The idea of starting a travel blog is alluring to a lot of people. Some people go through with it; many more people never get off the ground. Whilst some travel bloggers are happy just sharing their stories with their family and friends, the most common motivation for starting a travel blog is to fund a dream lifestyle of adventure, generate an income whilst you travel the world.
If this is something you’ve always been interested in (WHO WOULDN’T?!), but you don’t know where to start… we’ve put together the following 5 tips on how to start a travel blog, based off some information shared by successful travel bloggers, to help you realize your dream!
5 TIPS TO STARTING A TRAVEL BLOG!
1 – Pick a Good Name
Whilst in one hand, it is certainly not advised to dwell over the perfect name to the point of holding you back from getting started – it is also a critical first step, and important to get right!
A good blog name is generally short and memorable, and describes your specific blog in as few words as possible. For example, “www.tomstravelstheworld.com” is a bit of a longwinded mouthful… whereas “tomstravels.com” is a lot easier to remember, and rolls of the tongue. It often helps to think about your blog gaining popularity through word of mouth; if someone says the URL out loud, would another person be able to remember it and easily search for it at a latter date?
If you are serious about trying to make a living out of travelling blogging, it can also pay to think long-term when choosing a name. A lot of travel bloggers make the mistake of going for a time or place specific name like “twenty-something-travels” or “Asian-adventure”… but what happens when you turn 30, or want to go to Europe?
If you’re having trouble thinking of a good name, check out our Business Name Generator for hundreds of ideas generated by one-word searches. Importantly, we also provide information on domain name availability, which may be a major factor in choosing the right name!
2 – Go with WordPress
There are a lot of different platforms to build your website using, but for most bloggers who don’t know coding or website design… WordPress is the way to go!
WordPress is the most popular website platform in the world, and because the majority of websites are using it, there are hundreds of free tutorials and advice to help you along the way should you get stuck!
It is also free! Whilst you still need to pay for your domain* and hosting*, WordPress can be installed free through your hosting provider (such as BlueHost), and comes with hundreds of free “themes” to chose from – meaning you don’t need to design your website from scratch, and can utilize these templates that are designed to be easily customized, and still adhere to current website design best practices.
*Your domain name is the URL of your blog. Whilst there are free options with WordPress, it is highly advised for seriously bloggers to pay the small monthly fee for a ‘self-hosted’ account. What’s the difference? Using the free option your blog will look like: yourtravelblog.wordpress.com – whereas a self-hosted domain looks like: yourtravelblog.com, which is much more professional!
*Hosting is effectively just renting your websites space on the internet, and can also be done for as little as a few dollars a month through popular hosting companies like BlueHost.
3 – Get Social
As we’re sure you’re already aware, social media is probably the most important platform for any successful travel blogger, whether through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or SnapChat. These platforms are designed for sharing information, and allow you to connect with millions of people around the globe quickly and easily… and more often than not, for free!
Having said that, it is easy to get lost in the evolving social media market these days. It is important to think about what platform suits your travel blog… as platforms like Instagram and SnapChat may be preferable for photography and image-based content, whereas an informative article could be more effectively shared through a catchy headline and a link on Facebook or Twitter.
By all means, secure all the different accounts (before someone else does), but always reevaluate your most successful social media platform, and invest your time wisely in areas where you’re getting results.
It is also important to remember that social media is best utilized when you embrace the network! Being an active member of the travel blogging community will help you gain followers, so don’t be afraid to engage with other bloggers online to help get your name out there.
4 – Create a Great ‘About Me’ Page
People want to get to know you! The whole concept and success of travel blogging is based on the fact that people love to engage in other peoples stories. A lot of successful bloggers will tell you that their most visited page is their ‘About Me’ page, because when people first discover your website, they want to know what the go is.
You don’t have to divulge all of your personal information here, but if you expect people to invest time in following the catalogue of your own experiences, its only fair to expect that they want to know a little bit about who you are before they make that investment.
Most successful travel blogs will have an informative, interesting ‘About’ page that really captures their personality, and works as a foundation for the tone and voice of their entire website.
5 – Get Writing!
Way too many people get bogged down in building the perfect site, choosing the perfect name and devising the perfect posts. Sometimes you just need to start writing! Not everything you write is going to go viral… and every time you publish something you will inevitably learn a lot about what works and what doesn’t.
So… learn early, and start producing content as the ideas come to you. Even if you are not currently travelling… you can write about your plan for your next adventure; how you are saving money; what essential items you plan to take with you; your motivations; your setbacks, etc. etc.
Don’t get too bogged down in making money immediately, this will never happen! Work on building your audience with great content, as once you start generating traffic to your website it will be a lot easier to convert traffic in to income – whether through advertising, product sales, donations or affiliate marketing.
We hope you found this brief guide on how to start a travel blog useful, and are feeling motivated to get started!