By Darren Griffiths

Essential Skills Needed to Be a Successful Travel Blogger

12th May 2021

Last updated on February 2nd, 2022 at 06:05 am

The most influential travel bloggers are always looking for ways to improve. To be a successful travel blogger, you will have to find the time, patience, and desire to make mistakes and learn things the hard way.

Bloggers who meet their goals have done so by looking for ways to improve on every piece they submit. If you hadn’t noticed, hostels worldwide are getting fuller, and there are more people than ever with access to the internet and a few good stories to tell.

You’re the only one with your specific story to tell, and if you can broadcast your message while wielding the suitable skill set, you can start thinking about quitting your day job and hitting the road. 

Read

You should always be reading more than you’re writing. Each fresh author you read will put another voice into your head and allow you to look at things from a slightly different perspective.

Dedicate some time to genres outside of travel writing and self-help books. There is certainly a fantastic place for non-fiction books about the industry, but a great story can have an equally powerful effect on your ability to captivate an audience. Try ‘A Field Guide to Getting Lost’ by Rebecca Solnit if you’re looking for ways to turn your experiences into stories.

Once you’ve finished your book, write about it. More than a plot summary, seek to break down the heart of the work and elaborate on the author’s message. Look up every word you don’t know, and if you don’t understand a passage, read it again.

Let the Search Engines Optimize your Message

Digital Nomads working in a Bali co-working space

Digital Nomads working in a Bali co-working space

You need to embrace the rulebooks to get to the top of the search engine food chain. Minute tweaks to your content can help improve your standing with the algorithms of the world without sacrificing your story’s identity.

In a split second, the search engine of choice for your next potential reader is scanning through every page on the internet and displaying the results.

SEO has proven to more effectively increase your clicks than paying for advertisement space on Google, and it’s free!

To improve your SEO organically, try writing out your story unadulterated and making SEO changes as part of your editing process. Building out your product for search engines is unavoidable, but it’s not more important than creating a blog with quality content.

Take your optimization further, and make your website rank higher by looking for ways to boost your entire site rather than just individual posts.  Simply increasing your page loading times to under 3 seconds will massively increase the chances potential readers stick around after the first click, thus boosting your rank.

Design your website around mobile phones first. Most people are searching on Google using a smartphone. In response, Google has placed the impetus on mobile versions of your website when determining its search results rankings. Take a quick and easy Mobile-Friendly Test to make sure your blog is up to the challenge.

Search Engine Optimization is an all-encompassing and ever-changing facet of creating a successful travel blog. This snippet barely scratches the surface of everything successful bloggers consider when optimizing their content.

If it all seems foreign to you, there’s no shame in calling in back up to tackle the ranking systems. Professional content collectives have teams of experts here to help you show up on page 1.

Stay Present on Social Media

digital nomad skills photographer

Social Media can be an easy trap to the burgeoning blogger. Posting your message into the void repeatedly without garnering attention will drain down your motivational reserves. Before you start posting, try listening.

Keep an authentic presence by not forcing anything. There are plenty of online communities of people whose interests line up well with yours. Join the message boards or groups and see what everyone has to say before providing tidbits to the conversation.

Eventually, people will recognize your voice and look towards your page for bits of wisdom on a particular subject, naturally inviting new readership.

Each different platform has strengths and weaknesses. Personalize your approach to each site instead of spamming everyone with the same message every time you have something to show. Twitter is factual, Facebook is communal, and Instagram is visual.

Social media will be one of your main tools for broadcasting your blog. Keep track of your content’s interactions and compare that to the time of day of your posts to find patterns.

Time-Keeping

digital nomad skills laptop city

Work from anywhere with stable internet connections

Most people become travel bloggers to do more, and you need to make sure you’re creating the right work/life balance to get everything done while staying motivated and exploring plenty during your travels.

No one wants to hear the story of how nice your desk was in Mexico City.

If you’re coming from a more traditional job, you may be used to clocking in at 9, staying at work until 5, and getting paid the same no matter what gets done.

When you’re working for yourself, there’s always something to do, and nobody is paying you by the hour. If you don’t carve out some time away to decompress and refocus, you risk wasting serious time staring at a screen without feeling productive.

Set an hourly wage goal and keep a spreadsheet that monitors how much you earn compared to how much time you spend writing each piece to help hit your target.

To track my efforts, and ensure I don’t miss the bus, I rely on my Casioak to keep me in line and help tabulate precisely how much time I spend at the computer each day. 

Successful Travel Bloggers always put travel over the blog.

The most significant benefit to this industry is that you build your schedule. Set limits that help you get outside, don’t put things off until the deadline day, and develop your business in a way that guarantees that if someone offers you a ride somewhere interesting, you never have to turn them down to stay on the computer.

We Want To Know How You Got Those Scars

digital nomad skills beach hand stand

Stay positive and have fun in the process

Take your writing a step further by telling a story. Too many authors have centered their entire strategy around affiliate marketing. While it’s an easy way to get your blog off the ground and make a few dollars, to become a successful travel blogger, you’ll have to do more than redirect to amazon.

Put yourself into your work, even if it is something as simple as a luggage packing listicle. Readers will identify with emotions more than sage but vague advice. If you’re writing about packing essentials, instead of just telling your readers why a particular item is important, tell them about the day you learned how important it is.

Make sure you pack in sentences of varied length and a beginning, middle, and end to give your post a narrative structure and avoid sounding bland.

Patience, You Must Have

Me being a digital nomad in our Chiang Mai apartment

Me working in our Chiang Mai apartment

These tips have helped me quit my job and embrace a transient lifestyle. I spent years traveling before I ever thought about sitting down and writing about it. Blood, sweat, tears, and laughter eventually gave way to a full-time life traveling around the world and being lucky enough to tell people about it.

Give yourself plenty of space to make mistakes as you carve out your place within the travel blogging industry. Successful bloggers don’t have access to some secret pot of golden travel knowledge, nor have they experienced different opportunities than you. They’ve simply put in the time and effort to make mistake after mistake until something worked.

The most influential travel voices have been calmly and constantly grinding away for years. Every enterprise competing for travelers’ attention should always be looking for new ways to trim off some fat, improve how users interact with their website, or strengthen their writing.

Use these skills to create your own trail, and start taking the steps towards being a successful travel blogger. Above all else, don’t forget the passions that set you down this path in the first place.