Are you thinking about documenting and sharing your travel experiences with the world and want to learn how to start a travel blog? Then keep reading!
I started my travel blog about 4 years ago and have learned the ins and outs of running a successful blog since then. Along the way, I have learned a lot of new things that I wish I knew when I started, but as time passed I developed a strong knowledge base about this industry and what it takes to start and continue with a successful blog. I have helped plenty of people start blogs and my biggest piece of advice is: just do it! There is so much joy in sharing your knowledge with others and documenting memorable experiences you can look back on one day.
Whether you are looking to start a travel blog as a full-time career or just want to have a little side income or you are passionate about travelling use this guide to take the leap and start your blog!
(Disclaimer: Some links in this post may be affiliate links, meaning if you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you and you may even receive a small discount. See disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.)
How to Start a Travel Blog
In This Post
1. Find your Place
Discover your Audience
Before you start doing anything with your travel blog you need to think about who you are and what audience you are trying to connect with. Think about who you are, what you want to write about, and the entire persona of the people with who you want to reach and connect through your content. Think of the following:
- What you will write about: Just “travel” is too broad and doesn’t give you any specialty for a certain audience to connect to. Think about what you’d like to read and go from there: are you looking for budget travel information, luxury travel? Or do you want to be super specific and focus on one region or country? It’s up to you!
- Who will read this: Think about your audience and form your content and entire blog around this. For me, my blog is created in a way to entice females around 20 – 35. By the use of images, writing, and more. Of course, men are welcome but I am writing to the audience of females because this is where I am focusing.
After you determine what you will write about and who you are writing to you can do some research. Find people who are already blogging to this audience and see what you can do to stand out and be different.
Pick a Name
Picking a name is often the hardest part of starting any new business. Choose something that you feel represents you and what you want to promote. Having something that indicates this is a travel blog is a good way for people to understand what content you are promoting just from your URL. Make sure you think hard about this because changing a name after you have published a ton of content and gotten links to a domain is almost like starting over in some ways.
- Take your time to think
- Make it unique & unique
- Ensure it is not offensive (recent issues with people using the word gypsy in their blog names)
- Make it memorable
- Make it understandable and easy to spell
2. Technical Set up
Set up Domain & Website Host
If this is your first blog then you will probably be quite confused what the difference between a website host and a website domain is. These two things are often purchased together and the setup is very easy.
- Website Domain: This is your website name or URL. My website domain is samseesworld.com. I pay for this every year so that this is my URL and mine only.
- Website Host: This is who you will sign up with to run and make your website visible and accessible on the internet. There are plenty of website hosts available all with different offerings.
I will walk you through how to register your domain and get a website host. When it comes to picking a website host you may be overwhelmed with all the choices (BlueHost, Siteground, and more) but from someone who has tried a few different ones, I can confidently recommend you sign up with Lyrical Host.
Lyrical Host is a smaller hosting company which makes it all the better. It promises super-fast website speed and amazing customer service! As for pricing, it is loads better than all others. Some website hosts offer really low prices to start with but then after the first year, they shot those prices way up. With Lyrical Host, you can expect the same price year after year saving you a lot of money.
Sign up with Lyrical Host today and get 10% off your first hosting plan payment with samseesworld10.
To register your domain and website hosting through Lyrical Host follow these steps:
Step 1: Go to the home page: here you will see the buttons “Order Hosting” and “Buy a domain”
Step 2: Buy a Domain: If you are buying a domain with Lyrical Host (recommended) click on Buy a Domain. In the box type in your desired Domain Name and Lyrical Host will check its availability. If it is available you can make the purchase, if it is not it will give you some alternatives. After you find your Domain Name, add it to your cart.
Step 3: Order Hosting: Lyrical Host has 3 different hosting plans.
- Tiny: Hosting for one website (if you have one blog this is for you)! For £9.99 (GBP)
- Mighty: Hosting for 1-3 websites. £15.99 (GBP) per month
- Boss: Hosting for up to 25 websites. £23.99 (GBP) per month.
Make sure you purchase hosting for WordPress.
Step 4: Payment: Choose the payment plan you feel most comfortable with. A longer-term payment plan = more savings. If you go with a 24-month plan you will end up paying £199.98 (GBP) for the year.
Sign up with Lyrical Host today and get 10% off your first hosting plan payment with: samseesworld10.
Installing WordPress & Setting Up Your Website
With Lyrical Host, WordPress is already preinstalled so all you have to do is enter a few details and your website is set up! This makes it super easy for a first-time website builder. During this step, it will ask you to pick a theme, don’t think too much into this as later on in this post I will explain website themes and guide you to finding one for yourself.
