How to be a Travel Blogger

I have been a travel blogger for exactly ten days! So how can I write a “How to…” post? Well, I can’t really, but what I can write about is this state of total confusion I am going through. I am pretty sure that I have no idea what I am doing. The only thing I am sure about is that there have been plenty of people in this exact same position in the past, and there will be plenty more in the future.

The Best Post Ever

Now I might only have a handful of blog posts, but I am fairly sure I have written “The Best Post Ever”. I just can’t understand why the rest of the world don’t think the same. So far only three people have read it! Crazy, I know.

So I just Googled “How to get people to read my blog” and it came up with a great list put together by WordPress.

The first thing was to tell everyone in my social networks about my post. Well, I’ve done that. My 32 Facebook followers don’t seem to be online right now or else they would have immediately clicked through to “The Best Post Ever”. My 11 email subscribers must also be busy. It is Saturday night after all.

The second suggestion is to make my site visible to search engines. What? I thought Google saw everything. In fact I’ve come to the conclusion this suggestion is a Google marketing ploy. It made me Google “How to get my blog on Google”, then I had to Google “SEO”, then “keywords” and “domain authority”. See what I mean?

Suggestion number three is to pay for people to visit my site. Now this seems to be a bit counterproductive! I mean, along with my yet-to-be-launched YouTube channel, this is the vehicle for my first million! Besides, people should just want to read “The Best Post Ever” for free.

The fourth suggestion is the best – bug my friends! How do you think I got three views of my post?

Sweeping my eyes down past the WordPress list, the next search item listed is “How to get 150,000 people to read your blog in one week”. Now even with “The Best Post Ever”, I think this could be a stretch. I’ve not actually clicked on the link to read the article, so perhaps there is a way to do this. It must involve doing nothing else all week, and since I absolutely can’t miss “The X Factor” as its semi-final time, I don’t think it will work for me.

Building a Website is Easy

Everything I had read said building a website these days is easy. No coding needed. Just use WordPress, it’s so simple! I’ve always thought of myself as a relatively intelligent person. I use computers all day, and find it easy to learn new systems. I still have no idea how to make this website do what I want!

Did you see my beautiful home page with stunning panorama photos that slide in from the side? No? Well that’s because it’s a disaster and it’s still in draft form. It’s about two more clicks away from the deleted file. What about the Instagram widget on the right? Is it there? Currently it seems to have a mind of its own and only appears when it feels like it. And why does the toolbar across the top keep showing the name of my theme not my website?

Then there were emails. It took me three goes before I was able to send emails automatically when I put up a new blog post. The first go I didn’t even manage to link the sign up pop up to Mailchimp, so I may have missed heaps of subscribers. With my meagre list every extra signup is precious.

So what am I going to do next? Honestly, I have no idea. Anything? Everything! I am actually having such a ball learning all these new things. So what if I have no idea what I am doing, I have time to learn and Google is my friend. I may not have left home yet, but already I’m loving this challenging, interesting, frustrating, new career as a travel blogger.

Want to read some posts I wrote when I had more of an idea what I was doing as a travel blogger? Try these
My Adult Gap Year in Review
Our Ten Biggest Gap Year Failures
Iconic Food to Try in Australia

26 thoughts on “How to be a Travel Blogger”

  1. Hi Josie, enjoyed your Post.
    Like your sense of humour and look forward to following your travels. I too love travelling (fly out to India on Thursday) so I like to hear what others think of different countries. Good luck with your new website ?

    • Thanks so much Carol. This is certainly going to be an interesting ride.

      Enjoy India! We are planning to spend a few weeks there on our travels next year. It’s one of the countries I really want to go to, but at the same time one I am most nervous about with crowds and the craziness 🙂

  2. Hi Josie!

    I also just launched my blog last week 🙂 I personally find it so much fun to learn more about Blogging, SEO and all that Social Media stuff.

    I just read your About Me page. It’s really inspiring and it’s great to see you’re fulfilling your own dreams now! Becoming location-independent sounds like a great idea. My husband has recently found a job teaching English online..and while that may not pay thaat well, it does cover all our expenses while travelling (ok, we’re budget travellers and don’t spend much). We’ve also been working as English teachers abroad and have saved up some money from that, but I really love the idea of becoming a digital nomad! Especially because I’m already studying online (I’m in the final year of my Bachelor’s degree by distance-learning, woohoo). So I thought I’m gonna give this blogging thing a go 🙂

    I really like the way you write and I’m looking forward to following your adventures. And to follow your journey in the blogging world!

    Oh and I can see your Instagram widget!

    Happy travels 🙂

    • Hi Laura

      Thank you so much for your comment – I’m glad you can see the Instagram widget ?

      I just had a quick look at your blog, and I will definitely be back for more! Our travels next year will take us from Europe back to Australia, so we will be following in some of your footsteps 🙂

      I am also interested in your vegan finds! While not vegan (or even vegetarian) myself, my daughter is vegetarian and I love vegetarian and vegan food, so do actively seek them out. I am looking forward to more recipes, the Cremeschnitten looks amazing!

      Enjoy your travels

  3. I love this!! I’m in the same boat as you. It’s been a serious learning curve but it’s all good fun. Good luck!

    • Hi Laura. Thanks for your comment. Going with the trend of this all being new to me, I only just found your comment in my spam folder so apologies for the late reply. I love the look of your site, I’m all about budget tips when I am travelling too.

