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Secrets to becoming a professional travel blogger

Wed, 15 Jul 2015 15:07:21 GMT

If you’re one of those who travel a lot and would love to monetize the travel expertise working online, it’s a must read guide for you. Have you ever considered becoming a professional travel blogger? It's a proven and probably one of the best ways to monetize your travel expertise and still have fun. Let's go straight to details. *What's the professional travel blogging about?* A professional travel blogging is like every regular job that generates you an income in long-term. If you’re a travel blogger you will be delivering a professional level of travel-related service to the readers or any kind of clients who could be possibly interested in it (tour guide agencies, travel applications on mobile, travel blogs and more). You can compare quality travel bloggers to old-school journalists and reporters who were often also travelers, photographers or even poets. When I think of an reporter and traveler from pre-Internet era, I cannot help but recalling Ryszard Kapuściński, who was one of the most frequently translated Polish author of all times. If you’re searching for i nspirations I highly recommend you to read his most acclaimed books, like The Soccer War, The Emperor: Downfall of an Autocrat, Travel with Herodotus or Shah of Shahs. *Secrets to becoming a professional travel blogger* `1. Follow your passion` I know it sounds pretty cheesy, nonetheless, it's still an extremely valid point. There’s plenty of blogs mushrooming every day and then being abandoned after one month of activity. This is what’s happening when you follow other people passions instead of your own. Follow YOUR passion, not something what's trendy but has no meaning to you. We live in the era of constant updates and information overload. Around 90% of people is generating online content daily, starting with social media, blogs, vlogs and ending on mobile applications. It does sound like plenty of competition, but remember follow your passion and the quality and usefulness of the content you produce and you’re genuinely interested in, will find its way through. *Choose something that you tremendously enjoy.* If you love traveling and learning about specific cultures, regions or you have a unique skillset linked to traveling - unleash your potential by writing it down and publishing, instead of hiding it in a drawer. Not good at writing? Share your travel expertise via photography, video, podcast or painting. They are sometimes worth more than a thousand words. *Find a niche.* I believe you might be passionate about many things in life (sometimes about too many...), but you need to focus. Before you sit down and share anything, think of how unique your passion or talent is. As you know travel blogging is built of many niches, from food, to travel planning, luxury, adventure, to family and more. Choose only one and try to find a fresh take on the subject. Don’t copy others. Trust your guts and unleash your personality! Find something you would keep doing even for zero reward, and try building your blog around that concept. `2. Be good at it` It is easier to be successful travel blogger if you have a specific area of expertise to focus on, that over time results in being an expert. I bet you heard about the *10,000 hours rule*? This is the number of hours you need to spend on a subject before you become elite at your craft. It takes a real effort, a deliberate and constant practice, sweat and tears before you come up with something of great value. Of course, nobody says you need to become a Mozart or Kobe Brayant of travel blogging. Simply, be good at what you do and improve day by day to reach the goals you have set up for yourself. There is no such thing as overnight success. *Write regularly and consistently* to build up an audience - come up with a reasonable schedule instead of overstretching yourself. *Write quality content* (firstly, try to catch any glaring errors, secondly, use Google Analytics to check your work's performance, it will tell you a lot of the quality and usefulness of your content). Gain audience's trust, so that they can perceive you as an expert. *Become proactive* by checking industry news and trends for inspiration and to understand your audience. Always have your audience in mind and try to come up with a useful, updated content. *Hold yourself to defined standards of conduct and ethical behavior.* In short, try to be the best version of yourself, your own hero and many people will follow you. `3. Join community` Don't stand there alone. There are plenty *Travel Forums* awaiting someone like you! Find travel community that matches you standard and personality. Here you have an example of Forums for Smart Travelers called [LeafCanoe](http://leafcanoe.com/community/) http://leafcanoe.com/community/ where you can meet new people from the industry, get your name known and build your brand as an expert in a topic. In [LeafCanoe](http://leafcanoe.com/community/) community you can offer plenty things of value since the audience is tailored to travelers and travel bloggers with broad range of travel related interests from travel tips and guides, photography, to animal welfare or travel documentaries. *Social media.* It’s obvious but lets say it one more time. You need social media in order to establish a decent social presence and reach your potential fans organically. Share regularly threads in Facebook, Linkedin, Google + groups (pick 3 and stick to those groups). *Attend Travel Blogging Conferences.* Travel blogging conferences are specifically dedicated to travel bloggers, so I find it a great way to excel and do some networking at the same time. Some of them include feature workshops and offer plenty of training experiences helpful in improving your skillset in travel industry. Being a travel blogger is an excellent job for an "one man band" or a "handyman" type of a person. You'd better be good at content creation, social media management or working with brands! If you’re not that good at these yet, don’t worry, it’s important that you’re willing to learn. For those who are interested in attending travel blogging conference, join an industry organizations or simply learn I have few to recommend: [TBEX](http://tbexcon.com/) [PTBA conference](http://travelbloggersassociation.com/) [The Social Travel Summit](http://thesocialtravelsummit.com/) [ITB Berlin](http://www.itb-berlin.de/en/) [WTM London](http://www.wtmlondon.com/) `4. Join in programs helping travel bloggers to monetize their content` Some bloggers create products based on their areas of expertise and sell it to the readers. These could be eBooks or mobile apps or even clothes and gadgets. If you have already or you are willing to produce content of this kind, there's an interesting program that could help you in monetizing it. Check out the brand-new [LeafCanoe Travel Expert Program](http://leafcanoe.com/travel-expert-program/). LeafCanoe's travel expert program searches for travel experts or travel bloggers from all over the world. As a LeafCanoe expert, you will be interviewed and promoted across their online channels and pre-qualified as one of the first merchants who can monetize travel expertise (by selling guides or photographs within [LeafCanoe app](https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/leafcanoe/id951363124?mt=8) and receive a big discount on LeafCanoe merchant service fees. Let me know if you like this post. If you have travelers or travel bloggers among your friends, help them, by sharing this article. LeafCanoe Team