When David Lee asked us to review Travel Blog Success, we didn’t know what to do with it. Having never done such a course, we had nothing to compare it with! Turning it over to one of our new interns seemed the perfect solution. Scott has been researching travel blogging for months and, as you can see, knows his way around these courses.

You are finding the courage to finally jump in and buy a course on blogging, but which one is right for you? In the last year I have been in the same boat and have purchased two fairly high-profile courses that will help me on my way to becoming a travel blogger.

The first course I took was Yaro and Gideon’s “Become a Blogger”. It wasn’t a travel course, which is all right since not everything I plan on writing will be travel-centric. The first month was a little slow, however. There were times when I thought that the course was geared for those that only had a marginal understanding of electricity, but by the end it brings them up to be serious bloggers. In my opinion this course is for people new to computers.

Another course I enrolled in was MatadorU. This course was much more of a travel writing course. As you completed each section another would be unlocked for you. The self-set speed was nice, especially considering that on the other course you were locked into waiting for the email to be sent to you. There were sections on other topics but, in hindsight, this course was geared towards writers and improving your writing skills. A great class at a much higher price.

Why I like Travel Blog Success

It’s very well rounded. It’s not overly simplistic and it’s not too concentrated on one topic either. With this you can start from scratch to get your blog started or you can improve one you already have. It’s for people that are comfortable with computers.

I love being able to receive the whole course upfront if you purchase the Premium Membership, it allows people to go at their own pace and skip the parts that they may already know. Plus there’s advice in the blog that I am going to be able to start using today.

There are interviews from travel heavy-hitters like Craig Martin from the IndieTravelPodcast coming up in March as well as one with Mike Richard form Vagabondish available now.

Homepage of David Lee's Travel Blog Success (click image to open)

Get the most out of it

As a new member don’t be afraid to ask questions in the forums. That is where you’ll get advice from Dave and other experts directly. Feel free to introduce yourself and let the rest of us know what your plans are. When I laid out my plan to my family I felt the need to lead in with “first, I’m not crazy or going through a mid-life crisis”, you won’t need that intro in the forums.

Possible improvements

The one thing I think that could be improved on would be that some of the ‘take actions’ need to be more direct. For example you need your own domain to be taken seriously, don’t just look — go get one. Get a theme, whether it’s paid or custom, just get one. If this is your first blog, get a Woo theme, they have great support in their forums. But these are pretty minor suggestions rather than complaints.


The feeling that I am left with after reviewing everything is — this is an awesome course. Right now, Travel Blog Success has the best bang for your buck. The Premium Membership is the best deal in my opinion: it’s the best value, both compared to other courses out there right now as well as for the information provided. I don’t really like those ‘buy it now’ type pitches, but I wouldn’t wait too long, because this course is simply underpriced right now.

Disclaimer: Dave gave me free access to Travel Blog Success to review and Indie Travel Podcast will receive a small commission if you purchase.

Your thoughts on "Review: Travel Blog Success by David Lee"

  • I'm not very happy with this sites. I think they just take a lot of info already available for free in internet and they just put it together. I think it's a good way to mantain your travels though.

    on February 10, 2010 at 10:35 pm Reply
  • That is a common question people ask, can't you learn the same things online? Before doing my first course I posed the same question to Darren Rowse at Problogger.net. Now that I have completed a couple courses I agree with what he had said. (I'll paraphrase) Yes you probably can. What you have to ask yourself is what would you rather be doing and what is your time worth? The information in these courses were gathered over a couple years of trial and error. Some things I don't know how long it would have taken me surfing to discover them. I'd rather learn from someone else's mistakes and build off of them. I like to think of it as learning from travel bloggers 1.0 to become travel bloggers 2.0

    on February 11, 2010 at 5:16 am Reply
  • Well, I think it's easier for me to know most of the things this courses show since I'm currently working on them, but I thing it a good reason to attend any of this. Anyway, I still thing that is way easier to take a look of what he teaches and look for it by yourself. My time is valuable, but I have more time than money sadly and I think that trying and having mistakes will teach you more than any course. And it's funnier! Thanks for your answer, I never thought it that way.

    on February 11, 2010 at 5:27 am Reply
  • Travel Photography - I can appreciate your approach to learning about blogging as I did the same thing. It's hard to believe I've been blogging for over 3 years now. One reason I think travelers will appreciate the course and community I'm creating is that many people do not start working on a travel blog until they are just 1 or 2 months away from a long term trip (6+ months). As a result, they don't have the time to discover on their own all the techniques necessary to establish a high quality blog, promote it, and potentially make some money from it. That's where Travel Blog Success and my personal support can help make their lives a little easier.

    on February 11, 2010 at 6:17 am Reply
  • How do the two courses differ? Or are they similar? I have been heavily leaning towards signing up for MatadorU but now that I see Travel Blog Success is available at a much reduced price, I'm tempted to give it a try. Thanks for the info as I hadn't heard of Travel Blog Success.

    on February 11, 2010 at 6:38 pm Reply
  • Hi Lorraine, I haven't seen the inside of MatadorU, however based on the reviews I've read, and the information they make public, I believe the formats are similar (online lessons, forum for discussions/feedback). Each course and community is geared toward different goals. The curriculum of MatadorU is focused on building your skills as a travel writer. It will cover topics such as how to properly pitch an editor (whether for print publications or online blogs). It will include writing assignments so you can learn the craft of writing professional-quality travel narratives. I considered joining MatadorU when it came out last year, but the cost stopped me at first. I thought about whether I was really willing to commit to learning the art of travel writing, and then making use of that knowledge to try and pitch magazines like National Geographic Traveler. I realized, in the end, that I was happy writing for my own travel blog, and that if I continued to grow it, I could eventually make enough money from advertising and affiliates that I wouldn't need to write for other people (in fact, they'd want to write for me to gain exposure...which is the case today). I developed Travel Blog Success for other travelers like me who want to learn the nuts and bolts of developing a popular and profitable travel blog, and aren't necessarily concerned with being published in the New York Times Travel section. I'd be happy to answer any more specific questions you have. You can reach me at rtwdave at gmail dot com.

    on February 12, 2010 at 4:23 am Reply
    • Scott, you've done both courses. What do you think?

      on February 12, 2010 at 9:15 am Reply
  • Thanks for sharing this. The article is informative. I want to be a successful travel blogger, too. I'm doing everything on my own, improving my site bit by bit, given my limited resources. I got a free blog account for my site (http://firsttimetravel.wordpress.com). Reading articles like this inspire me to do more and extend my horizon in travel blogging.

    on February 12, 2010 at 7:01 pm Reply
  • Thanks for the info, Dave. I just signed up for Travel Blog Success and I'm going to get started right away! Hopefully Craig & Linda will get credit for my purchase. Thanks for the review and recommendation! I'd still like to know how the two courses are similar/different.... Thanks! Lorraine

    on February 12, 2010 at 10:40 pm Reply
  • @Claire, thanks for stopping by. We signed up for your RSS feed :) @Lorraine, do let us know your thoughts once you've started the course. We'll ask Scott to amplify his thoughts on the two, but I think he's already covered some of that in the review above. What kind of details where you after?

    on February 13, 2010 at 4:27 pm Reply
  • I am newbie of travel blogger, and thanks for Scott's value review

    on June 28, 2012 at 8:25 am Reply
    • Hi Ken, good luck with your blog - and travel well.

      on June 28, 2012 at 8:39 am Reply

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