How to Start a Travel Blog
Finally, you decided to take your love for traveling another step, and you are wishing to start a travel blog of your own!
I’ve been running my travel blog for 2 years now, and I’ve been enjoying it so much and I honestly think it’s such a fun way to share your love for travel and educate/help other people have dreamy trips of their own!
Today, I am going to go through with you step by step on how to start a travel blog of your own and turn your love for traveling to a side husstle/full-time business!
Affiliate links may be used in this post. I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you use my affiliate link. Read my disclaimer.
Step 1: Choose a Niche! What Do You Want to Write About?
Before we get started, you need to decide on your travel blog’s niche.
Basically, a niche is a topic you want to focus on in your blog. Yes, a travel blog is a niched blog, and it’s fine to have a general travel blog as well. Travel By Maya is a pretty general travel blog.
I have kind of “niched down” to affordable travel, but it’s not the only thing I talk about on this blog and I don’t have a specific audience I talk to.
However, if you can “niche down” even more, you can find a lot of benefits for this decision, such as knowing exactly who your potential audience are and knowing exactly what to write for them and what they like and engage with the most.
If you do decide to niche down, here are a few travel niche ideas:
- Luxury travel
- Solo travel
- Couples travel
- Family travel
- Country specific niche (for example, U.S travel blog)
- Adventure travel
- RV life
- Cruise travel
- Travel for retirees
- City-specific travel
- Honeymoon travel
- Travel on a budget
- Travel hacks & tips
Keep in mind that you don’t have to niche down, and if you just love traveling and want to write about any destination/travel tips you have, having a general travel blog is great too and you can be successful either way!
Step 2: Choose a Domain Name!
Now comes the exciting part – choosing a domain name!
Here are a few travel blogging tips for choosing your domain name:
1. Make sure the name is easy to pronounce – when you choose your domain name, make sure it’s easy to pronounce, and easy to remember. You want people to remember your blog’s name when they look for travel guides or travel tips.
2. Don’t use hyphens or numbers in your name – it looks unproffessional and harder to remember.
3. Use a domain name with the .com at the ending – when you choose your domain name, prefer using a name that has the .com at the ending because when you think about it, a .com website is easier to remember then a .net, .org, or even .co.
4. Don’t make your blog’s name niche specific – even if you are writing about solo traveling only, don’t make your blog’s name related to solo travel only. Pick a name you can grow with.
Because if you are currently solo traveling and writing about solo travel, but in two years you’ll find your soulmate and you will travel together, and you will want to write about the adventures of the both of you together, it will be weird to write about couples travel in a blog named “solo travel”.
Do you understand what I’m saying here?
5. Choose a travel related name – since it is a travel blog, you want people to know it is a travel blog, and a name of a blog is definitely it’s first impression!
If you want to see if the name you want is available, use this free domain name checker tool:
Step 3: Get Hosting
Once you are all settled with your niche and blog name, it’s time to start building your blog!
Now, it’s time to register your domain name and get web hosting.
If you buy your domain through an external company, you will probably pay between $15-$20 for the domain name.
However,if you sign up for web hosting through Bluehost, you will get your domain name for completely free!
I’ve been using Bluehost through my whole blogging journey on this blog and other blogs I own as well and I am extermely happy with them.
Bluehost is a great web hosting company for building WordPress blogs, they are used by so many bloggers, and some of the biggest bloggers as well, and they have some of the cheapest hosting plans out there!
Here are some of the reasons why I love working with Bluehost:
- They are 100% reliable
- They are the #1 most recommended web hosting company by WordPress
- They offer the cheapest hosting plans for new bloggers and advanced bloggers as well.
- They have an amazing 24/7 support team that will help you with any problem at any time you need them.
- They offer a free domain name, which saves you $15-$20!
- You have a 30-days money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with their service.
- You also receive a FREE email address for your blog!
If you sign up to Bluehost through this link, you can receive web hosting starting at $3.95 a month (normally $7.99 a month) along with a free domain name and email address!
Now, let’s start our step-by-step Bluehost setup guide:
Click “Get Started”
Select Your Hosting Plan
As a new blogger, pick the Basic Plan. I personally have the Plus Plan because I have more than one blog.
But if you are just starting out, or if you are not interested in having more than one blog, the basic plan is perfect for you!
In the future you can always upgrade your plan if you are interested.
