Does it not sound like a dream? earning money with your travel blog and becoming a full-time Digital Nomad? Well, I believe everyone can become a successful travel blogger and earn their money online!
It takes some time and practice before you are able to live from your online income. Even with the right tools and strategies, it can take a long time. This is a guide for starting travel bloggers but I believe expert writers can learn from this too. So if you are dedicated to becoming a Digital Nomad, read on!
How to start a travel blog
Let’s start at the very beginning, creating a blog. Before you can start you have to know where you want to write about and if you are able to rank in Google. It’s really important you think good about a subject because you will have to write a lot about it.
There are some research steps you should take before actually creating the blog. These are the steps you should take when starting your travel blog:
1. Finding the right blog niche / keywords
To find a niche where you can start your blog in there are a lot of tools online you can use. One of the tools is the all mighty google itself! You can go to google and type in “travel” and Google will automatically show you new suggestions. This way you can find keywords that are easy to rank for and start your blog around them.
Another great tool I use all the time is called Answerthepublic.com. With this website, you can search through keywords and get some great suggestions. It’s free and you will love it!
Looking for the right blog name? Read: How to find the best blog name
2. Research your websites’ competition
Now that you found a niche and some keywords you should check the competition for them. It’s best to have a niche with a lot of searches and low competition. To make this process easy and fun there are some online keyword research tools available online. Here is a list of my favorite research tools:
- Mangools KWfinder
A couple of those are paid tools, and although maybe not now, later on, you will probably need them. I think of these four Semrush is the best and they offer a 7-day trial so there is no reason not to try it.
3. Setting up your travel blog fast and easy
To start earning money online you need to obviously set up your travel blog. There are a lot of ways you can do this but I think a great start is to look into WordPress.org. For all the blogs I make I use WordPress because it’s easy and fast.
How to setup WordPress for your travel blog
Setting up WordPress is a bit different than other blog platforms. In order to get WordPress on your website, you have to get a hosting account and install WordPress on it. If you don’t know anything about hosting I suggest you have a look at godaddy.com. They offer cheap hosting and easy WordPress installation (always check for coupons when you buy).
If you decide for whatever reason not to go for Godaddy the process should also not be that hard. Here is how you setup WordPress on any hosting website:
- Buy a Hosting Plan
- Buy a Domain and link it to your hosting
- Go to www.wordpress.org and download WordPress
- Find your file manager
- Upload WordPress to it
Now that you have WordPress installed on your host, it’s time to create your website.
How to get started with WordPress
To login to your admin panel you have to go to “www.yourwebdomain.com”/wp-admin here, you will see a login screen and you should log in with the credentials you got when installing the application.
Now you are in your admin panel, where all the magic happens! WordPress is great because it lets you install themes for your travel blog. To find themes go to appearance – themes in the left sidebar. There is a lot you can choose from to make your website looks exactly how you want.
A free theme that I really like and use every time is called Primer.
How to get traffic to your blog with SEO
SEO is a jungle of aspects that Google keeps in mind to rank your pages on their website. To start getting traffic to your travel blog you will need to rank it in the top of the search engines, this is called SEO. It can be a tricky process but here are some easy steps you can follow:
1. Write high quality articles
The most important thing that people want from your site are answers to their questions. Search engines really put a lot of value on the quality of your content. They do this because then they can send the searching human in the right direction.
So what is the right amount of blog posts and words per article? Well, it’s important to have a mix. You should have around 30 posts on your website and they should be around 2000 words each. This way you show Google that you know a lot about your niche and that they can trust you.
It’s important to structure them well with H1, H2, and H3 tags. Take a look at how I did it on this page.
When I first started blogging this was my biggest fear. It seems like a lot of content creation, right? But I think in the end it’s fun to do and you can learn a lot from it.
Want to get high-quality content? Read: How to get content ideas for your blog
2. Write blog content with keywords
Search engines are smart and they know what you are writing about. But in order to get the most out of them, you will still need to do some keyword research and keyword stuffing. What this means is that you target an audience with your post that has lower competition.
Notice how I use “Travel Blog” in this post often instead of just Blog. It’s because then I will have a shot at ranking in the SERPs, search engine result pages.
To find the keywords you want you should use one of the tools I mentioned previously.
Although it is important to use keywords, you should not spam them in your post! Yoast free SEO plugin helps you to get the most out of your writing and prevent keyword stuffing (something that Google does not like at all).
3. Optimise your page speed
Your page speed is really important, at least, that’s what search engines think (and me too :-)). Run your website in some or all of these tools to get an idea of what you can do to speed up your travel blog.
After you run the tests there are a couple of things you can do to improve performance:
use a caching plugin
Optimise all your images
Yes, image size matters! You don’t want to have a page full of images that are taking forever to load. You should scale your images when you upload them to your WordPress media library. After uploading you should install a plugin called Smush, it’s free and it helps you optimize the pictures on your blog.
4. Ux / Ui Design
User experience and User interface are things not a lot of people tell you about when teaching SEO. I believe that these two things have a HUGE impact on your rankings.
When creating your travel blog keep the user in mind. Always think about how you can keep them entertained as long as possible. You should know where you want them to click next or what you want them to see before they leave. Google has a ranking system called “Google ranking Brain”. This sees exactly what the user does on your website and where it goes after.
Design is something that speaks to people and it makes them more likely to stay on your page. This is why it’s so important. When you create your blog remember that the devil is in the details.
Note: Behance is an infinite source of beautiful UX / Ui Design!
5. Social media
If you really want to know where all the people are today, I can tell you: social media. These platforms have become very dominant in today’s online world. That’s also why you should use them to get traffic to your travel blog!
A good way to start is by creating social profiles on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, and Pinterest. These are my favorite networks and the ones that generate the most traffic.
Start earning money with your travel blog
Now that you have done everything to set up your blog and get visitors it’s time to make money! There are a lot of ways you can turn traffic into money. Here are some of the ways I like to generate an income from blogging:
1. Affiliate marketing
Simply the most popular and profitable way to make make money with your travel blog is Affiliate marketing. What this means is you advertise for a product you like in one of your posts and send people to buy that product. If they decide that they like it and buy it with your link, you will get a commission of the sale.
When you decide you want to use Affiliate marketing to monetize your blog you should keep some things in mind:
- Don’t spam links to Amazon everywhere. This will ruin the Ux and you will lose traffic.
- Only send people to a product you really like. People will have to trust you before they buy something.
- Keep it clean. Don’t flush your blog with links, keep it low, quality over quantity.
2. Sell your own product / service
If you ask my opinion I think this is the best sales strategy. Come up with a product that helps people that are interested in your niche. If you can give people something they really use and like you will have a good time selling.
On this website I’m selling the Digital Nomad 101, it’s a monthly subscription for people wanting to learn online marketing.
You can come up with al kinds of ideas for a product, just get creative!
3. Create returning customers
If you can find a way so that people will return to your blog and become loyal fans, that’s golden! A good strategy for this is to create an Email list of your followers. Let people sign up for something that is useful so they can stay up to date with your blog and return to your website.
People will be way more likely to buy something the second time they visit your page. But don’t spam, only send out emails when you really think they add value to your customers.
4. Run advertisement campaigns
Another way to make money with your blog is by placing ads on your website.
Me myself I’m not so a fan of this strategy because it’s not that profitable with most travel blogs. You will need A LOT of traffic in order to make this strategy profitable. Not saying that you can’t it’s just not where the gold is in my opinion.
If you still decide to start placing ads on your site, you can read more about it here: Placing ads on your site.