Overtaken by wanderlust? Have an urge to travel the world? Well, why not share all your experiences online with a bad-ass travel blog?
It’s super fun to write about one’s adventures in a foreign land, and people enjoy reading it too. If you have the potential to write enjoyable content, starting a blog makes perfect sense! You may not make a lot of money at the start, but it could eventually grow into an income source too.
Imagine having a travel blog that allows you to afford more tours around the world. You’d travel more, write more, earn more, and the cycle goes on! If that sounds like a worthy goal to set, look no further.
You’re in the right place – this is going to be a newbie’s step-by-step guide for everything you should know. Don’t be too overwhelmed, starting a blog should be more fun than stressful!
- The 5 things you’ll need to create an awesome travel blog
- How to start a travel blog: step-by-step
The 5 things you’ll need to create an awesome travel blog
When you think of a blog, a few things come to mind right off the bat. You’ll need some great written content, and maybe some pictures to go with them. But, that’s just the obvious part. That isn’t all you need; you’ll need at least 5 more essentials to start your own blog.
1. A Domain Name
This is going to be your blog’s identity, the permanent web address to it. For instance, you’re reading this article on ‘www.passiveskills.com’. Before making any final decisions, make sure you think it all the way through. The domain name is going to last, so it’s important to use one that you genuinely resonate with.
2. Web Hosting Service
Web hosting is the engine behind your blog. It’s what caters your website to the people, making it available for visitors around the globe.
3. The WordPress Software on WordPress.org
4. A WordPress Theme
Your blog’s appearance alone plays a huge role in determining its class and appeal. It controls how your blog looks to the people, and that’s a big deal. We recommend getting them from Themeisle, but you can also find some Free alternatives further down in this post.
5. WordPress Plugins
With plugins, you can add functionality to your website without being too tech-savvy. You can use plugins to add maps to locations you’ve traveled, travel galleries and stuff.
Before anything else, you’ll need to get all these basics set up. Once we discuss how to do that easily, we’ll also throw in some great blogging tips. They’ll be about creating content, promoting it, and making money from your blog.
How to start a travel blog: step-by-step
Here’s a simplified guide for starting up a travel blog!
Choose a niche
You can choose from a wide range of travel blog niches, there isn’t just one generic type. You could intend for your blog to circle around a specific type of content. It could be the tourism of a particular area, luxury travel, exploration, etc.
You could even choose a niche of backpacking or traveling with pets or kids. When making this decision, make sure you’re passionate about your final choice! You’ll have to commit to it for a long time, and it’ll get harder to do so without being interested.
Think of a great domain name
A good domain name is one that’s easy to remember, catchy, and simple! Keyword-based domain names work great for grabbing attention. But, most of these would already be taken up by other blogs. Don’t worry though, you can always build a brand out of a simple name – if you work hard enough.
If you’re going for a personal style blog, feel free to use your own name in the domain! You could use something that represents your niche in a creative way. Another great option is to combine a part of your name with an element of your niche! (e.g. ‘travelauren’)
Purchase Webhosting Service
Hosting is an essential part of any blog. It’s what ensures snappy load times, and the server’s availability for your traffic. There are a lot of high-quality hosting services offered by WordPress, but SiteGround is a good starting point.
Here are a few advantages of SiteGround;
- Purchasing your domain name gets easier with them.
- They’ve got create customer care if you ever need it.
- The pricing is relatively affordable.
- You get a setup wizard through which you can install WordPress.
As soon as you sign up with SiteGround and choose a startup plan of your choice, voila! You’ve got your very own travel blog up and running.
Choose a travel blog theme
Now it’s time to get a kick-ass look for your blog because visuals could be game-changing. Your theme is the key factor that determines how your blog looks. You can find many free and paid themes to choose from. Luckily, many of them are designed especially for travel blogs like yours!
Selecting and applying a certain blog theme will instantly hook up your blog with an attractive look. Find themes here;
Install helpful plugins for travel blogs
The next step is to add the right plugins to your blog. They could play a huge role in improving your blog’s functionality. Every WordPress site makes really good usage of plugins because you’d be missing out with them.
Some absolute ‘must-have’ plugins include;
- Contact form plugins
- SEO plugins
- Caching plugins
- Security plugins
- Social share button plugins
You might also want to download some travel-specific ones. These could improve the overall experience of your users, allowing them to do more on your site. Some would even make the UI simpler and more interactive. Check these out;
- NextGEN Gallery
- Nivo Slider
- Simple Lightbox
Generally, any blog could use a plugin that integrates the blogger’s FB and IG page within the site. For travel blogs, map plugins to plot routes and places could also come in super-handy for users. As you move from spot to spot for your blog, use these plugins to engage as many users as possible.
Create and add content
Finally, everything’s set up. Your travel blog’s foundation stone has been laid, and it’s up and running. It’s welcoming you to add some amazing content into it – so here we are on step 6!
To write your first blog post in WordPress, go to ‘Posts’ -> Add New, which you’ll find on the dashboard. Write and keep saving the draft as you progress through your post. Wherever you need to add a picture, keep the cursor there and click ‘add media’ to upload files. Format your content as you like, and publish it for the world to see!
Build your blog’s audience
You can’t keep writing content forever if there’s no one to read it, right? While you’ll still be documenting your adventures on your blog, your blog wouldn’t get traffic. Sadly, without traffic, there’s no way you’ll ever monetize your blog. Hence, the next step is to work on building a loyal audience!
Social media could act as a life-saving tool in this department. It’s got millions… actually billions of users for you to reach out to. Add social media share buttons within your blog posts to urge your viewers to multiply in number. You can do this easily by making use of plugins!
Moreover, gaining some basic knowledge about search engine optimization is a must. You can’t get too far in a blogging career if your posts don’t show up in Google’s search results. People click on articles via their searches, and the only way to get there is through great SEO.
Also, build an e-mail list and send notifications to your loyal visitors whenever you upload a new post!
Making Money from your Travel Blog
Once you’ve already accomplished all of the above steps, there’s only one thing left to do; making money. Here are some ways to do that.
You can find affiliate programs for almost anything. They could be for web hosting services, insurance, housing, cars and more. Becoming an affiliate includes adding affiliate links to your blog posts for people to click on. If they do so, and their redirected visit results in a successful purchase, you’ve made money. Your revenues add up through commissions on the sales made through your links.
Google will generate ads that are relevant to your readers’ interests on your blog. For this, you earn revenue for every click and redirected visits through your website.
Not all content on your website has to be free for your visitors. Some special pieces could be sold too, such as digital guides and valuable travel tips!
You can also use plugins to add a donation button on your blog. Visitors who truly love what you’re doing, and want to support you, can make donations! You’ll have to build a dedicated audience before this works though.
You could get sponsored by travel-related businesses to promote their brand. These could be airlines, booking apps, travel suitcase sellers and more! Accept brand deals for products that you genuinely enjoy using on your trips. This way, you’ll recommend great stuff to your audience while also making money – everybody wins!