11 Secrets To Becoming A Professional Travel Blogger

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Professional Travel Blogger Tips

How to Become a Professional Travel Blogger

Blogging Tips

Want to become a professional travel blogger? Learn how to grow & improve your travel blog with my best tips after 7 years of professional blogging.

Continuing from my previous article about how to start a travel blog, it’s time to step it up a notch and share my best secrets for how to go from hobby blogging to becoming a professional travel blogger.

The word professional meaning you earn your living from it.

I’ve been running this adventure travel blog for 7 years now. For the first year it was mainly for fun, but then I began to take it more seriously. These days it’s my sole source of income — and I earn six figures a year.

There’s nothing wrong with blogging as a hobby. In fact, that’s as far as most people get. But if my overflowing email inbox is any indication, many of you are dreaming of turning travel blogging into a job.

I’ll tell you right now that becoming a professional travel blogger is very difficult. More difficult than most people think. However, this article is for those who are ready to attempt it anyway, regardless of the work involved.

Ready to get started? Then let’s do this!

Professional Travel Bloggers

What exactly is a professional travel blogger? Well anyone can start a blog and become a “blogger”. The barrier to entry is small, which has benefits and disadvantages. For example, there are currently thousands of personal travel blogs online — so standing out from the crowd is tough.

However, my definition is those who earn a good portion (or all) of their income from travel blogging are considered professionals. This list is MUCH smaller. If I had to guess, I’d say less than 100 people make decent money directly from their travel blogs.

Fortunately, I happen to be one of them after years of trial & error attempting to turn my passion for travel into a business. Which is why I’ve decided to share some of my best secrets with you today.

My suggestions here are certainly not the only roadmap to building a successful travel blog, they just happen to work for me.

Travel Blog Audience

Build Your Audience

Building An Audience Is Key!

While I could go into the different ways travel bloggers make money, that’s not what this particular post is about. Everyone and their grandmother asks me how I make money from my travel blog, but the question they SHOULD be asking is how did I build an audience.

Because the hard truth is you’ll only earn income with your blog once you have a decent audience. Readers first, money later.

So today we’ll cover a few different techniques for building an engaged audience on your travel blog, as well as unique tactics for getting yourself noticed by companies looking to work with bloggers.

Travel Blog Tips

Travel Tips Can Work Well

1: Create Useful Content

Writing a diary of your travels for family & friends is easy, but other than them, no one else cares. If you want strangers to read your travel blog, you’ll need to provide something more useful.

Budget travel tips, food recommendations, details on what to do or where to stay, photography inspiration, video entertainment, beautiful flowing narrative, humor, etc.

Yes, you should always “follow your passion.” Otherwise, you won’t enjoy what you’re doing. The key is to follow your passion while also providing something of value to your readers.

What are people searching for? It’s time to do some research. What questions related to travel are being asked in online forums, Reddit, and Quora?

If you already have readers, what are they asking in comments & emails? Give people what they’re asking for!

I received a bunch of questions about what GoPro accessories I travel with. So rather than waste time explaining it to each person individually, I wrote a huge article showcasing the best GoPro accessories for travel.

Turns out lots of people were looking for this information. The article gets shared a lot, and continues to receive steady search traffic.

Why? Because it’s useful! It’s answering a frequently asked question.

Even if you’re sharing an entertaining travel story, including useful tips about how readers can enjoy a similar experience will keep them coming back for more.

Travel Blogging Tips

Ok, Maybe Not This Crazy

2: Do Interesting Stuff

At face value, it seems pretty basic. But when I say do interesting stuff, I mean do REALLY interesting stuff. Sensational, fascinating, or challenging stuff. The kind of stuff that gets noticed.

Writing about your drunken full moon party experience in Thailand? Maybe a 1 on the 0-10 awesomeness scale. Kayaking in Greenland? Walking across India? Camping in Antarctica? Vacationing in Yemen? Sailing the coast of Africa?

These activities are MUCH higher on the awesome scale, the topics are unique, and as a result, they’re more likely to be shared with a larger audience.

Your whole blog doesn’t have to read like Buzzfeed, but make it a point to include some truly epic, original stories from time to time.

Guest Blog Posting

Share Stories On Other Blogs

3: Guest Posting

When you first start your travel blog, no one will know you exist. A good way to change that is to write guest posts on other popular blogs with large audiences, and siphon some of their readers over to you.

Not only will you reach a targeted audience, it also helps with your branding and credibility as an authority on travel.

However before you go pitching other blogs for guest posts, first check to make sure they even allow them. It helps to have some kind of relationship with the blogger too. Cold pitches to someone you’ve never even spoken with are less likely to work.

You can see examples of my own guest posts here, here, and here. All these articles sent me traffic I probably wouldn’t have had otherwise, introducing my adventure travel blog to new readers.

There’s also SEO power in backlinks from popular sites to yours.

My advice is to be picky, and guest post on blogs that you think will provide the best return on your investment in time. Because time is limited when you’re trying to become a professional blogger!

Professional Travel Blogger Tips

Social Media Tips

4: Rock Social Media

Staying active on social media is important if you want to earn your living from blogging. But it can be a huge time suck too. My advice is to be efficient with social media, don’t waste hours and hours there.

I generally jump on once in the morning to schedule posts for the day, then once more in the evening to respond to comments. It also pays to research the best times to post for each social network. You can find this info in your “insights” or “analytics” areas, or use third party tools.

For example, I’ve found that posting to Facebook at 5am & 8pm EST gives me the best results, while on Instagram, 9pm – 11pm works better. What works for me may not work for you though, and it can change. Always be testing.

Remember to be social on social media. That means actively responding to comments, and sharing other people’s content if you think your followers will enjoy it. Here are specific tips for each network based on my experience.


1-2 posts per day, postcard type photos with short captions work well. So does uploading 10 different images as an album. Video and Facebook Live has been doing well. Remember to tag yourself in photos you post on your fan page, and your friends will see it too, increasing engagement. Facebook doesn’t like 3rd party sharing apps, so don’t use them. Follow Me On Facebook!


4-5 posts or updates per day, links shared along with a few photos will get better engagement. One hashtag only, or none. Schedule new blog posts to share 3-4 times each spread throughout the month. Occasionally tag relevant companies/tourism boards where appropriate, they may re-tweet it. Buffer Pro is my scheduling & tracking app of choice. Follow Me On Twitter!


I’ve found cutting back to posting every other day is increasing my engagement per photo. Tag the location so others nearby can find your shots. I like using 2-3 hashtags in the caption, with another 20-25 targeted hashtags in the first comment. Longer descriptions seem to work well on Instagram — tell a story. Ask a question at the end to encourage engagement. For faster browsing & commenting on Instagram, I use Iconosquare Pro from my laptop. Follow Me On Instagram!


There are other important social media platforms like Pinterest and YouTube. However I’m still learning how to best utilize them, and don’t feel qualified to comment just yet. Which just goes to show you that becoming a professional travel blogger is a never-ending learning process.

Press and Media for Travel Bloggers

Get Yourself Some Press

5: Major Press Features

Yup, it’s time to become your own PR agent and market yourself to the masses by securing features in major media outlets. If you think popular travel blogs have large audiences, it’s nothing compared to what major media outlets have. You can actively pitch your story rather than wait around for someone to notice you.

This is what I did to get featured on Mashable and The Weather Channel.

Here’s my secret formula, so you can do the same!

  • Spend time researching media outlets that sometimes publish travel features. Especially those featuring bloggers. Pay attention to the authors of those articles.
  • Connect with the authors on Twitter or LinkedIn. Follow them. Add them to a public list. Share their articles with a mention. Ask a question. Send a compliment. But don’t be annoying.
  • Put together a polished project/article/idea with mass appeal. Something that many people will find fascinating, as I discussed earlier (do interesting stuff).
  • Finally, pitch them your great idea a few months later. I sometimes sweeten the deal by explaining that I’ll be sending out a press-release soon but wanted to give them the opportunity to cover it first.

Now that you’ve dedicated time developing a relationship with the writer, your chances are much higher that they’ll be interested in your pitch, landing you a feature on a major media website.

SEO for travel bloggers

SEO Black Magic

6: Art & Science Of SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is when you tweak your content to optimize it for search engines like Google. It seems to get a bad rap these days. Like it’s some kind of mysterious voodoo cheat tactic.

Here’s my take on it. If you write for traditional magazines, the writers who can master pitching to editors will get the best results. It’s not voodoo, it’s a relevant skill some people learn to get ahead.

Blogging and SEO are and always will be linked.

Don’t be scared of what you don’t understand. Instead, spend time learning how to master it for yourself. Or hire a professional to help out. Because like it or not, ensuring Google (and the world in general) can find your amazing content is a necessary part of building a successful website.

Useful Example

As an example of how I use SEO, let’s take a look at this particular article. The keyword I want to rank for is “professional travel blogger”. You’ll find that term in a few places here, like the URL, the title, the meta description, the first paragraph, a sub-heading, and at least 5 different times in the content.

