1: Be real
Derek Baron (Wandering Earl)
Travel isn't just a stream of 100 per cent fluffy experiences and non-stop pure joy, even though many blogs would have you think otherwise. Travel has its ups and downs, just like anything else.
If you ignore the challenges on your blog, it will be harder for readers to actually connect with you and your site. But if you show the true reality of what you go through, the silly things, the tough aspects and the honest truth, then people can understand your lifestyle better. They will respect your writing more and as a result, there is a higher chance they will become loyal, long-term followers of your blog.
2: Make it useful
Matthew Karsten (Expert Vagabond)
My top tip for making your travel blog stand out from the crowd is to create incredibly useful content that will help others. No one is searching for a diary of someone else’s travels. They are looking for practical travel tips to plan their next vacation.
Pay attention to what you and your friends are actually typing into Google searches. That’s the content you should be creating. A 3000-word travel guide for Cuba is much more work-intensive than writing about what you did on Monday, but that's the stuff readers are going to consume, share and react to most.
3: Find your niche
Debra Corbeil (The Planet D)
The best way to make your blog stand out is to have a strong niche. There are many travel blogs popping up on the Internet and if you don't have a unique voice nobody will notice you.
Think about what made you fall in love with travel in the first place and how you are going to share your love of travel with your readers? What do you want to share with your readers and what service can you offer them? You need to ask yourself if you want to provide information, inspiration, tips and tricks or travel hacks.
When you have a clear idea of why people should come to your website, you can start building that fan base. Take your time and do it through excellent, well-researched and informed content.
4: Be unconventional
João Leitão (Nomad Revelations)
Writing and sharing photos about less conventional travel destinations keeps people interested in my blog. I mostly create information about countries that conventional tourists don’t go.
Although places like the mysterious Timbuktu in Mali, the sacred Mazar-i-Sharif in Afghanistan, or the historical Baghdad in Iraq hold a certain desire in people’s mind, regular travellers would never include them on their Bucket List.
Such destinations are only open to the courageous or the most reckless travellers. Having images and an intimate travelogue about these places opens doors to a particular adventurous niche that is often not found online.
I also try to maintain an active social media presence, which is crucial to a good online presence.
5: Be yourself
Juno Kim (Runaway Juno)
I know it’s tempting to copy other successful bloggers, but don’t. Success comes with originality. When I first started blogging almost eight years ago, there was no blogging culture or guide. All I wanted to talk about was travel, so I did. I wanted to share my photos and funny stories.
My English was very limited back then (it still is) and I didn’t know a thing about creative writing, but I wrote without shame. To the global audience, this quirky Korean girl with bad English stood out. I had good stories with a unique angle, as a solo female Korean, that created a strong global readership, especially from Asia.
I still write a lot about what I learned from the world in my own point of view. It led me to create an opportunity to empower other Asian women through various projects, like the Asian Women’s Empowerment Conference. Also, having great photography on your site is really helpful.
6: Be honest
Anna Lysakowska (Anna Everywhere)
Write only about things you’re familiar with and know about, places where you’ve actually spent time.
If you spent just a few days in a place, don’t pretend like you know everything about it it by writing the 'ultimate guide' to it. Instead, try to write about your experience in that place. That way you won't come across as a know-it-all and, as a result, your readers will trust you more.
7: Be an expert
Matt Stabile (The Expeditioner)
The best way to get your blog to stick out in a crowd is to make sure it’s unique and that you are clearly knowledgable.
Make sure you are an expert, or at least have a unique voice, on the subject matters you are writing about. Otherwise, you will get lost in the noise. Ask yourself: why would someone want to visit my site and what will they be getting out of it?
Main image: Joao Leitao in the Atacama desert (Nomad Revelations). All photos of bloggers provided by the bloggers.