Would you like to start a Travel blog, but clueless on where to begin? Being a travel blogger is one of the most exciting experience you can ever have because of so many benefits.
Aside the fact it is a mainstream medium to share movements and destinations with a designated audience, it offers a much more financial reward and freedom. However, to me, one of the best things I am enjoying about blogging is the massive exposure and connection I have made with interesting people from all walks of life.
This tutorial is aimed at being an in-depth guide into the process of how you can set up and run such a highly successful niche.
Requirements to starting a travel blog;
- Your true passion and three essential truths you need to know
- Startup cost of approximately USD70-120 for a year
- Getting WordPress.org Platform
- Getting and registration of a free domain
- Choice of a cost effective and suitable hosting plan
- WordPress Installation and its configuration
- Designing – Choice of the perfect WordPress themes
- Blog Configuration
- Steps to adding content
- Generating visitors and traffic
- 7 proven resources to help with making money on the travel blog
Your true passion and three essential truths you need to know
One of the most essential fuel for success is having the true passion in whatever you are doing, either in your career, work, hustle etc.
There are thousands of travel bloggers scattered all over the internet, but most of them started with the wrong intentions and that is why they are not being successful. You need to stand out unique and distinct among the countless numbers of this sort of blogs out there.
To be a successful blogger, you:
- Must be passionate about the niche
- You must be willing to share your experience with the global audience; either ugly or terrific experience
- Photography and recording of videos is the main catalyst that will push your blog to success and actually make it interesting. So, get ready to either make use of your phone or get a nice good camera. You may not be a professional in doing this, but just get started anyhow, you will become perfect day by day. Infact, taking and uploading the raw pictures and videos (either beautiful or ugly) is one score mark that will quickly cement your travel blog as an authority in this niche.
- Do not launch this kind of niche because of the so called financial and earning report you are hearing or seeing. I am not saying it is not real, but hey, there are lots of hard work involved. In essence, let your true passion be the main reason why you want to get started and not the financial benefit. Your true passion will keep you going even if you are not making quality earnings.
- This is serious hard work; you can’t afford to be lazy and expect to become successful overnight. Besides, it takes time, unwavering commitment/dedication and serious hard work to become successful in this niche.
- Be a brand: I guess you have been hearing about this for so long. Most of the people/organizations/airlines/companies that will partner with you are big brands and they expect you to be a brand in your real identity. Getting this sort of attention is where the real breakthrough lies and not just by using Google Adsense as a form of monetization. So, you need to get and act smart from day one.
How do you become a brand?
For a travel blogger, you get started with your logo creation. Commit little resources to get a fantastic logo to use on your blog. You can simply outsource this task to professionals on fiverr and even upwork for as little as USD5.
After this, you come up with a name (domain name, explained further below) that will serve as a brand, cutting across all major social media networks.
For example, this successful blogger (owner of Never Ending Footsteps) chose this name as a brand that will serve the long test of time. Check out Virgin Airways, check out their logo, and check out their internet presence and even on all their social media accounts. For example, if your name ( your travel blog) is blueSkye, then your domain name will be blueskye.com while at the same time, the same blueskye will be used to open your twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+ and even Pinterest account.
That is an example of a branding!!
Getting WordPress.org Platform
We have approximately 7 different platforms you can use to get started. Almost 5 of them are free. But remember that being free is not always free.
Examples of these blogging platforms are blogger, tumblr, quora, Facebook, WordPress.com etc. However, for you to be respected as an authority, remain relevant, gain good marketing/advertising or partnership with companies, you will need to go a different path.
That path is in the use of premium blogging platforms that will give you total control, room for creativity and ability to make money. I am simply talking about the use of WordPress.org platforms.
For most newbie bloggers, the greatest misstep is not starting out right with a good blogging platform. This can be curbed in many ways. It’s always advisable to get useful information like this before setting out to any expenditure. WordPress is regarded as the most recommended and resourceful platform especially for new bloggers in any niche, including travel blogging. It’s enables one with the opportunity to benefit, develop and profit from your blog fully.
