Have you ever dreamed of traveling the world without worrying about your savings? Gone are the days when you had to stick to your 8 to 5 job and grind as much as you can to earn a paycheck, save your budget, and book that holiday vacation. Now, you can even get paid if you travel full-time. How? By creating content as a travel blogger.
Blogging and traveling always come hand in hand. Every time you go out to a new place or learn something new, you can blog about it and share it with other people. As you create a platform, you can open more opportunities to sustain your passion for traveling and get paid as much as you want.
So if you want to know how to start a travel blog, here’s the ultimate guide you need to follow.
How to Start a Travel Blog
1. Pick a travel blog domain
The first thing you should do on how to start a travel blog is to think of a blog domain name. Here are the things you should take note of when picking a good travel blog domain name:
List words you like that relates to traveling and to your personality
Since there are already many travel blogs you can find on the web, there is a high chance that the name you initially thought of is already taken.
In that case, you should come up with a unique and short name that fits your identity and personality. List out all the words you can think of that you like to include in your desired domain name. Using a domain name generator may help you come up with some unique ideas. The more words you list, the more options you can have in case the names already exist.
Avoid using common words
If you are blogging about travel, chances are you have encountered common words and terms used in the niche. Words like adventure, wander, nomadic, journey, and the word travel itself are often used to name blogs.
To make it easier for you to come up with a unique blogging name, avoid all these. Or, as much as possible, use these words as witty and catchy as possible.
Do not use numbers or hyphens
Aside from providing branding to your platform, domain names also help the website to rank on search engines. So you should also avoid using symbols like hyphens and numbers as it makes the name hard to read and remember.
Another thing to consider is long-term usage. Over time, as you grow as a travel blogger, you might change some parts of your branding or content. For example, you might want to do other stuff aside from traveling to your blog like selling merch, courses, etc. If you plan to launch one, do you think the name you have chosen will still fit those stuff?
Branding takes time to build and establish. So if you think of just changing your domain name if something new comes up, it will affect your branding and create confusion on your audience and even to your partner brands.
2. Set up web hosting
The next part on how to start a travel blog is the beginning of the technical aspects of blogging, setting up web hosting. To make your blog visible online, it needs hosting. Web hosting will store all the data and files on the blog to allow people to access it when typing out your blog’s domain name.
You can avail yourself of cheap web hosting but offer everything you need for your blog. You need to sign up with a web hosting provider to get access to their hosting services, which will be beneficial to your website. You can always have options to upgrade your hosting to a dedicated server once you see an increase in traffic over time.
3. Sign up a self-hosted WordPress account
WordPress is a popular blogging platform. Many bloggers often choose WordPress to start their blogging journey. However, many still get confused between WordPress.com and .org.
In most cases, new bloggers start their way off by creating an account in WordPress.com. There is nothing wrong with that. But for flexibility and long-term usage, you might consider using WordPress.org instead.
By choosing your preferred WordPress hosting plan from your web hosting provider, you can set up and manage your website with ease and not worry much about any technicalities. Your web host provider will be the one to take care of it for you.
4. Use a professional and premium theme
As soon as you finish setting up your account, you can now access your blog. The theme of your blog is set to standard. As mentioned, creating a website in WordPress.org will give you more freedom to enhance the design or theme of your website.
The standard WordPress themes are good for newbies. But since you want to take travel blogging seriously, you need to come up with a unique design for your blog to make it look more presentable and professional.
There are many options available in WordPress for premium themes. Yes, you might need to spend a couple of bucks to get the best one. But it is all worth it. To set apart your website from other websites that probably also use the same theme as yours, you can customize it through CSS or HTML coding. It will give you more opportunities to personalize your blog and influence it with your identity and the brand you want to establish.
If you are just starting, you do not need to go deep in designing your website, especially if you also lack the skills to do it. But if you need help, you can always ask for professional help to further develop your website.
Some people tend to overdo the design of their blog. Remember that website themes and designs are not just for aesthetic purposes, they also help improve the functionality of your website
If you do not want visitors of your site to get annoyed with the slow loading process or get irritated with the color schemes or fonts you use, maintain a clean and neat interface. It will encourage people to browse longer on your blog and will also make it look more professional.
