What Not To Do When You Start A Travel Blog

Are you thinking of starting your own travel blog? Whether you’re looking to share your stories with friend and family, to create a portfolio for a writing career, or to create an income to travel the world. There are so many great reasons why to take the step to start a travel blog.

A little over two years into my own travel blog there are a few things from the start I learned I did right and a few things I did wrong. To help you get off on the right foot when you start a travel blog, I wanted to share of few things you should not do and what approach you should try instead.

Where can travel blogging take you? All over the globe. If you're thinking to start a travel blog of your own here are a few things not to do and what to try instead. Tips you need to know to start a travel blog.

Where has travel blogging taken me? A week in Cuba!

Note – You’ll find affiliate links in this post which allow me to continue to improve Traveling Nine to Fiver. I hope this article is useful for you. 

Don’t  – Take the easy route when setting up your blog since it’s just a hobby.

Instead – No matter your goals, treat your blog as something professional.

What does this mean? It means don’t use WIX and don’t use a site hosted by Blogger or even WordPress. If you find you enjoy blogging and eventually want to monetize it, even if it’s just enough to cover your costs, you’ll later regret taking the easy way out.

Instead, find yourself a domain name that you can own and get a self-hosted site. It’s not too hard to set up, I love using Siteground since they’ll help you through all the steps. For them and a few of my other favorite blogger resources take a look here.

So often in blogging networks, you find people who ask, can’t I just set up a Squarespace or Wix site? I recently saw the response: “Friends don’t let friends use Wix”. It will hurt your ability to expand your blog, grow a following, and eventually monetize it.

Where can travel blogging take you? All over the globe. If you're thinking to start a travel blog of your own here are a few things not to do and what to try instead. Tips you need to know to start a travel blog.

Where has travel blogging taken me? Sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco!

Don’t  – Try to do and learn everything at once.

Instead – Set priorities needed get started and a future list to master one by one.

When it comes to blogging there is so much to learn! There is how to create your website, managing social media and each one is different, improving your writing, learning SEO, and photography. And that’s just the shortlist.

One of the great things about blogging is there is always something new to learn and grow at. You won’t get bored doing the same thing. At the same time, it can be overwhelming to start. My tip, don’t try to master everything at once.

Figure out the first things you HAVE to do to start your blog after that build a list of wants. But only move through that list after you are all up and running and you’ve mastered your initial list. Then work through your growth list one by one, or sometimes even cross off ones you’ve learned won’t be of benefit to you.

Where can travel blogging take you? All over the globe. If you're thinking to start a travel blog of your own here are a few things not to do and what to try instead. Tips you need to know to start a travel blog.

Where has travel blogging taken me? A perfect spa day in Ubud, Bali!

One of my favorite resources that helped me learn much of what I’ve needed to know and continues to provide me new things to learn and grow with is Travel Blog Success.

Don’t  – Attempt to do it all on your own.

Instead – Find a network of people smarter than you to learn from.

The best at their jobs are the ones that surround themselves with people smarter than themselves. That is just as true with travel blogging. Luckily, from my experience, the travel blogging community is excited to share their knowledge and help others start a travel blog.

So how do you get into the community and meet the experts? Start with Facebook. There are many, many groups of bloggers out there working to help each other. Some are open to anyone and others you have to pay to join the resource, You don’t have to join any paid groups, but from my experience they once I’ve joined have been worth the cost.

The first of two groups that have made the difference for me is Travel Blog Success. This Facebook group has over 1,400 members. Some are people like you, just starting out. Others have very successful blogs. Both groups and everyone in between are active participants. Meaning you learn from beginners asking questions and experienced bloggers providing answers. Not the cheapest resource but it’s helped me learn how to launch, find traffic, and monetize my blog.

Build a Better Travel Blog

The other group that has been worth its value is the Travel Writers Academy. This group is smaller but highly active. Instead of a flat cost, this group is monthly, meaning you can belong as long as you find helpful. Here you’ll find folks who can answer your stupid questions in a safe place. Have access to a variety of challenges that allow you to grow your blog. Plus they’ve begun planning media trips for its members.

Where can travel blogging take you? All over the globe. If you're thinking to start a travel blog of your own here are a few things not to do and what to try instead. Tips you need to know to start a travel blog.

Where has travel blogging taken me? A road trip with my sister along the Pacific Coast Highway.

Don’t  – Think everyone in your life will want to hear about your blogging.

Instead – Build a tribe of people just as passionate about travel & blogging as you.

When you start blogging, it will take over your life. From my perspective, this is a great thing. From your friends and family, it might not be as interesting as we like to think.