Please note that there are two types of WordPress platforms. The free platform is WordPress.com while the premium one is the WordPress.org platform.
You do not have to get confused here, you will learn how to make use of the WordPress.org platform to get started in the following tutorial. In essence, you will be asked to make use of WordPress.org during the domain and hosting registration, which preset the blog set up tasks.
The summary is; do not get tempted to use a free blogging platform to launch your travel blog.
Get a name and register your domain name
Now, we are just getting started. The first step is actually in the choice of the name you will be calling your travel blog. One thing you should have in mind is the branding concept I mentioned earlier above, so no matter the name you are thinking of, remember that.
Three additional factors you have to consider are:
- Be unique, Don’t compete
This is what I mean, there are some established travel blogs who have become so popular, so trying by trick to name your own blog after their own ( either using prefix etc) will not work. E.g. Nomadic, wandering, backpacking et.c. For example, the name ‘Marynomadic’ (and using marynomadic.com as a domain name) will not work because the original nomadic matt is a popular fellow amongst travel blogs.
So, be yourself and remain distinct!!
- Take social media account into focus
The name you are going to use is going to be used also as your domain name. E.g. using this blog you are reading as an example.
- The name is ‘Haceweb’, my domain name is ‘haceweb.com’
- If you check twitter, my twitter account is: https://twitter.com/haceweb/
- If you also check Facebook, my account is: https://www.facebook.com/haceweb/
- Also for Instagram; https://www.instagram.com/haceweb/
Please, make sure you check if the name is available to use on these social media networks before buying the domain name. The overall summary is that, the name should cut across all the major social network, this is the concept of branding as I mentioned earlier.
- Get the .com domain name extension
The entire world and virtually everybody are much more familiar with the .com name extension. The reason is because, during the domain name registration, you will be presented with various name extensions like .com, .org, .info, .net et.c.
- Classy, short and distinct is the way to go
Please, avoid using a domain name with date. E.g. haceweb2019.com; people will think that the information there is only applicable to 2019. So, what will happen if you are now in 2020? Death of the blog, of course,
Avoid a name with characters e.g. comma, hyphen, dash etc.; it becomes confusing and become difficult for people who wants to type the domain name on the browser directly.
Lastly, it should be a name that is easy to remember, spell out and not more than 15 letter words.
Registering the domain name
Remember the branding issue; if the name you have in mind is available to use on the social media networks, you will also need to check whether the name is free to be registered as a domain name.
The first step in this regard is the domain name registration and you can check for the availability of the name using the form below (provided by Bluehost).
The form makes it easy for you to know if the name you want is free, available and ready to use. If it is free, I recommend you register it immediately.
During the act of registration on Bluehost (the best, biggest and most recommended domain and web hosting company in the world), you will be guided on the registration, installation of WordPress and subsequent hosting on Bluehost.
I recommend using Bluehost which offers its users a free domain along with a very affordable hosting with a starting cost of $2.75 per month.
Tip: Ensure your selected domain name is anything but not difficult to articulate and spell. You can likewise utilize catchphrases that you figure individuals will scan when searching for travel blogs. This will enable you to gain more traffic from Google search.
Choice of a cost effective and suitable hosting plan
To host your blog is buying a hosting space to have your domain name and contents/post/articles/videos/images saved on a server from where it can be accessed anywhere in the world.
To begin setting up your blog with Bluehost, you would have to open the Bluehost site on a new tab in your browser and click on the green get started button ( seen above).
Next, you will be requested to choose your preferred plan, which should off course be based on your needs. The basic plan is suitable for beginner travel bloggers. You can always upgrade later on. After this is done, you will be requested to input your desired domain choice for your blog.
After that’s done, you would have to proceed to record your data and make a selection of which bundle you would prefer to move on with.
You will likewise observe some additional items that you can buy along with your plan, it’s not mandatory to purchase them immediately as you can always include them later.
From this point onward, you will need to enter your payment details and proceed to checkout.
Once that’s completed, you will get an email with details on how to login to your web hosting control panel.
