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How to Start a Travel Blog: Get Fun and Profit Out of Your Vacations!

20 Mins read

Featured image courtesy of Unsplash.

Have you always loved jetting away on tropical vacations? Or maybe your Pinterest board is filled with pictures of adventurous spots. No matter what your experience is, there are plenty of ways to write about travel. If you’re thinking about documenting your experiences, you’ve probably considered learning how to start a travel blog!

Fortunately, anybody can start a travel blog. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been to dozens of countries, or are just passionate about not staying in one spot for too long. It’s a topic that will always get people curious and interested, so why not become a part of the conversation?

We’re here to share a step-by-step guide on how to start a travel blog. Follow our list to help enhance the quality of your blog, and to make sure that you’re on the right path to success!

How to Start a Travel Blog

Should You Start a Travel Blog?

There are likely two significant reasons why you’ve stumbled upon this question. Either you’re passionate about travelling, or you’re eager to start a blog. Both are excellent reasons to consider learning how to start a travel blog!

Having a passion for travelling will increase your ability to write about exciting concepts. This passion will give you a better world-view and more personal experience to draw from when creating content.

Not the most experienced traveller? That’s okay, too! You don’t need to book a flight just to get experience writing about travel. Some of the greatest guides have been written by people who have done their research instead of doing their own travelling.

What makes a great travel blog is somebody good at knowing which places are rising in popularity, or that fit a particular crowd. So, if you’re willing to commit enough time to your blog, you’re well on your way to creating a successful travel blog.

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Is it Worth Starting a Travel Blog?

Many folks who are interested in blogging may find themselves worrying about whether or not it’s “worth it.” The answer to this really depends on what your main goals for blogging are!

Do you want to share your passion with the world? Well, by writing your thoughts down on a blog, you’re doing just that! Simply being passionate – without worrying too much about income – can be a great recipe for enjoying your travel blog.

Learning how to start a travel blog will be more complex if you’re looking at it from a monetary point of view. Blogging has plenty of potential for boosting your income, but is it worth it?

The biggest thing to consider is your time. Do you have the time and energy to invest in this blog right now? What about in the future? You will need to spend hours creating the website and writing your first pieces of content before you will make any money.

Fortunately, creating a blog doesn’t have a lot of start-up costs. Purchasing a domain name and getting a web hosting platform are the only necessary costs, and they’re very minimal.

Of course, there are extra things you can pay for. SEO plugins and tools, spell-checking software, or coding experts may cost you some extra cash. But generally, a successful blog can be created without these things if you’re willing to put more time into the website.

Starting a travel blog and keeping up with your content may have some other costs that you’ll need to consider. This could show up in the form of:

  • Plane tickets
  • Restaurant bills
  • Travel wear and accessories
  • Luggage
  • Hotel accommodations

These are all things that will likely come up if you plan on writing about your travels. Now, if you’re planning on spending money on these things regardless of your blog, then great – you won’t need to alter your budget much!

how to start a travel blog
Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Not a fan of spending thousands on travel? You can always create a niche that keeps your wallet a little bit heavier. You can scroll down to our Decide on Your Blog Niche summary!

So, in the end, is it worth it to learn how to start a travel blog?

Creating a travel blog will cost you time and money. There are many different blog niches, and travel is one of those topics that will need a greater investment, as having good content to write about will force you to do at least some travelling.

At the same time, you’ll likely never need to worry about losing your market, as millions of people around the world are planning trips as we speak! Break into your niche, and readers will start pouring in once you have some excellent content to deliver.

Luckily for you, you’ve picked a niche that gives you plenty of reasons to travel (or at least dream of travelling). No matter how much you earn from your blog, you’ll be able to put a few stamps in your passport!

What a Successful Travel Blog Looks Like

There are hundreds of successful travel blogs out there depending on what niche of travel blogging you’re interested in. Things like exploring certain countries, local travel, or even airline fashion can draw in a big crowd!

