The Truth: How To Start a Travel Blog and Make Money in 2020

These days people excitingly started looking for bootstrap ways on how to start a travel blog and how to make money online. Could be the COVID issue, or a shift on how any type of business will be conducted in the future, or both.

Hot Tip: If you think that this is another post with the same old advice, then it is best to read more. This post shows the essence of what you really need to have in mind. All we claim, we do with success for many years now.

To start any blog, you need to have something to say or you are interested in learning about a subject and want to share your knowledge and findings. Wanting -being eager if you like- to share, is fundamental to keep you going. It is a constant reminder of why you engage in anything.

It is a great incentive when you really want to share things people want to find out about.

To make money from a blog (or any business), you need ways to monetize and something to exchange for money.

What you exchange will be either your time or a product (physical or digital). Eventually, you definitely monetize your time as when you create something you put the time in doing it.

Your time is deducted from your life. So, you exchange a (big) portion of your life for money. It may sound harsh but that is the case. You sleep for 8 hours, you work for another 8-10 and you allocate for the rest for all other things in life that matter to you.

You seek to turn your passion/idea into something that brings money to the table, by building something that you actually create and own. I mean, participating in a multi-level affiliate scheme can bring you money, but you never own or control the product, right? You put all that investment in time and money and if the product providers stop the product, you end up with nothing.

What is best to do? It is best to not waste your time and -instead- to exchange your time for the best possible outcome. That outcome may be more money, experiences, knowledge, love, appreciation, recognition, and whatever is important for you.

How you make the best of your time? By learning the things that help you not to waste most of your time and -instead- make the best of it.

We also want free and quality time. We tested, paid for, and tried lots of things. Carrying more than 17 years in digital marketing with our existing DM business (ChannelDoubler UK) helped us with all that.

Keep on reading.

Our Story

All the desire to build a great source of income and have something you actually own and love is perfectly understood. We started like that. We have a “boutique” digital marketing business for the last 17 years and this travel blog since 2015.

Our desire back in 2014, was to be able to work from anywhere while enjoying as much in life as possible. Thus, we extended our knowledge in digital marketing by sustaining our main business and expanding it with a travel content site (meaning this blog).

We started our digital marketing courses (back in 2011) and we had the luck and time to run them for a few years. They went great; especially the offline classes (that was still the preferred “norm” in 2011).

We served scheduled classes for large organizations, on top of our online program. Some of these classes were tailor-made digital marketing courses that lasted for months, with daily 5-hour sessions, 5 days per week.

During that time, our focus was the same. To be able to have different sources of income. Well, 2020, proved that we were right with a bang. Our plan to be office-free was achieved in 2015.

Having an additional digital business (ChannelDoubler Digital) also helped us a lot with not losing income in 2020. Keep this in mind as an extra monetization method, after reading this post.

All our clients and associates are spread all over the world, while we pay very few pounds to rent a brick-and-mortar address.

We get new clients every month (for both this travel blog and our digital marketing business) and some of them have never seen our physical presence, except “meeting” through skype and zoom.

Our decision to invest more in delivering quality eLearning courses was both business and pleasure. To be honest, we love the process of passing knowledge to others and the actual interaction with people helping them to learn more. It seems natural to us.

You can’t teach something if you don’t love sharing knowledge. Keep that for your own business too. If you love to share knowledge with others and that helps them to move better in life then a content website (blog) is an ideal business for you.

All these can be done through a content website. For that you need:

  • The passion to share and help
  • The knowledge to share
  • The tools and knowledge on how to do all that

Let’s see what you need to have in mind.

How Not to Start a Travel Blog: The Traps

To start any online business, you need knowledge on how to start right. There is knowledge now that was not available 5-7 years ago. Start right or prepare to lose lots of money and time. Sounds a bit harsh? Maybe, but that is how things are with any business.

Sure, you can learn along the way. That is what “losing time and money” is also about. It is best to use the money-to-be-lost in marketing your business, right?

Most people make rookie mistakes when trying to build their business. They rely on sources of information that are not structured for learning, but simply provide “information”. You can learn like that too, but it will take lots of time.

We are students too. We test things. We pay good money. Here is what we found out.

The Blog Posts of “Wisdom”

No, -none/”nada”- blog post with a small/big description and a couple of screenshots per subtopic will get you deep into actually doing the thing they present and understand why you need to do it “like that”. You need structured knowledge and training that can be directly applied to your project.

