Practical (and profitable) travel blog ideas for anyone feeling a little stuck

Travel Blog Ideas

What do you think? Is it safe to start talking about travel blogging again? The entire COVID-19 situation is still pressing on as we go deeper into 2020, but I’m actually starting to feel hopeful about the recovery of the travel industry. Hopeful enough to even be thinking about how much better the travel industry is going to be over the next 3 to 5 years. It’s the perfect time to be thinking about creating content again in my opinion, and I’ve got tons of practical travel blog ideas for anybody who is looking to get started.

First of all: travel blogging is a very broad term and it means something different for nearly everybody.

For me, up until earlier this year, it simply meant chronicling my air travel experiences on my journeys all over the world. For others, the destination is more important. There’s no wrong way of going at it in my opinion, but I definitely understand how frustrating it can be to be overwhelmed with possibilities and not having any clue as to how to move forward. This article is going to help you with finding your focus so that you can get started right away. The right way.

Travel blogging ideas for the post-pandemic world

As I’ve already alluded to, travel is never going to be the same after the COVID-19 pandemic. All those years of carefree travel without having to worry too much about germs and disease was certainly fun. But, as with most things in life, things have changed and we’ve learned (the hard way) that being careful about spreading and contracting diseases should be our top priority.

sanspotter air asia x business class
Look at me. Sitting there in Air Asia X business class in February 2020, so naive and unaware about what COVID-19 was about to do to my blog (and the travel industry as a whole). Those were the days…

“Disease-free travel” is a fantastic travel blog idea. Creating a resource which is focused around hygienically safe travel is a very smart move IMHO. Many professional travelers (myself included) are still feeling anxious about returning to our old ways. I know I’m not alone when I say that searching for the latest information in regards to the virus (and ways to prevent from spreading it) is a number one priority. Doing research for a trip is so much different now!

Guangzhou China scenery
Gone are the days where the research I’d do before a trip included searching for info pertaining to the hottest restaurants and scenic walking trails. These days, it’s all about checking infection rates and deaths-per capita. :-/

I can think of a lot of really great ideas for a travel blog focused around health and safety more than the destination itself:

  • Instead of writing regular trip reports like I’ve always been doing, focus on things like cleanliness as opposed to what kind of lame snack you got in economy class. This kind of information has the potential to be extremely useful for many years to come.
  • Imagine creating an extensive database of the cleanest airports, hotels, and resorts all over the world. Instead of reporting on how beautiful the sunset at the resort was, why not give your audience a report on the overall cleanliness of the property and the measures that the staff took to keep guest safe?
  • If you have a health condition which makes you more susceptible to catching COVID-19 than others, use that to your advantage! Sharing your experiences of traveling with a compromised immune system is very likely to get solid traffic and attention from people facing the same issues in the coming years.

I could probably go on and on listing of all sorts of different travel blog ideas focused around health and safety. However, I don’t think it’s something that you could build a lifetime career out of. While it’s good for the short term, you’re probably going to need to think further out in order to keep growing your audience.

Travel blogging ideas for travelers who don’t actually travel that much

It’s true. It’s been over six months since I’ve last been on an airplane, yet here I am travel blogging just as always. The truth is that you don’t have to constantly be traveling to create good travel content. I know for a fact that constantly traveling is a sure fire way to burn out, and nearly everyone gets homesick after a while.

 Penang Malaysia
The view from my hotel room in Penang Malaysia earlier this year. As beautiful as it was…I was actually feeling burned out and homesick at the time. The hell? I’m supposed to be a hard-core travel blogger who can’t get enough of life on the road!!

The risk of burning out is real. Just look at all the famous travel bloggers in this world, and you’ll see that most of them eventually return home after a while to continue their blogging careers from home. Ben Schlappig’s net worth didn’t fizzle when he stopped traveling full time in 2019. If anything, I’d say that it has probably increased since he is now able to focus more clearly on his blog.

Anyway, here’s are some ideas for Travel related content that you can create even if you’re not traveling:

  • Focus on special deals and discounts. However, you’re going to have to niche down quite a bit for this to be successful, as you’re likely to face fierce competition being a travel coupon site. If luxury hotels are your thing, just focus on hotels and give it all you got. Become the leading source for hotel discounts and deals, and it’s a business that you will be able to ride forever.
  • Summarize other people’s trips. Yup. You can live vicariously through others and make a successful career out of it. Just look at all the people on YouTube who create “round up” content, which is essentially just reporting on what the big bloggers and bloggers are doing in that particular niche. Some of these content creators are doing extremely well, and it’s a good way to create a wide variety of travel related content without actually having to go out on the road yourself.

