What I’ve Learned After One Year of Travel Blogging

Info: This blog post was written in 2020 which means it’s already four years since the launch of this blog!

Oh, isn’t it terrifying how fast time flies? I still can’t believe it’s been exactly one year since the launch of my travel blog.

So much happened since then and I’m happy about the development of my very own website.

Of course, it hasn’t been easy from the beginning and I had to put a lot of effort into it.

But now, a year later, I can look back on all the important things I’ve learned in one year of travel blogging.

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a certain percentage of a sale if you purchase after clicking.)

1. Blogging is More Than Writing Articles

Admittedly, before I created my website I had a super simple picture of blogging in my head: Set up a website in a short time and write some articles every now and then.

Oh, how wrong I was. Blogging is SO MUCH more than just writing.

First of all, before I could publish my written pieces, I had to set up a website. There’s the domain name, the web host, and the layout I had to think about.

Finding the right domain name was easy because I simply took the one I used on Instagram. However, finding the perfect web host was a bit more difficult.

After reading the pros and cons of the most frequently used providers, I decided to go with Bluehost.

Bluehost is the perfect hosting company to start with. You can get quality shared hosting for a cheap price of $ 5.95 per month.

Afterward, it was time to find a good-looking theme and create the layout. I spent hours designing my logo, finding the perfect color combination and installing different plugins.

Needless to say, this is an ongoing process.

I’m always looking for new plugins to improve the look of my blog or other tools to make it nicer.

As soon as I had the basic website set up, I finally started writing blog posts. However, there are other things I do on a regular basis besides article writing.

For every blog post, I need to edit the photos I’ve taken and resize them. Of course, it depends on the length of the blog post but it’s mainly between 1-2 hours.

Then it’s time to write the actual blog post which takes me another few hours – also depending on the topic and length.

It’s even harder for me because my mother tongue is German and I need some time to translate my thoughts into proper English. 😀

When I’m done with writing the hardest part of blogging begins: Getting traffic to your website.

And here’s the point where we move on to the second important thing I’ve learned in one year of travel blogging!

Santa Monica Beach

2. SEO is More Than Just Keywords

Wouldn’t it be great if you just have to optimize every blog post for one keyphrase to rank amongst the top 10 on Google?

Well, sadly that’s not the case.

I knew the basics of SEO before I even started working on my website. My main associations with SEO were keywords I have to include in my URL, blog title, text and so on.

Little did I know that SEO involves many more factors. For example, there’s a difference between on-page and off-page optimization.

On-page is the part with the keywords that I already mentioned or the website speed. Off-page SEO means everything I do outside of my website to improve my rankings, for example, backlinks.

Whereas on-page optimizations are easier to realize, off-page actions are more difficult and hard to influence.

Hereby it’s necessary to deliver high-quality content so readers will link to my blog.

Moreover, the age of the website and the up-to-dateness of my content matters too.

What should I say? SEO and I will never become friends, that’s clear. That’s why I switched my main focus to get traffic to a better and, in my opinion, more fun source: Pinterest!

3. Pinterest is a Blogger’s Best Friend

Ah, Pinterest, my loyal friend and traffic source. What would I do without you?

Seriously, in this one year of travel blogging, Pinterest has made it to the top of my favorite Social Media platforms.

More than 80% of my traffic comes from Pinterest alone. Without it, my blog would barely get 50 views a day.

I launched my blog in January but started using Pinterest later on in April. Back then I had NO idea how it actually works as I’d never used it before.

Hundreds of very useful blog posts later, I started creating my own pin layout, joined different group boards and set up Tailwind.

With the help of Tailwind, I can schedule pins automatically and don’t have to spend hours manually pinning. It’s another tool I could never live without!

As long as my SEO optimization isn’t on point (it will probably never be), I continue focusing on Pinterest to drive traffic to my blog.

one year of travel blogging
one year of travel blogging

The first results I could see from Pinterest were in July when I hit 3k views.

Since then my stats have been rising steadily and now I’m on a good way to hitting 10k views this month!

4. You Don’t Have to Publish a Post Every Single Day

Something I knew from the beginning of my blogging journey was that I won’t be able to publish a post every day. Luckily, it’s not entirely necessary if you want to grow and get traffic.

The most important aspect is to deliver high-quality, informative and useful content. I started with a routine where I published one post a week on a certain day.

I really tried to stick to it but sometimes it just wouldn’t work due to lack of time. Then again there were weeks when I managed to write two blog posts.

5. Patience is The Key

I’m the kind of person who wants to see results immediately after doing something. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen in the blogging world.

Another fact I’ve learned in the one year of travel blogging is that you have to be patient and wait to see some progress.

Either it’s a pin on Pinterest to go viral or a blog post to be crawled by Google. Or if you want to grow your Social Media accounts or increase your domain authority.

Things like these don’t happen overnight I wish they would tho. 😀

I learned that it’s important to never give up and just keep on working.

If you stick to it, try to learn new skills and improve yourself constantly, you’ll definitely be successful. And all the work I do on a daily basis pays itself in the long run, I know that.

one year of travel blogging

6. It’s Helpful to Interact With Other Bloggers

Like so many other things in life, it’s easier to achieve something with the help of others and it’s the same in the blogging field.

In my one year of travel blogging, I reached out to SO many other fellow travel bloggers.

Whether I asked them about a special plugin, mutual shares on social media or how to solve some issues on my website – I always got help.

Moreover, I joined great communities on Facebook where I find tons of tips and tricks on how to take my blog to the next level.

I truly enjoy and love interactions with other like-minded people because I know they either went through the process or are in the same state as I am.

Seeing all their amazing work and everything they achieved gives me so much motivation to continue!

