So you want to start a travel blog? Or perhaps any blog for that matter? You’re on the right page! I’ll show you exactly how to start a blog from scratch with this comprehensive and easy to follow guide!
Most of the tips here can also still apply even if you don’t plan to start a travel blog. It can be about a totally different niche. Travel-related blog or not, the steps on starting a blog are basically the same for all niches. But for the sake of being concise, I will focus on how to start a travel blog.
Are you ready? Let’s dive in!
Ultimate Checklist & Guide To Start A Travel Blog In the Philippines
Why do you want to start a travel blog?
The first step is identifying the WHY! Why exactly do you want to start a travel blog?
Is it because of the perks and freebies you always see from successful travel bloggers? Or is it because travel writing is your passion? Or perhaps you want to document your trip and share the tips you have discovered along your journey? Maybe you want to earn passive income from your blog?
Whatever your answer is, it’s important to have a clear answer to the “WHY” question. There is no wrong or right answer, but you have to be brutally honest with yourself.
I have been blogging since 2011 and my ultimate answer as to why I still continue to blog up to these days is because blogging is my passion. If I only see it because of the perks and freebies, I would have probably been disappointed and quit the moment the perks stop. I also like connecting with people and helping them solve their problems by sharing tips and tricks I discover along the way.
So again, know your WHY! The harsh truth is that blogging entails a lot of time and dedication and commitment. Heck, it’s like a second job! But if you love doing it, you’ll know it’s worth all the effort.
Find a travel niche
When you start a travel blog, it’s important to know what specific topics about travel you want to cover. Finding a niche will help people connect with your content more. If they notice that you’re consistently sharing information, tips, and ideas about something they’re interested in, you’ll find yourself a regular reader in no time!
You also have to know who you are talking to aka your target market. What’s their age bracket, gender, occupation, education, income? Once you have identified those then it will be easier for you to address their pain points and write valuable posts aimed at solving their problems.
Here are some travel niche you may want to consider:
- Affordable or budget travel
- Luxury travel
- Solo female travel
- Traveling with kids and family
- Couple travel
- Backpacking travel
- Digital nomad travel lifestyle
- Philippines travel
- Euro travel
- Asia travel
And the list goes on.
I say there’s no hard rule when it comes to choosing the niche you want to blog about. It can be a mix of many things or you can also specialize in a certain demographic or type of travel. Just remember to choose something you’re knowledgeable about.
My blog is all about affordable travel aimed at young professionals who want to make the most out of their vacation leaves and salary. So most of the tips and tricks you’ll see around here will be about traveling more for less.
💡 PRO TIP: Learn more travel tips in this Ultimate Guide To Planning Your Trip In 8 Easy Steps! I covered the basics of planning a trip and also included the tried and tested websites and apps I normally use to score cheap deals.
Name your blog
This part right here could take you some time. It’s like naming a baby – you have to put some thought and effort into the naming process. Perhaps you want to make it special or unique somehow. But then again, so many good blog names are already taken.
That is why start a travel blog now! Before it’s too late and your preferred blog name gets taken. If you have no idea what to name your blog, here are some helpful tips.
- Choose a blog name that is easy to remember (by that I mean no long blog names please).
- It should be easy to spell (no complicated words and avoid the use of numbers) and not awkward to read when written in domain format (eg “Travels Expression” = “www.travelsexpression.com”). Get my drift?
- You can also pick a blog name that somehow represents your goal or niche (eg “Travel More For Less”).
Don’t make the same mistake as I did – I used to name my blog something else and I got pretty bored with it. Thus, I blogged less and less as I didn’t identify with it anymore. But to be fair, it was a beauty and fashion blog so the name was something related to it. So when I started blogging more about travel, the blog name didn’t seem right anymore. What did I do? I named it to a new one – this Hazy Wanders. You can read more about the story behind the name of this blog.
Before buying a domain name (WAIT! WHAT IS THAT? Hush, I’ll explain in a bit) – check first that your preferred blog name is available on ALL social media platforms. Normally, you’d want your blog name to be the same as with your social media username or handle. It makes finding you EASY anywhere online.
