Three reasons to begin travel blogging

Do you want to start a travel blog?

Have you already, and you’re striving to become one of those successful travel bloggers?

3 reasons to start a travel blog

Our travel blog is called ‘y’ travel blog because we believe in the power of your WHY – the greater purpose for doing things. After spending years stuck in a job I hated, I can’t stomach living any kind of life now that is not driven by a powerful WHY.

The clearer you are on the whys, and the more passionate you are about them, the greater your chance for travel blog success, or success in an endeavor you’re working for.

I want to share with you three powerful reasons to start a travel blog, or to continue to grow the blog you have already. I think the first two are possibly well-known and spoken about, but I don’t hear the third one talked about as much as being an important reason for travel blogging.

I think it’s a vital role travel bloggers can play in uplifting the industry and our wider communities. A travel blogger’s impact can be huge if implemented correctly with pure intentions.

(P.S. This post is written more in mind for those who want something more than a travel journal or travel blogging hobby, but one that wants to make money travel blogging and create a lifestyle around it in some way.)

1. For yourself

Adventure Cove Waterpark - S.E.A aquarium in Singapore - one of the best things to do in Singapore with kids!

Let’s be real here. You want to start a travel blog and become a successful travel blogger for yourself. You’d be crazy not to. Any life we set out to create has to be born from passion and a desire to live a certain lifestyle.

There’s nothing wrong with self-service, it’s how we keep our cup full to spill over to others. More about the spilling over in reason two below.

First and foremost start a travel blog for you.

What do you want it to give you? What do you want to experience, write about and share? What lifestyle are you searching to create?

The reason I want a successful travel blog is to:

  • document and share my adventures and memories
  • get the stories and lessons within me out and allow them to have a deeper and wider purpose
  • help sustain and create a lifestyle I love
  • continue living and breathing travel with my kids!

Share the reasons you travel blog for yourself in the comments below!

2. For your community

China worldpackers

I’ve said this so many times in previous blog posts, in talks I give at conferences, and in my own premium webinar training.

If you are only into travel blogging for yourself – that is just to get free trips, or to make money – you’ll end up quitting.

Travel blogging is much harder than you realize. It involves an intense amount of energy and time, both with the travels and what you give out via thoughts and words.

The majority of our posts on this site are over 1200 words long, some as big as 6,000. We want to provide epic content, but it comes at a huge expense – energy drain. Expressing a part of your soul with vulnerability can wipe you out.

You’ll be learning to overcome many hurdles, mostly your own vulnerability, insecurities, and doubts, which only intensify when you sometimes come across a few random trolls and mean-spirited people who love to tell you what a horrible human you are. #thanksforsharing

We’ve been travel blogging for six years and there is probably not a month goes by where I don’t feel like quitting. I don’t for two reasons:

  1. Travel blogging is way better than teaching. I love the freedom and opportunity it gives me to live life on terms and experience travel with my kids.
  2. We have such an amazing community who feel like friends. I receive hundreds of emails from readers each month telling us how our posts have inspired them to transform their lives and travel more. It’s hugely rewarding to know you’re helping people achieve their dreams.

I always intended from our first post to create a site like Lonely Planet – super useful, but with a dash of inspiration and a real story. I wanted to help people travel as I know how much travel gifts you in all aspects of your life.

But, I never realised until those emails started coming in what a huge motivating influence that is for what we do and it’s why I don’t quit.

travel community
Travelling friends

When you start a travel blog, consider how you can help others through your content.

What’s in it for them?

Make the journey one where you continually evaluate this purpose outside of yourself and evolve to serve your reader’s needs as well as your own.

Don’t confuse your why with someone else’s. We each walk a different path and comparing what you do will only lead to either insecurity and self-criticism, or arrogance.

It’s why you find so many list and tip posts on this site – and why they do hugely well. Since we’ve started this journey, so many people have torn down this approach to travel blogging and said how it’s destroying a story.

But from what perspective are they looking at that? From their joy of narrating their story, or from what they know their readers like?

