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A while back when I published the blog post Why Starting a Photography Blog is Crucial for any Photographer which covered topic not directly related to travel photography, I did not expect it would resonated with my readers at such a high level.
It motivated me to create a new section on PhotoTraces.com Blogging Tips For Photographers where I continued to expand on how blogging could help photographers to take their passion to another level.
I added another two articles covered the same subject later: How to Start a Photography Blog in Under 10 Minutes and The Best WordPress Themes for Your Photography Blog.
Today, I would like to introduce you to Nancy Young. She is a passionate writer and blogger. She writes tons of inspirational articles on photography and web design, despite the fact that she is an economist by education. Nancy believes in magic of written words to inspire and motivate. She is a part of PhotoDoto Team. Check out their free ebook on landscape photography!
Nancy is going to identify and evaluate the main components of any successful travel photography blog.
Running a travel blog may sound cool and glamorous even. You travel the world and write about it, share photos and your emotions, what is there not to like? Of course, the reality is different. Travel blogging is a certainly a difficult breed. Travelling is well suited to blogging as travelers tend to document their journey with journals and photography.
However, running a truly successful travel blog which is your main source of income is much harder proposition and only a small minority of travel bloggers actually achieve. There are no strict rules on how to run a successful travel blog, but there are some tips that could help to increase readability and website traffic. Here are a few tips and tricks that will lead your travel blog to success and also examples of awesome travel blogs worth to follow.
1. Effective Blogging Platform
First things first, you should consider the best website builder to fit in your needs properly. Choose blogging platform that is easy to use at home as well as abroad while travelling.
Take into consideration customization features, intuitive dashboard to update your blog without coding, if there is customer support available for you 24/7 or you should search for solution yourself, like it is with WordPress.
The most commonly used self-hosted platform is WordPress. Among other free solutions to host on your own server is Koken.me which is free and allows you to create a blog and portfolio. Also, there is Defrozo which is a brand new online platform that aims at providing a complete set of tools for photographers to organize their workflow and market their business for free. Being a hosted platform, Defrozo enables you to create both a photo website and blog with no technical knowledge required – everything is done via a drag-n-drop interface.
2. Enough space for photos
Travel blogs are all about telling a story. People want to hear your stories of travelling to some mysterious places far away. The romanticism of these places is what drives people in and get them excited about your travels. They want to hear more and someday go on their own adventures.
The huge part of telling a story is visual – it’s photos and videos. Thanks technologies, the web allows to easily upload your media content to the blog. But travel photos should be breathtaking and wonderful, they is supposed to show the places from your unique point of view.
Keep your images about 600-800 pixels wide. In this range you’ll have a high enough resolution to show off all the beauty of the world. Moreover, the photos would be suitable for sharing across all social media sites without slowing loading time. The pictures with size above 800 px will slow page loading for sure.
Make sure to add captions to the images, as they sometimes are more important than content itself. People tend to read the captions to understand what you’re going to say with the image.
3. Personal Touch
Travel blogs are truly personal, because you share your own view on the world and popular places around the globe. People connect the stories you share with your personality, imagining you while you are doing something you have described. Create a kick-ass “about me” and make sure to add your headshot and a short bio to the each post you publish.
Well-written biography section and a headshot are essential elements of any blog post. On internet people build trust on visual basis. It’s like judge book by its cover. Make “your cover” as pleasant and informative as it’s possible. Write a proper short bio including your skills, experience, and a few links to social media, so your readers could easily get in touch with you.
4. Valuable Content
People don’t remember facts, they remember stories. Incorporate your facts and points into stories that are easy to read and to understand. Share your own experience and opinion about the places you visited, culture of a particular country, some local cafes and restaurants, hotels, prices, flights, shops, museums, nature, traditions, weather conditions, and sights. Try to provide the information you wish you knew before going to this place, advise people something from your experience, for example, you may recommend hotels and cafes you have been at.
