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March 9, 2022

The Simple Guide to Travel Blogging

The travel blogging journey is not a quick process. It takes a lot of hard work, endless miles traveled, and dedication to build a sustainable travel blog. In a simple guide to travel blogging, I will share a step-by-step process to help you get started building your dream career.

There are some key strategies that will help your website perform better and attract a larger audience faster. Here are some tips on how to start a travel blog.

Establish Your Audience

Before you can start a successful travel blog, you must determine who you are building it for. So who will read your travel blog?

Some people start blogging as a hobby, but it eventually becomes a fun business opportunity—and that’s awesome! But, if you’re trying to build a travel blog from the ground up with the potential to turn it into a business, you need to create a plan before you get started.

  1. First, determine what your blog is about. Not just a general term like “travel.” You must Dig deeper. You will need to develop a content strategy. I tend to create a balance of travel guides, destination-based content, travel business, and fashion & lifestyle posts. I also like to share inspirational information to inspire my readers!
  2. Next, determine how you will create content for your audience. Who is your target audience? For me, it’s 25 to 55 year old women with a passion for travel and lifestyle. It’s key to keep my target audience in mind so I make sure I create content they will love and gravitate to.
  3. Lastly, research your competition and figure how how you can make your content different or better. There are a lot of travel bloggers so make sure you stand out.

When you’re creating a travel blog it is very important to write in your own style, however, don’t forget to also write for your audience. Figuring this out before you start out will help you to create quality content from the beginning.

I balance my writing with a variety of different kinds of posts to keep things interesting by rotating my category buckets. Lastly, it is important to produce quality content, including professional design, and share stunning photography to keep your audience intrigued to read more.

The Ultimate Guide to Travel Blogging

Let’s Get Your Blog Up & Running

1. Come Up with a Name

It is important to choose a name that can grow with you. If you name your travel blog “Let’s Travel To France,” you will be limiting yourself by aiming at one particular destination. Your name is a huge part of your brand, and you’ll most likely stick with it forever. Choose a name that fits your niche, yet isn’t limiting.

5 Things To Remember When Choosing A Name:

  • Make it Unique
  • Keep it simple
  • Avoid Confusing Words
  • Choose Creatively
  • Think Long Term

Once you have a list of possible names, check to see if the domain is available (that’s the URL of your website) and that it’s available across social platforms. You can use a site such as GoDaddy or Bluehost to check on available domain names.

Understanding the personal connection to your blog and the niche you choose is a key factor when choosing your name for your personal brand. Branding has multiple layers, therefore your voice is more powerful than your name. Don’t get too hung up on choosing your name because the biggest mistake you can make is not starting your blog when ready.

TIP – Using your real name is a great alternative! YOU are your personal brand.

Set Up Your Domain and Hosting

First, there is a difference between domain and hosting!

Sometimes, they are sold together, but they are very different.

  • Your domain is the URL of your website. For example, my domain is theartofwanderlusting.co. To obtain a website domain, you’ll need to pay an annual fee.
  • When choosing web hosting, this is where your website will live.

I’ve used both godaddy & bluehost in the past. They are both super user-friendly, however, I think GoDaddy has better customer service to help.

The Ultimate Guide to Travel Blogging

Setting Up Your Blog 

Let’s get your blog up and running!

One of the biggest mistakes I ever made was when I started my first blog. I started it at WordPress.com which was quite tricky. WordPress.com doesn’t let you self host and it is ridiculously expensive. On the other hand, WordPress.org is the most popular choice to set up your blog and you can choose a free theme or a paid theme. You can hire a website designer like myself to help you build your blog in a quick turn around or you can choose to learn the WordPress platform to save money.

WordPress is an excellent platform for beginner bloggers and has tons of plugins and designs, so it is something that can grow with you and your audience. Learning WordPress is like putting a massive puzzle together, however it’s easy to find tutorials online, and there are endless possibilities that you can choose with a WordPress there.

I personally would not recommend another platform like Wix or Squarespace. I have built websites on Wix and although it is much easier to use for beginners, it is not the top choice for creating a blog.

Making the right choice on your future blog home is so important. It is painful to try and move the content over to a WordPress theme once you have built content elsewhere.

