Travel blogging does not make us much money, at least, not as yet. I am still living on with the hope that one day, it will generate enough cash for us so that we can live off the blogging income and say farewell to the non-creative financial sector jobs that Ankur and I hold. Ankur is not too hopeful that such a day will ever come! Regardless of the outcome, the blog shall continue to live, mainly because it fuels our passion for travel and inspiring people to travel to see the world & meet new people.
When we started our blog in April 2014, we simply picked up a name under the Blogspot umbrella and started writing. We had no future plan for the blog. In fact, we never thought that the blog would last more than 6 months. Well, here we are…still alive! We never had anyone one to guide us… and we still don’t. We try, struggle and fumble… and sometimes succeed in our attempts to make the blog better.
For all those who want to start a travel blog, we would love to share some ‘gyan’ that we have gathered over the last 17 months.
Passion… passion… and passion!
Start the travel blog only if you are passionate about travelling. You will have to write about your experiences, tips, woes and wows ever so often. The motivation to do so comes only with passion.
Read… read… read a lot
Read what other travel bloggers are writing about and what travel magazine are talking about so that you know whats trending and are not left behind.
Speak your mind
Share your thoughts with your readers. People will want to read your posts only if they can associate with you – build that bond!
Start with WordPress
We started with Blogspot. We found it fairly restrictive in terms of the plug-ins that can be added on the site and then had to migrate to WordPress after 12 months of existence. Just start with WordPress! It will support your creativity with a host of plug-ins.
In a world where smart phones are replacing laptops, ensure that you site is compatible/responsive to monitors, tabs and phone screens. This parameter is critically monitored by search engines, with preference given to the responsive templates. There are lots of them available for WordPress – free of paid, is your choice.
Choose the name wisely
Choose your blog name to encompass all that you want to include now and possibly, expansion in the future. Like www.travellinginmumbai.com will seem like a Mumbai focussed site only, thus, intuitively restricting your coverage of the country or places across borders.
Invest in buying a domain name if you are serious about the blog. Search engines will typically rate an independant domain name higher than blogs under the Blogspot or WordPress umbrella.
A picture is worth a 1000 words. Yeah, I know its an oft repeated saying… but it is so true! A picture provides your readers the palette to start painting the mental picture and add other sensory perceptions to it. We have received numerous requests for photoblogs and hence, they have become a regular feature of the blog.
Write frequently, especially when your blog is developing. You need to create content to offer to your readers. As the blog matures over the next few months, the frequency can come down. However, continue writing in order to provide fresh content to your regular readers.
Use the social media effectively right from the first day. We created the FB page for our blog after 5 months of being in existence… activated our Twitter account after 12 months… and got on to Instagram after 17 months! We could have interacted with so many people in the world had we worked on our social media presence since day one.
Respond to the comments that your readers. Respond to the emails that they send. This will ensure reader loyalty!
Blogging is hard work
Running a travel blog is a fun thing for us… its an outlet to our passion! However, it is a lot of hardwork too. I have been found of the steps of Hvar (the party capital of Croatia) at 6am, blogging! Ankur has spent numerous nights working on the blog template. Don’t expect it to be an easy glide!
Don’t give up!
Your blog will take time to mature and grow. Only then will the search engines recognise that you exist and you will get to see a fair amount of organic traffic. Give it time… put in the hard work… and believe! Don’t give up if you aren’t seeing page views soaring in the first 6 months of having started the blog.
Here is wishing you good luck as you start your travel blog… and we do hope to read it soon!