In this blog post, you will learn everything about how to easily create and start a travel blog on your own, using WordPress. Creating a travel blog has changed our lives and has allowed us to travel the world for the last few years whilst making thousands of dollars a month, all by doing the thing we love most.
What’s more, you can start a money-making travel blog for just a few dollars a month! Sound good? Let’s get you a travel blog!
If you’re looking to start a WordPress travel blog for cheap, we highly recommend using Bluehost for your hosting needs. We use them and they’re quite frankly awesome! We would host with anyone else.
Click here to gain an exclusive Bluehost offer for WordPress users, then use the tutorial below for quick and easy directions.
We have been working as professional travel bloggers and social influencers for the past few years, we now earn a five figure income from purely travel blogging alone. Since we are still fairly new, our income is expected to double in the coming years.
We are able to work from anywhere in the world, travel whenever we want, have a hugely flexible schedule and much more. We are absolutely loving life and we can’t believe how much our lives has improved in just the past few years, because of one single online blog.
Well, after all we do get paid to travel the world! It’s pretty sweet hey!
Anyone can easily make money with a (travel) blog, and we were able to make the money back that we invested for blog hosting very quickly. It is well worth paying the small fee for blog hosting and we’re sure you will be able to make your money back quickly as well.
So, if you’re wanting to travel the world and earn a living through online blogging you’re in the right place! We’ve made a simple step-by-step tutorial on how to start your own travel blog.
How To Start A Travel Blog: A Step-By-Step Guide.
Starting your first first travel blog can seem a little daunting if you have no prior knowledge or experience with website building. In fact, it’s fairly easy to get the hang of, especially if you use WordPress. We started our travel blog with zero knowledge of anything website based and here we are! Trust us when we say: If we can do it, you can too.
You may be thinking, “Well I can just start on Blogger for a little cheaper.” NOOO… Please don’t do that. There are so many reasons for why Blogger is a really bad idea, and why you should instead setup a WordPress blog on Bluehost. Making money on Blogger or any other free blogging platform is very difficult, and in many cases never happens. Most potential customers and companies tend to run away from Blogger websites because they don’t view them as professional as self-hosted WordPress blogs. Please don’t make this rookie error.
If you follow our step-by-step guide, you can have your own blog up and running today. Please keep in mind that the following advice is for those who are prepared to take travel blogging seriously (make good money from it whilst travelling the world), as some of these steps require spending a little money. If this is you, then great! Let’s go!
1. Choose a great domain name for your travel blog
This is the very first thing you will need to do when starting a WordPress travel blog on Bluehost. You must think about what you want your domain/travel blog name to be. This can be really tough, and we suggest you give some serious thought to this, as after all this is what your followers are going to associate you as.
Here are a few things to consider when choosing an awesome domain name:
Make It Unique
These days it can be pretty hard to find a rough domain that no other travel blogger has. Try to think of something original and creative, as your blog name will be your focal point of your brand. You don’t want to go changing it after a year of blogging, as this will confuse many of your subscribers and followers.
Don’t use overused words, for example Nomadic, Backpack, Adventurous as these names are already taken by top travel bloggers.
Avoid Numbers And Punctuation Marks
Using these type of characters in a domain name may reduce your blogs professionalism. We know if we saw a blog with these in their domain name we would unlikely read or follow their blog. First off, it’s fairly complicated to explain or someone and it’s just not that effective or eye-catching. It also isn’t good for word-of-mouth advertising, “Luxurybackpacking” is a damn sight easier than saying “Luxury hyphen Backpacking 101”.
Don’t Narrow Your Domain Name Too Much
Let’s say you thought of the name AfricanAdventures, that’s great if you’re travelling Africa, but as soon as you travel to another continent that domain name is useless. Try not to limit yourself to one specific country/continent, unless you are 100% on only blogging about that specific area. Thinking long-term is so important, as you need to brand yourself correctly in order to be successful and profitable in travel blogging.
Make it Catchy And Memorable
We know numerous travel bloggers who regret creating a long domain name, as spelling out their blog to potential clients and followers can prove challenging. Therefore, it should be easy to spell, type, say, share and remember. Having a memorable blog name is probably one of the most important things you should consider, you don’t want to fall short and get lost in the many other thousands of mediocre blogs, you want to stand out and be different from everyone else.
We chose Luxurybackpacking, as its short, catchy and easy to pronounce. We also blog about travelling well for less. Simple!
2. Register Your Domain Name
You can get your final domain name directly through Bluehost, which makes the whole process very quick and simple. If you do this, you can get a FREE domain for the first year as long as you buy 12 months worth of Bluehost web hosting. This makes it well worth it to sign up for at least 12 months of hosting as you will be saving a decent amount of money by doing this. You also get a cheaper monthly price when you buy at least 12 months of hosting, so the free domain just makes it even better. If you decide to get the free domain, just click continue and it will take you to the next step. When you buy your hosting you will automatically receive the free domain.
3. Buy Hosting For Your Blog
For those of you that don’t know what hosting is, it is basically a service that makes your website avaliable to be viewed by others on the Internet by ‘renting’ space online. It may sound complicated but soon you’ll get the hang of it.
