How To
16 min read

How to Start a Travel Blog

Karen Bokdin

June 2, 2022

Travel blogging is a great way to get started in the lucrative world of influencer blogging if you're a natural storyteller who loves to travel. Travel blogging is trending for tourism businesses or businesses looking to expand their marketing content.


In the beginning, most travel bloggers supported themselves through freelance work or an online job that could be done anywhere. Now that we are in the era of influencers, travel bloggers, and vloggers, can make excellent money while traveling, often for free. 


Travel bloggers add value to destination and resort websites, travel gear, and websites for travel-related add-ons, such as tours, adventures, and side trips that diverge from the main destination.


Travel companies can build trust and engage with their prospective clients through travel blogs and social media, especially when a travel influencer is involved. Having a face for tourists to relate to makes it significantly easier for tourism companies to market themselves online.


Read on as we guide aspiring travel bloggers, and feel free to use this as a travel blog guide should you decide to embark on this journey.


Serene photo taken at a lake in the mountains

What is a Travel Blog?

A travel blog is a website written by one or more writers who blog about their travel experiences. It’s a great way to share and reflect on adventures and trips to inspire others to travel. It can be a way to earn money, especially if you’re meticulous in branding yourself online and talented in the ways of photography and writing.

What Should I Write About?

The best advice for starting a travel blog is to write what you know. Maybe you’re an expert on travel gear, exploring local cuisine, adventures along the way, or perhaps you have a talent for speaking to locals and getting the less known tips about where to go off the beaten path for some seriously unique views, hikes, or experiences. 


Be honest and open. Your personality is uniquely yours, and being genuine about your experiences will make readers feel as though you’re more relatable. They’ll fall in love with your lifestyle and want to keep reading if they like who you are. Tell stories about your successes, and be honest when things don’t go the way you planned. Readers need to relate to you as a real person. It keeps them coming back for more.


Two women in India, smiling at the camera

How Do I Write a Travel Blog?

Writing a travel blog can be extremely fun, but writing is also challenging - especially if it doesn’t come to you naturally. If you write as though you’re speaking to a friend, your readers will see you in that regard.


Think about some of your favorite TV personalities and how they speak to the camera. Watching Guy Fieri talk about some of his favorite restaurants is entertaining because he presents the content in a relatable way, and he is unapologetically himself. Sure, he doesn’t appeal to everyone, but you won’t either. That’s okay. If you show passion and natural curiosity about your travels, the reader will be enthusiastic and curious too.


When you find something you are excited about, share it. Don’t be afraid to write about your interests. If you scaled a mountain with locals to cook slugs in a firepit and eat them, write about all the feelings you felt - the fear, the hesitation about trying something new, and the bond you felt with the locals. Most likely, your readers are thinking about what they would do in your situation and are curious about what you think.


Providing value to your readers includes tips for them to find hidden spaces away from tourist spots, save time and money, or find ways to travel safely and smarter.


Lastly, keeping your readers engaged will require some effort in mixing it up. A blog with a generous mix of photos, maps, video, and text will keep a reader engaged. Some of the best travel blogs are so visually stunning that readers will spend hours just daydreaming over the adventures of the writer.

Decide on a Niche

Finding your niche can be challenging, especially if you haven’t written a travel blog post before. Blogs are great for keeping content organized in categories. Even if you don’t know what you want to focus on at first, at least make use of categories, so you can keep your content organized for readers to veer off into sections of cuisine, hiking spots, or how-to guides, depending on the niche you choose.


Once you get going, try to focus on one specific niche. Find something unique that appeals to you that not many other writers are doing. There are plenty of niches to choose from: solo female travelers, van life, luxury travel, budget-friendly travel, and travel gear, to name a few. 


Brainstorm what speaks to who you are and do your research. If you love hiking, your blog will be about all of your hiking adventures. You can post about proper clothing and gear, camping spots, safety tips, and trips you are planning.