Run a test using Namecheckr, a website that checks domain and social username availability across multiple networks.
If you find that the blog name is taken, just rinse and repeat the whole process until you find something that’s available (for both domain and social media).
Once you’re done with that, time for the more technical side of blogging – the hosting and domain part!
Buy your domain name and hosting plan
Yes, you read that right – buy your domain name and hosting plan. Sad to say, not all good things come for FREE. For a minimal fee annually you can be a proud owner of a ‘www.mytravelblogname.com’ space on the interweb.
That means no more ugly ‘.blogspot.com’ or ‘.tumblr.com’ or ‘.wordpress.com’ extensions.
Of course, if you want to start a travel blog with these free blogging platforms, by all means, go ahead. You can just buy the domain name. But getting a self-hosted blog with a domain name is the way to go if you want to make your site look more professional.
So I totally recommend that you start a travel blog by getting a web host and domain name. Now you may be wondering what these two terms are! Simply put, a domain name is a URL or site address of your blog (eg ‘www.yourblogname.com’). A web host is a space on the internet where your data and files are stored.
You don’t have to spend much on these two. Here are cheap yet reliable options that you can check out.
- Web host – Hostinger always have promos. And for as low as USD 0.99 a month (that’s roughly only Php 50 per month) you can get the Single Shared Hosting plan which is ideal for beginners.
- Domain name – Go Daddy is trusted by many bloggers and register their domain names with them. You can score a ‘.com’ for around Php 1,000 per year.
There are many other options in the market and it can get confusing on which can be a good fit for you when you start a travel blog (or any blog). This is why Consumers Advocate researched the best web hosting companies based on the performance, user experience, pricing, and overall services provided to make it easier for you. Do check out their in-depth reviews!
💡 PRO TIP: Make sure to also get an SSL certificate. Once activated, you’ll see a padlock icon beside your blog’s URL signaling readers it’s safe to browse your blog.
But why exactly do you need a web host? That brings me to the next item in this “how to start a travel blog” checklist…
There are many blogging platforms available out there. And WordPress is one of the most popular. It’s user-friendly and the dashboard is easy to navigate.
The key difference is that with WordPress.com they do the hosting for you. That means you don’t have to buy a web hosting plan anymore. Just sign up and you’re ready to start a travel blog that has a ‘wordpress.com’ extension (eg ‘mytravelblog.wordpress.com’). There are several limitations to the free WordPress.com blog though. Such as you cannot exactly monetize your blog, install plugins, nor upload custom themes.
On the other hand, with WordPress.org you need a web hosting plan and a domain name. It doesn’t work out of the box, unlike WordPress.com. But once you got it up and running, you will love how you have full control of your website. You can customize it as much as you want.
Between the two, I say choose WordPress.org aka “the real WordPress.” It is the WordPress platform of choice of most successful pro bloggers.
Find the perfect blog theme
Now that the technical side is over and you have installed WordPress, it is time to find a spanking new theme for your blog!
When you start a travel blog, you would want a theme that best fits your personality. Here are some more important things to consider when looking for a WordPress blog theme:
- Fast loading time
- Mobile friendly
I highly suggest Blossom Themes. They offer beautiful feminine WordPress themes that are SEO friendly and rich in useful features. Both free and premium themes are available. Their paid themes are priced at USD 49 each (about Php 2,300).
You can try their free ones first then once you know which features you want or don’t want, you can go for the premium ones. I started with their FREE theme and then eventually upgraded and bought their Blossom Travel Pro theme. It’s super worth the amount I paid for. They have the best support team too. If you’re planning to start a travel blog or any blog, do check them out!
Create a mood board
When you start a travel blog think of it as having your own brand! That means you have to be consistent with your brand image. So enter the MOOD BOARD.
What is a mood board you ask? Mood boards help you visualize the style that you wish to portray. People in the creatives industry use mood boards all the time. As for blogging, this is where things like brand colors and fonts come to play.
