11 Successful Tips for Travel Bloggers

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  January 2, 2016 blogging tips πŸ•‘ 11 minutes read
Machete Man in Costa Rica. Not a rifle by my side. Though it could be.

Machete Man in Costa Rica. Not a rifle by my side. Though it could be.

 

Picture a happy go lucky sloth interrupting your breakfast.

 

A low-key, “Caribbean side of Costa Rica” type of sloth.

 

A sloth who makes tortoises look like Usain Bolt.

 

He didn’t interrupt my breakfast by dropping in; sloths do their doo-doo only once weekly, loping down from high in the jungle canopy to drop the kids off in the pool, on the ground.

 

Nope. Rare event, to see this guy on terra firma. BUT….Kelli and I noted him lazing in the trees here on the property grounds of Buena Vista, Costa Rica, as I enjoyed my pasas, corn flakes and azucar. Or, my raisins, corn flakes and sugar.

 

We’re working a 2 month house sit DEEP in the jungles of CR. I mean deep. Miles deep into la selva. No electricity here. Running water from a local stream. Impassable roads around these parts. Especially during a rainy December.

 

Due to the fact that we’re not ultra marathon runners Kelli and I walk into town once weekly to go online for a few hours. We pop in Friday morning. Then Saturday morning. Then, we return DEEP into the jungle for the remainder of the week. To see sloths, Howler monkeys, toucans, Amazon parrots, bullet ants, poison dart frogs, centipedes, scorpions, oropendola, and 1,001 other fascinating, rare creatures.

 

2 Howler monkeys who hung around the house/hut/haha shack in the jungles by Bribri, Costa Rica. I preserved 'em via a photo. But neither belonged to the guilt pee pee party. Capuchin monkeys in a different part of la selva used me as a Simian Toilet, their fine urine mist cascading gently onto my dome as I hiked into town.

Buena Vista, Costa Rica

 

The types of animals you’d never, ever see in most other areas round these parts because hey, we’re in a pretty damn remote spot of a pretty damn remote jungle, way up a hill (my Quadzilla days are back, and perhaps you’ll be able to grate cheese on my abs when all is said and done, after our workouts), in a place with about…um….3 people (me and Kelli, and our neighbor way up the road) amid miles and miles of jungle.

 

If I wasn’t doing at least kinda OK as a travel blogger I could never have taken a house sit like this. Spending 3-4 hours online once a week? No way that’s happening if I’m struggling like hell to get:

 

  • readers
  • subscribers
  • online income popping

 

Ya see my Blogging from Paradise kiddies, I am able to free myself because I have followed these tips. Rocking travel bloggers the world round follow 1, 2 or all 11 of these tips too. The cool thing is, if you’ll just follow these tips you too can have the same freedom we have.

 

You can house sit for months at a time without needing to spend more than a few hours online each week. You don’t have to work shitty volunteer jobs with slave drivers as bosses (heard about these from a few fellow travel bloggers). No need to go home just to build up your travel savings. Nope. Take your income with you. Wherever you go. By rocking out your travel blog.

Follow these tips.

 

1: Tell Your Story in Your Way

 

I have blogged about:

 

  • being attacked by 2 wild men in Kathmandu
  • being accosted by 2 Thai lady boy prostitutes in Bangkok
  • helping someone kill a spitting cobra in Bali
  • My Gollum try outs in India (losing 20 pounds in 10 days and almost dying, and yes, I could have nailed down the part if I lost just THREE more pounds!)

 

These were my stories. Nobody else experienced this stuff as I experienced this stuff. These stories make me 1 in 7 billion. Or however many people grace God’s green earth.

 

Travel bloggers, you may travel to some of the same spots but no 2 stories are alike. Don’t offer a dry, bland take of some spot. Tell your story. Through your own eyes. Hell, even when I was a fairly mediocre blogger I recall telling a pretty entertaining story about a wicked motorbike accident I suffered through in Jimbaran, Bali. From the looks of all the mummies/tourists limping through Bali I suspect 1 to 14,563 other travel bloggers have suffered through motorbike accidents. But I spun my tale from my take. In an entertaining way. Which made me stand out.

 

Write, write and write some more. Allow your personality and voice to ooze through your blog posts. The #1 weapon in your travel blogging arsenal is your story. Tell it! Write it. Speak it. If you want to do this travel blogging thing full time ya gotta tell your special, 1 of a kind stories, in your voice. Write, write and write some more. Have fun writing. Write for the joy of writing.

 

2000 words a day – or more – should do the trick.

 

2: Diversify Your Income Streams

 

Open multiple streams of income like:

 

  • freelance writing
  • blog coaching
  • eBook revenue
  • audio book revenue
  • paperback revenue
  • blog course revenue
  • travel consulting services
  • affiliate income
  • paid tweet revenue
  • sponsored posts
  • ad revenue

 

Newflash; wanna make money blogging through these streams? Create value, make a ton of friends by promoting other travel bloggers and tell your blogging story in your voice. Oh yes, you must have fun if you want to enjoy this journey while establishing a full time income. That tip is coming up later.

