9 Simple Travel Blogging Tips for Success

There are many things I wish I knew about travel blogging for beginners. I knew a lot about travel blogging, but not so much about blogging within the travel niche.

Here are nine simple tips I think you need to know about being a travel blogger before you start.

The tech stuff you can  work out, the mindset obstacles are a little harder to gain victory over.

Here are 9 simple travel blogging tips

1. Take lots of photos whilst travelling

Don’t just be a tourist photographer. Look for unusual photo opportunities and for simple photos like signs, transport, someone carrying a backpack or eating food. All of these photos can be used to fill all manner of posts.

After recently writing our budget travel in Africa post, I was kicking myself for not taking photos of food and transport options while we were travelling in Africa. I so needed them to highlight what I was talking about in my post about getting around Africa.

Solution: Always have your eyes open for unusual shots. Think about the type of blog posts you might be writing and make a list of photos that would work well with them.

Make an effort to find these shots. Read our tips on how to improve your travel photography and tips for photographing people.

how to earn money blogging

2. Be Vigilant with your Note Taking and Journal Writing when Travelling

Hindsight is such a wonderful thing. If I had it as foresight, I would have been more vigilant with my journal writing while I was travelling the world.

I often would go days at a time without recording anything, and then I would feel lazy and think what is the point anyway?

Now I struggle to recall details from some of my most amazing travel stories. For those adventures I do have a journal account of, they have helped me tremendously in recreating the story for our travel blog.

Solution: Carry a notebook and pencil around with you every where. Record details of every place you visit, stay at and transport you take. Keep receipts in your book so you have a record of costs.

Record contact details of any person you meet and may wish to quote or write about. Take every spare opportunity to write especially in down moments on trains and buses.

3. Get your Permalink Structure right

This is of my biggest travel blogging regrets and my only technical must-be-aware of advice. I set up my permalink structure as category/postname, not really thinking about the fact that I would have quite a complex category structure for my blog.

What this means is that my URL’s are extremely long. But worse, I now have limited control over my categories. I can’t move them around as my blog evolves as it will change my URL’s of already published posts. This really sucks.

Solution: Although this category permalink structure has SEO benefits, I think you are far better to go for a date/post name structure instead.

Having a neatly set out category structure (that you can change if need be) is best for your readers so they may quickly find what they are looking for.

NB: I have now changed my permalink structure and we lost all of our social proof on our articles form the past year. Boo hoo. At least now it is set up for the next X years.

7 lessons learned from 7 years of travel blogging

4. Travel Blogging will consume a Lot of your Time

If you want to create a travel blog, it won’t be easy. It is going to take up a lot of your time, and I mean every spare minute.

While I could go on and on here about many principles of success, I’ll cut it short by basically saying, don’t even think about travel blogging if you aren’t passionate and prepared to spend many hours of the day and night committed to working this in order to rise to the top.

It doesn’t matter what your field or industry, it will always be 20% of the people that will have 80% of the success. It is called the Pareto Principle. Why is this so? Because those that fall in the 20% are prepared to do what the remaining 80%  aren’t.

Which side are you going to fall on? Decide and then commit.

I am still amazed by the amount of travel bloggers who say they aren’t in it for the money and accuse those who are of being dishonest and sell outs. Unless you are just keeping a record of your travel experiences for your family and friends, then you have chosen a hobby that will consume your life.

Why would you put in all the time and effort that is required to make it work if you don’t want to be rewarded from it?

Don’t you think you deserve it? Or maybe you think you can’t do it?

We intend to make money from this travel blog. At the same time, we do this because it is our passion and we want to inspire others. If we don’t make any money from this then we have to quit, and then I stop helping others.

As all successful entrepreneurs know “The more money I have, the more I can do to help myself and to help others.”

Solution: Blog about your passion, love what you do. If you don’t then you will find the time commitment a struggle. Believe that you deserve to be rewarded for your time and effort, and for the value you bring to others.

5. Go outside your Niche for Traffic

While I love having a lot of my readers come from the travel blogging community, I also love that I have a lot of readers who don’t. There will be a limit to your success when your only readers are those who are swimming in the same niche pool as you.

Travel bloggers are busy, they don’t get a chance to read and promote everyone’s work, and besides they already know a lot about travel. We came into this field intent on being part of the 20%, this means getting creative to find ways to welcome in traffic from other areas.

Solution: Look outside your niche for those who aren’t travelling yet, but are looking for ways to get inspired and informed to be able to do it. They are waiting to hear from you.

6. Be Open to different story angles while Travelling

A story idea can often come from the words someone says, such as my post 80% of travellers are running away from something. They can come from thoughts you have while on a moonwalk through the bush like my friendships on the travelling road post.

Don’t just look for the normal angles such as “Best places to visit when in Bangkok.” Try new things. Try to be different. Be diligent in your recording of everything you come across while traveling.

You never know how the smallest of details can colour a potential blog post. Aim to be, not just a source of information, but inspiration as well.

People love to be inspired- it’s our greatest call to action.

a living room
Our Penguin Waterfront Escape apartment

7. Speed and SEO are important

We have been having huge problems with the speed of our site lately. We thought getting a new blog design would fix this issue, but it only seemed to get worse. We have been pulling our hair out trying to fix it.

Slow loading time for your site can kill your traffic numbers. We live in a want-it-now society. People don’t have time to waste waiting for pages to load. They will click away a lot faster.

For me SEO is like pulling out my teeth one by one. I detest writing for it and worrying about it. I like to inspire, provide information and socialize, which is why we have always been big on the social media side of marketing.

We have not put a lot of attention into SEO, and we understand now that we are paying slightly for it. Google gives us little love, which means little new and free traffic coming from this source. We are now doing more to learn and improve on this.

So come on Google help us out, I just might decide to be your friend again.

