If you love traveling, you’ve probably considered starting a travel blog. After all, it is a great way to document or share your adventures and experiences while potentially making some extra income on the side — if not make it your main hustle — so that you can eventually fund your travels in a consistent way. (Travel Blogging for Beginners)
Travel blogging is my main profession for about 10 years now and it is such a rewarding career given that it gives me the freedom to work anytime and anywhere while enjoying one of my top passions (which is, obviously, traveling). Moreover, I learned how to start this lucrative work all by myself from the ground up, which means that YOU can easily follow in my footsteps.
…However, of course, it helps to note that in order to establish a successful travel blog, there are a LOT of things that you need to take care of — but don’t fret because with this post I’ll be helping you out as I list the top things that you need in order to start the RIGHT way.
Must-Haves in Travel Blogging for Beginners
» A solid conviction and drive
Here’s the no B.S. truth to travel blogging: most people fail in it.
The number of reasons is vast as to why this happens, but the topmost ones would be that…
- They get impatient because they think it will make money fast
- They did not expect the amount of work that is required to run a travel blog well
- They thought they didn’t need to invest money in blogging
In its core, you should think of travel blogging as a business because it will require time, it will be something you’ll need to work on, and it will warrant some small investment at the start.
So as early as now, you should manage your expectations and determine if travel blogging is indeed something that is a fit for you and your interests. You should definitely NOT do this as a whim because you found it ‘trendy‘ at the moment, or you’ve been swept away by some sensational influencer who bragged about how they easily made six figures in just a few weeks with their blog.
Such cases might be true but they are extremely rare. Travel blogging is now a saturated industry after all… but of course, with all of that said, if you do things right, you can still easily thrive. In fact, overnight success can also still be doable.
Yet, still and the same, in order to manage your expectations from the get-go on travel blogging for beginners, expect that the process can be slow (but totally rewarding in the long run). Just possess the right attitude and outlook and you’re off to a good start!
» A fast yet lightweight laptop
Technically, you could use your computer BUT with your niche, you’ll be needing a portable device a.k.a. a laptop that you can bring anywhere, especially during your travels.
The good news though is that blogging will not use a huge amount of system memory, so you don’t really need the fancy kinds — however, this does not mean that you should buy just about anything.
First things first, make sure that it has enough storage and RAM memory (basically, the bigger the RAM is, the faster your computer can work because the last thing you need is a device that will keep crashing or lagging). If you don’t have the budget for a laptop that has big storage, invest in hard drives in the meantime.
Truth be told, even if your laptop has a huge storage, you will still need to invest in hard drives to back up your files. If you don’t want this added bulk though, you can invest in cloud backup softwares like Dropbox, Google Drive or Box.
In this same line of thought, it’s also important to get ‘renters insurance’ as it will cover your possessions even while you’re abroad — this includes your laptop and phone.
Secondly, your laptop must be lightweight. With these two factors combined, it’s no wonder that a lot of travel bloggers love Macbooks, Chromebooks, and similar laptops. I personally use a Macbook Pro, but a Macbook Air can already work for you (I only need a Pro version because I regularly edit videos for my vlogging needs).
If you’re considering using only your mobile phone for blogging, it will prove to be extremely challenging so I suggest that the next best thing (if you can’t invest in a laptop just yet) is to get a tablet with a good keyboard add-on. But make sure that you’re aware of the limitations of tablets in terms of creativity; besides, most tablets are designed for consuming media rather than for productivity.
» A dedicated camera for photos
Considering how good phone cameras are nowadays, you don’t need to buy a huge DSLR camera with different lenses. Many bloggers also don’t like to carry around a bulky camera during their travels, especially in destinations where petty crime is a major risk.
But beyond this reason, there is the fact that you’re still starting out so a DSLR camera is an investment that you can make later on — for now, your phone camera will do. Either way, you can always make do with a good phone if you know the tips and tricks to take high-quality mobile photos.
