Travel blogging has taken me around the world over thepast 5 years. Want to start your own? How To Start A Travel Blog? Lets Learn about starting a travel blog. This detailed guide will show youexactly how to start a travel blog.
I receive more email asking me how to travel the world or how to start a travel blog than anything else. I know, I get it. Seeing constant photos from my adventures in your Facebook or Instagram feeds makes it look like a dream job. I can’t lie — it is.
After all, I get paid to travel the world! It’s pretty sweet.
But travel blogging isn’t easy. Far from it. I rarely share the hugeamount of behind-the-scenes work that goes into making this lifestylepossible. It’s taken me years to learn how to become a professionalblogger. Today I wanted to share some tips about how to get started.
In this article, you’ll learn about the basics.
How To Start A Travel Blog
Starting your very first travel blog is actually pretty easy. If youfollow my guide, you can have your own blog up and running today. Nowkeep in mind the following advice is for people who want to take travelblogging seriously, as some of these steps require spending money.
If you aren’t quite ready for that yet, you can always start a simple travel blog for family & friends on WordPress.com. It’s totally free!
1: Choose A Good Name
My first travel blog was called WalkAsRun.com. (Which is inactive now) Do you see the super obvious problem with that name? Well I didn’t, not until 3 months later. I was backpacking through Central America,blogging about my experiences and having a great time — when I suddenlydecided I wanted to travel for longer than a year. Shit! What do I donow?
Make It Short & Memorable
Your travel blog domain name should be relatively short, easy totype, easy to spell, easy to remember, and easy to share. I recommendbrainstorming by writing down a bunch of words you think will bestdescribe your blog.
Adventure? Food? Culture? South America? What do you want to writeabout? Who are you? What is your passion? Write everything down andstart playing with different combinations of words. Try using a thesaurus. Ask your friends for advice & suggestions.
Avoid Hyphens & Numbers
This can be difficult to do these days, but it helps to avoid usinghyphens or numbers in your domain name because otherwise you’ll beforced to explain it to someone. For example:
POTENTIAL READER: “You have a blog? Cool! Where do I find it?”
YOU: “Oh, it’s called expert hyphen vagabond the number 100 dot com.”
As you can see, this type of domain isn’t the greatest forword-of-mouth marketing, which happens to be the best kind of promotion.
Avoid Overused Words
Avoid trademarked company names or words that may be overused in the industry. Sure, you can pick something like Nomadic Bob, Adventurous Wendy, or Wandering Clarence. But domain names like that won’t stand out very much in the travelblogging niche, because those ideas have already been taken by otherswho are much more established than you.
You’ll have better luck in the long-run with something more original.
Think good & hard about choosing your travel blog’s domain name,because changing it later on isn’t easy (or fun). Be careful not topigeonhole yourself either. What happens when you turn 30?Branding yourself correctly is pretty important in the business oftravel blogging.
2: Hosting For Your Blog
What the heck is hosting? It’s not as confusing as it sounds. Mostwebsites need to “rent” space on the internet. A place to store all your blog’s data, files, and photos so that people around the world caneasily access it when they type in your domain name.
Hosting can be pretty cheap. I recommend new travel blogs get hosting with BlueHost. They offer quality hosting for a low price ($6.95 per month for 12months) and customer service is good too. Plus they give you a freedomain name!
But if you are just starting out, BlueHost is a better option.
Part 1 – Click on the green button that says “get started now.”
Part 2 – Pick a plan.
Part 3 – Check to see if your blog name (domain name) is available.
Part 4 – Add Extra Features
Most of these you don’t need. However I do recommend Domain Privacy Protection. Otherwise anyone can look up who owns your site, giving them access toyour mailing address, email, and phone number. It’s worth the extra fewbucks to block that from happening.
3: Installing WordPress
You’ll want to set up a self-hosted WordPress account. Thismeans the WordPress software resides on your hosting company’s servers,not on a free WordPress.com account. What’s the difference?
- Your website is “MyTravelBlog.com” rather than “MyTravelBlog.WordPress.com”
- You own your data and have full control
- You can sell advertising on your site
- You can install plugins & custom themes
- You can use Google Analytics tracking (important)
Yes, you want to use WordPress too. Not Blogspot, not Blogger, notanything else. WordPress is the king of blogging, and probably alwayswill be. Most professionals use WordPress, even major brands like theBBC & Katy Perry. Installing WordPress with your BlueHost Account is super easy.