I’ve named the lead photo using that keyword, along with its “alt” tag and caption. I’ve also linked back to this post from other pages on my site using the main keyword.

When you search for “professional travel blogger” (or whatever you want to rank for), Google shows related searches at the bottom of the page. Try to incorporate a few of these terms within your article as well.

Along with on-page SEO, building the authority of your site is also incredibly important. That means acquiring backlinks from other sites to yours through guest posting, major media features, high-profile mentions, etc.

SEO is a huge topic, but if you want to read more about it, I highly recommend studying everything you can find on the Moz.com blog.

Travel Blogging and Email

Email Lists are King

7: Build An Email List

Building an email subscriber list is one of the most important things you can do for your travel blog. Possibly more important than social media. The people who subscribe to your email list are your true fans & dedicated readers.

Why? Email is a much more personal experience. It also performs better than most social media at driving quality traffic to your site. While someone might receive thousands of social media updates in their feed each day, they may see less than 50 emails a day.

When you send subscribers something via email, they’re more likely to see it.

How do you build your mailing list? There are 2 main ingredients. Offer something of value, and make it easy. At the moment I offer a free travel photography ebook filled with my favorite images from around the world.

To make it easy, I use the email capture tools provided by Optin Monster, as well as Convert Kit email newsletter list management.

Another tactic that’s been working well is offering great giveaways on the blog in exchange for readers signing up to my email newsletter through a service like Rafflecopter.

Travel Blogging Audience

Get In Front Of More People

8: Advertising

I spend money advertising on Facebook. I spend money advertising on Twitter. In fact, I’ll do both for this article you are reading right now. I also pay for advertisements on other blogs.

By doing so, I’m not attracting “fake” readers. I’m paying to reach a large yet targeted audience. A percentage of them will discover my blog for the first time and become regular readers. Or if you sell products, become customers.

Magazines do it. Book publishers do it. Photographers do it. Hell, even nonprofit organizations have an advertising/marketing budget. Of course, if you’re just starting, you may not have the money now, but keep it in mind for the future. Targeted advertising exists for a reason — it works.

Treat your blog like a business if you want to make a living with it.

9: Professional Networking

To make a name for yourself in travel blogging, networking with others in person at conferences is pretty powerful. It’s an investment in time & money, but a worthwhile one.

When you meet potential business partners, colleagues, and clients in person, you’ll be at an advantage over those who don’t have that relationship. They’ll think of you over someone they’ve never met before.

Conferences I attend on a regular basis:

Social Travel Summit
Travel Blog Exchange

Others I’ve found helpful:

World Domination Summit
ITB Berlin

Online networking also has its benefits. Stay active in blogging groups, forums, and social media conversations. My favorite online travel blogging community is the private Facebook group for Travel Blog Success.

It’s the most positive & helpful group I’ve found dedicated to this industry.

Collaborations with other bloggers can expand your reach too. Maybe you noticed a few months ago I teamed up with Kiersten from The Blonde Abroad for projects in Iceland & Canada. This exposed my audience to her blog, and her audience to my blog, benefiting us both.

10: Hire Others To Help

Running a successful travel blog is like running your own magazine but without any staff. To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, let’s pretend you’re the owner & CEO of a publishing company.

Now imagine that you must also take on the roles of photographer, writer, editor, accountant, marketing team, graphic design, public relations, web development, videographer, finance, secretary, coffee intern, etc.

Get the picture? People go to school for years to master each of these jobs (ok, maybe not a coffee intern) but you’re attempting to do them all!

As a professional travel blogger, you are responsible for everything — while also dealing with the stress & challenges of traveling to foreign countries. So when you start earning income, hire others to help you run your business.

It took me far too long to understand the importance of this, and after 4 years, I’m only now beginning to seek the help of others. A general virtual assistant to help with research, pitching, public relations, social media, and tracking campaigns. An accountant. A video editor. A writing editor.

Hiring others allows you to focus on the stuff you’re good at, while leaving the rest to those who are probably better than you anyway. To learn more about hiring a virtual assistant, read “Virtual Freedom” by Chris Ducker.

11: Personal Branding

An important key to success as a travel blogger, or any blogger for that matter, is standing out from the crowd. Branding is how you manage the way you’re presented to others. Rather than trying to be everything to everyone, it’s better to focus on one or two areas of expertise.

What are you passionate about? What drives you?

When planning a new article/project, ask yourself, does it align with your brand? My own branding is based around adventure travel, so a majority of my articles are about this theme. Branding has differentiated me from other travel blogs, so when someone is looking to read or work with an adventure travel blogger, they are more likely to find me.

Maintaining a consistent identity across all your online channels and marketing helps drive your brand. Your logo, photography, social media accounts, and blog content should all reflect the values & mission of your brand.

When done right, you can own your demographic. Here are some examples of travel bloggers who’ve done an excellent job with their branding:

Everything Everywhere: UNESCO World Heritage
Legal Nomads: Food Travel
The Planet D: Adventure Travel for Couples
Adventurous Kate: Solo Female Travel
Nomadic Matt: Budget Travel
Wandering Earl: Long-Term Travel
YTravel Blog: Family Travel

Effective branding leads to a steady stream of readers searching for information on the topic you cover, recognition & influence, plus rewarding partnerships with companies wanting to tap into your demographic.

Reality Of Travel Blogging

Professional travel blogging is f*cking hard. If you think this job is just an extended vacation, you are very, very wrong. I hope this article helped showcase how much work is actually involved.

Otherwise, you’ll be extremely disappointed a year from now after you’ve been blogging about your backpacking trip with little to no tangible results for your efforts.

Most travel blogs will be lucky if they last longer than a year.

Those who are in it for the long-haul, and are ready to take it seriously as a profession, have the best chance for success. Never mind that the advice listed here is just the tip of the iceberg!

That said, travel blogging is still the best job I’ve ever had. ★

Travel Blogging Resources

If you truly want to become a professional travel blogger, my top recommendation is to pay for a course. It’s highly difficult to become professional in anything without specialized training of some sort. The same is true with blogging.

I think the best online course about travel blogging is Nomadic Matt’s Superstar Blogging.

His in-depth course & tutorials cover most of the topics I mentioned here & much more. Everything you need to learn about the business of travel blogging from people who are making it work.

I’ve learned new things from it, even after doing this stuff for years.

READ NEXT: This Is How I Get Paid To Travel

Have any questions about becoming a professional travel blogger? Drop me a message in the comments below!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.

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Want to become a professional travel blogger? Learn how to grow & improve your travel blog with my best tips after 6 years of professional blogging.


  1. The content is too good. Very informative for beginners out there including me. I am really impressed with you work. Thanks for sharing, keep up the good work.

  2. Thanks for sharing these tips. Totally agree, it takes a lot of work to get some traction going and it’s no holiday. Passion for what you do is a must.

  3. Thanks for the helpful post. i get a lot of information on it.
    i have one question. i am a profesional photographer working for a company that paid all my expenses. can i use the image to make my own blog? is it legal? please help

  4. Thanks Matthew, this article was really helpful:) I’m excited to get started! Have subscribed/liked/followed everything haha

  5. Hi..Matthew thanks for needed knowledgeable article it was really so so… awesome and important for me. I’m 24 now want to headed toward traveling profession and this was really helpful. For just clearing question add I wanted to ask that “Is the huge cash needed” for the starting line, like do I have to keep the cashhill with?

  6. Hi Matthew
    A huge thanks for this articles and its awesome links! I can’t tell you exactly what we are planning, but surely will, once all is finalised and we are ready to go..Will hook up on some of the sites…Thanks again for your very wise advice. It’s everything that I suspected it would be, regarding the hard work, discipline, networking and links with various sites, hosting sites, research, audience, and marketing. We are a odd family from South Africa with quite a story to tell but is going to do good hard preparation and getting fit is one quite high on the list….(I am the oldest -youngest in spirit!!),but my body sometimes forget it…Thanks a mil again…will be following and linking and liking and sharing…..

  7. I understand everybody needs a niche and to brand themselves but… my problem is that I am an old woman who loves difficult and quite strenuous travels ( canal du midi canoe trip, free diving at 70) on very small budgets. However hard I study what I can give to readers I can’t see how there are enough people out there who will empathize with who I am. A niche of a dozen people can’t work can it? One take that may work is for me to take the part of a clueless person who wants adventure but then I can’t for the life of me see what this could offer to readers. (I understand that I need to give value) if you have time to read this I am very grateful. You are the first person I have asked a question so your strategy of reaching out to readers is obviously working!
    Thanks in advance Elizabeth from France.

    1. Hi Elizabeth! I’ve met plenty of older travelers, some who are more adventurous than others. Like the 70 year old couple I bunked with in a backcountry cabin in Greenland. I think there is an audience out there for you.

      But try not to go too narrow. I’d write about other aspects of senior travel too. Reach out to established publications who already have your target audience, and try to write for them, promoting your own site in the process.

