Ah, travel blogging. A few years ago, I didn’t even really know that such a term existed, and that there was such a huge – and I mean, huge – community of travel bloggers. I was so naive, I really was. I had been blogging since 2003 and blogging exclusively about travelling since about 2008, but I just did it because I liked it. I had no idea that it was a business, and that it could be an extremely lucrative one at that.
While so many of my friends are travel bloggers, and I love to read other travel blogs, I hope that my readership encompasses a much larger part of society. That being said, this post is most definitely about travel blogging. I’ve gotten a few emails from people wanting to start blogs or people who write with questions about blogging, so I thought I’d throw everything I know into this post. If you’re not a travel blogger, and you don’t know much about the industry or the community, I hope you’re still interested in reading this. I am not going to pretend that I am an authority on blogging, not at all – there are so many other bloggers who have created much more “successful” (more on that word in a minute) sites, and I encourage new bloggers to research what they have to say. I’ve included some of my favourite links at the bottom of this post. While I have indeed been blogging for twelve years and my job is focused almost entirely on blogging, what I have to say here is only going to encompass what I’ve learned about blogging on This Battered Suitcase.
Blogging in Bangkok
Two years ago I attended my first travel blogging conference: TBEX Toronto. I didn’t really know what I was doing there, but I wanted to finally hang out with other travel bloggers (though I had spontaneously – like, we actually just met as travellers, not travel bloggers – met Emma in Argentina and Turner in Cuba, and had also hung out with Oneika in Toronto and Naomi in Seoul). In the end, the conference helped me in many ways; if anything, it made me understand what kind of travel blogger I want to be. Although I do accept the occasional press trip (I’ve accepted three over two years), I do not make any money from this blog whatsoever, and have no plans to. That means no advertising or sponsored links. I also still don’t care about the numbers very much. I’m not going to lie and say that I don’t check stats or social media numbers, and that having a particularly good month in that regard can sometimes put an extra swing in my step. But overall, when it comes to this blog… as long as I’m enjoying it and I think the people reading are enjoying it, too, that’s all that matters. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if nobody read this blog I would still write it. I love it. I’m around for the long haul. This is my 702nd post on this blog, in fact.
This isn’t going to be a practical guide – use a self-hosted WordPress site, guys, and make sure your blog is mobile-friendly… I’ve heard white space is good, and never use comic sans… and for the love of all that is good in this world, use spellcheck – but more of a “here are my random musings on all things travel blogging related” for those who are looking to start a blog. It’s also probably not the best guide for those who want to monetise their sites or get press trips or freelance work, but there are other bloggers who do a much better job of explaining how to do that (see the links at the bottom). If I were you, I’d get a cup of tea (or perhaps something stronger). So hey, here’s what I do know, or at least what I think.*
1. Just do whatever the hell you want. This is the number one thing. I could end the list here because everything else on it will be kind of a moot point, but it’s true – at the end of the day, you’re going to be the one writing and editing and posting and promoting and responding and if you’re not happy with it, or trying to mimic or conform to what you believe you should be doing, you’re not going to want to do any of it. Don’t get caught up in what you think you should be doing. There are so many amazing blogs out there that I admire and appreciate but I try not to compare myself or get jealous, because everyone should do their own thing. Just be you, because the reason I’m reading your blog is because you are writing it. If you’re you, you’ll be unique, memorable, and relatable, three things I personally love seeing in other blogs.
With the wonderful Tom in Toronto
2. Have fun. This is pretty much the same as the point above. If you’re not having fun blogging, your readers aren’t going to be having fun either. When I went to TBEX Toronto, the first thing one of the speakers said was, “Let’s be honest, we all got into blogging to make money.” I’m sure some people would agree, and some are not only fantastic bloggers but fantastic businesspeople. I think the best of these blogs, however, still have fun with their jobs and truly enjoy what they’re doing. I personally do not want to worry about making money off of this site; all I truly want is to have fun with it, and for you to have fun, too. I think that sometimes people get caught up in trying to make their blogs as professional as possible but, really, unless you’re just a website that specialises in well-ranking (and most likely generic) destination guides, the main reason people read a blog is because they like the blogger behind it. Your blog is your voice, and if people are reading it, it’s because they want to hear you.