Insert Your Domain Name
This is your place to place the domain name you decided on earlier. Just write your domain name in the “Create a New Domain” section and get going!
If you didn’t decide on a domain name yet, and you want to wait a little bit longer before you decide, no worries.
Wait a few minutes and this offer will pop up on your screen. Just click the “Choose Free Domain Later” button and move on 🙂
Create Your Account
Just fill in all of the needed information to create your Bluehost account.
Pick Your Package And Pay
This is where you’ll select your hosting plan and pay for it. Honestly, the 36-month plan is the best deal at $3.95 a month, but if you don’t want to commit for that long, you can also pick a 12-month plan at $5.95 a month for an overall lower cost.
Also, as you can see Bluehost also offers package extras. You have the option to add site backups or site security.
I personally didn’t choose any of these ever, because there are free WordPress plugins that do the same thing but for free.
And that’s it! YOU HAVE A BLOG!
Now, you can login to your WordPress dashboard through Bluehost!
Step 4: Design Your New Blog!
In the beginning, your blog will come with the simple default WordPress theme installed.
You will definitely want to change this and pick something more pretty and personalized for your blog. So, it’s time to pick a theme for your blog!
For designing your blog, you can hire a web designer, or install a theme on your own. Both options are great, but the second option is definitely MUCH cheaper and easier.
When I first started my blog, I had nothing to do with these thech things and I was sure I wouldn’t be able to install a theme on my own.
Well, I proved myself wrong and so can you!
In general, there are plenty of free themes available, but I don’t recommend them because they are usually very plain and don’t have many customization options, as well as don’t include customer support.
In my opinion, a premium theme is a very important investment to make since you want your blog, your website, to look the best and to stand out from other blogs.
I highly recommend the 17th Avenue WordPress themes, I use them for my other blogs and I absoloutley love them!
For this blog I use the beautiful Hello Rose WordPress theme from Hello You Designs.
To install your new theme, go to your WordPress dashboard > Themes, and upload your theme file there!
To customize your new theme, go once again to your WordPress dashboard, click on Appearance > Customize, and start playing with your new theme!
Step 5: Install Important Plugins
WordPress offer thousands of plugins for you to use. It can be very tempting to install them all, but having a lot of plugins can really slow down your website, so you want to focus on the most important plugins:
** ALL OF THESE PLUGINS ARE COMPLETELY FREE**
Yoast SEO: this plugin helps you write blog posts that are SEO-friendly and can help you rank on Google.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and this is what gets your blog posts to reach Google’s first page and receive A LOT of traffic.
This plugin is great for writing blog posts, it will tell you exactly what to improve and how to write each blog post to improve your SEO.
Akismet: This plugin is super important! It basically filters out spam comments on your blog. You might think you won’t need it, but trust me, from my experience, you’ll definitely need it.
WordFence Security: This is a great security plug-in to protect your blog from any potential threats like viruses and malicious traffic.
Social Warefare: This plugin adds social sharing icons to your blog posts to make it easy for your audience to share your blog posts and for you to grow your blog!
Step 6: Start Writing!
Okay, now comes the actual fun part! It’s time to write some blog posts!
Before launching your blog, write between 10-15 blog posts in different topics to have a solid content base on your blog once you launch!
CLICK HERE for a list of 75 travel blog posts ideas!
Step 7: LAUNCH YOUR BLOG!
That’s it! You are actually done and everything is ready to go!
To launch your blog, all you need to do is click the “Coming Soon” button at the top of your WordPress dashboard!
How to Make Money With a Travel Blog
There are many ways to make money with a travel blog, and I will definitely write a more in-depth guide about it.
But for now, here are popular ways to make money travel blogging:
- Affiliate marketing
- Display Ads
- Sponsored posts
- Press trips
- Selling products
- Selling digital products
- Freelance writing
A Recap on How to Start a Travel Blog:
In this guide I showed you exactly how to start a blog post in 7 simple steps.
Here’s a recap of what you need to do:
- Choose a niche for your blog
- Pick a domain name
- Get web hosting (for $3.95 a month from Bluehost + a FREE domain name + FREE email address)
- Install a WordPress theme
- Install important WordPress plugins
- Start writing 10-15 blog posts
- LAUNCH YOUR BLOG!
If you have any questions about how to start a travel blog, leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!