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How to start a travel blog as a professional expat

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To help you get started with your travel blog, here are the steps you need to take.

There is a lot of joy in the opportunity being an expat provides working professionals. When your company sends you to a different country, you get to help build something abroad while experiencing a city and society unlike your own. However, there is a lot of complexity and nuance to the process as well.

This is why you are perfectly placed to start a travel blog. It is particularly easy with website builders like Wix offering all the tools you need, including content writing tools as well as a free image resizer and filters. You can create engaging and visually-compelling blog posts in minutes, sharing each and every experience whether positive or negative.

To help you get started with your travel blog, here are the steps you need to take.

Decide on a niche
You may be asking, “Isn’t travel a niche?” Well, yes, travel is a niche. However, it is a very broad one. The travel niche can include everything from luxury vacations to digital nomads to frugal backpacking to international wildlife photography. Unless you choose a niche that is more specific, your blog will be all over the place.

It is possible to take on the entire travel niche but not as one person. As an individual blogger, you need to decide what your angle will be. You could write a blog about life as an expat. You could write about the city you're living in. You could write about the beautiful historical sites you are visiting.

It is important to decide on a niche before you start working on a website, as different niches require you to use very different themes and layouts. While a blog about your work life will probably be mostly writing, a blog about the different beaches in a city will require plenty of space for photographs.

Choose a website builder
You don’t need any experience in web development or design to start a blog. Use a website builder like Wix, Squarespace, or WordPress and you'll have an attractive blog in no time.

If you created a blog way back in the early 2000s like everyone else, your idea of a website builder is probably badly skewed. You have far better options now with a wide range of customization. As mentioned, Wix will even provide you with free tools that are perfect for blogs with images.

There is no need to learn to code for a blog. There are so many themes to choose from and customization allows you to make your website entirely your own.

Learn SEO basics
You can optimize your website for search engines using the tools provided by your website builder. However, in order to fully benefit from search engine optimization (SEO), you will need to learn some of the basics yourself.

SEO is no longer as easy as stuffing keywords into blog posts. Rather, it requires you to find a delicate balance between the amount of keywords in your written content and metadata, their context cues, and readability. Google is a lot smarter than it used to be, and relies on data that indicates reliability, including inbound and outbound links, easily identifying people who are trying to play the system with no real insight.

Guest posts
In order to give your blog the boost it needs, reach out to other travel blogs and ask if you can write a guest post with your own unique perspective. Some travel websites will tell you exactly how to get in touch to submit guest posts. Other websites leave you to do the work yourself, figuring out who runs the blog and how to contact them.

Once you have a bit of a following, you can pay it forward, hosting guest bloggers and building a network. Guest posts also give you the chance to diversify your content without straying too far from your niche.

Engage
Technically, you can write your blog posts and leave it at that, content that you have expressed what you wanted to express. However, if you want your blog to be truly successful, you need to engage with readers. Invite them to leave comments under your blog posts or on social media posts. Invite them to share the content with their own networks.

Respond to comments and engage in healthy discussion. Try not to take anything too personally, and ignore commenters who leave hurtful comments (you can delete their comments).

Engagement is how you really grow a blog, as people become invested in what you have to say. They start to relate to you as a human being and not a faceless writer behind a screen.

Writing a travel blog as an expat can be truly rewarding. You are getting to see a new city with a different way of life, and sharing your experiences will be meaningful to you as well as anyone else who plans on living as an expat.


Photo by Dariusz Sankowski on Unsplash

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