Beach - Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park; Key West, Florida

Travel blogger tips I wish I had known before I started blogging

As I celebrate the one-year anniversary of my travel and lifestyle blog, kmfiswriting.com, I wanted to share my top sanity-saving secrets and blogging tips when you’re first starting out as a travel blogger – well, any kind of blogger. Here’s what I wish I had known on how to become a blogger before I became a blogger.


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Contents
2 Travel blogger tips I wish I had known before I started blogging

Blogger tips: Take a reputable online blogging course

Before I started blogging, I worked in corporate communications as a writer and editor for more than 25 years – and before that I was a newspaper journalist. So I wasn’t new to writing. I blogged for my previous company and I had been microblogging on social media for 10 years. However, I needed to learn the ins and outs of becoming a travel blogger for this particular niche.

While there are many companies out there offering “how to become a blogger,” “how to monetize your passion with a blog,” etc., I especially love Pete and Heather Reese with It’s a Lovely Life. They offer a free five-day crash course in blogging. If you like what you learn, then you can sign up for additional courses. I’ve taken several with It’s a Lovely Life. Note: I am an affiliate with It’s a Lovely Life. If you choose to purchase one of their other blogging courses, I may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you). I only recommend products and services I use or would use myself.

It’s a Lovely Life is where I met my core baker’s dozen travel tribe (aka sanity-saving network of adventurers). More on them later in this post.

It's a lovely life logo

Blogger tips: How to find and get to know your travel tribe.

Friends meeting for dinner in a restaurant
When travel bloggers meet in real life: Left: Hera and Mike from Travoodie. Right: Payton and Michele from Endless Family Travels and me. I share more later in this post how this came to be.

Finding your travel tribe sounds simple – and it is. But simple doesn’t mean it’s super easy or super quick to create relationships with other bloggers. You really need to invest time in building those relationships with like-minded people who are passionate about learning from each other when it comes to travel blogging.

You’ll learn who to support and who’ll support you. And you’ll learn that some bloggers are here one day and gone the next. It takes a lot of persistence and discipline to become and remain a blogger. And as in any healthy relationship, you need to build trust, communicate, engage and give back to others.

So how do you find your people? Your travel tribe?

I’ve tried many different avenues to find a travel tribe. And it does take some trial and error to see what sticks and what isn’t meant for you.

Blogger tips: Engage on social media

Join Facebook groups, Twitter chats, Instagram loops, Pinterest boards (although I’m hearing now that group boards may not be the thing these days – a subset to this blogger tip: you must stay active on social media to learn about developing trends. It seems like social media best practices change every day).

And do it for the right reasons. Don’t just become a member of travel groups and then simply post links to your blog posts. Engage with other bloggers. Read and learn from other bloggers’ blog posts, provide meaningful comments, share, retweet, pin. I’ve learned so much from other bloggers and get a lot of great ideas from reading other bloggers. 

Blogger tips: Collaborate with other bloggers

In addition to engaging with other bloggers by commenting on their blog posts and social media, another blogger tip is to collaborate with other bloggers. This could be as simple as proactively reaching out to another blogger in your niche and saying, “Hey, I saw your post on ABC, would it be okay if I added a backlink to your post on my post or can I add your photo if I give you credit and a link to your blog?”

Example of how to collaborate with other travel bloggers

For example, I published an Embracing Winter blog post series where I shared 90 different activities to do in the winter (one for each day of the season). Ice climbing was one of the fun winter activities, but I didn’t have a photo. I prefer to use my own photos or other user-generated images in my travel blog posts rather than stock photography. I find it more authentic.

So when I came across an ice-climbing post from someone I followed on Instagram, Fierce Planet Adventures, I simply asked them if I could use their images in my winter series if I gave them photo credit and links to their Instagram posts. It’s a win-win. I’m providing great user-generated and authentic content and driving traffic to their Instagram account. See what I did there? I added a backlink to their Instagram account. I’ve done similar requests with other bloggers by adding relevant backlinks to their blog posts.

