Starting a travel blog was never something that I imagined I could actually make into a career for myself. I’m not from a writing background and had no idea how to make a website. It began for me on Instagram, we have always travelled and love sharing our stories.

When we began travelling with our Roman at just 2 months old I found my inbox was flooded with other parents. I was receiving lots of questions like, what do you take on the flight, where did you stay, was it baby friendly etc. I would write back to every single person giving them all my advice but I also found it very repetitive. I wanted to find a way to share my knowledge that everyone can have access to… and so Tyson Trails was born.

I really believe that if you have the knowledge to share you too can make a living from blogging. In the blog post, I wanted to share the steps I took, what worked for me and what didn’t. The mistakes I made and things that really helped. I’m still learning and will continue to but coming from a mum that was on maternity leave. I had no clue where life was going and I now run a parenting travel blog and love the doors it’s opened, I hope this helps you too.

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How to run a successful travel blog and make money

Step by step of setting up your travel blog

1. Pick a name

What are you going to call your blog? This will be the name that you use across all platforms. Once you pick some, make sure they are available on social media platforms and your domain. Think about the longevity of your name, I originally called my blog ‘baby and the backpack’. This was great until Roman turned into a toddler, It became a bit irrelevant. I then decided to change my blog name which was a faff.

2. Niche down

My best advice for niching is to narrow it down as much as possible. Starting a travel blog can be competitive and they can get a little repetitive with broad guides and photography. Having a niche allows you to create an audience that will keep coming back. Tyson trails for example is a travel blog for people travelling with children. So you won’t find top party destinations or adults-only resorts on my blog. Instead, readers know to come here for finding places to eat with children, the best family hotels in a destination and travel products for babies.

You’ve got your name, decided your travel blog niche and now it’s time for the fun part, getting the blog set up.

3. Purchase your domain name

The first step is buying your www. domain name. This is a yearly subscription that gives you ownership of your domain and makes you discoverable. There are some website hosts that offer this for free for the first year when you use their platform so look around. There are also hosted sites that give you a free www. that isn’t changeable. However, I wouldn’t recommend doing this they aren’t easy to google and you may lose readers. I personally used 123 Reg when I purchased my domain and then transferred it over to my self-hosting.

4. Website hosting and designing the blog

There are loads of different website hosts and this is something to look into depending on your budget. You’ll need to decide whether you want a hosted site, this is a website on platforms such as Wix and Squarespace. The platform has a server, you pay the platform a fee to host your blog for you and store everything. These are great for starting up, I actually did start myself on Wix. They are simple to use and have a drag and drop type website builder included.

Your second option is to self-host and this is the one I would go for if you can. I do regret not starting my travel blog self-hosted. Self-hosting means you can either have your own server (not common though) or pay a server such as Bluehost to keep your site online. You can then use a platform such as WordPress to design your blog, you have a lot more control over your blog this way. I was actually surprised it worked out cheaper too for the running costs.

When I switched over to WordPress I decided I was out of my depth designing the blog so I purchased a theme on Etsy for £10. This made it so much simpler and quicker to get going. However, if you fancy the challenge it’s all doable and I think I could now create a site without a theme.

How to run a successful travel blog and make money

Your blog is up and running, now you want to monetize it

How long will it take to start making money?

This really depends on you, your work ethic and how much effort you are going to put into your blog. I’m not here to tell you it’s a fast money earner because it isn’t. Some people will start earning within the first few months and for others, it can take longer. You want to initially aim to be putting out 2-4 posts a week for the first few weeks/months. This will help gain some traction for your blog and give you content for your readers. You can then lower the number of posts but I would never drop to less than at least 1 a week.

Ways to make money on your travel blog

There are a couple of ways that bloggers make their money:

  • Sponsored Posts – A company or person pays for you to create content for them promoting a specific product or brand
  • Ads – The adverts that you see when on a person’s blog are normally through sites such as Google Adsense and Mediavine. Readers don’t pay any extra but the blogger gets a small commission for you watching, clicking or buying.
  • Affiliate Marketing – Bloggers will earn a commission from promoting a product to you and if you buy through their link or use their discount code they will earn a small amount in return (again readers won’t pay any extra for buying through these)
  • Offering Your Services – A company hiring you to do a job; photography, writing or videography for example.
  • Selling Their Products – A lot of bloggers will also create a product or digital service and then sell it through their websites.

Start Publishing Click Worthy Content

Your content is the most important step, you could have the most beautiful website but if you aren’t writing content that people want to read then it will never get off the backburner. When you are about to start a post think about a couple of things –

  • What will it teach readers?
  • Is it meaningful?
  • Is it unique to your blog? (Not copied)

If you can answer yes to all of these then write away!

How to run a successful travel blog and make money

SEO your website and content

SEO is short for search engine optimisation. Using SEO on your blog allows search engines such as google and yahoo to understand what your blog is and put it in front of people. You need to be writing posts with SEO in mind, look at what people are currently searching for. Sites such as google trends are great for this.

Build organic traffic

In order for you to start making money from your travel blog, you will need to start building your organic traffic. This type of traffic is much more valuable to you, the reader has a reason they have visited you; they typed a question into the search bar and you have come up to answer their question. (SEO comes into play for this)

Build a community

You have set up your website, you have posted a couple of blog posts now and traffic has begun to trickle in. The next step you want to start thinking about is building a community:

  • Social Media – In building a following, numbers aren’t the be-all and end-all. To start with it’s about the quality of your following not the number of them. You want people who are genuinely interested in you and what you have to say.
  • Email Marketing – Getting people to subscribe to your blog and keeping them up to date through newsletters or letting them know when new posts are coming.
  • Replying to People – Make sure that if you are receiving replies to your blog posts you are taking the time to respond to them.

Use analytics to monitor your blog traffic

Google Analytics is a free resource for you to use so sign up. It allows you to track how many people are visiting your site, what country are they from and what are they clicking on. This means you can then cater your content to these people and produce posts your audience like. There are other sites that also offer this information, some more in-depth and paid for but to start with id recommend Google.

Join Pinterest

Pinterest is another great site to join. Unlike all the other social media sites, Pinterest is designed like a search engine for imagery. It allows you to link directly to your blog posts and bring lots of traffic into your blog.

Happy Blogging

Anyone with the motivation to succeed can make money blogging. The amount of money you make will depend on the amount of work you are willing to put into the blog to make it happen. It’s not a quick money maker and it also isn’t an easy job. Results may not show in a few months or even years, it takes time BUT, as I said above, once it happens it’s one of the best jobs in the World!

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