Solution: Have your blogs designed with speed in mind. Reduce the number of plug ins you use, smush your images.

Research what are the best optimization strategies and plug ins to reduce your loading time.

For SEO purposes, work really hard on making your on page SEO as tight as possible, link within your own content and work on getting the backlinks you need naturally through guest posting, interviews and trackbacks. Yoast is a great plug in to use for on page SEO.

UPDATE 2018:

We’ve since put a lot of effort into SEO and we receive over 350,000 visits each month from Google and earn five figures a month in passive income as a result. This is such an important part of your business, especially with the declining reach of social media.

Here are some of the tools we use, or have used, which has helped us excel.

yTravel has previously used the KeySearch Seo Tool. We find it gets us better results in a much faster and more accurate way.

If you want advanced SEO, use SEMRush. It is the most powerful SEO tool ever and has yielded incredible results, not just in optimizing our site, increasing our search engine visibility and keyword ranking, but also helping us look good to clients when showcasing the ROI we give to them. Yes this leads to more work for us!

Having a site the search engines love involves many different factors. Optimizing just your posts is not enough. I recently did a site wide clean up using the Blog Fixer tool, which saved me 131 hours of time AND cleaned up over 10,000 errors!! Those errors are bad signals to google, which results in it ignoring your site!

8. The travel blogging community is helpful

There are so many wonderful people that we have met within the travel blogging community since we started who have provided their own great travel blogging tips.

It is just like being on the road again and meeting all these happy, friendly beings who have so many inspiring stories to share and helpful encouraging words and tips to get you going on your own adventures.

The travel blogging community is mostly helpful, fun, positive, and friendly. It is so uplifting. I don’t know how many times I have felt like quitting, or felt really inferior to open my inbox to a positive and encouraging comment, tweet, or email from another traveller.

They help me to believe in myself and to keep moving forward. We would never have had the success we have without them and we are eternally grateful for it. We are like elephants; we never forget.

Solution: Reach out to others in the travel blogging community. Connect with them via facebook, twitter and their blogs. They will help you along the way. Be grateful for this and help out in return.

NB: I originally had a section about the bad aspects of the community. There are some negatives, cat-fighting, and school-yard name calling antics in an effort to be better than others.

It used to annoy me, but now I have a simple solution. Worry about what I am doing, help others as much as I can and stay away from the BS.

9. You’ll feel like Quitting

Know this before you start so you know what you need to do to kill this monster. You can only fail if you quit. Travel blogging is hard, and as I have mentioned, if you want to be successful, you have got to do a lot of hard work.

Not only this, but you have demons such as your own doubts and insecurities to overcome. You’ll get tired and frustrated many times, and feel as if you are spinning around in a vortex rather than moving forward.

It always seems as if everyone else is getting more comments than you, more traffic, more social love, making more money, or making more best of the blog lists.

You’ll get so overwhelmed by your inferiority with all this comparing that you want to throw your hands up and say “Stuff this. I’m just not good enough. Why am I existing on four hours of sleep a night to go nowhere fast? I’m going back to the comfy couch to watch reruns of Friends.”

Solution: Stop comparing yourself to others. Are you doing better than you were yesterday? Are you moving forward no matter how slowly? Just do the best with what you have from where you are.

The most powerful way to claim victory over the need to quit is to have a big enough why. Why are you doing this? And no, it is not about the money. It has to be something more powerful and worthwhile.

Money alone will never be enough to make you want to continue working through the challenges and the emotional input that comes with travel blogging. The money is just the tool that will bring to you what you really want.

Why are you really doing it?

Cling to this why; it will carry you through the storms.

If you found this post useful, please share it

What else do you think newbies should know? Why are you committed to being at the top 20% of travel bloggers?

185 thoughts on “9 Simple Travel Blogging Tips for Success”

  1. Jeremy Branham

    I love this post and agree on most everything. Yes I have been there – felt like quitting, spend way too much time on this, carry a notepad and camera everywhere, look for unique angles (see my most recent post), and this has completely changed the way I travel. This is not easy but if it isn’t fun, stop doing it.

    However, I do disagree on the url structure. I’ve done the date structure but love my categories as it fits my blog well. Have no plans to ever change that. Why does it matter if the url is long? Does anyone care about that?

    1. I don’t think the URL being long is such a big deal, but the problem with my blog anyway was that I had a complex category structure. So I had lots of sub and sub-sub categories, which really made my URL huge. It also meant I was really limited in reorganizing and changing my category structure, which I like to do as the blog evolves. Once you change the category of a published post it changes your URL, which you do not want to happen. It was difficult to place a post into 2 separate categories, as it would automatically put just one in the URL (usually the one I didn’t want). I still don’t like long URL’s and from what I’ve read its not the best way to do them (can’t really remember why) but not a big deal, it was more the other issues.

  2. Christy @ Technosyncratic

    Wonderful post, as per usual. πŸ™‚ And I completely agree with you about taking tons of different photos as you travel. There’s nothing worse than spending ages looking around for an open source pic you can use for a post, especially when you could have just photographed it yourself in the first place!

  3. Thanks for the encouraging and positive post. I blog about a little of everything and when I’m traveling those are my favorite posts. I’ve always carried a notebook with me and I still have them from trips taken ten years ago. I’ll get my family raised and out of the house and then I’ll travel full time and I’m sure your tips will come in handy.

    1. No worries Laura! Glad to hear you have plans for full time travel! It is so great to be able to look back in your journals and remember old trips. It is amazing what you forget.

  4. Roy | cruisesurfingz

    Great advice! I don’t necessarily agree with the photo-taking though πŸ˜‰
    As for making money, I think people can become disillusioned if money is their primary focus. I blog because it’s my passion, its cathartic and it’s fun. If at some stage I figure out a way to monetize that complements my blog, great. If not, that’s okay too.

