There are some astounding ways to make money out there these days, but one of the most amazing and seemingly unachievable ideas has got to be travelling and writing about it.
Luckily, the setup process is easier than it looks (we’re going to use Bluehost for this entire process) and is worth giving a go if you’re passionate about writing and visiting those places you’ve yet to tick off the bucket list.
Let’s look at how exactly to start a travel blog – or any blog for that matter.
These simple, practical steps will work for any blog, setting you up for blog writing and money making in no time.
1. Picking a Name
Let’s look at a couple of things to remember are when choosing the name. It’s a pretty important part of the process and could make the difference between your blog becoming popular or not.
- Just use letters – you don’t want to complicate it by inserting hyphens randomly or numbers. It’s hard to market names that aren’t simple and easy to remember.
- Avoid generic words – you want it to be as unique as possible. Get creative with those adjectives and don’t stick to words that have either already been trademarked or used plenty of times.
If you’re stuck, you can read my post here about naming your blog.
2. Choosing a Host
It’s like renting a house, but instead, it’s internet space. Bluehost is one of the best value out there and the ideal beginner’s host site. Let’s see how to order your hosting:
- Visit “Bluehost” and click on the button that says “Get Started Now.”
- Choose a Plan
Money saving tip: the basic plan is enough for most people. You can always upgrade later.
- Look to see if your domain name is available
You get a free domain name with Bluehost, so make sure you take advantage of this deal.
- Explore any extra features you might want
Pro Tip: Domain Privacy is a must if you want your contact details kept private. This stops people spamming you constantly.
3. Installing WordPress
You can install WordPress with a single click from your Bluehost control panel.
WordPress is the go-to blogging software for your website, far superior to any others out there you might be interested in. However, when using WordPress, you want to make sure that you attach it to your host’s site so that you have more control over your blog.
- Your domain name doesn’t include “.WordPress.com” at the end, making your blog more professional and branded
- You own all aspects of the blog and retain the control
- You can sell advertising as revenue
- You can use more plugins and customise your blog with more ease
4. Learning How to Use WordPress
Taking on a blogging giant like WordPress can be overwhelming and intimidating when it comes to entering the big pond online.
Thankfully, the internet is inundated with tutorials, forums and practical, applicable tips to getting used to using WordPress and making it work for you.
Here are a couple of facilities to get some top-notch help with WordPress and everything it could offer your blog:
- WordPress Lessons
5. Professional Blog Theme
WordPress comes with a couple of standard default themes, and there’s also a bunch of free ones out there that will do the job. But if you’re serious about a blog that’s going to reach people on a relatable and professional level, you’re going to want to customise it to suit your style and outreach.
Here are some ways to choose the ultimate blog theme:
- I really recommend the Genesis Framework for WordPress. That’s what this blog uses.
- If you’re looking for someone to design you a custom blog theme to give it that personalised, worked on feel, you can get in touch with a web developer through Upwork.com who’ll help develop your blog.
- Your logo is everything. You can get someone to make you one quickly and cheaply on Fiverr.
6. Downloading Plugins
Plugins are additional “apps” if you will that bring your blog to life with extra features. Here’s a recommended list of plugins to use:
- Akismet: prevents spammers leaving pointless comments on your content.
- Bloom: Allows you to grow a mailing list with opt-in forms. More info here.
- Monarch: nice, easy to use social media sharing buttons that will appear at the side of your layout allowing people to share your content. You can get this bundled with Bloom, mentioned above at no extra cost.
- WPSmush: compresses and optimises your images for fasting loading.
- WPtouch: allows your blog to be viewed on followers phones.
- WP-optimize: Maintains your WordPress database, updating regularly and preventing from viruses.
7. Travel Blogging Course
One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the world of travel blogging, apart from being in the countries themselves, is to get schooled on what it actually takes to write a popular, successful travel blog by the people that have already done it.
Thankfully, there are online courses out there that accommodate this very thing – you’ll spend time learning from seasoned travel bloggers on how to become an expert in the field, and they are continually updating their information.
Here are two of the best places to get that from:
- Superstar Blogging
8. The Writing Stage
So now that you’re up and running and have a beautiful looking blog, what are you going to write about? Here are some tips to remember when diving into that all exciting content that is going to draw people in:
- Quality over quantity: start with one to two posts per week.
- Find the balance between practical and whimsical. People want the adjectives and descriptive prose, but they also want to know where the best place to eat is, too.
- Blow them away with imagery: people want to see exactly what it looks like where you are as much as they want to read about it.
- Be vast and varied with your topics, and after a bit of experimenting, you will find your niche and what your followers want to read most about.
Once you’ve got your plane ticket, your travel insurance and any visas, the blog would be next on my list. Yes, start before you even leave! You can set your blog up exactly how you like it without worrying about it whilst you’re enjoying yourself on your travels.
Nothing sounds better than fronting a sparkling, successful travel blog that inspires others to get out there and experience the world like you are, all the while (hopefully!) earning enough to quit your day job and write the thing full time.
It does take some discipline to run consistently. It doesn’t, however, take much to get started, but it does take some necessary steps that will ensure the longevity of your blog and will help people to keep coming back for more of your amazing updates and adventures.