Find your niche and become an expert travel writer in that topic.


Flat lay of map, iPad, and camera

Choose a Website Platform and Tools

So, you’ve decided to bite the bullet and begin. Good for you! You’ll need a website and some hosting. WordPress is the most popular and user-friendly content management system for beginners to get your website started. You’ll need a domain and hosting, which is inexpensive and can be done through WordPress, or any number of popular providers like GoDaddy, NameCheap, or Bluehost.


Make sure that the name you've selected isn't already taken by searching it online or using a site like Namechk. This tool allows you to check if your domain is available, as well as your social media handles across more than 90 social media platforms.


When you’re ready, set up your website, social media, and email marketing software (we like MailChimp) for when you start to build an email list. 


You’ll also need a website theme that is responsive to view your site nicely on multiple devices. Simple is best for travel blogging because your mix of photos, videos, and text should stand out on their own and not be muddled up with a busy website template. There are plenty of travel blog themes out there that are either free or paid. Paid themes will unlock more premium and customizable features that will take your travel blog to the next level.


It’s also important to integrate SEO tools like Google Analytics to track your traffic and Google Search Console to make sure your site is indexed and alert you to any site speed issues you may have. These tools help your site to ensure Google shows your website when people search for your brand or terms that you blog about on your website, which will take some time with a new blog competing against other travel blogs that have been around.


You can install helpful plugins to help your site if you choose WordPress, like Yoast SEO or RankMath for making sure your site is optimized, Akismet for blocking spam comments, contact form plugins so people can get in touch with you, and site speed plugins like WPCache. Be careful not to install too many plugins as they can slow down your site and conflict with each other. Keep it minimal and straightforward to your needs when it comes to plugins.


Write Compelling Content

As we’ve said, you want to be yourself and let your writing reflect your personality. When you’re starting, it might be a good idea to film or record yourself talking about your travels as if you were talking to a friend. It’s easier to write if you have someone in mind that you’re “speaking to.”


Readers want to read about places they relate to, so it’s important to tell your stories with that in mind. As readers get to know you, they’re going to want to know more about you. So be yourself, and don’t try to copy other people’s writing styles. 


It's essential to have a unique voice and perspective that will shine through whether you're snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef or climbing Mount Toubkal in Morocco. Keep your language simple and your sentences short whenever possible. Readers will lose interest if your content is too fluffy or complicated. Just write what you love!


Be Consistent

It is crucial to maintain consistency when writing for your travel blog. Your audience will appreciate seeing fresh new content regularly. Should you choose to repurpose your content to YouTube, you’ll find that your readers and viewers will look forward to your posts. Don't worry if you miss a day of posting. Just get on track with the next post as soon as you can.


Girl taking a picture with a camera

Good Photography is Essential for Travel Blogs

Sharing amazing photos is the key to a successful travel blog. People can only envision so much through your writing. Pictures add stunning visuals to what they imagine. Here are a few tips for better travel photos:

Take A LOT of Photos

Now that everything is digital, it's easier than ever to snap hundreds of photos and decide which ones will make the cut later. If you learn how to do your own post-production of photos, you’ll be able to up your game that much more. Also, don't feel weird about editing photos - everyone does it.

Use a Camera with a High Resolution

Make sure to use 300 pixels per inch resolution (PPI) or higher to guarantee a lovely online image. This may require you to invest in a better camera and additional SD cards since the file sizes are larger, but the results will be well worth the investment. Buy the best camera and lens you can afford, and be sure to throw in a lightweight tripod. You'll thank us later.

Get Up Early and Stay Out Later

The best shots depend on light. The early morning light and dusk are two of the best times to get the images to wow your audience. Getting up early to chase that soft, warm light also means you won’t have to contend with as many tourists too! These serene, peaceful moments will be the ones you remember.