    1. Totally agree with that Roy. The money should not ever be your focus. Your focus is your passion first, and helping others and then I think the money just flows naturally from that. We intend to make our blogging a lifestyle because we llove it so much. If I didn’t I would stick to teaching, where the money is way better right now. If people are only intending on running a blog just for passion and not to eventually monetize then I think their whole approach to bloggng will be totally different.

  5. This is such a terrific article, Caz! I couldn’t agree more – I started traveling and blogging because I love both things and hold them near and dear to my heart. Making it a business is much harder than I ever thought, and just last week was doing exactly what you advise against: comparing myself to others and generally feeling crappy about the whole shebang. Reading this was exactly the pep talk I needed! Thank you for that!

    1. No worries Jessica. So glad I could pep you up. Don’t worry about feeling crappy, I still do every day. I think we have been brought up in cultures that judge our worth based upon what others do. I think it’s time we stopped that and compare it to how we were yesterday. If we are doing better then we are progressing. Takes away a lot of that anxiety and insecurity. It definitely takes a lot of training to make the switch and we all have bad days.

      1. I couldn’t agree more with what you said: “we have been brought up in cultures that judge our worth based upon what others do.” We should only be judging ourselves by the best that we can do, and not worrying how quickly we get there. You’re a wise owl, Caz! πŸ˜‰

        1. You are totally right on, Jessica. I sometimes find myself doing the smae thing, but all we can do is be ourselves! There were a lot of great tips in this post, and my take away is just keep plugging at it, if success comes, great, if not, that’s fine too because ultimately I’m doing something I enjoy.

      2. Hey Caz!!! Like everyone else here, I, too, really really appreciate your intension of helping others. I respect you for your honesty. We all know we get all worked up and jealous but to admit it so openly and honestly one needs to be pure from inside. And i think you are. I am just starting to blog and I have a loooooooong way to go (not to mention many places to travel :)) but your blog was like a necessary push from a tree branch teaching a small birdie to fly :)) In fact, to tell you the truth, I was surrounded with silly doubts like how would i travel since now i have a daughter and so many responsibilities but when I learned that you do it with ur hubby and daughter, it gave me some extra energy and boost…Thanks a ton.

  6. Love this article. I started my blog with friends and family in mind. I gradually realized I wanted to reach a wider audience. I had something to say. I never realized how much time my blog would take, but I do love it.

    Thanks for the tips and the encouragement!

    1. I think as long as you love it then you will stick with it. We don’t tend to give up on the things that we love. Keep on moving forward!

  7. Fabtastic post! Thanks much. I wish I’d read this a while ago but timing is amazing even now, as I’m really committing to my blog and pushing forward. I hadn’t expected it to be such huge time commitment but I know now I love it and it’s worth it!

    1. I think making that commitment is a huge step forward. It kind of leaves you little room for turning back. If it is your passion and you love it, then it is worth it!

  8. Thanks for the great post — I recently started a how-to travel blog as a bit of an experiment and personal project while I’m in the process of changing career paths. Not sure what will become of it, but it’s a good creative outlet for me right now while I’m traveling.

    One thing, you mentioned that you “lost all of [your] social proof on [your] articles form the past year” — there is a technical solution to this. If you can get a list together of the old and corresponding new article URLs, then you can set up a permanent redirect for each URL. This usually involves a web server extension at your host, but what it does is accepts incoming traffic at the old URL and then issues an HTTP 301 response that’s basically like a change-of-address. This will instruct search engines like Google to update their indexes and should preserve the link juice you’ve built. It’ll also ensure that anybody clicking on the old link still gets to the article.

    Anyways, thanks again for the great post.

    1. Thanks Brad! I do have a redirect on it so it saves my linkbacks. I lose all my stumble and tweet counts though, unfortunately you can’t save that. It’s no big deal, I just hate seeing zero now where there used to be numbers. As long as the links still work then it is okay. Good luck with the career change. What are you changing to?

  9. You know this has actually been one of the better articles I have read about this. Most are so f-ing boring and lame that it’s a waste of time to even load. Kind of like “How to make money while traveling” articles. I puke every time I see one of those (sell your photos for money, write for magazines blah blah blah. No real content written just broad garbage)! lol

    Anyways, well laid out, good tips at the bottom (nice note about the bitching inside the travel community. For a group that is so well connected and helpful to one another, there are a few that are worse then people back at my old job, which is why I left work to travel because I couldn’t stand the life of it).

    I have to disagree though about putting a date inside the links. I do this now and no-one looks for articles through your link date. I wish I hadn’t of done this and is just wasted space in it. Changing it now is to hard. Thats just me though. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks so much T-Roy, I appreciate the supportive comments. I was quite surprised by some of the bitching in the travel community. I think I lived in this happy travel utopia land where all travellers got along. I think because that is pretty much all I have experienced while travelling, but I guess your meetings are only quite fleeting when you travel, so everyone is happy, getting along and having a great time. I soon learned that it is just the same as any other community, there will always be fights and arguments you just have to do your best to remove yourself from them. I’ve only really been involved in one and that was with a total jerk, and I couldn’t keep my mouth closed. I no longer go anywhere near his space.
      For my new permalink I actually haven’t got the date in there just the URL. I can see what you mean about wasting space.I think if you don’t have it in your URL then you must make sure it is clearly placed on your blog post. I hate reading a post and not knowing when it was published. I like to know how old the information is.

      1. ahh i got ya about the date on the post and not in the link. Yes I totally agree with you on that! I know one big blogger that wanted to his/her’s out because it looked better when Googling. I asked him why, as I hated it when there were not dates and he agreed that he to hated but it looked better for SEO searches. That made no sense to me, as if you don’t like yourself then why would you do it on your site just to get a few extra hits. I know it personally pisses me off when I have to look at the comments to find out how old an article is. To me he/she lost integrity by not doing it and sold out for money basically. It’s things like that, that get me going as people get a little traffic and all of a sudden they change and not for the better I think.

