“How do I become a travel blogger?” That’s a question we get a lot. People that run their own business in the real world work 18 hours a day to achieve success, and so do people who run successful travel blogs. We put in long hours every day. Luckily, we love what we do.
Our long hours at the computer and all the time spent traveling for several months of the year, doing research on the destination, and taking countless photographs…well, that’s fun for us.
Do You Want to be a Travel Blogger?
Many travel bloggers decide to start a blog because they want to leave the rat race and that is fine. I understand wanting to give up your career or take a break to travel the world. Many people are quite happy to take a year off, write about their experience, and then go back to their jobs.
Becoming a Professional Travel Blogger is Hard Work
But if you decide to become a professional travel blogger because you think it will be easy to make money, and that you will get away from the long hours and stress of business, you better think again. Travel blogging is hard work. But the hard work is worth it!
We travel blog because we love everything about it. Besides the travel and being together, we love writing, taking photographs, and making videos. Dave and I were willing to put everything we had into turning our dreams into a reality.
When we had setbacks or failures, we were willing to re-evaluate our situation, make the changes that needed to be made, and start again.
Questions to Ask Before you Become a Travel Blogger
Before you begin to think of being a professional travel blogger, ask yourself a few questions.
Are you only in it for the money?
Making money as a travel blogger is secondary. Creating good content, giving our readers information, entertaining our followers, and being authentic are all first and foremost. When you focus on the right things, the money will come.
We have made a mid-six-figure income for several years as travel bloggers and financial freedom is within reach. Had we focused on that at the beginning of our professional travel blogger careers, I don’t think we would be where we are today.
Are you willing to make a solid plan and stick to it?
Dave and I went into this business with a plan. We didn’t have the fantasy that it was going to be a permanent vacation, and we didn’t think that we’d suddenly be working a 4-hour work week.
To us, being a travel blogger was a career change, not a career break. We work hard, we have a plan, we are passionate about what we do, and we are willing to adapt when things don’t work out.
If you want to be a travel blogger, you’ll definitely want to read How to Start a Travel Blog in 11 Easy Steps
Are You Willing to Put in the Time to Make your Travel Blog a Success?
It takes years for any business to succeed and being a travel blogger is no different. You most likely won’t be an overnight success as a travel blogger and you will have to work hard to meet your goals, perhaps for a couple of years, before you even start to see a payoff.
But, if travel and blogging are things that you are passionate about, you will have the time of your life getting there.
As professional travel bloggers we often hear these comments: “Wow, you have a great life!” “What do you mean work, you never work!” “You travel around the world having adventures and fun.” “It must be awesome to just travel all the time!” “You’re living the dream!”
And that is true! We are living the dream, but we worked hard to get here and we love every minute of it. If we can do it, you can too!
Are You Willing to Think of Your Travel Blog as a Business?
That is the first question that you want to ask yourself. Do you want to be travel blogger for fun, or do you want to be in this business? If you just want to write about your experiences on the road for friends and family, no worries.
But, if you want to make money with your travel blog in the future, you need to start thinking of Travel Blogging as a business. Have a plan of where you want to be in a few years and be prepared to re-evaluate when necessary.
Are you willing to photograph and share everything?
Even the most mundane things like taking a photo of yourself working at the airport can help to tell the story. You need to take photographs of everything that you do in your travels.
Sometimes you won’t feel like it and would prefer to just sit and listen on a tour, but if you want to share the experience on your blog, you will have to make sure to take photographs of anything that could be relevant.
Are you willing to have your life on display?
Since we started out as travel bloggers, the business has changed a lot. At first we only had to focus on creating content for ThePlanetD blog.
Now we have to share our daily experiences social media sites that seem to change yearly. SnapChat has come and gone, Google Plus lasted for as long as a blink and now there’s TikTok and Instagram Stories, Facebook Live and so much more.
We have to constantly show people what we are doing in the moment. It’s a lot more work now. We still make the bulk of our money off of Travel Blogging and will never give up being travel bloggers. But to be a success you have to have your hand in everything.
A travel blog is the only content we truly own and control, but being a travel social media influencer is just as important.
We now have two jobs and every detail of our life is online. You need to decide if you want people peeking into your life on a daily basis.
And you will need thick skin. The Internet has evolved from a supportive loving place to a world of bot comments and nastiness. Sometimes you are gong to hear things you don’t like.
Are you ready to take notes on everything while being completely immersed in the history and culture?
Writing about your experience is not enough as a professional travel blogger.You need to learn about the history and significance of the place that you are visiting.
You need to find out about the important details, like how much it costs, how to get there, and what you will see. Heck, you need to tell your readers how to get there and what to do once they reach the destination. You can’t just float through a tour or a destination as an observer. You need to be an active participant.
You need to know about the destination and its people. You want to give your readers the best experience possible and being informed is a big part of that.
Will you put in the hours after a long day of adventures to upload photos, write a post, and edit videos?
I know, you’d rather be out drinking at the bar or turning in early after a busy day trekking, surfing, or paddling. But as a travel blogger, you need to spend your evenings sorting through your footage, writing drafts for a blog post, and organizing and tagging your photos.
There is a lot of work to be done each day and all those notes that you took while sightseeing now need to be edited and put into an enticing and interesting article for your readers to read.
Are you willing to go to see a sight or take part in an activity even if you don’t feel like it?
You’ve been travelling for a long time and you are burnt out. You really just want to sit on a beach, watch tv and stay as far away from your computer as possible. When you are starting a business, you can’t just up and leave it because you are tired.
The same can be said when you are starting out as a travel blogger. You need to keep working, especially in the early stages when you are building your audience.
People want to read new content and you need to network and publicize yourself. So even if you are relaxing at the beach for a week or so, you need to be prepared to keep working.
Dave and I are 10 years into our travel blogging careers but it has only been the past year two years that we’ve actually stopped to smell the roses. We are ONLY now in a place where we can say, “No, I don’t feel like getting up at 4:00 am for that sunrise.”
But during the building years, we never missed a sunrise, sunset, or moment. We worked every waking moment. It was working hard that allowed us to save money for our retirement. You can do it too! But, only if you work hard.
Can you Really Change your Lifestyle?
You have just quit your high-paying job to live the dream of being a travel blogger. Travel is expensive and it will take at least a year before you start to make a name for yourself and start to make money.
Money goes fast between flights, hotels, and sightseeing, and you are going to spend more than you make for the first couple of years. Before the money starts to roll in, you will be on a tight budget.
Are you willing to give up your designer clothes and expensive dinners? This is a very real question that you need to ask yourself. How much are you willing to give up to achieve your dreams?
Do you have the funds to last while you build your business?
I know the beautiful photos on Instagram make it look like everyone is staying in luxury hotels, but life doesn’t work that way. You don’t get those luxury jobs until you have a following and name for yourself.
Not everyone gets free travel instantly. Dave and I didn’t get our first free trip until nearly two years of traveling on our own dime. We had to use our savings to pay for our own travel.
During our first year as travel bloggers, Dave and I stayed in $6 guest houses in India that were disgusting. But, by stretching our dollar, we could document things like India’s most exciting festival.
Having a savings and sticking to a budget allowed us to travel through the continent for 5 months while we built our readership and social media following. By saving money and staying, putting aside our pride and need to stay in luxury, we built theplanetd to one of the largest travel blogs on the Internet.