Adventurous Kate is a great example of a successful travel blog. The author, Kate, documents her solo travels. She keeps track of all her destinations, provides beautiful images of the scenery that she comes across, and gives tips for fellow solo travellers.

By looking at a handful of successful travel blogs, there are a few commonalities that you’ll come across. These include:

  • Creative and attractive blog themes
  • Great photos of various locations
  • A strong personality in the writer
  • Unique vacations and locations

Take note of the strong personalities that you see when looking at travel blogs. Nobody wants to hear about the journey of someone who flies to Paris, participates in no local activities, and then flies home!

Readers want to hear about exciting trips that consist of fine dining, unique cultural experiences, and exciting nights out. These things read much better when your voice is eager and excited to share your journeys!

Many successful travel blogs eventually break into YouTube content creation in addition to blog writing. Having videos to go along with your blog posts aren’t just a great way to boost your posts, but they’re also fantastic ways to expand your reach. Search “travel” on YouTube, and you’ll be amazed at how many posts have millions of views.

The “travel vlog” (video blog) incorporates elements of blogging while consisting of attractive videos and images. This allows you to give your readers and viewers visual content, which is much easier to consume during a busy lifestyle.

Of course, a travel vlog is not necessary for a good travel blog. However, good photos are absolutely a requirement. Nobody will want to read about a place if they can’t see what it looks like!

For an example of a captivating travel vlog, check out Priscilla Lee’s Bali vlog below. Notice her use of intriguing activities (from monkeys to waterfalls) while also documenting her travel journey.

Using your blog and/or YouTube channel to gain readers and viewers is the core of what you’ll be doing. You’ll also need to consider using other social media to attract visitors.

Instagram is a booming platform for travel bloggers. It’s incredibly easy to post a gorgeous snap of a popular travel destination with a few hashtags. This allows people who are eager to travel the ability to come across your content.

Engaging with readers and fans on social media is also a good way to get word-of-mouth. A few thousand retweets on Twitter is simple to do with awe-inspiring pictures of a hiking trail. These retweets will then lead to curious minds checking out your blog, growing your overall online presence.

To summarise, a successful travel blog will need to consider the following aspects in order to thrive:

  • A strong social media presence
  • An intriguing personality or brand
  • Some sort of media tie-in (photo or video use)
  • A creative approach to choosing locations

Some bloggers use their blog to document experiences for personal use. But most people who want to know how to start a travel blog are looking for financial success. Let’s take a look at how it’s done!

How to Start a Travel Blog: Step by Step

Now that you feel passionate and inspired enough to move forward with your plans, it’s time to really dig into the process!

There is no single correct way of learning how to start a travel blog that will guarantee success – but there are some must-do items on the list of creating a blog that will increase your chances of standing out in the market. So, let’s get started!

Step 1: Decide on Your Blog Niche

As previously mentioned, an excellent travel blog will need a specific niche. “Travel” is a very broad term, and can mean anything from travelling within your local city to flying around the world every single week.

When approaching how to start a travel blog, your first step has to be selecting a niche. It can be challenging to narrow down your focus, but you’ll find that it makes the rest of the blogging process easier.

Here is a list of common travel blog topics that people have used for their overall niche:

  • Lists of travel destinations
  • Vacation recommendations
  • Tours of small cities and region-specific guides
  • How-to guides on packing for travel
  • Travelling guides for weddings
  • How-to’s on saving money while travelling

There are undoubtedly other niches to choose from – and you could even come up with an idea that is so original that it has never been done before. But many travel blogs end up falling in or around one of these categories.

Travel Lists

The list travel blog often requires the least amount of effort. This is when people will run a blog dedicated to topics such as “The 10 Best Beaches Around the World” or “The 5 Best Restaurants in France.” These types of lists have endless possibilities.

The reason that these pieces are so cheap and easy to create is that you’re not forced to travel to write them. It’s easy enough to read restaurant reviews or to look at other vacation guidelines to make your choices for a list post. You can even rely on reader input to put together your next list.