3. Success is what you make it. Right away, when I became aware of travel blogging as an industry, I defined success for myself. To me, it means to love what I’m doing, to feel like I’m part of a community, and to continue to put out content that I feel proud of. Success does not necessarily mean getting press trips, high statistics, or making a lot of money. That’s just me personally, though. Define what success is to you and stick with it, no matter how tempting it is to compare yourself to others. If your definition of success is having a million unique readers a month, awesome. If your definition of success is posting once a week and sending the link to your mum, also awesome.
4. Do not endlessly compare your blog to other blogs. I mean, obviously it is useful to read other blogs – and hopefully an enjoyable part of your day – but it is soul-crushing and pointless to obsess over other bloggers and think, “Oh my God, she has so many more followers than me, I don’t understand it.” I would never compare myself to a major blogger because, as mentioned previously, every blog is different, and every blog – and every blogger – works differently. When I see someone getting a lot of accolades for their blogging or a lot of freelance work I think, “That’s great, she’s helping the industry in general,” and “She probably worked really, really hard for that.”
In the beginning, it’s especially smart to take a look at the sorts of blogs out there (and not just travel blogs), but then it’s important to carve your own path. If you are indeed trying to build up your blog as a business then I totally understand wanting to take a look at the competition, and, if anything, I’d take a look at blogs and think, “Ok, he’s doing (whatever it is he’s doing). How can I be different?” I just don’t think it’s healthy to focus too strongly on what someone else is doing. Don’t waste energy being jealous or petty; put that energy into your own work instead, and compete with yourself first and foremost by setting achievable goals. Focus on what your readers want and what you want, not what you see other bloggers doing (and for the love of all that is holy, do not copy someone’s writing style, photography, design, or anything at all. If you are inspired by someone and do something similar, at least own up to it and give them the decency of a link). And oh yeah, don’t read someone’s blog and think, “Ha ha, he doesn’t get nearly as many comments as I do.” That’s just bad karma, man.
Also, on the flip side of this, what’s with bloggers bragging that they don’t read other blogs? That’s like a writer saying they don’t read other books, or an actor saying they don’t watch other films, or… you get the point. It just seems like a very conceited thing to say. If you tell me you don’t read any other travel blogs I’m going to give you some major side-eye. C’mon. You must read one other blog.
5. Content will always win. Whether it’s through writing, photos, video, or social media, what readers want is creative, engaging, unique, relatable content. As that’s what readers want, that’s what people who will be looking to work with you will want, too. Having a flashy blog and tons of followers is great, but I think the best blogs are the ones that engage with their readers, that focus on producing content that people will really want to see. I love when I see a blog post with lots of comments; that means people were motivated to pipe up and share their experiences, too.
6. If you read a post on someone else’s blog and enjoy it or have something to say, comment! I am still very bad at this. This is also supposed to help your own blog get hits and help get your name out there, but I do not think that that should be your main motivation for doing it (and I’m not even sure that that works very well – better to connect with someone on social media and hopefully share each other’s work). Let’s face it, commenting is just a nice thing to do. After twelve years of receiving comments on various blogs and social media platforms I still get a little rush out of each one. It makes me feel closer to people reading it. Wait, does that sound creepy? I mean, I feel close to you when you comment. Yikes. I should stop now.
With Turner in Dublin
7. Always respond back to comments. And emails. And messages, and tweets, and comments on photos, and… hey, nobody said that being a travel blogger wasn’t time-consuming. I will definitely own up to letting things slide sometimes, especially when I get emails like, “Hey, can you give me some advice on how to be a travel blogger?” Ahem. The way I look at it is, if someone has taken the time to read what I’ve written and then write something to me about it, the least I can do is respond. I know a few bloggers who don’t respond, with some claiming they don’t have the time (and I understand that many don’t… I imagine I receive a tenth of what they do, or even less), but I personally try to do my best in that regard. What I love about blogging is that it is a two-way conversation, and that it opens up the floor for interesting opinions, shared experiences, and even for creating friendships.
