Weekly Journal

8 Things I’ve Learnt As a Travel Blogger

27th July 2017

I’ve been a travel blogger for nearly two years now; I’ve gone from normal holidays whilst working full time, to quitting my job and backpacking around Asia funded by my freelance work. Over the last two years of blogging, I’ve learnt a few things which I think will help all new and aspiring travel bloggers become successful!

1. Find your own style

Stop focusing on what you think you should be doing and focus instead on finding your own style. When I first started travel blogging, I was convinced that to be successful, I needed to do what other bloggers were doing – take beautiful photos and give the illusion of sophistication.

Well, I soon realised, that’s not me. I’m a budget traveller; I don’t stay in fancy hotels, I stay in hostels. I love to explore, even if that means clambering up muddy rocks and wading through streams and ultimately looking like I’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards. Be true to yourself; I’m a sarcastic tongue-in-cheek person and I want that to reflect in my writing. It also helps me to connect with my audience.

Exploring Malaysia.

2. People value authenticity

People want to know what you really think about a location. There is nothing I hate more than everyone jumping on a bandwagon and saying, “Oh this place is simply amazing, darling!” and then when you get there, it doesn’t look at all like it did in the photos or feel at all how it was described in the post! Perhaps some people think, “Hmm, this isn’t all that great,” but they feel they are supposed to like it because everyone else does, so they perpetuate the falsity of that idea. When I read other travel blogs about places to go, I want an honest opinion – the good, the bad, and the ugly. That’s what I want to share with my readers.

3. People are more interested in your personality and your personal stories

People follow people who they want to connect with. Therefore, keep this in mind when you are starting a travel blog or any blog for that matter because they want to learn about you. It is important for your readers to catch a glimpse of your personality by understanding your story, your journey through life, what’s happened and what drives you. If people want to simply look at nice photos, there are a multitude of other platforms out there. If they’re reading a blog, they’re looking for a different experience, a personal experience; they want something that they can relate to.

“When I read other travel blogs about places to go, I want an honest opinion – the good, the bad, and the ugly. That’s what I want to share with my readers.”

4. Create because it is your passion

Travel blogging of late has become somewhat of an enigma that everyone sees as an elusive way of making money and travelling the world for free. If you start a blog purely because you want to make lots of money from it, then it is doomed to fail. You need to start it because you are passionate about your subject, and if you keep hold of that passion and persist even when you’re not earning money, that’s when it will become successful.

5. Listen to your audience

Pay attention to what your audience reacts best to, rather than what you think is your best work. You can spend hours crafting a beautifully written blog post with artsy photographs that you are really proud of, only for it to receive barely any views. Sometimes, you can throw something together in a matter of minutes and suddenly, people love it! My best performing posts are actually the gritty stories of the darker side of travel, along with personal stories – about me, my struggles, and my fears. Not about the best food that I ate at a fancy restaurant.

6. Be immersive with the senses

Create a blog where you readers feel involved in your experiences and want to come back for more to join you on your journey. Try and make the readers feel as if they are there with you by drawing on the senses – sights, sounds, smells. By immersing the readers in your story, they will feel more connected to you.

Yoga in Koh Lipe.

7. Have a niche to focus on

It’s all well and good to be a “travel blogger” but it’s a pretty broad subject. You want to try and hone in on a niche area by having a particular focus, and in turn, a more clear demographic that you can cater to. For example, some people focus on luxury travel, or budget travel, adventure travel, solo travel, solo female travel, LGBTQ-friendly travel, and many more. What’s important is what are you good at and what’s most relevant to what you love and what you do.

8. Numbers may take time

Don’t give up if you aren’t hitting the numbers in your stats that other bloggers are hitting, and don’t feel disheartened if your followers aren’t in the same ranges as others. Focus on the quality of your content and engaging your readers. Crafting quality work on your blog and building an authentic readership is more important than large numbers of people who don’t interact at all.

I hope these points resonate with you. If you’re reading this and thinking of getting into travel blogging, or any sort of blogging – save yourself time and frustration by focusing on being true to yourself, your passions, and your ethics because that is the key to success.

At the Content Castle, you will have plenty of time to work on your blog posts. If you are interested in staying with us, please contact us HERE.

Learn more about my adventures: https://thegypsyhearttravels.com/.

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