When diving into this wild world of blogging I had no idea what I was doing and maybe you don’t either. But that’s okay, everyone has to start somewhere. I talked a lot about this in my previous post where I delve into the mistake’s I’ve made on my journey to becoming a successful travel blogger. If you haven’t read the article you can find it here. So how do we find and why do we need great resources for travel bloggers?
I found myself being capitulated into a foreign land with no idea where to start. Learn photography? Learn SEO? Learn Social Media? Successful Travel Blogging takes time and with so much to learn it can be overwhelming. I always knew I wanted to learn the skills to become an amazing blogger. But, I also knew I needed some resources in order to learn! Make sense? I personally felt like I required some teaching because quite frankly I’m a nurse with ZERO marketing, social media, computer or photography experience. Lucky for me, although it’s been slow, over the course of the last year I’ve found some amazing resources that have stepped my blog up a level. In this post, I can’t wait to share my must-have resources for travel bloggers.
Must-Have Resources for a Travel Bloggers
I want to share these resources with you in this post so that you can look into using them too. But how can you trust me? Well, that’s for you to decide but I will say this. I’m an authentic travel blogger telling you how it is. Travel Blogging is hard and one year on I’m only just starting to see results. That isn’t because I’m not very good at it, as a matter of fact, I’m a great travel blogger, it’s because unless you’ve got prior experience or A LOT of time on your hands then travel blogging is hard. It takes time to build an audience, to find a balance between blogging, work and your social life, to realise what you want to write about, to learn all the technical jargon and huge commitment.
I’ve muddled my way through so many resources for travel bloggers, free and paid, over the last year and believe me, they are not all on this list. The resources I’m sharing with you today are only resources that have either helped improve my own skill set or brought actual results to my blog. I’ve also included some equipment that I use as a travel blogger, mainly my photography equipment. You really don’t need anything except wifi to be a travel blogger. But, I will admit spending a little on my blog has made a huge improvement to my website and social media presence.
Please note that there are affiliate links in this post. So if you choose to purchase anything using these links then I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you – so thank you from the bottom of my heart!
A Note on Blogging Courses
Note: In this section, I’m talking about blogging courses that provide ‘everything’ SEO, social media tips, help in setting up a blog, help in collaborating with brands etc – The full package if you like.
Do you need to take a blogging course to become a successful travel blogger? Of course, you don’t! There is so much information out there on the world wide web and of course YouTube, to help build a blog from scratch without ever having to buy a course. That said, I do think a blogging course can be helpful! There are numerous courses out there sold by hundreds of bloggers and it can be overwhelming again when figuring out who to trust and hand over your hard earned cash too. My fear has always been that they are only going to tell you what you already know. Which for some bloggers is completely true they will only tell you the basics of how they’ve come to be successful, but that definitely doesn’t go for everybody.
I’ve bought 3 blogging courses in my one year of blogging and I currently only find myself using one now. The only blogging course I pay for now is Travel Blog Prosperity lead by Jessica Festa who runs Jessie on a Journey. I spoke in a little more detail as to how I came to enrol on this course in my previous post.
Travel Blog Prosperity
In the last year, this has been the most useful course when it comes to travel blogging courses that I’ve found. Packed full of valuable information on all things blogging I couldn’t have been more amazed by the value for money that this course offers! If you’re serious about travel blogging then this course might be for you! Travel Blog Prosperity is a monthly membership course with a new course collection added every month. Jessie teaches strategies about SEO, Branding, Working with Brands, Social Media Strategies, Ads, Legal Tips and so much more! The teachings vary from videos, written content, email templates and guest teachers!
My favourite part about Travel Blog Prosperity is the vast amount on the knowledge that Jessie shares on monetising a travel blog, the sharing of collaborative opportunities and the course collection on working with brands. As a new travel blogger out there it can be hard to know where to start but it’s thanks to Travel Blog Prosperity that I’ve started seeing real results on my blog. No other online blogging course has been able to do this for me. Aside from the course itself, the community is also wonderful. We have our own mastermind groups where we hold each other accountable for reaching our blogging goals and of course it’s a great place to make new friends!
Resources to Master the Science of Blogging – Let’s Get Technical
Learning the technical side of blogging is something you should do as soon as you decide to start a blog. I’m talking learning about things like search engine optimisation, plug-ins, choosing a decent theme, having a back-up programme installed on your blog, focusing on site speed and well the list could go on but here are my favourite resources when it comes to understanding and learning about ‘blogging’ in technical terms:
Make Traffic Happen – This website run by successful bloggers Gemma and Laura is jam-packed with useful information and SEO tips! If you want to really focus on SEO and ramping up that traffic then these girls are vessels of valuable information!
