So you wanna be a travel blogger? You can do it — here’s how

Editor’s note: Want to be a travel blogger? Almost every day, someone asks me how it’s done. So I’ve decided to spend the next week answering that question. Comments? Please send ’em along or leave one below.

You can launch a travel blog right now, in the time it takes to read this post.

But not so fast! Just like every house needs a blueprint, you don’t want to build without a plan.

The blogosphere is littered with great sites that started with passion and fanfare and then flamed out. Why? They had no foundation, no plan, and ultimately, no reason for being. You don’t want to become a statistic.

I can help.

Before you pick up your mouse, put on your thinking cap. Anyone can write a general travelogue and pick up a few readers, or a few hundred. But true blogging success — which is to say, earning money and having an active and engaged community — is not easy.

Why are you reading this?

Why should you take my word for it? Because I’ve been writing online since 1996. (Check the blog archives if you don’t believe me.) I’ve made every mistake in the book — if, indeed, there were a book — and lived to tell the tale. I’ve suffered zero-revenue years, and have had one or two reasonably good ones.

I know what it takes, and I can help you get there quickly. In fact, I’m about to reveal everything that I know so that you can do it too, if you want to.

There are more than 133 million blogs out there, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a good percentage of them were travel blogs, or had at least a travel component to it. Not to worry, though. Only a fraction of them are updated regularly, and an even smaller number are successful by any measure.

You might luck out and succeed as a general-interest travel blogger. But it’s a crowded field, with lots of big players, and it’s easy to get lost.

You’re much better off finding a sub-niche and having no competition.

How to do it

Everyone is an expert at something. For example, if you’re a business traveler, you may know a lot about every aspect of the travel experience. So do a lot of other really good bloggers. But what do you know the most about? Is it a particular loyalty program? A destination? Maybe you’re good at strategies, like getting an upgrade?

One of the best-known collections of business travel blogs is Randy Petersen’s Boarding Area. Each has its own unique point of view and special knowledge. They have all found their subject matter expertise, and many of them are the only ones who write about their topic with any regularity.

When it comes to travel rights, your choices are pretty much limited to Edward Hasbrouck or Charlie Leocha. Same thing goes for consumer advocacy and travel (um, that’s mine — get yer own!).

But hang on. You want to travel the world, not be stuck in an office poring over fine print. You want travel companies to like you, not avoid your calls. (Welcome to my world.) Even there, the field is still wide open. The trick is finding a genre that fits your area of knowledge. If you have kids, check out Lynn O’Rourke Hayes’ Family Travel site. Solo woman traveler? Look at Journeywoman. Travel photography? Stuck in Customs or Intelligent Travel come to mind.

Point is, you can do this without making everyone hate you.

Now that you found your genre, it’s time to pick the sub-genre. For example, technically Stuck in Customs specializes in HDR photography and Journeywoman doesn’t just cover solo women travelers, but also tours. Drill down until you find a sub-genre where there’s little or no competition. Now you’ve found your topic.

How do you differentiate yourself?

What is the one thing you do better than anyone else? What are you an expert at? If you’ve picked the right topic, you’ll have the passion to make any topic interesting. Notice that I haven’t said anything about the commercial feasibility of your blog. I’m not saying that isn’t important, but for now it’s a secondary consideration.

The reason: If you have a topic that advertisers are interested in, but you aren’t, the blog will fail. I guarantee it. But if you are truly interested in the subject matter, you’ll attract readers and advertisers.

Differentiating yourself means being more interested in the topic than anyone else.

You’re curious. You are always asking questions about the subject, even when no one else is. You’re never leaving well enough alone. Curiosity is infectious. It makes for fascinating reading, too.

You’re passionate. You’ll hear that word a lot — passion. If there’s no burning desire to wake up every morning and blog about your topic, you’ve chosen the wrong subject. Readers can pick up on that, and they’ll stop reading your site if they think you’re not interested anymore.

Damn, you’re good! This is not time for false modesty. If you’ve found your sub-niche, occupy it with your whole body and don’t let anyone else muscle in on your territory. If you’re asked about your topic, respond authoritatively, even if there’s a chance you might be wrong. It is better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.

By the way, travel blogging isn’t for everyone. If you find the right topic, it will find its audience and it will begin to make money and you’ll become a slave to it. The site will take over your entire life. It could define you.

This is the time to ask yourself: Do I really want that? (And “no” is an absolutely acceptable answer — there are plenty of other things you could be doing with your time.)

If you want it, stay tuned. Tomorrow, I’ll reveal the first step to becoming a successful travel blogger.

Underwritten by

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by

With nearly 20 years in the industry, over 128 airport covered in the U.S. and Canada, and over 1,000 Hotel and Parking Partners-we provide travelers the best options on how to get to the airport when flying. Whether you want to; drive yourself and park near an Airport (Airport Parking), stay the night before your flight at an airport hotel and leave your car (Hotel and Parking Package), or take a shared Shuttle/Private Car/Limo to the Airport- we got you covered. The best deals can be found online, and booking a reservation has never been easier. You can explore all of our options by visiting us at,,, and

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Cavalry Travel Insurance

Cavalry takes the worry of out travel by providing 24/7 access to medical and security professionals combined with the best medical evacuation and security extraction services. Cavalry gets you home safely when you need it most. Learn more at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Seven Corners

Seven Corners has helped customers all over the world with travel difficulties, big and small. As one of the few remaining privately owned travel insurance companies, Seven Corners provides insurance plans and 24/7 travel assistance services to more than a million people each year. Because we’re privately held, we can focus on the customer without the constraints that larger companies have. Visit Seven Corners to learn more.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Sodexo North America

