Blogging Tips

10 Steps to Travel Blogging Success

Brooke Saward | Marrakech
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Every time I hold a reader meet up I’m asked by you guys what the secret is to travel blogging. There’s nothing that excites me more than sharing my blogging tips with you all as I can still remember the first few weeks of starting my own blog – how little I slept, how many ulcers I endured (as a result of no sleep), and how many caramel lollies I chewed through for a sugar kick.

Many people will tell you that it is too late to start a successful blog of any kind, because those who got in first are way more successful than you will ever be. Not true. When I started my blog four years ago, I read these exact words and took it head-on as a challenge rather than an obstacle… and that’s what you should do too.

Starting a blog is like starting your own piece of the internet – where you can pursue your passion, hopefully turn it into your career, and if travel is your main love in life – turn your life into one on the road.

Here’s everything I would tell a new blogger to help you get started on the right track:

Blogging tips | World of Wanderlust

1. Set Up your Blog

When I first started my blog back in December of 2012, I had absolutely no idea where to start. Back then many bloggers were still using the platform Blogger and as far as my research would show, this was the simplest (and cheapest because it was free) way to start a blog. I didn’t have any money I was willing to throw into starting a blog as I was frugally saving for more adventures, so I went down that avenue and started to spend all my time working on my Blogger blog.

It was only a few weeks later that I found further research suggesting that if you wish to take blogging seriously (my eyeballs were eagerly reading the screen while I nodded at the computer – yes! I do!), then you should start a blog on if you ever wanted to reach people around the world by coming in high on search engine results.

Thus I made the switch, started from scratch, and began my 2-3 weeks of sleepless nights to get my little piece of the internet alive and happening.

The same is true for you: if you want to take blogging seriously, I would suggest you set up your blog with WordPress.

2. Start Writing 

If I could look back and see those first initial blog posts I wrote, I would cringe with absolute certainty. Luckily for me (and for you), those blogs have since been deleted as they truly were, I kid you not, of the worst kind (dot points and all!)

But looking back I can also see that practice makes perfect – or at least near enough (this site is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors because I very rarely spellcheck given my commitment to pump out 5-7 blogs each week). So although those blog posts sucked in the beginning, the only way I got better was by persisting over time. I soon learned what did and did not work and finally found my “voice” as a writer.

3. Invest in the Tools of the Trade

Another mistake I made early on was to not invest any money in my set-up. Truth be told I would have preferred to spend $1000 on a plane ticket than a new camera lens, so that is what I did. When I realised over the months of thinking “why don’t I have thousands of readers yet?” (naive I know) that I wasn’t producing quality content, I finally came to terms with the fact that I’d need to invest a little if I wanted to take great photos, go to great destinations, travel further and more often.

Originally when I purchased my first professional camera I stupidly thought that the most expensive camera meant that it would take the best photos. Wrong I was. My first investment was a couple thousand dollars, with just one fault in my plan…. I didn’t know how to use it!

Nowadays I use an Olympus OMD EM5 Mark II which was cheaper than my first two cameras, is much lighter and is waaaaaay easier to use. I’d highly recommend it for anyone starting out in the blogosphere.

4. Learn Basic Photography Tips & Styles

After investing so much of my hard earned money, I realised I would have to continue to invest — but instead with my time. I began to spend much more time online reading about how to take better photos, learning how to deal with light and discovering how to use the manual settings on my camera.

I also spent a lot more time researching other photographers’ styles but to the surprise of many, I completely avoided looking at other travel blogs as my inspiration. Instead, I was more inspired by fashion bloggers and their approach to photography. The images were always light, bright, colourful and most importantly — fun. These bloggers were showing much more of their personality and not just an empty landscape. For me, that seemed closer to my style/personality, so I took instruction from them.

5. Connect with Readers & Bloggers

I know it sounds super corny and cliche, but there is no greater pleasure in blogging than the community you create around you. As someone who started out their blog to reach out to others as a solo traveller, I have truly grown so much as an individual by the friendships I have formed through blogging. It still blows my mind how many of you show up to reader meet ups, how many of you tweet me each day just to chat and see what I’m up to and how many of you take the time to send me a postcard in the mail (of which I have a gazillion stuck up on my pin board).

