Start a travel blo

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you purchase anything through a link, I may earn a small commission. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying sales. This is at no extra cost to you. You can read my full disclaimer here.

The short answer is yes, it was a good idea to start a travel blog this year!

In March 2020 the world of travel came to an abrupt halt. I just about made it back to the country I am currently living in before it shut the borders for four months. Phew! While borders are slowly opening back up, the majority of travellers I know are staying put for the time being, only travelling if necessary.

Due to me having two autoimmune diseases, I am a bit more cautious than most, so personally I won’t be travelling just yet.

At the beginning of lockdown, the UAE went into 24 hour curfew, meaning that nobody except for essential workers could leave their house. This went on for three weeks, when it was reduced to evening curfew.

Start a blog in 2020

So, what to do when you use your free time to plan trips and travel? I decided to start a travel blog!

Related: 8 Reasons To Start A Blog

Why I decided to Start A Travel Blog in 2020

Reason 1 – it gave me purpose

I work full time, but in the evenings and weekends, I wondered what was I to do in my spare time? Watch Netflix? Done! In fact, it keeps asking if I’m still watching – way to judge me, Netflix!

So Netflix aside, I decided to put all my spare time into creating my travel blog, learning how to set up a website, taking various courses to learn about marketing, Pinterest and SEO.

After two months I ended up with a website I had created myself and had learned things I would never have given myself the opportunity to learn in the past.

Reason 2 – I started to earn money

I spent all of May and June creating my website and writing a few posts and I was ready to launch my blog at the beginning of July. I wasn’t really thinking of monetising yet, although I knew it would be something I would eventually aim for.

In August I joined a few affiliate programs and the day I earned my first 0.75c I was ecstatic! I ended up earning $120 in August, my second months of blogging!

Related: How To Start a Travel Blog and How to Choose A Travel Blog Name

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Reason 3 – you have to start somewhere

What do I mean by that? Well, let’s be honest. Having never written before (I mean, I can write, I just never wrote professionally or since leaving school, which was……a while ago), I knew it would be a while before I got into the swing of blogging.

My first few posts were not great. Understandable! Hopefully, they’ve gotten better over the past few months as I’ve learned so much more about SEO and Pinterest strategies and have gotten the advice of many fantastic bloggers on various different Facebook groups and Twitter.

My hope is that by starting my blog when I did, it will be more established by the time we are ready to take to the skies again, Google will like it more (right now they’ve just started dating) and people will come to my site for travel advice!

Reason 4 – it’s not JUST a travel blog (whaaaa??)

My blog is about making the most out of your life, doing what you want to do, with some adventure along the way. It’s about showing people that no matter what age you are, what ailments you might have, no matter your circumstances, you can still have goals and reach them.

I give advice on how to create your ultimate bucket list and how to even start ticking things off your bucket list straight away. People think that bucket lists are only for travel but no. They’re about doing the things you want to do before you….kick the bucket! My Bucket List could be so far from what’s on your list and that’s ok.

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So, yes I go on about travel A LOT in my blog, and I call it a travel blog because, let’s face it, ‘Travel, Bucket List, Adventure, Motivational Type Blog’ just doesn’t have the same ring to it. But that’s my passion and I have a lot of travel related items on my blog and on my bucket list. I also have other goals I want to achieve, which you can see for yourself on my Bucket List.

Reason 5 – we still have staycations

With people taking more and more staycations in their home countries, there is more opportunity to see the sights where you live! Back home, I never really took much of an opportunity to be a tourist in my home country. In the UAE, you are more likely to as you will have friends and family visiting.

Since March I’ve been super lucky to have had two staycations in the UAE, one up in the mountains in a quiet serene environment and the other a beachy delight. And I have another coming up!

For those who don’t necessarily want to even leave their home for a staycation, here’s how you can have a holiday at home

Reason 6 – the wanderlust is still alive

Want to know my favourite thing to do when I can’t travel? Plan a trip! I’m a planner, as you may have noticed from previous posts.

My travel list has multiplied and I have already made plans (which of course may change with the current situation) for next year.

I did start a travel blog at a time when there is little travel, but in spite of that people have told me they are getting inspiration from my Bucket List and from the destinations I have written about for when they can travel again. And planning a trip now may be just what we need to get us through to the end of the year (how fast has this year gone though?!).

If you need any help planning your ‘post-Covid’ adventure, here are some of the sites I personally use to plan my trips.

For activities: Get Your Guide

For hotels: Booking.com

For flights: Skyscanner

For travel insurance: World Nomads

And if you need some inspiration, check out my Bucket List or some of the destinations I have written about.

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Have you started a blog in 2020? If so, was it a travel blog? Perhaps the niche you blog in has taken off during the pandemic, rather than slowing down, like travel.

Ellie-M

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15 Comments

  1. This was such a refreshing post, Ellie! You’ve done so well with a difficult year and you’re absolutely right, it is what you make of it. And $120 in month 2 of affiliate marketing??? Incredible! Hope 2021 is even better for you! 🙂

  2. Yes, this is awesome Ellie! I also started my blog this year in March. I’ll be honest, a couple of times I was thankful it wasn’t a travel blog (I had more adventure travels in mind towards the beginning), but you’ve really thrived with this topic even though it’s a tough time to write about travel. Way to adapt!

    The fact that you’ve already made money with affiliate sales is amazing! I’ve been telling myself that I want ready for all the affiliate stuff yet… But you’ve inspired me, maybe I am ready! Mostly I recommend and reference a ton of books, but it might be worth it to sign up for Amazon’s affiliate program. What do you think?

    1. Thanks Clarissa! I’m so glad you’re enjoying my posts.
      I definitely recommend starting with affiliate marketing straight away if you want to monetize your blog. You can even become an affiliate for the tools that you use (web hosting, etc) and if people look for recommendations on groups you can make a sale. You can also create a landing page on your site with a link from Pinterest (not sure if you use it – I’m still getting my head around it!).
      That very first sale I made was with Amazon! And it was for .75c haha. I haven’t found I’ve made much from Amazon but I do know someone who recommended something small, a reader clicked on their link but didn’t end up buying. The next day that reader bought a TV through Amazon and my friend made a commission on the TV! I haven’t been that lucky yet haha.

      1. Wow that is fantastic luck! 😂😂 I have heard of people getting credit for smaller, unrelated things, so that’s pretty cool! I have heard that you don’t make much at all with amazon affiliate sales, but I guess it couldn’t hurt to try? Might be an easy first step to start moving things in that direction. Thanks for sharing your insight on this!

  3. It’s good to read that starting a travel blog this year has been so positive for you! Like you said, people are going to be taking more staycations this year and probably going into next year and it’s the perfect time for any travel blogger to write about that and give us ideas on where to go in the UK! x

    1. Thanks Lucy. I love the idea of people actually being a tourist in their own countries as it’s something you don’t really think about (until a pandemic!).

  4. I’d imagine having two autoimmune disorders would put you in the highest risk category, so I’m not surprised you wouldn’t want to travel much at the moment. Congratulations on making so much money having only just started a travel blog, that’s more than I’ve made in over 18 months of blogging

  5. I’m happy you have come up with a travel blog despite the situation. I think people will be looking for more travel ideas that they can do after all this so giving them suggestions through your blog is a great start. Keep going!

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