In this blog post, you’ll learn everything you need to know about easily creating and how to start a travel blog of your own, using WordPress. Creating a travel blog has changed our lives and 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? Well let’s get you an awesome travel blog!
If you’re looking to start a travel blog with WordPress for cheap, we highly recommend using Bluehost for all your hosting needs. We personally use them and they’re quite frankly awesome! We wouldn’t 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 now, and we currently earn a five figure income from purely travel blogging alone. Since we are still fairly new, our income is hopefully 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, work with global brands and much 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 travel blog.
Well, after all we do get paid to travel the world! It’s pretty sweet!
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 for you to follow on how to start your own travel blog.
How To Start A Travel Blog: A Step-By-Step Guide.
When you start a travel blog it 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 of other platforms than WordPress, “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 avoid 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 on how to start a travel blog, 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 available 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$3.49 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 1: Click the Green Button ‘Start Your Website’
Step 2: Choose Your Plan
To get the cheapest price to start a travel 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 Available
Don’t be disheartened if your awesome blog name you came up with isn’t available as a .com, try .net or .org! They’re both great ones to use but if they’re not available too then we suggest thinking of a new domain name before you start a travel blog.
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 makes sure 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 and that you can easily remember.
- 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 https://(yourdomain)/wp-admin
WOOHOO! Welcome to the world of travel blogging! You now have a 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’re serious about wanting to start a travel blog and in the long-run make good money from it, we suggest buying 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 blog.
6. Design A Logo
Your logo is what you’ll use and what people will know that differentiates yourself from other bloggers when you start a travel blog. 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.
For a full range of our favourite plugins check out our post – 10 Best WordPress Plugins!
Here is a quick look at 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.
- Social Fans Counter – Show readers, potential clients and future sponsors how many followers/likes you have across your social media platforms.
- 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 you do when you start a travel blog. Posting regularly, engaging with your followers and creating posts/pictures that will set you apart from your competitors.
Instagram is our main social media platform with over 72,000 followers! We continuously earn a solid five figure income from this social media platform alone without even taking into consideration our blog! Because it has been SO successful for us, we have created our own Instagram Online Course, that teaches you our exact strategies on how we gained 50,000 in a year, earned $25,000+ and work with global brands!
Because you’re reading this, we are offering 20% OFF our Instagram Course with the code LUXURYBACKPACKING!
We also 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 including our brand new Facebook Group!:
- Blogging To Success – That’s Ours!
- We Travel We Blog
- Travel Blog Chronicles
- Travel Bloggers Around The World
- Under 1000 Club
12. Enrol 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 a travel blog, 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 your 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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Starting a travel blog seems easy on the surface but once you start the grunt work you realize how in-depth it really is. This is a great guide for those who are starting their journey. The one thing I would add is to learn as much about SEO as possible. And don’t be dismayed if your site isn’t booming within a month as it takes time. My site is almost a year old and is just now starting to really do well with Google. Patience 🙂
That’s really great advice! SEO is SO important if you want your blog to do well in the future 🙂 Perseverance is the key to success 😉
Bluehost and a professional theme are a great place to start. Blogging, like any business needs the right combination of planning and just going for it. The real question is where do you want it to take you and how hard are you willing to work to get there. All of your advice is rock solid for the mechanics of establishing a blog.
Hi Jenn & Ed!
Very valid points! Thanks for your kind words 🙂
Thanks for all these tips! As a new travel blogger (but someone who has been blogging elsewhere for years) these tips are so helpful, particularly on networking and finding other bloggers to connect with. I love the travel blogging community, and of course connecting help grow my blog AND spark my wanderlust!
You’re very welcome! Looking forward to reading your blog!
This comprehensive guide is so handy for those considering to start a travel blog! On top of these tips, I think the biggest takeaway is in the first part. It’s not just about the name of your blog – it’s your brand. There are so many other travel blogs out there, if you can’t offer something unique, you won’t stand out.
Your brand is so important, many fail to stand out from the rest 🙂
I wish I had read this article before starting my travel blog.You provide really helpful info here guys and I’m sure it will be very helpful to a lot of new travel bloggers out there.I love the design of your website, it’s so clean and easy to read.Love your list of favorite plug-ins.
Thanks for your kind words 🙂
I started my blog last year and am with wordpress and blue host. Its very easy to set up and there are so many tutorials on the internet. I still need to fully optomise my site with affiliate links but I will be working on that this year.
That’s great to hear!
Good, straightforward guide for handling the many different aspects of starting a travel blog. I’ve been blogging for over a year, but the wordpress plugin list is still really applicable. I find that the marketing part is the hardest part;)
Thanks, it can be difficult to start when you’re not sure where to go first!
Loved your guide…I wish I would have read it when I started a few years ago. i struggled so much…made a blogspot site…the migrated it to wordpress, which had its own share of troubles. I would agree with you and highly recommend starting with WP.
I haven’t taken up a course in blogging as yet…maybe it is time I do so!
Thanks! Yes we’ve heard so many horror stories when switching from Blogspot to WordPress, we are glad we stuck with WordPress from the beginning!
I was excited to discover this web site. I want to to thank you for your time due to this fantastic read!! I definitely savored every part of it and I have you bookmarked to look at new information on your web site.
Thanks! Happy Travels!
Great post, and in many ways a good refresher even if you have a blog already. I agree, start how you mean to go on. It might take more time to set up at the beginning, but you’ll be glad you did when you’re further down the road.
That’s true, sometimes we even need to refresh ourselves on blogging when we’ve had a bit of time out!
Great read. Just what i needed.
Glad it was of help to you. 🙂
Hi guys, I have installed the same theme…..Can or can’t I ask about this???!!!!! – or did you just work with the ‘classic’? The whole understanding the theme is what is doing my head in at the moment 🙁
Of course you can ask! What are you struggling with? Is it the Avada Theme?
Oh good! I just joined your FB group also 🙂 – yes I have installed the Avada theme – it is not very user friendly for my non tech brain….I have the support documentation open but it’s massive to wade through…..do you have any advice on simple tips to using this theme? I am after a very simple and easy to use look!!!
Yay, if you have any travel related questions, just ask in the group too 🙂
We personally love Avada Theme, we are not technical at all, it does take some time getting used to but once you get the hang of it, it’s super easy 🙂
What’s your blog? I can take a look if you want 🙂
Oh thanks……it is not live at the moment…..I put it in maintenance mode as want to wait until it actually works 🙂 🙂
Ahh no worries! If you head to the Avada tab in the backend and then Theme Options it will give you lots of different options for designing your website. I’d love to help but it’s quite hard without seeing your website and backend 🙂
That’s ok….I’ll keep playing around! I’ll chat to you in the FB group later 🙂
Sounds good, see you there!