The only comments I would highly recommend NOT responding to are those that make you uncomfortable. I personally screen all of my comments because I’ve had some bad experiences in the past, mostly in a homophobic, racist, or disturbingly sexual manner (you don’t want to know what kind of comments I get on this post). I have even had my life threatened on social media (again, don’t ask) and been spammed to all hell. I just block or ban these people and move on – I don’t engage at all. Once in a while I will get a comment that reads, “I know you’re not going to publish this, but…” and it is followed by why I’m pretentious or a sell-out or just a horrible person in general, but I always post those with a response like, “Thank you for your opinion.” Again, blogging is a two-way conversation, and not everyone will agree with what you have to say. *starts sweating nervously when thinking about responses to this post*
8. Make travel blogger friends. Regardless of whether you’re “serious” (whatever that means) about blogging, it’s awesome to have other blogger friends. Not only can they help with any issues you might have and recommend you for potential trips and partnerships, it’s so fun to meet other people who share similar interests with you. Just because you both love travelling and blogging doesn’t mean you’ll automatically be BFFs, but it’s a good start. Travel blogging conferences and meet-ups are a great way to meet people, and I have made some of the best friends of my life through them. If you can’t attend, or don’t want to attend, just reach out to other bloggers through comments, emails, or social media. Many do indeed reply, and are just as excited to meet another like-minded individual.
If you do reach out to a blogger either online or in person, make sure you’re doing it with genuine intentions. Don’t write, “Hey I love your blog can you share a link to mine on your Facebook page?” if you’ve never had any other interaction with that person. Create authentic friendships and relationships that are built out of mutual respect (and at least take the time to learn the blogger’s first name). I get quite a few emails every week with people asking for my help, whether it’s about starting a blog, planning a trip around a particular country, gaining the confidence to travel solo, or what have you. Of all of those that I answer back, I only get a thank you response from about 5-10%.
Oh yeah, and if you ask another blogger to meet up for advice about blogging, to ask for help planning an itinerary, etc., at least buy their coffee. And definitely write a thank you email when you get home. In other words, just be a considerate human being and you should have no problem making friends in the travel blogging world.
Blogstock line-up this year, where I’ll be speaking on how to turn a blog into a book.
9. If you do go to a travel blogging conference, get ready to hear the word “niche”. Apparently, everyone must have one. Everyone!!! Ok, I’m being facetious. I completely understand the need to have a niche if you want to stand out from the crowd; a lot of the “round the world nomad” blogs have been around for ages, but that’s a harder nut to crack these days. I do think that it’s important to remember that a niche doesn’t have to be as specific as you may think (“I’m a fashion designer, DJ, and beekeeper who only writes about street art in East London”. Oh, wait a minute, I bet that’s actually a popular thing). I mean, I’m a solo female travel blogger… oh no, not many of those around, nope, not many at all. When people ask what makes my blog different from others I say that I focus mostly on long-form narratives, i.e. I really do hope you made a cup of tea before starting to read this post. My “elevator pitch”? “This Battered Suitcase is not just about the where and the how of travel, it’s about the who and the why.” It might be a little vague for some, but goddamn it, I like it, and that’s all that counts!! Right?! Right! See point number one! Yeah! The point is, whatever you want the focus of your blog to be, you have to be passionate about it. This goes right back to having fun – if you’re not passionate about what you’re blogging about, how do you expect readers to be?
At Traverse Mingle in London, 2013. I’m also a bit passionate about wine, apparently.
