Due to the pandemic, traveling abroad is not nearly as easy as it used to be. And while it was glamorous at times, blogging about travel was hard work. Now it is much more difficult.
If you’re looking to start a travel blog or improve your existing blog as the world wakes up, this article will help you avoid some of the most common mistakes.
1. Being too general
Do you know how many travel bloggers there are in the world? The answer is: anyone with a smartphone and an Instagram account is technically a travel blogger.
That’s nice for the destinations hoping to advertise their experiences and resorts, but it means the serious travel blogger needs a unique selling point (USP) to stand out. So ask yourself: what can I do better than 50% of everyone else? Find your niche and double it.
For example, you don’t have to take great photos of cool houses, but if your USP captures a unique angle on iconic buildings, your followers will tune in specifically for that.
2. Don’t use SEO
Travel blogging used to be called ‘journaling’. But the internet turned it into so much more.
As such, a good travel blogger must understand how to use search engine optimization (SEO) to get his writing to the largest audience possible.
But keep in mind that it is a balance. Writing too much for Google’s algorithms can make your writing sound robotic. But by only writing for a human audience, your visitor traffic will not be as high as it could be. So, while you should learn the basics of SEOdon’t go crazy with it!
Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Tik Tok – these social media sites offer an incredible array of ways to deliver content to your followers. But focusing too much on it carries a risk.
The risk is that over time your blog will start to look like there is always a camera. Every action you take seems to be calculated to get the most clicks or likes. Nothing feels organic and the public will soon notice.
If your blog gets too scripted, you lose the most important currency a writer has with their audience: trust. So keep a camera handy when you’re on the road, but don’t let Instagram dictate your travel experience.
4. No Writing Habit
Fighting artist Bruce Lee was once asked by an acolyte, “How do I hit faster?” Lee’s response was perfect: “Punch faster.” The philosophy is the same for anyone who wants to become a better travel blogger: “write more.”
The key steps to becoming a better writer are simple:
- Write every day;
- Give yourself a deadline;
- Write about anything and everything.
It doesn’t always have to be published, but getting in the habit of writing regularly will help clear up the bumps when it comes to writing your next blog.
5. Ignore Emails
Not every email is worth 10-15 minutes of your time, but responding to messages is a great way to boost your profile. Even in the internet age, word of mouth still counts a lot.
And if you create a USP (see above) in the travel blog ecosystem, chances are other travel blogging sites or even media will ask you to write paid stories for them. Keep an eye on your emails – you never know what opportunities are out there.
6. With a view of security
Taking the least traveled route to experience extraordinary things is crucial for any travel blogger. But it can also put you in unsafe situations.
Choosing safe accommodation and travel will help reduce risk, but staying safe online is just as important as being safe in the physical world.
After all, much of your blogger life is spent online, so be careful when using unsecured Wi-Fi connections and make sureit’s at virtual private network (VPN) to staffy safe online.
7. Don’t treat it like a business
They say if you do something you love, you will never work a day in your life. Let’s face it, blogging about travel is a dream job. But it’s still a job.
This means that you have to spend certain hours of the day sifting through the admin, writing blogs and posting them online. It means making a schedule and sticking to it. It also means drawing up a business plan and maybe even hiring an accountant or a lawyer.
But most importantly, treating travel blogging like a job means maximizing your income. Affiliate links are a great way to earn extra money, as is setting up ads with Google or other systems. And you might consider putting together a weekly or monthly email and charging a few bucks for a subscription — after all, you’ve already written the blogs.
8. Lack of Research
It’s your travel blog. You can write about anything you want. But just because you’re excited about teaspoons doesn’t mean your readers will want to follow your mission to find luxury flatware in every city.
Before you start writing, always ask if the topic will interest your readers. What questions do people ask about this topic? What are some interesting details or stats you could include? Your audience will appreciate the consideration.
9. Bad Photos
The latest iPhone 14 has a phenomenal camera built right into the housing. Indeed, most high-end smartphones now offer the best DSLR cameras a run for their money. And these phones are also (relatively) cheap. So there really is no excuse for bad photos on travel blogs.
And yet travel blogs are often laced with photos that look like they were taken without any regard for context, frame, or story. You don’t have to be an experienced photographer, but learning the basics of taking a great photo will do wonders for your blog’s popularity.
10. Being unrelated
Always remember that travel is a privilege. Most people will rarely travel more than 100 kilometers from their birthplace. Yet almost everyone wants to travel the world, just like you are now.
The last thing readers want to hear is that “if they try hard enough,” they too can afford to travel, or that travel is possible “regardless of your living conditions.” Posts like this make you unrelated and will scare off your readers more than any other mistake on this list.
But that’s not to say your travel blog should be humble or avoid emphasizing anything that could trigger FOMO (fear of missing out) and jealousy in your readers. Be yourself, but keep in mind that people read travel blogs for inspiration, not to feel bad about their lives.
Now that you know the basics of travel blogging, it’s time to get out there! The world is waking up after a long two-year hibernation and people want to know what’s going on. You can be their virtual guide!