It’s been more than two years since we started this travel blog and looking back it was probably one of the best decisions we have ever made. First of all, it has enriched our travels. We have found that we experience places in a different way when we know that we will want to write about them later.
Secondly, we have met and connected with a LOT of cool people through this blog. More than 150 000 readers, from 190 different countries, get their travel information from our blog every month. We get a lot of comments and emails from people who have used our blog to plan their trips. There is nothing cooler than getting to know other passionate travelers from all around the world.
And last but not least, we now make a full-time income from this travel site. There is nothing wrong with starting a travel blog to keep your friends and family informed about your travels. That is how ours started too, and back then we did not know anything about how to make money while traveling.
Later we met and got to know professional travel bloggers that were financing their travel lifestyle with their blog. And we learned that it is entirely possible to make money by travel blogging. Will it happen right away? No, it does take time and work, lots of work, but if you really want it, then you can make it happen. We are proof of that.
In this article, I will show you how you can start your blog in about 30 minutes and for about $50. It might be the best $50 investment you have ever made. It sure was for us. So don’t hesitate. Let’s get started!
Disclaimer: Some of the links in this guide are affiliate links. If you sign up through them, we will earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps fund our site, keeps guides like this free, and does not cost you anything. So thank you! 🙂
How To Start A Travel Blog In 5 Easy Steps
Here are five easy steps to getting your blog up and running. None of them are hard or require any technical expertise. Follow along, and we should have your blog up and running in no time!
1. Choose a name for your blog
2. Buy you blog name and set up your web hosting
3. Make it look like a blog – Install WordPress
4. You have a blog!
5. Create a unique design for your blog
6. Frequently Asked Questions
1. Choose a Name for Your Blog
If you don’t already have a name in mind, spend some time thinking about what it should be. Find something that resonates with you but be careful not to choose something that will limit you later. “21yearoldbackpacker.com” will go out of date when you hit 22. And while you might be a backpacker now, your travel habits might change in a few years.
When choosing a blog name, think about:
- What your blog is gone be about? Is it travel blog, a lifestyle blog, or a personal blog about you and your life? Is it about a city, a country or a general travel blog?
- Look for a domain with the .com extension
- Don’t use numbers or hyphens in your name
- Choose a name you can grow with
- If you are a travel blog try to avoid using the word “nomad.”
Yep, we are guilty of breaking the last rule. A few years ago there weren’t quite as many travel blogs with Nomad in the name, but now it has become a bit of a cliche. Try to find something more original.
Also be professional. Choose a name that professional brands will have no objection to being associated with. A novelty name might be fun now, but you will regret it later. Be smart.
2. Buy Your Blog Name and Set Up Your Web Hosting
Once you have found your blog name, you are ready to get started. What you need is web hosting. A web host is a place on the internet where your blog lives. There are plenty of web hosting companies around offering to rent you space on their computers.
There are premium web hosts like WPengine or Flywheel for those who need maximum speed and security. But they are expensive. They are excellent for sites getting a hundred thousand visitors, but when you are just starting out, I recommend going with something less expensive like Bluehost or Hostgator.
I would recommend Bluehost, because:
- Their prices are very reasonable
- I have had sites with them for a long time with very few issues
- They have a very easy to use 1-click solution for setting up WordPress
- They have excellent customer service via both phone and chat
- They give you a free domain when you sign up! Not bad! 🙂
I should mention that when looking around the web for reviews, you will come across bad reviews of any web host. It is human nature to complain, and no company is perfect. I have had good experiences with Bluehost, so, therefore, I recommend them.
So head on over to Bluehost.com, and you will see the page below. To start your blog, press the big green `get started now` button.
Pick Your Plan
Choose the ‘basic’ plan it is more than enough when you are just getting started.
On the next screen, you enter your free domain name in the box on the left. If you already have a domain name that you have purchased from another domain registrar, then enter it in the box to the right.
If your domain name is available, you can fill-in of your personal information. If your domain name is not available, keep trying variations until you find one you like that is available.
You can uncheck all the add-on’s since you don’t need them. However, if you are not technical by nature, I would consider adding the Site Backup Pro for automatic backups of your blog. You can install free plugins that can do this for you, but it is nice to have the peace of mind of automatic backups.
At the bottom of the page you fill in your billing information, credit card number, etc.
Once you have filled this out, you will be asked to create a password for your new website. Create the password, and memorize it.
