How To Start A Travel Blog
So you love to travel and love to explore.
You love to share stories either via video or words and you wan to inspire people but you don’t know where to start or how to deliver it with some sort of structure?
It can be overwhelming right?
Well guys, this one is for you!
I’ve been blogging for the last few years, in-fact it’s exactly how I started generating leads for my business.
By day I’m a full-time photographer.
My background is in Multimedia & Internet Tech and Sales and combine the two with a third…You got yourself a business.
I fell in love with travel and have accumulated so many photos & knowledge to share, that I figured I should start creating something aside from my main business, and share it to those who also love travel.
And that’s how this blog started.
It’s so easy to set up a blog these days and it’s amazing just what you can do after setting it up.
It can really lead to some amazing opportunities when it starts to grow if you really put in the work.
You can read about travel sponsorship here which is one of the things it can definitely lead to like it has done for me.
If you follow this guide you can pretty much have your own blog up and running by the end of it.
If you are wanting to start blogging as a hobby, you can start over at wordpress.com. This version of WordPress is free to use and really simple.
If, however, you want to start blogging with the option for it to grow into something more and eventually monetize from it, you’ll want to carry on reading!
Let’s get started on how to start a travel blog!
For those of you who would prefer to watch a video instead of reading, here’s a video I created.
How To Start A Travel Blog
Pick A Good Name
It can be challenging sometimes to come up with a good name for your blog but have a think about what you want your blog to be about. My very first blog was simply www.pshikotra.wordpress.com which is just my first initial followed my surname, and because it was a free one, it had that .wordpress.com making it fugly!
It was based on my music photography & travels & really was just a hobby at the time until I started making money, then I created my own websites for the different divisions within the business. When it came to THIS blog, Priti’s Passport came naturally since it’s my name plus passport which indicates it’s to do with travel. It’s short and snappy and straight to the point.
Have a think about what your blog will be about.
- Will it be focussed on travel adventures? food? experiences?
- Are you targeting a certain type of reader? For example – People who are into extreme sports? What’s your passion?
Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends, family or facebook groups to get indication of whether it sounds right.
Think about it on a long term basis, for instance if you have the word ‘world’ in your domain, will you be travelling the world for the whole time you run your blog? Will the name suit your situation if you stop travelling? If you have the name of a country in your blog, will you be residing there long term whilst you blog? If your blog takes a different direction will it still make sense with the name you are running with?
I personally went with Priti’s Passport since it’s sort of open ended and I can play around with the direction I take the blog in!
Choose your Hosting for your travel blog
Don’t panic guys, hosting just means an online home for your blog 🙂 This is where your website will be stored and all images you upload will be stored to etc and so you have to choose your host for your new blog!
Hosting is super cheap these days and there are some amazing companies out there. The great thing also, is that most companies give you your domain name for free where a few years ago, you had to pay quite a lot!
What is a domain name?
Your domain name is your blog address so mine is www.pritispassport.com – Simple 🙂
I currently run all my business websites and this blog over on www.fasthosts.co.uk. Their customer support has always been amazing at all times of day and any issues I have had, they’ve resolved so quickly. Their hosting package starts from £2.50 a month and you also get a free domain name to get you started. Bonus!
Another great one is Bluehost – I use to host my blog with them until I decided to switch so that all of my websites were with one hosting company. Definitely worth a look though!
Although I covered it briefly in the above video, one of the best things about using WordPress for your blog is just how much you can do with it. With it being one of the leading platforms to run websites and blogs on, there are so many plugins which you can later use to enhance what you can do with your blog or website.
Some of the key differences between WordPress.com (free version) and WordPress.org (self-hosted version) are as follows:-
- Your website is really in line with your vision and brand and you have complete control of the website address. So with the self hosted one it would be www.pritispassport.com but if I stuck with the free version it would have been www.pritispassport.wordpress.com – FUGLY! Haha you get the idea.
- You own the website fully – On the free version the companies start advertising but you don’t see revenue from it for example, however should you wish to monetize your blog in the future, you can choose how and what you sell.