Setting up a WordPress blog on Bluehost is very easy and cheap compared to other hosting companies like WP Engine. Here are a few benefits on using Bluehost to start a travel blog:
- Offers 24/7 Technical Support
- You get a FREE domain
- FREE one click installation of WordPress through Bluehost
- You will be self-hosted. If you want to monetise your blog, then you will need this.
- Great for first time bloggers.
- Bluehost is extremely affordable and they offer cheap web hosting. You can have a blog of your own and the only real expense you need to pay is the hosting which starts at just US$2.75 per month.
- You will appear much more professional to readers, potential clients, and so on if you are self-hosted on Bluehost than being on Blogger.
- Bluehost offers a guarantee in case you decide that blogging is just not for you.
So let’s begin!
Step 2: Choose your plan
To receive the cheapest price to start a blog, then choosing the “Basic” plan is really all you need. It’s only $3.49 per month through our link (due upfront in full) if you sign up for 36 months. If you sign up for a 24 month plan, then the price is $4.45 per month. Or for a 12 month plan, then the price is $4.95 per month. If you are unsure about blogging, we suggest you sign up for the 12 month plan as this is still a great price and very affordable for one year of blogging.
The basic plan is all you really need for now, so skip the Plus and Prime Pro plans as they are more expensive, and when you’re just staring up, you don’t the extra space. You can always change it later to a different plan if you want to, and just pay the difference.
Step 3: Check to see if your domain name is avaliable
Don’t be disheartened if your awesome blog name you came up with isn’t avaliable as a .com, try .net or .org! They’re both great ones to use but if they’re not avaliable too then we suggest thinking of a new domain name.
Step 4: Add Your Information And Extra Features
The other item you may want to pay for when you start a travel blog is Domain Privacy Protection, which is only $0.99 per month. This is so that your contact information stays safe. Otherwise anyone can look up who owns your site, giving them access to your mailing address, email, and phone number. Other than that, you do not need the other items that Bluehost sells, so we suggest you uncheck any of the extras that are listed.
4. Install WordPress on Bluehost
This is probably the moment you’ve been waiting for! If you’ve bought your domain through Bluehost continue reading. Bluehost makes it super easy to install and setup a self-hosted WordPress account and its FREE.
- When you’re in your cPanel on Bluehost (you will receive a link to this in your welcome email from Bluehost), find and click on the image that says “One Click Install.” or “Install WordPress”.
- Then, click on the WordPress icon on the next page located under “Blogs.”
- Click on the “Start” button. This will begin the installation.
- During the installation process, you will need to decide which domain you will want to install WordPress on. Click the dropdown menu to the domain you plan on using (the one you just bought).
- Now, you will see “Advanced Options.” This is where you choose your username and password for your WordPress website. You should choose something secure.
- Check “automatically create a new database for this installation”.
- Click “Install Now”.
- Remember to save and note down your username and password for future reference.
Once installed, you’ll be able to log into your WordPress dashboard with your new username and password. If you ever need to access your dashboard just search http://(yourdomain)/wp-admin
WOOHOO! Welcome to the club! You now have a travel blog. You will have to work on the design and producing high-quality content, of course. This is where the next steps come in!
5. Find A Kick Ass Professional Blog Theme
Whilst WordPress has many ‘standard’ themes you can use for your site, they do not provide the best support, flexibility or overall design. Whilst these are okay if you are testing the waters, if you are serious about wanting to start a travel blog and in the long-run make good money from it, we suggest you buy a premium WordPress theme. This is a one time purchase and can range anywhere between US$30-90, which is super cheap when you consider the overall benefits of buying one.
We highly recommend Envato Market’s Theme Forest templates. There’s thousands of themes to choose from on this site ranging in different niches, styles and designs. You’ll pay around US$50 per theme (the price varies), but the themes available have hundreds of options for customisation, are nearly always fully responsive, and have a support team to solve your queries within a few hours. We are currently using a ThemeForest theme on Luxurybackpacking and we love it!
Once you’ve bought a theme it’s time to install it on your site. Themes will usually include installation instructions, so this shouldn’t be too difficult. In Themeforest, for example, you’ll be able to download the installable WordPress file. Once you’ve done that, you can log in to WordPress, click on Appearance – Themes – Upload, then upload the zip file, and you’ll be on your way to a beautiful travel site.
6. Design A Logo
Your logo is what you’ll use and what people will know that differentiates yourself from other bloggers. This needs to be unique, pretty and memorable just like your domain name. We suggest sites like 99 Designs and Fiverr for your logo designing needs.
7. Essential Plug-Ins for Travel Bloggers
Plug-Ins are software add-ons that you can install onto your blog, in essence they give your blog enhanced features. Most are free, however some you do have to pay for. You can download new plugins in the “plugin” section of your WordPress Dashboard. Here are some of our favourites:
- Akismet – Is quite possibly the best way to protect your blog from spammers leaving comments on your blog. It keeps your site protected even while you sleep.
- CommentLuv – Is a great way to encourage readers to comment on your posts by rewarding them with links to their last blog post at the end of their comment.