That’s okay! You can share the highlights and struggles with them. But for your day to day excitement about blogging and traveling you’ll want to find a community just as passionate about it as you.

The travel blogging communities above are great places to start. There are also additional Facebook groups just talking about travel. One of my favorite communities is for traveling women, Wanderful.

Wanderful is a global community of women that you can connect with online and in person! Join one of the meetup groups and find women who want to go on and on about travel and blogging as much as you do.

Where can travel blogging take you? All over the globe. If you're thinking to start a travel blog of your own here are a few things not to do and what to try instead. Tips you need to know to start a travel blog.

Where has travel blogging taken me? Swinging over the ocean on the Gili Islands in Lombok.

Don’t  – Set unobtainable goals for yourself when you start a travel blog.

Instead – Start small and make goals along the way. 

When you start a travel blog it’s easy to launch into hoping in three months your site will have X amount of followers. Or that you’ll post something new every other day. That you’ll have over 1,000 followers on every network soon.

Goals are great and you shouldn’t start without them. But sit down and really think about what is obtainable. Posting consistently is important, but if it’s consistently once a week that is better than a few days in a row and then not for a few weeks.

Social media is another example. While getting your username for everything is important. You won’t be able to grow all of them at once. Pick one or two, learn how to grow them and place your focus there.

Once you’ve started accomplishing your initial goals reaccess. What has worked, what hasn’t, and what should be your next goals.

Where can travel blogging take you? All over the globe. If you're thinking to start a travel blog of your own here are a few things not to do and what to try instead. Tips you need to know to start a travel blog.

Where has travel blogging taken me? Along the Road to Hana in Maui, Hawaii.

Don’t  – Think you always need to be on the road to be a travel blogger.
Instead – Use past experience and your own backyard to grow your expertise. 

While there are some travel bloggers that write as they are on the road, most of us share about our travels a few weeks or even months later. This means you don’t have to be nomadic or traveling constantly to have a quality travel blog.

Where can travel blogging take you? All over the globe. If you're thinking to start a travel blog of your own here are a few things not to do and what to try instead. Tips you need to know to start a travel blog.

Where has travel blogging taken me? To the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN!

In reality, it’s likely that the posts you write about your own backyard will become some of your most successful. To start a travel blog, go through the places you’ve been, what you have to share about them, and the places right around you that you can easily explore. Of course, you’ll keep traveling but it’s a misconception that most of us travel bloggers are always on the road.

Don’t  – Be hesitate to start a travel blog of your own.
Instead – Jump in, have fun, and share your passion for travel.

There is a lot to travel blogging. It might not be easy if you take it seriously but it’s well worth the effort. You’ll have the chance to encourage others to travel, share about your favorite places and some of your best memories, and travel more yourself.

To give you some inspiration within this post I shared a few of my favorite places that I’ve been able to travel to because of my travel blogging. Now get ready to start a travel blog of your own!  

Where can travel blogging take you? All over the globe. If you're thinking to start a travel blog of your own here are a few things not to do and what to try instead. Tips you need to know to start a travel blog.

Where has travel blogging taken me? Sailing the tip of Baja in Los Cabos, Mexico

Where can travel blogging take you? All over the globe. If you're thinking to start a travel blog of your own here are a few things not to do and what to try instead. Tips you need to know to start a travel blog. Where can travel blogging take you? All over the globe. If you're thinking to start a travel blog of your own here are a few things not to do and what to try instead. Tips you need to know to start a travel blog.

 

About Megan

Megan MacNee is the founder of Traveling Nine to Fiver. From nine to five she works in the political world in California, but on evening and weekends spends time exploring the West Coast and more. All while encouraging others to join in on the adventures.

  • Erica

    This is great! Thank you so much for sharing. I think it is a good reminder to master one or two things at a time and grow from there.

  • NowThatsAHoneymoon

    Thanks for all the points. We’ve only been blogging a year and we can relate to EVERYTHING you mentioned. It’s true that not all these can be learned (nor done) all in one go. It takes time to adapt to strategies and really get on them. We’re still learning new things and articles like this inspire us. Thanks, Megan!

    • I’m sure you’ve learned so much in your first year! And part of the fun of blogging is there is always more to learn!

  • This was so encouraging! I’m a new family travel blogger and still trying to find my niche and it can be a little overwhelming. Any advice on Facebook groups that don’t charge a membership fee? My budget is still pretty limited as I get started.

    • Thanks, Lindsay! Two I’d recommend are the Business of Blogging and the Aspiring Travel Blogger. Both are filled with some great people.

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  • “When you start blogging, it will take over your life.” YES!! It’s so true! I love it so I try to do everything, all the time, which isn’t sustainable! Glad I am not the only one : )