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How to start a travel blog from scratch – the ultimate guide

How to start a travel blog from scratch – the ultimate guide

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No matter if it’s something you want for yourselves or is thinking of going all in from a business perspective, having a blog about traveling can and is a good idea. Yes, there are already a ton of people already in the traveling blog niche, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be. You are you, and you bring something new, different and specific to the table which is why you should start doing it from today!

And, just in case you need any help along the way, you can rely on this full detailed guide on how to start a travel blog, where to start, what to include, how to promote it and get it out there. So sit back and enjoy the ride!

how to start a travel blog from scratch pinterest graphic

Table of content

1. How to set up a travel blog?

2. Travel blog content creation

3. Social Media and travel blogging

4. Travel blog promotion

5. Useful tips from well-known travel bloggers

Let’s get started, shall we?

a girl looking around the globe

1. How to set up a travel blog?

First things first. If you’re thinking of starting a travel blog, that means you already thought about it. So you know what you want to do, right? What you need to decide next is – what type of travel blogging you want to cover. Because, there are entirely a lot of micro-niches out there, to name some of them:

  • Budget travel
  • Luxury travel
  • Exotic travel
  • Coastal tourism
  • Adventure travel
  • Unknown places travel
  • Lifestyle travel
  • Food travel

You get the idea. The more specific you get into deciding what type of travel blogging niche you want to cover, the more you’ll know how to set it up and what audience you want to attract. Also, it will be that much easier to cover all the topics you want to include with it (more on that later in the Content creation section).

Choosing a name and the right domain

When you get all that covered up, it’s time to select the proper name for your travel blog. And this is where a tool like a blog name generator tools comes in handy, and they help you find the perfect name for your blog. Moreover, you can use them when you can’t think of a topic to write about. Just try any of the ones we recommended in our article and see how it goes.

Once you have several options on the travel blog name, it’s time to check them out, meaning, if they are available as a domain name. Either way, there are five steps you should cover when choosing the name and a domain name for your business:

  • Keep it short
  • .com above others
  • Be recognizable
  • Propper use of keywords
  • Make it poetic

When you go over each step and find a name that is free (both as a domain and Social Media handle), and you like the most, go and buy it and get ready for the next steps.

Selecting a platform

Now, with so many options out there, it can be a severe challenge deciding which platform to want for your travel blog niche. Should you go all free or self-hosted? Blogger or Wix or Squarespace or Weebly or WordPress? Here’s what we think.

Yes, you could start your travel blog with come of the free blog platforms, such as Blogger or even WordPress.com. That way, you don’t need to think about hosting or maintaining or anything. But… There is only so much you can do with it, meaning that type of free services come with severe limitations. You can’t monetize your blog with ads – like Google AdSense and such, and there is a lack of tools and additions you can use and, ultimately, your blog is not on your domain and yours for real cause it’s always

Yourname.blogger.com
Yourname.wordpress.com

So, what we always advise is – choose a self-hosted platform – in this case, WordPress.

Setting up WordPress

Even if you know nothing about it, you can do it just by watching YouTube WordPress tutorials for beginners we covered in our article. As we said before, if you know how to open a Facebook Page, you’ll know how to set up WordPress by yourself. And if by any chance, you get stuck or whatever, you can always ask anyone from the WordPress community, and wait for the help.

At the end of the day, setting up a travel blog with WordPress is something that will only benefit you in the long run. The platform itself is safe, reliable, responsive and highly adaptable to your needs! Go, WordPress! 🙂

Choosing a theme

The right WordPress theme is just as important as a domain name and a platform for your travel blog. The beauty of WordPress is that you get to choose among tens of thousands of beautiful themes, free or premium ones! It all depends on whether you want to pay for your theme or not and what type of travel blog you want to be. Depending on that, you might choose a video type of theme /like our Vlog/ if you are more into recording your travel adventures. Or, if you are more of a photography type of travel blogger, you’d choose a theme like our Pinhole that highlights your photo adventures. Or, if you want your travel stories to offer the most valuable experience to your readers and community check out our Trawell theme, made especially for travel bloggers and businesses websites in mind.