10. Just like you need a niche, you need an elevator pitch. And business cards. And a media kit. Again, if you are planning to make your blog a business and/or your full-time job, I completely agree. Spend some time designing your cards and media kit as, often just as they do with your homepage, some people will come to a snap judgment about your blog as soon as they look at the card or the kit (unfortunately). It took me a really long time to come up with my niche and my tagline/elevator pitch, and I created some pretty nice cards from Moo.com. I still don’t have a media kit, though, but again, that’s because I am not a professional travel blogger and am not looking for the same partnerships as some of my peers (and I’m just hella lazy/incapable of creating one on my own). Even if you don’t want to get involved in the business side of things, it’s still really fun to have cards; more often I give them out to people who have nothing to do with the industry at all, and who are just interested in my blog.
A recent “office” in Lloret de Mar, Spain
11. Social media should be… wait for it… social. Although on the side of my blog I have buttons for a whole whack of social media channels, I really only use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (damn you Pinterest, I’ll tackle you one day). On each I try to create a dialogue, and share other things I enjoyed or questioned or felt inspired by. Ok, I still totally just throw up a random photo of a hot dog and call it a day sometimes, but I attempt to frequently ask questions and get involved. What’s the point, otherwise? Aren’t the channels there to interact with people? Also – scheduling platforms like Hootsuite are wonderful inventions, but I still think it’s important to engage and interact on social media in real time. If I ever got around to actually using a scheduling site I’m sure I would have even more to say about about the subject (if you’re starting to question why you are considering taking any of my advice right about now, I totally get it).
In terms of traffic, most bloggers I know see the highest traffic from Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. If you’re on YouTube, definitely put links in both the video and in the description of the video for your blog and the topic you’re speaking about (if there’s a relevant written link). While platforms like Instagram and Snapchat don’t necessarily drive traffic to your blog, I think it still creates a bond between you and the reader/follower. It’s all about creating a presence. The more someone sees your work, the more they’ll trust you and grow to like you (one would hope…). I try to post different material on different channels, but occasionally they cross-pollinate (is that the right term? I think I need a coffee).
Blogger pals (and like, two non-bloggers) to celebrate my 30th birthday in London
12. Speaking of, the way to get more followers on social media is to… wait a second, I actually don’t know. I’ve heard a thousand and one different techniques (hashtags! selfies! no selfies! promos! follow everyone and then mercilessly unfollow them all! twitter chats! be funny! be controversial! tweet no more than twenty times a day but no less than ten! boobs!) but I honestly have no concrete answer. Once again, I would just say be yourself, and share interesting, useful, and entertaining content. Asking a question is always good, as it gets people involved and can create a nice conversation. My social media numbers have been slowly climbing since I joined each channel (all around 2012), but with a few exceptions I have seen very few giant spikes in followers. Buying followers is also not my bag, and it’s often so obvious when people do this (if you have almost no interaction of any kind in relative terms to the amount of followers you have, I’m going to call bullshit). The tortoise wins the race, right guys?! Oh wait, I don’t think it works that way when it comes to social media. I also don’t know what race I’m talking about. Are you still reading this? You’re amazing. Did you have to get another cup of tea? I’m sorry, I owe you one.
With lots of lovely bloggers at Expedia HQ in London – and yes I was attempting to grow out my fringe (not a good look)
13. Play. Experiment. Figure out what you love to do and then learn how to do it really well. Practice indeed makes perfect, and the more you do something, the better you will become. I believe that this works both if you are business-minded and/or you’re not. If you want to gain readers and views, pay attention to what works on your blog and what doesn’t. The series I do called The Last Time I Saw You, for example, seems to be quite well-recieved by readers (can I just say “you guys” instead of “readers”?) but is absolutely abysmal when it comes to SEO, or search engine optimisation (meaning those posts don’t show up in Google). A few of the articles I’ve written that are more SEO-based haven’t done very well with readers, and I don’t enjoy writing them as much as the more personal stuff, so that’s why those kinds of articles are few and far between (although once in a while I just like to try my hand at writing a good old fashioned guide or how-to list). And if you’d like me to explain everything I know about SEO, here you go: ____________. Oh wait, I know this one… provide an answer to a question. Is that right? *tumbleweed blows by*
Recently I’ve noticed a lot of people recommend getting into vlogging (no, not flogging, autocorrect, although you’re not too far off) and making travel videos. Sometimes I watch a particularly great travel video and think, “Fuck yes! I am totally going to do this!” I actually used to take videos all the time when I travelled, and I have hundreds of videos I never put online from all over Europe, Asia, and South America. But often when I’m travelling I forget about video all together and sometimes I get really proud if I remember to take a photo of my meal before taking a bite of it. While writing this post I’m coming to the conclusion that, if you went by a standard definition, I’m actually a terrible travel blogger – surprise! – as I’m more than happy to spend days offline, write really ridiculously long-winded overly wordy posts, and feel pretty uncomfortable with both selfies and shooting video. I don’t even know if I’m any good at video or not, but at the moment I’m focusing on other aspects. I’m not going to jump on the bandwagon just because someone says I should. You guys would see right through that. This Battered Suitcase has always been about writing first, so I’m going to stick with that; it’s what I like doing the best, and where I think my strengths lie. Don’t believe me? Somewhere out there (it’s really not that difficult to find) is a twelve-minute video WITH NO SOUND AND ONLY iMOVIE MUSIC that I made of Southeast Asia. Surprisingly few views, I wonder why.