5. Install essential plugins
To add more functionality to your website, installing plugins will come in handy. With WordPress alone, there are already around 50,000 plugins listed on their platform you can use for free or for premium purchase.
Since you are blogging about travel, make sure the plugins you install will also benefit your content. Here are some recommended plugins you can install with your travel blog:
By using Akismet, you can prevent spammers from commenting on your posts. Comments from your visitors will help you analyze what they think of your content. It also gives you ideas on the things your visitors would like to see more on your blog. In this case, protecting the comments section on your blog posts from spammers is the best solution.
Contact Form 7
To make it easier for people reading your blog to contact you through email, you can use this plugin to add a contact form on the Contact page of your website.
Easy Social Share Buttons
Social media is the best way to spread the word about your blog. So make sure you have a plugin installed for social share buttons to attract your visitors to share your posts on their social media account.
This plugin helps you track your website traffic. In this way, you will know which of your content should you focus more on because it interests a lot of people, and which ones to improve more so they can also attract more visitors to your blog.
Images are essential in travel blogs. Since you need to add images to your content, it might slow your website. Using a plugin to optimize media library images to increase loading speed will come in handy. In this way, visitors of your website can browse images with ease without waiting for seconds to load up.
Interactive World Maps
As a travel blogger, the most common question you will receive from your readers or followers is the places you have been to. By using a map plugin like this one, you can showcase your travels with ease to the people. Though you have to pay before you install this plugin, it is something worthy to try.
JetPack is the most common plugin used in WordPress. By having this plugin, you can manage to monitor your stats well and see the growth of your blog. Aside from that, it also helps with search engine optimization, backups, and website security. If you want to add more features and widgets, you can do so as well with this plugin.
As the name implies, WP Rocket can help your site speed skyrocket by providing caching. By using this plugin, you can ensure a good user experience among regular visitors of your blog and also for newcomers.
One of the most essential plugins you should not miss is the plugin for search engine optimization or SEO. Yoast SEO is a trusted plugin that lets you optimize each of your blog articles. It provides proper formatting on how you can write SEO-friendly content. Another good feature this plugin offers is you can integrate it with other tools or plugins as well such as Google Sitemaps and Google Analytics.
6. Start writing and publishing content
Now that your blog is all set, it is time to add content. Before writing out and publishing your first blog post, make sure you also have finished with your home page or landing page. Do not forget to create an engaging About as well. It is important since you are just a newbie travel blogger, and you need to introduce yourself to everyone.
Once you’re done, it is now time for the most exciting part on how to start a travel blog. You can now write your first blog post and publish it. Take all the time in creating a quality post. It is important since you are just starting and you need to attract people’s attention.
For beginners, it is ideal to publish articles one to two times per week. But if you cannot handle finishing two pieces of content weekly, one post will do. Quality is more important than quantity. Consistency in posting will also help you gain more readers in the long run. Just continue to work hard as much as you can to produce regular, quality content, and you are off to a great start.
Make sure to take advantage of social media. Share your post on social media platforms and let more people know about your blog.
7. Make money with your blog
After learning the way on how to start a travel blog, you can grab the opportunity to earn money now. It may take a long time before you can earn a larger audience for your blog. But as soon as you get there, do not miss the chance of making money through travel blogging. The more traffic you have with your blog, the more money you can earn from it.
Most bloggers get opportunities to earn from affiliate programs. You can apply for one as well if you think your blog is qualified. Another option to earn is Google Adsense. They handle displaying ads from other companies to your blog, and that is how you get paid.
But do not get carried away with the idea of making money. Focus more on creating quality content and building your audience. Money will come easily if you make an effort in improving your blog.
Now that you learn how to start travel blogging, we hope you get encouraged to work on your blog and live your passion. As you can see, starting a travel blog is easy. As long as you have the dedication and motivation to establish yourself as a travel blogger, things will work out surely for you. And you can finally have the dream job many people also wanted to experience.