I know it won’t seem like it at the outset, but there is nothing more important than connecting with your readers and forming friendships with them. What could be more rewarding and fulfilling!?

Blogging Tips | World of Wanderlust

6. Become a Social Media Ninja

When I first started my blog I spent all of my time and effort creating a beautifully laid-out website, learning photography tips and improving my writing skills (which, lets be honest, will never be perfect… just so long as they’re always improving!)

It took me a while to realise that social media was a much faster way to grow your audience and get people interested in what you’re doing. I suppose coming from a small town where people don’t really feel the need to always “be interesting”, I felt that I didn’t really need to worry about my social presence. Wrong I was.

While I still take the odd few days or week offline to “not be interesting”, I do spend a lot more of my time updating my social media followers on my happenings. Becoming a social media is the fastest way to grow your blog audience and yes, it is a fast track to success – but I still spend way more time creating content for my site as it is my first true love!

7. Research Before you Write

I’m sure for any of my readers who have been following me since the beginning you will know first hand that I haven’t always put in this much time, effort and care into each blog post. When I first started blogging I would go for quantity of quality and believe me when I say this will be your last mistake!

If you’re not offering anything new to the internet with each new post you write, don’t upload it at all. If you’re simply regurgitating a travel guide, copying the success of another blogger or writing list after list after list with no original content of your own, you will bore and alienate your readers.

Spend a little time before each trip researching about your destination and uncovering hidden gems. Once there, open your eyes and your mind by trying as many new experiences as you can and share those experiences with your readers. After the trip be sure to continue researching as you double and triple check your facts. There’s nothing worse than giving your readers wrong information!

8. Build up Resilience to Keyboard Warriors

I wish so badly that I didn’t have to mention this in such a positive blog post, but alas, keyboard warriors seem here to stay.

When I first started blogging I was writing to no one, not even my mum! It took me weeks before I told anyone I had started a blog and for the weeks that followed my announcement, I’m 99% it was just my mum reading.

But over the years my blog has grown to reach an audience of over 1.2 million page visits per month and with that growth comes a whole range of critics. While there are many more people who will bring you up than those you will bring you down, the inevitable seems to be that the one horrible comment you read for the day will be the one that will stick in your mind.

The sooner you realise that these people forget what they’ve said the instant they say it, the sooner you can forget it too. It really isn’t worth the while to dwell on negativity.

9. Bring something New

A lot of information I read online before starting my blog said that I would need to bring something new to the table. I totally agree with that. What I don’t agree with, however, is that bloggers “have” to have a “niche” focus in order to be successful. I do believe that the blogosphere is oversaturated with blogs that have similar offerings, but I don’t believe that means you then have to start a blog with a very specific niche, just because someone is already writing a blog about travel. Start a travel blog, but write it better. Take better photos and give better information. Bring something new but don’t sacrifice your visions in a severe effort to be “different”.


Last of all… and the most obvious of all… you’ll need to start travelling!

When I first started my blog I was not travelling full time. In fact, I started my blog mid-way through my University degree and in my third year of law school, decided to drop my main degree and finish only my degree in Political Science. That way I could study via distance education, travel throughout the semesters, and only be bound to return home for exams twice a year. Sure, it wasn’t really the most credible way of finishing my degree, it allowed me to pursue my main passion in life: travel.

When starting a travel blog it is important to know (and remember) that you don’t have to travel full time. Having said that, my blog certainly became a lot more popular when I booked a one-way ticket and travelled the world for a year solo.



Over to you! Do you have any further questions I can answer about starting a blog!? Feel free to leave a comment below or tweet me!

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    Becky van Dijk
    July 19, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    What a great post Brooke! I like that you said we should look to bring something new to the internet, or not at all and in this post you did it again! Most of the ‘How to Become A Successful Blogger’ posts are quite similar and you brought some thoughtful advice here. Thanks!!

    • Brooke Saward
      July 19, 2016 at 10:33 pm

      Aww thanks so much Becky! 🙂 🙂

    July 19, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    Hi Brooke,

    Thank you for the words of wisdom!

    I have followed your blog for a while, but mainly I love your instagram as your pictures are amazing! I know that I need to work on my photography but like you, am hesitant about taking the plunge and investing in a decent camera!