If you are looking to truly stand apart with a beautiful, professional, and functional platform, I highly recommend choosing Showit. The Showit platform is like no other, it visually stands your brand apart and has a very professional feel. In addition, they will create you a WordPress.org blog and integrate it with the Showit platform. The outcome is a beautifully themed blog design. The only drawback with Showit is that it can be tricky to learn.

I recommend hiring a Showit designer like myself to help get your blog up and running in no time. The cost to get a simple 2-5 page website built with a blog ranges from $2500-$7500 depending on the complexity of the theme and design. If you choose a custom website, you will spend $7500-$15,000. Sticking with a simple theme, you will still have a beautiful website and blog + the cost is well worth the investment.

The Ultimate Guide to Travel Blogging
Social Squares

Connecting Your Blog to Google Analytics

Once you decide on the path to take on building your blog, make sure to connect it to Google Analytics. This gives you an in-depth look at your traffic and important information about your audience. You’ll get details about your traffic, learn how many people visit your site, how long they spend on your site, age range, etc. to make sure you are targeting the right readers.

TIP – The Google Analytics website gives step-by-step instructions on how to get started!

Customizing Your Site

Once your blog is up and running, the fun time begins!

Branding + Themes

This is definitely the most exciting part, in my opinion. If you are a visual person like me, it is easy to get lost in all the different looks. Start by asking yourself what type of design, look and feel you gravitate towards. Is it minimalistic, bright & cheery, conservative, playful, etc? Looking on Pinterest is a good place to start creating a vision board of your favorite styles.

It’s very important to consider your long-term branding before choosing your initial theme!

There is a lot that goes into strategic branding and design.

  • Branding is more than just the colors and your logo. 
    – Look at all of the layers of your brand—from the colors, fonts, messaging, emotive direction, etc.
  • What is the style of your brand? 
    – What do you want your audience to feel when they think of your blog?
  • Staying true to who you are. It’s important to stay authentic, commit, and always be consistent.

As mentioned above, build a Pinterest board and compile your favorite colors, fonts, and layouts! This is a great starting point. You may even consider hiring a brand strategist to help you work through the core of what you want your brand to become. I highly recommend that you work with a branding professional because there is a lot to go over and sort through before you launch a business. A brand strategist has the necessary tools to help you create a solid roadmap before launching your new dream biz.

Finding the Perfect Theme

You can find WordPress themes all over the web—from marketplaces to individual graphic designers.

  • Creative Market has beautiful themes by a variety of designers
  • Envato offers high-quality marketplaces of WordPress Themes.
  • Showit has several free themes and a variety of paid themes that are extremely creative and well designed.

As you can see, there are endless options to choose from when considering a theme for your new blog!

Make sure to pick a mobile-responsive theme that offers customer support. If you choose to build on Showit, they offer customer service through a chatbot and link you to tutorials in an efficient way.

Logo + Design

If you are hoping to cut down on costs, Canva is a great option for helping with your logo and social media. They offer well-designed logos and templates for most social platforms sized perfectly. I highly recommend upgrading to the pro plan as you will get many more options that will change the face of your business. So if you are not a designer, there is no need to worry because there are great solutions that exist in today’s technological world.

User Experience

Just know that you do not have to have everything perfect right out of the gate.

Most importantly, make sure your website is as user-friendly as possible. The way that someone navigates through your site is called “user experience.” It is important to have a visible main menu as well as a menu in your footer. There are many looks and feels in the menu layout, so make sure to pick one that you feel offers a user-friendly approach. Take notes on what you prefer. Create a general aesthetic for the look and feel of your new website and know that you can change things up as you grow.

Key WordPress Plugins for Travel Blogs

Akismet Anti Spam: Websites get attacked by spam. Akismet catches them automatically, so you don’t even see them.

Yoast SEO: Yoast makes it quite easy to improve your writing skills and page rank in Google Search. This is the top go-to SEO plugin for WordPress.

Google Analytics: This is the industry standard analytics program, and provides you with SO much important information about your posts, pages, and audience.

Grammarly: Not a plugin, but a MUST! You get the Chrome Extension for it on your computer. Grammarly can save you from a lot of embarrassing typos. It also will proofread your blog drafts in WordPress, emails, social posts, etc. It’s super helpful!

There are so many other details to cover when building your new blog, but I do not want to overwhelm you. If you are wanting to more information, read our post on Things to Know When Building A Blog

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