How to Start a Travel Blog
A Step by Step Dummy Proof Guide
See if this describes you…
For people like you all the hard work you perform on a daily basis is to help save up for your next big trip.
When you’re not actually out traveling, you spend your time planning where you’ll be going next, or your big dream vacation.
The chances are you’re also great at finding great deals on flights, hotels and more and you know the perfect time of year to visit almost anywhere in the world.
The thing that you understand, which most people simply don’t, is that there are so many truly breathtaking places in the world and only a limited amount of time to see them all.
With this amount of passion, you should consider helping the rest of the world benefit from your knowledge, research and experience by starting a travel blog.
Of course, pictures, videos and other multi-media items are a great option as well. While there is no doubt that you have the love of traveling needed to be a successful blogger, you might worry that this niche is already saturated with other travel lovers. The fact is, however, that this is far from the case.
It is true that there are thousands of blogs dedicated to traveling, very few of them are actually worth visiting. When you look close, most of them are not often updated, and many others have poor content that was clearly not written by a passionate traveler like yourself.
If you’re interested in sharing your love of travel with the rest of the world, I would be honored to help you. Where your passion is travel, mine is blogging, which is why I love sharing my knowledge and experience with others who have a similar (if unrelated) level of passion.
You don’t need to have any blogging experience, or technical know-how to become a blogger.
In this guide I’ll help you every step of the way to get your blog started, and then grow it into a leading destination for those who are interested. If this sounds like something you’re interested in, read on to see just how easy it can be.
How to start your own Travel Blog in 3 Simple Steps
If you’ve got 15 or 20 minutes to spare, you can get your travel blog up and running without a problem. The following three step process will take you from where you are now to being the proud owner of an actual website dedicated to sharing your passion for travel. So, read through the following steps and see just how simple it can be:
1. Choose and Buy Your Domain – Your domain, or URL, is the actual address of your site. You want to choose something related to traveling, which is also very easy to remember. One example could be hikingacrossargentina.com. In addition, make sure you select a site that has a .com or .net extension available as those are the easiest to remember for your visitors. Once you have the desired domain name in mind, move on to step two.
2. Sign Up for Hosting – Web hosting is the service where your site will actually be stored. This really helps when your site gets lots of traffic. Anyone who visits your site will retrieve all the content through the hosting company. I always recommend Bluehost for hosting because it is so easy to use. Signing up takes just moments, and they let you register your domain on their site as well. Their service is also very affordable so you don’t need to invest much at all to get your travel blog started. They offer excellent 24/7 customer support if needed. [Disclosure] BlueHost gives me a small commission for my referral and it doesn’t add anything to your cost. This helps me continue to provide lots of free information for bloggers.
3. Install WordPress – Finally, you need to install the actual software that will run your website, which is called WordPress. WordPress is the most popular website platform in the world, and it is exceptionally easy to use, even for those with no previous experience. From your Bluehost control panel, you can have WordPress installed in just one simple click.
I have found that most people are able to more easily follow these steps when they can see them in action. This is why I have created the following video that will show you exactly what you need to do to get started. Take a few minutes to watch this video (watch it more than once if you’d like). Once done, click on this link to browse over to BlueHost and get started.
Tips for the Travel Blogger
Travel blogging is unlike any other type on the internet, so you want to make sure you get started properly. I’ve created the following ten simple tips to give you some ideas on what you should, and should not do as a beginner travel blogger:
• Play to Your Experience – At first, you can focus on posting only about things that you have direct experience with. Share stories about trips you have taken, for example. Post your best photos from each of your vacations. Posting about what you know firsthand will give your site a very personal feel, which visitors love.
• Post often (but not too often) – One of the biggest problems a new site has is that there is little to no content, which can be a turn-off for new visitors. It is best to write up at least five posts as quickly as possible to get you started. Once done, start posting about 2-3 times per week at a minimum. Don’t post more than once per day, however, or most people will miss at least one of the posts.
• Post About Travel News – There are often news stories about travel topics, and these are great options to post about. News stories can rank well in the search engines and bring in a lot of traffic. The faster you can make a post about a recent news item, the better. • How To Articles are Great – If you’re trying to come up with an idea for a post, consider writing a how-to article. Showing people how to do something is helpful, and will help establish you as an expert. It could be how-to book a hotel online, or how to travel to Miami. The more you know about a topic, the better it will be.
• Read and Respond to Comments – As soon as people start finding your blog you will notice that they are making comments on your posts. This is great! Make sure you read them as soon as possible and give a thoughtful response so they know you are there.
• Share on Social Media – Every post you make should be shared on your social media accounts including Facebook and Twitter. You can set up dedicated accounts for your site, or just share them on your personal accounts. This will help build up your readership quickly right from the start.
