Travel blogging is now a full-time career for many people. It is a hobby and passion for many people, but a successful travel blogger earns their bread and butter from it. The first and the most important thing you need to start for travel blogging is a blog where you can post the content. Travel blogging looks fancy and rosy on the outside, but it’s not that easy. You need to put constant efforts and work to become a successful travel blogger.
Travel blogging is an unconventional career choice if you consider pursuing it full time. However, there is a lot of background work required to set up a travel blog and ensure it’s up and running. It takes some time to learn the blogging language and transition into a professional.
Are you planning to start a travel blog but clueless where to start from? This comprehensive step-by-step guide will help you kickstart your travel blogging journey.
1. Choose the Right Name for the Blog
Spend some time and do a little research before picking the name. Always remember that this name will be the identity of the blog. Pick a name that syncs well with your personality and travel style. Having said that, stay away from over-saturated words like Wanderlust, Nomadic, Backpacking, Adventurous, etc. These words have been used time and time to name the blog and have lost their essence.
Always choose a name that is easy to remember and spell. Keep a long term vision for the travel blog and name it accordingly. For example – Using words like Budget Travel or Backpacking will no longer do justice if you switch to luxury travel in the near future. Avoid using special symbols or numbers in the blog name to prevent complications. Always choose a unique name that has not been used anywhere, not even on social media.
2. Pick the Right Host for the Domain
Are you confused? As someone who has never had a website, these terms might sound complicated and confusing. In layman’s terms, hosting is like a rented space on the internet to write and upload travel content. The domain (basically the name of your blog) is the address for the rented space. It is good to start with “shared hosting” for beginners for its affordability. Gradually, with more traffic to the blog, you can upgrade to a Dedicated Server. Bluehost is one of the best hosting servers with affordable packages. There are other hosting sites as well, like GoDaddy, HostGator, Hostinger, etc.
- There are different hosting plans. No matter which hosting site you choose, the first step would be to pick a plan and purchase it. As a beginner, go for shared hosting services.
- The next step is to check the availability of the domain name. Choose a domain with .com availability. This is the most commonly used domain extension.
- There would be a couple of add-ons (extra features) the host might add to the final billing. Make sure to remove them. However, you can keep the Domain Privacy Protection to protect the contact information.
3. Install WordPress for Content Management
WordPress is unbeatable when it comes to the blogging platform. A self-hosted WordPress blog is your way forward towards professional blogging. It gives you full control to manage the content, track the site analytics, and customize the website. With Bluehost as the host, it is easy to Install WordPress with just one click from the Bluehost Control Panel. Honestly, WordPress is the easiest and most flexible blogging platform with an “easy-to-use and navigation” dashboard. It takes a little time to get the hang of WordPress and learn to use it.
Log-in to WordPress
The first step is to log-in to the WordPress Site. Use www.domain.com/wp-admin to log-in to the WordPress dashboard. This will require you to fill in the username and password to sign-in.
Select an Appropriate Theme
There are hundreds of themes for setting up a travel blog. These are pre-built themes, and hence even with zero knowledge of coding, you can start blogging. Take some time to select the right theme for the blog. Some standard free themes come with Bluehost. As a beginner, you can opt for a free theme. However, gradually you get to purchase a professional blog theme for better customization.
Install Important Plugins
Many third-party plugins help in enhancing the website’s functionality and provide additional features. Here are some of the best plugins to improve WordPress’s functions:
- Yoast SEO: This is the ultimate plugin that helps with SEO optimization of the content.
- Akismet: This plugin protects the blogs from spams and blocks spam comments.
- Jetpack – It is a comprehensive plugin with its dashboard for site analysis, provides a contact form, widgets, etc.
- Easy Social Share Buttons – It provides a cluster of social media buttons to easily share content on social media.
- Google Analytics for WordPress – This is a tool that helps track website traffic and site analysis.
4. Start Creating Content for the Blog
You can choose to create different types of content for the blog. However, before uploading the first blog, make sure to fill in some details. Create an “About Me” page to introduce yourself and make it interesting. Make it engaging by incorporating a video for the introduction. InVideo is a great platform for creating short videos.
Avoid creating generic content for the travel blog because the internet is saturated with such content. Make sure the blogs are of high quality and have an impact on the readers. As a beginner, stay consistent with the travel blog and try uploading at least twice a week. Choose a niche or category and create more content around it to get a targeted readership. You can add recommendations based on personal travel experience. Where to stay, places to eat, suggested mode of transport are a great way to catch the attention of the users. For example, based on my travel experience I would recommend Mazda 2 for road trips.
Travel blogging is a learning curve, and it takes time to get the hang of the process. Read this guide to have hands-on ideas about starting a travel blog or else there are tons of free videos and tutorials to help you progress in the field of travel blogging. With constant dedication and effort, it will even help earn money in various ways with time.