    I do love how you write though, I imagine it’s how you speak and I think that makes the best kind of blogger – your personality really comes across. Thanks for encouraging us newbies that we can succeed, despite the vast amount of content out there. I’m pretty sure my mum is my only reader too…fingers crossed some more readers will jump on the bandwagon at some point!!

    • Brooke Saward
      July 19, 2016 at 10:36 pm

      Awh thanks Olivia! More readers will come eventually and you’ll see the hard work pay off – all it takes is 110% belief in yourself and your work! Even if I do sound a little Oprah-y, its the truth! xxx

    July 17, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    I would love to be a full time travel blogger one day! These are great tips, thanks heaps 🙂 I’m starting a new travel blog after making a few half-arse attempts at other blogs because I realised that I wasn’t writing what I’m passionate about, and that’s travel! So here’s hoping this one works out better for me.

    I just purchased a domain and site through Squarespace ( and flick between loving it and regretting it, so hopefully it proves to be just as good as WordPress, which I’ve used in the past!

    July 16, 2016 at 4:28 am

    Brooke! Only 2 things:
    1. I love you, your blog and your life!
    2. Please tell me that all those weeks of hard work at the beginning is the worst part… ?
    I’m trying to understand how the blogging world works… And I discovered it’s not just writing! So naive…
    Keep doing what you do, you really are an inspiration for many of us!

    Gaby Ross
    July 15, 2016 at 12:11 am

    Awesome tips, I am loving your post and blog in general. 🙂

    Götz A. Primke
    July 10, 2016 at 1:09 am

    Hi, you really rock! These are indeed the best tips and you obviously ran through a hard and expensive school. Well, when I started 9 years ago with my travel blog, I was about the same. Traveling is fun and it is always great to get to know other people, other parts of the world. Best greetings from Munich, Germany

    Elizabeth Ibarra
    July 8, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Hey Brooke! I would love to learn more about marketing my blog and social media. Do you have any links on that?

    July 7, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    Hi Brooke! I am there for the first time, but totally impressed. I`ve found your blog by chance and probably it was the best click today cause I`ve developed so many new things 🙂
    I am not a travel blogger, but more a bookish one. Mainly I write about books and sometimes about myself which I love. I was starting more than 2 years ago on a blogger but then I changed into wordpress which was a good decision although I lost a lot of my every-day- readers. However, I don`t regret it at all – now I`m finally happy with the way m blog looks like. It was really nice to read all of your advice`s – I will try to use them as much as possible 😉

    If you have a moment, I`ll be happy if you see my blog (although it`s in Polish) –
    And at the end – sorry for my English,I could have made some mistakes, because I am Polish and not learning so long 😉

    yana breugelmans
    July 5, 2016 at 12:24 am

    Hi Brooke !

    i’m following you over a few months and i really like your blogs! My dream is to have a succesful blog myself. But i never started one… till today.
    After reading this post i told myself that it was time to start! So thank you for al the great tips.

    July 4, 2016 at 8:44 am

    These are such great tips! Just found your blog and I LOVE IT!

    xx Genevive

    Miles of Happiness - Marie
    July 3, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Great post Brooke, it’s good motivation 🙂 And good tips coming from you, such a successful blogger!

    July 2, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    You always seem like a very positive person and I do understand it must be difficult at times to handle criticism. I can see a lot of bloggers out there getting hate. It’s sad but true. Thank you for sharing, it’s good to know I’m heading in the right direction. Greetings from the UK.

    • Brooke Saward
      July 3, 2016 at 6:34 am

      Hi Cory,
      Unfortunately there are keyboard warriors everywhere, picking apart everything you say and do! But the sooner you realise it says everything about them and nothing about you, the sooner those comments fly in one ear and out the other 🙂 xoxo

    July 1, 2016 at 11:11 pm

    Thank you for writing such a beautifully written article. You said your writing isn’t perfect, but I think it practically is! I really enjoyed your comment on quality over quantity. On some blogs, it feels like people are just posting to post instead of focusing on the information they are putting out. As I continue to work on my new travel blog, I will definitely keep these tips in mind:D

    • Brooke Saward
      July 3, 2016 at 6:37 am

      Hi Danielle,
      Ohhh you are too lovely! 🙂 🙂
      Writing style is definitely something that took me a while to get a grip of, but once things start flowing and words practically write themselves on the screen blogging just becomes an absolute joy!