Are you willing to answer comments from fans and followers who have questions about travel?
There is a lot more to being a travel blogger than just putting up a post. You will have to respond to comments, answer emails, talk to sponsors and advertisers, and answer questions from your fans and fellow travel bloggers.
The behind the scenes work of a travel blog takes up more time than writing a blog post or putting up a photograph; especially as you grow bigger. Comments accumulate and emails come in from readers, advertisers, tourism boards, and brands.
PR companies contact you about going on press trips and attending media lunches and you can find yourself answering a hundred emails each day. You can’t ignore these emails. You need to be polite and answer every one of them.
Even if you don’t plan on working with certain companies, you still need to send a reply thanking them for contacting you. And most importantly, make sure you don’t ignore your social media interactions. It is important to remain professional and stay on top of things.
Can you make an editorial schedule and stick to it?
At first, it was fun writing a blog post every couple of days, but now it is cutting into your travel time. It suddenly doesn’t seem so easy when you have to write a post while you’d rather be sleeping on a lounge chair. However, you need to be consistent and decide if you really want to write on a regular basis.
Your readers will start to look forward to your posts and count on reading them when they expect them. If you suddenly don’t post for a few days or weeks, you will lose many readers. Even if you decide to only write once a week when you first start out, that is fine. Just be sure to stick to that schedule whatever you decide.
Are you willing to adapt?
Many people don’t want to compromise or change if things aren’t working out. If nobody is coming to your blog, stop complaining and start rethinking your business plan. Instead of whining about what everyone else is doing, start looking into trying new things.
Many people argue that they have integrity and write from the soul. They refuse to change because that is who they are. There is absolutely nothing wrong with writing from the soul and keeping your voice, but if nobody is coming to your blog you need to think about what you are doing wrong and why people aren’t connecting with you.
You can adapt while still keeping your core values and writing style. You may need to experiment with ways to connect with your audience. If you are not willing to shift your plan, you will have a difficult time in succeeding.
How We Adapted to Become Travel Bloggers
Before deciding on a career as travel bloggers, Dave and I wanted to have a TV Show. We thought it would be an amazing way to pursue our dreams of traveling full time.
When we didn’t succeed in our original goal, we looked into ways to raise our profile so that maybe one day someone would approach us to be on television. We worked hard at creating the blog and we changed and adapted over the years.
We didn’t change who we are and we stayed true to our core values, but we tried different things and made little changes to try to connect more with our readers and develop relationships with our peers.
Because we were willing to adapt, we were eventually approached by a TV station to do a weekly segment. If we hadn’t changed and adapted our plan in the beginning, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
Do you have what it takes to promote yourself?
My mom gave me the best advice when I was worried that we shared too much of our good news. She said “If you don’t promote yourself, who will?” Travel Companies, PR Agencies and Tourist Boards need to know about all the great stuff that you are doing.
The more you are doing, the more you should let them know. So, make announcements about where else you can be found on the web or who else you are writing for. Tell people when you are being interviewed or when you have won an award.
These are all things that are attractive to companies, and they will want to hire you or sponsor you.
Actors have a publicist doing this job for them, but you most likely don’t have enough money to hire a publicist so you need to be your own media machine. Being humble is nice, but it won’t get you a pay check.
So, do you still want to be a travel blogger?
Here are some links to check out to help get you started.
For Photography we highly recommend – Photographing the World by Elia Locardi in partnership with F-Stoppers
- How to Travel the World – The Ultimate Travel Resource
- 21 Ways to Get Paid to Travel
- Our best travel tips from years on the road
- How to Be a Professional Travel Blogger – 12 Steps to Financial Freedom
- Discover Your Passion – How to Find Your Path to Success
- Travel Resources
- How to Make Money Blogging
- 7 Common Travel Mistakes First Time Travelers Make
- 14 Ways to Promote Your Travel Blog – Tips to Finding Traffic
- How to Brand Yourself and Build Engagement on Facebook
- How to Do a Presentation for The Travel Industry
Have you had success with travel blogging? What have you done to make your blogging career a success? We’d love to hear.
174 thoughts on “How to Be a Professional Travel Blogger – 12 Steps to Financial Freedom”
Great article, it’s not all about the glamour! I’m just starting out myself and see the hard work setting up a blog whilst working full time, running a separate business and with 3 kids!
But the ends justifies the means. I have a lot of experience travelling (65 countries), I’m just doing this backwards and writing about it after I have done it all.
well said that making money sholud be our seconadary goal. Giving good and authentic information should be our first priority that will automatically complete our second priority.
Thanks for sharing these points.
I’ve been blogging for almost six months now & have focused solely on creating good content and slowly trying to build a social media presence and a better domain authority. Now it’s all about building my audience so I can monetise my hobby in the future. You guys have so much useful information online to help me realise that dream! Thanks for another amazing blog post.
Jamie Boucher | Bristolian Abroad
Thank you on a detailed impressive guide! Saved your post for the future ?
I m not a super seasoned blogger, but I m definitely a voracious travel blog *reader* and I do think #8 (writing about yourself) is more of a grey area on Matt s list. Many of the travel blogs I follow are a bit more like diaries than guides. They certainly offer lots of practical travel tips to this or that destination, but it s the blogger s personal anecdotes and honesty that draws people in to begin with. Creating that magnetic personality is very difficult to do, but it has undeniably worked for some.
Awesome tips for all newbies to start a travel blog as a business. Your post is a good read to know what one needs to sacrifice to become a successful travel blogger. The kind of hard work that you and your husband put in to make people read your blogs is something to learn from and never forget for the rest of the life.
GREAT ARTICLE!!! You guys are amazing, my husband and I just started a travel blog and we are seeing how much hard work this really takes!! your article was clear and straight to the point, I will share it with my husband!
You guys are so inspiring to us! Thank you for all of this valuable information for blogging newbies like us. It’s success stories like yours that motivate us to keep pushing through on this crazy journey we’re on to hopefully one day become full time travel bloggers like you!
Wow, this is really so spot on. I just moved to blogging full time and I understand this all so well. So inspiring!
this is so inspiring bcuz you really share your experience. i’ve been wanting to become a travel blogger but i’m not sure where to start, but i guess that was just me finding excuses. i will think about it again and come up with a new plan. thank you.
I think your passion about travel is so exotic. Thank you for sharing this in depth information with us.
An exciting job to be a travel blogger, although very tired and sacrificed at first. Very interesting article for those who did not know what life is like for people who travel and write about it.
This is great advice – and very honest too! Thank you very much!
I really like your writing style, good info, thanks for posting :D. “Let every man mind his own business.” by Miguel de Cervantes.
I absolutely love this post. As someone who aspires to be a travel blogger, the reality of how hard it is and how much work is required in order to become successful. I’d like to think I’m down for the challenge that will inevitably come my way, but I have to say it seems so nice that you’re able to do this together! While I’ll be a solo traveler, at least for the time being, the idea of having a partner or friend along for the ride sounds great. Working on blog posts on the beach doesn’t sound too shabby either!
