Travel blog jobs: what travel bloggers really do
When most people think about what travel bloggers really do, they picture carefree globetrotters galavanting around the world. You know, the kind lounging by pools with their laptops typing a few stories here and there while snapping Instagram-worthy photos of whatever far-flung destination they are exploring.
However, in reality, there’s a lot more that goes into the job of a travel blogger than just taking pretty photos and writing about it.
You see, coming from the Philippines when I first left to travel the world, I was under strict instructions from my dad to always keep him informed about our whereabouts (hi, dad!). At that time, I also needed to make money so we thought why not hit two birds with one stone?
So together with my partner Tom, we started our blog, Adventure in You. Little did we know that this blog would turn into a full-blown business with over 500,000 monthly readers. In fact, we’ve spent the last several years traveling around the world all thanks to our blog. Now, we teach other people how to as well, through our online course, the Blogging Fast Lane.
However, aside from being able to completely fund our travels, starting our blog jumpstarted my journey towards teaching myself every blogging skill under the sun. While a lot of people think that blogging is dead, this actually isn’t true because blogging has gained popularity, year on year.
Today, for my travel blog, I play the role of writer, photographer, DIY accountant, social media strategist, plus all-around digital marketing ninja.
Are you interested in becoming a travel blogger yourself? In this article, I walk you all the travel blog jobs bloggers really do, plus give you a few tips on how to develop into those roles yourself.
WHAT TRAVEL BLOGGERS REALLY DO
Here’s a peek of what travel bloggers really do and what goes into creating a successful blog.
When you first start your blog, although you might not see it instantly, you immediately take on the role of CEO. Even though most bloggers start as solopreneurs, you are still the big boss as you decide what kind of content to publish right down to how you want to monetize your blog.
Beyond just calling the shots, you get to take charge of your business! As CEO, you get to build your future and profit from something you’re passionate about. What could be better than that?
A tip I have for embodying the CEO role is to set goals for yourself. What do you hope to accomplish with your travel blog? What can get you there? Having a list of goals to go back to can keep you organized as CEO, and always gives you a point to work towards when you’re building your blogging empire.
While a lot of people think that you have to be a professional travel writer to start a blog, I’m the first to say that you don’t. You just need to be authentic with what you write and find unique ways to share your experiences, avoiding the usual cliches that everyone does.
Writing, just like everything else is a skill that all bloggers develop throughout the course of their journey. The more you spend time creating content, the easier it will be to find your own writing style and voice.
With each article that you write, find ways to improve it. From incorporating new vocabulary into your articles or finding a different angle to approach a topic. Whatever it is, write, write, write!
This is the best (and fastest) way to get better.
The best tip out of everything is to always write with your readers at the center of each post. Try to put yourself in their shoes and write from a perspective that’s valuable to them. If you can do this, you’ll always have people eager to read your blog articles.
RELATED POST: SO, YOU WANT PEOPLE TO READ YOUR BLOG?
As the saying goes, a picture’s worth a thousand words and that stands truer than ever when it comes to blogging. The human brain actually processes images 60,000 times faster than anything else, so staying on top of your photography game is yet another job a travel blogger has.
This is one of the most fun travel blog jobs because if you’re anything like me, you’re already snapping heaps of photos along with your adventures.
Similar to writing, you don’t need to be a professional photographer to start a travel blog, but it certainly helps if you have a decent camera, at minimum. Learning how to take great travel photos is pretty simple and the more you do it, you will soon start to develop your own photography look and style.
A tip for succeeding in this aspect of being a travel blogger is to always chase good lighting. Take your travel photography game to the next level by shooting scenes at sunrise and golden hour. Extra perks if you can wake up early enough to beat the tourist crowds!
Social Media Strategist
If I’m being honest with you, when we first started Adventure in You, I got sucked into what I like to call the social media trap. I spent so much time looking for perfect pictures to post on my feed, accompanied by a caption that had taken me hours to think up. It paid off in numbers, as we grew a pretty hefty following, but it didn’t do much to help our blog.
What I learned from this is that social media is an inevitable part of my job as a travel blogger, but if my focus was to get more pageviews, Instagram wasn’t going to get me there.
It’s great to create accounts and share photos of your travels, but my biggest tip here is to avoid falling into the social media trap, chasing vanity metrics that aren’t in line with your blogging goals! Always use social media to drive people back to your blog. Likes and follows are nice, but having people on your blog is even better.
To be a successful social media strategist for your blog, come up with a game plan ahead of time! Don’t try to tackle every single platform out there. Instead, choose a couple to focus on, and use them to redirect traffic to your blog.
When I first started out as a travel blogger, I had no idea that I was signing myself up to be an email marketer too. I mean, I had literally no clue at all where to start when it came to using email marketing for blogging purposes.
But it turns out that email marketing is a huge part of being a travel blogger, especially if you want to automate your business.
