How to Start a Successful Travel Blog in 2020
Do you want to start a successful travel blog but you don’t know where to start? Do you have a love for traveling and want to show your love with the rest of the World? Well, we can help you! We have been working in this industry for quite a long time and in this free guide, we will walk you through how to start a travel blog step by step and make money in 2020.
This useful and free guide on how to start a blog in 2020 matches exactly our famous guide on how to start a food blog; the steps and the goals are more or less the same. What changes it is the niche and, consequently, your approach to the topic you want to cover.
No matter the reason, starting a travel blog can be a very fun experience and if you’re serious about it, it can also become a profitable business.
Let’s clarify something, before moving forward: to make sure your blog will have the success you hope it will have, you need to put some effort, be patient and keep going on and on even if you don’t see a penny.
Don’t be fooled by people saying it’s an easy career because it’s not. Launching a blog will not guarantee you money: you need time, investment, skills, and of course time. Making money with a travel blog is feasible and it’s rewarding, whether it’s going to be your main job or just a side hustle. But it may never happen, considering that the number of travel blogs out there is somehow overwhelming and that aside from your effort, there are other external factors that have to be considered.
So, if you’re ready to learn how to start a travel blog that can (eventually) make money, then this guide is for you.
- How to start a travel blog in 6 steps
- How to Become a Successful Travel Blogger
- The Best Way to Grow Your Travel Blog
- Travel Blogging Frequent Questions
- Starting a Travel Blog is amazing!
How to start a travel blog in 6 steps
In this guide to starting a travel blog, we’re going to walk through the steps of how to start a travel blog based on our decennial experience as bloggers and also our twenty years of experience in marketing.
Let’s dive into our ultimate guide on how to start a food blog.
1. Pick a Niche
Nowadays, starting a generic blog is extremely hard because the competition is stiff and there are numerous well established generic blogs out there. We highly recommend picking up a niche within the travel blogging topic and stick to it.
Many people do a big mistake that you want to avoid at any cost: they pick a niche they don’t know just because it’s trendy. Sooner or later, they can’t cope with content to write because they’re not engaged with the topics and so the blog doesn’t grow or ends up being closed.
When you start a travel blog pick a niche that goes perfectly with your own passions, interests, expertise: this will keep you focused and will make you stand out from others.
People are looking more and more for different angles, so it’s your opportunity to shine!
Do you love hiking? Then a travel blog focused on hiking may be the best choice for you. Do you like eating out? Then a food-travel blog may be the best for you (it is, for us!). Do you travel pursuing your passion for yoga? Here you are! I could go on and on, but I think you know what I mean when I say “choose a niche”.
2. Pick a Name
Choosing the right name for your blog is crucial and it surely defines your brand and what you write about.
Take for example The Foodellers, aka the website you’re reading now: by reading the name you already know what’s our focus and our expertise.
Well, you should.
Picking a name for your blog shouldn’t take that long if you already know what’s your niche, what’s your main topic, and what you want to communicate to your readers. These are the few things to remember:
- Keep it easy to remember and write;
- Consider the niche you’re entering in and see if anything comes to your mind;
- Consider specific words within your niche and see if you can use them to create a catchy name.
In the past, it was common to use your own name or a combination of your names when starting a blog but today it is better to pick a specific name, very well linked to your niche and the subject of your writing instead of linking the product to your name (unless, of course, your name is Christine Teigen!).
Make sure you have a few ideas in mind because it may be hard to find the exact domain name you’re looking for and you may need an alternative.
Once you’ve chosen your name, pick up your matching domain name on NameCheap or Domain.com. If you go for Bluehost (see below) as your hosting provider, you can pick up a name directly with them and includes in the configuration of your blog.
3. Find a reliable web hosting
Here comes to the tech piece: once you’ve your domain name and your idea in mind, you need to find a reliable web hosting.
Hosting is a space where your travel blog will be parked, where you’ll publish your content, and that allows your blog to go online and be seen. There’s a myriad of web hosts out there, and everyone has more or less opinion on what’s the best. So do we.
There are two different types of web hosting providers one can choose:
- Managed hosting
- Unmanaged hosting
A managed hosting is ideal if you’re starting with your travel blog because you leave the provider every single technical aspect, so you can just concentrate on producing content and growing your brand.
If you’re a tech person or you have a developer by your side, you can go for an unmanaged hosting: in this case, you’re in charge of everything from a technical standpoint, from configuring the servers to install WordPress.
If you’re looking for a managed hosting, we recommend Bluehost that offers free domain name for the first year, free SSL certificate included to guarantee your privacy, and WordPress installed on your space.
If you prefer unmanaged hosting, DigitalOcean is our choice: it’s designed for developers and it’s highly customizable, so if you have an expert by your side you won’t have any problem at all. The Foodellers is hosted on a DigitalOcean server, and we can’t be happier.
If you go for BlueHost, you’ll be guided step-by-step through the process of getting WordPress installed on your travel blog; if you go for DigitalOcean, it will be your responsibility to get WordPress up and running, following the recommendations from the hosting.
4. Install a WordPress theme
At this point. whether you’ve chosen a managed or an unmanaged hosting, you’ve installed WordPress as your preferred CMS. A CMS is a platform where you will be writing posts and sharing content.
WordPress is the common choice for bloggers, but also brands and businesses: at this point, it holds a 50% to 60% share of the global CMS market and its success depends on how easy to use it is, how flexible it is and how much SEO friendly it is. You may go for a different CMS but bear in mind that there must be a reason if in 2020 WordPress is the preferred choice for businesses and individuals.
