South Africa is one of the African countries with a fast-growing travel blogging community. As a blogger in South Africa, you can write inspiring blogs on camping, long overland adventures, music festival, and weekend getaways.
Table of Contents
Section 1: Choose the right platform
you will need a computer, internet connection, a credit card, or debit card to get started.
You might be asking yourself why I mentioned a debit or credit card, yet some companies give you a free website that takes only a few minutes to set up.
Well, this is the best if you want to make an online diary about your travels. But if your goal is to have a successful travel blog that can make you money in the future, you need your own hosted travel blog right from the start.
This guide will help you start your travel blog in South Africa.
Pick a domain name
Picking a domain name can take up to a week. Your domain name will be your online identity. So make it something you like.
Make it short and as simple as possible.
You do not want to be telling people to check out ‘www.jennifertravelingsouthafricaforvacationandevents.com.
Short names make it more memorable.
For instance, http://discoveringsouthafrica.com.
You can even use your name or part of your name initials.
Think outside the box. Giving your blog a name like a forever single traveler might kill your blog at some point. What happens if you finally get a partner? Will your forever single blog die or what? Reasons like this are why you need enough time before deciding on your domain name.
After coming up with your preferred name you need to check if it’s available. Type in ‘discoveringsouthafrica.com’ on your browser and if nothing comes up then you can use it as your domain name. Your next step will be to buy that domain.
Hosting is the home for your travel blog. It’s where it lives on the internet. So you need to ‘rent’ space on the internet by signing up with a host.
For instance, you live in a house and people find you through your address, the same way a host is like your house and your website lives in it just as you live in a house then your domain name is how people find your website just the way people use your address to find you.
So Your host provides the physical servers for your website to live on, maintains the software required to keep your site online, and performs regular maintenance to keep your site up and running.
That is the most important information you should know about hosting.
You can check our hosting packages here.
Section 2: Create interesting and engaging content
People want to read content that will keep them glued and make them want to get the experience you are talking about on your blog. If your content is not interesting the visitors are more likely to leave your blog in the first few seconds.
For you to be able to deliver interesting and engaging content, you need to research the famous places in Southern Africa, where people can stay, and new experiences that visitors can try there among others.
Researching the area helps you understand better the places, therefore, delivering quality and clear information to your audience.
One of South Africa’s main attractions is the African scenery: golden savannah, great gaping gorges, hauntingly beautiful deserts, and the awe-inspiring cast of African creatures.
Traveling around South Africa you get to learn a lot about the country. Below are some of the topics you can blog about when traveling in South Africa.
South Africa’s turbulent history
You can learn the history of South Africa by visiting the following places.
- Capetown one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
- Durban a melting pot of cultures and cuisines.
- Poignant museums and galleries in Johannesburg
- Soweto Nelson Mandela’s birthplace
Kruger National Park, Mpumalanga and Limpopo Provinces
Kruger National Park is one of the best game reserves in Africa and one of the oldest in South Africa. It offers visitors the chance to see the “Big Five” (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, and rhino)
The Garden Route
Garden Route runs for about 200 kilometers through some of the most breathtaking coastal scenery in South Africa.
Kgalagadi (Kalahari) Transfrontier Park, Northern Cape
Kgalagadi is one of the largest wilderness areas in the world. It was established in 2000 and is Africa’s first officially declared transfrontier park and one of the top places to visit in South Africa’s Northern Cape.
The Drakensberg KwaZulu-Natal
The Drakensberg, which means dragon mountains is one of the top places to visit in KwaZulu-Natal.
Visitors flock here to hike and bike the scenic mountain trails, fish for trout, rock climb, abseil, and hot air balloon rides appreciating the dramatic topography.
There are so many other places in South Africa you can visit and write a blog on such as Boulders Penguin Colony in Simon’s Town, Coffee Bay Wild Coast, Addo Elephant National Park, Madikwe Game Reserve, Jeffreys Bay, and Cape Agulhas among others.
Tips for what to blog about while traveling in South Africa
Section 3: Use high-quality photos and videos
Great content is not enough to entice your audience, engage visitors and persuade them that your content is great. You need to understand that your audience is lazy. They want information as fast as they can get it.