Thank you Alaina, we feel very fortunate to be able to do this together. I admire the solo travelers and bloggers out there, but I am not sure I would have their strength to do it. Dave and I have had each other to lean on, to pick up the slack when one of us is off, sick or tired and we are there to motivate each other. It can be done as a solo traveler, I have many friends that are a huge success and they do it on their own. You can do it too! And yes, working on the beach is pretty amazing
Wonderful post great information there I love to these ideas for travel blogging
Would love to have your feedback on our site Travel Jaunts. Would like to know where we should focus on to become as professional and as successful as can be.
Thank you so much for this post. This is definitively a wake-up call for me and just the kind of thing I needed to read this morning. You both are such an inspiration.
Thanks for this article. I will also like to mention that it can always be hard when you find yourself in school and starting out to initiate a long credit score. There are many scholars who are merely trying to pull through and have a lengthy or beneficial credit history can be a difficult thing to have.
Great tips! These are very helpful for me in my initial stages of blogging. Thanks a lot!
Really Appreciate this update, can I set it up so I get an email when you write a fresh post?
Above all tips you shared totally changed my mind and thankyou so much for sharing….
I’m new to blogging and found this post really helpful! please check my latest blog post on a tour of Los Angeles -http://earthsmagicalplaces.blogspot.co.uk/2017/01/beverly-hills-90210-tour-of-stars.html
This is wonderful advice, thank you! I just started my travel/style blog and am working really hard to get it attention and deliver great content every week!
Great advice! It’s always such a struggle to keep going when results are slow to come. The internet is highly competitive for sure. Any additional advice you would give to a regional or place specific blog? I write about Alaska and just wondered about your thoughts on content. Thanks and as always love your blog and the pictures.
Thanks Janet, having a regional blog is a great way to build a niche. You are the expert. I think it’s similar to running a regular travel blog, you just have to keep consistent, interact, focus on solid content. Be the expert. Give insider tips that nobody else would know.
This is such great advice! We just started our travel blog 2 months ago and are super pleased with it so far! But there is a massive jump from hobby to business! This is so useful will be bookmarking this 🙂
Good luck with your blog. It takes time, but if you really put work into it and give it time to develop a niche, strong content and a network you will succeed. All the best for 2017!
Thank you for sharing this! As aspiring travel bloggers, it’s always incredibly helpful to see the ways in which successful bloggers have gotten where they are. And it’s definitely easy to forget just how much work is involved in getting to the next level and beyond. You’re definitely helping keep us motivated to shoot for the top, so thank you!
Glad we can keep you motivated Brian. Best of luck to you and if you keep at it, success will happen. A lot of successful blogs simply happen over time. IF you keep putting out good informative content, someone is bound to notice and all it takes is one break to take off. All the best to you!
Wow, this is a spot on post. It really asks all the right questions to get a realistic view of travel blogging professionally. Thanks
Wow, thanks for the info!
Great site you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any discussion boards that cover the same topics talked about here? I’d really love to be a part of community where I can get responses from other experienced people that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Thanks a lot!|
You guys are so inspiring. 2014 is the year of my editorial scheduling!!
Excellent Nicola, you are going to find that it helps a lot.
Blogging for a while now and couldn’t agree more with your tips in this post! It’s no easy job that’s for sure.
Yes, this is my way. I’m ready for all of this steps in my life. Why not? When the thing which gives you a pleasure makes a money for you?
Blogging is the same hard work like a real business. I was a CEO and owner of 3 LTD’s. I was a booking agent, event manager (In my own company), I was a promoter for the “Big” pop stars. And I found myself in “travel blogging”.
Nothing was changed – it’s the same business with the same problems. But there is only 1 difference! – YOU ARE FREE!
Looking closely at this segment. Great article. I am a Canadian travel photographer presently in Sintra, Portugal.
great post!! we are a family of three (7 yo daughter)travelling and volunteering around the world. We have a website/blog, but is hard work to keep update, and your suggestions make sense. We started as just fun/record for family and friends, but now we would like to change it and get some sponsors/money to keep on travelling and helping. Thanks for the reality check 😉 we’ll keep trying.
I just started a blog six months ago. Mainly for my own fun in order to store my travel experiences. But slowly you learn from reader’s comments that they start to value a particular aspect of your experiences. In my case is is traveling with (smaller) children. These posts get the most attention. So don’t worry if in the start-up of your blog, you find it difficult to find your own focus or expertise. It will grow upon you gradually.
Ah, I feel like a mind shift is coming after reading this. We LOVE travel, adventure and exposing the kids to as much of the world as we can! We are taking a “career break” because that was easier for everyone to digest. The hidden agenda is “how do we do this forever?”. So, I love the comment “…a career change, not a career break”. I haven’t been treating our blog as a business. I need to come up with a plan!
I’m so glad that we could help make things a little more clear. It’s true, I love the idea of a career break, but many people want a complete change. Once you start treating your blog as a business, things really do start to happen.
Great articles. In this one I said yes to all of the questions. My deal is that, I am a traveler, and I will be whether my blog fails or not. I’m completely dedicated to it and have plenty of stories since ive already been on the road 2 years before starting the blog. I literally bought the domain name using the wifi in my hostel in Estonia haha. So my biggest hurdles are that I am building this thing while on the road and also that I have no money for anything but a free theme on WP. But after a while hopefully I’ll get it all sorted, since I have so much good advice to get me going. Everyone look out for http://www.truenomads.com !
Good luck Justin. Great name that you bought on the wifi too! We started with a free WP theme as well. It’s all about taking baby steps and building as you go.
This is great. Recently, i have been interested in blogging and this blog has been the best so far for me with rich content and travel advice. I have just started a travel blog at http://www.traveltoeastafrica.com and world like to follow the route that you followed. Some advice, comments and guidance on this road. You are not alone Dave n Deb, the world is behind you. Happy new year 2013
Good luck with your blog Elly and let us know if you need any help or advice.
Wow, excellent post. Very helpful! Thanks for sending it over. We know all too well the feeling of just wanting to lie on a beach when there are articles to be written! It takes some serious will power to actually do it. At home, if you run a business, it’s a more integral part of your lifestyle where you are used to waking up, going to work and coming home. Travel is so spontaneous that forcing yourself to sit and write isn’t always easy.
This article gives aspiring bloggers a lot to think about. It seems like you’ve covered a lot of points that I haven’t seen covered on other websites.
Great job guys and thank-you!
Hi Dave & Deb, appreciate a lot of your advice. I am newbie of travel blogger and this article really provide me a lot of knowledge, once again, thanks!!!
Glad we could help Ken. Good luck with the blogging and we’ll see you on Twitter and Facebook!
I have to confess, I read every word of your post and now I want to send it to all of my friends who have no idea what I could possibly be doing with all of my “free time” now that I’m not in an office – ha! Seriously though, I’m feel like we’re on the right track after reading this. Thanks for all of the advice and support you give to others trying to make this a full time business.
You know the way people are always banging on about inspiring articles, well this is one of them. It’s given me a bit of a pazzazz to get on with my work day.
I’ve only had my site live for six months, and it’s doing pretty well, but I’ve been planning it for years. And years. Everything I’ve done to this point is to get where I am now.
I changed careers, started working in publishing, moved to online from print, worked on other sites/blogs, absorbed everything, sucked it up. Now I’m in the position I can work solely on my own site, and I’m excited.