        And totally agree on arguing with idiots. Learned my lesson on that one a long time a ago and you just become one if you try it! lol

  10. Great thoughts Caz. I agree with note taking and creating a journal notebook. Even if it’s only 5 minutes a day or you take notes with dragon dictation it will pay off in spades. It’s the #1 thing involving our blog I wish I did while traveling.

    1. Absolutely, even the smallest details. We think we will remember but you really won’t. You never know just what information you may really need later. It is tedious, but as you say it will pay off in spades later if you are diligent with it.

  11. Really good and insightful post.

    Like Jeremy though, I’m happy with how my categories fit in with my blog and the url structure represents this but I’m sure everyone has a different view on this.

    The travel community have been amazing and the majority of my traffic (which is still very small at the moment) comes from the community. I have 3 or 4 visits a day from google or stumbleupon which is great but how would you advise bloggers to reach visitors from outside your niche?


    Paul // MyPostcardFrom

    1. The best way to reach visitors outside your reach is to hang out where they are. Choose a niche that you think could connect well with your travel blog- most people are interested in travel of some sort- and visit the blogs within that niche. You can comment on posts, interact with them through their social channels, or the best way is to write some guest posts for some of the niche sites. Somehow work your travel blog’s message into the post, but relate it to whatever their niche is. For example I have written a couple on blogging and internet marketing sites. I have incorporated what I’ve learned about travel and used some of what I do on my blog as an example. I also have a mommy blog so I guest post on other mummy sites and I talk a little about my travel blog as well.

  12. I totally agree with you about the community. For the most part, it is incredibly helpful though there is some name-calling and ego-baring and such, but I don’t think that can be helped, considering that it’s a whole lot of random people writing on the internet. I am a huge fan of my little notebook. Taking notes saves so many of my blog posts!

    1. Yeah, i think the narcissism and nastiness is found in whatever community you hang out in. It’s best to just change where you hang out if it becomes too much so. I found myself getting really down and ticked off about it, but then I realized that I had a choice here. I could choose not to hang in the places where this was happening and so free up my mental energy.
      I have about 3 notebooks in my bag. The problem is now finding which book I wrote what in. Now Kalyra grabs my notebook and starts writing stories when we are out!!! She’s my little intern.

  13. Great post, Caz! I agree with everything you wrote, especially about the supportive travel blogging community. I’ve only been at this for a few months but I really feel like I “know” a bunch of people with the same passion as me. My blog has been growing in viewership, and my Alexa score has been getting better but I’m still a little frustrated with the whole SEO thing. I want a Pagerank that’s not “0” someday! πŸ˜‰

    1. Just keep moving forward Michael. The page rank will come. Apparently they will be updating soon, but you never know. SEO sucks, and it can change so easily. I hate to put too much time in it because you never know where it is going to go. I think if you mostly concentrate on producing great content and social media, then you will build a firm foundation. You will get natural link backs to your posts as people will want to share them. Just make sure your on page SEO is super tight. Since we have been more focused on that we have noticed an improvement

  14. Ah, I thought when I already have a trusty camera, I could already ditch the journals but I guess one is as important as the other. Thank you for the advice and inspiration!

    1. Both serve a purpose. your photos can be good for recording information as well. Sometimes I take photos of menus etc to save me writing.

  15. Great list of tips! I wish I had paid more attention during past travels but who new I would be blogging someday and would, therefore, need all those little details. I now take notes and “dump” my brain each day – it doesn’t hold as much as it used too πŸ™‚

    1. My brain won’t hold much anymore either. Especially now the baby is taking away all its capacity to think πŸ™‚ Of all the magical powers I would wish for in the world, the ability to have hindsight as foresight would be it.

  16. I am having one of THOSE days – where I compare myself to others and wonder why I am doing this. I know it passes and I’ll put one foot forward again tomorrow. I do work hard but wonder if I work as smartly as I should.
    Your points are excellent and I too take my camera everywhere now but must be more vigilant with a journal.

    Keep up the great work.

    1. i think we could all work a little smarter- I know I sure can. I often find myself wasting time on silly things and have to give myself a swift kick up the butt. It takes time to condition yourself to be totally focused, especially when it comes to comparing yourself to others. That is the biggest mind hurdle

  17. It was incredibly encouraging reading your blog. Thank you for all the tips.Being rather new in the blogging world, I sometimes fall in those traps of self doubt too and wonder who on earth wants to read about what I have to say? In fact, was just feeling that way now while I’m struggaling to finish a monster article on a recent trip – but I feel motivated again. Thank you!

  18. thanks so much Caz and Craig for sharing your insights and success principles! YOu guys are amazing to share so much!! Lash

  19. Excellent article with some very helpful tips. I run Travel Writing Workshops and will add this website to the Resource List.

  20. Great post guys! I would have to agree with the majority of things on this post. For the speed bit I personally dont think that your site has to be the fastest out there, I think that it just has to be fast enough. Have you guys contacted your host to see what you can do about getting more bandwidth? I had an issue where my site was throttling because I had the lower option that they offered with Bluehost. I upgraded they gave me a different server and it was smooth sailing. That might help, cheers

    1. Thanks Marcello for the tip. I have contacted them but they keep saying there is nothing wrong on their end. They have run all these tests and they get that it is loading quickly, so who knows!!

    1. Me too1 I’m still nowhere near as diligent as I should be. I’m usually trying to battle with Kalyra for the pencil as she wants to write her stories and draw her pictures.

  21. I think this post definitely needed to be written and I’m glad it was by someone as inspiring as you!

    When I started blogging it was a way to keep myself busy and when I stumbled on the people that had self-hosted blogs I thought, hey, I can do that too. I still struggle everyday because there is so much I don’t know about the technical side and ranking systems, etc. But I have to stop and think because more importantly there are days that I struggle because I don’t know if I’m a good writer. All it takes it those people that comment or email saying how much they love your blog to set you back on track. I am so proud of my blog when I have a good week (or weeks) posting frequently and getting traffic.

