Keys to Actual Travel Blog Success
We chatted with Aiden Joseph, the talented and versatile journalist and writer, and asked him a few questions about WordPress and his travel blog.
Do you need advanced knowledge of WordPress or any other blogging platform to independently manage a website if you’re only starting your blog?
No, you don’t. WordPress is pretty easy to use. Most bloggers figure it out as they go, either by simply playing with it or by finding free, online tutorials.
Do you maintain your blog on your own and if not, what is the breaking point when you realize you need a team to help you?
Yes, I do everything myself. I don’t make enough money to pay anybody. The breaking point would come when I knew that I could afford to pay somebody to do a task and use my freed up a time to do something more profitable. Basically, if you have to turn down paid work because you are too busy, it’s time to get an assistant!
How to choose the perfect niche for the blog?
Ideally, you want to find something you either love, have a real interest in and know something about. It is possible to pick a niche purely per its potential profitability. However, this is usually something only experienced bloggers and marketers know how to do.
How do you keep the balance between too much advertising and earning enough money to make your blog profitable?
It depends on the type of advert. If you are talking about affiliate links which people need to click, then they are pretty unintrusive. Google AdSense, on the other hand, looks horrible and you will need to modify the default settings otherwise it will cover your blog in ugly adverts.
What plugins do you recommend for travel blogs?
I recommend Yoast SEO for all blogs. There are no travel blog-specific plugins that I actually use.
What are your biggest challenges in maintaining a professional travel blog?
It’s hard to keep on making money. The competition is fierce and the dividends usually very minuscule. It’s important to continuously seek out new income opportunities.
How to make sure you have a continuous flow of publishing even when you have limited access to the Internet while traveling?
Easy. Write up a load of content whilst you can. Then, simply schedule it to publish at intervals whilst you are away. Always keep a notebook with you so you can jot down article ideas and begin drafting on long bus journeys etc.
What are the top 3 habits of successful travel bloggers?
One is to be disciplined. Treat it like a work day. Get up in the morning, log on at 9 and put the hours in. Two, regularly publish content. Three, don’t accept too many free trips as your audience will grow to distrust you. The best bloggers rarely ever do these.
What are the most important traffic sources for travel blog beginners and later for established travel blogs?
Search Engine traffic. All other sources are at best peripheral and in my experience, a complete waste of time. Search Engine traffic can deliver you large volumes month after month after month long after your Instagram post that got 100 likes has fallen away.
What was the breaking point when you realized your blog is more than just a hobby?
When I made my first $100 writing a sponsored post. Also when I had to buy an SSL certificate and realized that my blog was going to actually cost me money so it NEEDED to be more a hobby! I actually don’t consider blogging a hobby anymore, it is purely an income strategy for me. Traveling is a hobby but not the blogging part – if I didn’t have to do it I wouldn’t.
About Aidan Joseph
Aiden Joseph is a freelance journalist, content writer and regular contributor for a number of platforms such as Huffington Post and Matador Network. His blog Freeborn Aiden is about adventure travel where he tries to provide a personal experience rather than simply listing things you can do and see in a particular place.
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