How to Start a Travel Blog: My Top 10 Tips

How to Start a Travel Blog: My Top 10 Tips


Hello, people of YouTube. I’m Kristin and welcome to Be My Travel Muse. Today, I’m going to talk to you about how
to start not just a travel blog that helps you travel for free or get little freebies
here and there but a travel blog that is a real business, that makes money, that can
change your life. I’ve been a travel blogger for five years
now. Since then, I have made just about every mistake
possible, but I’ve also learned a lot. So, I’m here to share with you my top 10 tips
for what helped me to become successful. Now, if you don’t know me, allow me to qualify
myself first. My blog, bemytravelmuse.com, focuses on solo
female and adventures travel. I am in the top 50 travel blogs by traffic. I have been featured by “The Washington Post,”
by BuzzFeed. I have over 100,000 followers on Instagram. My blog received 1.5 million viewers in the
past 12 months and, it is well known as one of the top female travel blogs in the world. So, now that I’ve sort of shamelessly promoted
myself, let’s have a seat, shall we? And talk about the top 10 things that you
can do to have a successful travel blog. Most important thing number one about building
a successful travel blog is, be original. The most important thing that you can do is
develop your unique niche. Figuring out how you can stand out might seem
super daunting. Yes, there are thousands of travel blogs but
if you think about it, there are also thousands of restaurants all over planet earth. Does that mean you shouldn’t start and open
a restaurant? Or that a new restaurant can’t be successful? No. Travel blogging is a super young industry. It’s only been about a decade now that people
could actually make solid money with a travel blog. So, when you think about it that way, if you
can innovate and come up with a really clever niche then you’ve got a really good chance
of succeeding. Really think about what is the one thing that
you love so much that you’re obsessed with it. You’re thinking about it all the time. You kind of eat, sleep and breathe it. That is the thing that can help you become
successful because there are other people who also are obsessed with that one thing. The deeper that you can go into a niche, the
more that you can find your tribe of people who are also super into that thing. Don’t even know who originally said this anymore,
“The riches are in the niches.” Basically, the deeper you can go into a niche,
the better you can do at differentiating yourself and finding that one thing that hasn’t been
covered yet that you can provide your unique voice on. Now, you might be saying to yourself, “I have
no idea what sets me apart.” That’s okay. It may come to you as you start, when you’re
on the road. If you don’t know yet, just go. Just get started, that’s okay. For me, it took a while to figure out what
my niche really was. I focused on Solo Female and Adventurous Travel. The Solo Female thing just kinda happened
because I’m a girl who travels by herself. And the Adventurous side of me is something
that I discovered it once I was out on the road. So don’t feel like you have to know that right
away. But really think about what you are so obsessed
with that you spend a bunch of time on it whether people are paying attention to you
or not, and that is the thing that you should focus on. Most important thing number two, write for
other sites. When I was first starting out, my biggest
strategy was to write for anyone who would let me, who was bigger than me which when
I started out was absolutely everybody. In the beginning, you’ve got time to write
for other people. You’re not super busy with checking your email
or responding to comments because you probably don’t have any yet. So, when you’re first starting out, use that
extra time to your advantage by writing amazing content for other sites that points back to
your site. This helps for search engine optimization. This also really helps for getting an audience. Now, the best way to approach people with
your articles is to, number one, have something really stellar that you’ve already written
that has amazing images to go along with it and that goes with the subject of their site. So, someone writes about traveling in Southeast
Asia, maybe it doesn’t make sense to approach them with an article about Spain. Number two, if you’ve noticed that they feature
other bloggers, there’s a really good chance that they may say yes to you. But if you notice that their site only has
stuff from them, maybe they’re not as open to guest bloggers and your time is better
spent elsewhere. The third important thing to think about is
when you email them, have a clear pitch in mind. If you just email someone saying, “Hey, I’m
going to Paris. Need anything?” What are they supposed to say? “Yes, I could use a baguette.” So, really think about if you were on the
receiving end of that email, what would make you say yes? And lastly, make sure that you give the person
time to respond before you approach other people with the same article. You don’t wanna look spammy and like you’re
just trying to get backlinks because trust me, whoever you’re approaching gets a lot