WordPress Installation and Full Configurations
Do not get confused, the explanations and images below will guide you through. This step is so easy and you will learn how to install WordPress ( this is self taught, as displayed on the screen), install plugins ( what powers your blog for many functions, e.g. booking, contact, security, SEO etc).
Here Bluehost will automatically install WordPress on your domain. All you need to do is follow the link sent to your email during the sign up process. From there, you’ll be taken to the control panel where you will be required to login and begin with your blog customization in your site’s administration dashboard.
- Click on create password and move to the next stage.
- You will be asked to pick or chose one of these themes, I will advise you to skip it because they are not the ideal templates/WordPress you can use for your travel blog. I have listed some recommended WordPress themes for you as you continue reading.
- At this point as seen above, click on ‘Start Building’. This automatically installs the ‘WordPress.org software application for you and your blog will be up and running in the next 3 minutes possibly.
Selecting a WordPress theme for Design
WordPress themes are a standout amongst other things about WordPress. They control your web composition and appearance and there are quite a number of free and paid WordPress themes to select from.
Good platforms to begin your theme hunt include:
Still confused on themes to select? Get a peek on our expert tip on the Top 20 WordPress themes For Travel blogs
Examples are summarized below:
Simply view the various demos and select the perfect WordPress themes you desire, make payment for it ( average cost is roughly USD35) and download the WordPress themes. You will be able to download it it ZIP file format. The next step explains how you will upload and install this new design.
Designing / Configuring your blog
At this stage, you will learn how to upload and install the purchased WordPress themes, how to install plugins, how to configure your pages and posts, the menu settings etc.
The first step is to locate the ZIP file and upload the purchased ( I hope you have downloaded it on your PC or laptop).
The screen shots below will be of immense guide:
- Locate the ZIP file
- Go to appearance, then themes, then click on Add new;
Template Demo Upload
Based on your experience and how you are well able to understand these processes, it is sometimes advisable that you upload the demo of the WordPress themes you purchased so that your own blog will look exactly like the themes you purchased. This gives you a sense of belonging and you are able to start off strong and fast.
To do that;
- Go to your ZIP file, unzip it by opening it
- locate demo.xml ( or anything that ends with .XML)
- Once you find it, upload the .XML ( that is the demo content); before uploading, you will need to install the WordPress import plugin ( see the image and video below).
Step 8 (2)
Plugin Installations and Configurations
The following plugins are important:
- Yoast SEO plugin
- W3 Total Cache
- Jetpack plugin:
- Sumo plugin
- Nofollow Plugin
- AMP plugin ( very important for a mobile fast loading experience, Google itself recommended this approach)
- Image crusher ( Smush)
See the image below for installation guideline:
- click install and activate.
Watch this video:
immediately after installation, change the permalink configuration as seen below:
Step 8 (3)
Pages, Menus, Widgets and Categories
Check the pages area to see if you already have pages ( from the uploaded WordPress demo themes) or just follow the guidelines below to create pages.
For your travel blog, the following pages are important you create immediately:
- About pages
- Contact page
To create a page, see the image above.
Contact Form Creation in The Contact Page
Your theme should have a contact page already created. Just check and edit it to your taste. And if not, see the guidelines below to create a contact page with the form. First task is to publish a contact page as explain above.
- Use a Jetpack plugin
The second task to do is to install the JetPack plugin above make sure you connect and activate your JetPack plugin. Connect it to a free WordPress.com account ( you will be guided to this on the screen itself).
After this, go back to your published contact page, refresh it, go to the edit box ( see the image below for guideline).
Create a category by following the image guideline below:
Step 8 (4)
Creating Your Menu
The image describes a menu.
See the images below to create a menu for your new blog:
Watch this video:
Creating Content For Your Travel Blog
After you have introduced and successfully set up WordPress, the following stage is to begin including content for your blog.
WordPress accompanies two default content sorts, they are called posts and pages. While the posts will be the sections in your travel blog, pages are for adding static content to your site.
We suggest including the static content first since it encourages you to construct a structure for your site. For instance, contact page, about us page, categories and others ( I explained this above).