    Maybe it’s something I should have done sooner but now I’m ready to start working on all the background stuff and then, eventually, I’ll be really ready to start making money!

    I hate all the schoolyard talk too. It is discouraging to have people making you feel like you are not good enough. You just have to stick it out!

    1. Thank you Annie! I was just thinking earlier tonight how great it will be to meet you when you come down under in a few months. You always have such encouraging words!
      i think it is good to concentrate on your content first, now that you are ready to work on the backgroud stuff you can raise it up just that little bit more. Content should always be your first priority.
      The tech stuff drives Craig and I crazy. You should hear how much we swear here at home with it, especially with our crappy internet! Keep working through it and rely on those in the community who are good at that kind of stuff. They will help you out so much.

  22. I’m still kicking myself for not making any notes, and taking few photos in my earlier travels before I started blogging. Also agree that travel blogging takes more time than you think it’s going to – a lot more and you’re right, at times, likely more than once, you’ll think of giving up and wondering why you’re doing this. But yet here we are, hopefully in the top 20% πŸ™‚

    1. Keep striving for the top 20% and always turn to those who can help rescue you when those times come when you want to throw in the towel. Just keep thinking there is no turning back.

  23. Thank you so much for this. great article! well written and very helpful especially to newbie travel blogger like me.

  24. #5 strikes a big chord with me –
    Expanding your readership so it doesn’t end up a travel bloggers merry-go-round of ‘just’ travel bloggers all reading each others blogs (although this is wonderfully supportive, encouraging and has a great feel-good factor to it).
    Eventually you want the market who you set the blog up for in the first place to find you and read it πŸ˜‰

    1. Absolutely. it is really difficult to branch out into those other niches, especially when the travel blogging community is so encouraging and helpful. But, you have to let go a little bit in order to bring in those readers you did start it for originally.

  25. Talking about #5 Go outside your niche for traffic – I’d just like to share this – for some reason, most of my traffic are directed to my Airline Reviews which I really enjoy writing although I market myself as a travelblog. I don’t know whether this is good or not but I guess it’s more unique than my plain boring articles which you mentioned as #6! I think it is important to respond the way your blog grows and enhance it! Though it does confuse me a bit because I still enjoy writing about my experiences.

    1. You definitely have to respond to the way your blog grows and what your readers like. It is usually the posts you don’t expect to be popular that are. So look at the type of posts that do well and write more of them.

  26. Thanks for the info! I’m new to the travel blogging community and am slowly learning the ins and outs. It’s good to know that other people have felt the same way I’m feeling right now. My biggest issue right now is SEO, but I’m hoping to concentrate on that next. And the fact that all my photos prior to 2005 aren’t digital! It may take awhile to scan all the good ones…

    1. We understand the print photo problem. We have so many great photos on print and slide film. They lose so much quality when you scan them. We’ll just have to go back to all those places now and start again!!
      Just take your blogging one small step at a time. Don’t get too overwhelmed by it as that can put you out of the game.

  27. Great article Caz. Some really important points in there. I personally don’t understand why anyone would begrudge people making a living out of doing what they love. Isn’t that what we are all striving for. To continually post quality travel content, you need to be continually travelling and that costs money.

    Having made the switch recently from traveller (and crap blogger :-)) to working in the travel industry the thing that really stands out to me is how wary and disengaged the two sides of the fence are from one another. In my experience Bloggers generally open with unsustainable offers for advertising on their sites and are quickly discarded. One link on one site is practically worthless to a business (not $200 as one of my recent inquiries to a blogger was met with). 100 links on 100 sites is a value proposition to advertiser. The Blogger community may be well connected but I don’t see them using that connection in a mutually beneficial way. All this does is open the door for marketing agencies and affiliate networks to take up the bulk of budget from legitimate advertisers with great products and services that are perfect match for the bloggers content, rather than the bloggers getting all the cream themselves. There is a real niche there waiting to be filled by someone trusted in the blogger community starting a co-op of quality blogs with similar content that can go enmasse to advertisers with substantial and mutually beneficial offers.

  28. Fantastic and thorough article, Caz! I found myself frequently nodding my head in agreement throughout this. I thought I was prepared for the hard work that comes with blogging, but I had no idea. The thing that has really surprised me, though, was the point about photography: I have changed the way I take photos when I travel now. I take pictures of things it never would have occurred to me to take pictures of as a tourist, but as a blogger, I know I might need them someday. πŸ™‚

    1. For sure. you start to see the stories in simple things when you look at photography like this. I think of all the stories I just didn’t record as I wasn’t thinking like this. It opens up a whole new world to you.

  29. Travel and Maps Center

    great post, i love it..
    i was once really intent to write travel blog, but i realize that it’s not gonna be easy. So, as u said above, i quit.
    Now, i just read many travel blogs without post or write any.
    it’s kinda shame on me..

  30. Great tips! We’re currently really working on number 5, not only because we want to attract more readership but also because, as much as I love travel bloggers and enjoy the community, I’d love to read more from people who are into different things. A lot of the same stuff goes around in travel blogs (written by ourselves as well). Do you have any tips for finding these other bloggers, though?

    1. All we have done so far is guest posting, commeting and hanging out where they are hanging out. Think of a niche you are interested in and could write for and then search around until you find some blogs in that niche that you like and might want to write for.

  31. For some reason I can’t reply directly to your comment above but just wanted to say thank you for your kind words! I can’t wait to meet you guys either!!

