If you want to learn how to become a travel vlogger, you are in luck. With a plan and clear goal in place, starting a successful travel channel on YouTube is very possible. Just remember that this romantic career goal is rewarding but extremely challenging, especially at the beginning.
To become a travel vlogger, you might think you have to be abroad and online every day – this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Your travel vlogging career can coincide with your current job, and you can get started with just your smartphone. Read on to learn how to become a travel vlogger so you can share your adventures and stories online.
Keep Your Day Job
Before you quit your job to vlog, understand that you need money to travel. Just because you want to be a travel vlogger does not mean that someone wants to pay you to do it. It can take years of vlogging before you build an audience large enough that gets the attention of sponsors.
Yes, you can make money off of your videos on YouTube. But, YouTube does not pay much until you achieve a large following. In addition, the YouTube market is already thoroughly saturated with travel vloggers, but you can always try to differentiate yourself to make a dent, but more on that later.
You should also keep your expectations in check. When you create a travel vlog, your goal should be to have fun and see the world, while being creative. If you make it only about earning money, then you might not vlog for long.
Having said all of the above, it is still very possible to make a living from travel vlogging or combine with a job. For example, there are many video creator jobs out there, and a decent amount of them are remote. So now that we have set realistic expectations, let’s get into how to start travel vlogging.
How to Start a Travel Vlog
Find a Niche
As we’ve said, the travel vlogging market is saturated. So, your best bet to building your own audience is to develop a niche and be open to changing it. Maybe you start out vlogging about family-friendly destinations. But, if that niche is too broad, you might find that no one is vlogging about destinations created for families with teens, for example.
Once you develop your niche, it’s your job to be the best vlogger in it. Many vloggers will generate hashtags and keywords that they use with every video, so their audience knows how to find them. Create social media titles that fit your niche and post in them, even if you don’t have a video to share.
Don’t wait around for someone to pay you to go to your dream destination. You have to go there yourself. If you don’t have the funds to go to Bali or Curaçao, go somewhere affordable for you. Maybe you visit a local museum, or you pitch a tent at a little-known campground near you. Your budget and situation should also be a factor in what niche you decide to enter.
Staycations are popular with families and people who simply cannot afford to travel far from home. With the pandemic still wreaking havoc on the United States and other countries, traveling long distances is not possible or safe for everyone. Visit safe locales and show your audience how they can travel in your community.
The key to successful vlogging isn’t about the destination; it’s about what you do when you get there. Viewers want a story, so when you go to any nearby shopping district, restaurant, or other potential tourist destination, start vlogging. Don’t forget about the free activities in your area, too. Tell a story so your audience has something to watch.
Use the Camera You’ve Got
When you start as a travel vlogger, you don’t have to spend a fortune on new gear. The goal of travel vlogging is to tell a great story about an exciting location. It’s not about having the most expensive equipment. Yes, you want to capture your scenery, but if you can’t afford to buy a 4K camera, don’t worry about it.
You can vlog from your smartphone, as the latest models have outstanding cameras. People won’t watch you because you use the best gear. They will care because you have something interesting to show them.
If you are new to vlogging, you might have a limited budget. You might better spend your money on your travels, rather than on your gear. If you get a more considerable following and make some money off of your YouTube channel, then you might want to put some money into a high-quality camera. Until then, use your smartphone and make the best of it.
Learn to Use Free Editing Software
Rather than spending money on an editing software, pick one that is free and has a robust amount of tools. Here is a list of both free and paid editing software we recommend. We are going to suggest that you film as often as possible, so you will have a ton of footage to edit. It is also a good idea to do voice-overs and play around with adding music and other sounds.
Fortunately, free editing software exists for all types of computer platforms. If your audience grows, you might consider investing in a paid video editor like Premiere Pro so you can make your videos look professional. Some have monthly fees; others have one-time purchase prices. The key to successful editing is to get to know one app and use it to the fullest.
Check out our vlog editing guide for an in-depth tutorial on how on edit a vlog.
Film Your Adventures
The key to being a successful travel vlogger is to film as much as possible. You should use your camera constantly, even if you aren’t at a location. The more you can film yourself, the more comfortable you will be filming live at a destination.
Don’t just film yourself, though. Your vlog should include plenty of B-roll – the landscape, shops, restaurants, architecture, and other surroundings. As you talk about a specific restaurant, you should show clips of the restaurant. Your viewers will appreciate this.
Film everywhere you can, even when you visit the grocery store or drive through a car wash. Practice telling your story, even if you are only telling a story for a 60-second car-wash ride. As you practice filming and talking, you’ll come with inspiring things to say – which is what your audience will want.