Befriend the Locals

Asking the locals where to go is helpful. Furthermore, photographing the locals (with their permission) is an even richer experience. Everywhere you go, make time for the people, and be polite. Buy something from them or compliment them on something you observe. People can be a rewarding part of your experience, and you will learn things you otherwise would have missed.

Photo Composition

There are a few tips to make your photos stand out:

Photo Composition Experimentation

Every photo could be taken from your perspective, just like everybody else. But what if you approach things from a lying down position or climb to a higher vantage point? Do it all! 


Take that photo of a waterfall from the side, underneath it, or above it. Play around at different angles taking pictures with a small piece of the landscape in the foreground, like a flower or an interesting piece of driftwood.


Zoom in, zoom out, and enjoy the process. Give yourself the time to practice photography, even if you have to go solo for a little while.


The rule of thirds grid is shown here on a smart phone that sits upon a tripod

The Rule of Thirds

Understanding the rule of thirds is one of the most classic and basic photography tips. Think about breaking an image down into thirds horizontally and vertically, divided into different sections. This helps nicely frame the overall picture by putting essential parts of the photo into those sections.


You can easily compose using the rule of thirds by turning on your camera's "grid" feature directly on your LCD screen.


The next time you are composing a travel shot, you should ask yourself: What are the key points of interest in this shot? Where should they be positioned on the grid? You will find your photographs more appealing when you pay attention to these details.


Man on mountain taken from slightly below for unique perspective to traveling

Humans

Human subjects in photos entice people to live vicariously through them. Particularly if they can imagine themselves in the picture. This gives an image more emotional impact as if you are at the location yourself.


Also, the human element lends a sense of scale. The farther away you place your subject, the greater the feeling that the mountains are big. Hence, the popularity of photographing "tiny" people in large landscapes.


Humanizing photos can also help tell a story. Photographs with people in them appear to be more powerful. Your choice of a human element can completely change the narrative of a particular photo.

Optimize Your Website

So you’ve got your website published, a simple template, some stunning photos, and your posts are written. You want to keep your website as simple as possible. It’s not a bad idea to map out what you want your posts to look like, keep it consistent, and organize them in relevant categories.


Use photos liberally, but make sure they aren’t too big and that they are your own. You can use image compression plugins to compress image file sizes while retaining high quality so that they don’t slow down the speed of your site.


Also, be sure to view your blog on mobile devices, desktops, and tablets. What looks nice on an iPhone may not display as well on an Android or a tablet, but a responsive theme should help with this. There are sites and tools that can help you check your site on multiple devices easily.


When you add links or images on your site, be careful and ensure you don't have broken links or images. Google doesn’t like to see broken issues on your website, which can hurt your rankings and traffic, so be careful to make sure everything is working correctly.

Analyze Your Results and Know When to Pivot

Here’s the not-so-fun part for some: check your analytics and stats! Don't obsess over them to the point of basing your self-worth upon them, however. This is a mistake many influencers make. As you analyze your numbers, keep an eye on which posts do well and which links are getting a lot of clicks from your readers. Also, pay attention to your comments to get honest feedback and respond to your readers.


As we mentioned before, use free tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to track your analytics. 


Google Search Console will show you how many impressions your pages are getting in searches, where they rank on average, and give you an idea of the keywords people are searching to find you. 


Google Analytics will show you top traffic pages, average time spent on pages, if people are bouncing off your pages quickly, where your users are coming from, and so much more you can analyze.


As your site grows and you want to look at user behavior, there are other free and paid tools like Google Optimize, Optimizely, and VWO. Use A/B split testing to optimize your site for higher conversions and increase your email list. 


Given your life of travel, this part of blogging is not exciting, but it can help you become more successful if you use the data to improve and grow your readership.


Woman taking a selfie behind a van

10 Ways to Monetize Your Travel Blog

Let’s face it. Unless you have millions in the bank, you’re going to have to figure out how to fund your lifestyle. Here are ten ways you can do just that!

