Want to learn how to start a travel blog? Anybody can do it, but building a professional one requires time, investment, skills, and a heck of a lot of work.
If you want learn how to start a travel blog for your family and friends, there’s an easy solution–WordPress.com can set you up with a blog to keep everybody back home updated on your travels.
But if you’re serious about learning how to start a travel blog, and if you want to become successful at it, there’s a little bit more to it. To be perfectly honest, building a successful travel blog is hard work. But if you hope to make money from it someday, or even travel for free, I guarantee you it’s well worth it.
Of course, all work can be a challenge, and what we put into things easily determines what we receive back. Now, not only do I make an income online, but I also to travel for free and go on epic trips by leveraging my website to partner with travel companies all over the world.
Ready to get started? Let’s do this!
Learn How to Start a Travel Blog Now
A travel blog is nothing without a name, and a name is nothing without first an idea. Try to pick something unique and memorable–something you can use as a brand. I prefer something concise, two or three words at max. And I always recommend choosing a name that you can easily tell someone about without having to explain. Imagine you’re on a talk show and you have 5 seconds to plug your blog! Could you do it? Avoid hyphens or strange spellings–this makes your name more confusing to people when you tell them how to find you!
For example, I picked travelFREAK because its short, brand-able, and it’s memorable. It should mean something to you, and should bring depth to your style and your niche. Here are some examples of other travel blogs who have branded themselves well in a specific niche:
The Planet D – adventure travel
Breathedreamgo – solo female travel in India
Hecktic Travels – slow travel for couples
Adventurous Kate – solo female travel
Nomadic Matt – budget travel
Traveling Canucks – family travel
Getting creative with your name can be tough these days. Words like Wandering, Adventurous, Nomadic, and Vagabond have all been well-used, so try to think outside the box. If you have an idea for a name but aren’t totally sure, feel free to send me a message and we can bounce some ideas around! I love that kind of stuff.
When you’re done brainstorming, and once you’ve come up with a catchy name, the next step is to get some web hosting, which is essentially your rented apartment space on the internet. I always recommend Bluehost–they register your name for free (which is another complicated process if you do it separately), and they have really good hosting plans starting at just $3.95/mo (though they run promotions on a pretty regular basis).
Just go to their website and click on the green “Get Started Now” button.
Then, in the box on the left, type in your new name and click “Next”.
The next step is to enter your personal information and pick your payment package and site add-ons. I recommend signing up for a year–it’s only a few extra dollars and you’re not stuck in a long-term, two- or three-year contract. As for add-ons, Domain Whois Privacy is a good choice if you value your privacy, but I’d forego the rest.
After you’ve registered with Bluehost, you should get an email with details on logging into your control panel. Now it’s time to set up WordPress.
WordPress is the number one blogging and website platform on the Internet today, and it’s the only framework I recommend. The wide variety of themes and plugins that are available make it the most versatile and easy to use blogging solution on the web. I also use it to run this site.
Luckily, Bluehost has a fully functional control panel which makes it incredibly easy to set up and install WordPress. Select WordPress from their control panel and install everything in just one click.
Follow the step-by-step instructions, and when the install is complete, you should receive an email with all of your site login information. They’ll tell you where to go to login so you can start designing your site and publishing blog posts!
Okay, you’re close! With WordPress installed, you officially have the foundation of a travel blog! But wait. There’s more. Call within the next half hour and you’ll get…wait, sorry. Wrong ad. So the next step is to make it pretty (and this is my favorite part).
WordPress has a huge database of free themes, which you can look through here, and they make a great starting point. If you really want to spruce things up a little, I recommend picking a premium theme. It shouldn’t cost more than $50, and it will give you a more unique design, more advanced options, and greater control over how your new travel blog looks.