Travel blogging is highly visual, so make sure that you edit your photos well either with Photoshop or Lightroom. For a more beginner-friendly platform, consider using Canva. If you want FREE stock photos (basically, free images that you can use commercially) check by websites like Pixabay and Unsplash.
…Of course, if you have the money to spare, by all means go and invest in a good high-end camera!
If you want something less bulky, mirrorless cameras such as Fujifilm X-T4, Olympus Mark IV, or Nikon Z FC are favorites among bloggers; otherwise, the top full-frames are Sony A7, Nikon Z6, or Canon EOS R10.
» The best blogging platform, hosting, and domain
Many newbie travel bloggers start with blogs on free sites like Wix, Squarespace, or WordPress.com with their domain names (or website names) having the added .wordpress, .wix or .squarespace, etc. attached at the end.
In theory… this is fine if you simply want to do travel blogging for beginners at a recreational capacity; but if you really plan on creating a travel blog that you want to commit to or that will be established as your brand and which can eventually make you money, it’s highly important to invest in a paid hosting that includes a dedicated domain name leading to your website with a beautiful theme or logo and running with the right plugins.
“Wait a minute — what are these words? Hosting? Domain? Theme? Plugins? Whaaaat?!”
I know these don’t make sense to you as a beginner, so if you want to be properly guided, I suggest that you read my blog post below. I have explained all of these terminologies in detail and step-by-step, so don’t worry.
RELATED READ: How to Start a Travel Blog from Scratch
Rest assured, these can all be set up for as low as $3 a month and I’m sure that’s a doable small investment that you can make!
» Content writing, SEO, online marketing, and social media knowledge
If you already know these skills beforehand, good for you! But that doesn’t mean that you should stop learning, okay? Continue to learn (if not relearn) for as much as you could so that you stay on top of the latest tips and tricks for travel blogging. Hubspot’s blog, for instance, is always a great resource and they have regular newsletters that you can subscribe to.
On the other hand, if you have ZERO know-how about any of these, don’t panic!
I also didn’t have any idea about such things, but I learned it all for FREE just by consuming information for as much as I could. I have browsed through countless numbers of articles, videos, and courses for years — and since then, as well as today, my travel blog’s posts are consistently on the first page of Google searches for certain topics and keywords.
You might be wondering if you need to do a paid blogging course, but if you ask me, most of the top blogging courses that I’ve encountered have information that is already readily available online at NO cost — you only need to look and research! Plus, I’m not bragging, but my post about how to set up a blog already packs all the information you need and that’s for FREE. So thinking about it, the only course I suggest that you pay for is about SEO (search engine optimization) and social media marketing because this is quite a broad topic that needs to be tackled in detail.
It helps to note that these skills cannot live without the others (after all, what use is the content you write if you don’t promote it well via social media, email marketing, etc.?) so don’t skip out on any of them.
» Networking skills
Once you’ve achieved all of the other must-haves in this post about travel blogging for beginners, it helps to focus as well on networking a.k.a. connecting with the right people.
It is really a MUST to stay connected with those who are related to your niche and these are…
- Fellow travel bloggers: Especially for those who are also starting out at the same time as you, it can be a fruitful relationship in which you can both grow by sharing information and insights with one other. You can even trade any relevant contacts for project collaboration or press trip pitches. Some travel blogger groups that can help you accomplish this can be found here.
- PR agencies/persons: Research the top PR or marketing companies in your locale but also in the international scene. Once you get traction for your blog, you must create a media kit and give them a heads up that your blog/brand exists so they can include you in their pool of bloggers that they will be regularly proposing to their clients.
- Brands/companies: It doesn’t hurt to go directly to the companies that you want to partner with by emailing them directly. Otherwise, there are travel events such as TBEX in which you can participate as a travel blogger so that you can get connected with their relevant marketing personnel.
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I hope that the above tips on must-dos or must-haves in travel blogging for beginners will help you jumpstart your journey soon!
All of this can be challenging, but going back to the first must-have, keep your conviction and drive because perseverance as well as consistency is key for ‘making it’ in the travel blogging world.
For more blogging tips, don’t forget to check here.