Don't start a travel blog! Or some truth about travel blogging

A strange name, isn't it? Especially for a person who runs a travel blog himself and infects others with it. In fact, the idea to write some of your thoughts on travel blogging has been around for a long time to add realism to «Everything is real» and dilute my sweet speeches. No, you don’t think that I am writing this to remove competitors, they have always been and will be, and this is normal, I just would like to warn those who are just starting or are thinking of starting a blog, especially about travel. I wish my articles were perceived correctly, but no one considered Travel-blog a panacea! I do not know how useful this will be, but I tried to state all my conclusions after 4 years of work in this direction..

The content of the article

All parts of my little blogger FAQ:

I have written a number of blogging related articles. They do not pretend to be a complete manual, but beginners may find it useful. You can read it if you are interested.

0. I recommend the course «How to become a thousand-year blogger and earn»
one. How to start blogging
2. How to promote a blog - a list of my actions
3. How to make money blogging and traveling
five. Reader and Search Traffic, and Why Readers Don't Return
4. An example of making money on our blog - Finstrip 2013, finstrip 2012, Finstrip 2011
6. Some truth about travel blogging
7. Tips for securing your WordPress blog

A photo to attract attention. Although...

A photo to attract attention. Although…

Why should you start a travel blog?

You read that you can make money on a blog. Then they read that someone earns even more than you do in the office. I immediately wanted to start a blog and do all the same. It's so cool to sometimes write texts about your adventures, sunbathe under a palm tree in some Thailand, and receive money transfers from advertisers. This is what various speakers at webinars point to, promising significant earnings.

It seems to me that some people think so about blogging. Then someone decides and krekhta starts his own site on WordPress, writes from time to time on a post a week, and after six months or a year he is disappointed, because nothing happened. In my opinion, this path is initially a path to nowhere. You ask a person why you need a blog, what are you going to write there, what you want to get as a result, but there is no answer as such. They do it simply because it is the same with others. Actually, they also go to work in the office like that, just where «went». So this approach will not work here. You need either a sea of ​​enthusiasm plus a healthy faith in yourself, or a clear understanding of what and why.

Frankly, I also did not have answers to questions. «why», swam with the flow sometime. My good friends told me about blogging and I decided to try it, and the topic of travel was taken simply because I was not interested in anything else in life then. And I was lucky. Lucky not in the sense that the blog shot, but lucky that I was not tired of it, not in a year, not two, or four years later. Not tired of blogging all my work and free time. Will everyone have it? I doubt…

Blogs clones

No, I understand that many people want to talk about their travels and want to be read. But will there be? Look around, almost everyone now has a travel blog. And if not, then the person posts pictures on social networks with their notes. Almost everything that exists on this planet has already been described, cameras are such that you only need to press a button for masterpieces, and you will not surprise even my grandmother with a trip around the world. Once upon a time 10-20 years ago, one could talk about some Thailand and they would listen to you with their mouths open, what an outlandish country it is, but no one has ever heard of Burma. But now, you probably need to be a very cool traveler photographing polar bears today in Antarctica, and tomorrow dancing a jig-jig with the Papuans in New Guinea, or traveling in some unusual format, such as Dancing Mat. Only then, it will be enough just to write and not think about anything special..

However, what do we see? Everyone starts banal blogs about travel (or about Thailand) and hopes for something. Just don’t think that I think my blog is special, it’s just as commonplace as everyone else. The only difference is that he is 4 years old, and a lot of man-hours have been invested in him, enough to open a company in Moscow.

Therefore, if you, as a Chinese, simply copy an idea, then you will have to work in Chinese: long and hard. And maybe something will work out, but maybe not. I am sure that I personally succeeded only because I kept my line for a long time and persistently. I bent at the very beginning, when no one believed me and everyone stubbornly insisted that I should go to work, bent after a year and a half, when there was no profit, and the money from the sale of the car was almost over, and the wildebeest is now on, although I realized what to write about travel is not effective at all. A typical blogger's day.

Some numbers and statistics

From which visitors the income comes

According to statistics, 80% of income from contextual advertising comes from search traffic, that is, not regular readers. And this is some kind of drama for travel bloggers who initially count on readers..

For whom will you write then for readers or for visitors from search engines? On the good, these are different approaches, different topics. Will you be able to combine everything on one resource? Can you please two such different audiences at once? For example, my audience has changed 10 times already, because the subject has changed. Few people are interested in reading six months about Tai, and then six months about the estates near Moscow. Therefore, rather, everything about travel is for search engines, and personal articles for regular readers.

