So, you’ve decided you want to start a travel blog, but you don’t know where to start.
Well keep reading, in the following article I’m going to take you through the technical and non-technical steps required to setup your travel blog.
I’ll talk about the challenges that you will face and how to overcome them as well as methods of monetization.
I’ll also cover how to avoid writers block when it comes to writing your content and how to ensure the success of your blog.
Even if you aren’t yet sure if you are going to start a blog keep reading, this article might convince you otherwise, a travel blog, if done correctly can provide you a highly rewarding part or full time income, many bloggers even fund full-time travel through their blogs.
Doubts regarding Travel blog:
As with anything in life, if it were easy everyone would be doing it, and while starting a travel blog is actually very easy (in fact you could have one setup by the end of the day if you wanted) it’s the keeping It going and making it successful the is the real hard part.
Every day thousands if not hundreds of thousands of blogs are started that will go nowhere and ultimately close. So, let’s discuss how to get over the initial challenges that most people face.
It’s also important to sort yourself into one of two categories now, blogging for passion or blogging for money.
You might sit in both categories and that’s fine but it’s important to know which one you mostly lean towards.
This for most people is the first hurdle to jump. Yes, there are easily hundreds of thousands of travel blogs out there, but with a little bit of work you can really set yours apart from the others, it only takes small improvements to put you above the thousands of half-hearted blog attempts. Most travel blogs fit into one of two categories,
- Diary style personal blog, if you have a great personality, are happy with pictures of yourself and are happy to put lots of effort into social media and know how to have a fun time and good experiences then this could really be for you. People will be following your blog for you and your personality and not necessarily for the places that you travel.
- Travel information blog, if the personal route isn’t for you, instead you might want to opt for an information style blog, often these will focus on a particular place or a type of travel activity.
Whichever option you go for, it’s really important that you pick out your niche, let me give you an example.
Instead having a blog about travel that focuses on diving (there are millions of these) instead focus on Diving World War Two wrecks around the world.
Of course, you can, travel blogs are often read by other travellers, if you don’t travel yourself take this an opportunity to write a travel blog aimed at travellers about your home town.Put yourself in a travellers shoes and imagine that you are visiting where you live, you’ll already know all the real hotspots to show people so you can offer a real authentic view of your home place.
As the whole word is starting to get ‘travelled out’, travellers are looking more and more to see the authentic side of places they are travelling and a good travel blog written by a local is sure to attract attention.
Yes! Setting up a blog is incredibly easy, keep reading to find out more.
A blog really doesn’t cost that much, $2.95 a month covers everything that you need. There are free options but if you are taking this seriously you need to find this small amount of money.
Travel your home town or country!
Honestly if you find yourself in a position where you don’t like any of these things then you might want to consider something else, if you don’t like travelling simply write about other aspects of travelling, e.g. how to plan a trip, if you don’t like photography then don’t include photos. At the end of the day though a job is a job!
Step-by-Step Guide to Setup Travel Blog:
Now that we have overcome those challenges, it’s time to get to the fun bit, setting the blog up!
Step 1. Choosing and registering a good travel domain name:
The very first step is to choose and register a domain name. A domain name is the name visitors will use to visit your blog, for example: “www.myawesometravelblog.com”
Coming up with name can often be tricky, but in most cases for a travel blog keep it simple, if you are writing on world war two dive sites go for something like “www.Divingww2wrecks.com”
If you can think of something funny and it fits with your site then go for it!
Tip: stick with .com for a travel blog, it’s the de facto international domain ending! Our recommended hosting comes with a free domain so register it in the next step.
TIP OF THE DAY: if you want to generate domain name ideas, head to Domain Name Generators Tools. There you can quickly get ideas.
Step 2. Setting up hosting
Now that we have a name sorted we can purchase web hosting. But what is web hosting and do I need it?
Basically, your blog needs to be stored on a server on the internet so that other people can access it, web hosting provides you a method of doing this in a cheap and easy way.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is the most popular, free hosting software available. WordPress is what makes running a blog a non-technical task, it’s easy to install and even easier to use.
I recommend BlueHost’s WordPress Hosting.
Start off with the small package ($2.95) and upgrade as your blog grows.
BlueHost hosting will install the WordPress software for you so it will already be up and running and ready to start using it.
Follow the steps to sign up with BlueHost Hosting:
Step 1. Go to www.BlueHost.com and click on “Get Started”.
Step 2. Choose your hosting plan.
Step 3. On this page, you need to choose a domain name. Type the domain you want into the domain search box then hit ‘next’ button.
Step 4. Fill out your information
Step 5. Now select the plan term that you want to go for.
Step 6. Make the payment by entering credit card details.
Step 7. Once that is done, create your password for account login
Step 8. Great, you have registered your domain with BlueHost, its time to login and install WordPress.
Next, we are going to install WordPress on the Bluehost hosting.