Travel blogger collaboration examples

Here are just a few examples of travel blogger collaborations I’ve participated in and/or have added backlinks to travel blogs.

That Traveling Chick: Hilton Rochester Mayo Clinic rolls out the red carpet (This was actually a hosted event and stay where another travel blogger asked me to attend the Hilton Rochester Mayo Clinic red carpet event on her behalf after she received the invitation and was unable to go – thank you Sheila!)

Planning Away: Top things to do in Paris, France

Traveling Tanya: Binge-worthy movies that inspire travel

Travels with Bibi: 10 best national parks and monuments in the U.S. and beyond

Via Travelers: 14 fabulous day trips from Las Vegas worth exploring

How to find travel blog collaborations: Bloggers wanted / Bloggers required

If you want to participate in travel blog collaborations, join or create your own Facebook group page (see related sections below) or tweet out what you’re looking for to recruit other travel bloggers by using the Twitter hashtags #bloggerswanted, #bloggersrequired, #traveltribe.

For example, my niece Anyse (aka Nicci, aka superhero), who is a fashion designer, was all set to travel to Milan (her first international trip ever) on March 15, 2020. Well, as you know, that’s about when borders started shutting down around the world. So instead of traveling to Italy, she stayed home in her Minneapolis loft and started making face masks and donating them to healthcare heroes and seniors. Proud aunt right here.

That’s because she is a super hero.

I thought I’d see if some of my Twitter travel tribe friends could help me put together a virtual tour of Italy for my niece as inspiration for her future travel and to recognize her for selflessly giving back to our communities. Here’s how I coordinated that travel tribe collaboration.

And feel free to add your Italy photos to the Twitter thread also.

Blogger tips: Create your own Facebook group page

Earlier I mentioned my sanity-saving network of adventurers. I’m not kidding. They saved my sanity.

While friends and family members have good intentions, they will not get it. They do not have the visibility of all the time and energy that goes into publishing just a single blog post or the work that goes into a pitch to affiliates and hosts.

Your travel tribe knows you are not retired. They understand travel blogging is not a hobby. Other bloggers understand the frustration when a travel post that you think should only take two hours tops will always take at least six to eight. Other bloggers will get it. They will get you.

Bloggers like those I found through It’s a Lovely Life. Over the past year, I’ve become friends with so many adventurers and travel bloggers. In fact, I’ve even met a couple of them in real-life and hope to meet others (see earlier photo).

So 14 of us travel bloggers recently created a new Facebook group page: Globetrotters Travel Tribe. Even though we launched during the early days of social distancing, our group has grown to more than 800 in just over a month. We aren’t able to travel right now, but we can still dream and plan.

Facebook travel blogger group: Globetrotters Travel Tribe

Globetrotters Travel Tribe your passport to the world; suitcases on a beach with a palm tree

Globetrotters Travel Tribe is a group of well-traveled bloggers and social media influencers who help inspire and guide others who want to see more of the world by traveling. We’re a group of hikers, Disney lovers, foodies, nomads, world travelers, local experts, full-time and part-time travelers, solo, couples and family travelers, over 50 and more.

Our goal at Globetrotters Travel Tribe is to provide destination inspiration, travel tips and share the how and where so you can get out and discover the world around you by learning from those people who are doing it.

Travel responsibly

We know all our members who join Globetrotters Travel Tribe are passionate about travel. While travel is currently postponed for all of us worldwide, we continue to provide meaningful travel stories and photos as inspiration for when we are all able to roam freely again. If you haven’t joined Globetrotters Travel Tribe yet, consider this your formal invitation. And thank you!

Travel tribe support group gratitude

Game of Thrones Dragonstone Filming Location
One of my rookie travel blogger highs: Solo trip to Spain

There’s been a lot of highs and a lot of lows as a rookie travel blogger and some pretty incredible experiences and discoveries. Discoveries I’ve made in the world as well as about myself. And I’ve been blessed with making so many new friends in the travel tribe community.

