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How to Build a Successful Travel Blog

If you’re the type of person who enjoys exploring new places and trotting around the globe, you might be considering starting a travel blog. Travel blogging can create a nice side income for those who want to make a little money on the side. However, there are a number of factors that will determine whether you are successful with your blog or not.

Types of Travel Blogs

There are different types of travel blogs, of course.

  • Travel Diary – a travel diary is simply you sharing what you’ve done and seen.
  • Newspaper Style – this style offers articles that provide information to readers, such as best restaurants in Louisville, Kentucky, or which trail to hike in a national park.
  • Photologue – This type of blog would be more along the lines of a lot of pictures with a few notes about what the picture is of.

What Makes a Travel Blog Successful

Since you’ll be competing with the thousands of other travel blogs, you are probably wondering how you’ll ever get anyone to read your blog. Don’t worry about that right now. If you have something to say, the readers will eventually find their way to you. There are a few things you can do along the way to leave breadcrumbs for them to follow.

The average travel blogger produces between 5 to 15 posts each month, so if you’re planning to run a successful blog, you need to write consistently at least a few times a week.

In a survey on Graphs.net, travel bloggers stated that they received the most traffic from non-brand searches. What that means is that people are searching for a topic such as “lakes in Michigan” and their travel blog is ranking in the search results and pulling up. This is non-brand specific and non-direct traffic.

Google still outranks all other search engines with an estimated 1 billion unique monthly visitors. It’s closest competitor as of January 2016 was Bing with 350 million unique monthly visitors. Because Google has drastically changed their algorithm in the last five or six years, and now content is more important than ever.

So, in order to rank high for those search phrases, you can’t just stuff a bunch of keywords into your blog. You have to think strategically and produce the very best content possible. This includes things such as:

  • Beautiful images that relate to your posts. Since you’re writing a travel blog, snap a few unique photos to include with each post.
  • Easy readability (subheadings, bullet points, etc.). Your reader should be able to scan your content.
  • Mobile friendly site – Google now ranks for mobile usability. Keep in mind that Pew Research shows that more and more people are accessing the Internet via their mobile devices.
  • Keyword research to get an idea of what people want to know more about, but not so tied into keywords that you ignore topics you simply love to write about.

Examples of Excellent Travel Blogs

  • Jungles in Paris: This site is a good example of a photologue. They also provide videos of different things to do around the world.
  • West America: This travelogue is based around traveling on a motorcycle in the western part of the United States. Amazing photography and fun tales fill this unique take on a travel blog.
  • Passported: This site was originally started up by a traveling family. It features articles to help other travelers, guides to cities, etc.

Best Ways to Monetize a Travel Blog for the Coming Year

Since Rat Race Mutiny is about figuring ways to make money and work from home, I’m assuming you’d probably like to monetize your blog. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Reach out to brands, such as hotels, restaurants, etc. Let them know you’re doing honest reviews but that you also sell sponsorships (just be upfront with everyone about who is paying you for what, or you’ll lose your readers’ trust).
  • Write in-depth travel guides and sell them.
  • Use AdSense and other advertising as a small stream of income.
  • Offer online courses about how to travel, how to pack, best places to see in Paris, and so on.
  • Sign up for affiliate accounts and link to products you use and believe in.

Very few bloggers make a living on AdSense ads alone, so think outside the box when it comes to monetizing your website. Most of all, have fun sharing the places you love with your readers. They’ll appreciate seeing the world through your eyes and unique perspective.


Lori Soard has worked online designing websites, writing, editing and promoting clients since 1997. Through Promo Warriors, she's consulted with over 100 clients to help them figure out what online presence works best for them. In addition to helping people learn how to start their own businesses, she writes feel-good books about the way love and the world should be.