 

Fun = Profits. Having fun makes you a playful, detached, creative, innovative, attractive, magnetic blogger. Like flipping through the channels at 2 AM and seeing Cinemax (Skinemax), folks will do a double take as their eyes pop wide open and yep, they’ll spend some time watching the show. You’ll be eye-catching. Your blog will be memorable. You’ll make an impact. Because you had fun and that fun shone through everything you did, blogging-wise.

 

3: Stay Away from Bottom Feeders

 

ONLY surround yourself with successful, full time, happy, fun-loving travel bloggers. Learn their secrets. So you too can become a successful, full time, happy, fun-loving travel blogger. I know one such guy. He now lives as a Mountain Man in the jungles of Costa Rica. Ripped dude too.

 

how to become a successful blogger

Buena Vista, Costa Rica.

 

Hang out with me dudes and dudettes. And hang with my happy commentors. Allow us to LIFT you UP. Let go the vomitous vermin who intend to PULL you DOWN.

 

4: Listen to the Pros

 

Before you trust the advice, check the source.

 

Unless I was REALLY good with Photoshop I pretty much can be trusted as a guy who’s walking his talk. Been on the road for coming up on 5 years now. Full time digital nomad. I live the dream. I’ve spent more time in the tropics than malaria. As a full time blogger. So if I offer advice, it’s probably solid. Since that very advice led me to this wonderful lifestyle.

 

But you may find other travel bloggers who’ve been on the road – on and off – for years. You may want to trust them but in truth, how are they doing? Do they complain about struggling? Are their blogs ghost towns, screaming for comments and communities? Hey we all struggle sometimes. You do however get the feel when someone’s doing pretty well and when someone’s struggling. Don’t buy into income claims; buy into the lifestyle. Kelli and I left NJ for Bali in May of 2011. Other than a month or 2 spent in NJ each year to visit family and friends we have been on the road, blogging from paradise, having retired to a life of island hopping through smart blogging.

 

If that lifestyle sounds kinda envious, be all in. Listen up. Take notes. I know of 1 way, and if that way vibes with ya, you just may retire to a life of island hopping through following these practical, proven tips.

 

5: Create Resources, Not Posts

 

Just last week none other than super star, big shot, high rolling, inspired, demi-god, omnipotent presence Neil Patel referred to me in one of of his blog posts. He explained my rational for writing a resource-style, in-depth, thorough blog post. Although I was happy that my bribe worked it got me thinking; does size really matter? I think so. You *can* write shorter posts and do A-OK but I like to envision aspiring travel bloggers as Googling some search term, seeing my blog, reading a 3,000 or 7,000 word, resource-style, kick ass post, and becoming an instant fan.

 

It’s almost like being served a 7 course meal versus having an appetizer shoved hastily down your throat.

 

Now….these here are *successful* tips for travel bloggers. Meaning if you want to travel the world indefinitely, earning a full time income, so you can travel to wherever you want to go whenever you want to go there (sound sweet?) you’ll do something to stand out from the crowd. Not because you need to do it. But because you’re having so much fun travel blogging that you want to create a resource, something impactful, that gives folks something to chew on.

 

The word count? 2,000 words? Or 7,000? Your call. Not for every post, but for most of them. Because Google loves resource-style posts and readers love them too. Only the bored, impatient or failing reader complains about reading long-form, valuable, insightful, entertaining blog posts. They ain’t your audience anyway.

 

Look at your blog as a collection of resources, masquerading as blog posts. Each post should be 1,000 words minimum. Envision readers Googling some travel-related keyword and seeing your blog. Will you knock their socks off? Will you knock Google’s socks off? Is the latter even possible?

 

6: Build Posture

 

Develop this attitude: everything comes to you. You attract. No chasing. No straining. No striving. No cajoling. No begging. No pleading. No stalking. Don’t be as annoying as crabgrass. Or a bad cold. Have blogging posture.

 

I can hear you now. Really. From the jungle. I have good hearing. β€œArrogant jerk!”, is the phrase you bandy about. How does this guy get off with thinking the world revolves around him? Well…it does. Same deal with you. We are the center of our Universe. We attract. Like bees to honey. Or we repel. Like me to a job. So either you accept this truth, develop a blogging backbone, have blogging balls, and free a lot of folks while having loads of fun or…..you reject this truth. And you join the legions of struggling travel bloggers who have poor or little blogging posture.

 

Taking this approach is humbling, really. Even though I am the center of my own universe I see how the Universe – and not little old me – sets up the scenarios and circumstances to manifest awesome sauce stuff in my life. All I need to do is have fun, create neat things, make buddies and all flows to me with increasing ease. Neat.

 

7: Invest in Insect Repellent

 

I’m being eaten alive now in Buena Vista. Decent insect repellent – Bali L’OCean, it is dubbed – but I need one of those β€œhorrific for the environment but works damn well” mosquito coils to strangle these voracious skeeters.

 

On to the next tip…..