(And after writing the first draft of this post I went back and watched a ton of those old videos, and decided that I might start posting more of them online. Or that I might try my hand at making some again. I get a lot of lofty goals after midnight, apparently.)
14. If you do decide to accept a press trip or any other partnership, make sure it is very clear what expectations are on both sides, and please be honest with your readers that it was indeed a sponsored trip, post, review, etc. I have heard of horror stories of bloggers getting completely screwed over; it will inevitably happen to some poor soul, unfortunately, but if you put in writing exactly what you will provide and exactly what you expect, you are at the very least being prepared. I have taken on a couple of press trips with this blog, but only with tourism boards that completely understood how my blog works and that didn’t expect me to be something I’m not.
Regardless of whether you consider yourself a professional travel blogger or not, think long and hard before you do something for free for someone. It’s a very slippery slope. Nobody asks a lawyer for a free consultation, unless they’re like, cousins or something. I get about five to ten emails a day from people asking to work with me in some regard and most seem shifty as hell (I can’t even imagine what some of the most popular travel bloggers’ email inboxes must look like). Most people still don’t get that travel blogging is a legitimate and lucrative business, so if you decide to get involved in the industry, make sure to stand up for yourself as an entrepreneur. Know your worth – before you accept something, think about what you’ll actually be doing for it (for example, I rarely accept compensated activities, as I’d rather just pay for it myself. With the risk of sounding like an absolute snob, a compensated tour that is normally £20 is not worth the hours of work the tour company may expect out of it). And always, always come through on your end of the deal. Don’t ruin it for the rest of us by not delivering what you promised. Oh, and if anyone offers you “social media exposure” in return for your work, run like the dickens.
On a press trip last year with Beverley and Neil
As for sponsored posts, I’ve always felt about icky about them on my own blog, but do what you gotta do. A blogger has to eat, after all. For those who don’t know what a sponsored post is, it’s when a company pays you to put a link into one of your blog posts. It used to be really common and people could make a lot of money off of it, but Mama Google (is that a thing? I don’t think so) doesn’t like it, and she now punishes a lot of blogs (and companies) who do it. Nearly four years ago now, a big company that I used to use fairly frequently wrote to me and asked me if I’d like to share some of their links. Three blog posts in total (with three links), and they were really easy phrases to work into posts I was already planning to write. I was so naive that I didn’t even know what this really was, or what any of it meant – I had never even heard the term “sponsored post”. All I knew was I liked the company, I liked the guy I was emailing (he was a real, funny, genuine human, remember those?!), and they were going to pay me $1000 which, looking back, is a ridiculously great price for the kind of traffic I was getting back then. I did it, and then I felt so terrible about it. I didn’t even know why I felt terrible, I just did. As soon as the contract expired I deleted the links, and I never took on another sponsored post. The point is, it’s your choice whether or not to monetise your site, but either way, you have to feel good about it. I made the decision then to never take on another sponsored (also sometimes masked as “guest” posts) and to never advertise on my site, but I completely understand and respect why other people do. I also do not post infographics or write about or compete in competitions, but again, that’s just me.