Your WordPress is just a blank canvas and it’s up to you to pick the best design for your upcoming food blog. There are thousands of themes for WordPress, some are free and others are paid, so you need to evaluate a few things when picking yours:
- Design: your theme should reflect your personality and also the content you’re going to produce. It should be aesthetically pleasant, easy to understand and navigate, and includes all the features you want;
- Responsiveness: your theme has to be able to adapt to different viewing experiences, so that no matter if your readers are visiting from their computer or their phone, they will always have a pleasant browsing experience;
- User friendly: the previous points led to this one, which is crucial. A WordPress theme for your travel blog should be easy to manage your end, should not waste your time, and allow you to make changes in just a few clicks. You may avail of a web developer, but you should also be able to change minimal things yourself without consulting others.
Don’t overcomplicate your life and at least at the beginning go for something simple and easy to manage.
These are some of Premium WordPress Themes you can choose for your blog: they are all customizable, easy to use, and easy to install.
5. Choose the best plugins for your travel blog
Once you’ve chosen your hosting, picked up your domain name, and installed your WordPress theme, you need to equip your blog with the best plugins for WordPress.
A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that make your WordPress works or just enhance its functionality. They can be installed directly from the WordPress dashboard and can be easily managed from there.
These are the basic plugins we recommend for your blog:
Yoast SEO to optimize your travel blog to better rank in Google results. Bear in mind: this plugin won’t change your effort with SEO, it will just help you a little bit.
WPForms to create easy forms (for email sign-ups, contact requests, etc)
Based on your “business model” and your needs, you may need other plugins that you can find here.
6. Start Blogging… almost!
Once you’re done with all the setups, you’re ready to start blogging! But first, you need to customize your theme to be sure it will represent you, your brand, and your content in the best possible way.
Start from the homepage of your blog and design it in WordPress by including at least the following things:
- A call to action to direct visitors to different pages of your food blog
- Pictures that clearly makes people understand what you do
- Latest articles you’ve published.
Do not forget an About Me page: you don’t necessarily need to write 2000 words to explain who you are and what you do but make sure to help people understanding why they should follow your blog and why your blog is unique. You don’t need to go personal if you don’t want, just make sure people have a reason to visit your blog.
Last but not least, create a Contact Page with an email address to reach you at and links to your social media accounts.
These are the steps to get a travel blog up and running: once you’ve your blog, you need to create content and make them visible.
How to Become a Successful Travel Blogger
To make sure your blog will succeed, you need to do the following things:
- Plan your travel blog content strategy, create a content calendar, and stick to it;
- Pick up the social media you want to use to promote your content, based on your strategy and your goals;
- Promote your travel blog on your preferred social media;
- Start building an email list;
- Decide how you want to monetize your blog and implement your choices.
The Best Way to Grow Your Travel Blog
Growing a blog is complicated and requires dedication and time: that’s why we strongly recommend you start from the basics and build some solid foundations that will help in your goal.
One of the main things to do, is to know a bit about digital marketing and content, and how to apply these to your blog. This list with the best blogging courses is definitely what you need, and these are some of the online courses that we recommend and that you should consider if you want to try and have success with your magazine.
Travel Blogging Frequent Questions
1. Is it too late to start blogging?
It’s never too late to start a blog BUT nowadays getting traffic is hard, growing an audience is hard, and earning an income from travel blogging is not a quick game. So you need to think to your “Why” when starting a travel blog (this list of books for freelancers may be a good starting point to define “your wow factor”), what are you bringing to the industry, and why people should read your content.
2. How many articles do you need to start a blog?
On average and depending on your topic, you should start your travel blog with 10 articles so readers have something to read. After that, it’s up to you to create a schedule and add regular content every week at least for a few months.
3. What makes a travel blog successful?
A good blog gives suggestions, solves a problem, and it’s authentic. Most of all, there’s no formula that will ensure success but if you create interesting and unique content, bringing a specific angle to your topics success may come. And if it doesn’t arrive, then you can consider this as your side project that may also help you professionally.
4. Does travel blogging pay?
There are a lot of myths about making a living by travel blogging. It is possible to make money with a travel blog, but it requires strategy, time, and a goal. So if you want to monetize, you need to decide what model you want to use whether it’s advertising, affiliation, or partnerships. It goes without saying that blogging really pays if you invest time and you know what your end result has to be.
5. Can I create a travel blog without WordPress?
It is possible to create a travel blog, and any blog by any means, without WordPress. Just use a website builder and you won’t have any problem. Squarespace is one of the most chosen, and so it’s Shopify (especially if you want to sell digital products). You can also try Weebly, just to name another one, to create your site and get everything ready without knowing absolutely nothing about WordPress Themes and technical stuff.
6. Can you start a travel blog without traveling?
It won’t be accurate to call it a travel blog because it won’t reflect your personal trips but it may be a travel magazine. In this space, you will simply collect useful articles not based on your experience.
7. Can I have a blog on Instagram?
No, Instagram is not a blogging platform. You cannot start a blog on Instagram, you can start an Instagram account and this will make you an Instagramer, not a blogger. Depending on the level of involvement and time, you may decide to stick to Instagram but this won’t make you a travel blogger.
Starting a Travel Blog is amazing!
If you’ve read all this guide, you’re ready to start your travel blog and bring your passion in front of thousands of people.
If you feel confused and overwhelmed by all this information, get in touch with us: we can help you set up your blog or plan your editorial calendar, or even shape your strategy to make sure your blog will be a success!
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