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How to Start a Travel Blog and Make Money. My 4 week Plan

"I love working for someone else" said hardly anyone ever. Being a full time travel blogger is better than most jobs, probably including yours. In this guide, I explain how to start a travel blog and make money. This guide isn’t a long sales letter or just me showing off – no, I provide clear and actionable advice that I want you to use to start a travel blog and make money.

But let me guess, you are sceptical? Maybe you’re sitting at your laptop or reading your phone on the train, and you don’t really believe me, do you? You don’t really think you will have a travel blog that makes money, do you? Well maybe you could …

I created this 4 week guide for people exactly like you – people that want to write a travel blog but don’t know where to start. I will demystify the process of setting up a travel blog. Spoiler Alert: It’s easier and cheaper that you think!

I will guide you step by step through the following:

  • Choosing your blog niche and name
  • How to make money from your website
  • How to buy a domain
  • The different ways to design your website
  • Some ninja techniques to find out what content your target market wants
  • Keyword research and how to get your articles to rank on Google
  • How to market your blog on social media, and create a following


The tools I have recommend in this article are either free or low cost. Long story short, in 4 weeks you will have a travel blog, for a couple of hundred dollars. Pretty Cool?! I truly believe that this guide is the best free guide of its type on the internet – if you find a better one then send it to me.. Seriously send it me - it would be a great read!

I will show you how to start from an audience of 0, and how to create a following in a short space of time. I will show you how to create this traffic organically, without using paid advertising or buying Twitter followers.

So why am I doing this? My name in Vin.G, and I spent 15 years in different Investment Banking jobs that I didn’t enjoy very much. Like so many people, I didn’t find my work interesting, and wasn’t appreciated by my bosses. I loved writing and I loved traveling, but didn’t know how to create my travel blog. I consumed vast quantities of information from other travel blogs, but was none the wiser about how to start a travel blog myself. In the end I just decided to let go of my fears, and get the job done. I found that setting up this blog was easier and more fun than I ever imagined!

And why am I writing this guide? I wrote this blog for the simple reason, that I think people want to read it! I think this is an awesome guide, and that by writing it I will get my message out there and help people to achieve their dreams.

But there is another reason too… I am kinda pissed at all these travel blogs that simply rip off each other’s content and just post articles boasting about how great they are. I won’t mention names, but if you read travel blogs, you will know what I’m talking about! I truly believe that the best way to grow your brand in the long term, is to provide value and content to your audience – and that is what I am doing here.

How can I help you?


First and foremost, the number one way I can help you is by providing this guide on how to start a travel blog and make money. So please read it, apply my advice, realise your dreams and get paid to travel the world!

If you like my content, and want a more personal service – I offer a structured program. I work with clients individually to create a travel blog to suit their lifestyle. Full details are here. I work from the maxim:

  • When someone reads my free stuff, they should think ‘I would have paid for that!’
  • When someone pays me for a service, they should think ‘I got 10x the value of what I paid!’


This blog post also contains some affiliate links, where I may receive a commission. If you could use these links, then I would appreciate it. It enables me to keep this blog running, and ensures that I can provide high quality content on a regular basis.

Why have a travel blog?


Having a travel blog is amazing – I absolutely love it. I get to follow my passions of travel and writing – and I get paid for it. I get complete freedom to write about what I love, and I get to think of new and creative ways to serve my audience. I can’t recommend it enough!

Beyond these obvious reasons and that you can get paid to travel the world, there are other benefits you may not have thought of. If you set up a travel blog, then you will have set up a business, and that has a number of great consequences.

  1. Your flight and hotel costs will become business expenses that you can net against your revenues, and reduce your corporation tax liabilities. Corporation taxes is 19% in the UK, 21% in the US and higher in most other countries. This means that you will save 21% on your travel costs if you are based in the US
  2. You can pay for business expenses via your credit card, and earn miles. It is not uncommon for a small business with $50,000 of profits to have $500,000 of revenues and $450,000 of costs. It will be possible to put many of those $450,000 of costs on a credit card
  3. You can pay your taxes on your credit cards and earn more miles. Taxation varies across countries, but taxes for small businesses normally include Corporation tax, Income taxes for your employees and Sales taxes on goods that you sell
  4. You can earn air miles for business programs. Most Air Miles Programs have a program for small businesses, where you earn miles in addition to the miles that you earn normally. The best business programs include Lufthansa Partner Plus Benefit and Etihad Business Connect
  5. Your credit card fees will also become a business expense, saving you 21% if you are based in the US

My number 1 advice for bloggers!


