Bloggers Helping Bloggers: Travel Blog Success

I don’t usually write about the nuts and bolts of travel blogging, mainly because I haven’t been doing this terribly long and I don’t really feel qualified to give out a lot of advice. That said, I’ve been getting a fair amount of queries lately on how I built Twenty-Something Travel into what it is today.

books in a stack (a stack of books)
Creative Commons License photo credit: austinevan

The truth is hard work, persistent networking and tons of research. Since July I have read a virtual library worth of web-tips, e-books and real paper books on how to create a successful blog.  One of the best resources I’ve come across thus far is the new Travel Blog Success course built by David Lee.

Dave is my co-organizer for the monthly DC travel meet-up (we just had our third one this past Friday). He is also the creator of GoBackpacking, one of the biggest and most successful personal travel blogs out there. In the past three months Dave tells me he has made over $5000 on his travel blogs! Additionally, GoBackpacking and Medellin Living are both finalists in the 2010 Weblog Awards. This is a guy who clearly knows his stuff.

Dave’s brilliant blogging brain has been a huge resource for me, even if we are just hanging out and drinking beer. I was thrilled when he offered me a sneak peek at the educational program he has been working on for months (I, in turn, gave him super helpful critiques like “change your font”).

Anyways, now I can give you the inside scoop that Travel Blog Success is pretty awesome. The core is a collection of twelve lessons on important subjects like “Content Creation,” “SEO for beginners” and the all important “How to make money.” There is a lot of really great information on creating, promoting and profiting from your blog.

soccer practice
Creative Commons License photo credit: woodleywonderworks

That content is supplemented with a useful new blog, updated with information on internet marketing, networking and leadership.  Also included are audio interviews with other travel blog titans like Craig Martin of Indie Travel Podcast. We are talking a serious wealth of information here.

There is also a message board where travel bloggers can ask for and give advice. I think this may be the most useful bit of the whole package. I posted a question about advertising and received several really helpful answers (and this was before the site even went live!). The fact that this is not just a lesson packet but also a community is a major selling point for me.

I think that the TBS package would be extremely helpful for beginner bloggers trying to learn the ropes, although I picked up quite a few tips myself, particularly on monetization. There is a lot of basic information as well as some more advanced help. The community aspect and the renewing blog content and resources make it worthwhile for all travel bloggers to get involved.

Right now Dave is offering membership to TBS for reduced prices as low as $75. Once he fills the first 100 spots I know he is planning to jack up the price, so if you interested in being a part of this great new program, better jump on it now!


Full Disclosure: Dave gave me free access to the TBS site. I believe in it strongly enough to become an affiliate, which means if you click through one of the links on my site and join, I will receive a small commission.

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19 thoughts on “Bloggers Helping Bloggers: Travel Blog Success”

  1. This looks really interesting. I’ve very new to blogging and I have questions about lots of these topics. This course looks like it would help me a lot. I’m definitely going to look into it. Thanks for the info!

  2. Steph-

    Just wanted to comment on the part of the thread re. MatadorU. It’s definitely pricey compared to Dave’s program, but I think there are a few considerations prospective students need to take into consideration when thinking about investing in either program.

    MatadorU was developed by a team of travel writers and editors who are all published beyond Matador itself. At least three of us have written guidebooks for major publishers and all of us who contributed to the curriculum have published in other print publications, so the knowledge and skills you’re getting in that course are informed by those types of experiences. The focus of the MatadorU course isn’t necessarily getting the skills to set up a travel blog and make money off the blog (though there are elements of the course that would prepare you to do that); it’s to provide you with the skills needed to develop a multi-faceted career as a travel writer who is interested in seeking publication across a wide variety of platforms, both traditional and digital.

    The other benefits of MatadorU are a student forum, which has been invaluable for many of the students with respect to developing an immediate peer network. It seems like this is an element in Dave’s program too, and that’s great– that network of support is vital for students just getting started. MatadorU also has a market leads board where we post both long term gigs and one-time assignment leads. As the program continues to develop, we’ll be selecting promising writers for paid travel assignments. MatadorU also has a series of bonus modules so that beyond the 12 weeks, there are a number of continuing education courses that students can take in specialized areas.

    So… there you have it! Lots of factors to consider when choosing which program is best for you. Money’s definitely a consideration for most people, especially in a tight economy, but it’s important to point out that it’s just as critical that people looking into either of these programs (or any of the other ones out there) consider (1) what their goals are and (2) what they’re going to get out of the course in both the short-term and the long-term.

    I’d be happy to answer any questions you have about MatadorU.


    1. Thanks for the feedback Julie! I do realize that TBS and MatadorU aren’t in direct competition- they address different aspects of writing on the internet. I think that the two together could be very complimentary.

    2. Julie –

      Travel Blog Success is meant to fill a void I saw in terms of people who want better travel blogs, but not necessarily to start down the road toward professional travel writing (for print publications).

      At least one new member of TBS is also a student at MatadorU, which goes to show that people are able to see them as complimentary opportunities.
      .-= Dave´s last blog ..Faces From Around the World: Spain =-.

  3. I am excited to have joined up onto TravelBlogSuccess the only downfall is that it’s going to take me a few days of really delving into all the information to really take full advantage of it. Some of the suggestions are easy quick fixes others will take a few hours/days working and revamping to improve your site but overall worth it. I just hope I used your affiliate link correctly.

    1. I agree, it’s a lot of information! I think that the more in depth stuff is important because it has the potential to cause the most significant changes.

      Thanks for using my link! much appreciated!

  4. Owww, I would love to join! Where were you last April when we were getting started 🙂 I will have to save up a few pennies before we join but Dave does great stuff online so I’m sure this site is worth a peak as well.
    .-= Aly´s last blog ..LIFE ABOARD & ABROAD =-.

  5. Thanks for the rundown about the program Stephanie. Education is key. Like you, I’ve been doing so much research since I started travel blogging a couple of months ago. I learned a whole lot from the course and just connecting with fellow travel bloggers like yourself. Congrats to Dave on building this course. I’ll look forward to hearing people’s experience with the program!
    .-= Nancy´s last blog ..House vs. Globe: The Vagabond/Homeowner Crisis =-.

    1. I’ve been going back and forth on Matador U myself. Seems great but man it’s pricey. Might shoot you an email about it.

  6. very interested and i amazed to hear the success of Dave, who surely run a great blog. will definitely have a thought about this new project although for now we are a bit short of $$
    thanks for the hint

    1. Yeah it is a bit of money to lay down, but I think in comparison to some of the other programs out there it’s a bargain.

  7. Fantastic!

    This is exactly what bloggers need!

    Twitter and Facebook have helped me grow my blog so much. The connections you make through social media really help to progress.

    I will be signing up right now.

    .-= Emma Lovelly´s last blog ..Sydney Sunday =-.

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