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How To Become A Travel Blogger Without Traveling

Back in 2009 when I started "blogging", I had no idea what blogging was. Back then, after being a "concrete jungle monkey" for most of my life, I "discovered "the great outdoors" for the first time.

Suddenly, I wanted to try everything : hiking scenic long-distance trails, descending steep mountain biking tracks, kayaking and scuba diving the cold waters of Puget Sound, surfing mushy waves of the Pacific Ocean, and climbing the second tallest mountain in US ( Mt Rainier ).

Every weekend I spent outdoors traveling around Washington state looking for new adventures, trying out new action sports, and discovering new beautiful places that our diverse state was so famous for.

But the more I traveled, and the more memories I was creating, the more I wanted to share my experiences with my friends and family.

I came across a cool free site blogger.com that allowed me to post pictures from my latest adventures, add some text to describe how awesome it was, and invite my friends and family to check out my first "website". The site was ( and still is ) free, and I kept it very personal, and I just had fun enjoying my new hobby. There was no SEO, social/email marketing, list building, guest blogging or paid advertising to drive traffic to my blog.

Yet, for some unknown to me reason, I started receiving emails from fitness and travel related companies to "spread the word" about their products or services. More often, I was contacted by PR/advertising/marketing agencies to "promote" their press releases.  Though I didn't consider myself to be a travel writer or even a travel blogger, I couldn't understand why they thought that anybody would do that for free.

On the bright side, from time to time, I'd get contacted by a company that would offer a free product, or even a trip in exchange for a blog post. I would get absolutely ecstatic about moments like that !

The problem was, I still didn't know what blogging was, I didn't know how to write a decent blog post optimized for search engines, I didn't even know how to link back to the companies I was "writing" for ! Did I mention English was NOT my first language ?

I didn't even know how to moderate readers' comments ( damn, I didn't even know how those readers were finding my blog ! ), and you can only imagine the amount of spam, and hateful comments I was receiving. Many of those comments were ending up with "Stop blogging !".

Honestly, I would have...if only I knew what "blogging" was...

But I kept reminding myself that traveling and writing was something that I absolutely loved, something that I was very passionate about. I spent nights browsing internet in search of new exciting outdoor activities, and adventures, exotic far away places and countries, things to do and to see.

Just like many of us I wanted to travel around the world, see its wonders, meet new people, create new memories...but... my wife and I just had our first baby, I was diagnosed with bipolar/ADHD, fired from my job, and filed for bankruptcy after our house went for foreclosure. So, there was absolutely no way to "just drop everything, and go see the world".

The good thing was, since I was out of work, I didn't have to limit myself to weekend adventures anymore. I continued traveling around the state, got part time jobs in the adventure travel industry ( worked as a ski instructor during winter, rafting guide in the summer, and taught kite landboarding and surfing in fall and spring ), I added an additional stream of income by selling fitness and outdoor gear on eBay and Craigslist, and even made some money helping others get started with blogger.com

At the same time, I never stopped learning about my new "blogging" hobby. Right about that time the word "blogging" was becoming more and more popular. Out of nowhere, all types of "blogging" gurus, consultants, ninjas, and superstars started popping up, and they were willing to share   "the secret of making money online from blogging" with anybody who was willing to shell out a couple hundred bucks.

It's wrong to assume that the majority of people who make money online are a bunch of scammers, spammers, and sleazy salesmen. There are many knowledgeable, experienced, sincerely helpful people who make honest money online helping others.

I personally met a lot of people just like that. They all had one thing in common - they all were providing a lot of value ( often for free ). They all had something to share.

In this post I want to share a few pointers on how to start your own online fitness and outdoors business.

Love What You Do, And Do What You Love

I can't stress enough the importance of being passionate about what you do. When I worked in ( fitness ) sales, I loved the money, but hated my job. When I started "blogging", I loved what I was doing, but didn't know how to monetize it. But because adventure travel became a huge part of my life, I continued doing it, and didn't mind not getting paid for it.

If you ask any professional travel blogger why they got into it, they'll tell you it wasn't for the money ( fame or glamour ).

Start From Wherever You Are And With Whatever You've Got

Many people who want to become travel bloggers spend a lot of time reading, researching, and socializing about travel blogging. In reality, all they need to do to become a travel blogger: 1 - start blogging ; 2 - start traveling ( optional ). Travel blogging offers on-the-job-training.

There are many travel blogs run by weekend warriors ( like myself ), or seasonal travelers. And believe it or not, there are travel blogs run by people who never left their home town.

When you're just getting started, you're told that you'll need a great looking site/blog, hosting, tons of valuable engaging content, lot's of money for marketing and advertising...

For me, a mom who goes camping with her kids, takes a bunch of pics, posts about a cool free camping spot they found, and shares a new s'mores  recipe with her friends and family on Facebook, is already a travel blogger. If she places a Google ad, and an affiliate link on her blog, and gets paid, she's a professional travel blogger ! Even if her blog doesn't look "professional", doesn't have domain name, and her "social proof" consists of a few Facebook "likes" from her family members.

All Play And No Work Made Jack A Homeless Bum ( and not a travel blogger )

There is a big misconception that all travel bloggers do is, well, travel. They snap a few pictures, shoot a few videos, and when inspiration comes, they create magnificent content that is instantly shared all over internet, and money magically appear in their bank accounts.

Nobody sees hours of researching, writing, editing, pitching, paying, promoting, networking, collaborating... anything that will increase their blog's visibility, and will make more money.

Travel blogging is a very time consuming business. It requires tons of focus, patience, persistence, and dedication.

At the same time, travel blogging is a perfect way to find and create balance in your life.

Never Stop Learning

We all know that learning is a life long process. It's especially important when it comes to travel blogging ( or any online business for that matter ). Technology, sales, marketing, advertising are very dynamic. They are constantly changing, evolving. 
Whatever worked a few years ago, doesn't work today, and whatever is working today, might not be working tomorrow. That's why t's important to stay updated, and try out new things.

But don't limit yourself  just to "travel blogging" topics. Learn about sales, technology, networking, copy writing, travel business, and even personal development. 

Being a travel blogger means you're in business of selling yourself, your experience, knowledge, and authority.

Reach Out And Create Your Own Network

Travel blogging is a team sport. Even if you're a solo traveler. If you're just getting started, or if you want to remain small, and more personal, it's fine to do it alone, but if you plan to grow, you'll need help. You can't do all by yourself.

You can reach out to more successful travel bloggers for help and advice, and many will be more that happy to help, more often than that, they won't have time to be there for you every time you have a question.

That's why I recommend to connect with like-minded, more experienced bloggers to network, learn from each other, keep each other accountable, and share professional and travel experiences.

Anyone can become a travel blogger, and anybody can make money from blogging ( how much is going to be a different topic :)).

But another point of this post is - don't worry about how to become a travel blogger, you can learn the skills along the way. In my opinion, having a true passion for adventure, new experiences, and a desire to share your expertise with others ( often for free ) are the ways to make travel blogging your life calling.

Join our network to start making money from your passion ! 
Learn form the pros - ExtraHyperActive Network

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