Words cannot express how grateful I am for every one of my travel blogger friends every single day. We bounce ideas off each other, critique each other’s travel blog websites, comment on social and blog posts, share success stories and blogger tips, and more.

So I would love to introduce you to some of my favorite travel bloggers – all from the Globetrotters Travel Tribe who are all about the adventure and the experience in their own special ways.

Meet the Globetrotters Travel Tribe

French Riviera - view from Castle Hill; Nice, France

Tricia Snow: travel blogger at Born to Be Boomers

Tricia decided to divorce the corporate world and start traveling with her husband Jack (the Boomer of the duo) and their German Shepherd Bo. They reside in Florida and love spending time with their children and grandchildren. I love following around on Tricia’s journeys especially as I felt an instant connection during my travel gap year as our paths were somewhat similar (while it was exciting to take that blind leap of faith, it was also a little scary). I had resigned from the corporate world and I’m a Gen Xer married to a Boomer. And if you have a furbaby, then you’ll appreciate Tricia’s tips while traveling with your pet.

Origin of travel blog name: Tricia could not find a name she liked that represented her age group (that wasn’t already claimed). To reach her targeted niche, she focused on the Baby Boomer demographic (even though she’s technically a Gen Xer) and came up with two names. She created a poll in one of her blogger groups and Born to Be Boomers won. I think this is a cool example of how building relationships with other bloggers provides value.

My favorite Born to be Boomers blog post:  An ultimate guide with the 9 best things to do in Cartagena, Colombia

Where to find Born to be Boomers online


Michele Biggers: travel blogger at Endless Family Travels

Michele is a homeschool mom and travel agent educating her 10-year-old daughter through experiences and travel – sometimes the best lessons are learned outside the traditional classroom. She along with her husband John are on a mission to show Payton all 50 states and as many countries as possible before she turns 18. One of those states included Minnesota so was excited when I got the opportunity to meet up and show Michele and Payton around the Twin Cities last fall.

Origin of travel blog name: Michele wanted to brand the name around family travel and her husband said their travels seemed endless. So there it was: Endless Family Travels.

My favorite Endless Family Travels blog post: Sleep in a bubble at an igloo hotel in Iceland

Where to find Endless Family Travels online


Lee Anne Hable: travel blogger for The Hable Way

Lee Anne, based in Charlottesville, Va., loves to share her family’s travels and adventures, which usually involves the great outdoors. One of the coolest things is that they camp on top of their vehicle – rooftop camping. And her two little boys are so adorable!

Origin of travel blog name: Lee Anne says their approach to traveling is a bit unique as it’s The Hable Way (inspired by their last name).

My favorite The Hable Way blog post: Natural wonders of Virginia

Where to find The Hable Way online


Julie Gazdecki: travel blogger for How We Find Happy

Julie is a huge history geek like me so have learned about so many cool historic homes and tours to take in the future. She also loves a good craft beer (go on a virtual pub tour with her) and Disney World is in her backyard so she’s got lots of insider tips. Michigan-born and -raised, her family currently lives in central Florida.

Origin of travel blog name: Julie wanted a name that spoke about positivity while sharing stories about Disney, travels, breweries and all things that make her family happy. Isn’t that what we all want to do? Find happy? You’ll find lots of opportunities with How We Find Happy.

My favorite How We Find Happy blog post: Ford House: Home of Edsel and Eleanor Ford

Where to find How We Find Happy online


Lauren Globe: travel blogger at Lauren Globe Travel

Lauren, a teacher with a master’s degree in history, focuses on couples travel in the U.S. and Europe with an emphasis on culture and history. Absolutely love her posts as I’m all about history.

Origin of travel blog name: Lauren changed her Facebook last name to Globe when she started teaching. After playing around with a lot of ideas, she liked Globe and Travel and that’s how Lauren Globe Travel was born.