Vacation Recommendations

Vacation recommendations will often rely on your own experiences. A good way to start this kind of blog is to go on some basic trips, taking as many pictures and visiting as many local places as you can. Even a few great travel recommendations are a good place to start!

Small cities and region-specific guides are perfect for people who live in tourist destinations (or in places that you think deserve to be tourist destinations.) You can do all of the touring in your local area, which means expenses for accommodations and flights are minimal.

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Travel Packing

A general niche of travel packing is often blended with fashion-related travel topics. Many tourists like to learn about how locals dress in the cities that they’re visiting so that they can blend in or stand out. Doing your research on fashion and accessories can help you create quality content in this travel blog niche.

Travel for Weddings

Writing about travelling for weddings is another strong niche to break into. People who choose to have weddings or honeymoons that require travel will always do their research. So, you’ll wind up having some passionate readers, wedding planners, and wedding dreamers poring over your posts on destination weddings, romantic getaways, and more.

Travel Finance

Finance blogs have become increasingly popular. As vacations have become more accessible over the past decades, many folks have a yearly vacation within their budgets while still wanting to keep their costs as low as possible. This topic also won’t require too much of your own personal travelling, as finance hacks can be learned anywhere.

You’ll really need to consider your own personal interests and capacities when choosing your travel blog niche. What do you have the time and budget for? An equally important question is what you find intriguing enough to keep up with. You may grow tired of writing lists, but you’ll never stop wanting to travel!

Step 2: Get a Web Host and Domain Name

Creating a domain name and securing a web host is your first official step into the technical side of learning how to start a travel blog!

Domain names will essentially become the core of your website. This is going to be your site’s name and brand – it will be what people will think of when they read your content. It will be their first impression of you as a creator, and of your blog as a product.

A new blogger should stay away from naming the blog after themselves. You’re more likely to choose “Romantic Getaway Guide” over “Meghan’s Vacation Tips” when looking at Google’s search results. A real name doesn’t tell the reader anything unless the writer is already an influencer.

In addition to creating something that sounds like a good first impression, you should also consider what can become brandable. What looks and sounds good to readers? What can you use over and over again across the internet to grow into a larger brand?

Your domain name should reference what your topic is actually about, too. It doesn’t have to be the exact phrase of your main niche, but it should still allude to travel in some way.

Ultimately, your domain name is going to depend on what’s available. You may come up with the best name you’ve ever heard, only to find out that it’s already registered by a user who hasn’t posted anything in a decade.

Choose a few potential domain names and start looking at domain registrars to see which are available. You’ll also need to look at what extensions (.com, .co.uk, .org, etc) are offered.

Figuring out how to start a travel blog includes deciding which extension to use. The .com extension is a popular choice, but other options may be cheaper or could work better for your website.

GoDaddy is one of the most popular domain registrars around the world. They offer budget-friendly domain names, quality customer service, web security, email creation, and more.

Not only is GoDaddy thorough in their approach to website creation, but they’re also friendly for beginners. You don’t need to know anything about coding or website building to buy a domain name!

Once you’ve figured out your domain name, you can move on to choosing a web hosting service. This is the service that makes your site visible online. In essence, web hosting is a service that allows you to “rent” space on the internet.

GoDaddy offers web hosting for personal and business websites. Their uptime is a guaranteed 99.9%, and their plans flawlessly integrate with their domain registration. Take a look at GoDaddy’s explanation of web hosting.

Another option for both web hosting and domain registry is BlueHost. This hosting website is a top competitor that has extensive options for shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting. Bluehost may have the strongest options for your brand if you ever plan on expansion.

Step 3: Install WordPress

Beginning bloggers will often find that WordPress is the easiest website to use when starting a travel blog. Not only is this platform simple, but it offers a variety of crucial elements that will support your efforts to get started.

The biggest draw to using WordPress is that it’s free. You can download it and use it without paying a thing. Sure, there are themes and plugins that you can pay for, but there’s a surprising amount of quality available for free – paid options aren’t 100% necessary.