of emails that are like that. So, you just wanna make sure that you come
across as genuine, that they know that you’re also a travel blogger, and that you’re not
trying to sneak a link in their for a company and that what you’re providing is going to
give them value. Number three, probably the most important
thing I’m going to tell you today is that you should focus on serving your audience. One of my favorite internet entrepreneurs
is Pat Flynn, and his motto is, “Serve first.” And this is really good advice because if
every time that you get started on something you think about how it benefits others, you’re
more likely to find success. Think about it. If you write an article that is just about
me, me, me, then other people might not necessarily connect with it in the way that you’re hoping
for. In order to have mass appeal, you wanna make
sure that you’re really providing something of value. Maybe that’s something that’s funny and makes
people laugh and just brightens their day a little bit. Maybe that is the end all be all guide for
whatever it is that you’re writing about. Another way is to make them feel really good
about themselves and to be relatable. So, if you write something that people can
really connect with here, they’re more likely to think about you long after they’ve read
the post and to wanna go back to your site to see updates. Put some soul into it and make it something
that is appealing for people beyond just yourself. Most important reason number four, be really
clear on why you’re doing it. It should be really obvious that you need
to have a clear reason why you are blogging but a lot of people simply don’t. A really good place to start with this is
Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk and his book, “Start With Why.” This can help you conceptualize how you can
come up with a really clear purpose because when you have a clear purpose and you always
go back to this purpose you can clearly communicate that to other people and inspire action from
them. That is linked below in the blog post which
you can find in the show notes. Reason number five. Don’t be afraid to spend money. Businesses need money to grow. What do I mean by that? I would invest in a course. I just had to self-teach myself everything
that I learned. It took me about two months of constant study
of various blogs and reading the comments and just trying to figure out, how are people
doing this? If a course had existed back then, I could’ve
saved myself so much time. I have tested out the two biggest courses
in the market and I highly recommend Nomadic Matt’s “Superstar Blogging.” Spirit of full disclosure, I am an affiliate for
this course but I wouldn’t recommend it if it hadn’t helped me. He takes you through the basics of how to
build and start a travel blog using WordPress, how to grow it with search engine optimization
and social media, and how to really approach it from the right angle from the beginning. Basically, you can throw a stick these days
and hit someone who has a course on “How to get rich real quick” on the internet. How do you know that you can trust these people? You don’t. But the thing is Matt has been around for
10 years. He has the top travel blog and he makes good
money with it without playing games. Yes, you could spend months self-teaching
yourself how to do it on your own. You could do that with quantum physics, too. There are reasons for taking courses, you
learn from someone who really knows what they’re doing because they’ve put in the time, they’ve
tested all of these things themselves, and they know what works and what does not work. Most people are not willing to do that, they
wanna do this in the cheapest way possible. So, by spending 200 or 300 bucks, you can
jump way ahead of the curve. Most important thing, number six. Don’t be afraid to hire things out that you
don’t know how to do. I’ve had people helping me out since the very
beginning. I know the places where I am stronger and
can shine and that’s where I want to focus my time. It’s much better for me to hire out the things
that don’t have to be done by me and that can be better handled by someone else. So, in the beginning, you probably will be
bootstrapping and doing most of this on your own. But as time goes, don’t be afraid to hire
other people to help you. That’s how you can grow. Number seven, hone in on your unique gifts. What I mean by that is, in the beginning,
you might feel like you have to do absolutely everything. “Oh my God, I have to have a blog, I have
to have Youtube, I have to have Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, a podcast?!” Calm down, focus on your unique gifts. If you try to do everything at once, you’re
just going to be able to give a little bit of attention to each thing. But if you focus on the things that you are
really good at and just make maybe two things, in the beginning your main focus is…your
main foci, your main focusses, I have no idea. Focus on the things in the beginning that
you are good at and that you really feel like you can put a lot of time and energy into. And then focus on the other things a little
bit later on. But in the beginning, it’s super important
to give as much of your attention as possible to the things that you want to be your main