Which articles are the most profitable

Unfortunately, I will upset you, but the description of the attractions does not make money. And this is the main component of all travel blogs. Perhaps this is not the case for all countries, but in Thailand this is the case, according to my statistics. What does this mean? What to write to make money on other topics, on those that are more suitable for contextual advertising. I like to give an example: you wrote an article about a Thai temple, what kind of advertising will there be? At best, tours to Thailand ... Will someone click? Hardly! Because whoever is looking for a Thai temple is most likely already in Thailand. And the one who decided to prepare in advance, he will not go on the tour, otherwise he would have just bought the excursion on the spot.

An advanced reader will object to me, because there is behavioral targeting, then ads are shown that are not related to the text of the article, but to what the user was recently looking for in a search engine. For example, I recently searched for VPS hosting, so for a week now, only such ads have been shown on all sites. It is wonderful! But in order to have a good CTR, it is highly desirable that your article is also about hosting or thereabouts. That is, ideally, a person from a search engine should come to your site initially for such a request that is associated with advertising, or in other words, with services or goods that are advertised in Adwords and Direct. The rest of the requests are not very profitable.

A little truth about travel blogging

Travel blogging is more blogging than travel

As a result, we have not quite what many are counting on. It's one thing to describe your adventures (temples, museums, beaches, etc.), it's another to spend hours writing boring informational articles or product reviews, looking at visit statistics, all sorts of CTR and click rates, and analyzing what to write about next. Here you can forget about creativity in all these actions. And if you remember about the drama described above, then you should understand that when writing articles purely for search engines, you practically lose reader traffic and feedback from it.

That is why I have said, and continue to say, conventional travel blogging is not effective. In order to have both a readership and search traffic at the same time, you need to sweat. And just for this reason, it is easier to create sites for search engines, so to speak, without a personal (blog) component, or with a small.

Where Travel Bloggers Really Make Money

If you listen to the webinars, then you will find out that those travel bloggers who normally earn money do not actually make money on their blogs, because, as I said, contextual advertising and affiliate programs do not work. Rather, a blog for them is a kind of portfolio or even a hobby, and their money comes from copywriting to order, from photo stocks, from journalistic activities, from the services of a tour guide, from information business in the end. For someone like, but for me it is not «blog earnings». By no means do I want to say that this is bad, it just seems to me that it is useful to initially understand this difference. Perhaps you can save a lot of time if you immediately choose the direction.

The exception is top bloggers with a huge audience, who can occasionally, but for good money, post advertising posts advertising a brand or product. But I think it's obvious that they don't just become top-end, either they are original, or the marketers are good.

Parting words for budding bloggers

  • My first parting word - don't start a travel blog 🙂 And then you don't have to read. But if you don’t want to obey me, we will continue.
  • Think with your head, analyze, look for your chip, do not stop there, develop. Strength and enthusiasm will be very useful to you. A blog is not a static object that is done once and that's it. We'll have to look at statistics and conduct analytics, and know what usability is. Yes, you will have to study a lot in order to form your own personal opinion..
  • Unfortunately, just «write» not enough now, well, only if you are not very original. But when I talk about originality, I mean something related to entertainment. You need to create interesting and amazing reading material, otherwise no one will read you..
  • The basic rule that I came up with is this: the more original you are, the less you need to think about SEO, SMM, promotion and promotion. That is, the more unusual and interesting you are to people, the less you need to do something other than the writing itself. And vice versa, the more banal you are, the more content you need, and this looks more like not a blog, but a structured information portal, because unoriginal people have to go in the direction of search traffic. And the main thing that search engines are looking for is information, not your thoughts or impressions..
  • When we talk about the fact that the main income comes from a search engine, it is necessary to understand that the information that we create in the form of text should be popular. If you choose too narrow a niche, for example, you write about emigration to Nauru, then almost no one will look for this information on the net. But at the same time choosing, on the contrary, too popular a destination, for example Thailand, you will have huge competition in search engines. Here you need to look for a balance, or again, be patient..
  • Look in the direction of other topics, there is not only travel. If you approach this issue correctly, you can get much more exhaust than traveling. But the rule remains unchanged, write only on the topic in which you fumble.

I hope I didn't scare you too much? In any case, until you try, you will not know what it feels like 🙂 I do not exclude that you will have a completely different experience and different conclusions.

P.S. You should not take my post as the ultimate truth, I am human and I can be wrong. I would be glad if someone shares their thoughts on this topic in the comments..