Other random travel blogging ideas that are worth considering

The world is absolutely massive, and there are no limits when it comes to finding a niche and overall purpose for your travel blog. As a blogger with over 10 years of experience, all I can say is this: don’t pigeonhole yourself into a current fad (or some exciting new thing that you just stumbled into). Start by creating a travel blog name that allows for flexibility, and go from there.

sanspotter travel blog ideas
Look at that smug look on my face while stepping of a Singapore Airlines A350 business class segment from SIN to LAX last February. It’s almost as if I can hear myself saying “I’m an airline reviewer for life YO!” I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was totally pigeon-holing myself…

Human beings change over time, and the things you write about today may not be things you’re going to be interested in 10 years from now. That being said, here are some other ideas to help you started:

  • With the environment and conservation being such a hot topic these days, why not approach your travel blog from that angle? Travel can be incredibly irresponsible when it comes to the overall environmental impact, but there are ways to minimize our carbon footprints. The best part is that there are thousands of people searching for ways to reduce their carbon footprint when it comes to travel, so you likely do very well in a niche like this.
  • Create a travel blog around a specific hobby. For example, I know a particular blogger who has been doing extremely well writing about his travels across the USA as a baseball fan. He is on a mission to personally visit every baseball stadium in the country, as well as to document all the information others might need to know about visiting those same ballparks. It’s a brilliant business model actually, since he earns affiliate referral commission on things like hotel recommendations and baseball-themed merchandise.

Travel blog ideas that won’t work

As you might imagine, it’s hard to find success as a travel blogger. There is a ton of competition in this niche, and you’ll have a very hard time making a name for yourself if you don’t keep pushing yourself and creating content that people want to read.

Guangzhou China
I wonder how many other travel bloggers have stood in this exact spot here in Guangzhou China and took this exact same picture?

Speaking from my own experience as a travel blogger, here are some things to be careful of:

  • Don’t focus entirely on one type of content! This is the mistake that nearly destroyed sanspotter.com earlier this year, since up until that point all I had been focusing on was airline trip reports. That kind of content does fairly well when the economy is good and people are traveling, but when all that stops – the blog traffic stops too. Search volume for airline trip reports dried up in late March, and it still hasn’t recovered. I can’t believe I was so foolish to pigeonhole myself so deeply into one incredibly small niche for so many years.
  • Don’t write your travel blog like a diary. As much passion as you may have for writing down all of your travel experiences in excruciatingly vivid detail, the truth is that most people who consume travel blog content don’t want to read about that kind of stuff. Instead, they want to learn tips and tricks which will help them get the most out of their next trip. In other words (as harsh as it may sound) your readers won’t care about you as much as you think they will. You have to write about the things that people are actually searching for.

So. How do you write about things that people are actually searching for?

Good question! The best and most effective way of doing this is to use a professional keyword research tool such as SEMrush. It’s what I use to generate content ideas for my entire portfolio of websites, and the value that I get out of it is far more than worth the cost.

Please note: some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. This means that I will get paid a commission if you buy something or take an action after clicking one of them.

Ever since I started doing proper keyword research with SEMrush back in early 2019, website traffic across my entire portfolio has exploded. Instead of just blindly writing content that I thought my readers wanted to read about, I was able to confirm whether or not the things I wanted to write about had any commercial value.

semrush keyword research tool
Let’s say you wanted to write about “embarrassing travel stories” (something I have a lot of experience with). Type that into SEMrush, and this is the page you’ll see. IMHO, with a search volume of 50 and a difficulty score of 58%, it’s definitely worth going after!

SEMrush dashboard will tell you exactly how much search volume specific keyword or topic gets in any given month, and it’s a fantastic way to help shape the content strategy for any website. You can then track the progress of that keyword (and how well you rank for it) on the dashboard.

At the very least, I recommend signing up for a free trial just to get a feeling for what it can do for you and your travel blog. Chances are pretty good that you will find that it will pay for itself in no time.

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