How to start and grow a travel blog in India
Travel blogging is a tedious job even if your heart is into it. It requires time, money and energy to step out for extended periods of time gathering new content that has not already been published by other bloggers. If we look back a few years, there were only a few travel bloggers in India. But in recent times, as most of India got on the Internet, the number of travel bloggers has increased significantly.
The travel niche has also seen a divide in terms of blogging. There are now food bloggers covering local restaurants and hotels, there are bikers covering routes between cities, hikers and locals who keep you updated with nearby places and events.
So how do you compete in such a vast market? Not to mention the travel agencies who have people on payroll writing detailed blogs of places they personally went to and researched about. As a beginner, you may or may not have the luxury to visit every single place and get unique pictures and content. However, there are other ways to start and grow a travel blog in India that can give an edge over others.
Let’s take a look at travel blogging at a microscopic level and see how things work out in India.
How to start and grow a travel blog in India from scratch
1. Choose your platform
Now in 2019, I don’t believe that you can consider blogging as having your own website and writing your views in your personal space. Blogging has outgrown that definition now and can be done on a platform that may not be specifically for writing articles.
For example- Instagram has become a hub for travel bloggers, not all of them need to have a personal website to write content. However, they have Instagram’s post description option where can write as much as they like and express their views. At the end of the day, all you want is to get point across.
If you are interested in starting your website, you must dedicate a lot of time to it for activities such as SEO, content optimization and backup etc. For that, you will need time which is hard for a travel blogger. But if you are interested, you can easily make a website of WordPress or Blogger.
2. Study the Platform
If you want to master anything, you need to study it first. Internet works in mysterious ways and you don’t know what will go viral and suddenly change everything. But it will most definitely be unique content and some smart work. Remember, on the Internet, smart work pays off really well in the long run. So, let’s talk about two mediums right now, social media and website.
1. Social Media
Every social media platform has a different way of representing content and even the audience has a different mindset of perceiving it. On Instagram, you need to post good quality images and on Facebook, you can speak your mind in statuses, same on twitter. Using relevant hashtags on Instagram is necessary to get more reach and views. In order to properly use them, you need to study hashtags and find out the popular ones. We are compiling a set of best hashtags that you can use right away, so check them out here.
Running a website is a bit more complicated. You need to learn about digital marketing. Sometimes you might have to write about topics outside your ideas just for getting more views. It takes a lot of time and costs money for buying a domain and hosting. It can be slow in getting results as well. However, once your website picks up, you can expect ad revenue and divert traffic to your social media as well.
3. Create Unique Content out of Thin Air
There are no rules to travel blogging and new content may be just around the corner, literally. What’s important is to create new content on a schedule, and possibly every day. Regularity is more important in the eyes of social media algorithms than you might think. If you’re not able to find anything unique, putting up interesting stories on Instagram or Facebook can serve the purpose.
So, how do you make unique content every day?
Cover your locality. It’s as simple as that. Cover events happening around you. Ask your friends who went to those events to click some pictures if you can’t go personally. Think of ideas that are never done before like do reviews of places that noone has covered, it can be your local barber shops or gyms etc.
4. Become a face and not a brand
This advice goes out to everyone with a blog trying to get a point across to your audience. People love to see a face than a brand logo as people have a desire to relate with someone who is doing what they like and gives them hope to do the same. A brand is not so relatable since the audience knows they are trying to sell something to them.
5. Use local apps to get more following
When I say local apps, I mean the apps that are trending in India except for the general ones like Instagram and Snapchat. You can use zomato to put reviews of restaurants you visited and similarly on Trip Advisor. You can leave your blog link on these apps and people who like your reviews may like to read your blog as well. Magicpin, Trell and Roposo can be used to post updates about your journey. Here are some apps that can help you reach out to the Indian audience specifically-
1. Trip Advisor
These are basically just some tips to get you started and guide you through the process. Creating a blog, not just travel, requires dedication and discipline. Your audience expects consistency and unique content from you, so get into blogging only if you can take out time from your schedule for it.