1. Become a Freelance Writer by Using Your Blog as a Resume

One of the biggest sources of income for digital nomads is to find something you’re good at and freelance in that area. That could be writing, editing, or social media management. You can go out on your own or sign up for websites such as Fiverr or Upwork to get started. Asking friends and family to place your first few orders will raise your profile ranking faster.

2. Become a Virtual Assistant for Other Blogs

You will understand how to be more successful with your blog if you work for a more established blogger. Most of these opportunities come online, so find job listings on Upwork looking for a virtual assistant.


If you have the moxie, ask to work with a blogger you admire. Many bloggers need help but aren't sure where to find it.

3. Advertise

Traffic generates ad revenue by displaying advertisements on your website, and some of the higher paying networks have traffic minimums to get approved.


Ads may match your aesthetic, but your fans probably won’t notice as long as they aren’t too intrusive.


You can start with Google Adsense, but as your traffic grows, you can get approved on more prominent platforms like Ezoic, AdThrive, and Mediavine, which pay more.

4. Develop Your Own Products

Most entrepreneurs in this field sell their own products.


There are tons of options available to you, such as a course, books, tours, and merchandise. Be as creative as possible!


You can sell on your WordPress website through Woocommerce or other e-commerce plugins. Otherwise, you can easily list your products on Etsy, eBay, or Amazon and link to them from your site.

5. Join Affiliate Marketing Programs

You can start affiliate marketing from the start or as your site grows. Even if you're just getting started, recommending products from Amazon or other stores you love and having affiliates in mind will build trust and payoff opportunities. 


It may take you a while to see financial benefits as your traffic grows, but it is worth the effort down the road as you start to see passive income. Once you get your readership to higher levels, approach companies you would endorse.

6. Sell Your Photos

Travel blogging involves a lot of photography. Wouldn't it be wonderful if your beautiful places could inspire others to see them? Instagram and TikTok are helpful marketing tools, and a visually appealing website is crucial for getting paid work. You’d be surprised to see how much work you’ll get simply from sharing your photos!


It is also possible to sell stock photos online, creating another passive income stream. If you are traveling and have a backlog anyway, you may find it worthwhile, even if the rules prohibit certain items in your photos.

7. Podcast

Having a podcast is not common among travel bloggers, but it can be a great way to make money and contribute to an area that is not incredibly saturated.


Podcast popularity is huge, and if you’re already thinking about repurposing your content for YouTube, you could put it together as a podcast and do the reverse where you use the audio from the podcast and stream photos on YouTube with your voiceover.

8. Monetize Videos

There are plenty of blogs that make videos. Crossposting your content by creating videos and monetizing on YouTube can be relatively lucrative. If you are dedicated and keep a schedule, your channel can grow over time.

9. Become a Public Speaker

Establish your expertise while making money by doing public speaking. After you have established yourself, this option will make sense to pursue.


Live interaction can be very powerful, and learning how to do it well is a key skill.


Conferencing is ramping up again, and if you can get gigs as a speaker, you will gain credibility, expose yourself to new audiences, and spread your message.

10. Paid Brand and Destination Campaigns

You may eventually have paid opportunities when your audience and social media channels grow. A product partnership or destination partnership might require you to agree to deliverables in exchange for a trip with all expenses paid and financial compensation.


As cool as it sounds, it only makes sense if the destination and campaign align with the brand and if you can deliver everything you promise.


These are the magic formula for successfully monetizing your travel blog:

  • Having a well-chosen niche
  • Publish great content and valuable resources consistently
  • Building genuine relationships with your audience
  • Advertise and add affiliates on your site


Create a unique brand, increase your followers, and establish your portfolio to prove that you are worth the money and the work will come.



Woman standing next to a camel

Inspiring Travel Blogs to Learn From

The best travel blogs in the world offer insightful travel tips, compelling stories, and visual content. The best travel bloggers are exceptional writers providing advice and inspiration for people seeking a new travel experience. Taking time to read other travel blogs can help you improve your writing, design, and photography skills.


