So, you want to learn how to start a travel blog in 2018, isn’t that right?
Well, thank you for coming here. There are a zillion of articles on how to start a travel blog on the internet and you will probably find the same information on every single one of them.
Why should you read this guide on starting a travel blog then?
Because I made it a point to read a lot of these posts (seriously, A LOT) and then wrote up this guide on starting a travel blog that contains everything else that is NOT covered in those articles.
And what made it more interesting is the fact that I have been planning a solo trip since quite some time now and I can totally relate to how you feel about travel.
Let’s get started with the guide, shall we?
How to Start a Travel Blog?
These are the topics that you need to understand in order to make your own travel blog:
- 1 How to Start a Travel Blog?
- 1.1 Finding the perfect travel blog name
- 1.2 How to Start a Travel Blog: Basics
- 1.3 Finding a theme for your travel blog
- 1.4 Get a logo for your travel blog
- 1.5 Essential Plugins for Travel Bloggers
- 1.6 Take your first step as a travel blogger
- 1.7 How to make money with your travel blog?
- 1.8 Ready to start your travel blog?
- 1.9 Share Away!
Finding the perfect travel blog name
Finding a perfect name for your travel blog is not an easy task. You need to come up with a unique name, a name that you don’t want to change at a later date. Here are a few things that you should keep in mind when choosing a name for your travel blog.
Don’t copy what others are doing. A lot of travel bloggers use words like ‘Adventurous’, ‘Backpacker’, ‘Vagabond’ etc in their blog name. Let’s say you choose to name your travel blog ‘VagabondMike’ and there’s already a ‘VagabondCharlie’ who’s a more popular travel blogger. Who’s gonna read what ‘VagabondMike’ has to offer? Get the point?
Think of the long run
When you are starting a travel blog, think about the long-term prospects. Don’t name your travel blog ‘A year of travel’ when you know that you are going to travel for a longer time. Don’t call yourself a twenty-year-old traveler, because let’s face it, you ain’t gonna remain twenty forever! Think of a name that will stay awesome forever.
Easy to remember
You travel blog name should be easy to remember. This makes it easy for readers to remember the name and to refer your blog to their friends. Word-of-mouth marketing is the best thing that can happen to your travel blog.
Always get a .com domain name
Once you have decided on a domain name for your blog, check if the .com extension is available. Do not settle for any other TLD’s (Top Level Domains).
Availability check for social media handles
You should make it a point to check various social media platforms to find if you can register an account with them using your travel blog name. This is really important as it will give your brand a recognition. You can use a short version of your travel blog name on social media if it’s too long or if the exact match is not available.
How to Start a Travel Blog: Basics
Get ready for the building blocks now. Starting a travel blog requires you to complete these two every important steps:
1. Buying a domain name
2. Choosing a hosting plan
Now, there are plenty of domain name and hosting providers out there and each offers different features. But since, you are starting out, the recommended host is Bluehost.
P.S. Now, I know this process can be overwhelming for people like you who are just starting out, so I have written a very detailed blog post that covers the step-by-step guide on starting a blog – basics. What I want you to do it, go to that post by clicking here, follow the steps and then come back to continue where we left of.
Sounds good? Great!
Let me just give you a glimpse of what topics are covered in that post so that you can directly choose the category you are looking for:
- How to setup domain and hosting for your travel blog
- How to Install WordPress on Bluehost
- Getting to know the WordPress dashboard
- Selecting a theme for your travel blog
Finding a theme for your travel blog
Now, I hope that you have read through the topic on selecting a theme for your travel blog and have a fair idea how to go about it.
I personally use the Genesis Framework on my blog and would recommend the same to you. Genesis is an excellent framework which is highly customizable, all the themes are responsive and look beautiful.
I would definitely recommend you to try out the Genesis Framework. It’s a very small one time investment for a beautiful travel blog.
I have a few theme recommendations for your travel blog. (P.S. Click on the images to see the live preview)
1. Infinity Pro
2. Atmosphere Pro
3. Altitude Pro
4. Author Pro
5. Parallax Pro
6. Milan Pro
7. Aspire Pro
8. Minimum Pro
9. Remobile Pro
Get a logo for your travel blog
You must invest in getting a professional logo done for your travel blog. This is a key differentiator and makes your blog look professional and impressive.
For this blog, I worked on the logo myself and it turned out pretty well. However, I recommend you to hire a professional if you are unable to do it yourself. Fiverr is a good platform where you can have your logo done on a budget. I have used Fiverr for my other projects and have worked with talented logo designers who made a logo for me at just $5! It’s a bargain, I must say.
