promote your posts but it can be very time-consuming so you don’t have to be on every social media platform out there. Choose 2-3 platforms that you enjoy using and concentrate on those. My favourites are Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Many other travel bloggers swear by Pinterest, which brings them alot of traffic, but I find it a bit too much of an effort.
- Engage with your audience. Use high-quality images, catchy headlines, and engaging stories to attract readers. Respond to comments, emails, and messages from your readers. Build a loyal following by providing value and interacting with your audience.
- Communities are important. Do join blogger groups on Facebook where you can get advice from other bloggers. Network with other travel bloggers, influencers, and brands. Collaborate on guest posts, social media shoutouts, and sponsored content.
- Be patient and persistent: Building a successful travel blog takes time and effort. Be patient, keep writing, and keep promoting your content. With persistence, dedication, and a bit of luck, you can turn your travel blog into a successful business.
Here is a comprehensive infographic, put together by Travelstart with advice from some of the best South African travel bloggers. It covers everything from Web Hosting, Content Creation, Photography, Working With Brands and Ways to Make Money. I wish I knew all this when I started!
Also, check out this detailed guide on how to start a travel blog .
How To Become A Travel Blogger by South African Travel Bloggers
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