Are you dreaming of becoming a travel blogger? Are you ready to share your stories and experiences with the world? If so, starting a travel blog is one of the best ways to do it.
A travel blog allows you to document your journeys, show off your photography skills, and inspire others to explore the world. Plus, creating an online presence can help build relationships with other travelers and potentially open new job opportunities.
But how do you get started? Here’s everything you need to know about setting up a successful travel blog — from choosing a domain name and hosting platform to optimizing content for search engine visibility. With these tips in hand, all that’s left is finding great places to visit!
So, let’s start your travel blog!
How to Start a Travel Blog
1. Research and Pick a Niche for Your Travel Blog
The first step in creating a successful travel blog is to decide what kind of content you’d like to focus on. Do you want to write about budget-friendly adventures? Or perhaps luxury trips and resorts?
Choosing a specialty will give your blog an identity, help you build an audience, and make it easier for you to choose a name. Consider your travel experience and interests when coming up with a niche — this will ensure that you’re always writing about something you care about.
Now, let’s say you are not really into budget-friendly and luxury trips all around the world. Then you might want to start a travel blog around one specific country.
For example, if you live or travel a lot to Japan, then you could create a travel blog about the best places to visit in Japan. You can write articles based on your experience, share photos and videos of the different places you visited, and offer tips for anyone planning their own trip to Japan.
And I highly recommend that you focus on one country when starting your travel blog. This will allow you to cover tons of topics around this same country, like food, transport, internet, rent, bills, cities, villages, public administration, and more. You will become an authority, someone to contact for tips and tours. Then, you can add one more country, and so on.
I talk about 5 crucial points your niche must meet to be profitable in my guide on how to choose a money-making niche. Check it out to learn more.
The important thing is that you have some kind of focus so that you can develop an audience related to your topic, show your expertise, and have an easier time ranking in search engines.
2. Find a Memorable Blog Name
Once you’ve decided on a niche, it’s time to choose a name for your travel blog. This is an important step because it will become your business’s brand — so make sure to choose something catchy, memorable, and easy to spell.
You can come up with fun puns related to your niche. Try to avoid generic names like “The Explorer” or “I am a traveler and come up with something more original. Brainstorm a list of potential blog names, then narrow it down to the best one.
Pro Tip: Remember that a good blog name is short and easy to remember, easy to write, and easy to spell and pronounce. It does not contain numbers and punctuations (e.g., hyphen).
Now, I know that coming up with tons of potential blog names is hard. That’s why I recommend using a blog name generator like businessnamegenerator.com.
On BusinessNameGenerator, enter keywords related to traveling — like travel, journey, trip, travels, and voyage — and click Get Started.
The tool will show you a vast list of names. Check all of them to see what suits your vision.
The method above is used if your travel blog talks about many countries. If it does, do not add a country name to your blog name. However, if your blog only focuses on ONE country, adding the country name to your blog name is definitely a good idea.
Once you have chosen a name for your blog, make sure that it is available as a domain name (www.yourblogname.com). To do this, just click on the name. If it’s available, it will show “Register”.
If the domain name is not available (meaning someone is already using it), it will show “WHOIS”
If your travel blog domain name is available, it will show like in the image below.
Also, make sure to also secure the same name across different social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). That way, you will build up a consistent brand online. Oh, one more thing! Use .com for your domain. It’s very popular and easier for your readers to remember.
Do not use your personal name (like John Smith) as your blog name. It might be easy to remember, but it won’t make you stand out and won’t help you build a strong brand. It won’t look professional, either. I go over all these tips and more in my comprehensive guide on how to start a blog.
3. Pick a Blogging Platform
Now that you have a name and domain, you need to decide what platform will host your blog. There are many options to choose from: WordPress, Blogger, Weebly, and Squarespace — just to name the most popular ones.
The best option is WordPress (WordPress.org). It’s free, and it has tons of features for you to use. Plus, it’s very user-friendly, so you won’t have any trouble creating and customizing your blog.
WordPress also has themes and plugins that allow you to make your blog look and work great. To make life even better, there are themes specifically made for bloggers who want to start a travel blog, bloggers just like you. Don’t worry, I will mention a few of these great travel themes later.
With plugins on WordPress, you’ll be able to see the number of people who read your articles, where they come from (countries), and what they like to read on your blog. You can also sell your products and services.
