Starting a travel blog is a great way to share your travel experiences. However, to have a successful travel blog it has to be done correctly from the beginning. For your blog to be successful you will be required to spend some money on the most important things. In this ultimate guide, we will show you how to start a travel blog and be successful.
- How to Start a Travel Blog: Step by Step Guide.
- 1. Pick a blog name and URL
- 2. Select a host for your travel website (Webhosting)
- 3. How to Install WordPress
- 4. How to configure WordPress.
- 5. Pick a Layout for your website.
- 6. Essential Plugins to have when you Start a Travel blog.
- 7. Create Pages on your Website
- 8. Track visitors to your website.
- 9. Create your first blog
- 10. Attracting visitors to your website.
- 11. Earn money with your blog.
- 12. Other Important Things to Remember When you Start a Travel Blog
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How to Start a Travel Blog: Step by Step Guide.
1. Pick a blog name and URL
Selecting a name for your blog is essential. You will use this for branding and setting yourself apart in the industry. Including the word travel in your blog name could help with SEO (Search engine optimisation), however, you don’t have to include it if you don’t want to.
Many people spend days, weeks or even months deciding on the perfect name for their blogs but we would recommend picking something that you like but don’t procrastinate from starting because you can’t decide on the perfect blog name.
Tips for selecting your blog name and URL:
- Select a name that is not too difficult to pronounce.
- Don’t include special characters or numbers unless it’s a part of your brand.
- Before you set your heart on a domain name make sure it’s available.
- Try to use a URL with .com since it’s the most well-known but if your heart is set on a name and you can’t get the .com maybe consider changing to .blog, etc.
2. Select a host for your travel website (Webhosting)
A web hosting service is an internet service that holds websites for clients. They offer the facilities that are required to create a site, maintain a site and make it accessible on the World Wide Web.
When you start a travel blog it’s important to have a good web host to help you with some of the aspects of blogging that you might not understand.
We use Siteground to host our WordPress blog. They are our number one choice however there are cheaper options available. Compare the different hosting services and select the best option for your website.
Remember to be successful you have to invest some money. If you are interested in using Siteground click here
For the purpose of this How to start a travel blog guide, we will use Siteground and WordPress.
3. How to Install WordPress
WordPress is designed to create websites and blogs easily. WordPress is the best option if you want to grow your blog. It’s safe, easy to use and will be around for a long time.
Once you’ve signed up for a web host, it will ask if you want to set up a new domain or use your own domain. We recommend getting your domain with your host just so it’s easier to manage. Enter your desired domain for example http://mytravelblog.com.
Once you have done that, you can choose between WordPress and Woocommerce (WordPress + Woocommerce). If you only want to start a blog just install WordPress but if you want to sell products/services install the Woocommerce (WordPress + Woocommerce) option.
If you select WordPress you can install the Woocommerce plugin later when you change your mind. The Woocommerce (WordPress + Woocommerce) option just comes with the Woocommerce plugin pre-installed.
Once installed, log into the WordPress dashboard with your username and password, and your blog is ready to be customised.
4. How to configure WordPress.
Now that you have logged into your WordPress dashboard the best will be to set up your WordPress settings correctly so you don’t have to deal with this later on. In the left navigation bar, head over to Settings → General.
- Fill in all of the necessary information such as Site Title, Tagline, Administration Email Address, Site Language and select the date/time format.
- Disable ‘Anyone can register’.
By default, Google will create your URL as http://www.yourdomain.com/?p=123. Now change the structure of your URL to make it more user-friendly and easier for Search Engines to read. Navigate to Settings → Permalinks. Under common settings select ‘Custom Structure’ and add:
Now your URL will read as follow http://www.yourdomain.com/selectedcategory/postname.
Let’s say for example your blog name is ‘Travel is Life’. You write a blog with the title ‘Best Restaurants in Paris’ and the category you put this blog post under is France, your URL will look as follow.
5. Pick a Layout for your website.
When it comes to the layout of your website, you have three options. You can either create a unique template by using Elementor or hire a web developer, use the free templates provided by WordPress, or use a WordPress Theme Webshop for example Elegantthemes or Blossomthemes.