      Best of luck with your blog – I’m always snooping about to see what readers are creating so look forward to reading yours! xo

    July 1, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    Solid post Brooke, I’ve been travelling a bit slower this year and find it a bit tricky to produce new interesting content. Impressive effort on your behalf producing so much content consistently, it’s epic!

    • Brooke Saward
      July 3, 2016 at 6:38 am

      Thanks so much Jub! I definitely think the longer you are blogging the easier it all becomes so keep it up 🙂

    July 1, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    How do you make the jump from blogging to getting paid to travel? I moved home to the other side of the world so have a story to tell but have never been able to afford more than a normal holiday. Any suggestions?

    • Brooke Saward
      July 3, 2016 at 6:42 am

      Hi Helen!

      It took me some time to go from writing a blog to eventually making a living from it but I truly believe that if you are passionate enough about the topic you are blogging on (i.e. travel) you can make it work! There’s plenty of great info out there on the internet, but for getting started I would suggest creating great content first and worrying about making money later. The easiest way to get started is to use Google Adsense on your blog in a few key areas like your side bar and within posts (but never over use ads to impact the reader experience!)

      Best of luck 🙂

        July 3, 2016 at 5:00 pm

        Thank you! You are an inspiration for following your dreams and life will fall into place:) I will also follow your advice and make the switch from Blogger to Word Press.

    Caroline Achieng Otieno
    July 1, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    The last point is really true…when I travel and put up a post, and fill my ig with new pictures; the followers come in be a travel blogger, one must doesn’t matter whether it is around the world or simply around one’s own has to travel. Thank you for this post Brooke!

    • Brooke Saward
      July 3, 2016 at 6:43 am

      Hi Caroline, thanks for your comment!
      I totally agree – IG and social media in general is a great way to encourage traffic on your blog and let readers know there are new posts available!
      Thanks for contributing 🙂 xx

    July 1, 2016 at 1:00 am

    I must that it is encouraging and greatly motivate me to continue my travel site. I started it in May and still going through the initial stage you are in. Its comforting to hear from people like yourselves in sharing the experiences. Keep it up !

    • Brooke Saward
      July 3, 2016 at 6:45 am

      Hi Irene,
      Best of luck! The longer you stick at it the better it will become & the more you will fall in love with blogging!

    June 30, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    Hi Brooke
    Thank you so much for your indepth information.
    I am very keen in blogging too mine is in its infancy stage yet.
    I have started rather later in my life than earlier like you.
    But after reading your trip and trepidation’s, adventures and advice, I only feel that I can still enjoy and travel the world at this later stage of my life.
    Thank you again and keep blogging.

    • Brooke Saward
      July 3, 2016 at 6:46 am

      Hey Rosh,

      The longer you stick at it the more you will see it grow + build! Thats half the fun of blogging – growing something you are proud of and a community around it that loves what you do!

    Marta Sierra (MartaMademoiselle)
    June 30, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    Very well said!! I agree that the first and most important is to create quality content that is different from everyone else. The rest will come along!


    Jake Ryan
    June 30, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    This is so well put Brooke.

    Martin Sumichrast
    June 30, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    Hey, your blogging posts are really very informative. Thanks for sharing these posts.


    June 30, 2016 at 9:10 am

    No matter how many posts providing blogging tips I read, I always take something new away from them 🙂

    • Brooke Saward
      July 3, 2016 at 6:50 am

      Yahoooo! I will keep writing them then 🙂 Thanks Brooklyn xx

    Edith Carolina Rodriguez
    June 30, 2016 at 6:59 am

    Loved reading this! At this moment I was just writing the first post for our new travel blog but taking a quick break to read your post that went through my email. I’ve read other posts about being successful through blogging but I have to say yours is extremely positive. I’ve said it before through instagram, but thank you so much for being the one to inspire me to leave it all behind to travel. It took some convincing for my husband but I’m happy to say we’re saving up to leave the states in one year! Again thank you and my best wishes on your new book! Can’t wait to read it.

