What Is Your Blog About?
Since you are right here reading this article, you already know what you want your blog to be about - you are starting an adventure blog! But it can be extremely helpful to clarify your goals for your blog now, going beyond the general idea, to ensure you stand out from the crowd and know where to start. Are you starting a blog about solo female adventures? An adventure blog for teens? An adventure blog for parents with small children?
The more you know about where you are going with your blog, the easier time you will have focusing and deciding which content you need to create.
There’s a quote that fits this situation perfectly:
"If you try to be everything for everybody, you will be nothing to no one."
Establish Your Niche
When creating a new blog, you need to find your niche. This is the corner of the market that you have the most knowledge about, the place you can establish yourself as an absolute authority. If you try to take on Lonely Planet all at once, you will find yourself overwhelmed and outmatched right out the gate.
The key is to find a niche that is narrower than “adventure”, but broader than “$2 adventures”. Too broad and you will never stand out. Too narrow and you will run out of things to write about. You need something in the middle, such as “adventure in Montana”.
Some examples of niche adventure blogs are:
Name Your Blog
Once you’ve found your niche, it’s a great time to start brainstorming a web domain name for your blog. You’ll want to pick a name that’s brandable and available. Use our domain name tool to check if your name is available. If it is, scoop it up before someone else gets to it first.
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Brand Your Blog
The strongest and most memorable businesses are built on a solid brand. When developing your brand, think about what your business stands for. Customers and clients are looking for companies that have a compelling brand, as much as they are shopping for high-quality products and services.
Creating a logo for your business is vital for increasing brand awareness. You can design your own unique logo using our Free Logo Generator. Our free tool will help you brand your business with a unique logo to make your business stand out.
Finding Your Audience
Having a good sense of who is going to be reading your blog is one of the best ways to know what type of content to create, how to shape it, and, ultimately, how to grow your following. With a clear understanding of your niche, understanding your audience should come more naturally.
Finding your target audience - the people you want hanging out on your blog - isn’t only statistics and demographics. It requires a deeper understanding of who these people are and what they want. Your target audience is the people you’re writing to when you write your blog.
Are you writing to adventure lovers who have been all around the world, or are you writing to couch potatoes who are trying to figure out how to get out of the house? Whatever your content is going to cover, you need to know your audience so you can set your tone, find your voice, and write about the topics they are interested in.
Create a Persona
One way to understand your audience is to create a persona of your perfect target audience member. This essentially means creating a mock-up of the ideal person you hope to reach with your blog.
Here is an example of a target audience persona:
Having a persona for your perfect audience member helps you to visualize and understand who you are writing for and provides important direction to your content.
Be Your Own Persona
Another popular way to find your perfect target audience is to be your own persona. Many of the best products and services come from scratching your own itch. It’s possible you’ve searched for the perfect adventure blog to read, came up short, and decided to create it yourself. This makes you the perfect audience member for your own blog.
This can be a great strategy for creating highly effective content. If you’ve noticed a meaningful omission in blog content, chances are you are not alone. By writing personally satisfying content you are likely to reach an audience in search of the same things.
Where Is Your Audience Hanging Out?
No web content exists in a vacuum. While you should strive to create uniquely entertaining content for your blog, your target audience is almost certainly already out there reading other blogs, engaging on specialized forums, and using social media. Finding the sites where your audience already mingles is a great way to discover what topics they are most interested in, what language they are using, and what valuable content you can add to that mix.
Some examples for your adventure blog may include:
Visiting these sites is also a great way to begin engaging with your audience before your blog has even gone live. Jump into conversations on forums and in comments sections and get to know the people you’ll be writing for. This is a great, organic way to build relationships and direct people to your blog in its early days. Sharing your passion with like-minded people will make them more excited and passionate about supporting you in your blogging endeavor.
How Will You Present Your Work?
Traditionally, when most people think about a blog they picture written content on a page. However, there are several different ways to present your ideas on your blog, depending on your subject matter and target audience. Every blog will thrive with different formats, so it’s important to think carefully about how to best showcase your content before you start.
There are several effective methods of presenting the material on your adventure blog. They include:
As the name suggests, evergreen articles are composed of content that lasts. These articles are designed to have a long shelf life and continue drawing readers to your blog over time. They are typically long-form, text-based articles that delve more deeply into a particular topic.
There are plenty of topics that work for evergreen content in adventure niches. While the exact details may vary by subject, you can usually focus on fundamentals to create good evergreen content - like hiking safety, navigating foreign cultures, and other topics that remain consistent year after year. Try not to stress too much about finding topics that never, ever change, because change is inevitable. Just brainstorm topics that you think will be similar a few years from now and start from there. You can always go back and edit blog posts if something significant changes.