Don’t let email marketing intimidate you, but rather, use it to your advantage. As a travel blogger, start collecting emails right away! Build your list so that by the time you’re ready to use it, you already have a steady tribe who wants to read what you have to say.
As a travel blogger, email marketing is the best way to directly connect to your audience. What more could you ask for as a blogger? Email marketing is not the enemy, rather it’s just another travel blog job to tuck under your belt.
Any good business makes money, right? Travel blogs included! Whether it’s affiliate marketing, digital products, an online course or any other way you choose to profit from your passion for travel, there will be money involved. So, another travel blog job that’s practically unavoidable is a DIY accountant.
You probably didn’t go to school to manage money (I know I sure didn’t), but this is a role that all travel bloggers fall into naturally as their blogs begin to earn – that’s where the “DIY” comes from. All it takes is some practice and a steady head on your shoulders to be a successful DIY accountant.
The biggest tip I have for managing money as a travel blogger is not to be scared to reinvest your earnings back into your business! Buy more useful software, invest in must-have tools and courses to help you develop your skills.
As your blog begins to earn an income, you’ll have more money to spend building out your blog to make it the best it can be. Then with whatever’s leftover, go ahead and book yourself a flight to somewhere beautiful.
Finally, a job that all travel bloggers will embody, no matter what stage they’re at in their journey is a student.
As a travel blogger, I’m constantly striving to improve myself and my business. Whether it’s through reading blogging books, reaching out to other bloggers, taking courses, chatting with mentors or just reading articles online, I am always eager to learn more about the blogging world and how to take our business to the next level.
The truth is, the online world is constantly changing, and that’s true no matter where you are in the world. New strategies arise with frequency and there are always updates to stay on top of. Instead of just floating along like I know it all, one of my main jobs as a travel blogger is to learn from others and implement the findings on my own blog!
Being a student and constantly learning has helped grow our blogging business, start our Blogging Fast Lane course, and assist others in starting a blog of their own. Being a student in the blogging world has propelled my travel blog from a hobby to a full-blown business that earns five figures a month.
It’s turned me from a random website owner into a professional travel blogger (that’s a thing, right?) and allowed me to take my love for travel and profit from it every single day.
A BIT OF WISDOM FOR BECOMING A TRAVEL BLOGGER
So, how is one person supposed to juggle all of these travel blog jobs? Well, not all of them require the same amount of skill or strength. You’ll gradually learn each of these jobs throughout the course of your travel blogging journey and it’s ultimately up to you what roles you want to embody on your own and which you’d prefer to outsource.
No matter which way you plan to go about it, here’s a little bit of wisdom that I’ve learned from my own experience as a travel blogger that makes things just a smidge easier.
More than anything else, the biggest piece of wisdom I have for budding travel bloggers is to be authentic.
Be real, show people the good, the bad and the ugly… this will help people to understand you and connect with you on a deeper level. Showing more than just the perfect moments is key to reminding your readers that you’re still human, not this flawless being who travels a lot.
Authenticity has gotten me really far as a travel blogger and it’s given my audience a lot to relate to. I always share my travel mishaps and the reality behind glorious destinations (blogging from the beach is not as easy as it looks online). Doing this has given my audience a real glimpse into who I am and what it’s like to walk a mile in my shoes. I recommend that every travel blogger do the same!
Roll with the punches
As a full-time travel blogger, I can’t tell you how many bumps in the road I’ve hit while building my business. It’s not all sunshine and smoothies out there in the big wide world, and you have to be prepared for things to turn on their heads.
I’ve missed flights and ferries, booked terrible stays by accident, had my leg broken by a dog, and gotten lost on about two-thirds of the world’s subway systems. I’ve had to find a way back on my feet and continue the journey until I reach whatever beautiful place I’m off to next.
Building a successful blog isn’t all that different from being a full time traveler. Things won’t always go as expected, but when you keep on pushing through, it’s all worth it when you reach that dream goal of profiting from your passion for travel.
In both travel and blogging, when a setback strikes all you can do is learn from the moment, make the most of the situation and never make the same mistake twice.
Invest in yourself
Finally, to be the best travel blogger you can be, it’s worth investing in yourself. Not just in fancy gadgets to build your blog on, but in learning new skills.
When my partner Tom and I first started Adventure in You, we thought that we could learn all there was to know about blogging from the internet. And yes, we found a lot of information, that’s true. But what we were reading online was only scratching the surface of what you could do with a blog.
It wasn’t until we started purchasing courses, buying books, and meeting with successful bloggers that we were able to take our blog to a full blown business.
Instead of pocketing the money we earned, we reinvested it into our business and watched our baby travel blog grow and expand. And let me just tell you, the investment to make that happen was so well worth it. On that note, if you want tips on how to grow your blog, I also have free blogging training explaining how we monetized and grew our blog.
Whew! While that list sounded exhausting, the truth is, every day I feel grateful to be able to work on something I love every single day. Although I wear multiple hats, the freedom that comes with travel blogging is incredible.