This is the most asked question I get from you guys: “How did you become a travel blogger? And how can I also live this dream?” Read my honest answer in this post:
PART 1: HOW I STARTED TRAVEL BLOGGING – AND HOW YOU CAN DO IT TOO!
If you scroll through your Instagram feed you might feel like travel blogging is the new trend job everyone wants to do. And if you read e-books, instagram captions and blogposts they might tell you that everyone can do it!
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not here to tell you that this is not the case. I just want to show you the reality of how to get a travel blogger and tell you about my personal story which might also be helpful to fulfill your own dream.
HOW I BECAME A TRAVEL BLOGGER
Like all huge changes, this part of my life began when I met a special person. This person was Patrick who today is not only my husband but also the photographer of all our photos and the second part of voyagefox.
When I met him I was a student like him. He always had this hobby to find special deals for flight tickets or strategies about how to book hotels with points.
So only one month after we met, we did our first trip together: A weekend in Barcelona in September 2014. At this point in my life I was only posting private photos on my instagram account to share them with my friends. We really started to love traveling and to take photos. So we decided not to give us any gifts for birthdays or Christmas – instead we planned new travels together and spent almost all of our monthly savings for this passion.
The more we travelled, the more memories and photos we took and one night I had the idea to start a travel blog. My idea was to use it as a diary to collect all these places and write down my experiences. Voyagefox was born!
TURNING A HOBBY INTO OUR PASSION
I changed my instagram handle and started to post only travel related posts. The more my husband learned about how to use flight miles and to collect hotel points, the greater our trips got. We invested in our first camera and I started to play around with Lightroom. We both had no idea what we were doing at this point but watched tutorials about how experts edit their photos and which camera settings work the best.
In November/Dezember 2017 we fulfilled ourselves a huge dream: A trip around the world which was (almost) completely paid with our collected points and miles of the last two years. I remember how I hit 6000 Followers at this time – sitting in our overwater bungalow in Bora Bora. And for some reason I feel like this was the turning point for me: I no longer wanted to do this as a hobby I wanted this to be our life !
INSTAGRAM USERS ARE PICKY
Our photos got more and more attention, I joined groups of other travel bloggers and connected with them. And only a few months later I hit the magical 10k! When I look back at this time I feel like growing on Instagram was a lot easier. It’s difficult to say if this changed because of the algorithm or the enormous competition on this platform nowadays. But people got very picky about for whom they press the Follow Button!
The next months have been a lot of work! I was still studying, working in a bar to earn money, writing blogposts and producing content on a regular basis for instagram.
SO NOW LET’S GET TO THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTIONS:
CAN EVERYONE GET A TRAVEL BLOGGER?
Yes and No. This whole thing is clearly not for everyone. Especially if you’re only doing it TO BE a blogger. You most importantly need the passion, the time to travel, you need a saving to invest in your blog, gear, plane tickets etc. Building up any kind of blog or online presence means putting thousands of hours into something you don’t get money or at least a lot of attention for during the first months and even years. Some days it is frustrating – BUT you need to keep it up!
WHAT ARE THE FIRST STEPS TO GET SUCCESSFUL ?
- Find a style you feel comfortable with and stick to it! This might be a specific way to take photos, to edit them, the stories you are telling, … You have to produce value for your audience and give people this „yes I want to follow this person“-feeling
- Connect with other people from your niche.
I did this by using smaller hashtags of my niche, by commenting regularly on other peoples photos and soon I got invited to groups of other travel bloggers. This can be really helpful if you find a group of people with the same mindset as you: Not only to have a few more people who engage with your photos but more to share value with others, talk about tips, strategies and so on. But be careful: some groups are very superficial – I left any of these ones as soon as I realized it. But others really gave me a lot of knowledge and I connected with amazing creators which I’m very happy about
A little tip: If you don’t want to wait until you get invited to the right group simply create your own one and invite users which fit to you and inspire your work.
- Try to post to your best times and be consistent with it! Find out where most of your followers are from and when they are most likely active! The best way to do this is by changing into a business profile on instagram. And if you really wanna build up your reach it is very important to post high quality content on a regular base. It’s not enough to only post after a trip and skip some weeks after it. If you don’t have enough pictures then go outside and find nice photo spots close to where you live – you will be surprised how much you will find. I also learned not only to do ONE good photo for each place during travels. Try out different poses, outfits, perspective. So you will have some back up pictures you can use a bit later. Maybe you can also create some throwbacks of your favorite travel memories.
- Keep up your momentum! If you notice your reach going up than you reached your momentum and the Instagram algorithm shows your content to more people than usual! It’s important to keep this up as long as possible by posting your BEST content at least once a day. You now have a high chance to hit the explorer page or to “go viral” with a post which will reach a ton of new people.
- Use all Instagram Features! Instagram STORIES are important to connect with your followers and to build a relationship. Maybe show some behind the scenes, special tips, your daily life, … This is how people will start to feel like they know you personally and will more likely engage with your posts!
The new REELS feature is a great way to reach a huge amount of people which aren’t following you yet! Try to combine Reels with your daily posts.
Of course! But you can’t trust on this cause it only happens rarely. I know accounts which got many thousand new followers after their photos went ‚viral‘ in the media (this can be for a good or a bad reason) But in 99,9% of the cases there will be no shortcut for you! It takes a lot of time to find your style, to grow your audience and to get the attention you are striving for.
IS THERE A SECRET RECIPE TO BE SUCCESSFUL?
Not really! Instagram is changing the algorithm constantly! So what works today might not work tomorrow. I had weeks (!) without a single hashtag view without doing anything wrong – my engagement went down so dramatically that I was thinking about giving up. And all of a sudden a photo I posted reached several 100.000 people without doing anything other than before. Still today some of my photos only reach a small amount of my followers while others go viral. But the good thing: Everyone is going through this up and down – it’s normal
A FEW THOUGHTS AT THE END:
We live in a century of endless possibilities. The Internet and social media opened up many doors for all of us and we all have to decide for ourselves if and how we want to use it. Turning your passion into your job has never been so easy but don’t do anything just because you think it would be easy money or fast success – cause it won’t! Everything is not as it seems and especially on Instagram people are only sharing their best moments with you. You don’t see the sleepless nights, the sacrifices a person gave or maybe the destroyed dreams. But I believe that everything in life is happening for a reason. So if you realize that your “dream job” doesn’t make you happy it’s never a shame to change your mind and to try out something new. Everyone has a different story and a different way to go!