While the video format is not new, the explosive growth of YouTube and the advent of new and innovative video-based tech like Snapchat and TikTok have shown the true power of video as an online medium. While you may think that creating video is much more difficult and expensive than writing your content, you have access to all the technology you need to make high-quality video content right on your smartphone.
Adventure blogging is perfect for video content - your audience wants to see your adventures, and you want to show them. You can make videos that document your adventures. You can also make videos that teach your audience how to do things, like how to adjust hiking poles or how to exchange money to a different currency. Your videos will not look amazing at first if you are like most bloggers, but you will get better. Just keep making videos and keep improving your skills and you will reach a point where your videos are more professional.
News articles or other “announcement” type content can be a great way to gather new readers. One benefit of news content is the short-term but powerful increase in search volume during an event. While this bump may be temporary, it can be a great tool for grabbing new readers who end up coming back for more.
Writing about current events or new happenings also means there will typically be less competition for readers. Other blogs and media sources are all getting the information as it develops. Since the base of knowledge available is smaller, this gives you a good opportunity to add your own flavor to the article.
The downside to news-type articles is that they tend to lose popularity much more quickly than evergreen content. While the interest for an event may be very large one day, the next day people may already be moving on to the next shiny object.
News-type content depends on the niche you are covering. Some niches produce a lot more news than others, which makes it easier to find topics. However, if you keep looking for newsworthy topics in your niche you will probably find some, even if your niche is less sensational than some others. When you learn about changes in an area you like to travel, a new book release, or some new product coming out that you are interested in, write a news-type blog about it.
While most people expect to be reading when they visit a blog, image-heavy content can be very appealing and break up your text-focused posts to keep people’s attention. Depending on the topic of your post, displaying multiple images per page on a single subject can give your audience a better sense of what you are trying to convey.
While some topics may take to images very easily, like a car blog or a celebrity gossip site, others may require some deeper thinking to make this strategy work.
Adventure blogging is well-suited to image-heavy content. Your adventures are perfect for documenting with photographs, so you can keep your camera ready while you explore and collect plenty of great photos for posting later on when you write your blogs.
If you are not great at photography, you can always start with stock images and press images from different locations and product manufacturers. You can also take a travel photography class or study online to improve your photography skills. With regular practice, you will get better at taking photos and will eventually produce the kind of images you can be proud to post on your blog.
Mix and Match
Your adventure blog will benefit greatly from having multiple content delivery strategies. You will probably have preferred types of content that you like creating - everyone does - but you should step outside your comfort zone regularly to try new things. Even if you can write great blogs, you can still learn to take nice photos or make videos and impress your audience with the results. Changing up your content will keep things interesting for you and your audience. You will likely find that you are good at more than one thing, which is a great experience!
How To Make Money From an Adventure Blog
One of the main reasons people start blogs is to generate some sort of profit. Whether you’re looking for a few hundred dollars per month or a job-replacing income, blogging is still an excellent way to make those dreams a reality.
There are a few great ways to make money from an adventure blog:
Display Ad Networks
Display ads are the simplest way for websites to generate any sort of income. Ad networks, like Google Adsense, are fairly simple to be accepted into, and implementation onto your site is streamlined and clean. If you’re just beginning to see some traffic to your blog and want to turn this into dollars, display ads are where most people start.
There are a few downsides to display ads, however. The first is that some feel they detract from the user experience on your blog. Most people have been to a site where large ads pop up and block the content in the middle of reading. This can be distracting, frustrating, and even drive people away from your blog. While it’s possible to clean up and control the type of ads you use, it can be a constant battle to balance effective ad placement with aesthetics and readability.
The other main downside is that they don’t pay a lot. These networks generally use a pay-per-click (PPC) model which, depending on the niche, can pay anywhere from $0.01 to $1.50 per click, most on the lower end.
While display ads are a great way to make your first dollars, you’ll want to make sure any negatives they bring are worth the profits they provide. Once you develop a solid following, you can consider moving on to more lucrative and effective profit-making options.
Affiliate marketing programs like Amazon Affiliate have become much more popular over the past few years, as they take the payment model from pay-per-click to cost-per-acquisition (CPA). This means you can refer as many users to an advertiser’s product as you want, but will only get paid when the user makes a purchase.
Both advertisers and publishers benefit from an affiliate marketing setup. The advertiser pays nothing until a sale is made and the publisher enjoys much higher commissions than the pay-per-click model.
