I am a travel blogger and whenever people ask me what I do for a living, they get confused. Doctors, lawyers and engineers have been among us for decades, but travel bloggers are new.
First of all, not many people know what travel blogging really is. Even my parents, when they first heard that I’m creating a blog to write about my travel experiences, it was hard for them to grasp what this really means and how it’s done.
Whenever I say that I am a travel blogger, I get bombarded with questions like “What does this really mean?”, “So, you travel for free?”, “Do you make a living from being a travel blogger?”.
I’ve been a travel blogger for over 4 years and little did I know when I started that travel blogging will become my passion, career, my everything. I grew this blog from 0 to over 100,000 monthly readers in just a couple of years and thanks to this blog’s success, I’ve traveled to incredible destinations and managed to make a living from blogging.
In this article, I want to clear out all the questions you might have about travel blogging as a job. It’s going to be an interesting read, so grab a cup of coffee and put aside a few minutes.
1. Who are travel bloggers and what do they do?
Travel bloggers are people who post articles about travel on their blogs. Some of them write articles by themselves, while bigger bloggers usually hire writers. Travel bloggers earn their income through blogging (ads, brand deals, affiliates) and sometimes they are invited to press trips.
A press trip is when a tourism board invites bloggers to travel to a certain destination. After the trip, the bloggers will write about that destination and share their experiences with their readers.
For most people, traveling is a passion. People travel to experience new cultures, see incredible places, relax and so on. Travel bloggers can travel for the same reasons, but they’ll write articles to help other travelers too.
I’m sure at some point in your life you’ve searched on Google “Things to do in X location”. Well, the articles you’ve read were most probably written by travel bloggers.
As a travel blogger myself, I strive to share my experiences honestly. Every place I visit has a good side and a not-so-good side and I try to be honest with my readers.
2. What skills do you need to be a travel blogger?
Being a travel blogger is a bigger task than solely being a good writer. I learned this lesson the hard way. A travel blogger must also be a good photographer, tech-oriented, a social media guru, a PR specialist, a marketing specialist and a businessman.
Let’s take it one by one.
Travel bloggers need to be good writers
In my opinion, being a good writer is one of the most important skills any blogger must-have. It’s important to convey your thoughts in an easy-to-read and authentic manner.
Whenever I write a new article, I focus on including all the things a person might need when deciding to visit a certain destination, from prices to location, things to do, transport and accommodation. It’s important to write in-depth guides that provide all the information needed to my readers.
Being a good writer is also about finding your unique writing style. I always try to show my personality through my writing. It’s vital to find a way to connect with your audience and showing your personality is one of the best ways to do so.
Don’t worry if you haven’t found your voice yet. Practice makes it perfect. The more articles you write, the better you’ll be at it. When I read some of my first blog posts, I’m not very proud of them. However, everyone must start somewhere and as long as you’re determined to improve your writing skills, you’ll be able to create your unique style that attracts readers.
Travel bloggers need to be good photographers
A photo says a thousand words. I can’t stress enough how true this statement is, especially when it comes to travel blogging. Photos tell stories about places and people, that words simply can’t.
As a travel blogger, I always have my camera ready. Whenever I visit a new place, I take hundreds of photos for my blog. Sometimes I wake up early in the morning to avoid the crowds and sometimes, I even change clothes during the day to match my outfit with the surroundings.
When I first started this travel blog, I wasn’t a good photographer. I took most photos with my phone and I hardly edited them. Over time, I invested some money in a decent camera (I currently use a Canon M50 and a DJI Mavic Pro) and I focused on learning about how to pose, find good angles and edit my photos.
You don’t need to be a professional photographer to start a travel blog but taking good photos sure helps. Photography is not a skill that you’re born with. It takes time to learn how to take good photos and practice is super-important.
Travel bloggers need to be tech-oriented
Unfortunately, being a blogger requires some technical skills. Google is putting more and more pressure on websites to load fast. Faster website speeds require some tech skills and let me tell you, it’s not for everybody.
I am one of the lucky ones because my boyfriend is a programmer and he helps me with everything tech-related. Many bloggers I know hire programmers to help them keep up with Google’s requirements.
Being a blogger is not only about writing quality articles and taking beautiful photos. It’s also about learning about website speed optimization, SEO, plug-ins and so on.
Travel bloggers need to be social media experts
Having an Instagram account with a large following is definitely an asset for any travel blogger. Actually, most travel bloggers started their careers as Instagrammers. After building an online audience on Instagram, they decided to create a blog, a place where they could share more with their audience.
This was also my case. I started my Instagram account about 10 years ago, soon after the app was launched. In the beginning, I posted a few photos from my holidays and my account grew fast. After a few years, it became increasingly harder to grow on Instagram, so I decided to start a blog.
It was only when I started traveling full-time in Asia that I took my blog seriously. I wrote a few articles about the places I visited and people from all around the world started reading them.
But getting back to social media, it’s important to be active on as many social media platforms as possible. I use Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Nowadays, a new platform is becoming more and more popular – Tik Tok.
When it comes to growing your social media following, each platform has a different algorithm and thus, it requires a different approach.
Travel bloggers need to be PR specialists
I can’t even stress enough the importance of networking in the travel industry. The best way to connect with fellow bloggers, brands and tourism boards is by attending travel conferences. Some of the biggest conferences in Europe are ITB and WTM. However, there are several other smaller travel conferences, such as Traverse where you can network with people in the industry.
These conferences are good to establish connections and potential future partnerships. Brands and tourism boards are looking for bloggers to promote their products and destinations while travel bloggers are looking for future collabs. It’s the place where demand meets supply.
I attended a travel conference about 2 years ago and I loved it. I meet some bloggers I’ve been following for a long time and I connected with many awesome brands. Actually, my visit to Lapland was thanks to this conference.
Travel bloggers need to be marketing specialists
In order to become a successful blogger, you need to know how to promote yourself and attract readers. Be it through email marketing, paid ads, organic reach or anything else, a good marketing strategy takes you a step closer to becoming successful.
3. Is travel blogging a job?
Some people blog about their holidays as a passion, while others take it a bit further and transform it into a business. Yes, travel blogging can be a full-time job. For me, it’s a job.
Before starting this blog, I worked in marketing and advertising for a few years. I was lucky to work in a field that later helped me grow my travel blogging business.
A lot of people ask me if I can make a living from blogging and the simple answer is yes. You can make a living from blogging, but to get to this point, you’ll have to put in a lot of work. It takes at least 1-2 years to build an audience and start earning money from blogging.
If somebody would tell you right now “Look, you’ll have to work daily for 2 years to build your travel blog and only after these 2 years you’ll earn money”, would you do it? I think that you need to be passionate about travel and blogging at the same time to start a travel blog.
My blog started from passion. When I started this blog, I didn’t even know that I can earn money from it. I wrote travel guides because I wanted to share my story with the world. Slowly, I learned more about ads, affiliate marketing, brand deals and after a few years, I managed to monetize this blog and transform it into my full-time job.
4. Travel blogging as a career
Travel blogging can definitely be a career. I know many successful travel bloggers who have a whole team of writers and strategists behind them. They’re traveling the world and they’re making a living out of it.
When I look at my blog, I see it as a long-term investment. The article I write today will bring in money for years to come. With blogging, you have to think long-term. Nothing’s instant.
Travel blogging can definitely be a long-term career. If you look at it as a business, the sky is the limit.
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