As you will have noticed this month, my goal for 2016 is to travel: wherever I can, whenever I get a chance. Obviously the practicalities of this are slightly different to what I can actually do, which at the moment relies on me being able to book time off from work. However, in the last five or so years travel blogging has become professionalised. Sure, lots of people will take work freelancing, teaching, or in the hospitality industry to fund their lifestyles while abroad, but many of these people are able to translate their experiences into a source of revenue.
Last year a post by a couple who had left their comfortable, salaried jobs in Johannesburg, South Africa to go travelling went viral and was widely reported in the news when they revealed that their blog and social media profiles hide the harsher realities of travelling. The tight budget and long hours of seeing the world also meant taking on odd jobs, usually as hotel maids, to fund each leg of their adventures. Their lifestyle blog, while showing off the highs and some stunning photos from their adventures, failed to sustain them. That said, there is a market for travel blogs – if you’ve ever planned a holiday, you’ll find that travel blogs are a really handy source of information about everything from particular destinations to packing light.
A quick google for ‘successful travel blogging’ brings up oodles of results from veteran travel bloggers and industry experts. Columbus Insurance’s industry observers note that the most successful bloggers update whenever they can, stay focused on their travels (not their personal lives), and be friendly to readers and fellow bloggers. If you’re not sure where to start, it’s easy to find travel blogs on StumbleUpon or even get yourself on Twitter to participate in the regular blogger chats – follow @lbloggers for a regular #lbloggers chat every week to network and get feedback.
Lifehacker have a handy infographic for the financial side of travel blogging, reminding us that only the really successful bloggers can live off advertising alone – there’s a lot of behind the scenes work including consultancy and affiliate posts. The general rule of thumb seems to be to choose a niche and become a leading storyteller within that niche – persistence pays off. The first free meal a travelling food blogger earns will taste pretty sweet!
The wonderful thing about blogging is that it’s really opened up a new platform for travel writing, making it easier than ever before to see so many perspectives from so many backgrounds and budgets.
What are your favourite travel blogs or writing tips?
**This is a collaborative post**