Next, you would need to begin by adding articles and to your blog. Go to the ‘Posts’ icon and then click on ‘Add new’ to insert your first blog entry.
Some content theme ideas best fit for travel blogs include, picture displays, recordings, articles and diary tales of your travel experiences. You can be as versatile as you want when it comes to the type of content you would like to have on display on your blog.
Also, it’s advisable for travel bloggers to always have a handy journal and camera to document their travel experiences with, just so you can allow your audience have that ‘in moment’ experience with you, your content must be vivid enough to enable audience captivation wherever in the world they are in.
Follow these guidelines to start posting on your blog ( the image below will be of help).
Setting up your blog on Google search console and Google Analytics
Get on Google search console at : www.google.com/console
Watch this video:
This is your first step towards understanding SEO ( search engine optimization).
After this, I highly recommend you install this plugin, the Yoast SEO plugin ;
Gaining Traffic to Your Travel Blog
When you begin adding content to your travel blog, the following steps are required to broaden your site’s discovery potential to new users.
- Work on Your Blog’s optimization
SEO ( Search engine optimization) is best enhanced to increase your site’s visibility. WordPress by default is SEO friendly but there are certain strides you can take to increase your site’s optimisation to full potential.
One of the things you can do is to get in tune with proper keywords, categories and search tags across your blog content. It’s also advised to do a regular security check on your site, enhancing its speed and performance. And then finally, ensure you make use of relevant WordPress SEO plugins, best choices include Yoast and the All in one SEO pack.
- Use Google Analytics
It’s best not to get into the guessing game when it comes to user statistics. Google analytics is a tool suited to help you decipher how and through which medium your site is mostly being discovered.
It’s helps you understand your audience better and to know what content they engage with mostly. The video below gives a more detailed instruction on how to install Google analytics to your WordPress site.
- Create a YouTube Channel
YouTube being a widely used video sharing site is a perfect platform for travel bloggers to put out a visual imagery of their real life travel experiences to the world.
Being a widely used video search engine, it’s known to be an effective way to drive traffic to your blog. Creating a channel on YouTube is absolute free and all you need do is create regular video post and content on your travel experiences. Although this is clearly optional, it’s a great way to build a wider audience around your niche and drive more traffic to your blog.
- Have an active presence on Facebook and Instagram
Do not joke with Instagram, take Instagram seriously and be active on the platform
Profiting From Your Travel Blog
Travel bloggers noticeably exhibit some fancy outward lifestyles, moving from one destination to the other. Ever wondered how they get to do this? Well, below is a brief rundown of some things that most travel bloggers do to make money and profit from their blogs.
Just as every niche blogger approaches ads as a way to profit from their blogs, so do travel bloggers. Now one very essential tool in achieving this is by using Google AdSense as it’ll help connect you as a blogger to advertisers looking to a targeted audience with relevant content with that of your site.
Advertisers pay Google while you receive a commission for each click and impression on the displayed ads on your site.
The voyaging advantages for most well-known travel bloggers are sponsorships. These sponsorships could come from sources including; hotel lodgings, restaurants, airlines, travel agencies, government organisations or any related organisation or company related to the travel niche.
As a newbie blogger, you might need to focus on growing your blog to a certain level so when it’s time to reach out to these companies you won’t be overlooked. Work on growing your audience and feed with substantial content first and most likely, interested companies might be the ones to reach out to you for sponsorship placements.
YouTube is a great way for travel bloggers to capture travel experiences and build subscribers to share with. There are top brands and advertisers who are willing to put down a lot for YouTube promotions. YouTube runs an ad system which connects you with advertisers in your related niche allowing you make revenue while at it.
As you work on building your audience, most of them will be interested in getting similar products you recommend or use in your travel experiences.
You can sign up for a good affiliate program and recommend products like travel gears, backpacks, selfie sticks, cameras, travel companies and so on to your audience, and then you can generate revenue from there through commissions on each clicks and purchase.
Launching and running a travel blog requires self discipline and a business approach before you can become successful. Do not take it as just an hobby.
I hope this tutorial has been so helpful, I would love to hear from you through the comment section.
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