      In fact that’s a great “hook” for a story. Adventure travel for seniors!

  8. A very solid description & tips for professional blogging. Thanks for sharing. I started blogging in 2014, but gave up the same year. Now, I’m picking up the pieces and continuing my journey again….

  9. I just tried my hand at blogging 2 days ago. Reading your article gave me some great guidance and set some new perspective. Keep up the great work. Hope I can be as successful as you!

  10. Thank you so much for the info, Matthew! I have to tell you…I have been reading blog after blog to gain some insight as to how to ACTUALLY run a blog the right way. Yours was the first one I actually read from beginning to end. I have been working for 3 years now on developing a name for myself and my travel blog and it is so tough (and I work as a remote speech therapist on top of it!)! I am really going to research some of what you suggested. Thank you so much for writing that! Cheers to you and happy new year!!!

  11. Sir,
    lots of love and respect to you.simply love the way put the truth in front of us of travel blogging and not bluffing like others.thank you and keep up the good work

  12. I love to travel and explore different places.As old age is never guaranteed to any one,i think we should make our memories now itself.I never thought of making a travel blog but after reading this article i planned to take a step in this field.Thank you for sharing.

  13. Useful post but I stopped reading at SEO Black Magic and voodoo and with a picture of a black woman. That’s inappropriate and borderline racist. I will not be visiting your blog anymore. You’re a blogging authority and should know better.

  14. Matthew, thanks for your helpful article! I’ve learned a lot and you opened my view off what you call the tip off the iceberg of what is needed to provide a good reader traffic.

  15. It is really a big decision to take blogging as full-time profession. Because most of the bloggers will not able to reach their goal. They may give up blogging after some days. Blogging is not too much easy. You must have enough patience to be a successful blogger. Your article is always interesting Harsh. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Great article Matt! I am a newcomer to the travel blogging world and this article was extremely useful for my research. Did you do extensive research before starting this site? How did you determine what blogs did not exist so you could gain that niche?

    Thanks so much!

  17. Thanks for this epic article! We are learning lots as we travel and blog and you are one of our go-to resource for inspiration, photography and practical tips!

    OMG, Instagram is such a hard work! Some days I love it, the other days I pretend I don’t care and often just want to give up! But I’ve signed up to Iconosquare, so thanks for the tip :)

    I’ll be back for more reading!

  18. Thanks for this amazing article and thank you for sharing your experiences! Trying to do what I love, as I am trapped in a world ruled by society requires lots of inspiration from people like you!

  19. Hi Matthew, great article! Your tips are really practical and useful to new bloggers like us. Your traffic is amazing, I was wondering when did you start this blog and how long did it take for you to come this far? Thanks a lot for sharing your experience with us. Keep up the good work!

  20. I read about some of these tips on other blogs. But the way you explained “why and what” of them made me want to try some of the advises. Thank you!

  21. A great post with plenty of straightforward, actionable advice. It’s probably the best article I’ve read about writing a successful travel blog. Thanks for all the tips, I will be trying to implement lots of them over the next few months !!

  22. Great post! I can see your advice shining through the way you wrote your post. The content is the most important part. To write interesting posts, you have to do interesting things.

  23. Thanks for this post! Really informative and actionable. I look forward to trying some of your tips! I’ve started and stopped so many travel blogs over the last couple years but I think I’m finally ready for the effort and hard work. Thanks again!

  24. Ouch! Painful to read..but so true! I’m guilty!!

    Hate to think of how hard it’s been for my readers up until now.

    I promise, on a stack of bibles, to write shorter posts from now on. And I’ll think before I write to. (Helpful huh?)

    Can’t wait to write my next outline! (I could use today’s article as a ‘format’). :o)


  25. Hi Matthew, this is the first time that I came across an article of yours. Found it very informative and I could sense how much of effort you have put in to share your experiences and let the people interested in the field know the reality of it.
    I am planning to start a travel blog, I feel I have the potential to do it, also this is something which excites me and I have the required qualities. Could you please suggest me how can I get started. Should I first join a course or should I just start a blog and start sharing my experiences? i am pretty much focused about it, I just need the right guidance to go for it.
    Waiting for a response,
    Already a fan!

  26. Just wondering… How often should you be travelling in order to create a blog? I usually go on one big trip a year and then maybe 1 or 2 small weekend trips throughout the rest of the year. Is that enough?

  27. I’ve been travel blogging for 10+ years on travelpod.com. My 300 followers are mostly friends and friends of fellow travelers. I have no interest in making money. I just like to keep a travel diary, report what I see and do, and post photos. I am looking for another site now that travelpod (the blog site for Trip Advisor) is shutting down. Suggestions, please?

  28. Hey Matt, been following you for awhile, and we’ve talked before!
    But I have another question for you!

    Let’s say, eventually I want to do travel blogging but do not have the camera (or money) just yet to do so.
    Do you think I should wait to start blogging, until I actually travel?

    Or do you think I should make blog posts ahead of time (to try to build an audience), unrelated (or possibly related) to traveling?
    Thanks, if you’re able to find the time to reply!

    Biggest fan :D

    1. Hi Michelle! Sure you can start blogging now. What about traveling locally to places nearby? For example, when I first started, I was living in the Miami area. So I wrote about traveling to the Everglades, and Miami itself. Do a few day/weekend trips and write about those as practice.

      You can also write about your plans to save money, a packing list, a bucket-list of destinations you’d like to visit and why, past travels, etc. There’s no shortage of ideas to write about!

      1. Thank you so much for getting back to me!
        I’ll definitely attempt to do those things and to practice my writing in the mean time!
        Im very close to getting my first DSLR camera, so soon I will aso get to practice that.

        Thanks for all the tips, and for being an inspiration!

        You motivate and inspire me a lot, and even on days I suffer from depression your stories help me get out of it some times!

        I appreciate you and sharing your adventures. I hope one day I get the chance to meet you!

        Much love!

  29. Wonderful! You have really nailed it down and I can see how much of hard work has gone into it. We have been into travel blogging for nearly an year now. And we are doing almost everything that you mentioned here. The only problem we are having is cracking the ice with blogger trips and sponsored trips. We did a score a few destination reviews and sponsored stays but not yet any fully sponsored trip. The problem is we don’t know where to look for one and how to get the right contact. We are networking with other bloggers as well. Any tips here?

  30. Hi Matthew,
    thanks a lot for sharing all your tips and tricks on becoming a travel blogger. I will definitely take some of them to heart and I know I should be networking more if I want to be more successful as a blogger.

  31. Thanks Matthew for sharing your experience with us newbies who are looking to build something similar. I learned a lot from reading your article and will look into improving from the learnings. It’s been only 1 week and there is so much to do.

  32. Killer post… I think the most important thing we tell people is to travel with a purpose, do not just wander around the world aimlessly. (Like ours is to experience and document the Top 100 Travel Adventures) So many travel blogs do not really have a purpose or a niche. Niche is key and many miss out on that because they want to cover and do it all. Travel on friend.

  33. Hello!
    Very inspiring and informational article! You’re an amazing and connecting writer. My interest in travel blogging has peaked and I’m ready to begin the hard work and adventure. Thank you so much for your advice. If you are ever in Los Angeles, or Southern California in general, please let me buy you a meal or coffee and I’d love to talk to you in person.

    Thanks again so much,

    Mary Ellen

  34. As a newbie in this blogging world, I found this article as a guide and started working on my techniques accordingly. As per your suggestion, I have installed sumome plug-in to collect emails and started preparing one freebie list to capture user’s engagement. Thanks mate.

  35. I’ve been reading a couple of travel blogs over the last couple of weeks and this is the first one which really tackles the question of revenue generation via blogging properly – with sufficient detail and clarity. Really appreciate you tackling it head on so the rest of the world can learn and improve their skills relating to this area :)

  36. Thank you for being so generous with your knowledge and sharing this amazing information. We are early retiring later this year. So our adventures begins with our husky and 2002 Yukon. Looking forward to sharing with family and friends along the way. Started traveling as empty nesters six years ago all Caribbean so this begins are adventure on our own not a cruise just where we decide to live along the way. Life is for living and growing not for if only or maybe we will. Today is present ,tomorrow isn’t promised. Look forward to seeing where this leads.

    1. Hello, thank you for this insightful article, I am also a new blogger from South Africa. My worry is that at the moment I don’t have enough money to travel often, will my blog lose traction if I post after a couple of months(maybe 3 months)? and would it be bad if in between my travels I write about past travels that I did a couple of years ago? just to make sure that I keep my readers interested in the blog?

  37. Very helpful! It’s awesome. I was looking for some tips and tricks for my upcoming blog and I got it now…Really helpful! Thanks and keep posting such articles…

  38. You have shared a great piece of information for the blogger’s community. It will definitely help us. Thanks!

  39. Hey! You mention you have staff working for you ? Do you have an positions ? I wish travelling to be my job! Advertise and seeing this planet for all its beauty, but unfortunately I’ve yet to discover it.