Each community is different. Our readers love us to empower them with our tips and strategies. They plan their trips around them and then contact us to let them know how our tips helped them have the best travel experience they’d had.

A reader just wrote to tell me how our 2-week itinerary of Outback Queensland helped her effortlessly plan a memorable holiday. I LOVE hearing that. What a disservice I’d be doing to listen to what other people want and ignore what our community tell us they like.

Taking on other people’s opinion is hugely valuable – you can learn a lot from others. But don’t disregard your inner voice and what your community tells you they want.

How do you know this?

Talk to them, ask the right questions, listen very carefully, and pay attention to your data. When a post gets over 200,000 shares then you know list posts work!

Join our free Digital Lifestyle Travel Tribe and grab some free training to help you make money travel blogging:

3. For the tourism industry

Ubirr Aboriginal Rock Art - Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Australia
Kakadu National Park

I can sometimes get a little irritated when I hear conversations from travel bloggers or travel influencers asking “‘What can I get for free?” before even contemplating, “What value can I offer?”

Understand your value and stand by this, but don’t ask for, or demand value in return that doesn’t match with what you can offer. It will hurt you more in the long run, as well as the industry.

Travel blogging is valuable for the tourism industry and can offer so much, but there’s a lot of disgruntlement because people are asking for too much, too early, for little value in return.

I love travel.

I love being part of the travel industry and helping it evolve and bring travel to more people with solid, relevant partners. You can do creative things that work and help everyone, but build your value first with the intention to raise the tourism industry.

What about the small tourism operators?

Texas Longhorn Wagon Tours in Australia

One part I love about what we do is having the opportunity to help small tourism operators in the industry. Owning a business, particularly in travel, is very challenging.

Travel bloggers get annoyed when brands want them to promote their stuff for free, but travel operators also get annoyed when travel bloggers always approach them to experience their product for free. It’s a cost for their business, and one they can’t always carry.

When you contact someone, stop to think about how many other people may have contacted them asking the same, and how that could impact their bottom line.

There is a value exchange here.

Obviously, if a travel blogger promotes a company, they are giving out free exposure (and time to experience and write), so a value exchange is necessary. But, go into that exchange offering something valuable in return – not hyped up stats, or over inflated egos, but truth and service.

But, go into that exchange offering something valuable in return – not hyped up stats, or over inflated egos, but truth and service.

I think travel bloggers hold a unique perspective to share a real travel story and highlight tours etc., but it does come with responsibility.

We can’t get it right all the time – we’ve made mistakes. But, when you come from the perspective of wanting to help, and not just be about you, it becomes quite a gratifying experience.

Camden Park Station, Longreach, Queensland, Australia

I felt the most amount of joy from this when we first traveled through Outback Queensland, and I saw the struggles the community was having with the drought. What a privilege and

What a privilege and honor it was for me to come to this region and help them by promoting the valuable tourism experiences they offer. It’s something that can help them overcome the hardships of a land they have no control over.

I loved that I was in a position to help in that way, and I realized this was a vital part of what we do – to give a voice to the local communities working to share what is great about their region and helping them to be successful as well.

So when you reach that privilege with your travel blog to receive free trips (and I hate using that word free because it’s not, you give a lot of work and exposure in exchange) or get paid to travel blog, then look at that greater picture and ask,

“How can I best serve the people in the communities I am visiting? How can I help grow their business?”

On our recent trip to Snowmass for the Travel Influencers’ Summit, Courtney, the representative from Colorado Tourism spoke to us about the huge impact we can have on local communities. We can showcase their region and bring new travelers to the area, which doesn’t only affect the owners of the travel related business, but all businesses within the community. This, in turn, impacts their families and every person’s individual dreams.

Her talk lit a fire under me to keep growing and getting better because I want to have that kind of impact. I want to use my love of travel to, not only help others to travel but to help every person that feels the ripple in the communities we visit.

It’s pretty awesome to think of the positive influence you can have on the world simply by doing something you love and having very clear and strong reasons for doing it.

When you come from the place of service and elevation, you will be supported in many ways.

How to get your place in the travel blogging industry right

It’s your responsibility to share only the things you find valuable and believe is a worthwhile experience.