That being said, because there are a wide range of themes, with various levels of functionality, it’s worth doing some of your own research and reading others’ reviews. But make sure you pick a theme that you can grow with. Here’s where I recommend using:
ElegantThemes – ElegantThemes make beautiful WordPress themes, which are perfect for starting a travel blog. They’re a very reputable brand and they make beautiful themes which are perfect for a travel blog. Plus they have great documentation and support. Divi, their flagship theme, is insanely easy to use, it’s beautiful out-of-the-box (but highly-customizable), and it includes a visual page builder so you never have to touch a piece of code.
ThemeForest – ThemeForest is a huge database of premium WordPress themes which I always reference if I’m designing a new site. There are a lot of styles to choose from, so if you’re looking for something with a built-in design right out of the box, this is a good place to start looking.
StudioPress – StudioPress makes professional WordPress themes which are well known for being highly-optimized for usability and SEO. StudioPress themes are the obvious choice for people who are serious about taking their travel blog to the next level.
When you’re ready to install your fancy new theme, log into WordPress and go to Appearance > Themes and upload the new theme files. Your theme documentation should lead you through the steps on how to go about customizing your specific theme further. Once everything is to your liking, you’re ready to start publishing blog posts and spreading the word!
So, now you’ve got a beautiful new travel blog, you’ve got some articles written, and you’re wondering what’s next. If you want to get serious, you need more readers than just your family and friends, and finding them in the very noisy world of Google and social media can be a real challenge.
Making money, too, and partnering with travel companies is another big step, and I know from personal experience that it can be scary and daunting. I am entirely self-taught, and I utilized this very course when I first started blogging. It’s probably the thing that made the most difference to me in my blogging career.
Created by a group of travel blogging experts, Travel Blog Success provides new travel bloggers with learning modules, expert advice and insider secrets from people who have been blogging for years. It covers everything about the best practices for building and maintaining a successful travel blog like:
- How to Write Great Content – Whether its long-form travel narrative, photographic essay, or punchy video blogging, Travel Blog Success can help you find your content niche and perfect it.
- Search Engine Optimization – SEO is one of the most important aspects of a successful blog, and TBS’s modules on the topic will help Google find you, and send you traffic every single day.
- Learn How to Leverage Social Media – Travel Blog Success can help you to understand the importance of each social network and how it works, making you more effective at dispersing and marketing your travel blog online.
- Build a Long-Term Plan – From organizing milestones to measuring your success with analytics, Travel Blog Success can help you build a steady audience and improve your website’s traffic regularly.
- Working On The Road – Not everyone is a natural digital nomad, but Travel Blog Success helps you to become an effective mobile worker that makes the best of their environment everywhere.
- Monetizing Your Site – Travel Blog Success has the resources to teach you all about making your website into a profitable business, that can help you organize everything from advertising to press trips with ease.
Travel Blog Success isn’t just a program, it’s an exclusive membership to the world of travel blogging. Along with lifetime access to 27 lessons grouped into six modules, Travel Blog Success offers members a private forum to bring queries or to get advice from professionals and mentors, a secret Facebook group that simplifies interaction and networking with other professional travel bloggers, and a range of discounts and perks enjoyed by all Travel Blog Success members.
This means that, as well as learning the how-to’s of the professional blogging world, you can become a part of a community of travel bloggers that have taken their passion one step further, and made their online businesses a success.
I am an active member of Travel Blog Success and I owe much of what I have done to my membership with TBS. The learning modules and especially the secret Facebook community have helped to guide me, provide advice, and shape me into a more professional, well-rounded, and successful blogger.
Travel Blog Success, along with my own hard work, is how I’ve made travelFREAK into something noteworthy that I can be proud of, travel, and pay my bills with.
Staying inspired and making money are as simple as using the materials and opportunities that life presents. I chose not to make excuses and, instead, to live the life that I dreamed of. Now, I get to wake up on tropical beaches, the edge of volcanoes, and the middle of mountain ranges.
I don’t know about you, but that that’s the life for me.
Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you sign up, at absolutely no extra cost to you. I have used all of the products above and I never recommend a company or product I don’t trust.