    If you have any please let me know!

    Thank you :) Aisha

  40. Hi, I’m Nelly, a Greek “wannabe” travelblogger. I feel very passionately about my blog which came up as an idea, after being one of the thousands of people who lost their job in my country. Yet, I took this opportunity, in order to get involved with something I am really passionate about. My blog is about to get released and what I would like to ask is, whether there are opportunities for my travel blog to be hosted in any of the above, even though it is not written in English . I did make a concious decision on picking Greek instead of English, as I had to take into consideration the unsual situation my country is facing at the moment and how that has affected our traveling paterns. Thank you in advance. PS. Wonderful article

  41. Wow, Matt, this has been a valuable and informative read, thanks so much for sharing! Travel is just one thing I write about, but I’m always interested in how people go from writing as a hobby to writing as a business. Appreciate the level of detail you put into this article!

  42. Really interesting article. I’m looking for some way to use social media to promote new sites, particularly with regard to travel, and this helped some with inspiration.

  43. Very helpful article. I have my own travel blog and I’m steadily trying to build up posts. But all the information presented here…gosh it feels overwhelming! I feel like I have to do it all NOW. Just between posting on Twitter and Facebook on a daily basis…

  44. As someone who is just starting her personal travel blog, I found this article to be exactly what I was hoping it would be – informative while still being thoroughly entertaining!

    Look forward to reading more of your posts!

  45. It’s so refreshing to see some real advice from a travel blogger. So many of these articles I’ve read seem so negative. This has quite a few positives and negatives. I love it!

  46. First really informative blog post on the art of blogging I have read so far. I’m fed up of reading shiny glossy versions from travel and lifestyle bloggers. This is real and gives real advice and suggestions. Great reading and great inspiration.

  47. Hi Matthew! Really appreciate all the great information in here.. just started a blog on the side out of frustration from hours of trip and hike planning/research to hopefully get great tips out there to people who are looking for similar adventures.. anything key to keep in mind the first few months for the site/instagram, etc?

    1. Consistent, high quality posts. Take good notes, lots of photos, then take your time crafting really useful/entertaining articles. Maybe link to other, larger sites as additional resources, and they might see and share your article to their more established audience (if it’s good). Reach out to tourism boards, brands, media sites who might be interested in your article for additional promotion. Promotion is really 50% of blogging.

  48. Great tips on how to become a professional travel blogger, and also congrats on ranking number one! It just shows that your tips work. The best one I think is to hire others, so that you can focus on doing what you’re best at. I’m in that process now, but I find it quite hard to find someone who shares the same passion, values and ambition.

    The same goes for finding your own niche and do it 100%, that’s a game changer in the long term. But all of these tips are very useful.

    And yes it’s a lot of work, but in the end so much fun and you get to meet so many people around the world!

  49. This is a great article Matthew, extremely helpful and enlightening as I have been struggling to get audience to my blog for a while now and couldn’t put a finger on exactly what was I doing wrong.
    Thank you so much for sharing this and keep up the great work!

  50. Hey there Matthew!

    This was incredibly helpful; I just launched my first travel/storytelling podcast and you just made me realize I should be working my ass off even more! Thank you so much for the tips and I may reach out for a interview one day…;)

  51. Hi Matthew! Really appreciate all the great information in here.. just started a blog on the side out of frustration from hours of trip and hike planning/research to hopefully get great tips out there to people who are looking for similar adventures.. anything key to keep in mind the first few months for the site/instagram, etc?

  52. Great read and insights Matthew,
    Looking at the number of comments its clearly an informative and great post that people have been wanting. I found the ideas and thinking especially helpful as I try and take my blog from that first few years hobby into something a little more. Thanks for taking the time to write it. Lets hope I can put it all to good use now.

    1. Happy you enjoyed it James! Taking it from hobby to career means increasing the amount of work to a level where it’s basically a 2nd job. But if you love sharing travel experiences like me, it’s enjoyable work.

  53. Matthew — Thanks for this. I’ve been blogging for about nine years, although only seriously for about six. A career journalist, I bring a lot of that discipline to it and fully understand your point about “traveling differently” than a straight leisure trip, but it’s still fun.

    I’m already doing many of the things you recommend, so I’ll focus on those I’m not nailing already. Thanks again for the advice.

  54. Do you ever feel like you miss enjoying the moment because you are concentrating on social media and what to post on the blog.

    1. Sure Caroline, I definitely travel differently now that my work revolves around this travel blog. Taking notes, attempting to get the perfect shot, shooting video from different angles, etc.

      There is a lot more work involved now. But I still love my work, so I can’t complain. I make sure to schedule a few “vacations from travel blogging” into my year — taking less photos, not blogging about a trip, or going off the grid.

    2. Same here! I was also wondering, how can anyone enjoy all the moments during the travel when he/she has some tasks on the go! But in the end! I think for the regular traveler, keeping things update on the social media does not seems to distract enjoying his/her lovely moments.

  55. This is some serious advice! I’ve been blogging for a year so far and have recently devoted all my time to my blog and to travel. I’m seeking to build my audience now, I have a site, four social media channels, a periodic email newsletter (1-2 emails every month or so), but I have barely reached outside of my friend circle.

    Now that my posts are centered around giving value rather than trumpeting my adventures, I hope to gain more audience!

    Thanks for the solid advice! I’m young (24) and I can share a lot about the process of Unchaining Myself and living life on my own terms.

    I quit college for this, and am learning to keep friends on the road, and to explain to family and dates what I do and how I live.

  56. Very informative and well researched article. Keep having fun! I will apply your tips at some point in the near future. I am not “there” yet. I want to write about what places I am passionate about, culture, arts…but my biggest misgiving is writing about something that I don’t feel or believe in. I don’t always want to be in “sales” mode. Just share what I have learned. And not be told what to write and how I feel about it. Plus, I like to take my time in between adventures to regroup and finance and reconnect with friends and family…Take care, nice blog, good for you!

    1. You don’t have to be in sales mode all the time, but if you completely ignore it, there isn’t much room to build a business. Create something people love to read/view/share, but don’t forget to sell something too, otherwise it’s just a hobby.

  57. Hey,
    Thank you for sharing this, I have found it so useful. And I’m excited to put your tips to good use – I have spent hours of reading all your different links.
    One thing that I thought I could help with is the social media, as I work in the industry for a living. Pinterest would be such an easy platform to utilise for yourself, both for SEO and increased traffic. I use Pinterest as a big inspiration board for travelling and tips, like many other people, and would love to know how much your traffic would increase using this platform?
    Completely different subject, how do you build relationships with popular travel bloggers?

    1. Hi Elle! Yeah I’ve ignored Pinterest for too long, looking to change that as I know it’s powerful. But there’s only so much social media a single person can keep track of! I like to focus on the things I’m good at, and Pinterest isn’t one. Which is why I’ve hired someone else to tackle it.

      As for reaching out to other bloggers, leaving comments on their articles, sharing stuff, asking questions, and meet-ups at conferences seem to work well.

  58. Thank you for the great tips! I am a newbie in travel blogging space and most of my travels are focused around food or adventure. I plan to write about my highlights during each or beginners guides to a certain adventure. Let me know if you have any thoughts or suggestions!

  59. This is the post I have been looking for. Thank you so much for sharing your informations! I just recently launched my blog and am trying to build an audience via social media. And it´s so much harder than I expected ;-) So now I have more insights on how to build an audience except for social media. Thanks again for sharing! This is a great post :-)

    1. I’m in the same boat! So much harder than it looked initially, especially with a full time career. Reminding myself of my goals to make my blog a success every single day to keep me motivated lol. Glad I’m not the only one :)

    1. I love that this covers the behind the scenes work beyond the financial gains. As a marketing student currently studying abroad and wanting to start my own blog, this is very inspirational!

  60. I love that this covers the behind the scenes work beyond the financial gains. As a marketing student currently studying abroad and wanting to start my own blog, this is very inspirational!

    Any advice on websites to host a blog/blog-friendly sites? I’m using WordPress but it looks a little sloppy and I don’t want to put too much work into a blog until I can work out the kinks of the layout.


  61. I’ve been travel blogging as a hobby in 2013 and I haven’t got serious into professional travel blogging. Although travel blogging scored me some free travels, tours, accommodation so somehow it encourages me to blog more. I am still in the works of doing some guest postings in the future.

  62. Hi Matt, it’s a fab write up loved its sincere messaging. Started my amateur blog on Japan – an expat IT professionals story. Basically google translate google maps google search based survival story. Family oriented as my travel plans are dictated by the two young ones at home. Would you think this might be of interest to global audience, please?

  63. Thank you so much for this post! It may not have told me everything but indeed gave me a lot of insights on travel blogging as a profession.
    I hope I can incorporate your suggestions into my blog.

  64. Awesome article! Any suggestions on where to start when looking to start guest posting?

    I started my site a few months ago and it’s getting some good traffic, but trying to get the name out there to new audiences.