Step 1. Login to Bluehost
Step 2. In the cPanel click on ‘Install WordPress’
Step 3. Choose a one domain to install WordPress. Leave the directory field blank.
Step 4: Now, create WordPress account by entering website name, username, email address and password.
Step 5: It takes typically 5 minutes for installation
As you can see, now WordPress has installed on your website.
Congratulations! Your website is now live.
To login to WordPress to start making changes browse to
Login with the details that you have created during the setup, you are now ready to start customizing the site!
Step 3. Setting up a WordPress Theme
A theme dictates exactly how your blog will look, there are tens of thousands of free and paid WordPress themes available, they vary in design, layout and functionality significantly.
If you are just starting out you are probably best to start with a free theme, although it is possible to get really nice looking paid themes for less than $100.
You can find some really awesome travel themes on Themeforest.net
TIP OF THE DAY: Since everyone who starts a travel blog would logically search for travel themes on themeforest, I would suggest you go other way. Get a theme which is NOT travel theme. That way your blog will not look similar to other travel blogs.
Steps to install the theme on your WordPress site:
Step 1. Click on Appearance and then themes
Step 2. Click the ‘Add New’ button
Step 3. From the top click the upload themes button and browse to the theme you downloaded
Step 4. Click Install now
Step 5. Activate the theme
The theme will now have applied to your site, you can go to www.yourdomain.com to check it out!
Depending on the theme you have chosen you may have various options available to you to configure how it looks, check these out under Themes -> Customize.
Step 4. Design your logo
Having a logo that stands out can really help people remember your site.
Your logo will likely be used for the following:
- On the Blog
- As a watermark on any photos that you upload
- On any emails that you send out
- Across your social media presence
If like most people, you aren’t a designer, consider going somewhere like www.fiverr.com to get someone to design a logo for you.
Step 5. Installing Plugins
There are thousands of plugins available that add extra functionality to a WordPress site. They are easy to use and can help your site standout. The following plugins can be particularly useful on a travel blog:
WP Google Maps – If you are writing a travel blog at some point you will want to include a map, use this plugin to make it easy to do!
WP Smush – No doubt you will be adding lots of pictures to your blog, use WP Smush to optimize those images to make sure that they load quickly for all of your visitors.
Social Welfare – It’s important to get people to share your posts with their friends, the social welfare plugin makes this easy!
To install any of these plugins, login to your WordPress site, click plugins, then install new. Search for the plugin you want and click install -> Activate.
Step 6. Setting up Social media accounts and SEO
If you have done any reading on starting your blog I’m sure you have come across the term SEO (Search Engine Optimization) which is basically the process of boosting the google rank of your website.
What I’m going to say might be a bit controversial but when it comes to travel blogs don’t bother with SEO, instead focus on your social media following.
Not only is building a decent social media presence much easier it also reaps bigger rewards, I would focus on Instagram mainly but also look at facebook, pintrest and twitter, you can easily bring in thousands of views a month for a decent Instagram account!
Finally, we can start actually writing blog posts, I have a pretty sure-fire way of making sure that you always have something to write about it and it goes like this.
- Spend 5 Minutes a day thinking about blog post ideas, write these all down
- Set a schedule and commit to it
- Use the WordPress post schedule feature to make your life more flexible
- Write whenever you feel like it
The take away from this is, it’s not always possible to write good content, sometimes you aren’t in the mood, sometimes you don’t have good ideas.
If you have a good list of ideas that you are always building up then you won’t have problems.
I typically submit 4 posts a week, I have hundreds of ideas that I may never even get to and I have about 1 good writing day a week where I write all the posts and schedule them.
You’ll want some good photos to go with the posts, consider taking a photography course or stock photos.
Making Money With Your Blog
You may or may not be in this to make money, but either way you will want to at least cover your costs, in some cases you can make a full time income from travel blogging and here are the main ways you can do this
Adverts – You’ll see these on all most sites on the web, they are simply to setup, can earn a decent amount of money but also can detract from the design elements of your site, sometimes users will see non-relevant adverts and in less competitive niches you won’t be earning as much money. Check out Google Adsense.
Affiliate Marketing – This is where you link to products on other websites and you make a cut on the sale, this can earn massive amounts of money depending on what you are linking to.
If you are linking to various airlines as part of a planning a holiday post you could make serious cash. Check out Amazon Associates.
Sponsored posts – Here you will write about specific things but get paid to do so, for example a hotel may ask you to write a post about the location they are in and then ask you to recommend them at the end.
You’ll likely have to contact companies directly to do this.
Hopefully you are now aware of what it takes to write a successful travel blog, as well as how to overcome the typical challenges associated with setting one up.
You should know how to setup your WordPress blog and have a good strategy for writing content.
By now you should have your own blog and have some good content out there that you have been sharing all over various social media platforms. Good luck!
And oh, BTW, when you do setup a travel blog, send me an email, I will feature it on my post.