Even though we get paid to travel or go on “free” trips, we only share what we love with honesty. Some people don’t believe that is possible based on their life experiences, so our word is not enough for them – that’s their journey, not mine. We turn away a ridiculous amount of travel experiences and money every year because we don’t feel we’ll enjoy it, or it’s a good fit for our readers.

We turn away a ridiculous amount of travel experiences and money every year because we don’t feel we’ll enjoy it, or it’s a good fit for our readers.

We don’t know for sure that we’ll love it, but we listen to our heart and gut, and we do a lot of research beforehand; we’ve rarely gotten it wrong. Anything we experience that we don’t like, we either won’t write about it or think of it from the perspective of, “is this just our personal preference and may someone else like it?”

If we feel it may be a good experience, but just not suited to us, then we’ll still share it, but explain why it didn’t suit us and why someone else might like it.

Incorporate mission and journey into your travel blogging

family travel planning

There are many bloggers who do a fantastic job of creating their travel blog around an intense passion and purpose like Green Global Travel for environment, Uncornered Market for culture, and Time Travel Turtle for World Heritage Sites, and for us, it’s about unplugging from life’s chaos to reconnect to what’s important – especially for families.

Don’t weigh yourself down by thinking it has to be such a profound and meaningful mission; it can be writing stories that entertain – we all need more of that! Whatever it is, make what you do serve, give back, and raise up, rather than it being a means to take as much as you can.

Whatever it is, make what you do serve, give back, and raise up, rather than it being a means to take as much as you can.

It’s okay to take when it’s balanced by giving first.

When you create a personal journey on your travel blog, you’re not just flipping from one free trip to the next; you’re on a mission to serve, and the “free” travel or partnerships work to serve the journey and mission.

It’s one reason we’re going on our America Unplugged trip, and will be working with tourism boards and brands along the way. We want to showcase the depth to a country we love so much.

Many people ask us for advice about travel to the US, and they’re thinking of NYC, Grand Canyon, LA and Las Vegas. And we always say, what about Utah or Charleston and Savannah? These are some of our favourite destination is the US that aren’t promoted as much and we want to share.

It gives me so much joy to know we can help our US readers express what they love about their country, help the small tourism operators and communities share what they have to offer, and to future travelers to the US from other countries some new and exciting places you can discover and have an incredible journey.

The journey, and the travel blogging, then becomes bigger than just wanting to create a travel lifestyle for ourselves.

When you create a journey and experiences that merges these three powerful purposes together, you have something that can make a powerful impact upon other travellers, yourself and the industry while helping you create a full-time income from your travel blog and a travel lifestyle.

Win.Win.Win.

You can also read more about the power of storytelling travel bloggers hold to share the stories fo the world and bring together its people in this post: Why we need more travel bloggers (but not the annoying kind) 

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

How do you incorporate mission and journey into your travel blogging?

Why do you travel blog?

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3 reasons to start a travel blog. It's not just about funding and creating a travel life you love. There are two other important reasons too.

48 thoughts on “Three reasons to begin travel blogging”

  1. I really enjoyed reading this because I think a lot of travel bloggers think they are going to get travel for free and that is simply just not the case. I have been going for 3.5 years and I have only had one free media trip recently. I believe the main reason I started travel blogging was to highlight how wonderful and diverse my own country Australia is. I really wanted to encourage people to travel in their own country instead of spending every holiday going to Bali or Phuket. I think I have achieved this and now because of my passion and perseverance I am finally starting to make a little money from my blog.

    1. Well said Kathy. I didn’t even know you could make money from blogging when we started out. All I wanted to do was show people how great Australia was and try to encourage people to travel with their kids.

    2. Perfect why Kathy! I love inspiring travel within our beautiful country as well. I think when you have a purer intention the money and opportunities flow – It’s all about the chi!

  2. Great article…..I especially like the point you make about asking what value you can offer, especially to those small rural communities that are doing it tough at the moment. It’s one of the reasons why we love sharing our travel adventures.

