6 Easy Steps To Become a Professional Travel Blogger
Last Updated on November 25, 2020
Recently, I did some research and found that one of the biggest struggles that travel bloggers have is transitioning from part-time to full-time professional travel blogger. I made the switch last November. I worked like a full-time blogger before but I didn’t set up my blog professionally so I never got any jobs. I took the dive and decided this was going to be my full-time focus and let me tell you, it’s scary and not for the faint-hearted. Here are some simple points that you need to understand if you want to make it as a professional travel blogger.
Treat it like a business. I think most people’s businesses fail because they underestimate how much work a business takes and also they don’t think of their blog as a business! If you’re making money you’re a business – so start treating it like one. If you want a profitable business, you got to treat it as such! Whether you want to start a business in Texas or halfway across the world, you should also look into registering your business legally and making it official too.
Dedicate yourself to your work (i.e. work bloody hard). Like most businesses, blogs take a lot of work and not even just at the beginning, but continuously throughout as it’s on-going work. It never ends. You don’t get sick days or leave like a normal job and you have an immense amount of responsibility. You will probably have to give up a few nights out or even a day-trip somewhere to work, but it will all be worth it in the end. What I highly recommend doing is basing yourself somewhere for a couple of months to fully dedicate to making your travel blog professional. I based myself back home in New Zealand for a good 9 months to work on my blog, make products and really turn my blog from hobby to professional. The money started rolling in as soon as I did that because people took me more seriously.
Invest, invest, and invest some more. People love the fact that blogging can be so affordable to start and I think that’s what attracts a lot of people to this line of work (and the travel perks of course). Some people have in their head that I just have to spend $20 and I can start a blog and get earning straight away, which is not the case! Like any business, you need to invest in order for it to grow. Even if something is your hobby, you spend money on it. Let’s say you are an artist. Well, in order to paint you will need paint brushes, paint, canvases and paper and those costs are on-going too. If you want to make bigger and higher-quality paintings you will need more expensive materials but you can charge more for it. If you love to make clothes, you’re going to spend money on the fabric, needles, machines and thread. Every hobby and business you need to invest your money into, which is why you shouldn’t be afraid to pay for help on social media, editing and a designer. I wrote a blog post of 8 useful blogging tools that I use every month to help me with my business and help it to grow.
Get Professional! I studied Interior Design at university and although that isn’t what I do now for a job I learnt something so important, which is how to set up your own business and how to make it professional. From business cards to business plans and logos it was my favourite part of the course. I always loved going to this lesson unlike most of the other classmates. I always knew that I wanted to have my own business – it’s one of my life goals. I took everything from what I learnt in that lesson and have implemented it into my business. If I hadn’t done that course, I probably wouldn’t know what the hell I’m doing, to be honest.
Grow your damn email list if you want to make any money in the future! Growing your email list should be the most important thing you ever do. Why do you ask? Tomorrow Facebook could shut down, Instagram might make big changes that affect your followers, but email has been around for years and it will never stop. All those followers you have collected from different forms of social media could be lost overnight and you wouldn’t know how to find them again. Collecting email addresses is one of the things I focus most my time on. Not only do I send out weekly emails which SPIKE MY TRAFFIC but also I send out an email if I have something to sell or an affiliate to promote. Travel bloggers, especially, underestimate the power of emails. Just to give you an idea, when I send out an email which leads them to a specific post on my website, my traffic for that day goes up by a minimum of 35%! So, it increases your traffic and increases your sales so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t start collecting email address right now. Your email subscribers are your most dedicated fans because it takes a little more effort to put in your email address than to just hit follow. So, these are the people who are great to sell your products and affiliates too because you know that they really love what you do!
Educate yourself. You should never stop learning. I have tonnes of great entrepreneurs that I follow, I join weekly seminars, I’ve joined numerous Facebook groups and I have purchased courses to help me with different aspects of my business. Investing in your education is very important, my e-course is only $27 and I teach the fundamentals of how to turn your travel blog into a business! It doesn’t have to be expensive, although there are some great courses out there that do cost a fair amount, but there are also resources that are free or inexpensive like my e-course.
Once you change your frame of mind and implement these steps you’re on the right track to making your travel blog into a profitable business.
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I think one of the things that I’ve learned (like you mentioned) is that if I want my blog to be a business, I need to treat it like one. It can be difficult to separate that from “hobby” mode.
Great advice! Travel blogging isn’t the easy win that so many people think it is – you get to travel and get paid? the low barriers to entry mean that that the business is flooded but not that many people actually make a living doing it.
Great tips. It’s true that some people just think that they can start a blog, pick a theme, write a few posts, and assume that their traffic will grow instantly. It’s takes time, money, and hard work for a blog to grow. And, of course, the work never stops, as there is always social media, photo editing, emails to answer, not to mention actually adding content to your site. Good point on the email list too. We’ve been working hard to grow ours, and are already seeing the payoff.
I think the 2 of the most important tips for aspiring bloggers is working extremely hard(!) and investing in your blog as a business. Most people don’t realize how hard it is to run a blog and the money it takes to have good hosting, an email provider, social media tools, etc.. Congrats on the course, btw! 😉
Karla | karlaroundtheworld
Thankyou for your tips. It’s best to try to treat it like a business rather than something on the side. These are really good tips.
A great article for newbies and not so newbies too.I agree that email IDs are permanent and enough effort must go in building the same.
An Outcast Wayfarer
Thank you so much for the tips!
I don’t really know how to go about an e-mail list, do you have a blog that explains it?
Excellent post. Things started to become clear once I started looking at my blog like a business too. Working on this blog has consumed me. Lol.
I need to do a few more of these things for my own blog. The problem is I spend most of my time planning lessons during the week and don’t have much time to focus on my blog. Hopefully, I can get this together in the near future and start making some inroads. Thanks for the post Anita! Inspiring as always!
I need to start building my email list. I turned it off over a year ago because I didn’t have an intriguing template beyond just my posts being sent out. Great tips for taking your blog pro!
Thank you for all the wonderful information, this may be the most information for us novice travel bloggers that I’ve come across to in one place!
Anita Hendrieka> AArti
Thanks for the lovely comment! I’m glad you found it useful 🙂