3. Make it Look Like A Blog – Install WordPress
God job so far. Now you have bought your blog name, and your have rented hosting for your website.
Now we need to make it look more like a blog. And we will do that by installing WordPress. WordPress is the free software that will run your blog. WordPress is the most popular blog platform software in the world, and it is the platform we use on our blog.
Thankfully installing WordPress at Bluehost.com is very easy!
1. Log in with the username in the email, and the password you just created at the end of step 2 `Buy a domain name and web hosting package`.
That will bring you directly to Bluehost’s Mojo Marketplace.
2. Scroll down and press the “Install WordPress” button.
- No need to do anything on the next window, just press the ´Check Domain´ button.
- Then the window below will show up. Check both boxes.
- Fill in the next form with:
- The name of your blog
- The username you want to use to log in to your blog
- The password you want to use to log into your blog. The username and password do not need to be the same as your Bluehost account username/ password, but for simplicity, you can use the same.
- Finally, press the ´Install Now´ button!
4. You Have a Blog!
Congratulations, your blog has been set up! 🙂
After you hit the `Install Now´ button above, it will take a few minutes while everything is installed. Then it may take a few hours before your domain name is ready, and your blog is accessible to the world.
Once it is ready, you should have a look around your new blog:
- Log in to the Admin Area: http://yourdomainname.com/wp-admin (using the WordPress username and password that you chose under `3. Install WordPress`). This is where you write posts and pages.
- Write a small test blog post, and see what it looks like on your blog: http://yourdomainname.com.
5. Create a unique design for your blog
When you first install WordPress, it will use its default look. You can change the way it looks by installing a different Theme. A Theme is a sort of skin that you can install under Appearance -> Themes in the menu in your Admin Area. A different theme can completely change how your blog looks to your readers, but your content will still be the same (your content will not be deleted if you change theme).
There are literary thousands of WordPress themes out there! Many are free, and you can try them out until you find one you like. The downside of using free themes is that your blog design will not be unique since a lot of blogs use the same free themes. Your blog will have a hard time standing out from the crowd because so many others are using the same theme that you are.
To help you stand out, you should buy a premium theme. A premium theme will have fewer users using the same theme. They also typically offer a lot more options for customization and much better support if you have any questions, or need help with anything.
We use the Divi theme from Elegant Themes and love it. The unique thing about the Divi theme is its Pagebuilder. The Pagebuilder lets you design the pages of your blog using a simple drag-and-drop interface. It is an easy way to build a unique looking website that gets you noticed and is easy to use for your visitors.
When you have found a theme you like, install it on your WordPress blog and try it out. The theme will come with install instructions.
See how you like working with it. Do you like its layout? Does it look good on both a big screen and on a mobile phone screen? Is it easy to work with?
6. Frequently Asked Questions
A. There are so many travel blogs out there. Isn’t it too late to start a travel blog?
- No, absolutely not! We heard that when we started also and we’re really happy that we did not listen. There will always be room for a blog with quality content. Yes, there are a lot of blogs started every day, but 90% of bloggers quit in less than one year! So if you produce good content and stick with it, in a year, you will be in the top 10%.
B. Do I need to travel all the time to have a travel blog?
- Not at all. There are plenty of travel blogs that write about weekend getaways or getting the most out of your vacation time. And there are travel blogs about round-the-world trips. There is a market for both types of blogs.
C. Can anyone start a travel blog?
- Yes, as long as you enjoy traveling and sharing your experiences with others you can launch a travel blog. You don’t need to be technically inclined. This guide will get you started, and there are tons of great resources out there to help you learn more along the way.
D. My trip has not started yet. Can I still start my travel blog?
- Absolutely! The smart thing to do is to start your travel blog while you are still at home. Starting a blog while traveling is not easy! We started ours while traveling and we wish we had done it before we went. You can blog about the preparations for your trip, packing, where you are going, etc.
E. Do I have to blog in English?
- No, there are plenty of bloggers writing in their native languages. We chose English even though we are Norwegian, but we are not sure we made the right decision. It is easier to become an authoritative blog in a smaller market.
Well, that is basically it! Easy huh?! 🙂
Hopefully, you have your blog up running by now, following these five steps. If you have any questions or would like me to go through anything in more details, please let me know in the comment area below or shoot me an email!
There are some WordPress Plugins that are very useful for bloggers, that I will cover in another blog post later, but now you are ready to start blogging! Best of luck!
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