Planning to become a full-time travel blogger? Here’s what you need to know first!
Off-late I’ve started getting a lot of messages from my readers showing their interest in travelling and becoming a full time travel blogger — people working as investment bankers and engineers earning a seven-figure income, yet unsatisfied with their lifestyle, wanting to break into the ever-glorious field of travel blogging.
In the previous month itself — and particularly after my recent blog trip with The Golden Chariot luxury train — I’ve received more than 100 such messages stating “I want to become a full-time travel blogger but just don’t know where to start from, and how to do it!”
So if you too are struggling with a similar unsettling bug of making travel blogging a carrier choice, but not sure how to get started, this blog is for you!
Never Start As A Full-Time Travel Blogger
Blogging is a slow process. It takes time to eventually become a full-time travel blogger. Even if you’re exceptionally good in writing content and have a fair knowledge of SEO and digital marketing, expect no sudden monetary benefits out of your travel blog.
Expect almost no revenue generation (or even sponsored trips) during your first year of full time travel blogging stint. So, the best thing to do is to start as a part-time travel blogger.
Start with a Facebook page or an Instagram handle and build your community. If you are sure that you’re eventually going become a full time travel blogger, buy a hosting plan, build a website and keep travel blogging until you see a potential return.
Though I know that I was one of those bloggers who quit their job to travel and started as a full-time travel blogger from day 1, I still advise people not to follow the same path. I managed to start making money from travel blogging because I had a fair knowledge of how online publication businesses work, thanks to my previous few corporate jobs. But you may just belong from a different field and that makes a difference.
So, start with part-time travel blogging and let your blog grow to an assuring point.
Save Enough Before Starting Full-Time Travel Blogging
One thing I always advise people showing their interest in discontinuing their previous lifestyle and becoming a full-time travel blogger is having some financial assurance before they do so. Have enough money in your bank account so that you can sustain for at least a couple of years, even if you made no money from travel blogging.
When I quit my job I had enough money to be able to keep travelling for 3 or 4 years without making any money. Having some financial assurance allows you to keep going. And as with every business, with blogging too, if you survived your initial couple of years, consider your business a success.
Now, another thing to keep in mind is where you’re coming from. For an Indian, for example, working and travelling internationally is not possible unlike for people with a stronger passport. For instance, people from Western Europe can easily move to Australia (and many other countries) without having to deal with a work permit, and work and travel at the same time. This means they can continue travelling, and keep making money on the go. For Indians, or for someone having a similar useless passport as the weak Indian passport travelling anywhere out of their country only means travelling and bleeding money!
So before you decided to become a full time travel blogger, make sure you’ve enough money saved in your bank account depending on your travel choices and personal lifestyle.
Start As A Budget Traveller
When I initially started travel-blogging, I had no idea when will I actually monetize from my blog. Naturally, I started as a budget traveller. I wanted to make sure that make my money lasts longer. I would camp in the Himalayas and save money on accommodation, or hitchhike and save on transportation.
However with time, and as I started making money from travel blogging, and sponsored trips became more frequent, I changed course from budget backpacking to premium flashpacking.
Now, had I not cared about my spending during the initial days of my full time travel blogging, I might have run out of money long before. So be thoughtful of your resources and create a long-term plan.
Find Your USP
The key to successful travel blogging, or any kind of blogging for that matter, is standing out from the crowd. Rather than trying to cover every topic and being everything to everyone, focus on one or two areas of expertise. Understand your passion and create content around it.
For example, adventure and solo travel are my core focus areas. After this, I write a bit about city guides and travel blogging tips, all while keeping the Indian community in mind. If I am talking about how much money you need to travel in Thailand, for example, I will write it while keeping Indians in mind and convert all prices in Indian Rupees.
Branding is what has differentiated me from other travel blogs out there. Same will apply to you.
And last but not least, professional travel blogging is tough, and if you think that this job is just an extended vacation, you are very, very wrong. Travel blogging is like having a 365-day job with no vacations and no annual leaves. Though it’s a different thing that once you get into the business and get comfortable, you start enjoying it.
Having said that, and to conclude it on a positive note, let me say this… Travel Blogging is the best thing ever happened to me! Being a full-time travel blogger is a wonderful feeling.