My number 1 piece of advice is to remember: You blog is about the reader and not you! You readers are interested in themselves and not you. Always ask yourself, ‘how can I add value to my readers?’ If you do this, then you will create trust with your audience, and you will create an amazing business in the long run.

I see so many bloggers showing off – and then they are surprised when they get trolled. Once you have set up your travel blog and created the life you always dreamed off, please be humble – many of your audience will not have reached that stage yet!

I am always thinking about what my audience wants to read, and how I can add value to them. And I have been amazed at the response – thank you! If there is anything you want me to write about, then please email me.

Your 1st week


Time to get to the details! In week 1, you will do the following:

  • Decide on a website niche and name
  • Buy the website domain
  • Think about how you will make money from the website


Once you have this base set up, then week 2 will focus on designing a great website!

Week 1: Choose a niche


It is crucial to choose a niche for your travel blog. It is unrealistic to think that you will write stories on every area of travel, particularly if you are starting out. Deciding on a niche is more important than it sounds and will have a big impact on the success of your blog: As the saying goes, ‘the riches are in the niches.’

By choosing a niche, you can narrow down your target market and focus on providing services and content to them. This is helpful later on, when you decide how to make money from your blog – i.e. what services can you provide to your target audience, and get paid for?

Choosing a niche is a pretty simple process – you should probably write about the things you know the most about. Have a think. What travelling you have done in the past? What you have learned, that would be useful to other people? Do you have a lot of knowledge on how to find great business class deals? Have you backpacked to many locations, and want to write a survival guide?

I recommend to carry out the following exercise. Open a spreadsheet (Microsoft Excel or a Google Doc will do), and then create 3 columns headers, ‘Destinations’, ‘Hotels’ and Flights.’

  • In the 1st column, write down as many destinations as possible that you have been to
  • In the 2nd column, write down the Hotels that you have stayed at
  • In the 3rd column, write down the flights you have taken


At the top, try to focus on the destinations/flights that you have taken the most, and know the most about. And try to focus on things that other people might want to read about. You may have stayed at a the same motel 20 times in your job as a travelling salesman, but it is unlikely that many people will want to read about it.

I have given an example of this in the screenshot above.

Once you have created your spreadsheet, then have a real think about what you know the most about and about the things that people will want to read about.

Let’s say you have flown a lot on certain regional airlines – prime examples are domestic airlines in the US. It could be a great idea to write about travel tips with regards to these airlines, as they are typically ignored by big blogs like The Points Guy.

Or lets say you have travelled a lot to the Maldives (lucky you!) – you may want to create a blog focussing on the Maldives and the India Ocean. One area that you should definitely provide content on, are travel reviews. Make sure that you provide reviews of all hotels and flights that you take.

Week 1: how to make money as a travel blogger?


In week 1, I encourage you to think how you will make money off your website – this blog is called how to start a travel blog and make money, after all! You may not make a lot of money straight away – but it is important to tailor your business such that it will bring in revenues. The most popular ways to make money are as follows:

  • Stock images
  • Affiliate marketing for Credit Cards
  • Affiliate marketing for flights and hotels
  • Advertising
  • Sponsored posts
  • Import/Export
     

Stock images

Are you a budding photographer, who loves taking photos? If so, then you can license these photos to be used on stock photos website


Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is when you have a link to an eCommerce website, (e.g. Amazon or IHG). Then when someone clicks through that link and makes a purchase on the website, you will earn a commission. Affiliate commissions can range from 2%-30% of sale price, and the customer will pay the same price, by clicking through your link. In general, affiliate marketing is a pretty great way to make money.

But please don’t fall into the trap of only promoting products for the affiliate commissions. It can be tempting to do this, but if you promote garbage to you audience then you will quickly lose their trust. I only promote products that I have tried and believe will serve my audience to help achieve their goals. I have had people read my guides, and say thank you for having affiliate links on my blog, as they could then contribute to the creation of these articles. You can earn money and create good karma!!

For Travel blogs, Credit Cards applications are an excellent way to earn affiliate commissions. If someone clicks through your affiliate link, and applies for a credit card, then you will earn an attractive commission from that transaction. You can have a review article that explains the benefits of the credit card, and why it benefits your target audience – and then provide an affiliate link.

