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How to Start a Travel Blog
This guide will teach you how to start a travel blog in five easy steps!
Starting a travel blog is a great way to share your travels with the world, help other travelers, and make some money in the process!
In my whole series of guides about how to start a blog, this one is most dear to me because I used to run a successful travel blog, which I sold after three years. Traveling is one of my passions, and I loved being able to share it with others.
Do you feel the same way? Then starting a travel blog is perfect for you.
Blogging has a very low investment (it costs just $2.95 a month for a domain name and hosting with Bluehost) but a high potential for profit.
Ready to start your travel blog? Here’s everything you need to know!
Step 1: Choose a Niche
Your niche is simply the topic you blog about. While “travel” itself is a niche, it can help you to stand out if your narrow your focus further.
Here are some ideas for travel blog niches:
- Budget travel
- Luxury travel
- Traveling with kids
- Solo female travel
- City or country specific travel
- Eco-friendly travel
- Travel and food
- Travel and fashion
- RV travel
- Cruise travel
Find more examples of travel blog niche ideas.
You get the idea! Try to find a specific focus that sets you apart from the crowd.
Related: What to Blog About: 150+ Profitable Blog Niche Ideas
Step 2: Choose a Name
After you have decided on your niche, it’s time to choose a name for your travel blog! Your domain name is your blog’s address on the Internet.
It’s important to choose a good name, because it’s the first impression you will have on visitors to your blog. (And it’s hard to change later!)
Related: Travel Blog Names: Ideas and Examples
Here are some tips for how to pick a domain name for your travel blog:
- Make your name easy to spell and say. Don’t use misspelled words, numbers, or hyphens in your domain name. All of these things will make your name a lot more confusing and harder for people to remember.
- Make sure that the .com of your chosen name is available. Try to avoid endings like .net or .co because they are less common and harder to remember.
- Make it travel-related. For example, Adventurous Kate or The Blonde Abroad.
- Keep it professional. Don’t end up like travel blogger Drew from The Hungry Partier, who had to rebrand his entire blog because the name he chose in his twenties was impacting his ability to work with brands.
- Use your own name. If you can’t think of a catchy name for your blog, using your own name is always a good idea.
- Pick something you can growth with. The name “Traveling with Toddlers” might be a good choice now if you have toddlers, but what about in a few years when your kids are older? A name like “The Traveling Family” or “Have Kids Will Travel” might be a better fit instead.
- Don’t overthink it. Try not to spend too much time on this step or worry about picking the “perfect” domain name. Chances are, whatever name you pick will grow on you and start to feel like a great fit.
You can use this domain name checker tool from Bluehost to see if the domain name you want is available to register:
Related: How to Choose a Blog Name
If you can’t decide on a name yet, that’s okay! You can come back and choose one later after you sign up for web hosting with Bluehost.
Step 3: Get Web Hosting
If you want to make money as a blogger, you will need to have a self-hosted blog. This means that you own all of your content and your blog is totally yours, as opposed to using a hosted platform such as Blogger, Wix, WordPress.com, etc.
Even if you are not a very technical person, setting up web hosting is extremely simple and only takes a few minutes.
First, you will need to choose a web host.
The web hosting company I use and recommend is Bluehost.
Here are a few reasons why I like Bluehost:
- They have some of the most affordable web hosting plans out there.
- You can get your domain name for free with them (as opposed to paying $15 to $20 with an outside company.)
- Their service is reliable and robust, so you will never have to worry about your website going down or loading slowly.
- Many of the most successful bloggers I know use Bluehost.
- They have great customer support and I have always had my questions answered quickly whenever I needed help.
Bluehost has very generously offered hosting packages starting at just $2.95 a month for readers of Blogging Her Way, along with a FREE domain name.
To get this special pricing, just be sure to use any Bluehost link in this article!
Here’s how to set up web hosting with Bluehost:
1. Click here and then click the “Get Started” button:
2. Select your hosting plan
3. Put in your domain name
Select this option and you can go ahead and set up your blog now, then use the free credit to buy your domain name later.
4. Create your hosting account
5. Choose your package and pay
I recommend the 12-month plan for $2.95 a month, for a total cost of $35.40 for the year. But you can also choose a 24-month or 36-month plan.