Your content is as important as your images, so you must ensure both stand out.
Some travel bloggers in South Africa do not understand how to properly make use of images and videos in their blog posts. Below are tips on how to use images on your travel blog.
Use images to break up the text
Just the same way you use paragraphs to separate points and to make it easier for your readers, images are used to separate points and make the text easier to understand.
Use high-quality images
While images are important you need to make sure the images are of good quality. Your readers are more likely to lose interest in your content if your images are poor. Poor images are as bad as having no images at all.
Use legal images
You don’t just download images from the internet and use them on your blog post. Most images on the internet have copyright. Some companies charge you a fee to use their images. If you are not ready to pay for the images, you can as well get them from Pexels.com for free.
The images you use are a visual aid for the point you are trying to get across. Incorporating screenshots makes your work even stronger.
Insert videos where necessary
With travel blogs, people might find videos more interesting to draw information from than images. People want to see the actual images of the place you are talking about through a video. Using videos on your travel blogs can give your visitors a reason to come back to the website.
So what do you need to photograph while traveling in South Africa? Below are ideas of what to photograph while traveling in South Africa.
- The southernmost tip of the African Continent at Cape Agulhas
- Jeffreys bay
- Wildlife eg The Big Five
- Wild Coast on Eastern Cape
- The Golden Mile
- Robben Island
- The Drakensberg
Section 4: Market your blog
Marketing is not as easy as you may think. Some bloggers start a travel blog expecting quick and easy results then give up when things don’t work as they expected.
Building a successful travel blog takes time and effort. But the good part is that once your blog starts growing it becomes a lot easier. Below are some marketing techniques you can use to gain more traffic for your blog.
SEO (search engine optimization)
Learning to use Google Analytics and understanding the basics of SEO can do great things for your traffic with time. SEO can take months or even more than a year for any changes to pay off.
You need to understand that at first, you won’t rank. Google simply won’t trust your site at first. The way to earn their trust is by posting good content and wait.
You can also speed up the process by getting quality backlinks to your site. For instance, you can do guest posts.
Don’t worry soo much about SEO or keyword research at first. Just concentrate on building your content after about 6 months of running your blog you can now learn more about SEO.
While focusing on creating good content, including some content that is not already trying to compete with the biggest sites out there. With persistence, you can eventually start seeing the audience grow around your blog. With time your blog might grow from just a hobby to a hobby with benefits.
You can get traffic to your site but retaining the visitors is another thing. A mailing list is a great way to get your visitors to come back to your site. You need a mailing list right from the start. You can use this as a way to alert your subscribers once you have a blog post.
Facebook should be your very first thought of marketing your blog. Create a Facebook page for your blog and invite your Facebook friends to follow your page. Facebook allows linking back to your blog which makes it useful for growing your blog.
Instagram can help you gain fame and adoration but it has fewer opportunities to promote your travel blog.
On social media, photos and personal posts do best. Build a connection with your audience through images, asking them questions, and linking to other interesting posts which are not yours.
Pinterest is a great promotional channel for travel blogs, especially early on. Ranking on search engines may take ages but you can see results more quickly on Pinterest.
The good thing about Pinterest is that your pins still hang around for a long time. The effort you put in will keep paying off as time goes by.
Youtube is one of the platforms you can promote your blog and even earn from it. Imagine promoting your blog by just uploading videos and at the same time earning from it. Interesting right?
But remember youtube takes time to pay back just like a blog. So don’t get so much excited yet. But once you get to 1000 subscribers and 4000 watch hours you can enjoy the benefits.
While promoting your blog through youtube all you need to do is make a video on a topic on your blog then leave a link to your blog in the description box.
While starting a blog might seem easy, it requires countless hours of work, creativity, and determination to build a sustainable brand. Travel blogs might seem like a permanent vacation until you see the amount of work that goes into writing, creating content, shooting photos, editing videos, and sharing to all your social media accounts.
If you want to succeed as a travel blogger, you have to start with pure intentions.
Many people see a successful travel blogger and want to pursue the lifestyle without being ready to work first. Nothing comes easy in life. You do not have to love the work and the much time involved in travel blogs but think of the benefits at the end and let that push you to put in the work.