Another way to earn affiliate commissions is by links to hotel groups and airline companies. If your readers make a flight or accomodation purchase through you affiliate link, then you will earn a commission on that purchase.

Advertising

Once you have created a following, advertising is an excellent way to monetise your blog, and get paid to travel the world. The most popular tool is Google Ads. It also possible to create deals privately, where brands can advertise on your blog.

Indeed, when you have a following above 1,000 – 2,000, then brands will start approaching you, and ask to get in front of your audience. I would advise you to be selective with what you advertise on your site… Your reader won’t be happy if they come to your travel blog, and find adverts for diet pills and cat food in every paragraph

Sponsored posts

Sponsored posts are a similar monetisation strategy to advertising. Brands will pay you to write a blog post on your website, that promotes their product or service. As with advertising, try to keep these posts relevant – avoid marketing knitting accessories if your audience wants to read about travel.

Import/Export

One very effective business strategy to get paid to travel the world, is import export. When you travel to a destination, you can purchase products that get made there and then sell them in your home market. I know many people that have successful businesses in import/export, and can highly recommend it.

The basic model to use is as follows:

  • You think of a product that should sell well in your home market
  • Find a seller on Alibaba, and buy 5 to 10 of the product
  • Sell these products on eBay and Amazon in your home market, and assess the demand
  • Travel to the destination where these products are made, and find a supplier


This model is actually easier than you might think. When you are travelling to a new location, visit the markets and ask about what local products they sell. If you like these products, there is a good chance that other people in your home market will like these products too.
 

Week 1: Choose a name


Now you’ve decided on your niche and figured out how you will make money – you want a great name for your blog. Am I right?

Well I want your blog to have a great name too – and I will show you some sniper techniques below. However, I would urge you not to get stuck at this point… I have seen so many entrepreneurs agonise over finding the perfect name – don’t be one of them! Take some time and effort to choose a good name, but don’t let this delay you from setting up your travel blog.

Let me tell you a story: when my wife suggested a name for my daughter, I did not like it and was not convinced. But I couldn’t think of anything better, and I gave in! Well now, one of the 1st things that many people say to my daughter is that she has a beautiful name. Her name is Reeva, so I will let you decide if that is a nice name!

The fact is that the name of your blog is not going to be the difference between its success and failure. I do have some advice when it comes to choosing a good name:

One cool method is to try to think about the benefit or positive feeling that someone will get when they read your blog. Have a really deep think of how you want your readers to think about your blog and your brand. Then, go to thesaurus.com and see what other words there are that have the same meaning as these words you just found. Play about with these combinations of words, and see if any of these sound like a good blog name.

Another good technique to use is alliteration. This is when you have 2 or more words that start with the same letter. It can help to make your name memorable.

Also, there is no rule that says you need to use the words ‘points’ or ‘miles’ in the name of your blog! Ever since The Points Guy started in 2010, and became the biggest travel blog, there have been any number of people that have started travel blogs. Typically, they have used the words ‘points’ and ‘miles’ in their name. There is no 11th commandment that says you need to use these words in the name of your blog – and indeed I would encourage you not to!

Week 1: Buy the domain


You can buy your website domain at namecheap. I have used them for years, and found them to be reliable and well priced.

The process to buy a domain is very easy. You go to the homepage, and search for a domain. In the screenshot above, I search for SoulfulTravelGuy. On the next page, a list of available domains comes up. SoulfulTravelGuy.com is not available (obviously), but you can buy soulfultravelguy.travel for $28.88 or soulfultravelguy.net for $12.98.

Once you buy your domain, then you will be well on you way to setting up your travel blog!

Week 2: Introduction


Welcome to week 2 of 4, of how to start a travel blog and make money. Congratulations for making it here – you did a lot in Week 1!

  • You took a positive step to improve your life and chose to set up a travel blog
  • You decided on a niche and what area your blog will focus on
  • You chose a few ways that you will make money from your blog
  • You chose a name for your website
  • You purchased a domain for your blog


Week 2 is just as much work as week 1. However, if you are having as much fun as I am in writing this guide, then you will be desperate to get moving! Week 2 is all about designing your website, and deciding on the content. I review the platforms you can use for your blog, and then later on I show you some cool techniques to find out exactly what questions your target market is asking.