    • Brooke Saward
      July 3, 2016 at 6:50 am

      Hi Edith,
      Thank you SO much for your kind words – what an exciting week it has been to announce it!
      Just can’t wait for you guys to SEE it 😀 xxx

    Lucia Brezianská
    June 30, 2016 at 4:53 am

    Love this article ! thank you for your amazing tips…i agree with that. 🙂

    Christina Minderman
    June 30, 2016 at 2:47 am

    Great advice! I am also in the infancy of my travel guide blogging, and have attended some workshops to learn new skills. An alternative to wordpress that is more selectable, less modular, is squarespace which has a very configurable format and is inexpensive. I attended Create & Cultivate earlier this year and they explained that one of the reasons using wordpress or squarespace or another site that is customizable is that you can have better analytics built in/automatically reported to you because knowing your audience (not just hits and visitors but info about them – age, location, salary, etc.) is what can drive you to new growth.

    June 30, 2016 at 12:55 am

    I am taking all of this advice so much to heart, especially about research – having a travel blog means you are obligated to go out of your way and at least try and see your destination from a new perspective. I have very recently started a travel blog (4 posts and counting), and I partly did it because it would be an extra incentive to actually get out there and travel, and spend the money it takes – I get something to blog about, and a ton of experiences instead of sitting at home thinking about traveling. What’s not to like?!

    June 30, 2016 at 12:53 am

    Great tips! Thank you!! I just got back from a trip that was hard to keep up with the pictures and my writing while traveling.
    still trying to find a balance, but I’m sure that will come 🙂

    June 29, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    These are amazing tips! I’m just starting out and its nice to remember that at one point all of the big bloggers were struggling the same way that I am. Thanks for sharing your advice 🙂

    Rachel Reynolds
    June 29, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    Thank you for all of the tips Brooke! I am an avid WOW reader (literally will just refresh a permanently open tab on my computer). You always keep me inspired!

    June 29, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    Perfect tips, I really enjoyed reading this post! And I most definitely agree that you don’t need to stick to a certain niche to be successful, people should just follow their passion and write about things they love the most 🙂

    June 29, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    Great tips – thanks for sharing!

    Kate |

    June 29, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    Awesome post

    sara mcavoy
    June 29, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    I love this post, it is definitely very helpful! I just wish I had more money to be able to travel enough so better content for my blog!


    the travelogue (by Anna & Vanessa)
    June 29, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Well said Brooke! Lots of helpful tips and it’s really nice to hear someone say “you don’t need a specific niche” to be successful! Actually that’s what we believe as well.. and to be honest: we don’t want to limit ourselves when it comes to travelling 😉
    xx Anna & Vanessa

    kate wilson
    June 29, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    Great tips! x

    June 29, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    Wow thanks so much for this post, I loved reading it. Started my blog at the beginning of this year and this post has just made me more determined. I think I’m going in the right direction 🙂

    Holly at

    June 29, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    This was really helpful, and I think having it condensed into one post, rather than combing through comments was great! I think just going for it is definitely important.

    Rachel Elizabeth
    June 29, 2016 at 12:39 pm


    Your tips are awesome! Thank you for sharing them.

    I especially agree about investing early in your blog. For me, I spent money to join Travel Blog Success as well as attend BlogHouse and TBEX in Stockholm. Not to mention a paid theme and new camera! Unfortunately you need to put out money to create quality content, haha. I also like your point about creating connections and a community. BlogHouse brought so many new meaningful relationships into my life! 😀

    June 29, 2016 at 11:08 am

    Thanks for writing this blog Brooke! It was great to hear some insight from your early days.

    You have definitely contributed to me drooling over Olympus cameras for the past 2 years :p Saving up to get myself one for my blog as we speak!

    June 29, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Brooke, thank you so much for these amazing tips again! It’s always inspiring to hear some first-hand tips from other travel bloggers, especially ones you admire:)

    Abby Saylor
    June 29, 2016 at 8:12 am

    This is my first time stumbling across your blog and I LOVE this post! It’s great to read tips from someone who has experienced the highs and lows of blogging first-hand. I’m so inspired by your journey (booking a one-way ticket and traveling the world solo for a year? You go girl!). Thank you for sharing! 🙂

    June 29, 2016 at 8:04 am

    These are all so helpful! Thank you for this advice.