  32. Candidly, I’m on the verge of quitting. The meteoric rise of my Alexa rank from 553,000 to 750,000 plus (and still rising) after I changed my permalink structure from “blog title/post name” to “blog title/blogs/category/post name” without first installing WP Link Juice Keeper, coupled with the time factor as I have a job in the government and the cooperative, had punched a hole on my once formidable desire to pursue my travel blogging passion. Thanks for this post, it re-energized my once desperate mind and body, had rejuvenated my soul and made me re-commit myself to pursue the first love of my life-that of writing. Thank you very much for writing one of the greatest travel blog post I have had ever read!

    1. Glad it could help you Edsan. It is so frustrating when you experience set backs like this. We have experienced the same this month, with internet and website meltdowns and losing traffic from one avenue that used to provide us with quite a bit. It can really make you wonder what it is all for. That is why you need to be very clear about why you are doing this so you can fall back on that desire when it all falls apart. And you really need to turn to those who inspire and uplift you during these times. They’ll help you to keep moving forward.
      I was debating about whether to publish this post or not, but now I am so glad i did. I have received quite a few comments how it came at the right time for some people, and helped stop them from quitting. That makes me immensely happy. One of the main reasons we started doing what we were doing was to be a source of encouragement and inspiration to people to keep believing in their dreams and working for them. So thank you for the words of encouragement back to me!!

  33. Great advice guys. Permalinks are our biggest regret too. We posted silly witty title of posts at first not knowing any better. I wish I could go back and change them all, but we can’t do that now:( Also, If we had it to do over again we’d have a different blog title, ThePlanetD is not the most SEO friendly of names.
    Agree completely about not writing for Travel Bloggers, the minute we let this concept go our traffic tripled. We don’t write for travel bloggers anymore. Other than like you, the odd post about tips, the rest is geared to the average person that is looking for travel information. Cheers!

  34. Thanks for a great blog. Last summer i took extensive notes on our Pacific Coast Highway trip and posted on architectlink blog! I toatally agree with your comments but wish there was an easier format in wordpress to upload photos and links from the road and into a map. If anyone has suggestions for faster blog formats do tell!

    I am trying to put together architectural tourguides that upload easily for the busy, but informed blogger!

    PS i canno stand errors from captcha and spellchecker!

  35. I think this is really good advice that actually would apply to non-travel bloggers as well. I think an interesting story angle and/or photograph keeps people coming back for more.

  36. Love the picture and solid article. Time consumption would be the thing that bugged me. Whenever I travel I start out taking photos but then neglect to because the trip gets so absorbing that photos and notes just seem to remove you from the experience.

    1. I find this really difficult as well. I get so absorbed in what I am doing that I forget to take the notes or photos. And this is not all bad because we should be enjoying every moment.

  37. Great tips guys and some great tips for both young and old bloggers. many thanks for the mention as well, hopefully we can all help each other to be better bloggers.

  38. Todd | Todd's Wanderings

    nice set of tips guys! And thanks for mentioning me and the TBC πŸ™‚ I too have permalinks and blog title regrets, but life is too short to worry about it too much. You guys are doing a great job and hit that 20% very very fast. I agree about not wasting your time and energy on the cat fighting that can go on in the Travel Blog community. It happens everywhere and is rampant on the internet in general. The only other thing that I would add is to figure out what you want from your travel blog. There are lots of people out there who think they are morally superior if you do things differently. Make sure you know why you are doing something, and be comfortable with that decision. Getting paid to do what you love is not selling out, but we do need to make sure we don’t become sleazy used car salesmen (no offense car salesmen of the world).

    I have been taking a bit of break over the past few weeks to recharge my blogging batteries. With an intense job, travel, and a kid on the way I have needed it. Slowing down is fine in the blogging world, just stay consistent and don’t drop off completely.

    1. Wow! I didn’t know you were having a baby. How did i miss that? Congratulations!!! How exciting. When is the baby due? We are at the end of August, but I am pushing for mid August. I hope she is listening to her mumma!
      Yeah sleazy car salesmen is not the way to go.

  39. Great advice for travel bloggers at all stages. It’s nice to hear that I’m not the only one who struggles with some of these issues from time to time. Thanks for sharing! πŸ˜‰

    1. Not at all. We have been struggling with them all week!! Been close to throwing in the towel myself. Just keep moving forward, no matter how slowly.

  40. Wow, I really needed this encouragement today! Thanks for the great advice! I’m trying really hard to get noticed in the travel blog world.

  41. Andrew - The Unframed World

    Thanks for these tips and also the other motivation related articles you linked to as well. Recently I’ve been fighting to attract attention to my site and found it hard to keep positive at times.
    I really liked number 6 where you suggest people go out of their niche.
    I’ve been having some success getting traffic by posting my photos on deviantart.com and being active there. Other such online communities are ripe with people looking for specific content that bloggers are providing. the internet being such a big place now-a-days, it’s hard to connect with those who actually are seeking what we have to offer.
    That was a longer comment than I had planned.

  42. This is an awesome post- Thank you so much for all the wonderful insight! I have just started blogging and have loads to learn, so it’s nice to have feedback like this πŸ™‚ You guys are awesome!

  43. I’m already blogging for years but just started to get into all this travel blogging and really loved your article. Thank you very much it helped me to get a little insight of what to expect the next weeks and months.

  44. thorough explanation, thanks! your post is helping me with my new found passion. I always liked travelling but I didn’t know I could also write. thanks so much!

  45. Thank you so much for posting this. I have just started travel blogging 3 days ago and like everyone else has had a bit of insecurities. You addressed my biggest one: “the only way to fail is to quit.” Your blog is an unlimited source of inspiration.

  46. Thanks for the advice. I am definitely guilty of the cutsey post titles–oops. Seems like blogging is a lot of trial and error! Appreciate your encouragement. Nancy

  47. first of all i am thankful to guide me for travel blogging.and now keeping these points in mind i will start posting.great job.