6. Congrats, you’re done!
Now you’re all set! Bluehost will automatically install WordPress for you.
What exactly is WordPress? WordPress is the content management platform that your blog will run on. Your WordPress dashboard is where you will go to edit the look of your blog, write blog posts, upload images, etc.
It’s extremely easy to use, even if you’re a total beginner.
Step 4: Design Your Blog
Now it’s time for the fun part – designing your blog!
When you log in to your WordPress dashboard for the first time, you will be prompted to go ahead and choose a theme for your blog:
You can pick one of these default themes if you want, but I don’t recommend it.
For one, the majority of these free default themes are not designed with bloggers in mind. Most are designed for business websites.
Additionally, choosing a premium theme over a default theme will make your blog look more professional right from the start.
Here are the benefits to choosing a paid theme for your blog:
- They come with step-by-step set-up instructions
- You will have access to customer support from the theme creator.
- Paid themes come with crucial features like a mobile responsive design and customization options.
- Your blog will look prettier and more professional.
Here are some great themes that are perfect for travel bloggers:
Installing your WordPress theme
To install your theme, go to Appearance > Themes in the lefthand menu of the WordPress dashboard, which looks like this:
Then simply upload your theme file and install it.
Once you have installed your theme and are happy with the way everything looks, you can go ahead and launch your blog! Until you follow this step, your blog will just display a “Coming Soon” landing page.
To launch, go to the Bluehost menu on the top left of your WordPress dashboard:
All you have to do is fill in this info and you’re good to go:
Congrats! Your travel blog is now live.
Step 5: Start Blogging!
Once you have launched your blog, it’s time to write your first blog post.
There are a lot of things you can write about as a travel blogger. Here are some helpful ideas to help you get started:
- Destination guides (what to do, where to stay, where to eat, etc.)
- Top 10 lists (top 10 things to do in a city, top 10 beaches in the world, etc.)
- Travel packing list for a specific destination
- Review your favorite travel products, hotels, cruises, airlines, etc.
- Travel tips (ex. how to save money on travel)
For more travel blog post ideas, check out this list of blog post ideas for travel bloggers to get some more inspiration for what to write about.
How Travel Blogs Make Money
There are many ways to make money as a blogger. As a travel blogger, here are few of the most popular ways to make money from your blog:
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money blogging. As an affiliate for a company, you earn a commission every time someone makes a purchase through your unique affiliate link. You can literally get paid for recommending products you already use and love to your readers!
For more tips on affiliate marketing, read my guide to making money with affiliate marketing or sign up for my free list of affiliate programs for bloggers.
Display ads are another popular way to make money as a blogger.
Once you have enough traffic to your blog, you can join an ad network like Monumetric (which requires 10,000 monthly page views) or Mediavine (which requires 50,000 monthly sessions.)
These networks will display ads on your site and pay you based on RPM (revenue per one thousand impressions.) Depending on traffic, many bloggers earn anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars from ads each month.
Travel bloggers can work with brands on sponsored posts, where a brand pays a blogger to publish sponsored content on their blog or social media channels.
In the travel blogging world, this typically involves partnering with brands like hotels, airlines, and tourism boards.
You can find sponsored post opportunities by joining sponsored post networks or pitching to brands directly. Some good networks to join are Linqia, Izea, Real Clever, Aspire IQ, Cooperatize, and Blog Meets Brand.
Travel Blog Examples
It’s possible to make a lot of money as a travel blogger.
Some of the most successful travel bloggers are making well over six figures every year while traveling the world!
Here are some successful travel bloggers who share income reports on their blog:
- Practical Wanderlust: $5,421
- A Dangerous Business: $9,229
- Helene in Between: $15,755
- Adventure in You: $19,233
- Local Adventurer: $23,001
Of course, this is just a small sample of travel bloggers who share their blog income reports online.
How to Start a Travel Blog Recap
So that’s all there is to it! Starting a travel blog is a lot of fun and very rewarding.
As a recap, here are the steps you need to take to start your own travel blog:
- Decide on your niche.
- Choose a domain name.
- Register for web hosting from Bluehost.
- Write 5 to 10 blog posts.
I hope this guide on how to start a travel blog has helped you, and if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below!
Good luck and happy blogging!