If you do decide to work with a company or tourism board, it’s really important to think about your readers’ reactions. If you pride yourself on being ad-free, and then suddenly post a ton of advertisements on your sidebar (that thing over there –> ), people might not appreciate it. I am not in any way saying this to brag or show off, but I have turned down a lot more press trips and opportunities than I’ve taken. They just didn’t suit my brand. I distinctly remember when I first heard that word in relation to travel blogging – “brand” – and I remember saying, “I’m not a brand! I’ll never be a brand!!” while I listened to Bikini Kill and drew a skull and crossbones on my Doc Martins, or something. In reality every blog does have a brand in some way or another; mine involves solo female travel and mainly budget travel. Obviously some of those aspects might, and do, change sometimes. But I just could not in good faith accept a trip that I wouldn’t take unless it was offered to me. Rather – I couldn’t accept a trip that is vastly different from how I usually travel, just because it was free. I was offered a trip earlier this year that sounded amazing… it was a luxury retreat in the Caribbean for a week. I don’t really know why they offered it to me (I write about poo and heartbreak, thankfully not often in the same post) but they did, and I was extremely flattered. I had to turn it down though, because it’s not what I write about, and not the kind of travel I think my readers want to read about. There are lots of excellent luxury blogs, but this isn’t one of them. It just wouldn’t make sense. But OH MY GOD, it looked so beautiful and my friends thought I was crazy and sometimes when I’m lying in bed on a gloomy London night I dream of the white sand beaches that could have been. Anyway……..
With a very dear friend (and coworker) Kasha
One more thing: if you do indeed go on a press trip, please, for the sake of all the hard-working PRs and tourism boards and everyone else who has probably bent over backwards to make sure you’re comfortable and having fun, please just suck it up and smile. Unless they’re forcing you to do something you are actually uncomfortable with (going a few hours with wifi doesn’t count) or believe to be unethical, don’t forget your manners. Show up on time, say thank you, and be a good sport. I’m shocked that this would even have to be mentioned, but it’s true. If you really do have an issue with something, speak privately to the person in charge before either a) whinging endlessly about it or b) blogging negatively about it. It may be a simple misunderstanding. If you have a bad experience on a press trip, it’s totally your prerogative to write about it, but I don’t think it’s fair to secretly have a major issue with something, not speak up about it, and then knock the destination or the host on your blog. But hey, just my two cents.
Oh, and how do you get press trips? I have no idea about that, either. Sorry. This guide is a bit shit, isn’t it? Is anyone even still reading? Hi! Anyway, every opportunity I’ve ever had with this blog has happened because of connections, i.e. another travel blogger or PR recommended me – like it or not, the travel blogging world can be a bit incestuous at times. I’ve also never deliberately cold-pitched myself or my blog (but I have definitely networked at events, and I believe that’s the best way to find work), so I’m afraid I can’t help you with that either. This is all going downhill, isn’t it? I promise it’s almost over.
The very last thing I will say about this is that you don’t have to accept anything – press trips, sponsored posts, advertising, you name it – in order to turn your blog into a successful business. Some bloggers have focused solely on freelancing and creating partnerships with companies, or have started up a shop on their blog selling e-books or other products. Some just use their blog as their portfolio to get other work on other websites. I was extremely fortunate to meet my boss a couple of years ago at TBEX Dublin; the stars aligned and I ended up taking on a role that allows me to write and work online, so at the moment I don’t need to (or have time to) look for freelance gigs or partnerships… so again, I’m sorry, I can’t help in that regard.
The best example of someone who has created a wonderful business without accepting any kind of advertising is Jodi from Legal Nomads, and if you’re not already reading her blog I highly suggest you do. She’s one of my favourites and a great role model in the blogging community, if you ask me.
