Yaaaay! I am so happy that you are ready to start your own travel blog and that want to share your adventures with everyone out there! Keep in mind that there are millions of other blogs out there so to start your journey out in the right direction, we have wrote our six easy tips to help you grow your travel blog from the first day. In this guide we will be sharing step by step how to start your own travel blog.
Step by step on how to start a blog:
Like any business it is important to find the right name for your travel blog. The name has to go with what you are selling, in this case your adventures and your style of travel. In today’s world, a name is not just a name, it needs to be catchy, something people will remember and is easy enough to type without mistakes.
You need to make sure you can not only buy the domain but acquire all appropriate social media handles as well. We use Namechk, to quickly check the availability of domains and social media handles. This makes the brainstorming session harder but in the end it will be worth it. You will have a good idea of what your brand is and the perfect name to represent it.
Before you run out and buy a domain ask your friends and family what they think when you say the name out loud. This will help you understand if the name has the meaning you are trying to portray to your potential audience. What sounds good in your head does not always work for the masses.
The next step after finding the perfect name and verifying that you can get the same handle for your social media channels is to buy your hosting and domain.
If you want to truly become a blogger from the start I strongly recommend to start with a self-hosted website and avoid programs like Wix or Blogger. They might be free and easier to set up in the beginning but in the end the capabilities are limited and when you would like to upgrade the cost way more expensive than hosting your website yourself. If you do start using this programs remember that if you decided to migrate the site later it will be a hassle and in few words you might have to rebuild the entire website.
My recommendation when people want to buy their hosting or domain name, I suggest Blue Host or Namecheap. I have worked with both in the past because of the low prices, quality support centers, and their Cpanel (the dashbord behind the scene of your site) are super easy to figure out. The sign up process is simple and easy, with great hosting packages that can grown with your website.
3. Install WordPress and choose a theme
Once you are done purchasing your domain and hosting, it is time to visit the Cpanel. You will receive an email with all this important information from the hosting company you chose. Once you are in the dashboard go to the tab that says “Website Builders” or that has the WordPress logo.
The initial installation process is quick and we recommend everyone build their website in WordPress. After you install WordPress, you will be redirected to your site’s dashboard (www.yourblog.com/wp-admin) where you enter your username and password to log in. From here on out this is where the magic of building your website takes place.
Before choosing a theme, make sure you have an idea on the look you want your website to have, as there are hundreds of free and paid themes to chose from. We know some HTML and CSS so it is easier for us to customize our website to our needs, but if you are a new website owner it is easier and faster to purchase a $50 theme with simple customization options.
There are so many different options on where you can find both paid and free themes. Some of our favorites are Theme Forest, Elegant Themes, Free WordPress Theme, and even in the theme section on your dashboard by going to Appearance -> Theme there is an option where you can search for themes and select different options that you want your site to have.
Do not rush this process and actually take your time looking for a theme that makes you happy, fits your brand and that will be mobile responsive. You do not want to spend the time customizing your site only to want to rebuild it in a few months. Once you found or bought your theme go to Appearance > Themes > Add New to install it.
Now comes the fun part of building up your website, customizing the colors and look to have the perfect website. If this is your first website, it is important to remember that this design process is a journey and will require some tweaks after your website is up and running.
4. Produce content for your site
It would not be a good travel website without content, so it is time to get writing. Before you just start writing whatever comes to mind, do a lot of research. Go and see what other successful bloggers in your niche are doing and try to adapt ideas to your own site. Never copy but try to adapt good ideas into your travel site. Remember that some travel bloggers been around for over a dozen years and that they have done a lot of testing until they found what worked, so why not using this useful information.
One of the things that we have realized after our years as travel writers is that a personal website does way better than a business looking one. People want to follow someones journey, hardships and wins, otherwise they would just be on Tripadvisor building a list. Make it easier for new visitors to your travel site to find content and learn what you are all about.
When writing a travel blog you need to be aware that there are countless website sharing something similar to you, which is why your content has to be genuine, truthful and with an added value. Do not write content for the sake of having more blog posts. Actually take your time to write a piece of content that you think people will be interested in and that will add value to them. You want to build an idea that your audience wants to share with their friends.
Keep in mind that this is a loop and you have to produce fresh content every week. There is no end to content production on a travel website, which is good because it forces you to travel more often if you run out of ideas to write about.
5. Share your content on social media
Remember we mentioned to make sure you can get the same social handles as your travel website before buying the domain? People remember your name and if they love your content they will find you everywhere. But if you have different names on different social media accounts, the search becomes more difficult, losing some audience members along the way.
Social media is the perfect place to share your content with your friends, family and audience to remind them that something new is on your site! The more you interact with your audience on social media the more traffic you could bring to your site. However, with Instagram is a little bit harder to get your community to visit your blog as you can have one link in your bio and the swipe up feature in stories.
6. Get your name and brand out there
Now that you have a solid work ethic and content creation strategy in place, it is time to expand you audience to new heights. Reach out to fellow travel bloggers, travel related companies and even news sites about writing guest posts or by getting yourself interviewed. As you increase your name out there and get more people to know you exist, the more your travel website and community can grow.