Week 2: Website design


You need to choose which platform to build your website on. I cover the main ones below, and give a review of each of them. I may create some haters here, as I don’t think Wordpress is best for most of travel bloggers… Your choice of platform depends on your budget. If you can afford it, then get a custom website build. Otherwise I think Wix is an excellent choice to start out with.

Regardless of the platform you choose, I want to stress the importance of having a well designed website. Nearly all blogs are built using basic templates, and are very poor in terms of design. If you have a well designed website that is fast and easy to use, then your readers will see this straight away – and you will stand out from 99% of other blogs out there. This is what will enable you to build an audience quickly and earn money from your blog. This blog is called how to start a travel blog and make money: Advertisers will not want to promote their product on a site that has a poor quality website and is horrible to use.

So please to read my advice below, and spend time to design your website well. Test your website feels and see how fast your pages load.

If you want some assistance with the design of your travel blog, or anything else I cover in this guide, then I do provide a consulting service. I will take you through the exact methods I have used with my blog, and then tailor a solution that is right for you.

Week 2: Design Your Site with Wix


Wix is good for:

- You want to create a good looking site quickly and on a budget
- You don’t want to learn html and CSS
- Easy to use interface
- Full support is provided for customers

Wix is bad for:

- Less flexibility for your website
- Less functionalities than Wordpress


Wix is an all in one solution for creating a website, and I am a fan. If you are starting out, and want to get paid to travel the world, then I think it is the best solution. Their drag and drop editor has been a game changer, as you don’t need to learn any html or CSS code to build a website.

Their combo plan costs between $9-17/month. For that they provide a lot:

- Drag and drop website editor
- Hosting
- Free domain for 1 year
- Customer Support

Wix has around 500 templates to choose from. Once you choose your template, you can edit your website in their drag and drop editor. The website editor is powerful, and allows you to visually create your website, similar to using Microsoft Powerpoint. You can move any element to any place on the page. Best of all – no programming knowledge needed!

Unlike Wordpress, Wix also offer customer support, so you don’t need to scour the web forums when you want the answer to something.

Week 2: Design Your Site with Wordpress


Wordpress is good for:

  • If you already have web development knowledge, and can code in CSS and html
  • More flexibility than wix


Wordpress is bad for:

  • People without technical knowledge
  • People that want customer support


Wordpress is a content management system that powers roughly 1 in 3 websites on the internet. The platform is free, although you will probably need to buy a number of things on top, like web hosting and a theme.

Bluehost charges start at $3.99 per month for web hosting. This blog is hosted by my web developers, but I have used Bluehost in the past for my Wordpress sites, and found them to be good.

Divi is the most popular Wordpress theme. They charge $89 per year, and for that you get access to all of their templates and customer support. Divi have also developed a visual drag and drop editor - although it is not as good as the Wix editor. There are many free Wordpress themes available, but many are poor quality and there is no customer support.

You will find people that absolutely swear by Wordpress, but I am not the biggest fan. There are a few reasons for this.

Firstly, the platform is open source, and no customer support is provided. If you are stuck on something, you will need to search for the answer on Google or some web forum.

But the main reason I don’t like Wordpress is that you will need to learn some web develpment skills - i.e. you will need to become a programmer in CSS, html and possibly javascript. That is a steep learning curve! I spent 15 years as a computer programmer at some of the biggest investment banks in the world, and can code in c++, R, python and other languages. I can assure you that it takes time to become a good programmer. I think that time would be better spent on writing articles, promoting your content and growing your audience. Ultimately, you need to decide, do you want to get paid to travel the world or do you want to become a computer programmer?

Unless you already know how to create websites in Wordpress, I recommend to start your site with Wix. Once your blog has good reach and is making money, then bring in a professional and create a really amazing wesbite.

And what about those people that swear by Wordpress? They may have been using Wordpress for years, and have already learnt html and CSS programming. There are also many techies that love open source tools, as they offer more flexibility – but this is not useful for most travel bloggers. It is not 2005 anymore, you don’t need to become a computer programmer to have a website!


Web developer for Wordpress template

One option available to you is to bring in a web developer to build a website on a Wordpress template. So instead of you building a website on Wordpress, you pay someone else to do it for you.

