Starting this website has given us so many opportunities to travel around the world. And by blogging we get to share all of it with you. Yes, it’s the “dream job”, but it’s still a job. Don’t be fooled — when you do something you love, you still have to work every single day of your life — well, sort of (to be honest, we have more pool days than we’d care to admit). But if every journey begins with one small step, here’s where to start.
Read also: How to Instagram like a top blogger on vacation.
#1 How to Come Up with a Fresh Idea
You can’t just be a “general” travel blog these days. People can get exactly what they’re searching for with a few clicks. Having a focus on your readership is more helpful than speaking to everyone with an interest in travel, simply because it makes it easier for people to find you. If you enjoy backpacking, go with that. And if you like luxury travel (ahem), stick with it and never go off-topic.
Tip: What are you thinking of naming your blog? Having something travel related immediately tells your audience what you’re about. And now you know why we’re called WanderLuxe.
#2 Basic Blog Necessities
Don’t begin a blog without being absolutely sure of your host. WordPress also allows you to link a self-hosted website (like ours), which is ideal if you’re planning lengthy posts, and you’re just not that tech savvy (hear, hear). Trust us, you’ll get the hang of it after a couple of posts!
Tip: BlueHost has a small fee but with it you get your own domain name. It isn’t your priority right now, but once you start networking with hotels, a proper site name is very important for your credibility (and writers always want to be taken seriously, right?)
#3 Where and How to Start
Unless you’ve got a year’s worth of savings and everything aligned for long-term travel, stay put. You’re starting a travel blog because you’ve got adventures to share, so do that first. The more regularly you write, the better you get at it. Take your time to work on your post and edit your pictures. But make it current — no one wants to hear about your summer in Cabo 1999.
Tip: Share it with everyone you know. Tweet it, Facebook it, and ask as many people as you can to share it. Half the work is writing a good post, but if you’re proud of it (and you should be), just as much effort NEEDS to be put into promoting it. It’s tedious, but that’s why we’re a coffee-obsessed bunch.
#4 Network Without Having to Get Dressed Up
You wouldn’t believe how big the travel blogging community is. And because everyone is busy traversing the globe, 98% of communication is done online. In our pyjamas. At 4am. One way to get your blog noticed by the right people (other bloggers and their audience — yes it’s cheeky) is to leave comments on their blog, saying you loved their post and you’ve written one on the same topic too with a link to it.
Tip: Follow as many bloggers as you can, support them all the way, and you’ll make lots of great friends and maybe even travel together! Who doesn’t love travel buddies that can help you take really good pictures?
#5 Content is King
If everyone is writing about “the best restaurant in New York”, write about 10 other restaurants just like it around the world. Make your life as interesting as possible and turn everything you can into a really good photo opportunity. If you have to second guess a picture you’re thinking of uploading, whether on social media or your blog, scrap it. Half of your readers aren’t there to read about your travel, they just want to scroll through a pretty feed.
Tip: Keep practicing your editing skills, especially if you’re not using a super savvy DSLR. Here are tips on taking good pictures and a nice little nod to our hardworking other halves. It sounds pretentious, but you’re in the business of selling a lifestyle.
#6 How to Travel for Free
Now comes the fun part. Once you’ve established your blog and your audience, it’s time to start reaping the rewards. Creating partnerships with agents and hotels are the way to get invited to stay (for free!) and in return, blog your vacation. Reach out to restaurants and PR agencies to see if they’d like some extra press. Our list of celeb nomads include Tash Oakley, Chriselle Lim and Margaret Zhang, which is a great way for all of us to create a community of luxe travellers — and that includes you, dear nomad.
Tip: Send an email to email@example.com if you’d like to work with us. We don’t bite.
#7 Don’t Ever Give Up
Corny alert: writing itself is a journey, and not a destination. Managing expectations of your readers, finding your tone and style, creating a blog theme and being 100% satisfied with it all the time… that’s simply not the case. And uhm, (sorry, ed) but you might never be the proof-reader you strive to be. Thankfully, there’s spell checker. Your website is always a work in progress but that’s what your readers love; the feeling of growing with you.
Tip: Keep a travel journal. There are days where you want to stay outdoors and completely unplug. Keep a small diary with you to jot down any ideas and thoughts because you know inspiration hits when you least expect it.