Travel bloggers have had their hardest year so far with Covid-19 halting travel in most places or enforcing quarantine. I hear in so many groups that travel bloggers are having a fall in views to their posts and are wondering what is the solution. People are asking if travel blogging is dead?
If this is the case why are so many still choosing to start a travel blog? Is it worth doing and how can you create one correctly during a sensitive time?
How can I start a travel blog in 2020?
While there have been easier times to start a travel blog, if done sensitively writing about the pleasures of experiencing a new place is actually just the positive outlet we all need right now.
I personally have seen a growth in traffic as people research and plan future trips or live vicariously through the past escapes travel bloggers have discovered. So don’t be put off, there has never been a better time to work remotely.
In the practical sense, start by signing up for a simple travel blog platform such as Wordpress which is easily customisable. Don’t ask yourself how to become a travel blogger just begin.
Write about an area you know well. You don’t need to travel there now. Think about your favourite places in the world, which could also be your nearest city or town.
Which destinations do you have plenty of photos of? Even if they aren’t perfect shots, people much prefer authentic photos now rather than hot air balloons photoshopped into images.
What is your niche within travel? Do you want to write about travelling as a female? Is adventure travel your passion? Ashley Renne writes about travelling with an eco-conscience and preserving the environment.
I write specifically about travel to Northern Italy, so my audience come to me if they want to know about skiing holidays, trips to the Italian lakes and more.
No one is an expert on everything so think carefully about which place you can genuinely educate people about and how you can give them value.
How to be a successful blogger and can anyone do it?
Anyone can become a blogger, however, like any profession, it takes a great deal of work and patience so not everyone will become a successful blogger.
It’s advisable to complete a detailed course on search engine optimisation, which is the key to driving continued traffic to your site. This is the most valuable thing you can learn and will set you apart from other bloggers.
Gaining exposure of your site by guest blogging on another travel blog with complementary but not competing audiences will also help. You will have access to another blog audience, gain a link from that site to yours which boosts your credibility with Google and collaborating with those in your industry will create opportunities and support.
How do travel bloggers make money?
Much of the perceived income a travel blogger makes is often in complementary trips gifted to them by a hotel or other service provider.
When you see Instagram photographs of travel bloggers in wonderful locations don’t assume they are paid for these. Some bloggers with large followings and traffic will have been paid for the photos and gifted the accommodation or experience but it’s quite rare to have both.
As a young influencer you may love the idea of being gifted the trip but take into account if you have to pay for your own flights, travel to the airport, meals whilst you are there. If you see blogging as a long term career this type of trip will not pay your mortgage so it’s important to diversify your income.
With Covid-19 affecting the travel industry so dramatically, it’s likely that these types of highly paid trips will diminish at least in the short term. Influencers will also have to be much more sensitive as they approach brands.
Bearing this in mind, it’s important to have several income streams. Affiliate marketing is very useful for travel bloggers. To utilise this you would write about a particular place and link to a hotel/place you love. If you have joined the affiliate scheme of the hotel then each time someone clicks on your link and books a stay you will earn a small commission.
Once you have a certain amount of regular traffic (approximately 10,000 views page views per month) you could start to put ads on your site. This can be done through Google ads or an ad network.
Another way to earn would be to create digital products for people to buy from your site. These could be packing lists for particular countries in certain seasons or other useful items.
Although 2020 has been a difficult time for travel bloggers, it’s also a moment when the world is online and looking for uplifting content. Take a look at these dreamy travel accounts for inspiration.
Try and offer value first, entertain and be positive. Think before you write about which countries are currently under quarantine. Look at where most of your audience comes from and think about how they might be feeling given what is happening for them at this moment in time.
I have a large US audience and at the moment they can’t travel to Italy, the area I write about most. So it’s important for me to write sensitively and with an aspirational tone so my recommendations are seen as future travel inspiration, not encouragement to fly now.
Consider everything from your reader’s viewpoint and you will create a wonderful travel blog which will survive and thrive in the future!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post however all opinions are 100% my own.