Of course, all your story should go along with amazing images to illustrate what you saw and let people imagine it it details. Some cool videos where you tell and show something will also work out. You may add them to your blog post, upload to your YouTube or Vimeo channel to give it your blog a boost and spread over other social media sites.
You may get a lot of positive and negative feedbacks, people are different. Don’t worry too much about what people think and say about your blog posts. Be yourself, and you’ll find your target audience and fans.
5. Well adjusted SEO
Your travel blog could be the most beautiful, interesting and user-friendly site in the world, but if no one ever sees it, then what’s the point? So, you have to make search engine giants like Google, Yahoo or Bing notice you and send loads of targeted traffic to your site. To make it work out, you should take care of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Today, an SEO-optimized blog is defined by three key elements: its links, content, and social media. Social shares and likes hows Google that your content is worth spreading and valuable. Content is a king, so it should be regular (a new post should go online no less that three times a week) and high-quality. The links shows search engines that your site is trustworthy.
Pay attention to keywords, titles, and tags you provide in your posts. Name your images with keyword rich titles to let the users to find your blog with Google Image tool.
Do it like Trey Ratcliff, a man behind Stuck in Customs, – one of the most popular travel photography blogs these days. Defrozo team has analyzed his website and social media accounts to understand the key of his success.
Bonus Factor: Geotags
Make sure to add geo tags to the places you tell in your posts. Add addresses on the map of the hotels, restaurants, cafes, shops, and sights to let travelers like you to easily get to the places you described. Moreover, the geo tags will categorize your content and let the visitors find information about the place they are interested in.
15 Travel Blogs Worth Following
Besides some well-known blogs, I’ve included some lesser-known yet promising ones to give you examples of effective growth tactics from both blogging “gurus” and beginners.
1. Photo Traces will help you to find the best locations for travel photography and discover the most exciting places. This blog is run by Viktor Elizarov, a travel photographer and adventurer from Montreal.
2. A Cruising Couple is a blog created by a travelling couple, Dan and Casey. They even provide travel consultations on their blog.
3. True Colors Blog is run by Casey, and interior designer and traveler and a photographer and her husband Nick, who provide beautiful photos.
4. Around the World in 80 Jobs is a highly entertaining and informative blog that is aimed to show other people beautiful destinations and travel job opportunities abroad.
5. World of Wanderlust is a blog to follow real-time travel updates around the globe.
6. This World Rocks – Dan and Alissa started this site to document their past travels. They try to focus on information they found hard to find which may help others on their way to an amazing trip.
7. Hand Luggage Only is a food, travel and home blog which provides door-to-door travel planner.
8. Young Adventuress – Liz, an owner of this blog has visited 40 countries in 10 years. She shares her own travel experience.
9. Just One Way Ticket – Sabrina is half German, half Italian and has traveled to more than 50 countries around the globe. Her website is refreshingly honest, unique and will make you laugh out loud.
10. Getting Stamped – Adam and Hannah try to escape the Wisconsin winters. They focus on their love to beaches and travel on their site.
11. Five Dollar Traveller – Are you able to travel spending only $5 per day? These guys are aimed to show what you may get on $5 in every location they visit.
12. Have Baby Will Travel – Have Baby Will Travel’s mission is to inspire, motivate, and help families travel with their babies, toddlers, and young children.
13. Travelling Apples is a travel blog run by a family who left their home in Australia and decided to explore the world.
14. Nomadic Matt is aimed to show you that you don’t need a lot of money to travel. With over 600,000 monthly visits this successful blog is one of the best examples to follow.
15. Fearful Adventurer – Australia-based Torre DeRoche runs this blog. You really get a sense of the ups and downs of travel through her writing.
No matter who you are and how old are, – it’s never too late to travel and create your own travel blog. It’s not that easy and fast to make it successful, but it’s possible. Follow our tips described above to build your own great travel blog. What are your favorite travel blogs? Share with us in the comment field below.