• Don’t Hesitate to Post about Topics You Haven’t Experienced – Many travel bloggers think they are only able to write about destinations that they have actually been to. The fact is, however, you can write about anywhere that you are interested in. Of course, it will take a little more research and effort to write these posts, but it is well worth it.
• Be Honest – If you are writing about a destination that you haven’t visited, it is ok to let your readers know. Tell them that you’ve been thinking about going there someday, and you’re writing about what you’ve learned in your studies.
• Pictures & Videos – People love browsing through pictures and videos, and they are also very easy to share. With this in mind, make sure you post all the pictures and videos you can of your own vacations.
• Give Plenty of Advice – Many of the people who find your blog will be looking for information about a particular travel destination or activity. Don’t be afraid to give your expert option on these topics, it will help the reader and keep them coming back for more.
Free & Paid WordPress Themes for Travel Blogs
A WordPress theme is basically the ‘front end’ of your website. It will control the colors, the layout and the overall look and feel of your page. Needless to say, this is an extremely important decision to make. There are thousands of options out there, some of which are free and others which cost money. I’ll post three free and three premium themes that are made for travel sites so you can have a good idea of what options are out there:
• The Travel Theme – This free theme is easy to use and allows you to customize it for the exact look you want. It makes it easy to add images along with your other content, and is very easy to navigate for your visitors.
• Travel Blogger – The Travel Blogger is an easy to use them that actually has two layouts built right in. This essentially gives you two themes to choose from in one download. It is easy to customize and make it look just how you want it.
• Fontella – This is a very attractive theme that can be put to good use on a travel blog. It really allows all the focus to stay right on your content with no distractions.
• Purpose Theme – This is a very attractive theme that has all the latest features and options you could want from a travel theme. It really puts the focus on images, which is great for experienced travelers.
• Cousteau – This is a light them that will really help your site to stand out. It gives your site a lot of personality without taking away from the content you are publishing. It is easy to use and customize as needed.
• Voyage – This is a great theme that gives your site a traditional blog look and feel, but is still clearly focused on the travel niche. Easy to navigate and very attractive.
Recommended WordPress Plugins for Travel Blogs
In addition to the theme, you need to install some important plugins for your page. A plugin makes it so your WordPress site can have additional functionality that would not otherwise be possible. These plugins are very easy to install and use. The following are some key options for any good travel blog:
• WP Visited Countries – This simple plugin add a map to your site that identifies which countries you have visited. This is a fun way to share information with your visitors.
• Travelling Blogger – This plugin will allow you to add a map to any post and identify where you are writing about. If you make a post about visiting New York City, for example, the map can have an indicator identifying where that is.
• Photo Dropper – If you plan on adding a lot of pictures to your blog, this plugin is a must. It can even pull your pictures right from Flickr to make your job even easier.
• Yet Another Related Posts Plugin – When people get done reading one post, you want to do what you can to keep them on your page. This plugin will find and show them a link to a post on your site that is related to the one they are on. This is great when people want to find information about one location or topic on your site.
• Sociable – Quickly add buttons for all the top social sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more. This makes it really easy for users to share your content, which will help attract additional visitors.
Excellent Travel Blogs You should be following
One of the best ways to come up with ideas, and improve your travel blog is to learn what other people are doing. The following five travel blogs are doing a great job attracting users and giving a wonderful experience. Read what they are posting, and consider reaching out to the blog owners for a networking opportunity:
• Nomadic Matt – This is a well-established travel blog that gives a lot of information. It has been featured on major publications like the Wall Street Journal and more. There is a lot of great information on how to run a good travel blog.
• Brendan’s Adventures – This blog is a combination of a photography blog and a travel blog. It is an excellent example of how you can use more than one topic on a single site.
• Finding the Universe – If you like combining your love of travel with your sense of humor, this is a nice blog to read. The site is easy to navigate and provides for an excellent user experience.
• Goats on the Road – This page has a lot to offer a new travel blogger. The layout is mostly images on the front page, which then link to the content. It is a good example of how you can have a unique looking site that still performs very well.
• Ordinary Traveler – The Ordinary Traveler is another popular blog that has a number of contributors adding to the site. It has a lot of great destination guides as well as products that you can use on your travels. This site really shows you how it is possible to monetize your page to make some good money from your passion.
For a passionate traveler like yourself, blogging can be an incredible opportunity.
You’ll get to share your passion with the world, while potentially making a good income in the process. Of course, it will take time to start earning real money, but the potential is defiantly there!
If you think you would love blogging about travel, but you’re still a little nervous, don’t worry, that is normal. Keep in mind, however, that you don’t have to take this particular trip on your own.
I am here to help you in any way you need. You can reach out to me directly for advice or to answer questions if you run into trouble. I always get back to people as quickly as possible.
If you think this is something you want to try, why not sign up for my newsletter, which is 100% free and contains a lot of valuable information.
Once you’ve signed up, I’ll send you an occasional email with tips, tricks and advice that you can put to use right in your very own blog!