    1. I love helping those rural towns. They have mother nature working against them, yet offer such valuable service to our country. If I can help them, even in a small way, it’s worth doing what we do. I love that you’re doing it too Melissa!

  3. Thanks for sharing this Caz and Craig. As a relatively new travel blogger, it’s been really important to get our ‘why’ right from the start. Our passion for travelling and spending time as a family to discover new places, experiences and meet new people along with our enjoyment of sharing our stories, writing and photography led us down the path of starting Travel Tales. What we didn’t expect and is now part of our ‘why’ is the fantastic community of travel bloggers that we’re connecting with through our blog and on instagram and Facebook along the way. Thanks for a great article guys! 🙂

    1. It’s always great to connect with a community of people who understand the journey you are on. I’ve made so many amazing friend through travel blogging.

  4. I started my travel blog as a way to express and share my passion for change. I love travel, but I am also very passionate about what we can do to make the world a better place. I find expressing myself vocally is quite difficult, so I feel like I can really show my thoughts and ideas in a more detailed and informative way through my blog. It has changed my life and I am so grateful. Great post! X

  5. Great article and really does a great job of explaining the whole blogging idea.
    I started blogging a couple of years ago, but my blog is still pretty small. I haven’t been on any free trips. I haven’t even managed to ask for anything free yet. I’m wondering what can I really offer in exchange when my blog is still so small?

    1. That’s a great question to ask Jill. It will help you hone into that value as you’ll always have some. The awareness of that will help you build upon it. It can take time but it’s faster once you understand what you offer.

  6. Really enjoyed the framework here, especially how to think about working with brands not as “what can I get for free?” but instead as how to work together in a way that benefits others. During our TBEX keynote a couple of years ago, we structured our approach as: honoring the experience, honoring your readers, honoring partners (e.g., brands) and honoring the world (perspective on how travel can benefit communities & create greater understanding). It’s hard to balance, but for us when it’s possible to keep these four anchors in mind then it helps us stay focused and mission-based.

    Thanks much for including us as an example here!

    1. What a great keynote and I love the terms you have used – honoring. Such a beautiful way to describe it. I think in following this format you naturally will honor the world and help improve it. It certainly needs as much love and help as it possibly can at the moment.

  7. I started my travel blog purely to share my travel tips knowledge.
    I feel like I have always lived and breathed tourism, I went caravanning every school holidays as a kid, I backpacked in my 20’s studied hospitality and then tourism whilst working in the airline industry. I just love everything travel and as a result had gained so much knowledge I just wanted to share. However it has taken a long time for my writing abilities to catch up.
    Travel blogging takes a lot of work, you need to be passionate about it, because those free trips don’t come that often.

    1. They certainly don’t! The passion will always lead to enjoying the hard work and committing to improve and grow! It’s so worth it.

  8. I blog about various things but I LOVE posting about our travel adventures. I love it because I want to tell everyone about the gorgeous destinations in their own backyard and why they should go too. I get super excited when people read my posts because it feels like I’m doing my bit to back my beautiful country, as well as a couple of countries I’ve unofficially adopted because they are awesome as well. 🙂
    I would love to have a travel focused blog but then I’d feel like I couldn’t freely blog about everything else I like.

    1. Michelle, I hear you on blogging about your other interests. I want to sprinkle some fitness related posts on our blog but still relate them to traveling. Workouts that can be done on the road or different Crossfit gyms I visit. I figure if it all comes back to travel it’s a good.

      1. Great idea Edgar! Health is something a lot of people struggle with keeping on top of when they travel. You can really help them learn ways to balance it! It brings a unique perspective to your blog and there are so many interesting ways to incorporate fitness and travel.

  9. I really liked this post, I thought you had many good points. I started up a travel blog about a month ago, for two reasons: one because I really like to write, and two because a travel blog sort of forces me to travel to have something to write about – kind of a backwards approach, but it’s working, and I’m traveling so much more now than before. As for types of posts – I have made two lists (on New Zealand) and they were the least popular. Most popular (almost 40 views, wow!) have been more narrative, and the ones I’ve liked the most to make.
    Cheers,
    Maria

    1. That’s awesome Maria, you’re figuring out what your community wants from you. I love how you use the travel blog to force you to travel and write about it. It’s a fantastic approach!