My favorite Lauren Globe Travel blog post: 24 hours in Charleston, S.C. – day trip

Where to find Lauren Globe Travel online


Heather Jandrue: travel blogger for Life at My Own Pace

Based out of the Boston area, Heather is an attorney by day, a wife and mother to two boys all the time, and is passionate about travel, Disney (she’s one of the biggest Disney freaks I know), the beach and running.

Origin of travel blog name: The name of Heather’s blog comes from her love of running and living her best life on her terms: Life at My Own Pace. How cool is that?

My favorite Life at My Own Pace blog post: Three things to explore in Heidelberg, Germany

Where to find Life at My Own Pace online


Amanda Howe: travel blogger at No Home Nomadder

Amanda shares her full-time traveling family’s adventures as they tour the United States while writing a 50-state travel guide series. Living the dream is what they’re doing! If you’re looking for variety and adventure for families, then this is your travel blog.

Origin of travel blog name: Amanda says her husband came up with the name (a play on words – nomad and matter) after they decided to sell everything (except their van) to travel throughout the U.S. with plans to eventually move onto the U.K. No Home Nomadder was born.

My favorite No Home Nomadder blog post: 5 state parks in Georgia to visit

Where to find No Home Nomadder online


Lisa Manderino: travel blogger at Planning Away

Lisa is a travel planner extraordinaire and loves to plan trips and make memories with her family. You will love her very detailed travel itineraries – she’s the Leslie Knope of travel planning. Growing up in Oklahoma, Lisa has lived in Germany, Chicago, Texas, and Washington DC and currently calls Utah home.

Origin of travel blog name: Lisa is always planning a trip as it brings her a lot of happiness to have something to look forward to. When she was in her 20s (pre-internet days), she would create binders to take on vacation full of activities and maps. So Planning Away was a perfect choice for her travel blog name.

My favorite Planning Away blog post: One week in Oahu, Hawaii itinerary

Where to find Planning Away online


Lori Nielsen: travel blogger of Serendipity on Purpose

Lori is a young-at-heart grandma who loves to travel especially with her grandchildren. Based near Salt Lake City in Utah, she can always find a willing travel partner in her big family: husband, 10 kids, 8 kid spouses and 24 grandchildren. I’ve never been to Utah so especially love her posts about day hikes in the area.

Origin of travel blog name: The word serendipity means an aptitude for making delightful discoveries by accident. These discoveries produce joyful moments, with elements of surprise. Lori finds that these fortunate incidents can go unnoticed if she’s not open to experiencing them. When they come by accident, she tries to notice them on purpose. So that’s how Serendipity on Purpose came to be.

My favorite Serendipity on Purpose blog post: Hiking in Zion National Park

Where to find Serendipity on Purpose online


Sheila Thomas: travel blogger at That Traveling Chick

Minnesota-girl born and raised, Sheila’s gearing up for her husband’s part-time retirement so they can travel more. She lives only three hours from me near Duluth (where my son went to college) so you’d think we would have met in person by now. MinneSNOWta weather has pretty much prevented that, but I know our paths will cross someday. In addition to traveling, Sheila is the biggest Cheap Trick fan I know and she’s a really good singer in the cover band, Cheap Trixx.

Origin of travel blog name: A friend gave the name to Sheila. She said, “I bought a domain that I’m not going to use and it totally fits you.” Sheila feels in her soul that she has always been That Traveling Chick.

My favorite That Traveling Chick blog post: Silver Creek Cliff Tunnel Highway 61 North Shore Minnesota

Where you can find That Traveling Chick online


Hera Massey: travel blogger at Travoodie

Hera and her husband Mike are all about luxury travel and foodie experiences who celebrate life with extraordinary destinations. They tend to gravitate toward unique places and adventures – checking off their bucket-list items one flight and one bite at a time. They currently live in Minnesota (where I live) so was excited to meet up with them for dinner along with Michele and Payton with Endless Family Travels were visiting – photo from earlier in this post. (btw: If you’re ever in need of a dose of positivity, simply check out one of her posts and you’ll feel recharged.)