    1. Hey Jon! You can do some Google research for that. Try searching “travel blog guest post” and see what comes up. You can also read major media sites and keep an eye out for articles written by travel bloggers.

  65. Thank you for this. Really helpful. I’m very much interested in understand more about the niche in general. I read a lot, I invest in my blog/business but I’m struggling with the idea of “niche”.

    1. Niche is basically the main topic of your site. Some niches have a larger audience than others, and some are more difficult to break into than others.

      But the most important thing is that you enjoy writing about a niche. Luxury travel might be a good niche for example, but I would hate writing about 5 star hotels all the time. You need to find something that you personally enjoy, where there is also a market/opportunity for it.

      It’s definitely possible to choose a niche that is too narrow, where the audience just won’t be large enough to make a decent living from it.

  66. Hi there!

    I have a silly query, I’m a new blogger mostly dealing with lifestyle related content, I was wondering is it possible for a blogger to blog about previous travel experiences? maybe say a trip to singapore which I did a couple of years ago? how old can I go? I’ve always wondered if that was possible? or does the travel content have to be current?

    Just wanted your expert advice.


  67. Matt – Thanks for the great article. My husband and I sold our home, ditched all our possessions (more or less) and hit the road just under a year ago. We made our first stop San Francisco, and are presently in Seattle. We are off to Austin next.

    We decided we wanted to help more people understand what’s required to live a location independent lifestyle, and how to navigate those logistics. One of things we decided to do (sort of after the fact) was come up with a blog. Your article is very helpful in laying out the details in doing that endeavor successfully. I look forward to digging into more of your content too.

  68. Thank you for this post. I’ve been a fashion blogger for 8 years and I just started monetizing last year November. I’m looking for travel sponsorship opportunities and this was truly helpful. Thanks!

  69. I started blogging just for fun. Practice writing and stress reliever. But getting notice from time to time makes me want to expand this “fun”. I am a novice travel blogger for Ph. In the next few week I am going to make it bigger. Thanks for the tips! Travel blogging is not easy.

  70. Enjoying a long stay at berlin airport to do some researches, I’m really glad do discover your blog! Thanks for all your advice, this is a very interesting article ! I started my blog one year and half ago but did not take the time to use social medias. Now I have to start from the begining and build my audience …long work but more motivated than never ☺

  71. Thanks for the information! I’d love to take up travel blogging as a side job, as I already work full time and am unable to quit. I go on horseback riding adventures overseas once a year, and other parts of America couple times a year. I love traveling and writing about it! I am adding content to my website and posting to Facebook and Twitter, hoping to get noticed!

  72. I have been trying to figure out what I am suppose to do for a living for years now. I wrote a list of things I love and enjoy doing. Once I finished I realized that all of these things had one thing in common. I can share them with everyone. My travels, my experiences, my adventures and passion for photography. I never could just pick one thing and sick to it, so why not combine them all into one and become a travel blogger! That is when I started my research and found you Matthew! Thank you so much for sharing your experiences starting out, your kind encouragement to all of us and thank you for continually doing what makes you happy. It inspires myself and others too, that we can make our passions into a living. It just takes a little inspiration, modivation and self discovery!
    Much Mahalo and Aloha!

  73. Hi MATTHEW KARSTEN , amazing post i like your article and its very useful to me first i have to thanks you . i am a web designer and nowadays i am creating a professional blog for me but my question is how much money you are making with blog , is it possible ? what about your time management & travelling and blogging ?

    viraj tharindu

  74. Great article! I’ve added it as a resource for the students in my online course, Introduction to Internet Writing Markets. You’ve provided a great guide that’s readily applicable to blogging on any topic, so I know many of them will find it useful.

  75. Hey Mat, another wonderful Blog. You inspired me first in creating my own blog and this article is yet a next step… Thanks for sharing such tips

  76. Finally! One of these articles that actually helps!! Started my site back in May and have been researching how to grow an audience and get noticed, but nothing has been too helpful. Until now!

    Thanks for being so detailed and providing something step-by-step. It’ll take some time but now I have some places to start!

  77. Your always such an inspiration Matt! Your adventures are in part the reason why I started planning my “sell everything and go” plan. I have just a short amount of time left before I’m on the road for who freaking knows how long. Thanks for the article, loved the SEO info. it’s saved in my “travel Blogging God’s” folder now!

  78. I want to thank you for your tips, i know it’s a hard work to do for what we see, i’m just “beginning” my blog but it always had been a big passion for me. I hope to hit my goal and one day join the best of travel blogging like you, wish you the best, and i’m always happy to read your articles. :)

  79. Great article Matthew! We are in the process of launching our travel blog! We agree it takes a lot of time but we are so excited about it at the same time. You are right if you are passionate about it it makes it easier! We love reading your articles and you always inspire us to follow our dreams :) Thank you!

  80. Really awesome tips, thanks so much! It is hard work indeed, especially with a full time job. I’m trying to carve myself out as a ‘part time traveller’!

  81. Thanks so much for the insight Matt! I’m new to this whole travel blogging scene and its really waaay more difficult than I’ve imagined! Would love to meet you in person someday!

  82. Sooo thanks for being the most helpful/informative person on the internet! You’re an inspiration, dude! Keep up the great work and keep doing awesome shit. :)

  83. Matthew;
    I literally JUST came up with the idea to start a travel blog yesterday. Not even thinking of earning anything off of it. My thought was to build a resume with it, to eventually write for magazines or have a travel show later on down the road. My degree is in Travel & Tourism, and I do a lot of road trips with my kids. And, have done a little (VERY little) travel outside the US with at least one of them in tow. So, for now, my blog would certainly be geared more toward traveling with children LOL. When I googled how to start a travel blog, this article was at the top of the list. Very helpful. At the moment, I’m still trying to figure out what the heck to CALL my blog :D In the last year my 3 younger kids (ages 9, 6 & 4, my oldest, 17 has stayed home or had other travels she’s done with others) and I have been on 5 road trips. 2 of those being short day trips, but the other 3 all being longer, with the longest being 13 hours one direction. All the traveling in the world, try locking yourself in a car with 3 kids for 13 hours and emerging with your sanity in tact. I think I have a lot to get started with, having traveled with kids since my oldest was only a few months old (taking her on a short interstate train trip). The next road trip on our agenda is next month, where we will be hitting UT & CO (we live in AZ). With plans to see lots of interesting stuff along the way. Thank you for posting how you got started in this venture. Who knows, maybe I’ll make a little $$ along the way on this venture. I already own my own business decorating cakes and planning parties, as well as a side business of re-doing furniture. But, have never found myself able to write about these things. I think I can write about travel though and the misadventures that accompany it when you have a troop of children to appease. One of which does NOT like hiking and only tolerates camping.

    1. Hi Christy! Good luck with Utah & Colorado, both are beautiful states that would make some great travel blog posts that other traveling families could learn from. Remember to make your articles useful! Include plenty of nitty-gritty details to help them plan.

  84. Thanks mathew for your info and tips. I have been blogging for about a year now and you have made some great points especially on social media, I will look into these. please can you have a look at my website and give me some heads up on how to make it better. You can be brutal about it I don’t mind ! Thanks again.

  85. Hey, I loved your article and want to take blogging seriously, unfortunately, I am also very broke. I love the idea of connecting with a travel blog community as you mentioned with travel blog success but just can’t afford it. Do you know of any free communities, even just to make some friends trying to do the same?
    Thank you so much, Jessica

    1. Hi Jessica! There are a bunch of travel blogger FB groups out there, but you may have to dig a bit to find a useful one. There are a couple great conferences or meet-ups around the world though, like TBEX and Travel Massive. Maybe check them out?

  86. Hi Matt. Greetings from Kuala Lumpur. I just started my blog about 2 weeks ago so its still in infancy stage. Thank you so much for the tips which i find very insightful. I’m passionate about travelling and I’m very serious about making this work. You actually helped me to get things into perspective. So I do hope I’ll be writing to you again in a year telling you I’m still here doing much better than today…haha. Thank you once again for this awesome post. Cheers!

  87. I have been on your blog for literally 3 plus hours. I have clicked on almost every link in every article and I just want you to know that you are the shit. This is by far the most informative blog ever. A travel blogger that tells other people how to be a travel blogger …how unselfish of you. You have basically given me everything I need to know. I am a wedding/event photographer that is transitioning to travel photography and I am beyond confident due to reading your blog. I hope to meet you in person and just say thank you.

  88. Hi Matt, I’m at the beginning of my blogging career and I find this article useful and actually rather refreshing. Before I realised it takes over 30 hours a week to make a blog work, I read a lot of fluff on how great being a travel blogger is, or how it is as simple as 1-2-3. No! I’m realising there is a lot that goes into it: hard work to tailor the way your write for the right audience. Target the right people, write on your blog, but write for others too! Invest money, time, personal life, social life. Do this, do that! Buuuut, I know it will pay off eventually. Love from the UK.

