How To Start A Travel Blog In Just 3 Super-Simple Steps!
Just imagine… traveling the world… having fun… creating memories… and getting paid!
Are you ready to start your very own travel blog, but don’t know where to begin? Are you tired of working a desk job while other people get to live their dreams of exploring the globe? Well, you came to the right place. My name is Taona Carissa and I am pursuing my dreams as a blogger. Earning a living from blogging can be difficult, and it takes time to build up a following and it could be years before you are able to quit your day job. Difficult, but not impossible!
I am here to kick-start my blogging corner series, and I will show you how to start your blog the right way, how to boost your presence, gain followers on Instagram and take your blog traffic to a whole new level via Pinterest. If you’re not tech-savvy, don’t worry. The platform that we’re going to be covering is very user-friendly and great for beginners.
Are you ready to get started?
A lot of people ask me: how to start a travel blog? Which platform should I use? Which tools generate traffic? How to start a wordpress blog?
I understand! A lot of questions are swirling up in your mind, and I had these same questions when I started my journey 8 years ago. I invested a lot of time… I still remember all those hours, days, weeks and even months of research to unlocking the secrets to blogging. And now, I am here to share that valuable information with you. I’m sure it’s going to save you a lot of time!
First off, you need to decide how much you want to invest in your blog. Is this going to be a full-time job or something extra on the side? Do you want your blog to be a hobby or more professional? Are you willing to invest financial resources? Now, if you want to set up your blog completely for free, there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, starting with a free blog can be a great way to test the waters, especially if this is your first foray into blogging. However, as time goes on and you gain more readers, you’re going to want to purchase your own domain name. Not only does a personal domain name look more professional, but it also makes it easier for people to find you online. Think about it, would you rather be awesometravel.com or awesometravel.wordpress.com? The first one suggests a real expert, the second one seems more amateur.
Let me tell you something…
When I started my first blog 8 years back, I had no clue on how things work. I was very happy with my WordPress blog, and I even had 100000 visitors per month, and then something happened. Something that took all of my dreams! Yes, my site was hacked, and all of a sudden, my platform was deleted… All those years of sweat, tears and blood… I lost everything! I was extremely embarrassed, and most importantly, I was angry with myself that I didn’t choose the right platform.
I couldn’t do anything… Everything was finished!
I decided to take a break to refocus on my corporate career and after a few years, I started my journey again. This time I decided to take every step cautiously!
Now, let’s get back to the domain name.
Let’s say you’ve decided to commit to a professional blog. You’ve chosen your name and imagined what your brand will look like. There are plenty of sites online that sell you a domain name and hosting for your blog, but we’re going to focus on one that I’ve personally tried and found to be successful: WordPress.com. This website has terrific options for first-timers and offers an array of solutions to help you establish an online presence. You can easily manage all of your postings, create an archive, link your social media and network with other bloggers. Bonus: this website works really well with other platforms. For example, you can purchase your domain name and hosting from somewhere like GoDaddy.com, but use WordPress to build your blog. Conversely, you can purchase a domain and hosting through WordPress, but use GoDaddy’s design services for your blog or website. Personally, I like to design the look of my blog by myself, so I can’t say that I’ve tried any of the professional design services. The great thing about WordPress is that you don’t have to pay for design; they provide you with a lot of attractive templates.
After all those dreadful incidents, I started WordPress blog again and this time I found the perfect hosting service by BlueHost.
I have been using BlueHost for the last 2 years and it works perfectly for me. The best part is that you can start your own blog for as low as $3.95 a month. No contracts! You even get a refund if you are not satisfied with their services.
Here are some perks of using BlueHost:
- It’s extremely easy to use.
- WordPress through BlueHost is absolutely FREE.
- You get complete control over your blog.
- You get access to 24/7 high-tech support.
Interested in learning more on how to start a blog on WordPress, follow these steps:
When you get to WordPress.com, the first thing you are going to do is set up an account. You will register using your e-mail and will be asked to select your domain name.
Pro Tip: Since this is meant to be your business, set up an e-mail address that is only for your blog. Keep your personal e-mail out of it.
If you are planning to use a free WordPress domain, then you always have the option to change it or purchase a personal one later. If you have already purchased one or are planning to purchase one, WordPress will walk you through the necessary steps. Once you have started setting up your account, WordPress will ask if you would like to pay for their premium services which include access to your analytics and SEO options. You can skip this step for now, but you really should consider it in the future.
If you are not a techie (just like me), don’t worry; just follow these three steps and you’ll be good to go!
Step 1. Visit Bluehost.com and choose the package that suits your needs.
If you are just starting out, feel free to select the BASIC plan (I use the basic plan and it costs me only $3.95 per month). You can always upgrade to Plus or Prime option anytime you want!
- Go to BlueHost.com
- Choose the hosting plan
- Enter your domain name (mine is VivaSouth.com)
Step 2. Sign up for your own domain name
Take some time to come up with a great name. It’s going to be your business, your identity! So make sure you choose the best name. Just think of what type of content you want to share on your blog and choose a catchy name. Make sure you do not choose a name that is too similar to any other domain name in your niche. Select some keywords that describe your blog; feel free to use Thesaurus to find acronyms for your keywords for more ideas.
- Just enter your domain name and fill out a short form (for account and payment information).
I would highly recommend you to select “Domain Privacy” option. It will keep your information private and you won’t have to deal with all those spammy emails.
Click on Complete, and you’re done!
You will be asked to create a password. Just choose a hard-to-guess password and get ready for your journey!
Step 3. Download WordPress on BlueHost
• Log in to your hosting account and scroll down and under “Website” click “Install WordPress”.
• Click the install button.
• Hit “Install Now”
So, the boring steps are completed and you are now ready to design the look of your blog. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a professional or know about computer coding to get the look you want. As I said before, WordPress provides you with a good selection of free templates that you can use and customize. You can pay for more templates if you see a premium one that you really want. The look of your blog is important; it will convey the tone of your writing as well as catch readers’ attention. Bright colors are great, but be careful not to go overboard. You don’t want your blog to turn out looking like a 15-year-old’s diary. In general, I recommend sticking with the color palette that comes with the template you select.
Pro Tip: Be very careful with what images you put up; be mindful of ownership and copyright laws. You don’t want to be accused of stealing and damage your reputation. To avoid any issues, I only like to use photos that I have taken. As a travel blogger, you should get very comfortable with a camera.
That’s it. You are ready to start documenting your amazing travel experiences. Post your first blog entry on WordPress and see what happens! You never know where your journey may lead. Don’t worry if you don’t get tons of comments and followers overnight; they will come in time. Promote your blog on your existing social media accounts and ask your friends to recommend you. Keep in mind that you will need to work to keep your readers engaged. That means responding to their comments and posting new blog entries on a regular basis. Follow other bloggers with similar interests and don’t be afraid to ask someone to be a guest blogger on your site. You’d be surprised how many people will help you if you just ask.
Your dreams of becoming a full-time travel blogger are closer than you think. It takes time, but if you are persistent and don’t give up, it will happen for you. Look for new ideas and new stories everywhere you go. You can do it!
Subscribe below for more of our blogging series.