  10. I love what you have to say Caz. We’re just getting started with our blog, and I’m trying to consciously ask myself every few days ‘Is this what I want? Do I have enough passion here to sustain this? Is this what’s best for my family?’

    We’re blogging to share our passion about family travel, but also to try and create a new life that’s more free and fluid. We want to teach and inspire our kids and have that inspiration spill over to others. We are working hard to try and lay the foundation so the blog can help support us in the future. We’ll see! It’s a new journey!

    1. I love how you keep asking those questions Carrick. The answers will come and they can always change, which is why it’s great to keep tuning in and checking you’re still on the right path. It’s always okay to change if the answers tell you to.

  11. I love this post. I started my blog as a way to help people realize that working in a full-time job doesn’t mean you don’t travel. For those of us that are lucky to be doing what we want to do in life (like I am), we can still visit new countries and discover the world without having to sell everything we own and be a nomad. I love being able to share my experiences and show people how I’ve traveled to 3 new countries this year so far while still maintaining a full time job.

    1. Such a great perspective Madi and one that most people are wanting help with! There aren’t enough people blogging from this perspective. I love how you can balance doing it with a job you love!

  12. Loved this article. My wife and I are brand new to this whole experience. We are taking a career break and initially thought of starting a blog as a journal of our trip for family and friends. Then we found out about the money making aspect. It would be great to make money off our passion for travel but as I said we are taking a career break, so in 6 months we’ll be back to our jobs. However, I still want to pursue blogging because I feel we have something to offer. We mesh pretty well and our interactions are…interesting. Also, as backpacking couple we can offer tips and advice on traveling with a partner, travel hacks, etc. we already have people who ask us how we are doing this, so this would be a great outlet. The money is a bonus (if we are lucky). Do you have any advice on how to go about affiliate sales, sponsors, ads, etc.? Thank you!

    PS – Unfortunately Australia is not on our list for this trip but that doesn’t mean we’ll never go! Read your posts, definitely a place I want to visit!

    1. Fabulous Edgar – I hope you can come Down Under in the future. There’s so much involved in making money from your blog. I’ve written up a resource page that has links to our best blog posts that give insights and tips on different areas of travel blogging, including making money https://www.ytravelblog.com/welcome/how-to-be-a-top-travel-blogger/
      If you’re not already a subscriber to our digital lifestyle list be sure to jump on that as I’ll be updating more often about blogging and business so you don’t want to miss a post. You can do that here https://www.ytravelblog.com/digital-nomad-toolkit/
      If you are already a subscriber, then stay tuned, and thank you!

  13. This is such a useful post, not even so much for my current site but for the one I am planning for my after-children-are-grown-up travel blog… My Sydney one is really about exploring close to home when you can’t get away, it’s still exciting to go to new places and there’s still so much to explore in Sydney. I love a win win win situation… did a lovely wee trip to South West Rocks last week which I will enjoy sharing with readers a lot, and which was a top short escape for our family. Love love love

    1. Oh I love South West Rocks, it’s such a quiet and lovely area to relax – especially for families. Savannah first tried kangaroo poo there when she was about 7 months. We popped her down on the grass for a wee break and turned around and there she was picking one up and putting it in her mouth!! She laughs a lot at that now when we tell her! Good memories

  14. I just started up a travel blog (of sorts). I am unable to get out there and travel much, so I am researching and reading about the world, hoping to bring some of that world to any readers I pick up.

    I do envy those who can actually do this physically!

    1. Keep working on your passion and the travel will open up for you. Don’t forget to explore the area around you. That’s one of the things we did a lot of when we first started travel blogging and weren’t travelling much!

      1. Sadly I live in a rather dull city with nothing around but houses and a few local shops, but I am hoping to start buying last-minute budget train tickets and just going to a town or village I’ve never visited!

  15. I really love travelling. But I am starting to write travel blog but maybe I dont have many expériences. I found your blog on google and I love your blogs too. Thank you!

