Have you ever thought that your love of traveling could be turned into a career, with a reliable source of income? If so, then becoming a professional travel blogger could be just the opportunity you have been looking for.
A travel blogger is the same as any other type of blogger in one vital respect – the need to create compelling content that people will read. If only a small number of people ever read your blog, you are not going to be able to successfully monetize it and realize your dream of becoming a professional travel blogger.
So, how do you create compelling content? Online, the most compelling content is not necessarily the most glamorous content. Rather, compelling content is content that people find useful and therefore want to read. So, do your research into what travel topics are trending online, especially on social media and on online forums, and tailor your content accordingly. Follow your passion and blog about what really interests you as a traveler, but be sure to include topics that readers can relate to and feel compelled to read. Once you have readers, solicit feedback on what topics interest them and what questions they want answered, and rather than reply to each question individually, compile a list of frequently asked questions and blog about them.
Posting relevant content is one thing, but a blogger, especially a professional blogger, ignores the technical aspects of online content at their peril. It pays to have at least a working knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO), the process by which content is optimized for search engine results. On-page SEO is one thing, but a website’s authority also needs to be built externally. Specifically, that means getting your site linked from other sites. This can be achieved through guest posting on other sides, obtaining media coverage or writing for major media outlets, or gaining high-profile mentions.
Once you have gained an audience for your blog, companies will start to ask if their products or services can be featured on your blog. Accept such promotions and the income they provide by all means, but ensure that the promotion is relevant to your audience. Irrelevant promotions on your blog threaten to undermine your brand and credibility. Sponsored posts or ad banners on a website can be a nice earner for you, but where possible, seek to build long-term partnerships for a more secure and reliable form of income.
Another critical element of successful blogging is effective use of social media. Having a social media presence is crucial from a promotional point of view, but you spend a huge amount of time on social media sites to the detriment of your content and perhaps even your travels. So use social media, but learn to use it effectively from a time point of view. Research the best time of day to use particular social media platforms and post your updates to them accordingly. Effective social media use extends to responding to comments and sharing relevant content that you think your followers would enjoy.
Speaking of promotion, aladdinprintphil.com is an example of the type of company that can provide a blogger with relevant and professionally prepared marketing material, such as business cards. So much about travel is fleeting – you are there one minute and gone the next – so leaving something behind that people can remember you by is always useful. A business card is one way to remind people that you visited, and helps them get in touch with you again in the future. Using a professional printing services provider helps give the impression that you take all aspects of what you do seriously. First impressions count and marketing materials often form part of that first impression. A first impression might be something you make at a networking event, so having business cards with you is a useful way to turn a first impression into a business opportunity. Networking is important as a travel blogger because it allows you to meet potential clients and fellow bloggers in person. If those people ever need to reach out, they will think more easily about someone they have met in person, over those people they have never met.
A professional travel blogger is exactly that – someone who brings a thorough and business-like approach to blogging about travels. Have fun when traveling, but as a professional blogger remember that this is your livelihood, and do not neglect the work aspect of your journey.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.