Start A Travel Blog - Day 5

Welcome back for Day 5!

You made it to Day 5!
Before we get into the instruction for today, make sure you have completed all the steps on Days 1, 2, 3, and 4.

At this point you should be through these steps:
If you’ve skipped any of these steps, go back and do them first because today’s coursework builds on the previous steps.
Today, we are going to finish these steps:
  • Step 13: Write a list of your first 5-10 blog posts
  • ​Step 14: Let us know that you finished all the steps!
Today we’re going to be talking about photography, video, and writing for your new travel blog.
Professional travel blogs today are more than just written text. A quality travel blog will contain photos, videos, and written content.

Photography, Video, and Writing are skills that you will hone over time. Don’t expect yourself to be perfect in any of these areas right at the beginning. And that’s OK!

Many of the best bloggers we know are a work in progress. They share real content in all formats.
Some may excel in certain areas and lag behind in others.

The key is to find a format that works for you and constantly work to improve your content.
The better the content you can provide to your blog visitors, the more likely they will be to come back and become a permanent part of your community.

Photography for Travel Bloggers

Photos tell a story sometimes that words simply cannot. If you'll notice on our site It's A Lovely Life, our travel posts are very photo heavy. This is what our readers want.

Photos evoke emotions. It is your job as a travel blogger to continuously work on your photography skills. Some people are highly skilled photographers while others are a work in progress.

The good news is that modern photography equipment and editing tools make the process of presenting quality photos easier than ever.

Here are my top recommendations for beginners in photography:
  • Take LOTS of photos
  • ​Experiment with different angles
  • ​Don't be afraid to fail
  • ​Use PicMonkey or Lightroom to edit your photos.
  • ​Make them as bright and colorful as possible without making them look fake or over-processed.
  • ​Use the best equipment you have available at the moment. If all you have is your cell phone, then shoot with that. Of course, if you have an expensive DSLR with you it will be better to use that. My point is if it is not practical to lug your big DSLR with you on a hike, just take the photos with your cell phone.
  • ​Should you break the bank and buy a $2,000 camera before you start travel blogging? I guess this really depends on your budget. But, it is absolutely not necessary to have this type of setup to get started. As your travel blog grows, you might want to consider investing in your equipment to continually step up your game.

Video for Travel Bloggers

Now onto video... Video is becoming more important every day in the travel blogging world.

Some travel bloggers shy away from using video, but we really believe it is important to integrate video into your site. We have booked numerous opportunities simply because destinations liked our video content.
Video also does a great job of connecting you with your community and getting them to come back. A couple of years ago, we began integrating travel vlogs into our travel coverage. The response has been amazing....we just wish we would have started it sooner.

Everyone has their own style for video, but to get an idea of our vlog style, you can see a couple of example videos:

    One last note about video. You may be able to really add to your content if you have a quality drone. This is not necessary by any means, but it is a growing area that travel bloggers are starting to use. Just food for thought!
    As for equipment, here is a link to additional information about video. It lists the specific equipment that we use to shoot our videos.

    Photography and Video can be extensive courses on their own. I've found that people are all over the place in their skill and experience in these areas. If you are new to photography and video, just practice as much as you can. Before you know it, you will be a pro!

    Writing for Travel Bloggers

    Writing your blog can be fun and rewarding especially when you are writing about travel.

    We want you to keep in mind that it may not be necessary to write in “The King’s English”...meaning a lot of writing these days is done in a style which allows your personality to shine through. Most readers want to feel a connection to you and having your own writing style will deepen that connection.

    Your writing style is something that will define itself over time. Don’t worry too much about being perfect from the start. It takes time and practice to get really good at something, so the quickest way to get there is to simply get started now.

    If you are not the best writer, here are a few things you can do that will still help you make it as a blogger:
    • You can put a larger emphasis on photos and/or video. Instead of long 1000+ word posts, you can make them image or video heavy and concentrate on writing descriptions of the media.
    • ​You can have your blog posts edited by a friend or family member. It is easy to type up your posts on a Google Doc and then you can share them with your “editor” helper so they can fix any mistakes or suggest changes
    • ​We use a tool called Grammarly. This is a browser extension that suggests changes based on proper grammar. It catches a lot of would-be mistakes for us, but it is not free.

    Make a list of your first 5-10 Blog posts

    One of the biggest things that holds new bloggers back from making progress is creating their first blog posts.
    This step will help you avoid that. 