To get to your website dashboard you will go to: domainname.com/wp-admin and type in your username and password. Your dashboard will look something like this:
On the left hand side you will see things like:
- Posts: This is where you will write blog posts and see all the published + draft posts
- Pages: This is where you will make certain pages for your website. Think about me, home, and more.
- Comments: This is where you will find all the comments made on your blog posts
- Media: All photos and videos are here.
- Settings: This is where you can alter certain parts of your website.
- Plug-ins: These are additional features you add to your website to increase functionality, add features, and more! Some plugins come pre-installed (like Jet Pack) and you can uninstall them by navigating to Plug-Ins on the left-hand side and clicking deactivate. The plugins I suggest for all travel bloggers are explained in the section “Key Travel Blogger Plugins”
Connecting Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a tool used to track everything on your website. From visitors to time on page, what they are reading, and much more. Having this installed and set up on your website as soon as possible is essential to gain valuable insights into your traffic! Setting it up can be hard but with the plugin Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights this is made easy!
Key Travel Blogger Plug ins
Below are some of the plugins that I think every travel blogger should have on their website:
- Rank Math: SEO plugin to help with your posts ranking high on Google.
- Akismet: Filters spam comments from your posts.
- Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights: For setting up Google Analytics with ease.
- Autoptimize: for website speed.
- Grow Social by Mediavine: Adds social sharing buttons to your blog posts.
- UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore: For website backups so you don’t lose anything in case of any issues.
Create a branding board
Having a clear brand and brand image for your blog is important to help you stand out and help people remember you. Creating a brand board or vision board for your blog is easy and can be done on the free tool Canva. With this you can choose the colours you want to use for your website and branding (pins, Instagram posts), the images you want to capture, any photo editing styles you want to portray and more.
This branding board should give you the overall feel you want to portray from your blog that will connect with your chosen audience. When thinking about how to start a travel blog this is an essential step in making yourself and your brand “you”.
Find branding board templates like the one below on Etsy! Click HERE!
Install a Theme
WordPress comes with quite a few free themes to choose from but if you want to stand out and have a theme that is more aesthetically pleasing I suggest looking on a platform like Creative Market. Here you can search WordPress themes and search through a ton of amazing and well-designed themes. Just make sure you look at the reviews and everything you need for it because even though you are buying it there are still some things you will need to do yourself to get it set up and good customer support is KEY!
Create a Logo
A logo is an important part of your brand that people will look at and automatically recognize. Don’t be too picky when choosing a logo as it is pretty common for people to change their logos often. One of the things many new bloggers struggle with is trying to make everything perfect when at first everything doesn’t need to be. You can constantly make tweaks to your blog, branding, and logo throughout your journey.
If you are looking for logo inspiration check out Pinterest.
Customize Your Website
Once you install your theme and get everything set up you can start the fun part of customizing your website. This is where you will use the branding board you created and implement your brand colours throughout, add your logo and add any extra features you want. Most themes you get will have options to add and remove certain things so feel free to make your website as “you” as you would like.
This is also the time to set up set and customize key pages like your home page and about me page.
4. Create Content
Set Up Key Pages
There are a few key pages that every website needs to have and setting them up early on is a good idea.
- About me: This is an essential page that Google loves to see (this helps with your SEO). On this page, you should include a short about yourself, why you do what you do, and anything else you want to include.
- Contact: A page with a contact box where readers can send you messages to your email is an important page to have. If there is an important question of a reader this will make you more likely to read it.
- Home: Your home page is like the front page of a newspaper, you want people to see it and think YES. I see the branding, I see what this blog is about and I want to read it.
- Travel pages: With a travel blog you’re going to want to organize your travel pages in a way that makes navigating all your content easy and clear. You can have the main page for Travel or Destinations with sub-pages or subcategories within them.
Learn about SEO
Learning about SEO before you start is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Many bloggers make the mistake of just writing how they please and then once they learn about SEO they have to go back and spend endless hours editing their old content. But learning right away you can start your blog off on a strong SEO foot and prepare it for success.
If you are on a budget there are a ton of free resources online where you can learn about SEO. However, investing in a course is the best way to get streamlined information that will guide you with ease. I recommend the Goats on the Road course! Read my full review here!
Plan your Content
Get a calendar and plan what you want to write out for 2 months in advance. This will help keep you inspired and avoid any times with zero writing or the inability to come up with ideas. Once you learn about SEO you can spend a few hours each month finding good keywords and planning your new content around it.
Sometimes starting to write can be scary and intimidating. However, you just need to go for it. You will most likely look back on your first ever blog post and laugh at where you were back then, but seeing how you grow through your writing is exciting!
When thinking about how to start a travel blog the main thing to do is start. Taking the first steps is what will motivate you to keep going and embark on an adventure and learning experience like no other. I can say starting a travel blog is one of the best things I’ve ever done and I love sharing new information every week with my readers!
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