The biggest expense when using WordPress will likely be your web hosting and domain name registry. If you’re wondering how to do this, GoDaddy and Bluehost work seamlessly with WordPress. Take a look at how to integrate Bluehost on WordPress below.

Another element of WordPress is their simple customisation features. We’ll take a deeper dive into choosing a theme below, but you can be confident that WordPress offers plenty of chances to customise your site.

Now, let’s take a look at why WordPress is fantastic beyond the technical elements. Sure, it’s cheap and simple to create. But will it work when learning how to start a travel blog? Yes!

WordPress will adapt to your unique blogging needs. Whether you want to write lengthy text-based blog posts, post only images, or do a combination of both, this blogging platform will work with you.

Upload your own content straight onto the platform or bring it in from other media. Posting embed links, such as YouTube videos or social media posts, is made simple. WordPress is perfect for the bloggers who also utilise social media and video sharing.

Ready to install? You can use WordPress without installation, but it’s easier to try both. Fortunately, installation is a quick and easy process, so there’s no reason to avoid it.

Installation may depend on which hosting platform you’ve gone with. They may have automatic installation features. Still, you can install WordPress yourself and figure out the rest later.

Follow WordPress’ installation guide here. All you need to do is download and unzip their package, work with your hosting platform’s requirements to use it on your server, and begin running it online.

Not interested in using WordPress for your blog? Here are a few other popular options to look at when it comes to learning how to start a travel blog.

The blog hosting platform that you decide on can always be changed down the road. While it’s important to look at your choices, you don’t need to feel like you’re making a permanent decision! A blogger travel blog may seem like the right choice now, but you never know as you begin to expand.

Learning how to start a travel blog will continue even as you’re regularly updating your content.

Step 4: Find the Right Theme

Getting started on finding the right theme to go with your blog is one of the most exciting parts of making a blog for travel! This gives you the opportunity to explore your creative side.

The right theme for travel blogging will mix elements of travel blogging as a whole, your specific niche, your personality, and the functionality you want for your website.

Having a premium theme that relates to travel blogging will help readers know exactly what kind of website you are. It shouldn’t take more than a second to realise that your website is a blog for travel when a new user visits the front page!

You will also need to blend in elements of your unique niche that you settled upon when learning how to start a travel blog. This can easily be done with a premium theme that allows for stylistic designs and images that reflect your topics.

A theme that gives you the ability to design a great header is an easy way to do both of these things. Your header will often include your logo and/or your domain name, along with design elements.

Writing about local tourism? Include a beautiful snap of your city in the header! This will ensure that every reader gets a great first impression of not just your city, but your blog as a whole.

Once you’re confident that your theme reflects travel blogging and your niche, you can start to incorporate elements of your own personality into it. There are thousands of travel blogs out there, but now you get to tell viewers why yours is different.

Here are some ideas to set your blog apart from the rest with your theme.

  • Choose a unique colour scheme and stick with it
  • Have an easily accessible author bio that lets your personality shine
  • Design or purchase a logo that can be used throughout the website, including in the navigation menu
  • Compare your theme to other travel bloggers to ensure originality

You can see the different free and premium theme options once you install WordPress. The blog builder has a variety of free themes that can be easily customised, as well as a handful of premium themes to choose from.

Another option for your theme is to pay an experienced website designer to create one for you. This will ensure that you nail all of the important elements of finding the right theme for travel blogging.

While paying someone is an option, WordPress doesn’t make it too challenging to do these things for yourself. You may find yourself picking an available theme and customising it to your liking. Take a look at this video to learn how to do the basics on your own.

What does a good travel blog look like? After analysing dozens of accounts that blog for travel, we’ve found a handful of commonalities that you may want to consider incorporating into your theme.

  • Immediate pictures of travel destinations
  • Personal photos of the blogger on vacations
  • Travel-related iconography (such as boats, aeroplanes, etc)
  • Designs that incorporate maps

Just remember: you want it to be clear that you have a travel blog, but you don’t want your theme to be too similar to your competition. Find out how to set yourself apart from the rest while still capturing the essence of your travel theme.