Remember that the more footage you have, the more possibilities you have when editing. It’s a good idea to get a few extra batteries for your camera or a power bank if you are using your smartphone. Having extra battery time is really important for travel vloggers.
How to Grow Your Travel Vlog
Develop a Posting Schedule
With so many places to post, you should create a schedule for yourself. You don’t have to post everywhere everyday, but having a plan and sticking to it matters. Your followers will expect you to post on certain days, and you don’t want to disappoint them. If you become too sporadic in your postings, your followers might stop caring.
Your posting schedule should include more than picking a consistent day. You should also pick consistent times. Do your research to find out when your followers are active. YouTube Analytics gives real-time information as well as detailed data about when viewers are active. Social media sites also offer analytics for business pages.
Make Friends with Other Vloggers
The vlogging world is competitive and stressful, which is why new vloggers should make friends with other creators on the platform. Making connections can help you maneuver the cut-throat world and learn to manage your stress. Vlogging might seem fun initially, but talking to a blank screen (which reflects your own face) gets a bit lonely. Having vlogger friends keeps things interesting.
When you connect with other vloggers, you can ask questions about the process. You can ask about gear, locations, and social media tips. They can be a significant inspiration in a niche market that can be repetitive.
The best places to connect with other vloggers is on social media sites like Twitter or Instagram. You can also meet other travelers, who can make suggestions about great places to go. Don’t forget to connect with your favorite YouTubers; if you follow them, they might just follow you back.
If you are trying to grow your own vlog, don’t hesitate to ask your fellow vloggers if they would be willing to do a show with you. Working together for an episode or two is a great way to share your viewers and grow both of your sites.
Get Active on All Social Media
Being a vlogger isn’t just about the videos. You must be able to post like crazy on all of the social media platforms, from TikTok to Twitter, Facebook to Instagram. You should show off your vlogging and still photography skills. Link to your YouTube account and give every follower a daily reason to continue following you.
Along with building a robust social media presence, you should also consider creating your own website. This way, you can not only vlog about your experiences, but blog, too. If you invest in anything financially, put your money in a website with a catchy title that showcases your niche. If you don’t know how to build a website, find a friend or hire someone to help you.
Having your own website and robust social media gives your travel vlogging legitimacy. Tell your on your website, so that your potential viewers can connect with you and eventually share your website with their friends.
When you post on your website or your social media accounts, talk about more than yourself and your travels. For example, if you are visiting a favorite hiking spot, you could share information about the health benefits of hiking. You don’t have to create the post, but you can share someone else’s information.
Your followers will appreciate your travel vlog, and the other fascinating information that you share. If you partner with other bloggers and vloggers, you can share each other’s content and grow your followers together.
As your following grows, don’t forget about interacting with followers who comment. Try to be positive or neutral in the tone of your comments.
Prepare yourself for the negative comments – as everyone online gets them. Don’t engage with the negative comments, other than to thank them for noticing your site. Remember that something was meaningful to them, otherwise, they wouldn’t have commented.
Perfect Your Profile
Everywhere you put your profile, be sure it looks professional. It would help if you had a quality photograph, and your bio should be grammatically correct. You are building a brand, and your profile should show this. Review your profile regularly, updating as necessary. Add your profile to your social media, your website, and your YouTube account.
As a traveler and a vlogger, take pride in learning. Remember that you can and should always learn and improve. You can learn about video production – both shooting and editing, social media, blogging, and website development as well as becoming a better traveler.
As a vlogger, you can also work on your public speaking. You can record videos, and you can post live videos. All require slightly different public speaking skills. Consider your facial expressions, your body language, your pacing, and diction. All of these skills take time to master, and you want to continue improving so your viewers can easily understand you. But this takes time, and it might take several videos before you see any progress.
Some vloggers involve locals or experts in their videos. If you plan to do this, you can also learn how to do compelling interviews. Even if you feel like you are the master of your vlogging universe, you can always find something new to discover or add to your videos.
Whatever you decide to do, do it for you. The project is yours to grow to your desire. We shared these tips to help you get started, and you can customize them to fit your needs as a new travel vlogger. If you are passionate about the project, your viewers will notice. They will tell other people, and your following will grow. If you want to learn more about vlogging, we recommend that you read our ultimate guide for even more insights.
Overall, the best way to learn how to become a travel vlogger is to travel and record your experience. Talk about where you are, what you did, and what you thought about it. Share your experience online and on social media. You never know who will be watching, and one of those people could change your life.