    Simply make a list of 5-10 blog post titles that you would like to write for your new travel blog. Then, when you are ready to start creating your content, you can immediately begin chipping away at this list.

    Before you start reaching out to potential travel blogging partners, the first thing you need to do is to have your site completed with enough content that will make it look respectable. I always say that you should have 10-20 posts written on a site for it to be considered complete. Until you have this many posts, I would refrain from sharing all your posts or reaching out to potential travel partners (resorts, hotels, attractions, etc.). It is still important to publish your posts as soon as they're completed. You just won't start actively sharing about them yet on social media.

    You also need to have the major pages of your site completed and your site needs to look good as well!

    This may mean some long nights, but if you focus, you can get these blog posts created and major pages done so your site looks like it is complete.

    Many bloggers will write 5-20 new posts a month or more. These days it is about quality rather than quantity, but to really stand out, you will need both….at least at first. When you have an expansive library of posts already completed on your site, you can begin scaling back the number of new posts each month.

    As a travel blogger, you’ll probably want to start reaching out to hotels, resorts, and attractions to get your travel comped (free). We’ve put together another free training that will walk you through this.
    It’s an hour long video that you can watch on-demand, but it will show you we line up most of the travel opportunities for our blog.

    Let us know that you finished all 14 steps!

    You’re not done yet!

    There is one final step you need to take in order to fully complete this course.

    Thankfully, it’s a pretty simple one!

    All you need to do is CLICK THIS LINK and start a new post in the Facebook group with #celebrate when all 14 steps are complete. That’s it! Click the button below to go to the thread.
    So, if you made it through this whole course and completed all 14 steps, it’s time to make it official. Comment “Done” here so we can acknowledge your hard work!!
    I just want to take a quick moment to recap how blogging has impacted our lives.
    Blogging affords us opportunities as a family that simply would not have been possible without it. A few years ago we began blogging extensively about travel as this is something we really love to do as a family.
    We regularly travel over 150 days a year as a family. These destinations have included: Turks & Caicos, Cancun (3 times), Hawaii (4 times), A 19 Day Tour of Florida, A Dude Ranch in Tucson, Aruba, Jamaica, Virginia, Maryland, Austin, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin Dells, Colorado Springs, Park City Utah, all over California, and many more wonderful places. We were “hosted” on all of these trips and were even paid to take some of these trips in exchange for coverage on the site.
    Most importantly, I am able to be there for my family all of the time. I work on my own schedule ...I never have to miss a game, a school event, or stress about missing work when they are sick or need me. I am my own boss, and I decide everything about my business.

    And I’m sure you have joined the Facebook group by now, but if for some reason you haven’t, the time is now! We’d love to see you there. You’ll pick up some great information and hopefully meet some other like-minded bloggers that will be able to help you along in your journey.

    I hope you truly enjoyed the Start A Travel Blog - 5 Day Crash Course. We will stay in touch as we have new information to share.

    As you can imagine, even though your travel blog is now started, much of the work is still ahead of you. This course (and taking the 14 steps in this course) laid the foundation for your travel blog. It’s time to start building on that foundation to create something amazing!

    Just know that we are here to help you build that amazing blog!

    We have numerous programs that can take you much further in your blogging business:
    Each month we run a FREE 10k Traffic Challenge in the Start A Blogging Business Facebook Group (our other Facebook group). 

    The goal of this challenge is to show you techniques and strategies to build your blog traffic. We’ve also set it up in a way that will help you connect with other bloggers on the same journey as you!
    Are you ready to take things to the next level? Consider signing up for our flagship training program, Blogging Blastoff, when it is open for enrollments. This one of a kind training will really supercharge your results. We extensively focus on making money, growing your traffic, building your social media accounts, structuring your business properly, and much more. You name it, it's in there! 

    Do you need a higher level of service and learning? Then the Blogging Mastermind Experience may be exactly what you need. This is 7 weeks of advanced blogger training, weekly live group video calls with us (Heather & Pete), live in-person events twice a year, and more.
    Or, maybe you are interested in travel blogging. This is an area of blogging that we love and allows us to travel 150 days a year. Travel blogging has a lot of unique things about it, so we put together a specialized free training that will show you how we use email to pitch for comped travel opportunities. If you’re interested in travel blogging, then this is can’t miss content. Watch the free training here.
    © Copyright 2019. It’s a Lovely Life® – by Sale Pros Corp, Pete & Heather Delaney Reese.
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