Origin of travel blog name: Hera came up with Travoodie when everything else she liked was already claimed. Since they are big-time foodies and travelers, she combined the two words and made up the word, Travoodie.

My favorite Travoodie blog post: Monet’s home and garden in Giverny, France

Where to find Travoodie online


Kristi Corder: travel blogger for Way Beyond the Norm

A full-time RV family, Kristi, her husband and three children have been traveling around the U.S. since 2017. Originally from the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area, they have visited 16 states so far in their RV. And she educated me on what became my most favorite word: boondocking (I mean, did you know that you can park your camper for free in some places – even like Cracker Barrel?).

Origin of travel blog name: Kristi says they wanted a name that stood out since they aren’t your typical family. They live out of an RV and they don’t do allopathic healthcare nor public school. She heard someone on TV say, “Way beyond the …” and it inspired her as Way Beyond the Norm described their lifestyle perfectly.

My favorite Way Beyond the Norm blog post: Our visit to Great Sand Dunes National Park

Where to find Way Beyond the Norm online


Wendy Robinson: travel blogger for Wendy in the World

Wendy cracks me up. She is an authentic, no-nonsense, no-filter travel blogger. I look forward to her social and blog posts every day as she makes me laugh out loud (and sometimes really loud and for a really long time).

And her two-year-old’s shenanigans are beyond adorable. Wendy, her husband, Shawn, and children are a nomad family who have been traveling the world since 2016. Originally from Seattle, Poland is currently their base camp until the borders open again.

Origin of travel blog name: Pretty self-explanatory as she’s Wendy Out in the World.

My favorite Wendy In the World blog post: The slow boat from Laos to Thailand – what you need to know

Where you can find Wendy online


And here’s a little something about me – Karen Mellott-Foshier: travel blogger at kmfiswriting

An emptynester (kinda) living in the Twin Cities (Minnesota), I’m all about the experience discovering hidden gems in the U.S., Europe and Mexico – traveling with my husband, son, friends, extended family or going solo. I focus on history, day hikes, beach getaways, Minnesota and Iowa staycations. I’m also a cemetery enthusiast, an avid reader, a movie snob, a freelance writer, yet-to-be-published novelist, and am always on a quest for the best mac and cheese.

Origin of travel blog name: I’m a writer who loves to travel, read, watch movies, eat, drink so I wanted a name that would be all inclusive and not limited to travel. Nearly everyone calls me kmf (my initials) so I just tacked on is writing: kmfiswriting.

So if you’re in need of a marketing communications content writer or editor with 25+ years of experience (in B2B, healthcare, manufacturing and building industries), please consider working with me. I’ve got this working remotely thing down.

My favorite kmfiswriting blog post: They’re all pretty special to me, but going to go with one of my most meaningful blog posts: Our journey to honor the life of my husband’s grandfather: a concentration camp survivor

Jean-Pierre Kolbach Ebensee concentration camp liberation
Photo taken May 6, 1945: The day the U.S. Army liberated Ebensee concentration camp in Austria. My husband’s grandfather, Jean-Pierre Kolbach – a concentration camp survivor, is sitting on the far left wearing a beret.

Here’s where you can find kmfiswriting online

This list of travel tribe bloggers is by no means exhaustive. I have made a lot of really cool connections in our travel community and am grateful for every one of them.

If you’re a new blogger and looking for blogging tips or have any questions, please contact me or include in the comments section below.

Thank you for coming along on the kmfiswriting journey. And I hope you connect with some of my travel tribe blogger friends as they will introduce you to so many worlds and provide helpful travel tips.

Travel blogger tips and secrets series: what’s up next?