In fact such posts can largely misdirect you or totally confuse you, when you just start.

Example: What is the value of reading a short topic on “how to book a domain name”? For sure you can find on your own how to search and pay for that, through any domain registrar. Even domain name registrars have such posts. It is a 2-step process! Instead, learning how to evaluate existing -old/free- domains and how to use different tools/services to evaluate the authority factors of a domain (before investing in it) is highly valuable. It can mean starting a business with a “burned” domain or not. That means saving money and time. That is what real value is about.

There are many posts out there, that rank well in Google for “how to make money online”, or “how to start an X Blog”, or -the worst- “how to get rich fast”.

Some are short in words, while others are lengthy ones with screenshots and all.

Guess what. Again, they provide small parts of the information you need to get you started, and that’s that.

Most of them are almost identical in their content. They are like that as they can’t be something else. That’s fine, but such doesn’t provide the actual information you need so to do things.

The reason? You can’t start the blogging business without training and knowledge for every aspect of what is needed. You don’t need to be a web developer to start a content site these days. However, you need to know the “why and how” for everything that actually helps you save thousands in hours and money.

Don’t make rookie mistakes, when you can just invest $400 for learning how to do things right and build your own website right from the beginning.

So, even if you read a 4000 words post with nice screenshots, that is merely for getting a glimpse of things. It is not an applicable method. That is a big part of why most content (or not) websites tragically fail. Don’t they? Otherwise, all would be successful, wouldn’t they?

So, lengthy blog posts will give you nothing but just a glimpse -maybe- for what you really need to get trained for. That is what their actual “service to business”.

Avoid Popular Elearning Platforms

We tested Udemy as students and Educators. As trainers, we rejected Udemy. We care a lot and put lots of love and work in our courses and hate to sell them for 10 dollars! On top of that, the low-quality courses (yes we are constant students too) dumbfounded us.

We got some “training” through such Udemy courses too. I mean, if you call a ten 3-minute videos course, as an actual course (yes, that is the majority of them), where the speaker mostly tries to show how great they are on a topic.

Didn’t pay for worshiping you, dude. But, yes, that is what $10 to $29 with “unlimited access” gets you. There is a serious reason why serious courses don’t come with “unlimited-forever” access.

So, please, don’t waste time into such “training” on how to start your own WordPress blog or how to do SEO and all that. 

You may think other platforms like Coursera, or LinkedIn Learning, and such. Well, disappointment awaits you there too and -of course- no support at all. Support, along with the learning phase and getting answers is crucial. That is the only way so you can practically build your website.

As we know how to evaluate such content, we definitely saw that almost all of them simply aim to hook-and-upsell through their “pipeline”. Don’t get caught into that.

That means, they offer partial information on different spatial topics on how to build a website or how to start any kind of blog, or how to do on-page SEO or monetization. There is no real structure in all these “courses/lessons”. It’s a fishing game where they simply aim for hiring “them” to build your website.

What a beauty, right?

The High-Ticket Courses

But what about the “high-ticket” courses on how to start a blogging business or how to build a WordPress website or how to do SEO? Most of them are very disappointing and we don’t just say that so to “bless” our own. We paid the fees and took these courses.

In such a “high-ticket” course (we don’t judge a price but the content that comes with it), you are supposed to learn how to build an online business with blogging.

Guess again! Lots of superficial knowledge, spatial information without going deep into each different topic/element of building an online business. No step by step processes or structured logic, but mostly theory. Sure, we got some “advice” but -in 95% of the cases- there was no tangible, applicable information. 

To know: Teaching someone is not just about providing answers to questions! Tutoring has to have structure and to guide someone on “why you do this and that” on top of “how to do it exactly”.

So, we -again- saw no specific and clear steps, but -mostly- “advice”. A clear step is when someone shows you tools and methods to evaluate something (i.e. hosting, a theme, keywords, etc). A vague one is when they say you should only use “Google Keyword Planner” to find keywords, or when they say that there are many methods to monetize your content but offer few or no resources or what to avoid, or any kind of evaluation methods.

There was no clear and exact step by step instructions on how to do each different thing while building your blog, from zero to launching your website.

When you first start, you don’t want to do the mistakes rookies do. That is done through precise and step by step training, not with mere “advice”.

Don’t get us wrong. We don’t try to nag or undermine others. We are in this business for too long and we’ve seen all these misguiding “efforts”. It really piss us off.