- You can really customise the blog or website – From branding, to installing custom plugins to help you do certain tasks, to custom themes. You have FULL control.
- You can install plugins which allow you to track your website performance which is a big thing should you wish to pitch projects to companies in the future as you will need visitor data
- You can offer mail sign up which later can lead to other opportunities such as building your own online community of like minded people
The other great thing about WordPress is that there’s so much support available in the form of tutorials and more.
Here’s a great one to get you started – WordPress Lessons
Google is everybody’s best friend right and also YouTube! 😉
Choose a Professional Theme
There are some awesome themes to get you started as part of your new WordPress blog. It’s great just for that, to get you started, but eventually when you want more control, you may have to get a more functional theme.
So I would always recommend to do it from day one instead of later on.
The cost of themes vary depending on which you go for, but some can start from as little as $15 all the way up to in the hundreds. It just depends on what you are after. There are so many options too which is awesome!
I always use Theme Forest – they have some amazing themes on there which are really great prices too. Also, you tend to get up to 6 months support to get you started which is fantastic if you’re just starting out 🙂 Check it out here
Have a think about logo’s and branding when you start out too. Don’t let it put you off from starting though as branding changes as the website or blog grows and evolves. And no it doesn’t have to be pricey! You can buy some pre – made ones online through various websites so definitely do some research 🙂
Once you’re all sorted with the blog itself you can have some fun with plugins and research into what elements you want to have as part of your blog. For instance do you want the option to have subscribers so you can forward on tips on email directly to readers? Are you getting too many spam comments so you need to filter them out ASAP?
That’s where plugins come into the scene!
They are flippin’ marvelous!
Plugins are basically additional software if you like, that helps you make the website or blog function better.
Here are some really plugins to get you started with how to start a travel blog
- Yoast SEO – This is super important as it will help you create content to meet Google’s guidelines to get readers to your website
- Aksimet – This is perfect for protecting your blog from those really really annoying spam comments!
- Mailchimp – This is a great starter one for people to sign up to your mailing list
- W3 Total Cache – This helps keep your website performing quick and looks after the back end of things!
There are so many out there for pretty much everything you can think of! So definitely do some research 🙂
I would recommend hooking up Google Analytics from the get go. It’s a fantastic free tool Google offers which helps keep track of your data such as how many visitors you are getting to the blog, this is key if you plan to pitch to tourism boards and flight companies and other sponsorship pitches. So definately implement as soon as possible!
Market the eff out on Social Media!
Yep you got it! Market the eff out on Social Media. What’s the point to a blog if people don’t know about it right?! Get sharing that amazing content guys!
It’s important to keep a consistent look and feel across your social media channels with imagery plus names. Soooo as soon as you have your website or blog good to go, check the handles on the following and nab them so they are yours forever!
- Facebook page – Don’t link it to your personal account, your blog is your business – treat it like one
- YouTube / Vimeo
- Google +
I wouldn’t recommend on hammering content on all because well not all work for your niche etc but have a play and figure out what works for you and what doesn’t depending on your content.
The first thing I tend to do when I’m on a website is click on the about section. Maybe I’m just a weirdo but I love to know the story of the person or people behind the company etc. I think it’s imperative to have a about me page which tells your story and why you are sharing or creating what you are creating. People can relate to people and this is an awesome way to let them learn about you!
It’s challenging to write about yourself sometimes but you know what, just be you 🙂
And of course the most important part….GET WRITING GUYS!
Blogging isn’t easy as it looks. There’s a whole lot of research that goes into creating an article and so much marketing to make sure it gets out to readers and the right kind of readers. It’s a whirl wind but you know what, when you start seeing the results you are after, it’s so worth it!
Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging 😉
And that’s it guys – Your cheeky little guide on How To Start A Travel Blog!
What do you think?
If you have any questions on setting up a blog, comment below and I’ll get back to you!
Don’t forget to subscribe to the mailing list for travel inspiration, tips, tutorials and more fun stuff.
Stalk me on Socials & join the conversation