Start a travel blog in 10 steps
This post explains how you start a travel blog, or any blog at all for that matter. It really does not require much technical knowledge at all. I will explain the process of creating ones own blog, I will go through some alternatives of which you have to choose and also some general tips to get you started on the right foot. You can start your travel blog for free or you can spend loads to get it started. It is all up to you and what goals you have.
Most of these steps are true when starting any type of blog, not just a travel blog. Lets get to it! This is my take on how to start a travel blog:
Step 1: Make your plan
So you have decided that you want to start a travel blog. That is great! First things first. Let us make a plan to see what you need to do. How much work do you want to put in? How much time do you want to spend on maintenance? Are you doing it as a hobby or to get rich? There are many questions that you have to answer before getting started. Doing so will save you lots of time and effort later.
For example you might just want to share some photos now and then or connect with friends and family while traveling. In that case it may be better to just create your own page on Facebook/Twitter etc. Of course you can still create a blog for that same purpose.
The way I see it is this: Do you want to make money and grow a brand? Make a blog with a personal domain. Do you want to connect and share with friends? Make a page on Facebook or a free WordPress page.
Having your own blog is a lot more work than managing a Facebook-page or something similar which is why you need to decide on how much time and energy you want to put into this project. So think, brainstorm and write ideas down before you start a travel blog.
Step 2: The Name
When choosing the name for a new blog I always go through a few criteria. First I try to think what others may like, I then compare it to what I prefer. My conclusion is that the name should be:
- Easy to remember (It could be fun, interesting, anything that makes it noticeable)
- Easy to say (It should roll of the tongue and sound natural when spoken aloud)
- Remind me of something I like (Niche it towards your targeted audience)
- Relevant for the blog itself
- Short (Not too short but not too long, 4-10 characters is the best length)
Also keep in mind that your name needs to sound good as a domain name. A domain name is the website link, for my page it is “steftravels.com”. Remember that most people prefer shortcuts so having a domain name like “Johannagoestotraveltheworldandseeitall.com” will scare a lot of people away. It might sound self-explanatory but a lot of people forget this as they start a travel blog.
Write down a few alternatives and give it some thought, do not rush it just to get started because you might regret it badly later on. Hurry slowly when you start a travel blog.
Step 3: Choose your media
So what will it be? Will your travel blog be a self hosted website or are you going to stick with Facebook or other social media? Maybe only a channel on YouTube? Think it through. I find that the best combination comes when having all of them.
Doing so is only a good option if you are planning to be active on all of these medias. Managing Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and more at the same time can be time consuming. So start small and let it grow bigger and bigger as the time goes on.
For blogging purposes I would definitely recommend that you start with WordPress. It is simple and there are tons of free material on the internet to help you out. So try it, it is free!
I have the following ones:
- Facebook – Here I am active, sharing and engaging with others. All blog posts also get posted here automatically(explained later on).
- Instagram – My Instagram is both for this blog and for my personal life.
- Twitter – I need to be way better at using Twitter if I want to see any results from it at all.
- YouTube – I do not make so many videos yet but I will be more active here as time goes on.
- Webpage – The page that you are currently on. I should up my posting to at least 2-3 times a week instead of only once a week.
Step 4: Decide on how to host it
If you are not going to make a webpage then you can skip step 4.
This step can be tricky for ´un-techy´ people that want to start a travel blog, basically when it comes to hosting your webpage you have three choices. A web host is someone you pay to use their server to host your website on it. When you start a travel blog you have 3 options:
Let someone do all of the work for you – For example you can use “myblog.wordpress.com” and they will do all the work for you when it comes to creating the domain and building the website.
This is good because it gets you started very quickly and it is super easy. This is bad because it takes away a lot of freedom for you in the sense of what you can do with it and how much you can edit.
Do most of the work yourself – It might sound difficult at first but if you try it and read up on it is easier than it may seem. What you will need to do is to find a web host to upload your webpage and link your domain too it. First you need to find a good and price worthy web host, secondly you need to buy your domain name and link it to your webpage. For my own blog I use Inleed, a Swedish web hosting company.
This is good because it lets you work freely with your webpage and it keeps you in control of your own blog. This is bad only if you do not know how to do it, in which case I recommend you to read up on how to do it because it is well worth it.
Do all of the work yourself – It is possible, and if you have the know how it is probably the best solution. Creating your own server at home and hosting it all yourself gives you total freedom and control over your webpage. This also required a lot of more work than the other options.
Step 5: Design your blog
Depending on what choices you have made up this step you will have different tools to work with. If you have a Facebook-page then you basically just need to create some logos. For a blog however it goes way deeper than that.