A word of caution though. Not all the sellers on Fiverr have the same expertise. You need to go through the profiles and the seller’s rating before you decide to work with someone. Also, make it a point to talk to the seller before placing the order so that you get a good idea on the seller’s professionalism and competency.
Essential Plugins for Travel Bloggers
You are almost done now but you still need to install a few essential plugins for WordPress to improve the functionality of your travel blog. Here are a few plugins that I use and recommend:
Comment spam is very common on WordPress blogs if you have comments enabled. Basically, spammers drop a comment with multiple links on your blog posts and it’s a pain to manually remove each one of them. Akismet takes care of this automatically and you don’t even see those spam comments. I have saved a lot of time by using this plugin. It’s free as well!
W3 Total Cache
The plugin leverages browser-based caching and dramatically improves the page load time and the user experience.
Jetpack by WordPress is a complete package to say the least which has a plenty of features to offer. Site stats, publicize, protect are a few tools that I have enabled in Jetpack.
YARPP stands for Yet Another Related Posts Plugin. This plugin displays the related posts from your blog at the end of every single blog post. You can set the number of posts to be seen and can set the suggestion parameters. This plugin is great for reader engagement as it suggests blog posts related to the topic that they might be interested in. This can also be enabled on your RSS feed.
This is one plugin that every travel blogger ought to have. This plugin helps you optimize the content and helps you rank in Google. It has plenty of features and is one of the bare essentials for your travel blog.
Take your first step as a travel blogger
This is a very important page on your travel blog. Readers love to know the person behind a blog and this is the place where you introduce yourself. A lot of readers will go to your about page and then decide if they want to follow you or not. Here’s a guide on how to write a perfect about me page for your travel blog.
Write your first post
Your first blog post on your travel blog should definitely be about yourself. Tell people who you are and why you love travelling so much. Where have you travelled in the past and what are your future travel destinations. Tell the readers why did you start a travel blog in the first place and what are your plans for the future. This will be a big hit with the readers and will officially launch your travel blog.
If you still need suggestions, do check out this guide on writing a post in WordPress.
Write from the heart
You don’t have to be perfect at everything and the same applies to your writing style as well. You should write your heart out, doesn’t matter if you make a few grammatical mistakes in the process or you don’t sound too professional. Your writing should reflect your passion for travel as that is what your readers will relate to. Be yourself as that is what makes people subscribe to your travel blog.
Set up google analytics
Google analytics is a great way to track the visitors on your blog and analyze various metrics. It gives you an insight on the people who are interested in your blog and where the blog traffic is coming from. However, do not waste a lot of time in analytics alone as it is very easy to get carried away when you see all that data!
Come up with a business plan
You have to be very clear on your business strategy. How are you going to market your travel blog? How are you going to monetize your travel blog? Are you willing to partners with fellow bloggers/brands? In order to find success, you need to come up with a business plan, define clear goals and try to achieve them.
Network with fellow bloggers
Networking with fellow travel bloggers will help you expand your reach and understand new things about travel blogging. You will find amazing friends and learn a lot in the process. Bloggers are known to help each other out. Identify fellow bloggers like you who have started along with you or near the same time frame and make connections, share tips and help each other.
Don’t follow the crowd
Never follow what others are doing. Be different. Everyone is obsessed about posting content twice a week, but you don’t have to do that. Take your own time, publish a post when you are ready. Don’t rush into things. Publishing a post once a month that is detailed and polished is hundred times better than a couple of hastily written posts that are published weekly.
How to make money with your travel blog?
Since you are just starting out, you are probably asking this question too early. In order to make money from your travel blog, you must attract good traffic to your blog. If that was not enough, your audience should like what you write about. In order to achieve this, you need to create engaging content on your travel blog.
Just so that you are aware, here are a few ways in which you can start a travel blog and make money online.
Google Adsense enables you to display ads on your travel blog and you earn money off every click on the ad. The sign-up process is pretty simple, however you need to wait for Google to approve your Adsense account. Once approved, you can select the size and type of ads that you want to display on your blog.
There are a bunch of affiliate programs that you can leverage on your travel blog and make money online. You can sign up with Amazon associates or travel planner website like booking.com and earn a commission of every sale.
You can read this detailed guide on how to make money blogging for extensive information on the topic.
Ready to start your travel blog?
I hope you were able to get all the information that you were looking for in order to start a travel blog. It may look like an overwhelming task, but trust me, it’s not that hard. If you have any questions for me, do not hesitate to get in touch using the contact page. And do let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.
P.S. I spent a lot of time writing this detailed guide for you. Won’t you help me out by sharing this post?