I view this as it is the worst of both worlds! You will pay a lot of money to a web developer, and still be constrained by the Wordpress template you choose. I suggest you wait until you can afford to get a custom website built, and build something truly amazing. You want to get paid to travel the world, not pay someone else to build something average!

Also, make sure to be weary of web developers who say that they will build you a custom website, but really build one on a Wordpress template.

Week 2: Design Your Site. Custom website


Welcome to the big time! Once you have some money coming in, I recommend to get a custom website built by a professional developer. With a custom site, you can create something truly unique, that will enable you to stand out from the crowd, and grow your business by 10x and above.

Why have a custom site

  • Stand out from 99% of blogs that are poorly designed
  • Improve speed and user experience. Rank higher in Google
  • Create something that is truly your own
  • Free yourself from the templates provided in Wordpress and Wix


My blog here is a custom website, and it enabled me to build something that was truly unique. I had a team of programmers that worked to optimise my website to provide the best possible user experience.

A custom website is not cheap (~$15k in US and Europe), so I suggest to wait until you have some money coming in before you build one.

When choosing a web developer, find someone that you can interact with and come up with ideas. I don’t recommend to get your site made by a freelancer, without a team. If you ask him for custom features, he may not have the knowledge to build it – and not have team members to ask. My web development team is based in Mumbai, and they charge considerably less than $15,000, so feel free to email me or Whatsapp message me on +44 7930 322 555 if you want further information.

Week 2: Build a Logo


While there is a debate about the best platform is to create your website on, there is no such debate when it comes to logos. The Wix logo maker is excellent and fun to use. You can use the logo maker for free, and you only need to pay when find a logo design that you like – with prices starting at $12,99. If you use Wix as your website development platform, then a number of their packages come with free use of the logo maker – you will need to see what package is best value for you.

To create your logo, go to Wix logo maker, and answer a short questionnaire. Wix will then show you a number of possible designs. The process of coming up with a logo is a lot of fun – I show this in the slideshow above.

Week 2: Decide on the content


Now comes the fun part - deciding on the content for your blog.! This is your chance to showcase your knowledge to the world, so enjoy it! I think that 10 is a good number of articles to start with. You already decided on a niche in week 1, so let that guide the content you write on your site.

I will show you some ninja techniques below, to find out exactly what questions your target audience wants the answers to. Before that, have a think to yourself – what information do you have, that other people need? Do you know how to find airfare deals? Do you know about hiking abroad? If this is the case, then you should probably write articles on that.

Remember, you should always include trip reviews on your website.

To find out what else you should be writing about, you should look at the forums, and see what questions people are asking. Assume that you are from Georgia, and are setting up a travel blog about Delta Airlines and their hub in Atlanta. You can go to the flyer talk forum for Delta Airlines and see what questions are being asked. You will hopefully spot patterns, and see what questions are being asked again and again. Use this as a guide to choose what you want to write about.

This is a good idea - but it will take a lot of time! Thankfully, Google has some ninja methods for you to shortcut this process. Go to Google and type in "how do I" site:https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta-air-lines-skymiles-665/. This will give results of all the occasions where someone asks ‘how do I’ in Delta Airlines Flyer Talk Forum.

From the screenshots above, we can see that there is a forum thread where someone asks ‘How do I book coach and upgrade with miles to First/Business on delta.com’? when you click through, you can see the full thread on Flyer talk.

You can perform similar searches using other text. Examples include:

  • "why is it" site:https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta-air-lines-skymiles-665/
  • "when can I" site:https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta-air-lines-skymiles-665/
  • "what are the" site:https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta-air-lines-skymiles-665/
  • "how come I" site:https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta-air-lines-skymiles-665/
  • "Please help" site:https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta-air-lines-skymiles-665/


If you spend a couple of hours performing these Google searches, then you should get a pretty good idea which questions are coming up again and again. This can be an excellent guide to find out what questions your target market wants an answer to. Going back to my Delta Airlines example, I can see that a lot of people are asking about upgrades. This is a perfect example of content that I could include on my blog.

Next step? Rinse and repeat, until you have at least 10 great articles that you want to put up on your site.

Week 3: Introduction


Welcome to week 3 of 4, of how to start a travel blog and make money. You have made is through the half way point!