I agree, too, about looking at it as a business, something I think too many people ignore, even though they’d like to make money from it somehow. Any new business needs countless hours invested in it to succeed, and money, I think.
I just wish there were a few more hours in the day to get everything done that I want to get done!
I am very excited for you Linda. It is a great feeling to work for yourself and be able to put 100% into your passion. We also agree about the hours. It’s funny, nearly every successful business person I read about states that they function on 5 hours a night of sleep. It is being excited about your job that makes getting up easy. When you are looking forward to the day, it’s easy to get out of bed:)
Hi Deb n Dave,
I came across this post just tonight, via Caz’s blog. Timeless advice! I’m happy to report, that after reading your advice, and giving it some good thought, I’m certain I have what it takes to give this “career path” a damn good shot.
This post, and the comments, represents all that is great about the world of travel blogging – the opportunity for newbies like myself, to learn from the big-names in the world of online travel.
Thanks for taking the time to help out the little guys, karma coming your way!
YOMADIC.COM : Travel the World, Travel Long Term
Hey Deb & Dave,
Brilliant post and inspirational. The answer to all your question you posed is YES!
My wife and I are heading overseas in 2013 and I have decided to blog about the whole process (http://stephendcook.blogspot.com/2011_11_01_archive.html) from leaving work (http://stephendcook.blogspot.com/2011/12/leaving-teaching.html) to selling our house and possessions, planning etc. It is likely that I will be working in teaching while Laura does more blogging and photography (she won the Guardian travel photographer of the year!) http://www.lauracookphotography.net.
Currently I am enjoying reflecting on my previous travels
and the latest one looks at Olympic stadiums I have visited over the years.
As I say, you are an inspiration and I look forward to reading more.
If you would ever like a guest blog, we would both be excited to do that.
All the best
Thanks Stephen, your excitement is contagious. Good luck with your future and thank you for stopping by. We are happy to receive guest posts anytime. Send us an email through our contact form and we’ll email you back. Cheers!
You bring up some good points, but the best point is that it takes awhile. Don’t expect to be financially successful overnight. Travel writing & blogging is very rewarding but not always financially rewarding. Hang onto your regular job until you know that your writing/blogging will support you.
You are so right, it does take a while. It is funny, once the good things start to happen, you are totally ready for them because it takes such a long time to establish yourself. Each year is a stepping stone and it all seems to happen in the right order. Nothing too rushed, I don’t know if we would have been able to handle instant success. You need time to prepare for the work load.
Hey great article! Love the interviews too, you two are seem very comfortable in front of a camera which isn’t easy to do. Good luck with all your ambitions!
Thanks Jeremy, we do enjoy talking so that camera is definitely our medium
;-)We can go on and on:) We appreciate the feedback! Cheers.
Hello D & D, the comments section is full of rich content and I don’t really have anything to add more. This is a great post and clearly explains that being “full-time” blogger requires intensive involvement and hardwork just like another profession would require. I am glad this is just my hobby, lol!
PS: I like the new header, much simpler and clear.
Thanks Priyank, we appreciate the feedback on the header. We’re working on integrating it into everything. The media package is next. We’ve made the change on facebook, but have to put it into twitter too.
This is a great article on the commitment one needs to make a travel blog successful.
Thanks Ted. We find that it takes a lot of commitment, but we also have an amazing time as well. When we travel, we set everything up in advance and we can really enjoy the experience.
I LOVE your motivation — wanting your own TV show. I think that’s fantastic, and I think it’s only a matter of time.
Now, I wonder if you can write a post about how to become a part-time pro blogger? Because it is a bit tricky to do all the things you’re supposed to do with a little one running around, hell bent on causing mischief.
What things would you continue to do — and what would you dump — if you had the same goal but only half the time?
That is an excellent question. I think that I wouldn’t dump anything, I would just ease up on all of it. I think that to be a part time blogger you need to do all of the above as well. However, you don’t have to be as strict. You will still want to take photographs and know a bit about the destination. But you don’t have to do as much research and can write more about your personal story and you don’t have to take photographs of very detail of the trip. You should have an editorial schedule, but you only have to post once a week as opposed to every day. You definitely don’t have to go as hard on promoting yourself, however it is always nice to share accomplishments and times when you are recognized by your peers. And you don’t really have to think about the business side of things, but you will still want to promote and network because you don’t want to only write for yourself, you do want people to read about your trips. So I guess I will answer that all of the points are important, but you don’t have to let them take up all your time. You can relax. If you don’t want to sightsee you don’t have to, if you don’t feel like writing, you don’t have to. You can be more relaxed and you can definitely travel without having to think about how it will be a blog post. I hope this answer makes sense.:)
One day I hope James and I at OurOyster will be big enough that we can work maybe just part time – full time job + full time travel + full time blogging is EXHAUSTING…. but its awesome too. (well maybe not the full time job part)
Great post! I think that a lot of the folks who are just starting out would do well to read this.
Ditto! I HATE when people say, “So when are you going to get a real job?” Uh, hello? I work just as hard as anyone, and likely for much less cash. Gotta love beating the status quo! I’m nowhere near as organized as you guys are though. 😉
I don’t know if we’re organized I have a long to do list that I keep adding to and losing. Between all my google docs, stickies and note pads I am not sure where the work is. I am sure that I am probably missing some interviews that I should have answered, the stars and “markeds as unread” emails in my inbox is overflowing. But it definitely helps having two people at work. You do work hard girl and it is fun having people think that you get to play for a living at least a little bit isn’t it?
Wow, this post is brilliant and should be mandatory reading for every fledgling travel blogger. I’ve had a blog for almost 2 years but it’s only this year that I’ve realized that it’s more than just writing. Even then, after reading this post, I realize that I’m still making lots of mistakes!
Dave and Deb, thanks for this. After writing about travel for a couple of years and maintaining a couple of different blogs for two years, I sat here reading this and nodding my head in agreement. Yes, this is very hard work but it is a lot of fun!
I can’t even begin to tell you all the things I have learned through this. Not just about travel blogging but about myself. I’ve made mistakes, gone in the wrong direction, and am still learning stuff every single day. One of the things you mentioned is something I am really starting to understand now – take photographs of EVERYTHING!
I work a full time job, have 2 kids, and have to balance travel and all the stuff I do with my site. I am exhausted nearly every day. I know this is hard work. Honestly, one of the BIGGEST lessons I have learned lately is hitting me really hard and changing my focus – it’s not about you! That may be hard to really grasp when you are starting out but doing this long enough, you will figure it out.
That’s also changed my perspective on the travel blog community as well. I used to get jealous of other bloggers success and was worried about my own stats and traffic and wanted a piece of the pie. Now I absolutely love reading other people’s stuff (I don’t have nearly enough time though) and helping other bloggers where I can. It’s an attitude thing where I finally think I “get it.”
I could write so much more about this but I will close with this. Just recently I started a new project – most exciting thing I’ve done in travel. While I was in Seattle, I was going non stop all weekend doing research, getting stories, doing reviews, covering events, doing videos (holy crap those take a long time!), and taking photos. When I was done at the end of a whirlwind 56 hours I was exhausted. However, I was so happy about my work and all that I did that weekend I almost cried. I think that sums things up pretty well.
