How to Start a Travel Blog
I know you’re thinking it – otherwise you wouldn’t have clicked over here. You’re ready to get out there and travel full-time. You want to be one of those digital nomads who travel the world full-time, without regret, all while working directly from their laptop. Well, it’s time to take your leap of faith – and you’ve got an experienced travel blogger on your side to help walk you through it.
Why start a travel blog?
Blogging had been one of the most exciting experiences I have ever encountered. I can share all of my travel-related experiences, tips and advice for the world to read. My words and stories will continue to live on forever and ever. A bit dramatic, yes, but blogging can also be a very lucrative business to get into as well.
Most full-time travelers choose to start travel blogs to make money while trekking across the globe. I’ll be sure to walk you through how to start on that later.
There are a few essential steps to starting a travel blog that we will cover together
1. Choosing a name
2. Snagging a domain
3. Setting up a WordPress
4. Create an amazing theme
5. Write, write and write some more
6. Start making money!
Where do I start?
Easy, choose a niche within travel. Why? There are so many travel bloggers out there, the territory is so competitive and you’re honestly already behind by many years. Fear not, with some writing and design you’ll get there!
So, what area of travel do you want to specialize in? Female travel? Solo travel? Evangelical travel? What about family travel? Pick a niche and brainstorm your name.
Make it a good one! Something easy to remember and not hard to spell. That way, when people are going back and searching for your site, you’re easy to find. Your name will define your brand, it will be what your partners and fan will know you by. Think creatively and try to be as original as possible.
Register your domain name – VERY IMPORTANT
This is definitely a step you want to knock out as soon as possible. This domain name should represent your name from step 1. You want them to directly relate (if not be the exact same). Again, focus on something easy to spell and remember. Remember when I said to specify your travel niche? This is where it matters. If you search “travel bloggers” you’ll see a recurring list of names – avoid these. You don’t want your site to be too closely tied to your competition. Then you end up sending them to someone else page- can you say, “losing money”?
Avoid .org or .net, no one uses these and you risk not being found at all. Get creative if you must, play with words and mix and match the order if you must. One thing I didn’t think of – checking social media. I had to add a “v” on my Twitter, Instagram AND Facebook because there was already a “Livs Travels” created – even though she hadn’t posted in forever!
Don’t fall for those sites that make you PAY for your domain name, you can get a FREE domain name here and pay $3USD/mo for your site. Can you say, “money -saver”?
Set up hosting + WordPress
Don’t be fooled, setting up your online web hosting service should NOT cost you over $200/yr. Bluehost has saved hundreds of bloggers HUNDREDS of dollars with their low rates. Every reader of Liv’s Travels is receiving their own discount code, simply follow this link and get your FREE domain name and a low monthly web hosting price of $2.95/mo.
Side note, I would HIGHLY suggest paying your service forward rather than month-to-month, this way you can avoid any service interruption if, for any reason, you miss or are late on a payment – which can lose you tons of money. Here’s what the main page looks like
To get started, just click the big green button, “Get started”. Next, you’ll want to choose your plan, basic is really all you need, in my opinion, to get started. For businesses and entrepreneurs, I would recommend the prime plan – it offers secure domain privacy and site backup – very important.
Again, since you’re just starting out, Basis is really the way to go. Type in your desired blog name, unless you already have a domain name and click next. Fill out all the required info – it’s pretty simple, no worries. Remember, paying your account forward is the safest, and most recommended route – with your monthly rate being under $3, you STILL will be saving tons of cash over the long haul.
After setting up your log in information, it’s time to install WordPress! You’ll have the option to pick a theme from a select few, you can change this later.
- Choose from either a Business or Personal site
- Fill in your site name and slogan (if you have one)
- Click “yes”
- Avoid putting in your address – especially if it’s your home address.
- Now you’re good to go!
Time to create!
This is my favorite part! You get to be as creative as you want! Install plug-ins, post your first blog and upload images. It’s super easy and there is so much help on the WordPress site if you need any additional help in designing your page.
- Type in http://yourdomainname.com/wp-admin in your browser bar.
- Log in with the log-in info you’ve already created
- Choose a new theme or keep the one you originally went with
Design a one-of-a-kind logo
I prefer Canva for creative pieces like this, it’s free and you have just as much creative ability as on any paid site. You can pick one of their many designs or upload our own. It’s that easy.
Write, write and write some more!
Hopefully you’ve been brainstorming on what your first few posts would be, if not, I suggest reading a handful of travel blogs you enjoy following. Allow their words to inspire you. You definitely want to start your blog with some essentials
- Home page
- About Me
- Contact me
- Gallery if you want
I prefer to write the exact way I talk, I feel like this gives my blog more personality. It allows me to relate more to my readers, I sound more like the friend at the coffee shop and less like an automated blogging software. One thing that has also helped me be successful with my blog, is joining Facebook groups. Facebook groups allow me to bounce ideas off other, more experienced travel bloggers. It also may lead to a guest blogging opportunity, which means more traffic to your site, more conversions and …. more money!
I personally try to post once a week, but, let’s be honest, sometimes it’s hard to sit down and find time to write when you’re out seeing the world and having new experiences. So, find a schedule that works for you, stick with it and your blog will grow and become a brand on its own.
Start making money!
This is how I personally started on my journey to “make my first dollar travel blogging”. Here are a few steps you can take to start making money online:
1. Sign up for Google Adsense
2. Join affiliate programs – the only drawback here, especially if you’re a new travel blogger, is that you usually need a high traffic rate for the most lucrative companies to partner with you. Never fear! CJ Affiliates was my first choice and there are a few companies that will agree to partner with even a small travel blog website.
3. Amazon affiliates – if you like to share your affordable travel finds, gear and gadgets then Amazon affiliates is the way to go. You simply sign up on their main site, and start adding links or items to your page or “shopping” menu. Don’t go crazy, your page will start to appear spammy and you could miss out on good opportunities.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Don’t allow yourself to get so overwhelmed with trying to make $5,000/mo from your blog that you forget what inspired you to start it – your love of travel. Money will come, focus on inspiring other to get out there and Seek Wanderlust, without fear or regret – that is my goal, my passion. So good luck, and if you ever need any help, just comment below!
Paying too much with your current web host? Contact me here and I’ll help you switch over to a lower monthly premium than your current provider!
Don’t forget to sign-up for your own copy of one of my travel novels here
Want to learn how to travel like the instafamous? Check out how to start your own money-making blog here.
Don’t forget about discount! Here’s a code for $40 off your Airbnb. Looking to save on your flights? Click here to get $50 off when you book on Cheapoair.