There is no doubt! With WordPress, you will create a beautiful blog that will make you stand out and attract readers and clients.
4. Host Your Travel Blog and Install WordPress
Now that you have a platform, it’s time to find a hosting service for your blog. A web hosting service is like the home of your blog — without one, nobody will be able to visit and read it!
To make it simple, hosting companies put your blog on the internet.
Go to Bluehost, hover over WordPress, and click on WordPress Hosting.
Scroll down and select Basic. The Basic plan is perfect for starters and I highly recommend it. You can always upgrade if you want more. But for now, go with this plan.
Enter your blog name under ‘Create new domain‘ and press Next. Ensure that .com is the one selected.
Add your Account Information to proceed.
Under Package Information, select your preferred hosting duration (It’s renewable). And under Package Extras, check the feature you want. I highly recommend checking the box for ‘Domain Privacy + Protection’ only. The rest are pretty optional and not necessary.
Finally, enter your payment information, check the box down, and click Submit.
On the next page, Bluehost will ask you to create your account and a password. After login in, you will be asked a couple of questions regarding your website. I recommend that you ‘skip’ all of them.
However, one place you can’t skip is the question ‘How would you like to build your WordPress site?’. Choose WordPress.
After all these steps, you will finally access your travel blog through your WordPress website! How cool is that!
5. Install a WordPress Theme
A theme is a set of files that gives your blog its design, colors, and layout. WordPress has thousands of free and premium themes that you can choose from.
There are many WordPress travel themes, like the Getaway Travel and Tourism Theme, which is optimized for travel blogs. It’s a premium WordPress theme, has great support, and contains a lot of features specifically designed for travelers.
Love Travel is another top travel WordPress theme. It’s affordable and comes with a modern, colorful design. It’s also responsive and optimized for search engines like Google.
These two themes provide tons of templates. No need to design your blog beforehand. With a couple of clicks, you can use any template to make your travel blog. All you need to do is change the words to fit your message and write blog posts.
When you choose your theme, and you are ready to install it, check out my step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress theme. It’s easy, trust me!
6. Install the Necessary Plugins
Plugins are necessary for every WordPress blog to work smoothly. WordPress Plugins are pieces of software that add features and functionality to your WordPress blog.
Some plugins are necessary for any blog, like a security plugin, an SEO plugin, and a caching plugin. You can find more details about these in my guide on the 7 essential WordPress plugins.
For travel blogs, there are some additional plugins you should consider installing. They are:
- WP Go Maps (formerly WP Google Maps) – This plugin will help you create maps to display the places you’ve visited or plan on visiting.
- Social Warfare – This will allow visitors to share your blog posts on their social media accounts. A great way of getting more readers and followers.
- Yoast SEO: With Yoast, you will optimize your blog posts so that they appear high on search result pages.
- WP Travel Engine: This plugin is essential for travel blogs. It will help you create itineraries, add trip packages, and more amazing features for your blog.
- Wordfence: Wordfence is an invaluable security plugin that will protect your site from malware and prevent hacker attacks.
- Smush: Since you will use a lot of images, Smush will help you optimize their size for faster loading.
- WP Rocket: WP Rocket will also make your blog pages load faster and improve user experience.
- Optinmonster: You need Optinmonster if you want to capture leads and build an email list.
- WPForms: To create contact forms, feedback forms, surveys, and polls.
- UpdraftPlus: It will help you back up your blog regularly so that if anything goes wrong, you can easily restore it.
These are just a few of the best plugins for travel blogs. These plugins will help you manage your travel blog like a professional. You will be sure to prove to your users the best they deserve.
7. Write and Publish Your First Blog Post
A blogger life is about writing content, and here, you’ll start writing the first post.
When starting out, you should focus on writing engaging and informative content about your travels. Share stories, tips & tricks, funny moments, amazing places you’ve visited, etc.
Make sure that all of your posts are SEO friendly and include the important keywords so that your blog can appear higher in search engine result pages. Once you’re done writing, it’s time to publish your post. Double-check for typos and grammar mistakes before you hit “publish”.
Let’s break these steps down!
Choose a Blog Post Topic
You need to decide what topic you want to write about. Think about your target audience and the type of content they would be interested in.
For your niche, the first article could be ‘best time to visit [country]’ or ‘how much does it cost to travel to [country]’.
