Like to travel? Like to blog? Well then, why not learn how to start an official travel blog? Believe it or not, even in the age of Instagram, a well written, informational travel blog is a truly powerful tool, and if you plan accordingly, your travel blog can actually be a sustainable way of seeing the world.
To create a travel blog, you will need a strategic plan that covers naming your site, finding a solid hosting platform, choosing a theme, and creating your brand. You also need to decide how you want to monetize your travel blog. This might seem like a lot but nothing is that difficult, so don’t let the logistics get the best of you. Let’s take this step by step.
#1 Name your travel blog
This is a crucial step. Keep it simple and unique. Avoid the common industry clichés that will make it difficult for you to stand out. One of the keys to blogging is to keep things as personal as possible, so finding a name that is uniquely you is the goal. Remember to make sure the domain name is still available!
#2 Find a suitable host and platform
Companies like Bluehost and Dreamhost are popular, inexpensive, and feature-rich web hosting options. Once your host is established, you will also need an actual blogging website platform. Again, there are many options, but one of the most popular, and my platform of choice is WordPress. WordPress is stable, provides great customer service, and offers an almost endless amount of choice when it comes to things like themes and plugins, both of which are critical to the success of your travel blog.
Once your platform is installed and connected to your web hosting service, you will need to begin to understand your ‘behind the scenes’ website dashboard. You will want to get familiar with things like creating posts, moderating comments, plugins that optimize your content, and how to tweak your blog’s appearance and structure. Take your time, create a few test pieces, and learn the basics before going live with your first travel blog post.
#3 Customize your travel blog
Choosing a theme for your travel blog website is both critical and fun. The theme dictates what your blog will look like to your readership. There are plenty of free website themes available through platforms like WordPress, but if those aren’t quite what you are looking for, then there are theme-specific companies offering more paid-for customizable options.
Branding your travel blog website is where things get interesting. Your branding will shape the experience of engaging with your site. Your brand and this experience are what distinguish you from your competition. When readers think of you, they will often not only be thinking of your writing and information but also of your overall brand. One of the great ways of getting started on your brand is developing your logo or your website’s banner. I love Canva, which is a free, online design platform that allows you to design a myriad of things including logos and banners.
#4 Choose your plugins
A plugin is a piece of software that acts as an add-on to your website to allow for greater functionality. There are a few essential plugins that you will want to make sure you have. First up is Akismet, a spam filtering service that filters spam from comments, trackbacks, and contact form messages. Next, think about an SEO plugin to help you refine your content and keep you at the top of Google search listings. Additionally, a good contact form plugin helps you communicate with your audience. Finally, choose a plugin that allows you to add your social media buttons to your travel blog website’s homepage.
#5 Create your ‘About Me’ page
You are now so close to launching that first blog post, but there is just one more task you should complete: Creating your ‘About Me’ page. Blogging is not just about your travels or the data and stories you share. Your travel blog is about YOU. You, and your personality, quirks, beliefs, and insecurities are all part of what makes your travel blog, and your story, so alluring. Your ‘About Me’ page is a great way to introduce yourself and set the tone for your blog. The more information you can share, the better your ‘About Me’ page will be.
Now your travel blog website is set up and ready for your first post. When writing your blog posts, remember to let your personality shine through. You have a unique way of seeing the world, and that’s what you want to share with your readers.
Top tip: Installing Google Analytics is a great way to track which posts are gaining the most traction. Don’t let the analytics dominate your process, but knowing what is getting the most engagement can help you shape future posts.
Ultimately you might decide to monetize your travel blog. The easiest way to start making money with your travel blog is through something like Adsense, which allows you to place ad-code anywhere on your website. In addition, affiliate marketing through something like Amazon Associates allows you to collect a small commission anytime someone buys something through your affiliate links.
So, what’s the secret to starting a travel blog? Well, that’s easy. Just start. Like most things, developing a good travel blog will take time and patience, but once your plan is in place, you will quickly start to build your audience. Be safe, be you, and be adventurous. Happy travels!
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