Do you ever endlessly scroll through a sea of Instagram travel accounts that it seems all people are doing is travel for a living? While it might look easy and effortless, people who share those stellar photos and videos actually put in a lot of work in what they do. So, if you want to try out a glamorous life of a Travel Blogger on Instagram, here’s what you need to do.
Instagram Travel Blogger
If you’re a travel influencer or blogger then welcome to the big bad world of running a business. You’re now a brand (even if it is a personal one) so everything you say, do and post about matters.
The key to being successful in any industry is figuring out how to differentiate yourself and stand out from the crowd.
Yes, there is competition in every market but since travel blogging and influencer marketing is a relatively new industry the good news is there is still room for everyone!
Becoming a travel Instagram influencer seems like a dream come true. Can you imagine getting paid to travel to beautiful places and post about it? To the casual observer, starting a travel Instagram account is as easy as going on vacation and posting a few photos of yourself looking wistfully at the sea with a caption that reads, “Vitamin Sea” or “Salty air, wind in my hair.”
But there is so much more to running a travel Instagram account than meets the eye. In fact, posting on Instagram like it’s your job can actually take a lot of the fun out of travel and social media if you don’t have a plan in place.
So, here are some useful and essential tips we’ve learned to stand out as a travel blogger or influencer.
How to stand out as a Travel Blogger?
If you’re just starting out, or planning to start a travel Instagram account soon, here are our best tips and tricks to get you started on the right foot: from setting up your account to taking photos to growing a following. Let’s dive in!
1. Find your “community” as a Travel Blogger
Figure out what you specialize in, and post about that. Maybe you love frequenting state and national parks, or you specialize in solo travel, adventure travel, far-flung destinations, or a specific state or country. Maybe you’re talking to moms of bored teenagers or college students who crave adventure. Find your people and serve them.
2. “Brand Yourself” in your travel Instagram account
You need to brand yourself. Why? Because every company does and yours is no different.
- Think about why someone would want to follow you or take your advice over someone else? When it comes to choosing a blog name or social media handles, think about the future. Is this a name you will be good with in a few years or not?
- Also, you need to make sure you can protect it legally. When you’re just starting out it may not be a big deal but once your social media celeb status, you’ll want to be able to prevent people from using your brand name.
- The next important thing when branding yourself is choosing a font, brand colors and theme that represent you and then stick with them. Being cohesive from the start can help you create a look and feel to your site.
- Have a logo? Great! If you don’t you may want to invest in one. There are tons of free logo making tools on the web as well as independent designers who can help you out.
3. Use a “smart bio” for your Travel blogger accent
You only get 150 characters to tell the world who you are, so use them wisely.
Do you want brands to collaborate with you? Include your email address.
Want to get travel offers in your state? Make sure people know where you are. (For safety reasons you don’t have to be super-specific. A state will do).
One thing a lot of people don’t realize is that you can use the name field for keywords. You get 30 characters, so play around with what you want to put there to maximize search visibility.
Use emojis and abbreviations where possible to save characters in the rest of your bio, and type it up in the notes app so you can separate lines.
4. Write a good captions for Travel related posts
Sure, while a good picture is worth a thousand words, captions are more than important on Instagram. They add value and weight to your content if used correctly.
If you have a nice travel photo, make sure to add something interesting about the place to the post to enrich your content. With the right caption, you can significantly raise the number of views and especially the comments.
If you’re a travel blogger, you can simply reuse content from your blog posts and create a fun and inspiring captions for your photos.
5. Make your Travel account visually “attractive”
So some people get really caught up on whether or not you need a cohesive theme. I don’t really think that’s necessary, especially as a travel blogger. You’ll end up getting way too stressed about finding backgrounds of a certain color, and you’ll avoid posting awesome photos just because they don’t fit your theme.
But if you are interested in Creative theme ideas you can also check lots of them and use them for your own account.