There are a wide variety of affiliate programs out there used by adventure bloggers. The ones you choose will need to be based on your niche and your personal preferences, but there are some that make sense for just about every adventure blog.
Skyscanner is one big name in adventure blogging affiliates. It is a major player in the flight price tracking market, offering ways to keep track of airline travel ticket prices so that you can snag a flight at a low point. The program offers the possibility of earning up to 50% commissions on revenue share for travel purchases, including flights and rental cars.
Airbnb is another big name that offers an affiliate program. You can get up to $95 when someone books a stay through your link and get up $5000 in travel credit through the program. Since Airbnb is used so regularly by adventure travelers, it should not be a challenge to sell your readers on booking through your blog.
Remember, you want to develop good long-term relationships with your audience, so avoid going for affiliate programs just because of the money. Stick to the ones that you can recommend in good conscience.
Sell Digital Products
Digital products are an online entrepreneur's dream. You create the item once, then sell it as many times as you can, with little to no cost of reproduction. This means that you can scale your business to infinity.
Examples of digital products are:
- Ebooks - A piece of writing, generally in PDF format. These can contain literally anything that your audience would want. They can either be true book-length all the way down to a few pages of content. Depending on your niche, audience, and subject, these can run from $1 to $100 per sale fairly easily.
- Gated Content - This is content that is served on your website just like any other article, except that is behind a “paywall”. If you are creating content that you don’t want to be released to anyone but your true followers, you have them sign up for an account on your site and charge them a subscription fee for access. Generally, authors charge anywhere from $5 to $200 per month for access to gated content.
- Online Courses - If you can teach a skill that your audience wants to learn, you can create an online course to sell to them. These courses can be formatted in whatever way makes the most sense to you, but most nowadays are video courses. Online courses can sell from $10 to well over $10,000 per course, obviously depending on the subject matter and audience.
A great example of a digital product that an adventure blogger could create is an online course in travel photography. If you are skilled at photographing your adventures and regularly impress your audience with your work, plenty of them will gladly pay you to teach them your skills. You can even survey your readers to see what they want to learn most before developing your course. A course like this could sell for $200 or more.
Sell Physical Products
Selling physical products is the original money-making strategy. You gather an audience that is hungry for something, you sell it to them, and everyone wins. You don’t have to be an inventor, designer, or manufacturer to sell products. Sites like Alibaba and AliExpress import already-made items into the United States and sell them for a markup.
The two main methods for the distribution of these items are: dropshipping and self-fulfilled.
Dropshipping is a method where you advertise a product on your site that you do not own. Once you make the sale, you inform the manufacturer, who will handle the shipping and handling to the end-user. While this is simple because you don’t have to worry about storing or shipping any items yourself, you’ll find that the margins can be quite slim.
Self-fulfilled sales are much more of a hands-on approach to sales. You buy the item from the manufacturer, store it, then ship it to the end-user once you have made the sale. While there is much more work involved, you’ll find that the margins per sale are much higher.
It is always a good idea to start small when you begin selling products on your adventure blog. You can begin with branded apparel, which you can purchase for a few dollars a piece and then mark up before selling to your audience. As your blog grows, you may consider partnering with a manufacturer to produce your own line of adventure gear. You just need a big enough audience to justify the move.
While it can be very profitable when done well, selling products is not generally recommended for the beginner blogger. It’s best to secure an audience that you know will be receptive to the product before making a large investment in product development or acquisition.
Create A Service
Providing a service is another very basic money-making plan. If you can provide a service that you know your audience needs, you have a viable business on your hands.
Whether this service is delivered through one-on-one interaction with the user, through a piece of software that you develop, or by directly completing a task for the user, this is a great way to monetize your skillset and your blog.
If your adventure blog focuses on photography, you could offer adventure photography seminars. If you focus on writing about your adventures, you could teach groups how to do the same. It all depends on your niche, your audience, and your skill set.
You should be able to charge a premium for your services if your blog is popular. However, you will need to be careful to avoid overcommitting yourself, especially early on. It is easy to say yes too often when you get paid well and demand is high. But it is your blog that drives your business, and that means you need to keep the blog going strong to keep your business thriving. Learn to balance your services and your blog for long-term success.
Next Steps To Get Your Adventure Blog Started
Now that you have the strategies in place to build and grow your own blog, check out our free course: How To Start A Blog.
This course includes all the essentials on how to get your blog out of your head and onto its own website. Starting a blog is simple and inexpensive, so there’s no reason that you shouldn’t start today!
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