Here are five travel bloggers worth checking out, all for unique reasons:

Breathe Dream Go

Mariellen is a Canadian solo female traveler who has visited and written about many countries around the world. She specializes in teaching others, particularly women, how to safely navigate India and has travel guides for other destinations worldwide.

Y Travel Blog

Caz and Craig Makepeace have been nomads for over 22 years, the last 13 of which have been with their two young daughters. Making memories with their families and escaping the chaos of society are central themes to their writing. These experts have published countless travel guides for global destinations and offer a podcast, where they talk about their adventures and share travel tips.

Going Awesome Places

William is one of the best travel bloggers out there. His adventures have taken him to 51 countries. He’s quickly become an expert in his field, and his website is rich with helpful travel guides and itineraries for destinations around the world. On Instagram, Will tells informative and engaging stories. Follow Will - he's excellent!

Hey Ciara

20-something-year-old Ciara left her corporate job to travel the world and inspire others to do the same. If the last two years have taught us anything, life is short and you should follow your dreams. As one of the youngest members of The Great Resignation, Ciara totally gets what it is like to chase what seems like the ultimate dream job. She is careful to share tips on keeping safe, dining out, and where to find the most interesting adventures!

Nomadic Matt

You can't write about travel blogs without mentioning one of the OG's, Nomadic Matt. Matt is the New York Times best-selling author of How to Travel the World on $50 a Day and Ten Years a Nomad and has been blogging on his site since 2008. If you're unsure where to start, it's a great idea to read up on Matt's travels! He offers all kinds of freebies to get you started, such as packing lists and travel tips for a successful journey.


Laptop sitting with view of water behind it

Are Travel Blogs Still Popular?

The short answer? More than ever! We will continue to have travel bloggers as long as Google and search engines exist. Despite the usefulness of social media for planning travel, many travelers prefer the long-form content of travel blogs.


Blog posts offer all the information you need to become a more savvy traveler, which isn’t something you can get from a quick Instagram or Facebook post. It's safe to assume that travel blogs will remain popular for the foreseeable future, especially as more companies jump on board to leverage their brands.


Travel blogs that offered ideas for unique local getaways, road trips, and hiking trips took off during the pandemic. As life slowed down, people discovered camping and hiking in their spare time.


It doesn't seem as if travel blogs will be going anywhere anytime soon, especially for experts in their specific niche. Now that the world is opening up again, people who have been daydreaming about travel for the last two years are going for it - and they will need your guidance!


Your travel blog doesn't have to be a business, however. Depending on your budget, starting your travel blog can begin as a hobby and even stay local. You can choose to blog as a hobby forever - lots of people do that. Once you are monetizing your blog, you'll need to ensure you are following the disclosure and tax laws in your area. 


Sharing your travel adventures with family and friends while funding your nomadic lifestyle is possible with travel blogging and destination marketing. Destination marketing has become incredibly popular as people naturally research their trips before going anywhere. This gives travel bloggers more opportunities to make money and travelers more information before they book their flights. It's a win for bloggers, travelers, and the travel industry as a whole.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this helps you be on your way as a successful travel blogger. Whether you want to travel as a hobby, share your experiences, or start a lucrative travel blog that monetizes your traffic with affiliates and advertising, you need to know how to write a travel blog post consistently. It will take time to build a following, but the more travel content you write, the more traffic and income you get.


Need to write other types of blog posts? Check out our articles on:

How to write a blog post
How to make an affiliate marketing blog post
How to write a food blog
How to create a listicle
How to write a blog post about an event
How to turn an interview into a blog post
How to write a comparison blog post
How to write a B2B case study

Ready to level-up?

Write 10x faster, engage your audience, & never struggle with the blank page again.

Get Started for Free
No credit card required
7-day trial of Pro
90+ content types to explore