You’ve been thinking about starting your own travel blog but maybe you aren’t sure if you should or not. You might even feel as though your idea isn’t good enough. You might worry that you can’t take images as good as that blogger or that your writing isn’t as strong as that other blogger or that you aren’t nearly so brave or fun or beautiful as that blogger.
You should know that it doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing.
There are many reasons why people want to start a travel blog. Some bloggers have more than one reason. What’s yours? Figuring out the real reason behind your desire to begin travel blogging can help guide you to the right place to start.
For example, if you only want to share images, then perhaps a WordPress travel blog theme that puts the emphasis on images would be the best choice. If you don’t care about building a brand, then you could always turn to social media blogging.
Thinking about how you will travel and how you plan to share your adventures will help you make the best decision regarding whether or not you want to plunge into the world of travel blogging. Here are a few ideas on why people start a travel blog in the first place.
Why Travel Blogs?
Sometimes an idea just comes to you. There you were just going about your day when BAM! It hit you. Now you can’t stop thinking about your travel blog. You keep developing different angles and are figuring out ways to overcome any issues before they have even happened. You find yourself Googling different travel blogs just to see if you think you can handle it too all while imagining what your blog would be like. You may have gone so far as to find the costs of airfare. If this has happened to you, it is a great reason to start a travel blog. Passion will get you far.
Thrill-seekers are already out there exploring, now they want a place to store their info (and hopefully make a couple of bucks on the side). For the adventurer, travel blogging serves multiple purposes. For many, it is documenting the life already being lived while providing an alternate stream of income, freebie items, or free trips. It is a nice way to combine work and play with a remote office anywhere in the world. Adventure can happen to anyone, anywhere. Don’t feel as though you have to cover the world. You’d be surprised. Take your idea and run with it.
For the well-traveled, a travel blog provides a place to keep family and friends updated (publicly or privately). For these types of travel bloggers, it is more about letting everyone “at home” see how they are doing and what they are doing more than it is about growing an audience, building a brand, and working with sponsors and PR reps. If you want to share your trip with a select few, there are plenty of ways you can begin your travel blog for free. But if you are looking for something more, and if you want to try your luck with making money from travel blogging, having your own blog is the best way to start.
If you are fresh out of high school and taking a break for a year before college or digging into the workforce and you are planning on traveling during that time, a travel blog can help you show a school or future employer that you are capable and worldly. It can show that you have the grit to stick with something and, as long as you aren’t showing endless drinking images or sharing party videos, it also reveals that you are someone worth hiring. Not everyone makes the most of a gap year. There will be far too many kids who do nothing more than sleep until noon, mow their parents’ yard every now and again, and spend their nights out with their friends. But if you are different, if you plan to really get into a culture or just want to backpack through Europe, pointing out that you successfully traveled the world or immersed yourself into a different culture makes you a standout candidate–as long as you keep that travel blog consistently updated.
You’ve worked for years. You’ve missed out on fun and adventure because you were so dedicated to the company’s growth. Now, however, things are in a good place. The stars have aligned to allow you the opportunity to take a little extra time off. How will you use this career break? If traveling is ranked high on that list, a travel blog can help you document your new experiences and, if you choose, have something to show the friends and coworkers you left behind. Who knows where it will lead?
Freelance Writing Showcase
Like in the case of Little Indiana, blogging became a way to highlight a particular writing style based on a specific purpose before it grew into something bigger. Many other travel bloggers will admit to beginning their blog to showcase their writing skills while they worked a 9-5 job. Others use their blog to nab more clients and to give prospective employers a peek at their writing. If you have ever been interested in writing, if you already are a freelance writer (or want to be one), and you travel, then a travel blog is a natural byproduct and a great way to get out there. You can work from anywhere there is an Internet connection or a WiFi hotspot, like in a cafe, diner, or coffee shop.