And, once you get all that behind you, it’s time to start thinking about the next important thing – creating content for your travel blog.

a girl on the mountain writing a travel blog

2. Travel blog content creation

So, you know that you want to write about traveling, you’ve set up your travel blog and choose a theme, what’s next? The next step is deciding on your travel blog content: what to write and which format to choose, how often should you publish and so on. The reason why you need to address all these is to have a clear goal and a strategy that will make you stand out from the crowd and help you in content creation.

How to choose topics?

The one thing you always need to have in your mind is quality before quantity! You want your blogs to be useful, to have meaning and real value to your readers. So, when wondering how to write a travel blog, one thing is sure. Don’t just stuff your travel blog with various content no one will want to read about. The topics you choose should be the ones people want to read and learn about. Like, if you are a budget travel blogger, you will cover topics such as:

  • Cheap travel to London
  • A budget-friendly trip to Madrid
  • Budget-friendly vacations to Greece

Because, as a budget-friendly travel blogger, people will want to know these kinds of things, not luxurious destinations, accommodations and things they can only dream of. Also, what’s good to have and implement is a content strategy. A plan you make in a Word or Excel or Google Sheet, where you’ll cover all the topics, keywords, and a short description to make your writing more natural and consist. Without it, you might find yourself in a mess, not knowing what you already covered or what you need to write about next or whats the best dynamic for publishing. Content strategy is an excellent way to stay focused, informed and organized; we all need that.

Content optimization

Every good blogger knows that to be successful and seen, the content needs to be optimized. You can have the best quality written content – if it isn’t optimized the way search engines like it, good luck with finding the right audience and return value to you! What we mean by content optimization, you ask? Well, once your blog post is written and proofread for mistakes, it needs to be checked and optimized by the search engine guidelines. That means that your post or article has the keyword or keyphrase people use when searching something online; that your headline and all the essential parts of text have the right keyword; that you optimize images correctly and with the proper alt tags; that the text itself is appropriately divided into easily readable paragraphs and so on.

You do this so the search engines can have an idea what your post is really about and to match it with the people’s search intent and query. Luckily, if you use WordPress, there are quite a lot of useful tools you can use to optimize and make your travel blog better. One of them is SEO Yoast plugin (of course!) which you can read more about in our must-have plugins for bloggers article.

3. Social media and travel blogging

Ah, the Social Media channels. The tools we love to hate giving the fact their day-to-day algorithms and changes. One may say Social Media is the perfect choice to start your travel blog business. That one would be wrong. And why?

Only because Social Media is NOT YOUR playground to play on.

Just think of all the time, effort, the money you invest in creating content for your Social Media channels to wake up one morning and see all that goes! Meaning, less visibility, less community, less interaction – and why? Only because someone from the management decided they wanted a change or more money from you for visibility and promotion.

Social Media is good, however… What it’s useful for is reaching out to your target audience and people you want to turn into your community. They are a powerful tool that can drive people to your travel blog, but not a platform that should be your travel blog. Even Murad Osman who has millions of followers on Instagram has a blog as the primary focus of his and his wife’s travel blogging adventures.

Before setting up accounts on Social Media, do research and find out where do people you want to attract hang out. Facebook? Yes! It’s the most significant Social Media platform out there. Everyone’s on it, so it’s only natural to set up a Facebook Page. Instagram? Of course! Not just because Facebook owns it, but because people respond well to images and videos and you can use it to tell your travel stories differently. Pinterest? It might not be that obvious at first, but Pinterest is an enormous traffic referral potential. Images you post on Pinterest are linked to your blog, and everyone that clicks on them gets driven to your blog post. Just, bear in mind that those images and visuals need to be how Pinterest likes it – something PostPlanner wrote an excellent article about.

The bottom line is – you don’t need to be on every Social Media there is, just the ones your target audience is. Focus on the people that matter to you and go there, and it will save you time, nerves and money in the long run.

setting up a travel blog with a map, camera, notes and guides

4. Travel blog promotion

Why go into all this work in the first place, you ask? No matter if it’s just a hobby or you want to do a sustainable business out of it, you need people around you for it. No profit or recognition will come if there is no community to back it up, support it and help you get out there. To make money from travel blogging, you need people who will:

  • Read your content
  • Click on your ads
  • Perform an action you advise

You need promotion to become popular and relevant in your niche. That way, you’ll become attractive to the brands and companies and start collaborations that will be both lucrative to you, your community and brands themselves. A win-win situation.