  89. Great advice Matt! We’ve a long way till we get half way at your level but it’s so cool for bloggers to share tips openly like this! Love your site and travels!

  90. Thanks so much for this article, Matt! I finally understand why I’ve been struggling so hard to build a following and quality articles – because there’s really so much to consider! Your article has provided great food for thought and resources, and I hope it will continue to inspire all the aspiring travel bloggers to persist in their dream (:

  91. I love my travels and am compiling information to share. I am new to this type of blogging and found your information helpful.Thank you for posting such detailed information. I will be using the tips in the near future.

    I am very excited!!!

  92. Great Article! and it worked on me ;) you just got yourself another subscriber to your monthly letters. I wanted the ebook ;)
    Your guest blogging worked, I am fairly certain that is how I came across your site (I’ve been on it a few times in the past few weeks)
    Love your work!

  93. So much good information. Gives me the will to keep up for at least a year and see where it takes me. Building that audience is so crucial! Just gotta figure out how to go beyond storytelling and into useful information for the readers. Thank you Matt!

  94. Thanks for posting this. I am not sure how I ended up reading it. (I know I found it through Google but why I was looking in the first place? No clue.)

    But your point about social media and branding jumped out to me while reading this. Then I started reading the comments and your comment to Dag about picking a name that’s not specific to a “duo” travel bloggers.

    I know I plan to do travel posts but to call myself a travel blogger is exactly what you are saying. You are either a professional or not and I am not one. Rather it’s more of a feeling that traveling is part of my life, as opposed to my blogging life.

    Maybe someday but for now, I’m glad I picked my own name to brand myself with. You certainly force me to think of “writing” a story instead of blogging a post.

    Keep up the good work with your posts. I always enjoy them. Thanks again.

  95. Hi Matt, Thank you for breaking the information down so concisely. It truly does take a lot of work to build up your blog, especially while you are traveling! We’ve been trying to master 1 social media channel at a time, before focusing on the next one. Sometimes you get so caught up in everything else, like SEO and social media, that you forget content is king!

  96. This article was so helpful! We just made it to the one year of blogging mark and based on your advice we’re going to start guest posting to help get our name out there more.

  97. Wow, it as indeed the most stunning read so far, I have started my blog recently, for couple of years writing was just a hobby now took it as a profession , reading your blog helped me though. Love it.

  98. Thanks for this article! So many good resources in it. I especially appreciate your explanation of SEO. I have read so many different explanations of how to really work with SEO but none of them felt like they really clicked with me, but your explanation I think has finally made sense. That is gold! Much appreciated!

  99. Thank you for the information. I really enjoyed your bit on SEO. I recently started a blog to talk about my move to Hawaii to become an organic farmer. I am in the process of personal branding and finding my stride. Thank you for the great advice!

  100. Valuable information. Fortunate me I discovered your site by chance, and I am surprised why this coincidence didn’t happened in advance! I bookmarked it.

  101. Thanks for the reply Matt! I will give it a go, nothing to lose haha. I will probably join TBS to get some tips. And loved your photos on instagram

  102. Hi Matthew, glad I stumbled across this site. Love your articles and it makes me think a lot whether this is something I want to go into. I currently have a full time job but passionate about all things Japan and try to get there once a year to explore the whole country. My question is whether I should even start a travel blog when I am not even travelling? thanks again and keep up the great work on your blog!

    1. Hi Clem! I started my travel blog before I actually left on my trip, just don’t expect it to attract tons of people if you’re not traveling yet. However, maybe you can begin by writing about past trips? Or things to do near where you live?

      It’s a good exercise for learning the ropes. Think of it as practice.

      1. Interesting to hear that you started your blog before you left – maybe we’re not crazy after all!

        Clem – we are currently posting blogs on previous trips away and on things based around planning our trip. We find it makes us do more research in the first place, but even if we never make anything out of the blog other than having somewhere that we hold all our travel memories, we’ll be happy.

        Good luck with your ideas, be great to hear how you’re doing.

  103. Hi Matt

    Thanks for the very informative article, Ive taken tonnes of notes and hopefully I can really start to promote our new blog (my partner and I have just set it up this month and I really want to take it seriously as a love travel). Youre right about it being very hard, weve already spent countless hours creating the site and content etc. (I felt like an alien trying to work wordpress at first), but Im hoping after reading the article I can use my time more productively and get the site going. Thanks again


  104. Thanks for the great tips Matthew! I can’t wait to try some of them as I start my own travel blog! I have already set up my social media sites and am always looking for more unique ways to promote my blog!

  105. Really useful post Matt, thanks for the tips! I’m relatively new to travel blogging (less under 6 months) and the nature of what I’m doing means I’ve only got a few posts published so far – time to find some more relevant content to create to keep me going! Cheers

  106. Wow,

    Very nice information. I just leaned a lot in one post and its great, saves time and directly to the point. Good sources, links, well explained. Muito bom!
    Sincerarly, thank you very much
    Tchau from Mister Brazil

  107. This was such an informative article! Thank you for sharing!
    I am extremely keen to start a travel blog. I have been given the opportunity to join my boyfriend in Japan whilst he does his upgrade training for NCA and I get to travel Japan for the 6 months I am there :)
    Thereafter I would meet him around the globe – hopefully this will bring enough content to have an interesting blog!
    Thanks for the tips!

  108. I have no idea how to create a blog at all but I’m a good writer / teach it. Tired of teaching it and want to do it . Do you build blogs ? I’d want to start part time first as I can travel four times a year (I guess it comes to 3 months ) while still teaching but god it’s my dream to say goodbye to my desk and New York City . Should the design be professionally done because I’m not tech savvy yet. :)

  109. This was by far one of the MOST useful articles I’ve read on blogging. Honestly, thank you for sharing. I started my travel blog a little over a year ago and can relate to how challenging it can really be and how most outsiders see it as an extended, forever vacation. Thanks for all the tips! I’m still new at this and learning everyday. This added more to the list of things to consider but is also great guidance. So thanks!!!

  110. Having done a ton of research on professional travel blogging the past few months (started my own just a couple of months ago), I’ve come across a lot of articles on how to start travel blogs / how to hack it as a pro travel blogger, but your articles have become my repeat go-to’s (especially this one and “How to Start a Travel Blog”). Really appreciate how you deliver your content in actionable steps/ categories – truly motivating, easy to digest and informative. Most of all, it makes the dream of becoming a full-time digital nomad seem all the more doable. Thank you for the continued inspiration, Matthew!

  111. First of all, I must say that you have got one helluva blog out there.. and it highly reflects with your photography skills as well as blends in with perfectly with your blogging or let’s say writing skills..

    Traveling the world and making a living out of it has always been in my mind. However, after just visiting your blog, it inspires me to take it the way you have done at ExpertVagabond.

    Kudus to you.. Keep up the good work and keep us motivated…

  112. Hello, I found that your blog is inspiring :)
    I just started my Chinese travelling blog in November and feel so lost as I am too green writing the blogs.
    I know it takes time to build from the beginning but I am always afraid of doing it wrong or not building it in a right way. As I met one travel blogger in my travelling trip, she has been doing her blog over 5 years but still not really successful.

  113. Matt, you’re really something else! fantastic article, it’s like almost all people out here are indicating the same. Love the flow of your content, you’ve mixed a lot of elements and added some humuour on it which makes it lively. I am also starting out on this new venture and wish to stay longer on this vagabond lifestyle. Just now, you’ve inspired to do something and act on it.

    Will definitely watch out for your next posts. Cheers!

  114. Matthew – hats off for taking the time to share your valuable tips about building an audience. Often, we can get so caught up in how to make money from blogging that we forget the basics. Good to see what are the tips you used and how it can help the rest of us. Definitely a page I’ve bookmarked to read over and over again :)

  115. Great article with a ton of tips.The advice here can be used in almost any type of blog and not just travel blogs. Keeping this one bookmarked as I build my new blog. thanks for the advice!

  116. Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to create this. It is great that people like you are trying to help other travel blogger (ME!) out on their endeavors. Keep up the amazing work.

  117. I have been reading through a whole bunch of posts lately but this definitely stands out and is very insightful!

    Similarly to many people who have commented I have recently launched my blog and have a long way to go. In fact I have actually picked up my first paid blogging job for a major tour company so i am hoping that all goes well and be the beginning of a successful career in travel blogging!

    Looking forward to reading more of your posts and have already linked this post to my Dad who has also recently started his own blog so thankyou again from both of us!

  118. Hey,
    Great info. I am literally at the start of my travel blogging journey and am literally just jumping into it. I have a vague plan of how I wish to portray myself and my blog, but even at the basic level there is so much to consider – hence why I am doing it one step at a time and trying not to rush it.

    Thanks, and will drop by regularly!!
    Matt (another travelling Matt)

  119. Hi Matthew,
    Fantastic article. I have learnt so much from the pointers you have given. It came at the right time because I am currently looking to improve on my travel blog, which is less than a year old. Thank you so much for this. I need no further convincing to subscribe to your blog.

