Launch a Travel Blog

How to Launch (or Grow) a Successful Travel Blog in 2020

Do you dream of being your own boss and getting paid to make memories with your family? If so, you’re in the right place.

Launch a Travel Blog

You see, anything I’ve ever been passionate about, I run hard. So when I decided to take my love for family and adventure into a part-time career, I learned as much as I could, as fast as possible. In one year, I’ve been able to land over a dozen collaborations, and even generate an income!

Starting a travel blog is far more in-depth than I ever imagined, and certainly, I made a ton of mistakes. But the hard work and lessons learned were all worth it because now I get paid to be creative and travel the world with my family.

Whether you’re new to travel blogging or looking to grow an existing blog, this post is for you. I’m going to share my top tips for starting (or growing) your travel blog in 2020. Ready to dive in? Let’s go!

blog planning

How Do I Know What Kind of Blog To Start?

First off, you need to determine a clear direction for your blog, and to do that you need to know WHO you are helping and HOW.

Start with the WHO

Is your travel blog going to focus on travel for young singles, families with young children, families with teenagers, couples travel, etc? Do you want to blog about domestic or international travel? Luxury travel or travel on a budget? These questions and others can help you determine the audience you are blogging for and who you want to attract as readers.

Your HOW usually involves some of the reasons you wanted to start a travel blog in the first place. What skills, hobbies, and/or experience do you have that can set your blog apart from other travel blogs? Are you a talented photographer? Do you generate a lot of engagement on Instagram? Do you have a large Pinterest following? Whatever it is — know your strengths and capitalize on them in order to best serve your audience!

Writing Your Mission Statement

Once you have a good idea of your who and how you can craft a mission statement. Your mission statement may evolve (a single’s travel blog may become a couple’s travel blog if you were to get married, etc.) but it gives your reader and you an idea of the foundation of your content and focus.

A basic template: I help x (your audience) do y. For example, my mission statement reads: I introduce families to world-class destinations.

Travel family blogger

How Much Time Will I Have To Spend On a Travel Blog?

Your posting frequency will depend on many things including how frequently you travel, which platforms you use to distribute your information, and how often your readers expect you to post.

Be Consistent

If your audience knows to expect content from you on a routine basis, then you’ll be front of mind when they search for new information. Whether it’s producing blog posts once a week or once a month, find what works for you and stick with it.

 

Have a Plan

Dedicate one day a week (or month) to map out the week ahead. What days will you post on Instagram? Work on your next blog post? Upload stories? Send out your newsletter? Etc, etc.

 

This way you know exactly when you’re ‘working’ and when you’re not. For example, on Monday, you may carve out time to work on your next blog post for 1-hour, and then, in the afternoon, you may post on Instagram. Set a schedule and stick to it; this will make your life much easier. I promise!

 

** Need a fool-proof planner? Find my ultimate favorite here.

Passion Planner

Do I Need To Collect Email Addresses From My Blog Readers?

While getting traffic from social media and Google is great, growing your email list is equally (if not more) important. Your email list includes your most loyal and dedicated fans. Just as your followers rely on consistency in your blog posting, they will also appreciate hearing new and valuable content from you via email.

But Why?

Your goal is for your subscribers to like (and trust) you to deliver entertaining, educational, and actionable content. When your subscribers trust you, they are eager to like and share your content across social platforms, refer your blog to friends, act on your travel suggestions, and purchase the products you recommend. Your subscribers should always be happy they opened your email and/or purchased a product from you.

How Do I Share My Favorite Products and Services On My Blog so People Will Purchase or Use Them?

As you post information about your travels, you will also have an opportunity to share information about the products, services, and accommodations you experienced and used before, during, and after your trips. These should always be products or services that you use/used that will benefit your audience AND align with your brand. Whether it is a useful preset, an affiliate link to products (camera, lighting, clothing, luggage), or a helpful course or e-book you have, make it easy for your readers to access the brands and services you use and trust.

blogging bootcamp online course

How Do I Keep Up With How I’m Doing?

Make a SMART goal. A SMART goal allows you to make Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Reasonable, and Timely goals. This way you will have a clear sense of direction on how to achieve your goals, and by writing them down, it ensures you don’t miss any steps.

Download this easy and effective Step-by-Step Guide for making SMART goals.