  48. Kevin S Hawley Eyetravelsolo

    To quote, ” Money alone will never be enough to make you want to continue working through the challenges and the emotional input that comes with travel blogging. The money is just the tool that will bring to you what you really want.

    Bingo on this one. If your just in it for the money, you’re doomed. Savy Travellers will spot this right away and drift from your website. Success will be achieved by having you’re own Passion for travel and the desire to share it with others and vice versa. Thanks for an article with such good insight.

    1. You can never survive this if you are just in it for the money, there is no real satisfaction there. And I think you are right, it will be spotted by your readers and they will walk. They are happy for you to make money as long as it is first your passion and second you provide value

  49. I’ve been overdosing on travel blogging info lately, and really enjoy the style of your writing. It’s informative, and motivating to this my husband and I could uproot and enjoy the world while we’re still able to. Thank you.

  50. As a total newbie, my site isn’t even quite finished yet, I definitely struggle with the fears and insecurities. I go from this is going to be the most amazing travel blog EVER to what the flip do I think I am doing. :)But, I plan to be the 20% and I am beginning to get a real idea of how much time and work it will take and at the same time I know I have no idea, but I am committed.

    Thanks so much for your encouragement and honest words about the process. I have found your site incredibly helpful as I start this process and I look forward to exploring it further.

    1. It’s worse than a roller coaster right? At least you can sit back and enjoy that one. I think if you commit to the 20% you will find that things will do really well for you. It is just a decision followed by action. Enjoy it because if you love it then it is a lot of fun.

  51. one thing i like to see of travel blogs it images. images are easy and catches peoples eyes instead of text but i do agree that it can take up a lot of your own time keeping the blog up to date

  52. Did my very first travel post on Ensenada, Mexico wine country. You’re right, remember to journal all the details or you will forget!

    1. I know, have made that mistake so many times. Just came off a week in Thailand and I have copious notes, thank goodness, as I have already forgotten things

  53. I love reading your blogs. Thank you for your tips and advises. I will be traveling with my sister on May to China and this helps me a lot. I’m super excited with our trip that I made my arrangements already late of last year! Booked our hotels and tour packages. i even downloaded a travel app called mytravelsos. It says I have a personal assistant and full legal/medical coverage while on vacation. It was a great deal! I mean, why should I be paying a monthly fee if it only covers a couple of weeks of vacation for me? Anyways, keep on posting! i look forward to your next post!

  54. Thanks for the great tips! Though I do travel often, I suppose now I am more of an expat than anything else. I seem to read less about expat blogging (and making a living as an expat blogger), but perhaps I’m just not looking in the right places yet. Any suggestions for good reading material?

  55. Great advice! I’ve been running my blog for a good few months now, but soon I’ll finally be blogging on the road! I will make damn sure I take photos of EVERYTHING and copious notes too. I can say with certainty that I’d have struggled to blog about past trips without a diary to look over.

    I agree that it’s fine to want to monetise your blog and be rewarded as much as possible for all that hard effort, but I find it really helps to consider the other benefits too – the friends in the travel blogger community you wouldn’t have met otherwise, and the skills you pick up along the way that could come in handy if you ever do quit your blog in favour of Friends reruns! πŸ™‚

    1. Exactly. You learn so much from travel blogging and those skills can be easily applied to other things. We make money now because of our blog not directly off it. That comes from freelance writing, speaking gigs and consulting. It can open so many doors so keep with it.

  56. world tour packages

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  57. Thank you for writing this article, Caz! Like many have already said in the comments, it was the pep talk I needed. Vitor and I are into the second month of traveling and blogging and boy-oh-boy it’s a lot more work than I ever thought (but it’s also more rewarding than I thought, especially knowing that our trip is somewhat documented for us to revisit in the future!)

    I appreciate that you mention connecting with bloggers outside of the travel blogging community and was hoping you could expand on that a little bit. Of course, I’m very new at all of this and I’ll gobble up any little tips you have!

    Thanks again for a great post! πŸ™‚


    1. No worries Vivienne! It’s always great to connect with others outside of travel blogging as different connections can lead to other opportunities. So think of an area that you are passionate about and start reading blogs on that topic and start commenting and networking with those people too. So I connect with a lot of women and mothers through mummy blogging niches and I also love personal development and health type things so I hang out with those who are in those communities as well. It’s a great way to build your network a lot wider and deeper

  58. Great tips, guys! I was particularly inspired by the one about thinking outside your blog’s niche – I’m not sure exactly how I plan to do that but I will have to come up with something to drag in new readers.

  59. Nice post! Certainly good things to think about before starting a blog! I had a really hard time posting whilst travelling… it takes a lot of time and I’d rather be exploring. πŸ™‚

    Before I leave for a trip, I print off a calender for the month and each day, I write what I did. Look back at it helps jog my memory when I write posts and it only takes a few minutes each day whilst travelling.

  60. Hi, interesting blog and post. We just started our travel blog (www.mikestravelguide.com), and I am amazed how much competition is out there. Living in Europe is one of our advantages, especially since our blog is primarily about Europe. If you get a chance, check out our site. I would like some feedback. Thanks for the info. Mike

  61. Fantastic tips here. I’m on the road full-time now and I’m still learning everyday! Some days it’s a struggle to find time to work, when there is so much excitement around you or you are generally shattered from travel, but a fierce determination for my website to succeed pulls me through. I do need to take more notes though. I sometimes concentrate only on the story I am going to make next, without documenting EVERYTHING else round me. So much to see, so much to write about…

  62. Hello,
    I am starting a travel blog of my own. It is a hobby right now, but I’m hoping to grow it. The structure of my blog is to build a community with multiple authors rather than just a personal blog. If you would like to submit a story contact me and I will gladly do so. Also, if would like to advertise your blog on my site feel free to do so. Check it out!