To recap Weeks 1 to 2:

  • Week 1 was about deciding on a name for your travel blog and a niche
  • Week 2 was about designing your site and deciding on your content


I hope you now believe that it is possible to get paid to travel the world, and that you are well on your way to doing that! This is the week where everything comes together, and by the end of it you will have your very own travel blog, with awesome content. If that doesn’t sound cool to you, then I don’t know what is?!

You did a lot of work last week. You chose a website platform, and then designed a beautiful blog. You carried out some sniper research to find out exactly what questions your target market is asking. You will now have at least 10 articles, that you will write for your blog.

But how will your audience find these articles on Google? Well keyword research is your answer. If you can use the right keywords in your articles, then you will be able to generate tons of free traffic from Google. The basic solution is to find keywords that people are searching for, but without much competition from other websites. If that sounds complicated, then don’t worry! I show you exactly how to do this below.

Week 3: Keyword Research


Let me ask you something – what do you do when you want an answer to a question? The question could be anything, the opening time of a local shop or how to cook chicken. I know what I do, I get my phone out and ask Google. I click through the 1st 3 or 4 links and see if they have my answer - If they don’t have the answer, then I search for something else.

I also know what I don’t do. I certainly don’t do anything as stupid as go to the 2nd page on Google, and you know what, neither do you! That is the thing about Google, the 1st page is everything and the 2nd page is NOWHERE!

If your website ranks on the 1st page on Google, then it will be amazing for your blogging business. You will generate tons of free traffic to your website - Google will see this traffic, and place you site even higher on the search results. This becomes an upward spiral, where your future success feeds on your past success. If your website does not rank in Google, then it will be close to impossible to make money in the long run.

To rank highly, you need to choose the right keywords to use in your article. You need to find keywords that people are searching for, but without much competition from larger websites.

Let me give you an example of a bad keyword with high competition. If you come up to me and say that you want to rank on the 1st page of Google for ‘Breaking News,’ then I can’t help you! In the screenshot above you can see that NBC News and CNN come up in the 1st few entries. To state the obvious, your website will not rank ahead of these sites for the term ‘breaking news.’ While ‘breaking news’ has a lot of searches by users, there is far too much competition for this search term. You need to find a keyword with low competition.

Week 3: Keyword Research Step 1. Find keywords


I will show you exactly how keyword research works in practise. I return to my example of Delta Airlines. In week 2, I researched the Delta Airlines forums on Flyer Talk, and saw many questions about upgrades. So I decided to write an article on how to get upgraded on Delta Airlines. Full details of this research are given above for the week 2 guide.

For this article, I may choose to title the article ‘How to upgrade on Delta.’

Go to Google and search ‘how to upgrade on delta.’ In the screenshot below, we see that the 1st entry is from delta.com. Take a look at the box ‘People also Ask’ and make a note of the search terms that people also asked. Then scroll to the bottom of the page and write down the search terms below the text ‘Searches related to how to upgrade on delta.’

I have shown this process in the screenshots above.

The search terms I have identified, are all candidates for keywords that we can use in the article. We just need to find out which of the keywords have low competition.

  • How do I get an upgrade on Delta?
  • Can I upgrade my Delta flight?
  • delta upgrade chart
  • delta upgrade cost
  • delta upgrade list
  • delta upgrade from basic economy
  • delta comfort upgrade cost
  • delta global upgrade certificates for sale
  • delta upgrade list app
  • delta one international upgrade

Week 3: Keyword Research Step 2. Low competition keywor


To find out which of these keywords have low competition, I use a tool called KW Finder. KW Finder gives you the searched volume and a difficulty score for each keyword, to allow you to identify which keywords have low competition on Google. They also give you alternative suggestions for similar keywords.

KW Finder have a free trial where you don’t need to input a credit card, so make sure you sign up and see if you like the tool. It is one of the cheapest tools of its type, with monthly plans starting at $30 per month. For comparison, SEM Rush charge ~$99/month for their products. I think that their tool is terrific too, but I don’t think it is necessary to spend this much, when you are starting out.

