You love to travel and be creative, and the idea of being a digital nomad has been a dream career. It’s time to learn how to start a travel blog and share your tips and travel stories with adventure-loving readers!
But where do you start? Should you create a general travel blog?
Starting a travel blog may seem easy on the surface. However, there’s some planning and work to be done before you officially launch it. It’s also a bit different from starting a blog with many topic buckets.
I winged it with my first blog, which was a travel blog. Unfortunately, I made many mistakes over 10 years ago with that blog.
Since then, I’ve learned how to blog profitably. If I were to start a new travel blog, I’d do things the way that I’m sharing with you here.
I’ll take you through the key steps of planning, setting up and launching a travel blog, with specific tips that travel bloggers need to know.
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How To Start A Travel Blog And Make It Profitable
Face it, every travel blogger has the same goal: start a travel blog that can become your source of income while travelling the world.
It will cover the costs of transportation and accommodations, as well as food and other key expenses.
Planning your travel blog well before you launch and grow it, will help you reach your monetization goals faster.
Here are the key steps, in order, to start a successful travel blog.
1. Determine Your Travel Blog Niche
Let’s get started on our journey to learning how to start a travel blog.
First, you’ll need to determine your travel blog niche. Having a general blog makes it very difficult to become a travel expert.
Narrowing down your travel niche will help readers understand where your expertise lies.
Choose a travel niche that you’re passionate about, so that you don’t abandon your blog when it no longer is interesting.
| READ MORE: How To Choose The Perfect Travel Blog Niche For You
PRO TIP: While researching your potential travel blog niches, also take the time to see if there is a big enough consumer audience that’s interested in it. If there is no market for products and services in your travel niche, it may be a bit too obscure or “super-niche”.
2. Research Potential Blog Names
Chances are that there will be an existing blog with the name that you want.
Choosing the perfect blog name requires some brainstorming and research. See if the URL domain name and social media handles have already been taken.
Once you have three to five potential names, run them by your friends to see what they evoke. Does your name work with your travel blog niche?
| READ MORE: How To Find The Perfect Blog Name For Your Niche
3. Choose A Hosting Provider For Your WordPress Blog
Many beginner bloggers who are learning how to start a travel blog ask this question: “Which blogging platform should I use?”
The one that I always recommend for bloggers who want to maximize their profits is a self-hosted WordPress blog.
When you’re beginning, I know budgets can be tight.
You may be tempted to go with Bluehost.
However, if you’re in it for the long term and want a better host with great uptime and top-notch customer service, then I recommend NameHero. The first year is very affordable and the quality is top-notch. It’s the hosting provider I use for this blog and I haven’t had any issues since setting it up.
I’ve had several clients who use it and they love the quality they’re receiving with it.
4. Setting Up Your Web Hosting
At this point, you’re purchasing your web hosting.
You’ll also be most likely purchasing your domain. In some cases, hosting providers also provide details on how to set up your custom email for your site.
Hosting providers will set up WordPress for you, as well as your domain and DNS servers. You’ll also need to make sure your SSL certificate (that keeps your site secure with the “https” protocol).
This can all be technical for newbie bloggers (hey – that’s you!). It’s best to ask your hosting provider’s customer service team to help you set things up.
| READ MORE: How To Start A Blog That’s Self-Hosted – Step-By-Step
5. Choose A Blog Theme
There are many gorgeous WordPress blog themes out there.
When you’re starting a travel blog, and choosing a theme, one of your considerations should be how “light” it is when it comes to coding.
Because you don’t want a bloated theme with lots of code that will load slowly. Your site will most likely have many images that inevitably will slow down your page loading speed.
So choose light themes such as:
Unless your targeted audience is female, I recommend using a theme that gives you the power to create a visual brand that appeals to all universally.
For feminine child themes for Kadence, check out Restored 316 – there are some gorgeous themes here.
| RELATED: Top Feminine WordPress Themes For Bloggers And Solopreneurs
6. Develop Your Branding
You’re halfway past learning how to start a travel blog!
