Creating a travel blog can be a daunting task. It may seem super hard and complicated, but it’s actually really simple! Follow our complete guide on How To Start A Travel Blog for all the best details and advice.
How To Start A Travel Blog – Our Complete Guide!
1. Choose your domain name
Choosing your domain name is one of the most important steps in creating your blog. You want to choose a domain name that is relevant to you which also lets your audience know what your blog is about. For example, we chose the name Lolapan Travels which is a combination of both our names (Lola and Jirapan). We also added ‘Travels’ at the end so people will know just by our name that we are a travel blog. Choosing and creating your domain is a fun process and the beginning of your travel blog journey!
We bought our domain from WordPress which was roughly $20AUD per year although the most popular site to purchase a domain is GoDaddy.com. Their prices start from $2AUD for the first year.
2. Find a host for your blog
This step might sound confusing but it’s fairly straightforward! Finding a host for your blog is a must if you’re looking to set up a professional and high speed website. A blog host stores all your blogs data, photos and files in a safe place and keeps your website fast and efficient. We use SiteGround and can’t recommend them enough. SiteGround is actually recommended by WordPress and is known for their perfect service, speed and safety. Their customer service is incredible and they’ve always helped us out, especially when we were setting up our blog.
You’ll also be able to get a discount if you sign up using this link!
3. Choose your plan
SiteGround offers 3 different plans when signing up. You can always start off with the beginner plan and upgrade whenever necessary. The different plans are:
StartUp – The StartUp plan is perfect for someone who is just starting out and receives less than 10,000 monthly views. It allows you to host 1 website and gives you 10GB of web space. Everyone who is just starting out should definitely choose the StartUp plan as it’s super affordable and is a great starter package.
GrowBig – The GrowBig plan is for someone who is starting to grow their blog and receives a decent amount of page views at around 25,000 per month. This plan allows you to to host unlimited websites and gives you 20GB of web space.
GoGeek – The GoGeek plan is for someone who is an experienced blogger and receives 100,000 monthly views. You have access to 30GB of web space and can host an unlimited amount of websites.
4. Register your domain with Siteground
If you already purchased your domain, you can go ahead and register it with Siteground. If you didn’t already purchase your domain, you still have the option to purchase one through SiteGround.
5. Review and Complete
Check all your details are correct, then finalise your SiteGround membership. Once you’ve made it to this step, you’re officially done with setting up hosting for your site! SiteGround has incredible customer service so if you have any trouble, you can live chat them to receive instant help.
6. Download WordPress.org
WordPress.org is the website where you will be creating, writing and publishing your blogs. You can download WordPress through the SiteGround control panel. Familiarise yourself with the platform and start to find a theme either from the WordPress default themes or from other websites such as Pipdig. Mess around start to get creative!
Be sure to also use WordPress.org and not WordPress.com if you want to start a serious travel blog. When you first start out, it can be confusing as to why it matters which one you use. WordPress.org allows you to host your own website and gives you more power as to how you create and manage your site. WordPress.com has more limitations and you can’t do things like download plugins, which are a must for your blog! Both WordPress sites have their pros and cons, although if you’re looking to blog professionally, we’d recommend WordPress.org.
7. Personalise your blog
Now that you’ve bought your domain, set up hosting, and downloaded WordPress, It’s time to personalise your blog! As mentioned earlier, Pipdig is a website which sells different WordPress themes. Most travel bloggers purchase their themes through here as they’re incredibly functional and stylish. We definitely recommend their themes. Be sure to take your time picking the perfect theme for you! There are plenty of other website that offer functional themes for WordPress.
8. Download Essential Plugins
Plugins are an essential part of blogging. Plugins are like apps which can help make your blog look prettier or perform better. There is basically a plugin for everything, from adding your Instagram images to your blog, helping block spam comments or even helping with SEO. Almost anything can be solved with a plugin. There are the plugins that we can’t live without.
This handy plugin will help you massively with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It will help you optimize for keywords, let you know if your article is too short and it will also analyze how easy your blog is to read. Yoast SEO will tell you know if you’re meeting the required guidelines to successfully rank for keywords in Google.
Akismet is an extra barrier of protection from spam comments. Spam comments might not seem like a big deal, but they can hinder your website. This plugin can stop multiple spam comments a day. It saves you time having to manually go through and delete the comments yourself.
Easy Social Share Buttons
This plugin lets your readers share posts on their social media platforms. The plugin adds buttons like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to your blog posts which encourages people to share it.
9. Create a logo
Creating a logo is a key step to setting up your blog. If you have a unique logo, it gives your blog its own identity. It also helps make your business more official! You can easily create your own logo in photoshop or you can contact someone to make one for you.
10. Start posting!
Once you’ve got all that done, you can go ahead and start creating your unique travel content. Blogging is a great way to share your travel story or your recommendations to friends, family and other travellers. There are certain pages which most blogs have so that the viewer can learn more about the blog owner. Be sure to set up an ‘About Me’ page so your readers can learn all about you! Also set up a contact page so that people can ask you all sorts of questions about your blog.
11. Growth Tips & Staying Socially Active
Now that you’ve got your blog up and running and are posting articles, be sure to stay active on other platforms. When you start out, your articles aren’t going to be gaining a lot of organic traffic from Google. The best ways to increase traffic to your blog when starting out is to rank for the smaller keywords and to cross-promote with other social media websites. Cross-promoting is a huge step in building links to your website.
Rank for smaller keywords
When learning how to start a travel blog, finding out how to use keywords is super important. Ranking for keywords helps Google identify what exactly your article is about and where they should list your article. Everyone wants to write articles with high search volume but they are generally very competitive and hard to rank for. We use Keysearch to determine the strength and search volume for a particular keyword before we even start writing our article. When starting out, aim for keywords with lower scores so that you’re more likely to appear higher in Google searches. Smaller keywords will have less search volume but at least they’re less competitive and you’ll have a better chance.
Cross-promotion ensures that all your social media accounts link back to each other and most importantly, your blog. You can leverage your followers on one platform to help you increase blog traffic.
Pinterest is an incredible platform that many bloggers use to drive traffic to their website. Create enticing pins that link back to your articles and you’re sure to get a few clicks. You can also increase your exposure by joining Pinterest Group Boards within the travel industry that have thousands of followers. Pins can sometimes go viral, and if you’ve made sure to link back to your article, you’ll drive a lot of traffic to your website.
Facebook and Instagram are two other great platforms with potential to drive traffic to your site. We’ve created a Facebook page where we share all our big blogs, photos and videos. Ask your friends and family to share your page to get a little boost in exposure and let people know about your blog. Additionally, our instagram bio’s will also include a link to our blog, directing people to our site.
Almost all of our social media accounts link back to each other in one way or another. Until you’re ranking on the first page of Google and are receiving high organic searches, staying socially active is a crucial step in growing your blog.
We hope these tips are helpful and if you have any further questions on how to start a travel blog, be sure to message us!