 

8: Pretty Pictures Please

 

Most travel bloggers nail this tip. Some – like the SOM (Silly Old Me) – needed to be bludgeoned over the head with a seal club before I posted ample eye candy on Blogging from Paradise. It’s almost like I needed to be convinced that people love pictures. Which is asinine. Hey, I had problems. Still have some. But letting them go.

 

People love eye candy.

 

Buena Vista, Costa Rica

Buena Vista, Costa Rica

 

People love pictures.

 

1 picture per post usually ain’t gonna cut it because we’re in the specific business of selling a country or city or beach or town or tourist spot, and what better way to sell the spot than by posting big old, eye-popping, colorful, intriguing images to our blogs.

 

People – rightly or wrongly – generally live 99.999999% through their senses. Meaning posting eye-popping images to your blog posts will appeal mightily to 99.99999% of your readers.

 

Think of it this way; we think in pictures. Most folks think images. That’s how we’re designed. Using pretty pictures does your reader’s legwork, making it easier for them to see the picture you’re painting AND bringing them into your experience.

 

If you want a bigger, more engaged, more happy audience, go heavy on pictures.

 

9: Build Your Brand Around You

 

Build your travel blogging brand around you.

 

Before people trust your advice they gotta check the source. You are that source. You’re the lynch pin, the turning point, the foundation around which your blog and brand are built….so…..build your brand around you.

 

10: POP, POP, POP, POP (Promote Other People)

 

Lemme tell you about a failing travel blogger. Named Struggling Sam.

 

Sam asks me what she can do to grow her travel blogging income. How can she become a full time, island hopping fool like myself? What tips, techniques or strategies – including the ONE tip that will make life oh so much easier, the silly fallacy most struggling travel bloggers cling to, that one DOING that will no doubt change your life (doesn’t exist, don’t bother looking for it!) – can Sly Sammy follow to succeed online?

 

None.

 

Really….I mean that. Because if you try to manipulate the situation through acting only on your blog you’ll be taught a grim lesson. One I learned the hard way.

 

That lesson: if you work ONLY on your blog and if you don’t promote other people you may as well write an online diary.

 

Think; other people will:

 

  • read your blog
  • subscribe to your blog
  • buy your eBooks
  • buy your audio books
  • hire you
  • promote you
  • endorse you

 

Without these other people you will make no money online. The money flows from the Universe through people, conditions and circumstances.

 

So….how do you meet these other people?

 

POP.

 

Promote Other People.

 

Or….POTB (doesn’t sound as sweet, I know).

 

11: Pull Your Top Down (Top Down Alignment)

 

Oh stop it. Mind out of the gutter. My bad though. Provocative headline.

 

Here’s the deal: I had to align my blog top down before things got popping here at Blogging from Paradise. Like, if you are about a topic/niche/brand your blog should SCREAM that brand from the top on down. All through the blog. I mean, ALL through the blog. Top down.

 

Forest, San Gerardo de Rivas, Costa Rica

Forest, San Gerardo de Rivas, Costa Rica

 

Align:

 

  • domain name
  • title
  • banner
  • articles
  • pages
  • sidebar
  • footer
  • everything

 

Travel bloggers, align your blog my kiddies. Don’t confuse your audience. Speak a loud, clear message to your readers.

 

Call to Action

 

I am loquacious.

 

Kelli told me that yesterday.

 

Yes I snapped the cover image in Phuket, Thailand. Yes these tips work kinda nicely for ya.

Yes I snapped the cover image in Phuket, Thailand. Yes these tips work kinda nicely for ya.

I REALLY like to gab.

 

So….I decided to indulge in one of my passions – flapping my gums – while inspiring you to build a successful, full time income earning, kick ass blog by creating a detailed, comprehensive audio course for you.

 

As you may have guessed by now this is a fabulous listen for aspiring travel bloggers. Or even for veteran travel bloggers. I break down exactly how you can build a successful blog with my entertaining audio course:

 

Download 11 Fundamentals of Successful Blogging Audio Course (Plus a Bonus Audio Course)

  1. PJ Zafra says:
    at 10:26 pm

    Love this blog post Ryan! You definitely nailed it down. I think any travel blogger who follows these steps will definitely get results. #7 made me lol despite it being so true! I come from the Philippines so yes…that step is critical. Keep it up man. Your blog has definitely evolved. Take care and safe travels!

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 7:24 pm

      PJ MUCH appreciated dude! I ran into many of these roadblocks; figured I may as well get down and dirty to help a fellow blogger out πŸ˜‰

  2. Lionell Jansen says:
    at 3:14 pm

    Hi Ryan, again such a great post. I find myself going back to your blog almost every night. Browsing through all the pages till I see something that grabs my attention. There is so much info you put out there, all people need to do is soak it up like a sponge and apply it to their own blog!

    All the best!
    Lionell

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 3:32 pm

      Hi Lionell,

      I love that πŸ˜‰ Really, it gives me great ideas to keep acting on. Glad and super happy to be of service to you because I just enjoy spreading the love and having fun creating. Thanks!

      Ryan

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