Social Media is one way to do your travel blog promotion. Setting up accounts, engaging with the community, sharing your content. The basic idea. Then, there’s a good old way where you include your blog link to all the accounts you have. Some of the other free ways to promote a blog include:

  • Email marketing (a regular newsletter to your community)
  • Guest posting (writing an article for other blogs in your niche)
  • Guest interviews
  • Comment on other blogs
  • Mention others in your posts and ask them to share
  • Share on Social Media Groups and Forums

To name a few. All legit and valid ways that help in promoting your blog. But, what about paid ones, like Facebook Advertising and Google Ads?

For that, you need to set up an amount you’re willing to invest in advertising your posts on to reach more people and convert them into your readers and community. Don’t be afraid to do it, and don’t think of it as the lost money. Google Ads and Facebook boosts will help you widen the reach. Also, it will connect you to more people who will find your travel blog exciting and worthwhile. In return, your audience and popularity will grow, as will your significance and paid partnership offers as well. It’s just how are things done nowadays.

5. Useful tips from well-known travel bloggers

Now, we couldn’t finish this article without some valuable tips from people who are successful in their travel blog business. If there’s anything we haven’t covered within this guide, be sure to let us know and ask for more. In the meantime, here’s what some of the most successful travel bloggers have to advise you.

Just start

Johnny Ward, One Step 4ward 

I honestly, truly believe EVERYONE needs to have a personal blog, and anyone can make money blogging, travel the world and inspire others. There’s enough space online for all of us! If you want to know how to start a travel blog of your very own, and do the same thing as me, check out how to do that here.

Invest in a new skill or expertize

Kiersten Rich, The Blond Abroad

I take press trips where expenses are covered, and I am paid for social media marketing or producing content like photography or videography. (You’ll always know if I take a press trip as I disclose it in the post). I take these trips when it’s a place I’m excited to see, and I think my readers will benefit from my first-hand perspective of the trip.

Inspire people, and they will come

Kate McCulley, Adventurous Kate

In many parts of the world, it’s common for women to travel solo and independently. In my home country, the United States, it’s not as common. I started this blog to show what it’s like for women to travel solo. There is a lot of fearmongering out there designed to scare women away from traveling on their own; I’m here to clear up those myths.
While these days I travel quite a bit with friends, I almost always add on solo extensions to my trips, and I continue taking trips on my own. I don’t travel solo because I have to — I do because I love it.
I believe that it’s best to teach by example, and my ultimate goal is to show women that independent and solo travel can be safe, easy, and a lot of fun.

Don’t compare yourself with others

Kristin, Be My Travel Muse 

Most bloggers spend all day on Facebook and other social media platforms. They are designed to be addictive, and they work! A year ago I deleted the Facebook app from my phone, and it was the BEST IDEA EVER. Gone are the days of opening up my phone when I have one moment of downtime that expands to five or 10 minutes or even a half hour of scrolling through the news feed before even realizing it.

Have a solid proof strategy

Maria Haase, Maria Abroad

If you want to monetize, you need a strategy. You need content that focuses on conversion and is still enjoyable to read for your audience. Implementing SEO from the beginning to ensure a steady stream of web traffic is vital.
Don’t wait until everything is perfect. I have revised my best blog posts 50+ times over the years, trying new things and testing them. Publish, learn, and then revise.

Be you

JD Andrews, Earth Xplorer

Might sound cheesy or overused, but it is what it is. No matter how many travel blogs are there or the number of stories that are written – they haven’t been told by you. So, go out there, be yourself and let people know you, your stories and your values. Well, that is what JD Andrews from Earth Xplorer told us himself (in not so many words):

Conclusion

There you have it. The ultimate guide and all the steps needed to start a travel blog. Do not be afraid or doubtful. Believe in yourself, your story, experiences, and value you bring and begin writing that travel blog today!

If you have any additional questions or need more details, don’t hesitate to ask us in the comment section below. While we’re at it, look us up on Social, we hang on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Pinterest, too! And, of course, if you find this guide helpful, show us some love by sharing it with others.

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Ivana Cirkovic

Ivana is a Digital Marketing, PR and Social Media consultant with over nine years experience in the field. She is also a WordPress enthusiast and an active member of WordPress community who lives online almost 24/7. In love with Twitter, WP, photography and NYC.

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