Step 5: Write Useful Content

Now that you have the skeleton of a great blog, you get to actually contribute your content to it! If you’re learning how to start a travel blog, then it’s likely you already have some writing skills. But are you writing useful posts?

Your content will be entirely dependant on your specific niche. However, since we know you’re writing a travel blog, we’re certain that you already have some ideas for posts.

The first post that you make should incorporate an introduction to who you are and what your story is, while also not being all about you. Make sure that your introductory post includes information that readers will find valuable. Put yourself in their shoes and try to understand what they care about.

What does your ideal reader want or need to learn? This is the most important consideration when writing content. Are you just there to make them excited about a holiday? Or are you providing informational posts?

Making sure that your personality shines through your posts is another must. Including travel-related anecdotes, personal travel photos, and preferences when it comes to holidays can help do this.

You won’t know exactly what your reader responds best to until you actually get posting, though you should have a pretty good idea about what information you want to share based on your niche.

Once you have built up a small following, you can start asking your readers what they want to see more of. Interact with them and take their feedback into consideration.

Utilise your social media presence to take polls of what you should write next. A “where should I visit next?” Instagram story with write-in options will not just give you good content ideas, but it can make your viewer feel like you care about their input.

Polls are another great way to do this! Learning how to start a travel blog will also include learning how to interact with readers. They are the base of everything you are doing. So, listen to them!

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

How Do Travel Bloggers Get Paid?

You’ve now learned the basics of how to start a travel blog. You’re well on your way to having a successful blog in this exciting space. Congratulations!

We’re sure that you’re fond of the content that you’re writing, but the topic of money is surely on your mind too. So, how do travel bloggers make money?

There are three common ways that bloggers get paid.

Google AdSense

The first and most accepted way of making money is by posting advertisements on your website. Google AdSense makes this an easy process. You get paid for hosting featured ads on your site, and users who click on them will bring you money!

The benefit of using Google AdSense is that you can start making money before you’ve grown a large following. Anybody can click on those ads. Unfortunately, ad-blocking plugins are common for internet users nowadays, so it’s not the only option you’ll want to explore.

Affiliate Marketing

Another common way of making money with your travel blog is to use affiliate marketing. This is when you post links to products online. You’ll get paid when someone uses your affiliate link to make a purchase.

Amazon Associates from Amazon is a strong affiliate marketing program. The seller has so many products that it’s easy to find ones that your readers will respond to!

It’s important to remember what kind of products your viewers will actually want to buy. Travel related items are a must, as they directly reflect your niche. Consider the following products for future affiliate links:

  • Suitcases and other travel storage
  • Weather-appropriate clothing (for example: linking to swimwear for a beach-related travel post)
  • Passport holders
  • Universal adapters
  • Travel-friendly beauty products
  • Luggage locks and portable safes

It wouldn’t make sense to post a link to a microwave on a travel blog, as they aren’t related. Posting links to products that you’ve also tried (and loved) is another option to consider, as readers will trust your opinions. Write personalised product reviews and comparisons whenever you can!

Lastly, we have the sponsored post route of making money while travel blogging. This kind of monetisation will be far easier once you’ve built a solid following, because many sponsors require a certain number of subscribers or followers, as well as engagement.

Sponsored posts are when companies or designers will pay you with money and/or products to write about their offers. You may have an entire vacation paid for just by documenting your experiences with a certain airline or staying at a certain hotel!

It’s unlikely that you’ll be getting sponsorship deals of this level right away. Smaller deals, like getting paid a small amount to post a picture at a certain restaurant, are far more common.

Don’t wait for companies to reach out to you. Do your research on what companies have sponsored travel bloggers in the past, and reach out to them. You should explain your idea, tell them why you would be a valuable blogger to sponsor, and work with them to create quality content.

Some bloggers find themselves feeling trapped with sponsorships that don’t pay with money. Free products or experiences are great, but they don’t pay the bills. If you want to earn a proper income with your blog, you may have to draw the line between worth-it products and what is a waste of your time.