If you, as I am, use WordPress then it is a hell of a lot easier than you might think. Basically what I do to find a new theme is to simply Google the phrase “Free responsive travel blog themes 2017”. This way you can find lists of many beautiful themes to choose from, they are easily installed directly through WordPress own tool for this.
If you want to go big scale then you can find some graphic designer to help you with all of it. To do so you can use webpages as Fiverr or Upwork.
Remember that it is VITAL to make your blog mobile friendly. Preferably use a responsive theme when you start a travel blog because it looks better on various phones, tablets, computers and more.
Step 6: Find a niche
This is the most important thing if you want to run a successful blog. Find your niche and stick with it. Not only that but constantly research your audience, learn what they like and how they like it. This will be vital for you in the long run. Knowledge is king and the more you know the more you can understand about your audience.
This step is not so important if you feel like only having a blog for the fun of it.
Step 7: Write high grade content
Lets face it, we are not the only bloggers on this Earth. In fact more and more bloggers start blogging everyday. This means that the competition is rough and that you will have to shine to really stand out from the crowd. The major way to do this is through high grade content.
Good quality posts will market your blog by themselves so if you spend more time on writing and designing you can spend less time on marketing.
Getting visitors can be easy but getting them to come back, that is what you really want. You do not have to write something everyday to start a travel blog but make sure that when you do write, the post is of high quality.
Step 8: Marketing
When it comes to marketing one saying is so very true: “You do not have to work hard if you work smart”. Marketing is all about working smart. As I mentioned before the best marketing is your content.
If you write good content then people will automatically share it and spread it. Which means that they are doing the marketing for you, this is the best way of all. Now of course it does not hurt to market it yourself, here are some ways to do just that:
Word to mouth – Speak and engage with people you meet. Maybe you can ask them for a comment and put their comment on the page? You can represent your blog anywhere you go, remember to do so.
Social Media – Find relevant groups on Facebook and post your travel blog there. Groups such as “Share your Travel Blog/Post” are amazing tools to get your audience to grow in the beginning. You can also use Twitter, Tumblr and many other options to get your page visible on the net.
Engage with other bloggers – Visit their pages and comment, this will build relationships as well as bring you more visitors from their pages.
Paid ads – If you are really in a hurry then you may pay to get your name out there. But what is the fun in that?
Competitions/Lotteries – People love to compete, why not use that and grow your blog at the same time? Offer something in return for a like and a share, you will be surprised of how well it may work.
Step 9: Useful tools/apps
By now you should have your blog up and running, the posts are getting posted and the readers are reading. Now you may want to make things more effective in order to save you time and hard work. Here are a few tools or apps that I use to save me a lot of work and that you should use too if you want to start a travel blog.
IFTTT – “If This Then That” is one of the best tools ever. Not only is it completely free but it saves you so much work and time. What it does is really simple. All you need to do is connect your social media accounts and link them together. Then can choose various options of cross posting. This means that you can post one thing on your blog and it will automatically post the same material on your Facebook, Twitter and so on. All you need to do is a one-time set-up. Truly awesome.
JetPack – This is a great plugin for WordPress. It helps you out with so many different things that it would take a long time to explain it all. It can help you publicize your content across various platforms, it has a great statistics page, it can help you make your blog mobile friendly and much more. There is a free and a paid version.
Fiverr – On this page you can find any help that you may think of for just $5! So if you need a logo, a new webpage, help with an e-mail or whatever it may be just visit Fiverr. Amazing service for freelancers and companies to come together. Coupon for 20% off: AFFX20
HootSuite – This combined with IFTTT will make you unstoppable. This site lets you schedule social media posts foe the future. This means that you can sit down on Sunday and do all of your upcoming weeks work in one day simply by planning and scheduling. There is a free and a paid version.
Yoast SEO – Now you might be thinking “What on Earth is SEO?” SEO means Search Engine Optimizing. Once you want to create the ultimate blog then SEO becomes very important. This plugin for WordPress helps you out with solving a lot of SEO problems. It tells you how to write your posts in order to get them visible on Google. This is very important when it comes to getting visitors to your page. Get it from the start so that you know that your page is optimized from the beginning. It has a free and a paid version.
Step 10: Time to get Started
Reading is good and all but practice makes perfect. I hope this post has made it a little clearer for you on how to start a travel blog. Please do not hesitate to post any feedback or questions, I will gladly help you out if I can. Take care and good luck with your new blog!
Info graphic I made on this subject(feel free to share it):
Thank you for reading! Please like/share the post if you enjoyed it or found it helpful!