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12 Secrets To Becoming A Successful Travel Blogger

Professional Travel Blogger Tips

How to Become a Successful Travel Blogger

Travel Blogging Tips

Want to become a successful travel blogger? Learn how to grow & improve your travel blog with my best tips after ten years of professional full-time 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 become a professional, successful travel blogger.

The word professional meaning you earn a good living from blogging.

I’ve been running a successful adventure travel blog for 10-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, food blogger, finance blogger, or fashion 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!

What Is A Professional Travel Blogger?

What does it mean to be a professional travel blogger? Well anyone can start a blog and become a “blogger”. The barrier to entry for blogging is small, which has both 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 only a couple hundred people make decent money ($2000+ per month) 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 come first, money comes 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.

Tips For Building A Successful Travel Blog

Travel Blog Tips

Travel Tips Can Work Well

1: Create Useful Travel 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 traveling.

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

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 On Other Blogs

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 this way, 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 That 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 too. 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: SEO Tips For Blogging

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 SEO. 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.

Travel 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 travel content is a necessary part of building a successful travel blog website.

A Useful SEO 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 within 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 travel blog 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.

The result? Google “professional travel blogger” right now & go see what shows up! :-)

Along with on-page SEO, building the authority of your travel blog is also incredibly important. That means acquiring backlinks from other sites to yours through guest posting, major media features, high-profile mentions, writing useful guides that naturally get linked to, 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 SEO Bible. Clicking through it quickly doesn’t count, spend a few hours (days?) reading everything!

Also, check out Brian Dean’s SEO blog to stay up to date on what’s new.

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 even 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 key 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 BirdSend email newsletter software. It’s affordable and effective.

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

Travel Blogging Audience

Get In Front Of More People

8: Advertising Your Blog

I spend money advertising my travel blog on Facebook. I sometimes 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.

Travel conferences I’ve attended or spoken at:

Online networking also has its benefits. Stay active in blogging Facebook groups and social media conversations. If you contribute in a meaningful way or ask good questions, other people in the industry will take notice.

Collaborations with other travel bloggers can expand your reach too. For example, 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 yet? 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 I’m only now beginning to seek the help of others.

A virtual assistant to help with research, pitching, public relations, social media, and tracking campaigns. An accountant. A video editor. A writing editor. A graphic designer.

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.

Branding for your Blog

I’ve Branded Myself as an Adventure Traveler

11: Personal Branding

An important key to success as a travel blogger, or any kind of 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:

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.

12: Enroll In A Blogging Course

One of the biggest mistakes I see new bloggers make is not investing enough time and money into learning all the skills needed to create a successful travel blog.

You don’t need to re-invent the wheel, the best way to learn is to find a mentor who has already figured it out. I get people asking me to be their blogging mentor, or to provide some private training on a pretty regular basis.

However teaching blogging techniques one-on-one with strangers isn’t a great use of my time, plus there are already a bunch of awesome blogging courses out there — I don’t really want to create one of my own!

If you’re looking for a detailed step-by-step approach for building a successful travel blog, that goes into far more specifics than I can fit into a single post, I highly recommend checking out the Superstar Blogging Course from my friend Nomadic Matt.

Matt has created a super successful travel blog, and knows what he’s talking about.

The Reality Of Travel Blogging

Successful travel blogging is hard work. If you think this job is just an extended vacation, you will be very disappointed. I hope this article helped showcase just how much work is actually involved.

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.

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Ready To Start A Successful Travel Blog?

While there are many different ways to earn money remotely, blogging is my favorite. You can start a blog about hiking, gardening, personal finance, cooking, or travel — whatever your hobby is.

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Want to become a professional travel blogger? Learn how to grow and improve your travel blog with my best tips after 8 years of professional blogging. More at
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Want to become a professional travel blogger? Learn how to grow and improve your travel blog with my best tips after 8 years of professional blogging. More at


I hope you enjoyed my guide on how to become a travel blogger! Hopefully you found it useful. Here are a few more wanderlust-inducing articles that I recommend you read next:

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


Sunday 17th of January 2021

These are very helpful tips! I definitely have more work to do with my travel blog!


Sunday 18th of October 2020

Hi! Wanted to be in touch - I'm using your tips to create my travel blog!

Prabha Singhi

Wednesday 2nd of September 2020

Very impressing but for people like me it was an alien subject though the fact is I want to become a Traveler Blogger. My mind says age is only a number but what I see and what I want to do is another story.How can I travel like you people is a big question.I am 66 but my mind is full of snow clad mountains,wild sea beaches,dense forest and lots and lots of ancient pilgrims.Any Suggestion.I love travelling and had traveled to India and Abroad many many times.

Marko Petrekovic

Thursday 7th of May 2020


Thanks for the blog. I am still confused. I just started my blog website (through dynadot) and am still not sure if I still need WordPress and why. I went on their website. It seems like wordpress is another hosting company. I did not see any option to install WordPress. What am i missing?

Hope to hear from You!


Tuesday 5th of May 2020

I was reading this article about 2.5 years ago for the first time! It's really interesting thinking back to that period, when I was just a travel maniac in love with Italy. I had a really poor English and an undestroyable passion for writing and photography... I had no clue about travel blogging and the idea itself came from nowhere. To be honest, at that time I didn't even know what a travel blog was... When I first read this, I thought, nah, I'll build it up fast. It won't take that much time as they say... I couldn't be more wrong! But even if it's been the hardest journey of my life so far, it was also the best!!! 2.5 years later, I finally started to treat ShegoWandering as a business, and I just needed to say thank you! This article is one of the reasons that I'm now closer to my dreams than ever!

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