  63. Thank you so much for number three! I read this article a couple of weeks before starting my blog and because of it I was able to get my permalink structure correct before I had even started writing, saved me a lot of hassle πŸ™‚

  64. A little late reading this, but even after nearly 2 years and I’m still learning quite a bit. Wonderful tips and definitely wonderful meeting you guys in Bangkok!

    A side note – in reaching out ‘outside your niche’ – what is one of the most effective strategies you’ve had in doing so? I thought it was best to find your niche and nurture and harvest it?

  65. I have tried browsing for some good example of traveling blogs because,I want to have an idea on how I would start my blog,and I’m thankful that I found your blog.Thanks.

  66. Hi Caz,

    Thanks so much for your helpful tips. I’ve started blogging in the last couple of months as I love to write but there’s so much to learn and I find myself spending every spare minute researching, writing, social media connecting!

    I’m determined to be in the 20%!

    Love reading your blog and thanks for keeping my spirits up!


    1. No problem Helen! I think being in the 20% starts with a choice. It sounds like you are doing everything right so far. Enjoy the journey

  67. “Carry a notebook and pencil around with you every where. Record details of every place you visit, stay at and transport you take. Keep receipts in your book so you have a record of costs.”
    It seems very simple to do, but hard to implemented. Sometimes a lot of people just want to enjoy their trip, without occupied to noted everything, even he need it to make a travel blog.

    But thanks for the tips, Mrs. Caz. I have to always learning from everyone. πŸ™‚


  68. Thanks for the great article Caz! i agree with basically everything you said, even though sometimes it is very difficult to keep your motivation. In my case is even harder as i’m writing my blog in english and i just learnt it when i was 30! so it’s been a hell of a job, believe me! But i won’t give up, i’m living my dream of traveling the world at the moment and i nurtured my blog as it were my baby. I still have so much to learn and posts like yours really help me in staying focused, correct my mistake and carry on writing. Thank you!

  69. I’m still looking for the best travel blogwritting tips and I get here. I always travel and most I write in my personal blog. It seem doesn’t look right so I just open new travel blog niche but a lot of skills I need to learn. thank you sharing useful tips. it’s great post and easy to understand πŸ™‚

  70. Hi Caz,

    A long-time reader of your blog, I wanted to thank you for this *very* helpful post. I’ve made my living writing for a while now, but am new to travel blogging and very intentional about it. Your advice is helpful.

    Thanks again for sharing your hard-earned insights into travel blogging!


  71. hi caz, I agree with your 4th point. It really will take more times on writing travel blog, but as long as we enjoy writing and doing the travel, it’s much worth-it, and it’s true that we have to find another niche to continue updating. thanks for the tips, really useful for us Indonesian bloggers πŸ™‚

  72. Dear Caz,
    Just read your blog..truly inspiring and upfront..I have started doing travel blogging recently and Yes, it requires time and patience..and commitment ofcourse..Over time, I have realized that this is what I wish to do from my heart, and want to go to the 20% crowd..Just a starter right now..I learnt that you genuinely help out your community

    I want to extend myself into professional travel blogging..Can you suggest some tips as to how to start..the WHY is already with me now..Just need to start arranging the pieces..

    I eagerly await your reply..

    Thanks and Regards

  73. I found this post via Google (so you must be doing something right with your SEO) and am so thankful. I am off backpacking, solo and indefinitely, in only 19 days and have started a travel blog to inspire and inform other young ‘I have no idea what to do with my life’ 20 somethings to get out there, travel, explore, learn and not be afraid to do something different than society tells them… and to not be afraid to do it solo. I’ve learned some great tips from this post (checked my permalink etc) so thank you for your experienced words!

    All the best with your future travels.


  74. It’s great to read such an old post and see that you blog has grown even bigger and better since. Your pinterest is probably one of my favourites and most frequently repinned!

    Thanks for the tips, I’m going to have a huge edit this weekend to make my site for SEO friendly…that will be a fun task!

  75. First time I leave a comment here I think, nice blog ! Concerning point 1 this was a problem for me and I had an argument with my girlfriend in Kuala Lumpur because I was taking too many pictures… so I would say, if you travel with someone let them know you are ‘documenting’ for your blog or so you can have more memories of your travel. Solo traveling when you have a blog is sometime easier.

  76. Tip #9. Yes. I have blogged about my adventures for a couple of years, but only started doing it more seriously recently. I definitely go through peaks and valleys wondering if it’s worth it when I see so many successful travel blogs out there already. But at the end of the day, I absolutely love doing it, and reading this article was just what I needed πŸ™‚

  77. Awesome tips! I am really curious when you two ditched your car when you went traveling and what car was it? πŸ˜›

  78. Love this article. I started my blog with friends and family in mind. I gradually realized I wanted to reach a wider audience. I had something to say. I never realized how much time my blog would take, but I do love it.

  79. approach to helping others succeed in travel blogging. My wife and I started our travel site back in November and have seen growing success by following your (and other) suggestions.

  80. This is a really helpful post for someone like me who’s just starting out. I agree with having a big enough why. Knowing our purpose keeps us going. Another point about shorter URLs I believe is not to have numbers in the URL in case you’re gonna add more points.

    By the way, the link to your about page on point number 9 “big enough why’ isn’t working.

  81. Great post! I could so identify with all the points you brought up. Travel blogging IS SO HARD! Luckily I love doing it so now it’s just a question of not giving up and monetizing this passion of mine! Thanks for the encouragement! Needed to read this today.

  82. Totally agree with the point 4. Actually I didn’t know that write for my travel blog would take me so much time that it take now. And it’s clear that if you are not totally committed with your goal you can get easily discouraged.

  83. Thank you Caz, I’m a tour guide in Spain and I’m although I am very good at it I am rubbish at writing. For some reason I find extremely different telling stories in person than through a blog post, so my blog doesn’t get much traffic. But I’ll reread your post until I get better πŸ˜‰

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