Sodexo North America Sodexo North America is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 80 countries. Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food, facilities management and other services that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life for millions of customers in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports and leisure, government and other environments daily. Learn more at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelex Insurance Services

Travelex Insurance Services is a leading travel insurance provider in the United States with over 55 years combined industry expertise of helping people dream, explore and travel with confidence. We offer comprehensive travel insurance plans with optional upgrades allowing travelers to customize the plans to fit their needs. Compare plans, get a quote and buy online at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by AirHelp

AirHelp is the world’s leading flight delays compensation company, helping passengers apply for compensation following a delayed or canceled flight or when boarding has been denied. It is AirHelp’s mission to fight for passenger rights by holding airlines accountable for flights disruptions that are out of passengers’ control. AirHelp has already helped 5 million people, taking the stress out of applying for compensation and making it as hassle-free as possible for travelers around the world.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Allianz Travel Insurance

The Allianz Travel Insurance company has built its reputation on partnering with agents all around the world to provide comprehensive travel insurance for their clients. Contact Allianz Travel Insurance for a comprehensive list of coverage.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Chubb

Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company, and recognized as the premier provider of insurance for successful individuals and families in the U.S. and selected international markets, offering coverage for high-value automobile, homeowners, recreational marine/aviation, valuables and umbrella liability coverage. As an underwriting company, Chubb assesses, assumes and manages risk with insight and discipline, and combines the precision of craftsmanship with decades of experience to conceive, craft and deliver the best insurance coverage and services to individuals, families and business of all size.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Fareportal

Fareportal’s portfolio of brands, which include  CheapOair and  OneTravel, are dedicated to helping customers enjoy their trip. Whether you want to call, click, or use one of our travel apps, one thing is clear: We make it easy to take it easy.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by

An independent provider of low cost CDW/LDW insurance for use with rental cars. Up to $100,000 cover with no deductible. Policies available on a per day, per trip or per year basis. Also works with overseas rentals. Try  Insuremyrentalcar.comnow.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by

Since its inception over three decades ago, G1G has continued to revolutionize the travel insurance industry by being the only aggregator to operate a customer portal, placing all of the user's primary needs in one place. We have continued to innovate and disrupt the market by reimagining the way travel insurance can be delivered to the end user in ways no competition can. Simply put, no one knows the market as well as its founders and no one else shares G1G values and mission.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Mediacom Communications

The nation’s fifth-largest cable operator, serving the smaller cities and towns in the Midwest and Southern regions of the United States. We are a high-performance broadband, entertainment, and communications company that brings the power of modern technology and quality customer experience to life inside the connected home by combining ultra-fast gigabit speeds with personalized local and over-the-top entertainment choices that fit your lifestyle. Details at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Arch RoamRight

Arch RoamRight is one of the fastest growing, most-highly rated travel insurance companies in the United States. Travel advisors love working with us, and travelers feel protected with our trip cancellation and travel medical insurance coverage. We also make it easy to file a claim online with our fast, paperless claims website. Learn more about RoamRight travel insurance.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Virtuoso

The leading global network for luxury and experiential travel. This invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency locations with 17,500 advisors in over 45 countries, and holds preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world’s finest travel companies. Virtuoso advisors collaborate with their clients to create personalized itineraries featuring exclusive perks, while also providing advice, access, advocacy, and accountability. For more information, visit

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by VisitorsCoverage

As a company that is constantly striving to simplify travel insurance, VisitorsCoverage, is on a mission to help travelers make the better decisions about purchasing travel insurance, quickly. VisitorsCoverage has helped millions of travelers globally to buy the suitable travel insurance and explore the world with confidence. Get insurance for your next trip at  VisitorsCoverage. Lowest Price Guaranteed.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by MedjetAssist

Medjet is the premier global air-medical transport, travel security and crisis response membership program for travelers. With a MedjetAssist membership, if you become hospitalized more than 150 miles from home, we will get you from that unfamiliar hospital all the way home to the hospital you trust. All you ever pay is your membership fee. MedjetHorizon members add 24/7 personal security and crisis response benefits. readers enjoy discounted rates. Travel safer with  MedjetAssist.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Southwest Airlines

The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by makes it fast and easy to compare and buy travel insurance online from top rated providers. Our unbiased comparison engine allows travelers to read reviews, compare pricing and benefits and buy the right policy with a price guarantee, every time. Compare and buy travel insurance now at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Squaremouth

Squaremouth helps travelers easily and instantly compare travel insurance policies from all major providers. Only companies that meet the strict requirements of Squaremouth’s Zero Complaint Guarantee are available on the website. Compare policies on to save over 70 percent on your next purchase.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travel Leaders Group

Travel Leaders Group is transforming travel through its progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Travel Leaders Group assists millions of travelers through its leisure, business and network travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands including All Aboard Travel, Andrew Harper Travel, Colletts Travel, Corporate Travel Services, CruCon Cruise Outlet, Cruise Specialists, Nexion, Protravel International,, Travel Leaders Corporate, Travel Leaders Network and Tzell Travel Group, and its merger with ALTOUR. With more than 7,000 agency locations and 52,000 travel advisors, Travel Leaders Group ranks as one of the industry’s largest retail travel agency companies.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelers United

If you’ve been mistreated by the airlines, Travelers United is your voice in Washington. Join the #1 travel advocacy organization working with Congress to improve and protect travelers. Plus, get $400 of annual benefits you can use for travel for only $29/year. Add your voice to ours. Make travel better.  Join today.

Send this to a friend