  120. Great tips Matt! My background is a bit different as I am a Marine Biologist – I work 8 months and travel 4 months (in between projects) during the year. I started driving around the world in my Jeep a year ago, a world tour that I call “The Voyage of Discovery.” Your adventure blog really pulled me in when I stumbled upon it, and has given me a lot of solid advice on how to improve my blog (thank you for that). I am currently working in Colombia offshore researching whales and dolphins, and during my off time, I find myself skimming through a great portion of your content that you have posted over the years.

    I am definitely not in the category of a “professional travel blogger” yet, but I absorbed some great information from my favorite travel bloggers (ones that you had mentioned in this post) and yourself. From one adventurer to the other, thank you for shedding more light on the work behind travel blogging. You are right, it is f*ckin hard! I am still getting my feet wet (figuratively and literally!)! The goal-driven mentality and dedication, I believe will definitely set you apart from the rest. Thanks again for giving me the best advice – “building an audience is key!” Hope to cross paths one day! Until then looking forward for more adventures! :)

  121. Oh wow Matthew… I loved this explanation. I wasn’t really looking for how to make money of my blog, but I was looking for a blogger who enjoys his lifestyle and you pop up ☺️. You are a good example for ‘living the dream’. I am on that path too, but still need to learn more in the “blogworld”! Thank you for the wonderful tips. Have a great day!

  122. Every time I’m trying to find something useful for my blog I stumble on your blog. There are a lot great advises in this post and I would definitely consider Facebook advertising cause I think it’s a great value for money.
    Also I must say I’m pretty impressed with your Audience Overview – those numbers are really mind blowing.
    Keep up a good work and thanks for sharing this post.

  123. Useful advice here, Matt, thank you! But I have a novice question: if one wants to get published in travel media, I assume one doesn’t publish on their own blog the most interesting stories. From my research of peer travel bloggers’ sites, I noticed they don’t have the most interesting travel stories in there. So how do you publish interesting enough content on your blog (to gather a massive audience) *and* have great pitch ideas for travel media? Would be great if I could get your insight on this. Thanks a lot! Monica

    1. If you want to write for other sites, one good way is to cover the same trip from a different angle. In fact many writers do this. You can turn one weekend trip into 3 different articles.

      Personally, I think in the long run it’s better if you publish your most interesting stuff on your own site.

  124. I’m only getting my feet wet in the travel blogosphere but I have to say that I’ve been really impressed with how supportive bigger writers are of us smaller fish. I appreciate you taking the time to make this post, there’s a lot of strategy I’ll try to use from here to get my name out there. Cheers!

  125. Thanks for writing this post and that I could find it in the internet. It inspired me a lot, at least i will always come back and read this to remind me not to give up and bring me back to the right track. Thank you very much.


  126. Thanks for putting this article together! All your points had a lot of value that I can learn from. The one about Guest Posting and Making Relevant Content was key for me. My boyfriend and I just launched out travel site 6 months ago and figuring out what are the best ways to build that audience. It’s essential for monetization. Keep up the great work!

  127. Awesome post, Matt! Thanks for the great advice on mailing lists and search engine optimization. Now I’m just waiting for the next 30% off promotion on TBS!

  128. Thanks a bunch for all these tips. i do hope someday my blog would catch eyes from a lot of readers. I still have a lot to learn about travel blogging. kudos!

  129. Thanks for the article! I’ve been travel blogging for about 3 years (on a personal blog) but just in the last month I finally decided I should be sharing travel tips because I’ve been traveling so much for super cheap my whole life. Hope to get to a good level in the next few years!

  130. Thanks for sharing Matt. It’s really helpful for those who just start travel blogging like me. I love traveling and that triggers me to launch a travel blog just last month. Well, it’s just for part-time for the meantime. I am still exploring and learning about blogging stuffs and your tips are exactly what I need. Thank you so much!…

  131. When you decided that this was your path was it an obsession? It is mine for sure. I’m at the beginning of this journey, trying to make this work as a four person family is really going to take a long runway…But, i’m prepared to make this our life, for the future of my children. Thanks for all the info!

  132. Great post, thank you for sharing all this Matt. I especially appreciate the advice on the technical stuff. I got into blogging because I like writing and photography, some of the other stuff more like work :( . Social media is, as you say, can be a major time suck. I remember when I started having no idea how to allocate my time to it all and feeling like I was spinning my wheels. I ended up deciding to do what I like best: working on my own content. In many ways I think it was time best spent as I get about 80% of my traffic through google now. I still suck at social media but started this year getting into Pinterest and I’ve gotten good traffic there (I actually think its the most shareable of the mediums).
    Thanks again, I’ll be back a few times trying to understand all this stuff.
    Frank (bbqboy)

  133. Thank you for your post. I just started a blog in December 2014, and didn’t start writing much until February 2015. I work on my blog all the time, but don’t really have much direction. I’m new at this… I think your input is so much help. I think sometimes people need that little push to keep moving forward. I appreciate all of your advise. I think I will look more into guest blogging, and also look into social media, advertising, and networking. Your advice is priceless and I thank you for it.

  134. Thank you for sharing your insights to being a Travel Blogger! This information was extremely helpful and most importantly transparent (i.e. seemingly full disclosure). Although I am currently just sharing my travels just to give folks a different view of traveling (I travel because I enjoy travel and have long recognized it’s impact on my inner being), ultimately to transition into a place where sharing and blogging about my journeys could earn some income would merely be a plus. Your site, however is a great blueprint to follow! Thank you!

  135. Appreciated the detailed, actionable tasks of the article. One question: as a beginner blogger, how do you recommend I balance the cost of “investing” in the blog with the “return” of followers? Is there a list of your top priorities when starting out (ex. email service, advertising, promotion, web developer, free giveaway subscriptions)?

  136. Lovely thought-provoking post that grabbed my attention, especially with the coconut LOL! It was great to hear your words of wisdom at TBEX as I had heard of you but it’s so much nicer to actually see if you a real person rather than hitchbot the travelling robot LOL!

  137. Thank you for your refreshing take on this subject, compared to the boiler plates found elsewhere on the web :) I’ve just started sharing my own travel stories and photos and I feel this gives me a starting advantage :)

  138. This is perhaps the most useful blog post that I have read on the subject, your professionalism shines through, Matt!

    I agree with doing interesting things and building up your audience for a long time before you try to make a living from travel blogging

  139. Hey Matthew,
    Thanks so much for the helpful info – your blog is actually what has inspired me to start my own travel blog, and this post has really helped me figure out some of the ins and outs of getting noticed. Keep up the good work!

  140. Nicely done, Matt. When I saw the title, I thought it would be just like many other articles I’ve read on the subject. But this is one of the best I’ve seen… accurate and thorough, yet succinct enough to make it readable.

  141. Hi Matt,
    Great information! I just started writing about luxury travel from a customer service perspective. It is fun – love the writing, configuring blog… but certainly takes time. Thanks for all of the tips.

  142. Thank you for an honest post from a “tough love” point of view. It really is hard work and I don’t think most people realize that. I agree it’s more about building (your brand, your business, your presence) than simple growth. Those who give up easily don’t seem to see this side of things. People confuse success with simply growing numbers, without any foundation. But you already know that! :)

  143. Hi Matthew, Do you have much success with rafflecopter? I am just launching my fist blog and was wondering if the cost of $84 a month for the email signup option is worth it. Thanks!

      1. Good idea! Love your blog by the way. I’m embarking on my first solo trip around the world next month for a year. So your site has been full of good information for me. Thanks!

  144. I like the idea of reaching out to news outlets outside of travel blogging, great tip, I can see this being popular if your story is fresh and interesting enough to cover. Worth giving a try for big future wow trips like you mentioned. Also a great tip to co-work with other bloggers to cross shift audiences, that’s another great way of building a further following. Cheers Matt for the write up, both spot on and helpful!

  145. What a great post! Realistic, well written & full of useful advice! I feel like I have already taken at least 10 things away from this post from just my first read of it! Thank you for helping all us amateur travel bloggers! Very inspirational, please keep it up!

  146. Hi Matthew! I just completed a skim of this post and I am bookmarking it and pinning it for posterity, meaning I am going to read every word slowly and carefully so I can digest the wealth of information you have provided your less-experienced colleagues. Excited to follow you and your adventures!

  147. A lot to get my head around, Thank you for all the info. I have been blogging for just over 4 months now and I am addicted. I am trying to grow my readers while mastering SEO and social media at the moment haha. And i already need a laptop upgrade grrrrr!

  148. I was asked once to write a post similar to this, but I declined. At the moment, I don’t consider myself a professional travel blogger, primarily because I don’t enough from my blog to let go of my day job as a freelance editor. Someday, maybe. :)

  149. Thanks Matt for a great insight into the world of travel blogging. The point that really resonated with me was the “audience first, money later” point. This has definitely changed my outlook and I am going to really concentrate on building up my following now and not worry too much about money early on in the piece. Thanks.

