What You Need To Know Before You Start A Travel Blog
If you want to start a travel blog and make money from it… You need a plan. Blogging can be a long term strategy when it comes to making money online. In this post, we are going to share with you the most important things you need to know before you get started, so you can get into profit faster than most bloggers.
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The questions of the decade… “Can I make money from blogging?”
Let’s get this out of the way from the beginning. YES! You sure can, but there is an IF… IF you follow a plan, and are willing to be consistent. By the end of this article, you will have a plan, but you will want to do the exercises & take notes as you read. Keep in mind, Brian + I never promise anyone that they will be successful, because we have no idea how much effort you will put in. We only know how hard we work & what we put in, and what’s worked for us because of the consistent actions we have taken over the past few years of working together… So we want to share with you our humble opinion of what gets the best results.
First things first… You need to start making some decisions about your travel blog.
Get out a pen & paper. This is the fun part, but it’s also the part where people get hung up because they get scared they are going to make the wrong choices. Sure, you can make some choices that might slow you down… Expect that, it’s all part of the journey. If you know going into it that every decision you make will lead you exactly where you need to go then you will be good. “Mistakes” are lessons that lead us to bigger better things. Building a travel blog that makes money isn’t about perfection. It’s about sharing something with people that will help them. There will be bumps as you go, but they will shape you as a business owner.
The first decision you need to make is based on what YOU want! Travel bloggers usually write about experiences they are having, or are about to go have. SO you are going to want to imagine the kind of adventures you want to share with the world.
Travel is a HUGE topic (just like any other blogging category) with many different aspects or niches. You are going to want to choose what areas you wish to share. Are you a foodie? An adventure junkie? Or are you obsessed with old architecture & history? The list goes on for miles, and you don’t just have to pick one category or niche. We usually suggest choosing 3 areas you would like to talk about, or become an expert on. AND you don’t have to be an expert yet. Simply having an interest in the topic will drive you to research that area, experience it, and BE the expert people come to.
Exercise: Write a list of what you are interested in sharing with the world. Keep this list handy, you will need it shortly. (Need some ideas… Check out this article.)
Let’s talk about how travel blogs make money.
This can BE any type of blog, but we often get asked about travel blogs. The foundation is all the same regardless of what you choose to write about. (Cooking, fishing, design, environment, etc.)
There are a few different types of ads you can place on your blog. You can get a Google Adwords account and choose where other companies ads are placed on your blog. If you have over 30,000 pageviews per month you can apply to use Mediavine ads on your website. (Here is a great article they wrote about their application process.) You can also create your own banner ads, or have a designer make some for your products/services.
*NOTE: Something to consider when placing ads on your blog is that there is nothing more annoying, that will drive people off of a website than non stop ads popping up. Therefore when ads get in the way of content, people tend to leave. Think about what you do when you come across a site with so many ads that you can’t view what you came for. Keep it classy, and don’t let ads interfere with your audiences viewing experience.
Being an affiliate is a great way to go. You can leverage someone else’s products/services without having to create the product, or do the service. Then make a commission. We like to offer affiliate products as a part of our income, but don’t fully rely on it. Some people ONLY offer affiliate products/services, and make an incredible living. So this is something you will need to decide if you are going to offer affiliate stuff. You can share affiliate products & services in a number of ways. You can use hyperlinks (which are usually blue clickable words within your blog posts.) Another option is to use banners within your posts, or on the side bar. Companies usually provide these banners, so you don’t have to make them.
*NOTE: Offering affiliate products/services is a great way to start your business ventures online, and start making money fast because you don’t have to worry about creating the product/service. One thing to really think about, is that what you offer is in line with your business model. You want to offer things that make sense, and that you can stand behind so when people ask you about them you can share your own personal experience.
This is when a company approaches you, offers you something, and in return you share their product/service with your audience online. This is an awesome way to try out gear, go on adventures, or have high end experiences. You could also approach brands you like, and see what they have to offer you in return of you spreading the word about their product/service with your audience.
*NOTE: Some people put a lot of weight on brand deals hoping it will make them rich & famous. In our humble opinion, this is a mistake. Relying on other companies to make you rich or internet famous is putting your fate in the wrong hands. We like to think of brand deals as icing on the cake. If a brand were to make us an offer, or if we were to make a brand an offer… It would have to be completely aligned with our values as a company. Know your values & what you want before making deals!
Offering YOUR Own Products/Services:
This is our favorite because you make 100% of the profits, and have complete creative control over what you offer. The only downside we have found is you have to do all the work. Once you can afford to have a team, they can help you. (Read this for the general pros & cons of owning a business online.)
*NOTE: If there are quirks that need to be ironed out, you have to fix them. We consider this a good thing though, because this gives you the freedom to fix things without having to ask permission to make changes. It can be frustrating if you are offering other companies products, and a change is made that customers aren’t happy with. OR if there is an update that needs to be made, and the company is slow to make the update… Then it’s out of your control. When you offer your own products, it’s all you & your team. As a business owner, you get to choose whether that is something you want.
This is the MOST NOTEWORTHY thing of all… You can offer all the above, in any combination of your choosing. All you need to do is know what you want, and BE clear on your values so you can structure your blog/business in a way that suits your beliefs as an influencer online.
Your plan to start a travel blog… Or ANY blog for that matter…
1. Start with your idea from earlier. Running with a niche you love will keep things interesting, and keep you motivated to BE consistent at creating content each day that serves your audience.
2. See if there’s money in that niche – Google it (Watch this video for more details.)
3. Create a unique brand around your idea.
4. Launch your website & social media accounts.
5. Choose your monetization strategy (decide what type of products/services you will offer, from what we talked about above.)
Furthermore, when creating a travel blog that makes money…
Blogging is a long term strategy, but honestly one of the smartest. Our only regret is that we wish we would have been more serious about blogging, and our YouTube Channel when we got started instead of putting so much energy into Facebook. The reason being… Your blog & YouTube videos can be searched on Google. You want to come up when people are searching questions, or looking for something specific in your niche right?! RIGHT!
The moment we shifted our focus to our blog, and were consistent… Our audience started to trust us more. Then pairing it with YouTube… OMG! (We are sharing the details of this experiment in our Exclusive Tribe For Entrepreneurs.) When you become consistent, people will look forward to your content, and you will become the go to person in your space online. This is true whether you are educating people, inspiring them, or entertaining them.
If you need help trying to figure out branding, how to choose a niche that suits you, or how to turn your idea into a product or service you can offer online… We are here for you. Get Access to all of our eCourses in the BEAP Exclusive Tribe, and BE a part of the community. You can get your questions answered in our private group, and LIVE on our Campfire Q&A’s each month.
We would be honored to help you dial in your messaging, and create a blog, website, and business online that doesn’t just make you money… BUT to help you create something that you love & are proud of. Because BEing inspired by your work is exciting, will keep you motivated to create, and allow you to contribute to making the world a better place.
Who doesn’t want to get paid what they deserve for that?! We’ll see you in the Tribe…
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Brian Garcia + Erin Nicole Bick are full-time location independent, online business owners. Brian’s background is in firefighting, digital + photographic imaging, and web development. Erin’s background is in professional hairstyling, social intuition, personal development, creative writing, and brand identity development. Together, they create eCourses, high-end online business development coaching, and social media marketing strategies. They go by… BE Adventure Partners!
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