  16. An inspriring article…I have been thinking about creating my own travel blog for a long time. I would like to dedicate this blog to travelling around my home country, Vietnam and my home town, Saigon. I hope this blog can help introduce the beauty and attraction of Vietnam to people all over the world.
    Now I have more motivation to move ahead and stop procastinating.

  17. Thank you so much for this article. I am also new to the blogging family and have read many ‘new blogging technique articles’ but nothing like this. While I feel any monetary gain isn’t in my near future, I loved reading over the why’s and making sure that my article is beneficial (monetary gain or not) to everyone involved and not just me typing words into space.

  18. Hi Caz, First of all your blog is awesome and inspiring.
    As travellers i feel we tend to capture a bit of culture from every place we visit and document it in our blogs. Even you might have noticed the cultural aspect is diminishing slowly in all civilizations as places get commercialized everyday (atleast that what is see in India). So as bloggers we might be the last ones documenting the left over beauty for future generations. Just a thought of this keeps me excited to keep on blogging.

  19. Wow! This is such a long but inspiring post! I’ve always loved traveling, going to new places to explore what the world has to offer for me. But I never considered blogging because it’s tedious and a LOT of work. I’ve only shared my experience through photographs and images (I love documenting my travels through photographs). People asked me tips (especially since I travel DIY). I’ve replied to them and thought it was enough . . . until I’ve read this. I never thought I could make my life and mission more meaningful through traveling. Now I am seriously considering myself to start a blog and maybe, I can help people more to get out of their shell and enjoy life and the world. Thank you so much for this!

  20. Great points Caz. I started my own travel blog about 3 years ago, but my heart was never really in it. I seem to know what I need to do better now, it’s taken time to figure out what I want my blog to be. Not just travel, more about lifestyle design, HOW to change it all around. Blogging with enthusiasm and enjoying my travels now.

  21. Great post! I think travel blogs can benefit a lot from having a clear purpose in mind. It doesn’t matter if it’s a commercial or a personal blog, it’s great to have a deeper goal than just ‘get free trips’ or ‘share my travel diaries’. 🙂

  22. I completely agree that the best reason to create a travel blog is for your own pleasure. Many people get into it for the money and this is the worst use of your time. If you don’t enjoy writing and keeping up your WordPress plugins then you won’t continue doing it after a couple of months.

  23. Hi Caz and Criag.
    i read up on your blog daily,My partner Shylee & I are from Canberra.we want to pack up our things within 2 to 3 years and travel like you guys do,understanding that the whole process of running a blog site doesnt just happen over a day or two…but what we wanted to know is how you would go about doing it,because we are pretty much young adults,Shylee just turned 22 and I am turning 23 this year but we have 2 daughters…we realise that Life is short and the world is wide,there is so much of the world to see and do.we want to start our blog but to be honest we haven’t traveled anywhere as a couple but Thailand in Feb..

    1. Hi Deshon! You’ve commented at the right time. WE’re currently sharing the Ultimate Blogging Bundle which is on flash sale for the next 12 hours only. It has over 61 resources that will teach you everything you need to know to start and grow a travel blog. It’s the best resource there is. I have done many of the courses within the bundle and they are of exceptional value and the price of it is incredible. My premium training is also included in the bundle. Check it out more here https://www.ytravelblog.com/how-to-start-grow-successful-blog/

  24. So true. Just started my travels 2 months ago after my graduation, and literally just finished reading “Man’s Search for Meaning’ by Viktor Frankl 2 nights ago. It’s a book about finding your WHY. I procrastinated so long before starting my travel blog. I know mine isn’t about the money (for now), since I am earning from Amazon niche sites. I wanna inspire and show my peers it’s possible to get out of their comfort zone, break out of the rat race and live their dreams. Thanks for the reminder!

  25. Great piece! Totally agree with so much of this. I think it’s great to do something for yourself and at the same time to help pass on information to others. I like your first point about finding motivation because I also feel that a travel blog is a great way for me to get my stories out and give them meaning and to gain a better understanding of my experiences whilst at the same time documenting those precious memories.

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