You are quite the shutterbug. You have taken a slew of images over the years and people keep asking for more. Maybe you already use a microblogging site to showcase your images but you are ready for the next step. If so, travel blogging is a great way to share your photography skills with a wider audience–and one that can help lead you to interesting opportunities down the road. After all, not everyone is able to use a camera well. Many publications rely on others to supply the eye-catching images. Why not let it be you?
Why You Shouldn’t Start a Travel Blog
For all the reasons there are to start your travel blog, there are reasons not to. Why not have a travel blog? If the reasons below fit you to a “t” then you may want to rethink your idea. Consider if it is actually the best fit for you or if there is something else you can do that would better use your talents.
Those A-list travel bloggers have all the luck. Look at those sponsorship connections, the speaking gigs, the free trips to places so exotic you aren’t even sure how they are pronounced…and all for someone that isn’t a great writer or photographer or videographer like you. If you want a piece of the pie, starting your own travel blog is a way to get there. But fame is only going to happen for a very tiny number of travel bloggers. Beginning your travel blog just to be somebody known isn’t the best way to get there. It has to start with a passion for what you are doing.
Many travel blogs make life look especially interesting. They seem to have all the fun. Exotic locations, secret beaches, unique attractions, and incredible food would draw anyone in. Some people begin travel blogging because they want a piece of what they see on other people’s travel blogs. Who doesn’t want more adventure and glamor? But copying another travel blogger isn’t the way. What sort of ideas do you have? What can you do? Trying to start a blog because you like what someone else is doing is a surefire way to spend a lot of time on something that won’t stick.
There aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. It takes time just setting up a travel blog. You will need to figure out your niche, choose among the best travel blog names, determine your web hosting, domain name, and write your content. Then there are the other things to deal with as time goes on, like the first time you update your theme (and it isn’t as simple as you thought) when your email inbox begins to explode, and invitations to speak or present are frequent. If you already struggle with the busyness of every day, can you really handle adding one more thing to the mix?
Dedication and Commitment
This is going to be your blog. All yours. Every single bit of it. Your name will be attached to it, your image will be on it, and all of the content, for better or worse, will belong to you. Do you have the grit to stick with it? Will you spend hours futzing with it, traveling for it, dealing with all of the mishaps along the way for no reason?
While there are ways you can start your travel blog for free, if it is something you are particularly serious about, you will likely want to begin your own self-hosted WordPress travel blog. There will be a cost involved. If things are already tight in your household, will beginning a travel blog even be economically feasible?
Wanting to make money from a travel blog is just about the only reason not to begin a travel blog. There is no guarantee you will ever make a dime from your travel blog. In fact, out of the 1000 people surveyed by Blogging.org in 2012, more than 80% of them had never made more than $100 from blogging. According to that same survey, only 8% earned enough to support a family. If you begin from a place of wanting to make money, your new travel blog will be destined for failure. You have to have the passion, the desire to keep writing and working on your blog even when it is hard, and a monetary motive won’t necessarily make for a lasting force (especially when you are putting so much time and energy into it).
How thin-skinned are you? If you can’t handle pressure or the occasional mean comment, travel blogging may not be for you. It is far easier for someone to rely on the anonymity of the Internet to drop a horrible comment than to leave a nice one. If you prefer a more “safe place” to blog, look to one of the specific travel blog sites instead of hosting your own.
Is a Travel Blog for You?
There are many reasons on both sides of the fences as to whether or not you should travel blog. Think about it before you start buying tickets to exotic destinations. If it doesn’t feel like the timing is right, then sit on it for awhile. Nothing says you have to start right now this very minute.
There is nothing that says you can’t try it. Sure, you could spend time and money on setting up your blog only to discover that you just don’t like it or don’t have the time for it. So what? It will join the ranks of the thousands of other abandoned blogs. No big thing.
But what if? What if your blog ends up being something that changes your life and the way not only the way you travel but the way that others travel too?
If this idea of yours is “the one,” that Big Idea you’ve been hoping for, you will find plenty of resources right here to help you get your travel blog up and running.
Have you started your travel blog? Why or why not? What’s holding you back?