Selecting a free template or using a Webshop is the cheaper option but it also comes with limitations. These themes can be used by many other website owners so your website won’t be one of a kind and these themes can possibly not be optimised fully to help with your rankings on Google.
These predesigned themes are perfect for beginners and you can always change the design of your website at a later date. The theme of your website will depend on your taste, style, preference and budget.
6. Essential Plugins to have when you Start a Travel blog.
To make your WordPress site better you have to install certain plugins. Plugins are software components that add specific features to a WordPress site quickly. To install Plugins on your website head over to the left navigation bar, hover over the ‘Plugin’ section and select ‘Add new’.
This plugin help with achieving your basic SEO goals for your blog. You cannot rely on just this app for your SEO but it’s a good guideline to achieve basic SEO. It includes an SEO checklist, how strong your SEO score is and analysis results.
As we all know there can be spam comments left on your website by spambots. This plugin help to track down some of these spam comments and automatically remove these comments from your website.
This is a good plugin to have but I would also recommend that you enable the setting to manually approve comments to also avoid having spam comments on your blog.
Go to settings – discussion – before a comment appears- enable ‘Comments must be manually approved’.
Social Share Buttons
Creating a blog requires a lot of work, research and time so your blog needs to be seen. By adding social share buttons to your website it’s easier for your followers to share your amazing content with their friends and families.
Woocommerce (If you are planning to sell something)
Woocommerce is the plugin that you use to create a shop on your website. If you are planning to sell digital or physical products this is the plugin that you need. It controls your orders, checkout, customers, products, shop page and so much more.
You can also use platforms like Shopify or Sellfy to sell products on your website.
7. Create Pages on your Website
Now that you set up your website correctly it is time to start creating pages. These are the different pages that visitors can access while they are on your website. This is also what you will see in the menu of your website.
These pages will generally be the home page, blog page, about page and shop page. However, you can create pages according to your niche and website type.
In the dashboard click pages then add new. Add a title for your page and a description. Remember that these pages also have to be SEO optimized for your website to perform well. Keep the names of your pages short.
Pay good attention to your About page. This is where visitors will go to learn more about you and what you do.
After you create your pages, you can link them so that it’s easier for WordPress to know what your pages represent.
To link your home page go to Settings – Reading – Your homepage displays – Homepage: (Select the page you created to be your home page.)
To link your shop page go to Woocommerce – Settings – Products – Shop Page – Link the page you created to be your shop page.
To link your other pages head over to pages, and select the page you want to link. Select edit page and in the sidebar on the right, under the section template, link it to the page your page represents. Please note that this part is only available to certain WordPress themes, so if you can’t find it don’t stress.
8. Track visitors to your website.
To track the visitors to your website use Google Analytics. This provides you with a lot of important information that you can use to know who is visiting your website, where they are from, what they are interested in, how long they visit your website and so much more.
To get this information you have to create a google analytics account and link it to your website. Read this guide on How to Install Google Analytics in WordPress.
9. Create your first blog
Now that you have created a beautiful website it’s time to create your first blog. This can be a daunting task for bloggers but it doesn’t have to be. The most important thing to remember is to provide valuable content that people want to read.
If you are unsure what to post about, visit websites like Pinterest, Reddit, Google Trends and Answerthepublic. This will show you what people are interested in, what they are searching for and what they want to read.
The more blogs you write the better you will get, so just keep writing and learning.
10. Attracting visitors to your website.
The hardest part of starting a website is getting consistent visitors to your website. Many people think as soon as you create a website people will just come but that is not how it works.
Getting visitors to your website requires work, a lot of work. It can take months or even years to get a decent amount of visitors to your website. To speed this up do the following:
Get visitors to your website with SEO
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is what google uses to determine whether your blog meets the needs of google users. The better your SEO is the more visitors you will get to your website. Try to learn as much as you can about SEO as fast as possible to ensure that your SEO is better than your competitors.
Get visitors to your website with Pinterest
Pinterest is a bloggers’ paradise. If you are writing a travel blog or any blog for that matter you want to be on Pinterest. Pinterest is easy to use and if you do it right you can get thousands of visitors to your website every day.