The next step is the fun part:
- Developing a blog logo
- Choosing your brand colours and creating a brand kit
- Choosing your fonts
- Choosing your brand personality and voice
- Developing your brand messaging (mission and vision statements, your values)
Consider your target audience and potential customer: what are their key issues? What will your branding make them feel?
Niche Down Your Travel Blog
7. Set Up Key Pages And Plugins
The next step for starting a travel blog is to set up some essential WordPress plugins and your key pages.
Plugins that you should look into are:
- Wordfence – a free security plugin
- Rank Math SEO (free) to help you improve your on-page SEO.
- Pretty Links (free) that will help you with affiliate links
- Tasty Pins (paid) – a pin it button that helps you add Pin Descriptions for your Pinterest pins on your posts
- UpDraft Plus – a free backup plugin (if your hosting provider doesn’t provide this)
- Antispam Bee to reduce spam comments
- WPCode plugin (free) to easily add HTML code to your headers and footers
Once you have these key plugins added, it’s time to work on must-have pages.
Add the following must-have legal pages:
- Terms & Conditions
Get an awesome lawyer-written legal page template bundle and protect your blog and yourself legally and financially.
Read more about why you need to legally protect your blog and how to avoid getting into legal trouble.
You’ll also need to write an About page and a Contact page.
To help you write a kickass About Me page, I have a handy workbook that takes you through the essentials:
8. Choose Your Blog Categories And Brainstorm Blog Post Ideas
Now that you’ve got the basic foundation of a travel blog set up, your next step is choosing your blog categories.
I recommend choosing three categories to begin with, as it will take a bit of time to produce blog posts for each.
Use the “Hub and Spoke” method to create blog posts for each category: one big blog post for each, with related blog posts for it. This makes it easier to interlink the posts (good SEO!).
Another good tip is to look at one destination and write an “ultimate guide” and sub-guides.
If you’re still stuck, I have 60+ travel blog topics to jumpstart your creative juices.
| RELATED: How To Create An Blog Editorial Calendar
9. Write Your First Travel Blog Post
It’s time to write your first blog post!
Please, for the love of God… DO NOT write a “welcome to my blog” post. Or one that’s all about you.
Instead, start with something that people will want to search for in Google… tackle an “ultimate guide” post.
Remember, as a travel blogger you’ll need to do some storytelling. Romance the destination, the trip or whatever you’re writing about.
You’re giving accurate information but you’re sharing the experience.
| READ MORE: How To Write Your Very First Blog Post… Like A Pro
10. Promote Your Blog Posts
It’s time to start promoting your newly published travel blog posts!
Learn where your specific audience is spending their time.
You may find that your readers are finding you on:
- Search engines like Google
Facebook may also work for you, so create a Facebook page.
Boost your online presence in Facebook groups for bloggers.
With each of these, create content that will lead potential site visitors to your site for more information.
Check out my 100 Travel Quotes For Instagram Captions And Posts to help you create engaging content.
And don’t forget travel hashtags for Instagram.
| READ MORE: Tips For Using Social Media For Blog Promotion
How To Start Your Pinterest Account And Use It To Promote Your Blog: Tips For Bloggers
SEO For Bloggers: 10 On-Page SEO Tips
Starting A Travel Blog In 10 Easy Steps
Now you’ve got the 10 steps to starting a travel blog. You’re all set!
There are many resources out there.
If you’re in need of some help, it’s always a good idea to hire a blog coach that can keep you accountable and moving forward. They’re great for giving you answers and feedback.
My final tip: Rome wasn’t built in a day. A great blog won’t be either.
Give yourself a good 6 months to learn the basics of blogging, and keep building on your skills!
Read about the top blogging mistakes new bloggers make, and try to avoid making them.
The next goal – monetizing your travel blog!
BONUS TIP: Love food? Blend travel and food and start a culinary food blog with easy 10 steps!
QUESTION: What are you finding is the most challenging thing about starting a travel blog?
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