What Are The Best Free Resources To Use To Grow My Travel Blog?

There is SO much information out there, and before you know it, all those paid, monthly services can start to add up! On the flip side, there are also a ton of FREE resources to help catapult your travel blog without breaking the bank.

My favorite social media platforms include Pinterest, a search engine with staying power for promoting blog posts, Instagram and YouTube. I also recommend PLANN, an app to organize and breakdown your social media strategy. My go-to tools include Canva, to create pin-worthy images; Lightroom, to make your photos pop; and HARO, an online query sent out by reporters looking for a story on a specific topic.

And my newest favorite, Tailwind, a powerful app where you can schedule a whole weeks’s worth of pins in minutes. With Tailwind you’ll also know exactly when to schedule your pins for the best engagement, learn how to grow with Tribes, maximize evergreen content, and have access to in-depth analytics that will help you drive traffic. Want to pin like a pro? Try it for free for your first 100 pins here

What is the Best Social Media Platform to Promote My Travel Blog?

From Instagram and Facebook to Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter, and more, it is A LOT to learn. Instead of spreading yourself thin and doing a lot of things sub-par, I recommend starting with one platform and mastering that before posting to others.

social media for travel bloggers

How Do I Choose Destinations to Feature on my Travel Blog?

Whenever you first start, aim to become a trusted source in your local area or region. Focus first on destinations that are within driving distance. A hotel or resort will be more likely to accept your pitch if they know they don’t have to cover airfare too. As you gain followers and credibility, reach for the stars!

Yes, EVERY Blog Writer Needs A Proofreader

This may sound silly, but it’s pertinent someone else reads your work before publishing. You’d be surprised how many times you’ll accidentally misspell or forget a word completely. Re-reading your own content is not enough; grab a second set of eyes to proof for any silly mistakes before a post goes live.

family travel bloggers

Photographs and Video Are Essential Elements of a Successful Travel Blog

A successful blog doesn’t rely solely on text anymore. Beautiful photographs and videography are part of your opportunity to bring your readers along on your travels. By adding visual elements to your post, you accomplish several things: 1) break up the text and make it more readable, 2) help your audience understand the content better, and 3) increase the amount of time spent on your page.

** A quick note on video. If you’re not incorporating videos into your blog — do it now! Experts predict that by 2022, 82% of all online content consumed will be via video. Try jazzing up your next blog post with a video to deliver the content in an even quicker, more interactive way!

Outsource What You Don’t Enjoy.

Running a travel blog comes with a lot of responsibilities, and likely you’ll enjoy some more than others. For example, if you don’t love keyword research or SEO, hire an agency! This way, you’ll free up more time to focus on your strengths and fulfilling the tasks you do enjoy!

How Do I Get Other Sites To Link To My Blog?

Creating content for blogs and gaining as many back-links as possible is money! If Google sees traffic directed to your site from other popular sites, over time your site will begin to rank higher and your domain authority will increase.

OK, so how do you get back-links? Sign up for a free account on Perlu to see what content other bloggers are looking to publish, make new friends on IG and offer to write for their website, subscribe to HARO (see above), or be a guest on a podcast. If an opportunity to collaborate within your niche comes your way — jump on it!

blogger motivation

See it through

Like anything worth pursuing, building a blog following is a marathon, not a sprint. Running a travel blog is hard work, and if it were easy everyone would do it! It takes time to see the fruits of your labor pay off (it can take up to 6-months or more for Google to crawl your page). As you continue creating relevant content, partnering with brands, and acquiring back-links, your following will GROW. Create SMART goals and check-in annually to assess if you’re on track, or if you need to change course and redirect.

** BONUS ** Don't Be an Impostor!

Be YOU! So what if one travel blog is killing it and performing really well. That’s their journey, not yours. If you’re simply copy-catting the success of others you won’t grow a loyal following. You want your audience to proudly proclaim, “(insert name of your blog) is my tribe!”

Stay true to the core mission of your blog and those people who love and adore YOU will follow.

stephanie destination graves blogger

Were these tips helpful? If so, drop a heart in the comments below!

And if you enjoyed this post, then you’ll LOVE my e-course, ‘How to land and rock a brand collaboration (even if you have a small following)! Click here to learn more. I’d love to help you continue the momentum and design the life you dream of.

 

XO, Steph

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