Link your website to Pinterest and create pins that you post daily that link to different blogs and pages on your website. The images should be interesting, colourful and eye-catching. Create these pins in Canva.com. Canva has an amazing template that you can easily edit and use to create pins for your blog posts.
Get visitors to your website with Facebook
Facebook might seem outdated but many people still use it to ask travel-related questions. On Facebook we recommend doing two things; create a Facebook page for your blog and join other Facebook groups that are related to your niche.
Create a Facebook page for your blog
Create your own Facebook page to share your travelling experiences and information. This way you create a loyal audience that will visit your website often. This is the perfect place to create a community and you can also use it for advertising. Post regularly and ensure that your content is valuable and helpful.
To have a look at our Facebook page click here.
Join other travel niche Facebook groups
This is a great way to get organic and free visitors to your website. Many people will ask travel-related questions. Try to answer as many of these questions and help others. You will get your name out there and it creates trust and loyalty.
A secret tip, try to join groups with your Facebook page instead of your personal page. Your page name will be displayed when you comment, post or share which is good brand exposure and free advertising.
People will start to recognise you as the person to trust about travelling and then instead of visiting Facebook groups, they will visit your website directly.
Get visitors to your website with other Social Media Platforms
Use other platforms such as Instagram, Tik Tok, Reddit and Telegram to drive traffic to your website. All of these platforms can be very helpful to travel bloggers. However, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to post on all of these platforms to be successful.
Select 3 platforms that you enjoy using and think will be the best for your website and focus all your attention on those. If you are doing too much you won’t have enough time to provide quality content. When it comes to blogging always remember quality over quantity.
11. Earn money with your blog.
If you are planning to make money with your blog then this is definitely an important section to pay attention to. There are many different ways you can make money with your website. For the purpose of this article, we will discuss the most common ways to make money with your travel website.
When you start a travel website, you will not just have one income stream. You will probably have multiple income streams that you add together at the end of the month.
Make Money with a Travel Blog, Method 1: Affiliate Marketing.
Affiliate Marketing is probably the most common way used to make money with a blog. So what is affiliate marketing and how does it work? Affiliate marketing is when retailers pay bloggers a commission when a customer that’s been directed from your website purchases something on the retailer’s website through a link you shared.
This might sound complicated but let me explain to you step by step:
Step 1: Join affiliate programs offered by companies. To find these companies you can look at brands that you use or like and see if they offer affiliate programs or you can use a website like Awin that has multiple affiliate companies.
Step 2: Create special links so that these retailers know the customers come from your website. How to do this will vary from retailer to retailer.
Step 3: Once you have the link, add it to your blog post. When someone purchases something through your link, you will get paid a commission.
Make Money with a Travel Blog, Method 2: Google Ads.
Another way to earn money with your travel blog is by adding ads on your website. Google Adsense is a good option for beginners. There are certain requirements you have to meet before you can be approved. The more traffic you get to your website the more money you will make with google ads.
Make Money with a Travel Blog, Method 3: Selling Your Own Products.
This will probably be the best way to make money but not necessarily the easiest way. You can either create physical products or digital products. Digital products are the cheapest and the easiest option. This can be anything such as courses, ebooks, tutorials, photo or video presets or any other digital products. You can use Sellfy, Shopify or Woocommerce to sell these products online.
To have a look at our Shop page click here.
12. Other Important Things to Remember When you Start a Travel Blog
There are other important things to remember when you start or run a travel website. Here are some of those things:
Create an email list. You can use this list to create a loyal community. Put a subscription box in the footer or sidebar of your website. By sending an email you can keep your community up to date on new things happening in your life and on your blog. Growing an email list is vital.
Keep up to date with trends. This is the best way to drive traffic to your website because trends will be what people are searching for. If you are keeping up to date with trends you will always have visitors on your website.
Remember that it takes more than a month for google to drive traffic to your blog posts. Be patient and keep writing. Once google has analysed your website and realised its value it will put it in front of visitors. To drive traffic to your website faster use social media.
Good luck and we wish you all of the best while you start a travel blog.