Hi Jeremy! I can hear the excitement in your words as I read this. It is awesome to see other people that are just as happy and excited as we are about this business. You raise a great point, we all make mistakes and we all have learned a thing or two, but the important thing is that we keep going and take what we have learned to make positive changes. Good luck with everything and all the best to you.
Hi Jeremy, can you explain me how a blogger get money out of his blog? Thanks a lot!
The Planet D is a top referral source for our own travel blog and location independence site, so I feel compelled to make a best effort contribution to this discussion.
I hope this comment adds value and offers fresh perspective to both beginning and pro travel bloggers about how the business of travel blogging could evolve into a more sustainable way to make a living online while traveling.
I came into the world of pro travel blogging via a nearly decade-long career in building businesses both online and off.
So when my wife, Heather, and I launched our own site in this space, I reviewed over 2,000 travel blogs (focusing on the top tier) with the help of a research assistant.
What I discovered through that research and through discussions with pro travel bloggers, is that travel bloggers could benefit from making 5 key enhancements to their business models:
1. Outsource more – For as little as $100/month a travel blogger can begin hiring technical ninjas to handle the low-leverage aspects of their business. It’s so cheap to hire help today that no pro travel blogger should ever spend time signing in to WordPress and uploading, categorizing, or tagging anything. Even some aspects of destination research can be inexpensively outsourced. I suspect that this important change could reduce a pro travel blogger’s total working hours by at least 30% or more and allow them to boost the quality of their content substantially.
2. Learn how to use email marketing like a pro – Travel bloggers seem to favor RSS and social media. I get that, but there is no measure of value with these tools and they are w-a-y overrated in my opinion. Travel bloggers can give and receive more value and build a much more intimate relationship with their readers “behind the scenes” via an email list segmented by specific interest and loaded with premium content.
3. Build the Tribe-side of your business – I noticed some pro travel bloggers underestimate the power of their niche celebrity status. They seem to forget that they have achieved a lifestyle that’s the equivalent of landing on Mars to the average human being.
Pro travel bloggers have fans and followers that would love to learn from them in a more “inner circle” type environment like a forum, coaching program, or membership. If more pro travel bloggers leveraged this aspect of their business, they would no longer have to be at the mercy of advertisers and sponsors to sustain their businesses. Additionally, adding these levels of relationship to a pro travel blogging business could easily double or triple income.
4. Become a media buyer, not just a media seller – One of the most important skills an online entrepreneur can have is knowing how to buy online advertising. If done right, thousands of new, targeted eye-balls can be purchased for pennies. This in turn would help travel bloggers attract better sponsors and sell more advertising to better, more relevant advertisers.
5. Sell digital and physical products – The Tribe members and fans of pro travel bloggers (me included) would gladly pay a premium for niche guidebooks for certain destinations and other such offerings. Travel bloggers can sell these as eBooks on their site or as Amazon Kindle books, which are incredibly easy to create and publish.
These 5 key enhancements, I believe, could make travel blogging a more sustainable online business, and fund more travel dreams for more aspiring travel bloggers.
I love this! I want the successful travel bloggers of the world to get more and more recognition. You guys work so hard! In addition to just being in awe over the adventures I admire on your site so much, the time you spend making personal connections with little ‘ol fans like me, and your amazing photography… This post really struck a cord with me. I am just not a full-time travel blogger! I never will be. Some people just don’t understand that. I get so embarrassed promoting myself for one, so I know I can only go so far. But here is so much more. Thank you so much for putting it all out there!! I have my career, and you have yours. Thank you so much for being such a strong leader!
Hi Abby, thanks for the comment. You are lucky because you also have a great career outside of travel blogging that you love. We definitely know that blogging isn’t for everyone. It’s definitely hard work.
You are so right, travel blogging is all but easy. Of course if you want many readers you absolutely have to give something that is not easy to find just googling some words. I love updating my blog, but I don’t hide that sometimes is very difficult, especially when I’m traveling and can’t find wifi anywhere 🙂
So true it can be difficult when you can’t find an Internet connection. A good way to deal with wifi when traveling is to schedule posts and some social media. It takes the stress away for sure.
Interesting and helpful post. Can I just say, as a professional travel editor of over ten years, it’s bad grammar to say
“as people that…”
should be “as people who”
Watch your grammar, editors are watching 😉
Thanks for the heads up. Cheers. Can I ask where you are a travel editor? I didn’t see a website attached to your name and it’s great to hear from editors, we appreciate you stopping by.
For some reason reading this I was picturing Debbie Allen saying, “You want fame? Well fame costs…and right here is where you start paying!”
Great post guys! I don’t think mnay of my friends (and none of my family) realize how much work goes into blogging. It’s definitely a hard-working low-paying gig, but worth every single second of it… 🙂
Ha! I can totally hear her saying that. She said it perfectly and it relates to every business, Fame, Writing, Blogging, Big Business…it’s all hard work.
Very useful post, D&D. Blogging certainly certainly requires loads of work and dedication. I seem to spend much more time on it than on my day-job and it pays a pittance (or rather, a fraction of a pittance) in comparison. Some of it is almost painful (the selling-bit), but fortunately the most important part (the writing) is pure joy. If only one didn’t have to sleep…
Agreed Sophie, If only we didn’t have to sleep, life would be much easier.
Wonderful post great information there I love to these ideas for travel blogging
Readers? We’re supposed to have readers?
Dang, I knew I was missing something.
Shhh. Please don’t tell the wife-person that this is supposed to be a business.
She just thinks it is something I am doing to get out of working on her list of honey-do projects.
Haha, Yep, I’m afraid so
Hey guys! This is the first time I read your blog and it inspires me a lot! I’m a travel consultant and from a couple of months I’ve been blogging (http://traveltik.blogspot.com/) but only in Italian; I’m thinking about doing it in English too but I don’t know how to reach the readers. What is important, (and that sometimes I miss) is the imagination, the allows you to write interesting post! How long did it take to have a good position in the travel blogger world? thanks and have fun, Claudia
Hi Claudia, Good luck with the blogging. I think that it took us about a year until we started to become well known. We worked very hard at it and if you look through our advice section, we have a lot of tips on finding an audience, building an audience and promoting your blog. It is a long process, but totally do-able. Cheers
I had to laugh when I read the part about taking photos of everything, too! I take photos of signs (as a way to take notes many times) and anything else that I think will be useful, or that just catches my eye. I’m often writing the story in my head as I take photos, so I have a good idea of exactly what I might need when I sit down to write, too.
Sticking to a schedule is good advice, too. One of the first things I did when I started blogging more than three years ago was to determine a core schedule (the days I would always post each week), although I’ll add a story or two on different days as time or events permit.
That is awesome Dominique! You have a Bloggers mind. That is a very good point that you make. There is nothing wrong with adding to your schedule once in a while. The problem comes when you don’t post for a while. But adding an extra post here and there when you have the time will do nothing but add to your readers. As long as you have your core days consistent, you can then add special articles to extra days. Thanks for the advice!
Thanks for sharing! I have been blogging since 2007 but I am also another one of those who can’t give up the full time job yet! (Or unwilling to, either way ;-))
You are an inspiration!