  150. Very useful read Matt. Thanks for sharing your expert experience. I’m wondering about hiring someone to help me with SEO. I have a few posts that rank number one for there keywords but I really don’t know how it happened and how to keep doing it for most of my posts. There are so many companies out there that claim to be able to get you to number one on Google but how do I know who to trust? Do you have any trusted recommendations?

  151. Thanks for this Mathew. Very detailed, honest and informative. My wee blog is a hobby at the moment but I’m glad of tips to get more readership. A lot more to this blogging malarkey than writing a blog, that’s for sure. Cheers!

  152. Thanks for the great tips Matthew. Invaluable stuff. I haven’t been hashtagging in the first comment on Instagram, just straight after my intro. Why is it you do that by the way? Also, this sentence is (at least for me) one of the most useful I’ve read on the subject – “The key is to follow your passion while also providing something of value to your readers.”


    1. When you put most of the hashtags in the 1st comment rather than the photo description, it just keeps everything nice & neat looking. No blue links distracting people from the photo.

      The hashtags will also get buried after a few more comments, so they’ll still help people find your photos through search, but aren’t in your face, and it looks less spammy.

  153. Are you currently hiring for the position of coffee intern for Expert Vagabond? If so, I will send you my CV. As a recovering tax attorney and food travel blogger, I may be overqualified, but I am willing to learn the skills to support your blog ;)

  154. Thanks for the writing this post and in general sharing your journey so far. Very helpful and inspiring. Also love the tips! That said, you mentioned your monthly income — nice! Just wondering if you would be comfortable sharing how this breaks down by service offering? So in a typical month, average percentage from say sponsored content, social media campaigns, banner/affiliate links, etc.

    1. If I break it down, it averages out to something like this:

      55% Brand Partnerships
      25% Affiliates
      10% Blogger Advertising
      10% Freelance Writing/Photography

      However most brand partnerships also include freelance writing/photography as part of the deal, so there’s some overlap.

  155. Sawadii Kha Matt:

    So you have left Thailand for Philippines!!! Recharge your tattoo and check out?

    Your post is insightful, and the section on SEO in particular I find practical. This is a business skill and simply because one person might better than another is in my view not a good argument for bad rap.

    Keep rockin’!

    1. Yup! Tattoo all recharged. But I’m actually back in Bangkok for a night, then off to the Social Travel Summit in Germany (mentioned earlier in this post). Need to follow my own advice and do some networking!

      1. I was camping in Prachuap Kirikan otherwise I would invite you for a coffee and to introduce you to some new Thai friends.

        Next time you are in the neighborhood let me know. If I am in town, the invitation stands!

  156. This gave me a ton to think about…not sure exactly if I’m a travel blogger…exactly…but this is totally useful for much of what I do. Now if I could only set just a few times a day to do social media…sigh. I’d have so much time!

    1. Social media is a necessary evil. It sometimes helps to just log out of everything once I’ve scheduled my posts for the day. That way I’m not tempted to waste too much time there. Actually, the app Rescue Time can help with that, refusing to allow you on sites like Facebook during certain hours of the day.

  157. Hi Matt! I already have your post “How I get paid to travel the world” on the blog post i just published about becoming a professional travel blogger. Now I’ll add this one, too, to my long list of resources. Well done.

  158. About agents… How did you go about finding one? I’ll presume they have their own vetting process to ensure it’s a worthwhile use of their time as well, but where to *start* looking for them?

  159. Great post Matthew. I’ve been thinking about joining Travel Blog Success for a while. My main challenge is balancing roles and finding the energy to invest more time, but I am working on that and having access to the course will hopefully provide me with some more focus as well as new strategies to improve my game :)

    1. I’m a huge fan of the TBS course & community. They’re always improving it too, like with regular webinars featuring experts on particular topics. SEO, brand partnerships, Instagram, etc.

  160. Matt, this is one of the best articles I’ve seen on this subject. I was so happy to learn that it was about building an engaged audience and not just “how to make money with your blog”. This is why you are one of my favorite bloggers and my aspiration. Thank you for that.

    1. I think too many new travel bloggers focus on making money before they even have an audience. It just doesn’t work like that. Companies pay you for access to your audience. If you don’t have one, they’re not gonna pay! :-)

      It’s like that famous “Field Of Dreams” quote.

      If you build it (an audience), they will come (brands with budgets).

  161. Great tips. I think the main issue people underestimate is that it takes at least a year to achieve a meaningful audience. Many blogs fizzle out simply because people’s life priorities change and they no longer are as passionate about travel as they once were, or they’re simply discouraged by the uphill battle of establishing a blog. If you want to be a professional travel blogger you have to be willing to go beyond the initial whim and really follow it through. This can be easier said than done! But once you’re over that initial very difficult bump, things become much easier.

    1. Completely agree Marek, things get easier the longer you’ve been blogging. That’s why most of the professional travel bloggers who earn a decent living have generally been working at it the longest too.

  162. Great article Matt. Since we started we have treated our blog like a business. I think sometimes it is difficult for people to do this with what is (and should be) their passion.

    As you mention, it is a lot of work to try and run a blog professionally. I think that time management can be a huge part of being successful in blogging (and in any other business endeavour). Using automation like Buffer, Hootsuite, etc and an editorial calendar can really help keep you on track. Like you say, a blogger wears many hats and they can’t afford to spend a disproportionate amount of time on any particular one. Social media can definitely be a time suck if you allow it! One really needs to be judicious with their time – and outsource as soon as possible.

    Thanks again the great content and advice.


    Dale Hampton

  163. Travel blogging combines two of my life’s biggest passions: travel, and writing, and I’m currently in the planning stages of a trip that I hope to last a year or more. My question is about content. Do you wait a few months into your travels before posting your blog so that you have more content? Do you post as you go? How do you start with good content early instead of just one or two pages of stuff?

    1. My content is all over the place. I’m about to post a story from Israel that happened almost a year ago. Sometimes I’ll get articles up quickly, other times stories sit for months. Generally I try to keep my social media updates current, but my blog articles go up whenever I get around to them. As long as you’re posting regularly, I don’t think readers mind too much.

  164. Great post, it’s certainly true that you need to wear many hats as a travel blogger.

    We are always looking to feature travel bloggers on our site. Please get in touch if you are keen.

  165. Excellent post Matt – Very helpful and insightful to a newbie travel blogger. There is much to learn. I’m in my second week and there’s plenty of challenges and trial and error!
    SEO is what I find to be the biggest mystery. I get plenty of shares but no leads from search engines.

  166. I recently launched a travel blog with my boyfriend and have been looking for a resource like this. I know that you are the exception, not the norm, but it’s great to hear about travel bloggers who are successful. Keep up the good work!

  167. Thanks for posting this. This is EXACTLY what I need right now. I just launched my blog and now need to focus on content. There is just so much other stuff to worry about I keep getting distracted. That’s my biggest problem right now. How do you shut off all the distractions and just focus on writing a post?

    1. I still get overwhelmed & distracted writing posts. For me, logging out of all my social media accounts, or even shutting down the WiFi helps. So does classical music. I also try to have a “commute” of some kind, like heading out to a cafe rather than working from my place.

  168. I can’t believe your favorite job isn’t fried chicken and pizza chef at Golden Pond. Or child welfare assistant aka summer camp counselor. Or kayak rental engineer at Ski Fanatics. I mean, you got to work with ME and come home after a hard day covered in mud, stale beer, and smelling like tuna. Perhaps you should edit your statement to include *except my minimum wage positions where I got PAID to hang out with the AWESOMELY INSPIRING Abby Drapes. Just a thought… People want the TRUTH. :)

  169. What a great article, Matt. I really enjoy your candid approach to helping others succeed in travel blogging. My wife and I started our travel site back in November and have seen growing success by following your (and other) suggestions.

    Let’s meet up somewhere amazing in the future and write an article on the benefits of travel debauchery!

  170. I’ve been blogging for only two months and indeed, it’s pretty hard! So much stuff to handle, but I truly believe that is going to pay off sooner or later. I just copy-pasted all your tips in Word and I hope to start tweaking my site ASAP. Thank you for this amazing post!

  171. Thanks so much for this article, Matthew. I really need to work on SEO, I should probably take a week off to work just on that! (and then I should probably work harder at building a mailing list)
    Back to work!

  172. Thanks for an insightful and honest perspective Matthew. After 3 years of travel blogging, I’m slowly making the transition to making most of my income through my blog. I have a long way to go though, and sure have found inspiration in your posts.

    Hoping to see you at STS Hamburg!

    1. Glad you got something from it Shivya. If you’re passionate about making it work, as it seems you are after blogging for 3 years (more than most), it can be done. We can chat more about it at the conference!

      1. The article is really informative and helpful. Read you for the first time here and I quite liked the way you have written it and all the points in there are easy to ponder and am sure will be helpful too.

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