PHOTO: My little travel companion, Freddie
So you want to be a travel blogger? I have messages everyday from wannabe bloggers. “How did you get to be a successful blogger?” I am asked this question everyday along with “How do you make a lot of money blogging”?
Let’s tackle the first question in Five easy steps
DO YOU HAVE SOMETHING NEW AND ORIGINAL TO ADD TO THE WORLD OF BLOGS? If the answer is YES continue reading but if the answer is NO, it is time to think again. The world really doesn’t need yet another ….. I’d better not say for fear of offending the blogging community!
However, I will say, if you are funny, amusing, entertaining and have something new and innovative to to say or are doing something unique and special – go for it!
ARE YOU A GOOD WRITER? This should be a very obvious question but just take a look at the thousands of badly written blogs floating around in cyber space and it will be apparent this is not the case! If you can write well, engage an audience and at least construct sentences correctly, well please read on!
CAN YOU BE A GOOD PHOTOGRAPHER? Well, if you can’t write then maybe you could start a photo travel blog. You have some very stiff competition, so make sure you are talented with good skills.
I know, I know, this is a very harsh critique but I figure honesty is the best policy!
DO YOU HAVE THE TIME AND INCLINATION TO INVEST IN A BLOG? Again, it is a misconception to think that blogging is easy. It takes time to grow an audience, and to develop a blog. Researching a project, taking great photos and editing take an enormous amount of time and effort.
If you are lucky enough to be invited to stay in a resort, it is very enjoyable but also hard work. If you put in 100% effort the rewards are tenfold.
PHOTO: Enjoying the South of France
HOW DID YOU DO IT? Again, a question I am asked all the time! To be perfectly honest, I really don’t know the answer. I started a blog completely on a whim (after reading a couple of really bad efforts, and saying to myself “I can do better than that!”) and just got on with it, learning along the way.
I thoroughly enjoyed my ‘blog journey’. If it stops being fun, I will stop. I think it is a big mistake to try and come up with a “formula for success” . Bloggers who do try and copy others just appear contrived and unoriginal.
Find your own voice and your own interests and don’t follow those who have gone before – be an original not a copy! This is the best advice I can give you!
OK, well, if you are still reading and I haven’t put you off by being too rude and forthright ….. the next question I am always asked is:
PHOTO: Hard at work writing the blog!
HOW DO YOU MAKE A LOT OF MONEY BLOGGING?
This has a very simple answer, I DO NOT! To be honest, I was living a lifestyle that involved first class travel and exploring the world in a luxury style long before blogging came along. You can ‘monetise’ your blog, if you wish, but really don’t give up the day job for a while!
Blogging is a wonderful world of invitations, travel and opportunity but most certainly not a way to get rich. I know, we all read about these amazing success stories but I believe they are few and far between.
“I make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, learn how you can too!” I have actually asked several people who offer such services exactly how this works. I’m afraid it is rubbish! Don’t be taken in, the only way they make money is by selling ‘courses’ and ‘advice’ to trusting newbies. I know, there are some very successful bloggers but they have put in years on hard work.
There are, however, some great online courses that teach skills and offer advice to beginners. Avoid the ‘get rich’ ones though.
Maybe it is possible to make a living from blogging, but will take a long time to get established so please do not give up the day job just yet. It is hard work and takes time to grow a successful blog. It is possible to make money from Social Media advertising but not huge sums, unless you are a very, very well know Instagrammer.
PHOTO: Home sweet Home for part of the year
I hope I have not put you off! Start writing now and become a travel blogger. you will make lovely new friends around the world. I find everyone to be friendly, encouraging and helpful. You will make new friends, discover new horizons and new challenges and it will be rewarding and satisfying in so many ways.
Learn new skills, test yourself in unimagined ways and a whole new exciting blogging world awaits. Set off on exciting trips to places you never even dreamed of before. I feel so happy when someone says “I love your blog!”.
THE VERY BEST OF LUCK!
HOW TO START A LUXURY TRAVEL BLOG:
There are many useful articles already written on this subject and so I will not write another but here are some of the resources and websites I use.
WORDPRESS – If you can afford to pay an expert to set up your blog, I really would recommend that to you. I wasted HOURS learning how to set up WordPress and really wish I had just paid an expert! However, once it is all set up it is easy to use and even I find it user friendly.
GODADDY – Host my domain and operate wordpress through Go Daddy. Helpful, inexpensive and really user friendly. I would not change a thing!
YOAST – Make sure you use YOAST on your WordPress site. A really useful tool for SEO.
GOOGLE ANALYTICS – Essential! Makes sure you start as you mean to go on and learn the basics of analytics. Terrifyingly complicated at first but persist, it does get easier. Google Analytics offer a lot of help and resources to get you going.
Don’t make the mistake of ignoring SEO. It is the basis of a successful blog. If you want to be truly worldwide, use Yandex in Russia and Baidu in China too.
PICMONKEY – I love Picmonkey and use it to create collages and edit my photos. The editing is easy to use and very quick. Good to airbrush or remove a blemish too!
CANVA – I use to create Pinterest long pins. My Pinterest views have increased by 15,000 a month since I started making a bit of effort! Once you have a couple of templates organised, it is easy peasy, even for me!
LIGHTROOM – Lightroom gives great results and you can set your own edit presets. Again, be original and playa round with the settings and use your own. Don’t copy other blog presets! DO NOT buy presets, make your own! Sharpening up your pics can make a big difference too. I learnt a lot watching youtube tutorials.
I am concentrating on improving my photography skills and Lightroom really makes a big difference to the editing!
BLOGLOVIN – A good community of bloggers to join. Click the link on the top right of this page.
FACEBOOK – There are so many helpful Facebook groups dedicated to every possible type of blog. Sign up and join a friendly community!
YOUTUBE – I find to be so useful. Whenever I needed help with a Website or WordPress problem, I consulted Youtube and always found a helpful video. Youtube is helping me with my GoPro!
SOCIAL MEDIA – Grow a good social media following, the best way to tell the world about your blog, engage and chat to your followers. Again, it seems impossible at first, but keep going! I remember having 32 Instagram followers and wondering however I would get to 100!
The best advice I can give you is to INTERACT and search out Insta friends who have similar interests.
CAMERA – You need a decent camera (buy a second hand one on eBay if you can’t afford a new one). I use a Canon EOS and and GoPro Hero 6. My iPhone X takes great Portrait pics too.
So you want to be a luxury travel blogger? Well, the best of luck! If you are saying to yourself “I can do that!” – get writing now! Contact me if you need any advice, but I don’t guest blog or accept guest bloggers.
PHOTO: Explore the world and blog about it!