7. You Don’t Have to Travel Every Week to be a Travel Blogger

In fact, I traveled to only seven countries this year. Not really a great amount for a so-called “Travel blogger” but it wasn’t possible for me.

Simply because it was a really busy year due to my studies and a part-time job. However, I’ve published blog posts from almost 15 countries, but how?

Well, the answer is easy.

I had a lot of writing material thanks to the trips I did in the years before. Luckily, I’m that person who notes everything down and takes photos from everywhere.

Moreover, it’s not necessary to write only articles about destinations other than your home country. I have at least eight posts about different places here in Austria.

Even if you travel within your country, it’s still traveling.

Especially for people living somewhere else, it feels different and most of them neither know nor do they care about if you live there or not.

one year of travel blogging

Looking back I can honestly say I’m proud of what I achieved. Travel blogging is a lot of fun but hard work people often underestimate.

Even nowadays, every time I tell them what I do they mostly don’t see it as a serious job.

That’s ok and I don’t even bother to start a discussion. For me, it’s my passion and it’s the thing I enjoy the most so I’ll keep on going no matter what.

And I’m super excited and I can’t wait to see where the journey goes! 🙂

Like it? Pin it!

Do you want to travel like me?
Here are some of my favorite travel tips and resources:

Flights: I prefer using CheapOair or Skyscanner to book flights. The destination everywhere feature is perfect for finding some cheap deals!

Accommodation: Booking.com is my favorite site to find some great hotel deals. I do love staying at a local place as well, thus I book an Airbnb every now and then.

Travel Insurance: There are many reasons why travel insurance is important and I never travel without one. I use the simple and flexible one from SafetyWing that protects me against unforeseen events.

Tours: I love taking tours to explore destinations like a local. My favorite website to book them in advance is GetYourGuide.

Camera Gear: I use a Nikon D5300 camera with an 18-105 mm and a 10-20 mm wide-angle lens to take my photos.

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  1. Alina, way to go!! And you do all of that in translation from your mother tongue! Seriously impressive. I am excited to see where this year takes you girl, I’ll be following along! xx

  2. i love this post – it was really helpful (ive messaged u on insta as i had a question or two haha) you’re blog is where i would dream of being a year into this! wishing you tonnes of good luck for the future x

  3. Congratulations on your Blogiversary! I love reading this post. I also started my travel blog last year and it’s turning a year in April, travel blogging has really changed my life! There are really just so much work to do but it’s all worth it.

  4. Alina!

    I read your article, and I can’t tell you how encouraging it was to me at this point of my journey. I, too, thought I could just create a website and start writing. Several months later, I am knee deep in SEO’s and optimization and social media integration. I found solace in your article not just for what you said, but because I understood everything you said! Three months ago, I would have only gotten half of it.

    Congratulations on your year of learning and success! My husband and I have had to pivot since the coronavirus hit, but we hope to be out in the world on a fantastic adventure soon. Now, back to optimization and getting my website set up…

    1. Your comment made me smile so much right now! I’m so glad you enjoyed reading it and you feel the same as I do. Blogging is a lot of fun but also hard work many underestimate 🙂

      Thanks so much!
      I really hope all our traffic increases soon again and we can travel again to create amazing content!

  5. I have a question about being a travel blogger. I did a load of traveling when I was in the military for 24 years so I’ve got a lot of stories to tell. Do I necessarily have to actually travel now in order to be a travel blogger?

  6. I have recently started my own blog and reading this post made me super excited to see where my blog will be a year from now. There is so much to learn as a new blogger ? but it’s also so amazing to see my own content on an actual website!

    1. Hey Sara 🙂
      Congrats for starting your own blog! Travel blogging is a lot of work but fun and as you said: It’s an unbelievable feeling to actually see your work out there and have people reading it!
      Good luck and enjoy blogging 🙂

  7. Hey, Lina! Your blog is so from your heart. I can relate to everything you discussed here. I just completed one year of my blogging website and your article made me have a look.
    I enjoyed reading it.

      1. Hi Alina!
        I’m so glad to see some fresh perspective on blogging that doesn’t sound like someone trying to sell you something regardless of whether you need it or not. Your post is very encouraging indeed. I’m currently working on starting a blog and it’s quite overwhelming but i’m discovering new things along the way and loving it. I’ve pinned this post to my board to act as a reminder to keep on. Thank you!!!

  8. Congratulations on your successful year of travel blogging! Observing your development and commitment to creating a stunning and useful website is motivating. Here’s to many more prosperous and educational years.

  9. Hi Lina! I 100 % agree with your post. Thank you for sharing this! So many people think that blogging is just writing for fun whenever we feel like it, and ofc it’s possible to do so, but blogging seriously is really a lot of work.
    It would be fun to know what your current statistics look like, have you written about it?
    It’s interesting to see that Pinterest is so big traffic source for you. For me it’s Google first, then Facebook. I don’t even like Facebook that much, but I simply can’t stop using it as it’s so important for my traffic.
    I started my minimalism blog in 2015 and travel blog in 2016 and nowadays I write both in my native Finnish and in English. The truth is that to get a lot of views English is a must.
    Hope you’re doing well in life & blogging!

    1. Hey Tanja, thank you so much for your comment!
      My stats look a lot different now yes. Google is now my first major traffic source with around 80 %, followed by Pinterest. Facebook is just a tiny part, I think 1 % or so. Due to the latest Google updates affecting us travel bloggers a lot, I’m now putting more effort in Pinterest. I just think the platform is so much fun and it’s amazing to see the results that constant work brings. 🙂
      And yes I do very well, thanks for asking! I hope you too? It’s amazing to hear you blog in your native language and English!

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