How do I start a travel blog? is one of my most asked questions. So here’s my step by step guide on starting a travel blog for beginners.
The most important thing you’re going to have to choose when starting a travel blog is your name.
Your domain name will be the one thing that rings in peoples minds when they think of your blog. So make sure it’s catchy, it’s memorable, and most importantly – it’s YOU!
The next step is to make sure the name is available! Not just as a web address, but on all social media platforms too.
You don’t want to go through the efforts of setting up your website just to find somebody has already taken that handle on Instagram or Facebook.
Another piece of advice, if you want your blog to last a number of years is to pick a name that will still be relevant even if your lifestyle or blogging topics change.
It’s no good having a travel related blog name, if you find yourself then wanting to switch up to cooking and recipe advice.
The final piece of advice I have for choosing a blog name, is to not let it consume you. Yes, you will be stuck with the name but don’t spend a month picking it. That’s one month you could have spent writing blogs and creating content for your new website.
Once you have a domain you’re ready for the next step.
Hosting is not as confusing as it sounds.
I like to think of it as someone hosting you at their house, but instead of them inviting you round in person, they are holding your files in a safe place on the internet.
I use SiteGround as my blog host. Your host is used as a place to store all your blog’s data, files, and photos so that people around the world can easily access it when they type in your domain name.
SiteGround have a perfect platform for blogs of any size.
Not only are they officially recommended by Wordpress.org but their speed, security and support is second to none!
Plus you can get a great discount if you click through my Siteground link when signing up!
Here’s how they work…
Step 1 – Choose A Plan
SiteGround has three plans:
StartUp – If you’re new to blogging, i.e. just starting a travel blog, then the StartUp plan is great. It’s cheap, it’s simple and it’s what I used when I first started my blogging venture! It allows you to host 1 domain and up to 10GB of files on their database, which is a lot of photos!
GrowBig – The GrowBig plan is for those that blog on a bigger scale. It offers the opportunity to host multiple domains and up to 20GB of files on their database. Plus it comes with free back up restores, free website transfer and a SuperCacher plugin which offers 3 levels of caching and can speed up a website by up to 4 times.
GoGeek – The GoGeek plan is the ultimate SiteGround plan available. It offers all of the above, plus up to 30GB of files on their database and a few added extras such as back ups on demand, one click Wordpress staging and more.
Step 2 – Register Your Domain
You can choose to buy your domain directly through SiteGround, or register with an existing domain as mentioned earlier.
Step 3 – Review and Complete
Check all of the details are correct and confirm your order!
That’s it! You now have a domain name AND a host!
Don’t forget, if you do choose to use SiteGround as your host, make sure to use my Siteground link for a discount.
Now that you have a web address and someone to host your files you’re going to want to start building your blog!
Well for that there’s no better blog building software than Wordpress.
You can download and install Wordpress for free from your personal control panel within SiteGround and get started straight away!
This is the platform you will write your blogs on, publish your blogs, edit your blogs, pretty much everything!
When starting a travel blog it will take some time, but play around with WordPress. Practise adding new blogs and adding images etc.
You don’t have to be an expert in coding or any website building stuff. In fact I still know nothing about coding but Wordpress is easily learnable!
Here are a couple of useful WordPress training resources:
WordPress comes with some basic themes available to install on your site.
For starting a travel blog they’re great to get up and running with, although once you’ve had a play around and learned how to customise colours and fonts you’re going to want something a bit more professional.
Professional blog themes cost between $25-$80, and they’ll greatly improve the look and functionality of your site.
So plugins are like Apps but for blogs.
Some make your blog look prettier, some are social media sharing tools and others will help you with SEO. There are thousands to choose from, to help you do all kinds of tasks, but here are a few you’ll definitely want:
Akismet – Protects your blog from spammers leaving comments on your posts. It picks up on spam comments and lets you choose whether to publish them or not.
Yoast SEO – Very important plugin for optimizing your articles for Google search, plus integrating Google Sitemaps and Analytics.
Easy Social Share Buttons – Nice social media sharing buttons for your articles.
Now that you know how to start a blog, it’s time to write some. Now you’ll never write the perfect blog when starting out. Or you may think you have until a year down the line. Blogging is all about learning and there’s no fast way to do it.
The most important thing is to get some words on your screen. Write whatever it is you want to share and make sure the lay out of your blog is easy to access – most travel blogs will have an About Me page, a Destinations section, Contact etc.
When starting a travel blog, study other blogs to get ideas of how you’ll lay out titles and paragraphs in order to make your articles easy and enjoyable to read.
The MOST important part! You can be the best writer in the world with the most amazing articles on the planet but if nobody reads them then all your hard work goes unnoticed.
Get active on all social networks and publish your blogs wherever you can. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterst, they all can drive much needed traffic to your blog if you use them wisely!