Keywords Everywhere – A free google chrome extension to research keywords for your blog posts. A cheaper option than Key search.
Yoast SEO Plug-in for WordPress – A dedicated SEO plug-in that will help you optimise your posts for Google. I just use the free version, I don’t know a lot of bloggers who use premium.
Co-schedule Headline Analyser – Another free tool to help create killer headlines for blog posts. Check it out here.
GTmetrix – Analyses website speed, check your speed here.
W3 Total Cache – WordPress plugin to improve the performance of your site – I noticed a huge difference in site speed once I started using this plugin!
Updraft Plus – For backing up your WordPress site, I didn’t think was important at first but then I updated a plugin and lost two posts from my site – always back up! You can take a look at Updraft Plus here.
Creative Market – Browse the Creative Market here for amazing WordPress themes!
Fiverr – Having a professional logo goes a long way when it comes to branding a blog! Alicia Overseas recently got a new logo which has had a lot of awesome praise (thank you!). When I need a new logo or design I always use Fiverr. Fiverr have thousands of graphic designers at an affordable price! Access Fiverr Here
Resources for Travel Bloggers – Marketing/Social Media
Other than writing and creating content the most important aspect of running a blog is marketing. I didn’t realise how much marketing would be involved when I started Alicia Overseas. The majority of time is spent spreading the word about the content I’m creating. Most of the marketing from a travel blog comes from social media and it can be overwhelming. Social media doesn’t just end with Facebook anymore there are so many other platforms. It can be exhausting! AND let’s be honest, most travel bloggers have full-time jobs. It can be a struggle to try fit everything in! There a few resources that I swear by when it comes to social media marketing:
Scheduling Resources for Travel Bloggers
Tailwind for Pinterest – If you invest in one thing for marketing your travel blog then let it be Tailwind! Tailwind is a Pinterest approved scheduling platform that lets you schedule pins in advance. It’s the tool that has lead to a huge increase in traffic. As well as being able to Schedule Pinterest pins you can also join Tailwind Tribes and get your content to a wider audience across the world! Tailwind is my favourite scheduling platform hands down.
Whilst on the topic of Pinterest if you aren’t using it for your blog you are doing yourself and business a huge injustice. Pinterest isn’t a social media platform it’s a search engine. So when people make a search you want to make sure your blog post is coming up in the results! If you aren’t using Pinterest then how can it?
Pinterest is where most of my traffic comes from but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a strategy to it which is my next course comes in. Pinterest with Ell is a course created by successful blogger Lauren who runs Ellduclos and Boss Girl Bloggers. This affordable Pinterest course it 100% worth investing in. Going through this course took my Pinterest account from 10K monthly views to 250K monthly views in a matter of weeks. Learn how to create a killer Pinterest strategy that actually converts to website clicks here!
Tweetdeck: Tweetdeck is a free scheduling platform ran by Twitter. It lets you schedule tweets in advance. Where I don’t recommend doing this a lot because I view Twitter as a real-time conversational platform. But, I do like to schedule a couple of Tweets promoting a couple of blog posts.
Just in case you didn’t know you can time your WordPress posts to schedule in the future! This way if you have a trip or some time you know you can’t post, you can do it in advance and get it to post automatically.
Facebook also have their own scheduler where you can schedule posts to post automatically in the future. Again a little like Twitter I don’t use this often but I do use it to promote some blog posts every now and again.
I don’t use any scheduler for Instagram and DO NOT RECOMMEND IT. There isn’t an Instagram approved scheduler out there and it is not recommended to use any automated service for Instagram. The tool I do use to plan my content is Planoly. Planoly is an app where you can upload and organise your photos mainly to see how to the aesthetics of your photographs fit with each other.
For social sharing on my site, I personally use Sumo. You can customize the sharing buttons but my favourite is the sharing bar.
These resources make my marketing life a whole lot easier! As a travel blogger, it can be overwhelming to know where to go to get the best resources. These are only a few of what I feel are amazing resources to use. This isn’t an exhaustive list of the resources I use but they are the most important and the ones that bring real results to my blog. I made this list in the hope that it might help someone out so, if it speaks to you or you invest in some of these resources for travel bloggers then please let me know!
I can’t believe we are almost done with my mini-blogging series! I have one more post to publish next week, how one year of travel blogging has completely changed my mindset. It’s going to be a pretty personal post which I’m excited to share. Travel blogging has done so much for me over the last year from learning new skills to making new friends, I owe it so much. But for now, if you enjoyed this post then please share it with your friends!
Happy and Healthy Travels