Great tips! You’ve touched on a lot of what I know I need to work on over the next couple of years. And btw, I think you guys would do great with a travel show of your own. 😉
This is a great guide for anybody aspiring to do this as career as opposed to just a hobby. I plan to be in this position (where travel is my career) within a few years and I know I have a lot of work to do in order to get there – time to roll up my sleeves and get at it 🙂
Hi Samuel, You’ve been doing well already, I see you making it a career for sure. I think that it is great that you have a goal and know that the time will come in a few years. Planning is key instead of jumping in blindly. At least that is how we see things:)
Your advice has come at the right time for me. I’ve finally given my blog a focus (Portugal) and am trying to stick to a schedule for posting.
I’ve been dreaming about taking the plunge and really trying to make a living out of travel writing so it’s extremely useful to have the reality laid out like this. And inspiring 🙂
I’ll look out for more of your tips…
Hi Julie, Good luck and all the best with your Portugal blog. It is a great thing to have a focus and be an authority on one place.I can’t wait how to see how it goes for you!
Last year when I left the successful freelance writing business I’d spent 25 years building in order to travel fulltime, I knew two things: 1. a blog was a way to finally write what I wanted without the soul-deadening, time-consuming, and largely dead-end submission process, and thus, 2. while I want to build a successful blog and even make some money at it, I DON’t want to make it a business for the very reasons you describe. It’s every bit as much work as I already put into a career, and I don’t have the fire in the belly to do it again. I love writing for my blog (www.wanderingnotlost.org), but I don’t want the travel to become a job. I’ve spent enough time in front of a computer.
That said, I still need to make some money and writing is the only way I know to do it. So–tis a quandary, but overall a good one.
Thanks for a thoughtful post. You obviously hit a nerve.
Very good points Kate. You have clearly already thought about the questions that we asked above. Everyone has to decide why they want to blog and we understand completely that many people don’t want to turn their travel blog and travels a job. Most people go on a year trip to take a break from stresses of work and life, not to step right back into another stress. You have to really love this business to put everything into it, because as we stated above, it’s definitely not a permanent vacation.
Yes some excellent advice there. I work as a travel writer for a portion of my time and I adore it, but other people definitely think it is more glamourous than it can often be! Sometimes, I spend my whole time on a trip putting on a ‘business head’ because I have so many meetings with tourist boards, PRs etc – so it’s not quite like ‘going on holiday’ and being able to relax. Very much enjoyed reading this post – thanks.
I know exactly how you feel. The entire trip is thinking and networking. It’s fun, but exhausting. Home is more relaxing for us these days:)
Great piece! Travel blogging really is hard work. This is a terrific article that I plan to refer people to that think that blogging is quick and easy.
Thanks Liz, I had been thinking about this post for a little bit. It is difficult to explain to people what we are doing. We don’t have to leave the house to go to work, we “play” on facebook and twitter, we browse articles and never seem to leave our computer screens. For anyone looking on, it doesn’t look like much of a job, especially when they also see us traveling the world as well. Wow, after writing this sentence, I even think it doesn’t look like that hard of work!
Thanks so much for this article. I am just starting out and pieces like this have a lot of great advice some of which I can already relate too. Keep it coming! 🙂
Glad that you can relate, stop by every monday, we’re going to keep doing pieces like this. Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a note, we really appreciate it.
I think this is great advice for any business. It takes time, dedication and LOTs of work! I’m really bad about taking the mundane photos and taking video on our trips. Thankfully Scott is good at doing that. I usually come back from a trip and realize I should have taken photos of certain parts of the trip, but instead I was just lost in the moment and missed the opportunity. I’m also extremely guilty of not wanting to work on the blog while we are traveling, but I think that is because we have day jobs and multiple side projects, so we need to force ourselves to take a breather every once in a while. You guys are extremely inspiring and keep up the great work!!
Hi Christy, it sounds like the two of you work together well as a team. I am not the photographer of this blog, but I find that I take all the mundane photos while Dave takes the gorgeous shots. It works well. I don’t have to have great talent to shoot off shots of us sitting in the airport or of a quick snapshot of the room. I know exactly how you feel, it’s tough to take them, but I have in the past been burned by not taking the photos of the little things. Now I snap away and it feels so good to be able to add a shot when I need it. The next thing to learn is to make graphics so that I can use my own cool ones as well. So much to do with so little time eh?
;-)Glad to know that you force yourself to take a breather, it is important to keep your sanity that way.
Anyone who reads this blog can tell how much work you guys put into it. You deserve the success you’ve had, a just reward for your life’s passion.
Thanks Erik, that is super nice of you to say.
I love you two. Your honesty. Your willingness to share. Your ability to inspire. While I am not sure what I want from my career at this point, this was a good read and very eye-opening. As always, thank you for doing what you do. x
Thanks for the kind words. Good luck with your decision on what you want from your travel blogging career. The sky is the limit.
Great post and one that has confirmed a long list of different things I’ve been discovering since taking the plunge as full time traveller and in spirit a full time blogger (remote freelancing in the “proper job” is still necessary to pay the travel bills). It is important to plan, is incredibly important to engage with readers and other bloggers but I do still think that most important is enjoying it. I happen to love blogging on the beach or answering emails in an airport lounge so as you and most of the wise folk commenting have said. – the love you have for it will go along way… Or at least I hope so!!
Thanks again and keep chasing your TV Show dream!!
Super Bird! You stated it perfectly…All businesses are hard work so you have to enjoy it! Like you, we enjoy answering emails and blogging on the beach as well. It is thrilling to see something exciting pop up in the in box or to have people enjoy a post and want to leave a comment. Answering comments at the end of the day is one of my favourite parts of travel blogging. I love how all people have a voice in the blogging world.
As a journalist, I make a living by writing all day long, not always about staff I enjoy though. My travel blog is still my break but I really admire you guys for taking chances and working hard to turn your dreams into a reality. I pay my respects! A few months ago, I start the English version of my blog (the main one is in Greek) and I have to work harder than I would in my native language. Reading your post is very inspiring to me.
Thanks Penny That is amazing that you are writing a blog in two languages. Congratulations, what an accomplishment.
Love the article. The hardest thing for me is the self promotion bit. I feel like a jerk sometimes being that guy… by the way, have you seen all the hot chicks and cool place on my site?
Thanks Gareth, I agree, the self promotion can feel a little strange at times but look at how it works! As soon as you mentioned the hot chicks and cool places on your site I had to head over to take a look. Well done:)
Hahaha, remember my post last year about travel bloggers needing a holiday. It started with a similar sentence as your opening. Many people choose to see the romantic side of travel blogging and don’t realise the amount of work & dedication that goes into it.
It is soooo rewarding though to be able to do your own thing, building a career based on something we’re passionate about.
Great post and congrats on the TV gig! Awesome stuff! 🙂
Cheers & big hugs,
I totally remember your post about needing a holiday. I remember that I followed in your footsteps a few weeks later to take a break. We were talking on this last press trip we were on about how we are going to take a small vacation very soon. Only our vacation is going to be about renting movies, cooking dinner and going for walks in the conservation area near my parents place. It’s going to be amazing to just chill out.