Name that blogger (Newcastle 2014)
15. Blogging can be difficult and stressful and overwhelming but it can also be the best damn thing to happen to you. That’s how I feel about it, anyway. I’ve shed tears over this blog before – when it’s crashed, or when I just can’t figure out how to do something technical, mainly – and it has taken up days and weeks and months of my life. But if you’re passionate and determined and persistent, blogging can be such an incredibly wonderful thing. It has brought me my friends, my job, my master’s degree, my book, some of my travels, hell, basically my entire life. There is an incredible community in blogging, and some of the best nights of my life have been with other travel bloggers. More than that, as mentioned in this post and so many other places on this blog, I love it. I think about it all the time, even though I feel my time is much thinner these days, and I can’t spend as many hours on this blog as I’d like to. If you are thinking of starting a travel blog (or any blog), I say go for it, absolutely. It’s fun and rewarding and such an incredible learning experience. It’s also easier than ever to get a blog and all of your social media set up in no time, so there’s no excuse. It can also lead to some pretty amazing things. If you already have a blog, then keep blogging. No really. Keep blogging for ever and ever. I still go back and look at my old Livejournal posts from 2003 and it makes me so happy to have this diary of my life. I mean, I could also go back and read my actual paper diaries, but those are just filled with ideas for my dream house and pro/con lists of dating certain boys. It’s just not the same.
Bloggers jumping for joy in Aarhus, Denmark
There are so many travel bloggers who know so much more about all of this than I do, and they say so much of this much better than I do. Some of my favourites:
Vicky of VickyFlipFlopTravels has an entire section all about how to be a travel blogger. Whether you want advice on choosing a domain name, the various ways of making money through blogging, or just stories about what it’s like to actually be a full-time, professional travel blogger, she’s your girl. Her star is quickly rising and she is the one to watch. Click here for some of the best advice out there.
I love what Monica of The Travel Hack has written about travel blogging, and I agree with her on every point. Here are her ten tips for new travel bloggers (umm… and me, apparently, despite the aforementioned twelve years of blogging).
Kate of Adventurous Kate wrote about the realities of being a professional travel blogger, and I would definitely take her advice to heart. She’s one of the most popular travel bloggers, and for very good reason. I have read Kate’s blog for many, many years, and I trust what she has to say. Edit: Kate just posted 15 Lessons From Turning My Travel Blog Into a Career, and it’s a really insightful and honest read. I definitely agree with her advice!
Mike from Fevered Mutterings is a fantastic writer and really, really knows his stuff, especially when it comes to storytelling and pitching. If you’re a freelance writer you definitely need to read his blog, and sign up for his storytelling course, too (it’s free, and his emails are terrific). Check out his advice on how to become a travel writer.
Edit: Jodi of Legal Nomads just pointed me in the direction of Kerry’s blog Planes, Trains, and Plantagenets; Kerry wrote a really interesting post about travel blogging and capitalism that I totally agree with in many ways.
Kristin from Be My Travel Muse has quite a few posts on her blog about her journey as a travel blogger, and they’re really informative. I love her enthusiasm for blogging (and travelling, of course!).
Dave and Deb of The Planet D are not just amazing bloggers, they’re amazing people. I really respect what they have to say about the travel blogging industry. Take a look at some of their tips.
Matt of Expert Vagabond wrote a few excellent articles about starting a travel blog and becoming a professional travel blogger. Here’s one of them.
Laurence of Finding the Universe also wrote an awesome overview of becoming a travel blogger. I definitely recommend reading it if you would like to get into (or get more into) the industry.
There are also a few communities you can pay to join that many professional travel bloggers recommend, including Travel Blog Success. I’m not yet a member of TBS (I just realised it has the same initials as This Battered Suitcase… damn it, there goes my new logo idea) but I have heard very good things. Edit: I just joined.
Me, directly after finishing this post
If you made it through that entire post you deserve a round of applause. What do you think about what I’ve had to say? Are you a travel blogger? If yes, do you have anything to add? If not, would you ever consider starting a blog?
*Everything here is completely subjective, and obviously only my (occasionally tongue-in-cheek) opinion.