Lower Antelope Canyon, Arizona
All you need to know before you visit Lower Antelope Canyon; Page, Arizona

In my next travel blogger tips and secrets post, I’ll introduce you to a few of my favorite #traveltribe members on Twitter. And show how I was asked to regularly guest host a Twitter Chat and how I significantly increased my Twitter following simply by engaging in specific hashtags and chats. 

Until then, stay healthy, my friends.


Pin it for later

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How I spent my midelife travel gap year as a travel blogger
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Twin Cities-based blogger sharing memorable emptynester, solo, family and girlfriend-getaway adventures, as well as my day hiking adventures (including all 66 Minnesota state parks), latest book reviews, and updates on my quest for the best adult mac and cheese. Also two WIPs: historical fiction and psychological thriller

64 comments

  1. This is such a great post! I can’t say enough good things about the courses from “It’s a Lovely Life.” Your tribe is just as important too! It is wonderful to be able to surround yourself with such amazing people who just so happen to be in the same line of work as you. It has been so much fun getting to follow you on your journeys. 🙂

    1. So very happy to hear you found this post helpful. There are so many people that I’ve learned from over the past year so wanted to pay it forward!

  2. What a great post, Karen! I love my lady bloggers and I love your new look too. Your site looks amazing!

  3. I learned a few things from this post! I’m already a part of your FB group and always enjoy the information and tips that are posted. I’m a newbie blogger myself and I have already noticed quite easily the ones that are genuinely interested in building relationships not just likes. I love your positivity!

  4. This is a wonderful summation of how fantastic our group is on this blogging journey together. I loved and related to all your tips! Love your blog, insights, and of course your photography!!

      1. This a great article! Loved reading all about your Globetrotting Tribe and learning a bit more about you all 😁
        I agree, It’s a Lively Life is a fantastic help to so many and I’m happy I found them.
        Happy Travels!

  5. I love this so much! I love all these great ladies and love going on the travel blogging journey with everyone! Thanks Karen for putting this together loved reading every minute of it!

  6. I loved this! The tips were so on point and I’m a little jealous of your travel besties! I do have quite a few blogging friends (just not travel) and I wouldn’t trade them for a trip around the world. ❤

  7. Great tips! I’m not always good at following all of them or following best practices, but I do what I can. You’re right about social media. That seems to change all the time! Great post. It was fun to learn a little more about you all!

  8. I could not LOVE this post anymore if I tried. You hit the nail on the head. Blogging is not for the faint of heart and I struggle with time management when it comes to blogging. Having relationships with all of you, helps me get through those times. I am so grateful for our tribe!

  9. When I first started travel blogging I wasn’t too sure about the meet up idea but now I find I would love that.

  10. Loved your post. I love how you support your fellow travel bloggers and have built relationships through common interests. I’m in the Memphis area and also took Heather and Pete’s courses. My site is a work in progress, but I am hoping to eventually replace my teacher salary and become a full time blogger!

    1. Thank you so much! It’s a great travel tribe! I just subscribed to your newsletter so am looking forward to following you along on your adventures!

  11. Amazing! As with most things, a sense of community is so important. I can’t wait to check out all these other travel groups 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing.

  12. Thanks so much for this post. Travel is one of my biggest passions. I wish I could do it more. Your post definitely puts travel blogging as a possibility for the future.

  13. Awesome article! I’m a travel blogger as well, and I am so jealous of your travel tribe; I hope I can find my posse as well.
    Thanks for all the great info.

    1. Thank you! While I’m comfortable working and traveling by myself, there is great value in finding a support system and network of like-minded individuals.

  14. I’m so glad that I found this post through It’s a Lovely Life. You struck at chord about how people perceive my blogging. And yes, it takes much more time than the average person realizes to put together a post. I learn something every time I create one. Thank you for taking the time to create this one, which is quite long and detailed and so helpful and inspiring.

    1. Thank you so much! It’s great to have a supportive network who just gets you and what you’re trying to accomplish.

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