Go to KW Finder, and type ‘how to upgrade on delta’ in the search bar, and then click ‘find keywords.’ Full screenshots are given above. The next screen shows a ton of information about this keyword:

  • We see how many search terms there have been for our keyword. There are 210 search terms a month for ‘how to upgrade on delta’
  • We see a ‘keyword difficulty’ score, which tells us how easy it is to rank for this keyword. Keyword difficulty is 25, which is classified as ‘still easy’. 0 is very easy. 100 is very difficult
  • We find a bunch of related keywords that we can use, and the exact same information for those terms too


210 search terms is not that many, so we can probably find something better

Week 3: Keyword Research Step 3. Rinse & repeat


We simply repeat the process from step 1 and step 2, until we find the right keyword:

  • High traffic per month
  • Low keyword difficulty score
  • Related to my article content


Let’s search for ‘Delta upgrade list.’ We see the following information from KW Finder:

  • 1,000 search terms a month
  • Keyword difficulty of 30, which is classified as ‘still possible’


Next I search for ‘delta upgrade chart’, which yields the following information from KW Finder:

  • 590 search terms per month
  • Keyword difficulty of 30, which is classified as ‘still possible’


These 2 keywords are much better, so I will make sure to use the keywords ‘Delta upgrade list’ and ‘delta upgrade chart’ in my article.

This process of keyword research is a game changer for your travel blog. You can systematically find the keywords that people are searching for, where there is not competition from other websites. By using these keywords into your article, you can rank on the 1st page of Google in the long run.

Week 3: Write the articles


You should now have a list of 10 articles to put up on your travel blog, and a list of keywords for each article. The next step is to simply get busy and write these articles!

The only advice I have is to enjoy it! This your chance to get your message out there, and write about the things you care about. Think about the time you spend in your day job, wishing you were doing something else, and be happy that you are doing something else!

I absolutely love writing articles and thinking about ways I can add value to my audience - I consider myself very fortunate.

Once you have written your articles, then post them up on your blog. Just to re-iterate – you now have a fully functional travel blog with awesome content!

Week 3: Create an email list


Email lists – who wants to think about email lists when you can get paid to travel the world?! The answer is that you need to think about email lists! One rookie mistake that people make when starting their blogs, is to not collect email addresses. Don’t be that guy! Provide a box where visitors to the site can give you their email address.

You will need to use a dedicated service to store and send email - using Gmail is not an option. The main reason is that you will probably be breaking some laws regarding privacy of data, so don’t do it.

I recommend to use Mail Chimp. They have an excellent free plan, which allows you to send emails to up to 2,000 subscribers. This may sound like a lot, but you will be surprised how quickly you get that many subscribers. They also have tools to create sophisticated email marketing campaigns, as your business grows.

Week 4: Introduction


This is it – you have made it to week 4 and the final week of how to start a travel blog and make money!

To recap Weeks 1 to 3:

  • Week 1 was about deciding on a name for your travel blog and a niche
  • Week 2 was about designing your site and deciding on your content
  • Week 3 was about writing the articles and choosing the right keywords to rank on Google


You now have a travel blog with awesome content, that is answering the very questions your target market is asking. You have written your articles with the right keywords, that will enable your blog to rank highly in Google! And soon you will, get paid to travel the world!

Week 4 is all about marketing your blog on social media, and coming up with a plan to take your blog to the next level.

If you like this guide, and want to work with me, then please contact me! I provide a structured program, where I work with you and create a travel blog that looks great and will make you money. I work from the following maxim

  • When someone reads my free stuff, they should think ‘I would have paid for that!’
  • When someone pays me for a service, they should think ‘I got 10x the value of what I paid!’


So if you want to break free from 9-5pm and make money from travelling, then don’t be shy!

Week 4: Market the website


Writing this section was tons of fun for me. The number one fear that people have when they set up a travel blog, is that nobody will read their content. When I show them how to market their blog, they are amazed at how easy it is. So please read on!

The 2 methods of promotion I cover here are SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and Twitter marketing. There are many ways to market you blog, but I think that these 2 are the easiest and lowest cost methods to get a following quickly.

Week 4: SEO


SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, and is the process of optimising your blog to get it to rank on the 1st page in Google. Once your blog gets there, it is wonderful, as you get tons of free traffic from people in your target market. The more traffic you get, the more Google sees this, and the higher they will rank your site.

SEO is the difference between a travel blog that makes a few hundered dollars a month, and a business that you can earn a living off. To put it simply, you MUST do SEO on your site!

The great news is that the majority of travel blogs (including some of the biggest) don’t do any SEO. Google uses around 200 factors to decide how high to rank websites - but I recommend to focus on only one, keyword research. In week 3, I gave a step by step guide for finding the right keywords in every article you write – so please execute that properly! And what about those other 199 factors that Google looks at? None of these are as important as keyword research, and given that most travel blogs are not even doing that, then I would not worry about those other 199 factors!