Do Your Research
Once you have a blog post idea, start your research. Read other articles related to your topic and find out more about it. Just check them quickly — no need to spend minutes on that. This will help you create content that is more detailed and accurate.
Write an Outline
An outline is a plan for your article. It will help you organize and structure your content in a logical way. An outline should contain the main points of your post and the subheadings that support it.
It also helps you organize all of your ideas neatly so they make sense when included in a blog post. I like to use Google Docs to write my outline.
Write a Draft
Once your outline is ready, it’s time to start writing. Create a rough draft and just write down whatever comes to mind. It doesn’t have to be perfect — you can always edit later. Just try to keep your sentences concise and make sure they flow logically.
Again, use something like Google Docs or MS Word to write the draft.
Edit & Proofread Your Blog Post Draft
Now that you have written your draft, it’s time to edit and proofread. Read your draft and look for any typos or grammar mistakes. Check if all the information is accurate, relevant, and up-to-date. You can also ask someone else to read your post and give you feedback.
Once you’ve checked everything twice, you’re ready to publish your post!
Publish Your Post
Add your post to WordPress and add all the necessary images. You can also link to internal pages on your blog if it makes sense. When you are finally ready, hit ‘publish’.
After you have published your blog post, share it on social media and email it to your subscribers. This will help increase the visibility of your post and get more people to read it.
8. Promote Your Blog Post
You want to make sure your blog post gets as many views and clicks as possible, so you need to promote it. You can do this by creating content on social media that links back to the article or running ads.
Remember to always track the performance of your post and see what works best for you.
A good way to get regular free traffic without promoting your blog posts is to practice good SEO tips. Ahrefs has a great article that will help gain these best SEO practices. By using the wright tips, your articles/blog posts will rank higher on Google and bring traffic to your blog every day.
9. Monetize Your Travel Blog
Finally, you can start monetizing your blog. Unlike what people think, no, there is no institution that pays travel bloggers or bloggers in general. Bloggers have various ways to make money, and don’t count on a special organization that pays all the bloggers on the planet.
As a travel blogger, you can make money from your blog by using affiliate marketing, display ads, sponsored posts, or offering services related to travel if it’s something that interests you. Let’s talk about these points in detail.
Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money from your travel blog. You can promote products and services related to your niche and earn commissions for every sale that you generate.
These products could be anything from flights and hotels to travel gear or gadgets. For example, if you have a post about ‘the best travel bags’, you can include links to some of the recommended bags that you found. When someone clicks on your link and purchases something, you will get a commission from the sale.
However, keep in mind that this link is called an affiliate link and is provided by the product’s manufacturer or a reseller and not by you. To get the affiliate link related to the product, you need to check if the company provides an affiliate program. If they do, register and get approved. The link is usually on their website footer.
If the company doesn’t offer an affiliate program, you can still contact them to find a deal and they might allow you to do it.
It’s just a matter of asking.
Another way to make money from your travel blog is by displaying ads on your website. You can join an ad network and get paid for views or clicks that the ad receives. This isn’t the most profitable option, but it is still an easy way to make money from your blog.
A sponsored post is when you are paid by a company or an individual to write about their product or service on your blog.
If you have a large following and good engagement, brands may be willing to pay you for sponsored posts. You can reach out directly to the brand or use an influencer platform such as Influence. This is one of the best ways to make money from your blog because it pays more than other methods like ads.
However, try not to overdo sponsored posts as it could hurt your credibility with readers if you are constantly pushing products.
Services related to travel
You can also offer services related to your niche if you have the knowledge and expertise. For example, you could offer consulting sessions or tours for travelers who are visiting a destination that you know well. This can help generate more income from your blog without having to rely on one payment method only.
Start and Grow Your Travel Blog
Starting a travel blog is an exciting venture that can be rewarding both financially and emotionally. With the right amount of dedication and hard work, you too can turn your passion for traveling into a successful business. It may take some time to get up and running but if you stay disciplined, patient, creative, and organized, there’s no reason why your journey won’t lead to success.
Don’t forget to have fun with it! Once everything is set in motion, share your stories with friends or family who are interested in joining on future trips – they will appreciate the effort you put into creating such great content.
Good luck on this new adventure; we wish you all the best as you start off on one of life’s greatest adventures – blogging about it!