These days it seems like everyone has a travel blog. If you’re researching tips about travelling to your next destination, you’re just as likely to end up on a personal travel blog than Lonely Planet or Trip Advisor.
I have to confess, I was a terrible blogger when I was travelling. I started out with promise and wrote detailed posts complete with checklists and photographs before I left the UK, but once I was actually on my travels I was having far too much fun to blog.
I do regret this now as I know it would have been an amazing resource for me in so many ways. I read back through the few entries I did write and I’m immediately transported back to the chaotic markets of India and the majestic mountains of Nepal.
Not convinced yet? Here are 10 great reasons why you need to start a travel blog today:
1. It’s a great way of planning your trip
You don’t even need to be travelling to start a travel blog. Blogging can be a great way of planning your next adventure or even just daydreaming about the places you’d like to visit one day.
There is so much free information available on travelling, but it easily gets confusing trying to remember which site had the location guide or maps you need to plan your next trip. Writing your own blog is an easy way to compile all the most useful information in one place and you can inspire yourself by including amazing photos of the places you plan to visit.
2. It gives you a fun way to re-live your adventures when your travels are over
Photos only tell so much of the story. If you want something you can look back on and that will prompt you to remember all the little details that made your travels special, journaling is the only way to go.
Of course, paper journals are great too and I would recommend you do both. It’s much easier to insert whole albums of photos into a blog entry than it is to try and paste them into a paper journal. Plus, blogs are designed to be easily categorized and searched so if you want to bring up all your posts about Thailand, for example, you can do so in an instant.
3. It makes it easy to stay in touch with friends and family back home
Sending out emails to all your friends and family quickly gets boring, plus you’ll probably find yourself sending the same generic email to everyone anyway. Why not cut out the hassle and just direct them to your blog for regular updates?
4. It’s a good way of connecting with other travellers
As other people come across your posts when researching their own adventures, they’ll often connect with you by leaving a comment or sending you an email. It not only feels great to know that others are reading your words and you’re providing a service, but it can be a great way to make new friends.
When you meet new people you can also direct them towards your travel blog as well as exchanging emails and Facebook details and they’ll be able to continue along with you on your travels, even if you end up going in opposite directions.
5. You can get some great freebies
Once your blog has started getting a bit of traffic and you’re getting more followers on twitter and Facebook, you’ll probably find that you are contacted by several companies offering you their products or services for free.
The reason for this is that bloggers can reach thousands of people a month and it is much more cost-effective for companies to let bloggers spread the word about them than to rely on traditional advertising
Freebies for travel bloggers can range from everything from travel gadgets and gear to free flights and stays in 5-star hotels.
6. Your blog can make you money to fund your travels
Again, once your blog has achieved a decent following you may find you can make a not-insubstantial amount of money from it. Popular blogs can make thousands a month in income from advertising, sponsored posts and affiliate links. Even smaller blogs may find they can raise enough cash for a coffee or beer here and there – not to be sniffed at when you’re travelling on a tight budget!
7. It can form the basis of your writing or web design portfolio
Once your savings have run out, you’ll need some other way to fund your travels and if you can’t rely on income from your blog, providing a service as a freelancer is one of the easiest ways to do this.
There are lots of websites set up to connect freelancers with potential clients, but if you want to be in with a chance of getting that job, you’ll need some good examples of what you can do.
Your very own blog can act as a portfolio, demonstrating your writing style, or showing off your design skills if you built it yourself. It can also be a good idea to put a “Hire me!” link on your blog, for anyone who stumbles across it who may be looking for a freelancer.
8. It gives you an opportunity to reflect on what you’ve experienced
Travelling can be pretty intense and overwhelming and if you don’t take the time to decompress and think back over your experiences, it can all get a bit much. You’re probably doing this anyway in emails and phone calls to friends back home, but writing for yourself gives you the chance to focus on the details that are important to you and put your own spin on your travel memories.
9. It gives you the opportunity to make a difference in the world
Have you seen something while travelling that tugs your heartstrings and makes you think, “I wish I could help more”? Maybe a poverty stricken village in India, an orphanage in Vietnam or the plight of street kids in Indonesia.
Blogging gives you the chance to be your very own reporter and let the world know about these things. Whether your aim is to get people to donate to a charity, find more volunteers, or simply to spread awareness, writing online is one of the easiest ways to reach a massive audience.
10. You can inspire others to do the same
It really is heart-warming to receive emails from people who say that your blog has inspired them so much, they are planning a trip of their own. Look at the travel blogs you read and how they have inspired you to visit new places or simply appreciate your own travels that little bit more.
An inspiration is a wonderful thing to be.