Week 4: Promote Articles on Twitter


Once your blog is up and running, I am a massive fan of marketing your travel blog on Twitter. It is a great way to get a following quickly – I got my 1st 1,000 followers in 6 weeks! I did not buy any followers or pay for adverts, all my followers are organic and love my content.

Every time you write an article, make sure to publish a link on Twitter. Twitter is an immediate social network, so if someone is not on Twitter when you tweet, then they will not see it. For that reason, you should also regularly re-tweet links to older articles. Once you have 30 articles on your website, then you can tweet out 1 link to each article every day, and then do that on repeat.

I recommend to send a tweet out at the same time each day – you will need to experiment to find the right time. I use RiteTag to bulk schedule my Tweets. Their RiteForge package allows you to schedule up to 300 Social Media posts at a time, and it costs only $12/month. This is excellent value, and they have a free trial without you giving your credit card – which is nice!

Once you link Ritetag to your Twitter account, go to Ritetag:

  1. At the top of the screen click the link for ‘Publishing’
  2. Then click ‘compose’ to publish your 1st Tweet
  3. A pop up box comes up
  4. In the popup box, you choose your Twitter account and write your tweet
  5. There is also an option to add an image to your Tweet
  6. To schedule the time you want your Tweet to be published click ‘Add to Queue’
  7. Then click ‘Schedule and Repeat’
  8. From here, you can choose the time and date that you wish to publish your Tweet
  9. You can also choose to repeat publish the Tweet daily, weekly or monthly
  10. Repeat this process for all of the Tweets that you want to publish in the future


Full screenshots are shown below above

I carve out a time each week to bulk schedule my Tweets and I suggest that you do the same. By linking to your articles on Twitter you will grow your audience and get your content out there. To really boost your followers in a short space of time, I suggest you follow my Twitter growth hack, which I describe in the next section

Week 4: Twitter growth hack


One of the great things about Twitter is that you can easily find members of your target market, and get your content in front of them for free. So where is the target market for your travel blog? There is a good chance that they are following The Points Guy or Condé Naste Traveler.

You can follow my simple growth hack to get members of your target market to follow your Twitter handle. Do the following steps 3 times a day:

  • Go to The Points Guy Twitter handle
  • Click on ‘Followers’
  • Follow 20 of their followers


Full screenshots are shown below. Also, if someone does not follow you back after 1 week, then feel free to unfollow them.

Week 4: Supersize your blog


If you have made it to this stage, then well done! You have worked hard over the last 4 weeks, and now you have a killer travel blog. You will need to continue to write new articles for your blog and continue to market your blog on social media.

In a few months you will have a large following and will get paid to travel the world – so you have a lot to look forward to! 95% of blogs will never make it to this stage, so congratulate yourself on taking a positive step in your life.

Of the 5% of blogs that do get a following and make some money, the vast majority will never go any further. Don’t be one of those people! I am a big proponent of thinking big, and supersizing your blog. To do that, you will need to re-invest 50% of your profits back into your blog and grow it 10x and more. Every travel blog is different, but your strategy will be a mix of:

  • Paid adverts on Social media
  • Hiring writers to produce content and grow your reach
  • Hiring a virtual assistant to take care of the boring tasks, like posting on social media and replying to emails
  • Bringing in experts to boost your social media following
  • Partnering with advertisers to maximise your earnings

With regards to your blog, don’t underestimate your potential. Over 3 billion people have access to the internet, and this number will probably double in the next 5 years. We are still in the early stage of internet adoption – so many opportunities are there. The biggest bloggers in the world earn multi-million dollars a year. There are many people below that level who are earning hundreds of thousands of year, and travelling the world at the same time. So while you might be happy with a blog that earns a few 100 dollars, don’t sell yourself short!

To quote Oprah Winfrey: “The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams”

Most people don’t think it is possible to live the life of your dreams, and even fewer people try. But it has never been easier to live the life that you want, and having a travel blog that makes money is 1 example.

Conclusion


I wrote this blog, to bust myths and show exactly how to start a travel blog and make money from it. I had an absolute blast writing this article – I hope you enjoyed reading it.

Aja

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February 14, 2020

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