When I left my comfortable job in 2016 to travel the world, I never expected to find myself quarantined in Argentina for months on end like this.
But, after four years of non-stop travel, I long ago learned that travel requires you to expect the unexpected and to make the best of it. I honestly could probably use some time to slow down and reflect.
And since I have time now, I thought I would write this post to quickly address a common reader question I’m seeing a lot lately:
Is now a bad time to start a travel blog?
I’ll address this is detail in this post, but here’s my quick take:
Honestly, right now is a very difficult time to make money from a travel blog. But it might also be a very good time to start a blog.
I’ll explain in detail why I say that in this blog post. But first a quick 1 minute video summary:
Ok, ready to dive in? Let’s begin with a kinda obvious observation:
2020 Will Be a Very Slow Year for the Travel Industry
No matter what happens, let’s face it: 2020 is not going to be a popular year for international travel, even in the best case scenario.
I think that’s a good thing, since travel needs to take a back seat to public health right now. Plus, even after a vaccine, consumers will need time to regain confidence and the financial ability to travel. The industry simply is not going to snap back overnight.
Which, bottom line, means that 2020 is simply not going to be a particularly profitable time to run a travel blog (people not traveling = people not reading travel blogs).
All that comes with a BIG caveat though:
But it Usually Takes 12+ Months to Get a Blog Humming Along Anyway
The simple fact is that building a blog to a money-making machine takes time, so you shouldn’t really expect to be making much money in the first year anyway.
Building a successful blog is like building any successful business – you need to put in an upfront investment in order to profit down the line.
The good thing about blogging is that you don’t need to invest much money. Unlike most other new small businesses, you can probably start a travel blog for less than the cost of a night out ( … remember when we used to have nights out, lol?).
On the other hand, you definitely DO need to invest your time and energy …
And Time at Home = The Perfect Opportunity
Many people seem to think that travel bloggers spend most our time lounging on white sand beaches, exploring foreign cities, going on endless road trips, and generally living “the life.”
And, look, I have definitely had some pretty incredible adventures around the world.
I have plenty of days that look like this:
(side note: if your curious, the above photo is of Cenote Suytun in Valladolid, Mexico – I highly recommend adding it to your bucket-list!)
But let me level with you: not every day is spent doing incredible Insta-worthy things like that. The hard truth is that travel itself is generally not the part of the job that makes a travel blogger successful (otherwise everyone would do it).
Instead, success comes from many hours at a laptop in a constant cycle of writing, creating, and marketing.
It takes time to learn how to do all that well.
And, even if you already knew all the skills you’d need, it would still take time to build a successful blog. Time to get it set up. Time to create content. And time to build a following.
Time is quite simply the most important thing to invest to starting a successful travel blog.
So, if you’re one of the millions of people with some spare time right now, then now is the best time to get started building your travel blog.
Need Some Guidance to Get Started?
When I started Travel Lemming, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I fumbled around for days with my site just to figure out how to put a single photo on the front page.
If the thought of building a blog from scratch intimidates you, let me help!
I created a 100% free email mini-course that breaks the blog-building process down into bite-size chunks and holds your hand through the whole process: how to set up your blog, what to write about, how to market yourself, how to find partners to make money … all the basics you need to know.
Want in? All you have to do is sign up for my “Travel Blogging Secrets” list here:
And, no, I’m not one of those marketers who asks for your email now just so I can send you a long pitch for why you should enroll in my blogging course (I don’t even have a blogging course to sell).
When you sign up, every day for a couple weeks you’ll get a sequence of value-packed emails loaded with practical advice, step-by-step guides, and insider secrets I can’t publish publicly.
But don’t take my word for it. You have nothing to lose: If you don’t like my emails, you can always unsubscribe. So give it a try!
Hope to see you in your inbox!
Cheers from Buenos Aires,
PS – Curious about what life is like stuck in quarantine in Argentina? Check out my Instagram stories (and be sure to shoot me a message so I know you’re a fellow blogger and not just another follower!).