Click through the simple installation process on your BlueHostcPanel. When it asks you where you’d like to install it, choose your new domain (ex: http://MyTravelBlog.com).
Once installed, you’ll be able to log into the WordPress dashboardwith your new username and password. Welcome to the club! You now have a travel blog. That wasn’t too hard, was it? But wait, there’s more!
4: Get A Professional Theme
Your new WordPress blog comes with a couple standard “themes”, ordesigns for your site. While this is ok for playing around in thebeginning, if you want to take this seriously and eventually make moneywith your travel blog, you’ll want to buy a professional design. Don’tworry, they don’t cost too much, and they’ll improve the look of yoursite big time.
I’ve changed themes a few times over the years, but the current one I’m using is called Hardy by ThemeTrust. I’ve tweaked it a lot using my background in web-design though, customizing how it looks & acts.
5: Add Some Plugins
You can think of WordPress plugins as third-party apps for yourwebsite. They give your blog additional features. Most plugins are free, some you have to pay for. You can download new plugins in the “plugin”section of your WordPress Dashboard.
Here’s my recommended list of plugins to install with your travel blog.
- Akismet – Protects your blog from spammers leaving comments on your posts. Not perfect, but probably the best one out there.
- WordPress SEO – Very important plugin for optimizing your articles for Google search, plus integrating Google Sitemaps and Analytics.
- Easy Social Share Buttons – Nice social media sharing buttons for your articles.
- WPtouch – Makes your travel blog mobile friendly.
There are others of course, but these will get you started.
6: Embrace Social Media
I hope you love social media. Because if you want to build asuccessful travel blog, social media addiction is a requirement!Learning how to master social media is a whole different topic.
Social Media Accounts
7: Join Travel Blog Success
Like anything in life, if you want to get good at something,investing time & money to be trained by professionals works wonders. The same is true for travel blogging.
Why? Because becoming a professional travel blogger, as insomeone who makes money with this, is far more difficult than it looks.
You need to learn how to build an audience. You need to learn how touse social media. You need to learn how to market yourself. You need tolearn how to work with brands. You need to learn how to implement SEO.You need to know all kinds of stuff that you probably don’t knowanything about.
Learn From The Best
Can you learn everything on your own? Sure. But let me tell you frompersonal experience, it takes a long, long time. As in years. Withplenty of frustrations & wasted effort along the way. Fortunatelythere is a shortcut…
Learning exactly what works, and what doesn’t, from professional travel bloggers who are making it work, is HUGELY helpful.
I can’t explain SEO to you in an email. Fortunately there is a wholelesson dedicated to mastering SEO (and many other topics) on Travel Blog Success. Plus a very active & helpful community FB page where all the toptravel bloggers chime in with answers to your questions each and everyweek.
If you want to become a pro, this is the best investment you can make.
8: Start Blogging!
Now it’s time to begin creating content for your travel blog. Whenyou first start out, I recommend publishing new articles at least 3times per week. But don’t be sloppy about it, take your time and craftexcellent blog posts that have impact.
What should you write about? Stuff you (and others) are interested in!
Are you traveling right now? Share your favorite parts of thecountry, fun things to do there, crazy travel stories, beautiful photoessays, video tours, food recommendations, and more. Write about manydifferent topics to find your personal blogging style & voice, tosee what resonates with others.
Are you still planning your travels? You can write about that too.
Share the different ways you are saving money for travel, a bucketlist of activities you want to try, or write about places you’ve already visited. Share your favorite travel movies & books. Write aboutyour packing list. Go exploring locally. Create useful &entertaining content. The possibilities are endless.
Read other travel blogs, leave thoughtful comments on their articles, and link to other blog posts from your site where appropriate. Atfirst your only readers will be family and friends. But that’s ok! Weall started like that.
It takes time to build an audience.
Travel blogging isn’t as easy as it looks, and you shouldn’t expectto see any large benefits from it for at least a year, probably longer.That’s one full year of blogging on a regular basis, paying foreverything yourself, and putting in at least 10 hours a week (mostprofessional bloggers work 30+).
Yes it’s a dream job, but travel blogging is still a job that requires hard work.