With the rise in popularity of sites like Instagram, it seems like anybody can be a travel blogger. But there’s a big difference between somebody who blogs about travel and a really good travel blogger – so what is it that makes the difference?
A love of travel
It’s pretty obvious really, but if you want to be a travel blogger you have to travel. Lots! And that means actually getting a passport, packing your bags, and getting out there – not just watching documentaries about places from the comfort of your sofa and then writing about them.
You have to really love doing it too, whether that means backpacking across Asia on a shoestring budget or living the life of luxury on an all-inclusive trip to Dubai. As well as loving what you do, you need to travel widely or choose a specific part of the world as your niche. More on that later.
Adventure doesn’t come without risk
The best travel bloggers are fearless and are always striving for the most exciting adventures. Don’t be afraid to try new things, immerse yourself in new sights, sounds and local culture, and get away from the tourist traps to see a country the way the locals do. A good travel blogger is a ‘yes’ person who jumps at every opportunity for a new adventure abroad and is always hunting for new angles for a blog post.
An eye for photography
As well as being able to write about your experiences on your travels, you’ll need a good eye for photography. A picture is still worth a thousand words, especially when you’re travel blogging. The best travel blogs are highly visual, with colourful landscape photos, action shots of extreme sports and adventures, and images of local people and wildlife. Invest in a good camera or just use the one on your smartphone, but make sure your images are clear and high resolution, as well as thoughtfully composed.
Social media savvy
A good travel blogger knows the importance of social media and embraces new trends like Instagram and Snapchat as well as the original social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Staying active on as many of these sites as possible helps boost your blog stats and attracts new readers.
Carve out your own niche
Don’t underestimate the importance of a niche when it comes to travel blogging. Nobody wants to read another blog about backpacking in Thailand. Think about what your interests are and where your strengths lie and play to them. Love to cook in your spare time? A travel blog focusing on cooking and local cuisine could be a great start. Spend your weekends at the stables? Why not write a travel blog about the best treks on the planet? You get the idea.
Don’t just write, read too
A good blogger reads other travel blogs, not only for interest but for inspiration. You’ll get some of your best idea from other people’s work (but don’t ever copy!) and by reading some of the best travel blogs out there, you’ll feel more motivated to make yours the best it can be.
An understanding of SEO and analytics is vital to get your blog to the top of Google’s search results. Learning about things like keywords can help you to boost traffic to your blog and grow your audience.
Network, network, network
Networking, both online on social media and in person, is one of the best ways to promote your blog. Carry business cards and talk about your travel blog to everybody you meet. Attend local, travel-focused events or events for bloggers, and connect with like-minded people on social media.
There’s one last thing that makes a good travel blogger. The ability to write, engagingly, drawing your audience in and making them feel like they’re right there on your adventure with you is perhaps the most important skill of all to master.
What are you waiting for? Book your flights, pack your suitcase and get ready to blog!