You can also edit all your photos the same way with tiny changes depending on the lighting of the photo. Everything somehow ends up looking connected. This way, your followers can tell it’s one of your photos.
6. Use general and regional “hashtags” for your travel account
Instagram Hashtags are a great way to get your content discovered and gain a following, especially if you’re savvy about the types of hashtags you use. When you’re traveling think about including multiple hashtags in three categories:
- General travel-related hashtags: #travelwriter #travel #instatravel #travelgram #tourism #instago #passportready #travelblogger #wanderlust #ilovetravel the list goes on and on and on…are great ways to get your content surfaced to people who are interested in the general vertical.
- Regional hashtags: People tend to click on regional hashtags when looking for places to eat or things to do, so make sure you’re also including regional hashtags, like the name of the city, monikers, or slogans related to the place you’re visiting to capture a more targeted audience.
- Hashtags that could get you featured on influential accounts: Top travel publications like National Geographic, Afar, Conde Nast Traveler all have branded hashtags and using them in your posts could help your content get picked up by traditional media outlets. Cities, too, tend to have official Instagram accounts that feature user-generated content and Instagram itself surfaces content by region in the explore tab.
Save your favorites in a note on your phone, so you can add them as the first comment on your post. Note that adding more than 30 hashtags will prevent your comment from being posted, but content with 11 or more hashtags receive the most engagement.
7. “TRAVEL” as a travel blogger!
What content are you going to post if you’re not getting out there and traveling?
If you’re posting all of your photos in the moment you’ll be rushed and not as thoughtful.
If you don’t have travel plans for a few weeks, you can get out of the house and explore your city or cities nearby. Remember, travel doesn’t HAVE to be a 3-month backpacking trip to Europe.
Exploring your own surroundings can be just as exciting, plus it feels accessible to your audience. Even if they’re still saving up for a trip, ANYONE can get out and experience their city. Who knows? Maybe you’ll inspire them.
8. Invest in good “equipment” to be a good Travel Blogger
Ask any serious Instagram blogger and all of them will recommend getting some serious photo equipment. None of the pros use smartphones to take their pictures and videos! Instead, they use good digital cameras that are high-quality as well as compact.
Today you can find reasonably-priced digital cameras that will allow you to snap some good stills and capture gorgeous videos for Stories. Also, make sure to follow trends and visit top destinations in your niche or wear trendy clothes.
Before you snap your stills or make videos from the seaside, grab some trendy swimwear online and you can capture the attention of two different audiences—travel lovers and fashionistas. Even lower quality posts can be made better with some good fashion!
9. “Connect” With Your Followers in your blogger account
Everyone talks about how important it is to provide content that helps your followers, but content is just half the battle. You have to be available to invest in engaging with your readers or followers.
Now we won’t lie, spending time on social platforms can be exhausting, but it’s part of the deal. Are you getting tons of comments on your blog, YouTube or Instagram page? Then you owe it to those readers to dedicate time during the day (even just 30 minutes) to getting back to as many as you can.
Remember, engagement is a two way street. You should learn How to Increase Instagram Engagement. The more you give back to them, the more they will be loyal to you. Also, the more you know your followers and what they like (and what they don’t) will help you really develop content that is valuable.
And you’ll also know what type of content to stay away from. Brands love to see REAL engagement and this will definitely help you stand out!
10. Don’t forget Instagram “Stories”
Instagram Stories are gaining fans very quickly so now there are more people who use Stories than total users of Snapchat! So, make sure to show your followers some videos from your travels and capture behind-the-scenes glimpses into your adventures. Many people find a creative Instagram Story very entertaining!
11. Post a “variety of photos” as a blogger
You have to try different things and do some experiments to see what will work for your audience. Do they prefer landscapes? Pictures of your whole family squeezed into the frame? Candids? Posed shots? Close-ups? A faraway shot of a person in nature to show scale?
You just need to find what resonates with your people.
Just play around with it and see what tends to get the best engagement. You’ll get into a rhythm.