The “Free” Courses and Webinars

Don’t get us started on the “free” ones too. “Phishing” everywhere or an effort to upsell us with other services.

Seriously, guys? No, thank you. We love to pay good money, but for good and useful applicable content and knowledge. 

We do digital marketing for 17 years. We know -at least- how to evaluate the value the information we see.

All the not-to-do things led us to refresh and revamp our courses.

Our Course(s)

You didn’t see that coming! Yeah, right…! We decided to publish our own e-learning course (click and read the syllabus and how it is done) through our digital marketing company and offer full support along the course, while you build your website from scratch.

That is the course we also provide to our Digital Marketing clients as a solid base to start their business.

You will find out that there are plenty of ways to monetize knowledge for any kind of content. In fact, there are lots of ways you can monetize your knowledge, from day one.

We love to call it an Elite SEO Training Course, as we believe it is. The testimonials we receive say so, too. In fact, with our affordable fee, you will find out that you will end up with:

  • A complete correct website
  • On-page SEO optimized content
  • Complete page speed setup

We even train you to:

  • Evaluate themes, hosting, and services
  • Setup each feature for every needed plugin
  • How to do SEO keyword research for your keystone content
  • Write the SEO content and build the content hierarchy
  • Correctly set up Analytics and Search Console and metrics

We show you all the monetization methods with all the resources you need.

We support you to build a correct, fast, Search Engine Optimized website. On top, we even provide you with a 210+ pages WP manual made especially for users and not for developers (which we update for every WP version).

We don’t fill our “topics” with short video interviews of successful bloggers. Sure, we provide you with lots of resources, but what is the point in showing you how successful someone you heard about is, without knowing all the business plan data and how they made it? That’s just “fancy talk”.

Each case is different. Your project is different. Data change from one niche to another.

We help you set the grounds and then you can build on top of them (we plan a different course for Content Marketing Strategy and how to do Off-Page Inbound SEO).

Build a solid foundation; that is the key.

You don’t need spatial fragments of information, no matter how valuable they may look like, or are.

If you want to do things right and not waste money and time, then you need that information through our course. That is proper Learning and Tutoring.

Conclusion on How To Start a Travel Blog

To start any kind of business, blog or not, you need to learn basic things. Most suggest starting with a great domain name (like that means anything at all).

Ask yourself this: What “Skype” or “Zoom” meant when they launched? If you didn’t know, would you assume what they were about? A domain name is chosen through specific research methods and tools (not by just searching for its availability), but Branding is what makes it distinct.

Since we provide marketing services to businesses, we know that the works ranging from choosing a domain name to publish a website, are the very last ones you do. Surprised?

Before anything else, you need a basic business plan and research for your target market. The results of your target market and the audience will define many things, including the domain name, the website design, the content, SEO for On-Page and Off-Page, your Content Marketing Strategy, and so on.

The actual process is:

  1. Market and Audience Research (including volumes and interests of the audience)
  2. Monetization Methods
  3. Threats and Opportunities
  4. Costs to Run for 12 months
  5. Time to invest and/or surpass existing players
  6. Scalability
  7. Unique Selling Proposition
  8. Domain name
  9. Branding Setup
  10. Hosting
  11. Platform (i.e. WP, other)
  12. Design/Theme
  13. Keyword Research
  14. Content and Structure
  15. Technical Optimization (Speed, Tech SEO, etc)
  16. Metrics Setup
  17. Launch
  18. Monetization
  19. Sales (if you have a product to promote)
  20. Logistics and Accounting
  21. Running the Business

Then you have to do marketing for all that. The marketing budget is part of Costs to Run and -depending on your target market- there are different ways to do that.

As you see, things need structure and potential success is based on having a great start and do your research. That is why you need step by step tutoring for your beginning.

Most rookies or aspiring entrepreneurs fail right at the beginning. Then they either abandon their project or spend 10x time and money to fix things, just to find themselves at point 1 all over again.

So, why to do that?

Really, ask yourself: Why to lose all that time and money, by just randomly searching around?

If you plan to start a travel blog (or any content site) and want to make money online, plan for starting right. Things can “go south” for any reason, but with a solid base you largely reduce a huge number of risks.

With a good solid start, you can focus on awareness and growth, rather than moving one step forward and two steps backward every day.

Get this great course and weekly support. You won’t regret it at all. So many others did so. Read their testimonials.

Now, get out there and thrive!

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