Grow Your Travel Blog With Content

You can be writing the most insightful and intriguing posts of all time, but this won’t automatically grow your blog. In understanding how to start a travel blog, you must also learn how to grow it.

To learn how to grow your travel blog, you need to find out ways to reach a wider audience. There are two major ways to do this: social media and SEO.

We’ve already talked a little bit about social media, as well as the benefits of YouTube. While you may be able to go without a YouTube account, social media is essential in today’s blogging world.

Social Media for Travel Blogging

Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are the three core social media accounts you’ll want to consider for your brand. Update them several times per week to give viewers a sneak peek of your blog while also providing exclusive content.

The reasoning for utilising social media to promote your blog is to find viewers who would otherwise never know you exist. Plenty of people use social media and will find your brand this way, but would never find you by searching in Google.

To grow faster with social media, you can also pay each of these social platforms to advertise your account for you. This can grow your following on each social media platform, while also bringing more users and clicks to your blog.

Consider a writer who writes about travelling for weddings. Sure, a bride-to-be could easily find the blog when researching honeymoon locations. Great! They’ve got themselves a follower. But what about the potential readers who aren’t actively doing research?

With Instagram, you can hashtag your way into appearing on thousands of feeds. A viewer could find your post to be useful and save it for later while dropping a follow. They can keep up-to-date with your posts during the entire wedding planning process rather than waiting until they actually need information.

On the same topic of a potential wedding travel blogger, you never know how your content can change minds. Maybe a newly engaged couple assumed they’d have a local wedding. The perfect post on your Instagram could convince them to host their wedding abroad instead.

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

SEO for Travel Blogging

Now, let’s look at SEO. A strong understanding of this concept is a must for people learning how to start a travel blog. It can seem daunting to people who have limited information, but it’s not as intimidating as it seems.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. Essentially, this is how you pull in traffic through organic search engines like Google or Bing.

You can use SEO to ensure that your content is coming up at the top of the search engine results. You can also make sure that the traffic you’re getting is high-quality, pulling in viewers who actually need to use you as a ressource rather than just passing readers.

The key to perfecting SEO relies on a complicated algorithm that takes several factors into account. The main elements include:

  • Social metrics
  • High-quality keywords
  • Anchored links
  • Mentions of brands

The long-tail keyword is an important feature of strong SEO. Think of a longer keyword for each blog post and optimise the inclusion of the keyword throughout. These keywords will be things that your readers will type into a search engine.

Fortunately, you don’t have to do everything yourself. Blog hosts like WordPress allow you to install plugins that do some of the math for you and will tell you if your content is SEO friendly.

Yoast is one of the most common SEO tools. They have plugins that allow you to include your target keyword that will prompt them to analyse your text to see if it’s going to bring you traffic.

This handy resource also gives in-depth online SEO training so that you can learn more about why you’re doing what you are. This information goes beyond the theory, and will teach practical and technical skills.

Learning How to Start a Travel Blog Takeaways

Starting a blog for travel is a worthwhile endeavor. You get to spend time writing about a popular pastime, make money, and grow your online following!

The biggest downsides of travel blogging are spending money on trips and putting in the time it takes to create your blog. Sure, these may seem like important elements, but will it be worth it for you?

People don’t start a travel blog just to make money. They do it because they love to travel, want to share their information with the world, and want to make money!

In conclusion, there are some things you’ll need to remember when learning how to start a travel blog. They are:

  • The importance of a niche
  • What successful travel blogs look like
  • The basics of domain registry and web hosting
  • How to use WordPress
  • The importance of a premium theme and unique site design
  • Which content is useful and appealing to your audience
  • How to promote your blog with SEO and social media

It may seem like a lot. And we won’t lie! To start a travel blog, you will need to invest a lot of time into each element. But imagine what it’ll be like when you’re getting paid to be on a beach in Bali, or traveling deep into the jungles of Thailand.

Only you can decide it’s worth it to learn how to start a travel blog, but if you’ve made it this far, then it just might be!

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