I started my blog a year and a half ago, and I’ve been having a lot of fun keeping up with it. It’s not all fun and games — it’s a ton of work, but I truly enjoy sharing my experiences with others. Many people have reached out to me to ask how to start a travel blog. I decided to put this guide together to help others who may be thinking about creating a travel blog.
Step 1: Think of Your Blog Name and Blog Focus
Before you start anything, you’ll want to do some brainstorming. As you’ve probably noticed, there are many travel blogs out there! It’s important that you take time to think about the brand that you will create. What will you name your blog? What will you focus your writing on? What are your overall blog goals? These are all great questions to ask yourself during the planning process.
You’ll want to choose a name that fits in with your blog focus. You’ll also want to choose a name that will allow you to grow! For example, if you’re moving to China to teach for a year — you may want to consider creating a non-destination specific name. This will allow you to keep using the same blog, even after your China adventure ends.
If you’re unsure of a name or a focus, it can be a great idea to run your ideas by a trusted friend. You should also take some time to browse the web to see what type of travel blogs already exist.
Here’s a great article on Problogger, which can further guide you on this topic.
Step 2: Buy a Domain Name and Hosting Package
Next you will need to purchase a domain name. If you’re looking to have a professional blog, it’s best to have your own domain name so that you’re taken more seriously. This can also give you full control over your content. You can purchase your domain name and hosting plan all from one company, as to make the process stress-free.
I recommend using HostGator. I have been using this company since I started blogging. They are professional, easy-to-use, and their customer service is great! They also tend to have a lot of great deals, so it makes starting your blog easier because you won’t have to worry about forking over a ton of money.
For example, hosting plans are now 20% off for new members! The current promotional rate for hosting is only $3.96 a month.
Another great company to purchase hosting and a domain from is Blue Host. I have many blogger friends who love them. Blue Host also tends to run great deals, especially for new bloggers. If you’re looking to purchase a domain or hosting package, you can check out Blue Host to compare options.
Step 3: Install WordPress
I highly recommend using WordPress to build your site. There are so many great plugins, making it easy to customize the look and feel of your website. WordPress is also very user friendly — making it simple for you to write new blog posts, upload new photos, and make comments. Once you spend a couple of days learning the ins and outs, you’ll feel comfortable.
With HostGator, you can install WordPress without worry!
- Log in to your cPanel
- Click on “Quick Install” under Software Services
- Follow the easy prompts!
If you’re having trouble, here’s Hostgator’s own helpful guide.
Step 4: Utilize Themes and Plugins
There are many great themes and plugins out there! What’s great is with your self-hosted website and the use of WordPress, you have complete control over your blog’s appearance. If you’re looking to start out with lower operating costs, you can take advantage of the many free themes.
If you want to take your blog’s look up a notch to look as professional as possible, you may want to purchase a paid theme. There are many companies out there that offer paid themes, but I recommend Woo Themes.
Plugins are a great way to make your blog function better. They are easy to install and can make your blog great! Here are some plugins that you may want to consider installing:
- Yoast SEO – This plugin makes it easier for you to post SEO-friendly content
- Akismet – It can be a challenge to keep up with and delete all spam comments. Akismet does all of the work for you.
- Shareaholic – This plugin makes it easy for your readers to share your content with a click of a button.
- WP Touch – Having a mobile version of your website is important. If your theme doesn’t offer a mobile version, this plugin will do the work for you.
These are just some of the many wonderful plugins that you can use. Take some time to browse available plugins so that you can improve your blog.
Step 5: Post Content
When you’re first getting started, you may struggle to post regular content. It’s a great idea to set a goal. Decide on a certain amount of blog posts that you’d like to post per month. Stick to this goal. When you’re not sitting down to write, it can be a good idea to keep a notebook lying around to jot down topic ideas.
I find that sometimes the thought of writing is actually more stressful than sitting down and doing it. Sometimes I’m really in the groove and it comes naturally. Other times, it takes a bit of work. If you’re struggling — take a break, and then come back to it and just write! Write, write, write!
Step 6: Get Social Media Savvy
Once you have your blog set up and are being to write posts, it will be time to get social media savvy. In today’s world, you need to make sure that you’re doing your part to get your content out there for others to see. With social media, it’s easier than ever to reach a larger audience.
As you implement a social media strategy, you will start to see your blog traffic grow.
I recommend utilizing Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest (yes– pinterest!), and Instagram to share your travel content with others. Many travel bloggers also recommend using Periscope and Snapchat.
As a new blogger, it can all seem overwhelming. I recommend starting with 1 or 2 social media outlets, until you feel more comfortable.
You can utilize blogging groups on Facebook to learn more about how to share your content and how to use social media more effectively.
Step 7: Enroll in Travel Blog Success
Lastly, if you want to treat your travel blog as a business, I highly recommend the Travel Blog Success program. This program is great for those who are getting started as well as those who have been blogging for some time. In this course, you will learn how to start blogging, ways to increase traffic, how to monetize your blog, and how to learn and grow as a bogger.
What’s great about Travel Blog Success is that it’s a lifetime course — so you will always have access to the ever-growing content. Every member gets access to the secret Facebook group, which is a great learning base in itself. You’ll also have access to monthly webinars that focus on a variety of topics, such as marketing, writing, PR, and more.
And there you have it — that’s how to start a travel blog! It’s a lot of work and it’s always a learning experience, but blogging about travel can be very fun and rewarding. I hope you find this guide to be helpful! 🙂
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. All views are my own.