- Google Analytics Counter Tracker – Analyses the visitors hits on you website and display it graphically. Great to see which blog posts are doing better than others.
- Interactive World Maps – This is a paid plug-in but worth every penny. It shows your readers which countries you’ve been too and can link to certain pages/posts.
- Pretty Link – Personalise, track and share any URL on the Internet through your blog, make sure to check no-follow whilst editing it.
- Yoast SEO – If you install only one plugin, make it this. Yoast SEO makes it so easy to improve your rankings in Google and is the absolute best SEO plugin out there. Needless to say: you need this.
- Menu Social Icons – You’ll want to provide an easy way for people to share your posts, so make sure that you include a plugin that adds social media buttons to every post on your site.
- What Would Seth Godin Do – When sharing affiliate links you must disclose it, this plug-in automatically does this for every post/page so you never have to worry about disclosing again.
8. Setup Your Social Media Accounts
Before posting your first blog post, make sure to have a few social media accounts setup. This is so important to becoming successful in travel blogging, and should be one of the first things when you start a travel blog. Posting regularly, engaging with your followers and creating engaging posts/pictures will set you apart from your competitors.
Learn how we grew to over 55,000 Instagram followers in under a year!
We suggest you sign up for the following sites:
- Youtube (If you frequently post videos)
Tip: Make sure to keep your usernames the same on all platforms if you can, so people don’t get confused.
9. Create An ‘About’ Page
Another crucial step you must do before publishing your first blog post is to create an ‘about’ page. People will follow and subscribe to your blog because they feel a connection with you. If they have no clue who is writing these blogs, they are less likely to be a reoccurring follower. It is so so important to have this within easy reach of new readers, we suggest adding it to your main menu. This is because they want to know who the blogger is, what they’re currently doing and why they should connect with your blog compared to others.
10. Write Your First Blog Post!
Woohoo! Exciting Right?! But where to start? Well, it’s all up to you, you can basically write about anything. Something along the lines of why you decided to start a travel blog? Your personal packing list? How you got inspired to travel? Whatever feels best for you. As this is your first post, you’ll start learning the basics of adding images, changing font sizes, adding tags, categories and much more.
11. Find And Network With Other Travel Bloggers
There’s no stronger or important thing to utilise than creating friendships and connections with other travel bloggers. It can lead to great things, including collaborations, advertising deals, sharing tips, and not to mention wonderful friendships from awesome people. There are a number of great Facebook Groups we personally recommend and use all the time:
- We Travel We Blog
- Travel Blog Chronicles
- Travel Bloggers Around The World
- Under 1000 Club
- Blog + Biz BFFS
12. Enroll In Blogging Courses
This isn’t compulsory or expected when you first start a travel blog. However, like most things in life if you’re wanting to become a professional at what you do, investing in education and time will work wonders, especially when it’s a well-known successful blogger.
When most people ask us how we successfully monetise our travel blog, our first and only recommendation is the awesome online course: Making Sense Of Affiliate Marketing.
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner is the face behind the most amazing and worthwhile blogging course you’ll take – Making Sense Of Affiliate Marketing. It pretty much helps you do exactly what the title says, maximise your affiliate marketing revenue. You’ll discover how to guide readers towards your affiliate links, manage affiliate programs effectively, and do this all legally.
Because of this we’ve become successful affiliates of various companies including: Skyscanner, World Nomads, Momondo, Etihad to name just a few. We now know how to effectively implement them into our site, and earn a decent income from it.
Michelle earns over US$50,000 a month through affiliate marketing and she shares her exact strategies and tips in this very informative online course. If you’re a blogger (even if you’re a new blogger!), then you NEED this course. It has without a doubt helped us travel the world whilst earning a solid income from travel blogging, without enrolling in this course we would be no where near as profitable as we currently are.
Another added benefit is her private Facebook Group, an excellent resource for creating friendships, blogging queries, affiliate marketing queries and Michelle will answer any questions you may have!
A small investment for huge long term gains.
13. How Often Should You Post?
When you first start out travel blogging, we suggest posting new articles at least 3 times a week, so that you have a solid amount of content on your blog in a short space of time. The more content the better. However, do remember quality is a lot more important than quantity, and you’re followers will know this too. So if you’re struggling with quality, slow it down and really think about what your readers want.
There’s nothing worse than having a great post subject with awesome sub-headings to be then let down by the quality of the work. It makes us want to scream sometimes, as we’ve seen so many potentially amazing blog posts being let down by the quality of the writing, please don’t make this rookie mistake.
Struggling with ideas for blog posts? Check out some of ours on our blog page.
And Finally…GOOD LUCK!
If you’re still here, give yourself a pat on the back! We’re guessing your brain is pretty jam packed full of information right now. Travel blogging is an awesome job, and we can’t wait to connect with you and become friends! Because hey, you’re a travel blogger now, and that’s what travel bloggers do!
If you have any questions whatsoever about how to start a travel blog or any other queries do not hesitate to comment below! Hope you enjoyed our step-by-step guide on how to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost, and you’re brain isn’t exploding ‘too’ much! 🙂
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