events. Most important thing number eight. I don’t see this advice in a lot of places. Not to pay attention to your competition. In the beginning, I do think it’s important
to do some market research. See what other bloggers are doing that works
for them, ask questions in the Facebook groups, become part of the community so that you at
least have an idea of what the current environment is like. But once you establish yourself, don’t pay
attention to what anyone else is doing anymore. It can kill your creativity when you’re comparing
yourself to other people and no matter what, the more that you look at what other people
are doing, the less you’re going to have your own unique light shining. Logging onto Facebook or reading other blogs
can suck hours and hours of your time without you even realizing it. I’m not saying you should stop reading blogs
for pleasure. I am saying that there is a line at which
point it starts to be unhealthy for you and your brand. Instead of trying to do what everyone else
is doing, do you. Do what you do best and don’t worry about
the competition. I’m not always successful in this. In fact, this is one of my biggest struggles
but it is something that I’ve been really focusing on over the past month and it’s amazing
how much more time in the day that I have when I’m not on social media. Most important thing number nine, resist the
urge to fake it. I know that it is really tempting to buy followers
because it’s hard to see really small numbers in the beginning and feel good about it. But what’s the point if you’re not making
real connections with real people. For me, there is no point. So, the most important thing you can do to
try to find those real followers is again to hone in on your niche, find your unique
gifts, really develop those gifts without paying too much attention to what other people
are doing and not playing games to look like you’re more popular than you actually are. All through the last five years, I’ve seen
people doing black hat techniques either to look like they have more readers than they
do or more followers and engagement than they actually have. Well, those people don’t really last, they
might look super popular now because they shot up real quick, but these stars burn out
fast because they’re not actually stars. It’s not about having millions of fake followers. It’s about having 100 real followers. If you can do that, that is already huge. Number ten most important thing, never stop
learning. I spend more money on courses and books than
I ever did before these days. The industry is changing really fast, always. So, the more that you can learn and innovate,
the better you can do. Again, that goes back to being willing to
spend on courses. Some podcasts I really like are Smart Passive
Income, Entrepreneurs on Fire, and read “The 4-Hour Workweek.” I know it got a lot of buzz but if you follow
the advice on there about being efficient with your time, it honestly can be life-changing. These are my best tips for how to become a
travel blogger. Thank you so much for tuning in. I hope that you enjoyed this video. If so, give it a thumbs up. If you would like more videos like this or
you still have more questions like exactly how to make money or if you want a little
bit more on my personal journey, let me know in the comments below and I can make more
videos like this. Make sure that you subscribe for new videos
every Wednesday just so that you don’t miss any incredibly helpful advice, and I’ll see
you guys soon. Bye.

19 thoughts on “How to Start a Travel Blog: My Top 10 Tips

  1. Thanks, Kristin. I like how you lay the facts as they are. I get a lot of actionable information from your blog.

  2. This is a great video, immensely helpful! :D:D I wanted to know did you start your initial blogging on WordPress or directly jumped into creating your own domain?

  3. great video i love it now my question is ..I enrrolled couple days ago to start my own travelagency at inteletravel which i can customize my own website but the problem when you google it .is only corporation landing page comes up .so can i create my own travel blogging website and add a link which my clientel click it on mainpage and it take them corporation webpage and start booking ..please give a solution what i have to do thank you…

  4. Hey Kristin, thanks for sharing. Actually i have just started my journey into this industry. Should i start my niche in different social media like Instagram, facebook and etc before creating my own websites ?

  5. Hey Kristin, thanks for sharing. Actually i have just started my journey into this industry. May i ask if i should start my niche in different social media platform like Instagram, facebook and etc first so that i can build a good foundation of audience before creating my own websites?

  6. Love this video about starting a travel blog. Thank you so much for the great tips. Your story is great and you are an inspiration.

  7. I haven't started my blog yet im just getting into this but i really want to – loved this video, it had great information thank you so much for sharing! I will be sure to check out more of your videos <3

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