Aside from great content, one thing that can help set you apart from other bloggers is your brand image. Having a cohesive look will make your target readers remember your blog easily. As much as possible, use your brand fonts and colors across all your digital assets (blog, email newsletter, social media accounts, etc).
Set up your About Page, Contact Page, and Disclosure/Privacy Page
- About Page – This is one of the most important pages on your blog. Your readers should be able to put a name and a face behind the blog they’re reading. Once they’re hooked to your blog posts, they would most likely want to get to know more about you. This is your chance to connect further with them. You can also give them an overview of what to expect from your blog.
- Contact Page – This is so important especially if you want brands and other bloggers to reach out to you for collaborations, sponsorships, event invites, etc. You can use a contact form if you don’t want to divulge your email address. Try the Contact Form 7 plugin. It’s easy to use and it’s free.
- Disclosure/Privacy Page – As much as possible you would want to be transparent to your readers. If you’re earning from affiliate marketing, then they should know. If you’re collecting data through forms, then they should be aware of how you will use it (eg to send the newsletter).
Write your blog post
Okay now that everything is set – time to finally write your very first blog post! It could be an intro of some sort. Like who you are and what kind of posts your readers can expect from your new blog and why they should read them.
Now don’t worry if you feel lost when you start a travel blog. Here are some travel blog post ideas:
- Best hotels in your city
- Affordable honeymoon destinations
- How to apply for a visa for a certain country
- Best restaurants in a certain area
- Best destinations to travel with family and kids
- Best destination for solo travel
And the list goes on. Just remember to be as helpful in your blog posts as much as you can. And also, keep it light and fun. People like to read posts that are informative and entertaining at the same time.
Increase your blog traffic
When you start a travel blog, it doesn’t end with just setting it up and typing your thoughts away. You have to promote your blog to get readers! Here are some ways to get them to your blog.
- Tell your friends and family about it
- Share it on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media accounts
- Include your blog in your Instagram bio
- Join Facebook groups connected with your blog niche
- Comment on other blogs
- Include your blog link in your email signature
More travel blog tips
SEO tips for travel blog success
- Include keywords in your title, body, images, and meta descriptions. The right keywords can help people find your content when they search on Google.
- Also, name your images properly. Not just image1234.jpg. A well-optimized image can help people land on your blog too!
- Google favors a website that loads fast and is mobile-friendly. So to help you rank high on Google SERP (search engine result page) make sure you have a fast and responsive website. Once you start a travel blog, you can check your website speed with Think With Google.
Must-have apps and tools to start a travel blog
- Canva – It’s a graphic and design platform that can help you create visual content.
- Grammarly – Afraid of typo and grammatical errors? This free app is a life savior!
- Unsplash – For FREE stock photos that are beautiful.
- Rank Math – Install this FREE WordPress SEO plugin to help you rank higher in search engines.
- Google Analytics and Search Console – When you start a travel blog, make sure to set up these two Google products from the get-go. They will help you pinpoint how to optimize your blog and see what works and what did not so you would know how to improve.
How to earn money from your blog
You can start a travel blog and earn money while doing so! Here are some ways you can earn extra money from blogging:
- Affiliate marketing – You can earn a small commission whenever a reader clicks through an affiliate link and they purchase.
- Google Adsense – Place banner ads on your site and earn from them. The higher your web traffic is, the higher your profit can be.
- Sponsored or paid blog post – Brands may approach you to write a blog about them and they pay you a certain amount of fee.
- Sell digital products – If you have the resources, you can earn from selling your ebooks, online courses, and workshops off your blog.
So there you have it! I hope you learned a thing or two about how to start a travel blog with this post! Anyone can start a travel blog but it takes a lot of patience and hard work to find success. But just remember to have fun along the way and keep in mind why you want to start a travel blog in the first place. That will keep you going. 💛
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Let me know in the comments (or email me using this contact form) if you have any questions on how to start a travel blog. Feel free to share your blogging tips and ideas too! Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more posts about travel and blogging.
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