I used to get irritated when I heard of other travel bloggers ‘taking a vacation’ while they traveled but that was before we got serious. Honestly, it is so exhausting and NO ONE understands! All your friends & family don’t want to hear how tired you are that you work for what seems like weeks and months on end. Is it fun and awesome? – yes. Is it exhausting? – definitely. I often remind myself how lucky I am that I love what I do. If you have passion for it and stay consistent, like you said, you can turn it into a full time job. I think the tough part is actually adding the travel to the mix! hahaha 🙂 Great post as always guys!!
That is a great attitude Bethany, we all have to remind ourselves how lucky we are or else we can easily become jaded and forget to take a look at the beauty around us. It is exhausting at times for sure, but like you said, as well, We love what we do too.
When I was freaking out over putting money into redesigning my blog, my mom asked “if you won’t invest in you, why should anybody else?” Always a good reminder that we need to fully believe in what we do before anyone else will! You two are super inspirational and your success is surely a result of hard work and passion 🙂
Moms give the best advice don’t they? Your mom is so right. We tell ourselves that too when we have to shell out some money for the important stuff. I am sure that your redesign will pay off ten fold. Cheers!
I loved reading this today! Just what I needed to hear. My family and friends have noticed my constant use of camera and smartphone to document everything, so I’m glad to know I’m on the right track. Gerard – I am glad to hear you say that 90% of the work is outside of the actual blog post – that sounds about right. Looking forward to reading more, and sharing more once we start our RTW trip next year.
Great Job Paige, you are already on your way to blogging successfully. You’re definitely on the right track. You’ll be happy to have the portfolio to choose from when you are writing a post. There is nothing worse than having the perfect article and not being able to find the photos to go with it. Good luck with the planning of your Round the World trip, we look forward to following along!
Brilliant as always! I wish I could print this post out and hand it to everyone I encounter along the way haha.
Enjoyed this post guys. I think its important to highlight “the other side” of travel blogging. I’ve tried communicating this to friends and family who only see the reward, the free trip or the end result.
What many do not understand is the behind the scenes work that goes into building an online brand. I would say that 90% of my work is outside of the actual blog post (ie. the social media activity, the emails, the photos, the web development, the follow up, etc, etc). After the initial novelty and sexiness fades, its still a job that requires hard work to be successful… the perks are just a heck of a lot better! 😉
You’ve got it. Most of the work is outside of the actual blog post. The rest of the stuff is the hard part. It’s really important to love what your doing no matter what career path you decide to take because you’ll be putting in a lot of hours. But like you said, the perks are awesome:)
Great post. I think the hardest thing for me will be to sticking to a schedule while on the road given that my GF & I want to enjoy our RTW more as a vacation. But we also don’t take our blog lightly and want to make it great. Hopefully 1 post a week is good enough.
I should also note that the last title “How have you had succes” is missing an s. 🙂
Hi Gerard, that is the question you have to ask yourself for sure. If you want to enjoy your RTW and treat it like a vacation, you definitely don’t want start blogging as a profession. Do what feels right for you and if 1 post a week is all you can handle right now, than that is great and right. You don’t want to end up resenting either your travels or your blog, you want to enjoy the two of them together. Good luck with everything.
Interesting and inspiring advice here. I’ve only started blogging properly for a few months and am hoping, eventually, to monetise it enough to support my travels. It is a steep learning curve. I’ve only just figured out how to use Twitter properly, for example. But it is helpful to read blogposts like this to gain some inspiration and direction. Just discovered Stumbled Upon as well 🙂
That is great Alison, it sounds like you are on the right track. Don’t worry it takes time, when we started with both Twitter and StumbleUpon we were completely confused and wondered how it could possibly work for us. But soon it all comes together. Good luck with the new blog, we look forward to seeing it grow!
I think you really highlight all the important points in the life of a full-time blogger in this post. Everything you’re going to want to be successful in life at is going to be hard work at some point. Of course, there are the great times as well (travel) and writing for me is a great creative outlet as is my photography. This article for me came at a great time, you two don’t even realize how inspirational you are to others who are also trying to live their dreams and make a career out of this lifestyle.
Thank you for always being an inspiration and for writing articles like this!
I am sharing 🙂
Hi Mica, thank you so much for the kind words. That means a lot to us as well. It is a struggle for all of us and to have the support of our peers and to be able to help others out is important to us. A strong community can do great things together. I am happy to hear that you love writing and photography as much as traveling. That is exactly how we feel. Travel Blogging is truly a fulfilling career.
🙂 Awesome post today!
Thanks Melanie! I am trying to figure out how to incorporate all the advice that you gave us into the next one. I definitely want to talk about how you inspired us too! Coming soon… 🙂
I had to laugh when I read your section on picture taking. If I had a nickel for every time I interrupted my “moment” in order to whip out a camera. It’s tough to find balance, but I usually err on the side of documentation. I figure if it means something to me, I’ll want to share it with my readers at some point. Thanks for sharing and letting me see I’m not the only one.
You said it Jenna. Sometimes you just want to sit and enjoy the moment and then right in the middle of it, you realize “Wow, I have to get a shot of this!” We are a lot like you, we usually document the moment too. It’s hard to let a spectacular moment slip by.
Amen, sistah and bruddah! 🙂
I love your observation that for you, travel blogging was “a career change, not a career break”. Indeed!
I’ve found in the last five years of my own travel blogging experience, I got to times where I felt I’d traded one rat race in for another. Between volunteering in trade for accommodation (which keeps my costs low), and the hours put in at my laptop, I was “working” up to 60 hours/week! That ain’t no holiday, thankyouverymuch.
But what we have the luxury of, which many people don’t, is the ability to design our lives and lifestyles. When I grew tired of the above “work” regime, I changed my accommodation preferences, opting to volunteer fewer hours. I’m currently house-sitting on the Caribbean island of Grenada for 3 months, with very little obligations on my time. It’s perfect for me; allowing all the time I wish to work on my laptop, with oodles of time left over for relaxation, reading, and exploration.
As travel bloggers, the true gift we are given is the ability to “work” from anywhere. And it’s “work”, to be sure. But it’s pretty good work at that, if you’re willing to go the hard yards. 🙂
Hi Nora, I so remember talking with you this summer about moving from one rat race to another. It was such a great night. I think that you hit the nail on the head, we all have to work hard to succeed, but as travel bloggers we can change our situation unlike so many other businesses. We are house sitting for my parents while they are in Florida and it is giving us a chance to catch up as well and we can actually watch TV and enjoy our day as well. We can set our own hours and move on whenever we wish. It is an amazing and flexible job. If you have discipline, you can really enjoy life and work hard at the same time which I know that you are doing too. You have made it all look so easy and we have admired you and what you have accomplished from the start.
Aw….thanks! I think we can take a few pages from each others’ books. And it seems that we’re both hurtling towards blossoming television careers too! Wow – how exciting…
Keep up the great work with CTV! You two are great.
Thanks Nora! I know eh, when you talked about your show last summer I was so excited for you and hoped that one day we’d have the opportunity too. We are striving to get the full on adventure show in the future that you already have! Hopefully our paths will cross again. Keep on inspiring all of us. We all need someone to look up to and we’ve always been a big fan of yours!
thanks for sharing your story.. and i agree with what you’ve said… travel blogging eats a lot of time but for those who really enjoy travelling and writing about their experiences, its a great career 🙂
Yay, well said. I think you have to love both aspects of blogging. The travel is only part of it, the other is the writing and photography and yes, we even love the social media and networking. We get a rush when things go right. And when things go wrong, we never think about quitting, we just think about how we have to fix the problem to move forward.