  4. Hey Josie! Greetings from sunny San Diego, CA. Found you on Twitter. Love the sense of humour! A very entertaining post. I have never tried blogging but love exploring Europe. Looking forward to a leisurely 3 week trip to Slovenia and Croatia next fall. Can’t wait!

    Follow your dreams. Just keep clicking buttons and we’ll keep reading. ?

    • Thanks so much Lane 🙂 I can’t wait until we start travelling in April to be able to write some great posts on where we go. We will also be going to both Croatia and Slovenia, probably around July/August.

  5. Very keen to see how this goes. I know you’ve got some great stories to tell, but there seem to be a bazillion travel blogs struggling along.

    And I’m aiming to start another fairly soon. Sorry I won’t get to see you in Oslo – my Iran thing conflicts with that weekend.

    We’re flying Emirates First Sydney-Dubai-Tehran (on points) and I know you’ve got some experience of that. If you want to share some tips and traps for that, I’d be grateful.

    • You are right, there are bazillion other travel blogs out there! I think though the main motivation for having one has to be simply for the love of it, the enjoyment of writing and sharing! I think you have that 🙂 Then you have to learn to get the blog out there. It’s hard. Really hard. Almost everything I’ve read says the first year or two can be really tough, but persistence seems to pays off in the end. I have joined a whole pile of Facebook groups to help with promotion, and I’m learning all the time about SEO.

      I am eager to hear about your Iran trip again – we will be there a few months later, maybe September/October.

      Unfortunately I can’t help you with Emirates First – haven’t done that yet! Are you having a stopover in Dubai? That I could give you some tips on. We’re trying Singapore Suites as we leave Australia – also from Sydney. What day do you fly out?

  6. Bahahaha. This was great. Totally what I needed to read with my morning coffee.

    I’m right there with you on a lot of the issues. I’m still brand new to the whole blogging thing and so far the best way I can describe it is a chaotic nightmare of ‘I think I can’ and ‘nope, no I can’t’.

    I had researched a lot first. I had actually purchased the Paradise Pack the year before which came with a lot of amazing resources for starting up a blog, so I had a base and framework in mind, but putting those ebooks and webinars into practice was a lot harder than the pros made it sound.

    It really isn’t an easy thing to do at all. 🙁

    I have to ask though; what comment plugin do you use? I love the little tick boxes with the newsletter option. That is great!

    • Thanks Alison

      Umm, if I said I don’t know what plugin I use for comments would you be surprised? lol Seriously, that’s not far from the truth! I *think* it’s part of Jetpack. I haven’t installed anything specifically for comments.

      I also bought the Paradise Pack. Ive been though some of it, but there’s still a fair bit to go. When I was looking at it I didn’t have this blog up and running, so it will be good to go back and look at it with something specific mind.

      • Oh, I laughed so hard. It gets hard remembering what you have going where; like, I started with mailchimp, for example, then went to sumome, and then instagram widgets are a pain to get a good one and now I feel like my whole plugin page is just a mess and I avoid looking at it.

        But jetpack; I think I have that. I’ll have to have a look into it.

        The Paradise Pack was great. If you haven’t already, look into the thing by Caz from ytravel. Her webinar was really helpful. And the EBA bloggers course is an absolute heaven sent. That answered a lot of questions that I had and really helped me get into the idea of editorial calendars and the like.

        • When I first started thinking about ways to support my travel lifestyle Caz was one of the first people I came across online doing this. Her stuff is inspirational! I definitely need to go back and watch that again!

          It’s a bit of a long story, but I got the Paradise Pack to help out my hubby with his site, but wasn’t sure I was going to do a blog at that point. At the time I was just looking at it all with his site in mind and just for interest. Now I have this, I need to go back and revisit. I finish up at my 9-5 job Friday, then I will have a lot more time to figure this out.
          In between tearing my hair out, I’m having fun. Can’t wait to get on the road in April and have some new exciting things to write about!

    • Thanks Sara. It’s more than six month down the track down, and sometimes I am just as clueless!

  7. Loved your post! I am a little over 2 months in with my blog and this is exactly how I feel, still. I’d love some updates on how things are going with your blog, do you still feel the same way 1yr later about all these things? Thank you for sharing!

    • Thanks Constance 🙂 One year later I feel the same – but in a different way. I have learnt so much over my first year, it’s crazy to think about it all really. But have you heard that saying something like “the more you know the more you realise you have so much more to learn”? That’s how I feel now. I am still enjoying blogging, and I am working hard to learn as much as I can. It’s still a challenge every day to get readers, but mostly now it’s not because I don’t know how, it’s because I choose to write in a way that I enjoy rather than in a way that I know will get me more readers from Google. That will probably change a little in the future when I am not travelling long term.

  8. It’s interesting to read what you thought about blogging starting up a couple of years ago. I’d be intrigued to hear what you think of blogging now. I also admire you for being honest about your trials and tribulations starting a website and promoting your blog. It’s not as easy as it sounds!

  9. It’s a steep learning curve Josie and your blog looks great so far. As long as you enjoy writing and enjoy investigating all of the technical stuff then you’ll be fine. We’ve been doing our blog for over 4 years now and so much of it still mystifies us (especially SEO). Try not to get too bogged down with the stats though, just enjoy it.

    • Thanks Jonno. I wrote that almost three years ago now. I’m a little better at knowing what to do now, although somedays I still have all those smae thoughts 🙂

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