Thanks for the advice. As someone who is new to the world of blogging it is really helpful to see how much work goes into running a blog full-time.
Glad we could shed some light on it Emily. Hopefully it will help you to make some decisions early in your blogging career to avoid many pitfalls that people go through. We were just talking with someone from a travel company the other day and they put it perfectly…Many travel bloggers are playing catch up trying to change their thinking into how to run a business instead of how to run a travel blog.
Thank you so much for this post. This is definitively a wake-up call for me and just the kind of thing I needed to read this morning. You both are such an inspiration.
Thanks Kristen, I hope that it helped to inspire you today in whatever you may be up to! Cheers.
I agree with Brett – and that computer cartoon is brilliant!
Ha, Isn’t that totally the way we all feel first thing in the morning when checking email. It’s completely overwhelming some days.
Sorry… I don’t get it. Are you really working hard? I thought you were just writing a few articles & add some photos. Hahaha… Just kidding of course! You do a great job!
Yes, when starting a business, what a blog could be, you’ll work much more than in a “regular” job. OK, there are people who work in a “regular” job just as much… Maybe they should start blogging? Hahaha
Every business is tough to start. I’m always saying “If it would be easy, everybody would do it.”. Stay patient & have lots of fun, as passion drives you to work like crazy, without letting it feel like work. 🙂
Well said Melvin. Yes, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it. You have been doing an amazing job and make it look so easy. Ah, that’s the key…work hard, but make it look effortless
Such an eye-opening and candid look into the industry and your lives. Thanks so much for being real. I love the fact travel is something you love, work your butts off, and regardless of all the challenges–you still put all your passion into it. Very inspiring to everyone, regardless of what they do.
Thank you Vitra. I think that is the key to life, knowing what you want and going for it. For years I would always say to Dave “If I just knew what I wanted to do, I know I could succeed at it” Before we started travel blogging, I always felt that something was missing. Now we feel completely fulfilled and we never thought that would happen in our lives. So, we’re living proof that it can.
You’ve hit the nail on the head. I’m going to use this article to send to a few people who still don’t quite “get it” as to why we spend hours on our “hobby.” It takes an incredible amount of dedication and time to be successful as a travel blogger. Thanks for such a positive and affirming post.
Glad we could help Sherry, It does help to have a carbon copy (err, mass email) to give to the people telling you how easy it is eh? 🙂
Excellent, excellent, EXCELLENT story! So many people do seem to think that the life of a writer or blogger is easy, because it seems so glamorous in comparison to a 9 to 5 office job. Everyone who thinks they want to do it full time should read this so they’ll understand how much hard work goes into it.
Hi Bret, Glad you liked it. While it’s not easy, it is amazing and sometimes even glamorous. When we get to stay at 5 star resorts and eat in fine dining restaurants, we think about what kind of dream we are living in. But then again, we rarely get to sit down and just “be” when we are staying at any of these resorts. We are always on and working. But still, we get to do some of the coolest things in life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Being very new to the field ( http://www.travelandphototoday.com), I found your article thought provoking and informative. I have already discovered the work involved, to a degree, and must admit that the idea of doing it full time seems a bit overwhelming. But as you imply, if you love it then you have to do it. Keep up the great work – and always enjoy it!
Thanks Bruce. You’re a step ahead of the curve already by discovering early that it is hard work. Many people coast for a year or so and wonder why their readership isn’t growing. If you want it to be a business you gotta put in the work which you have already discovered. All the best and good luck with everything.
What a GREAT read Deb. After attending the World Travel Market last week I had a severe ‘wobbly’ about whether or not I could ‘cut it’ in the business side of things but you helped to assure me that whilst, yet, it is about being in business, you don’t have to sacrifice your passion and personality to do it – THANK YOU!
Toni, that makes me very happy. I am glad that we could assure you that you Can Do It! One thing I am not a fan of when attending some conferences is everyone telling you that you can’t. Some presentations want to dwell on how difficult it is to succeed. Sure, we all know it’s difficult, but we attend conferences to be given the tools that we need to succeed. What we choose to do with them is up to us. If we’re passionate and dedicated, there is a good chance that it will all work out.
What a great, honest, and insightful article! I can completely agree with everything you wrote. As I have moved my travel blog from words to film, I can attest that it is an awful lot of work – but the greatest job ever! Keep up the good work!
Glad that you are loving it Wolfmaan and congratulations on putting your travels into film. That is our dream.
Great advice, I love how you have presented the truth.
It is bloody hard work and to be successful you have to want it bad. you have to eat, sleep and breathe your blog. There really are no excuses. We have had so many life changing events since we started our blog, which could have easily led us down the path of quitting, but for us this is what we love so we will never quit on it and we will put in the hours we need to build that platform and our dream
We’ve realized that we were ready to get to the next level but we just did not have the skills needed to promote and sell ourselves. We have taken on an agent to do that for us and she is amazing. The best decision we made, yet completely scary!
You guys are such an inspiration to so many. Can’t wait to meet for a beer one day.
Hi Caz, I love the way you describe it…eat, sleep and breathe your blog and yes, want it bad! Every day we are so excited to come up with new ideas. We had a press trip to Jamaica this past week and talking with everyone on the bus was the highlight of our day. The ideas floating around were astounding. Now I have to get my head in order and get down to business. It really is an exciting time to be working in this business…that is if you love it as much as we do and I know you and Craig do as well. Cheers and we’ll definitely have a beer one day soon!
There’s far too much hype about “make money travel blogging”; as you’ve illustrated it takes a lot of dedication, perseverance and effort to build up a successful commercial blog.
Agreed Karen. People are focusing on the wrong things when it comes to travel blogging in our opinion. Like every business, you have to focus on a quality product first before the money starts rolling in.
This is wonderful food for thought! I’ve only had my blog up and running for a year and don’t really know yet what direction I will want to go with it – I initially saw it more as a means to an end to help get me in somewhere else in the travel industry. But, I actually answered positively to most of your questions and I have found I absolutely love writing and keeping up with it on my “career break” trip so far. You’ve given me stuff to think about. 🙂
Hi Katie, that is awesome! I think that many of us used our blog for a means to an end for other things. Blogs give businesses a voice. I don’t think that any blogger strictly runs a travel blog and does nothing else… be it public speaking, running tours, hosting travel shows or running conferences. A blog helps to raise your profile enough to do whatever you want in the Travel industry. If you want to lead photography camps or cycling trips etc, having a successful blog gives you the platform to promote and the personality to entice people to come along with you for the trip of a lifetime. If you want to be a travel writer for traditional media, the blog gives you the opportunity to show off your work, the possibilities are endless and that is what is so exciting.
It sounds like you have the right frame of mind, you love travel first and want to be a part of the business no matter what and in any capacity. I think that’s important.
Great advice as always. Would love to be in your shoes but they are mighty big to fill. Looking forward to seeing where our blog takes us, unfortunately I don’t have the guts (yet) to throw my real job in and tackle this as a full-time profession. Maybe if we had some revenue coming in it would be a different story.
Good luck Cole. That is wise not to give up everything until you are ready. It could be disastrous to leave your job without a solid plan.