If you enjoy traveling, you’re not alone. Whether you want to share travel tips or subsidize your globetrotting through online monetization, starting and running a travel blog can be a worthwhile project.
While the details of what you cover in your blog posts and what you want to do with the blog, in general, are up to you, it’s easier than ever to spin up a new blog and get started on the right foot. Our favored path for starting a new blog is using WordPress with Bluehost, as you’ll get a fast setup process and a quality combination of hosting and blogging capability at an exceptional price.
Crazy Egg’s Favorite Tools for Starting a Travel Blog
There are more platforms than ever for creating a website or blog. It can be overwhelming, honestly, when you’re making the crucial first decision of what to use as a foundation for your new project. Check out our favorite options below, our Golden Eggs:
WordPress with Bluehost web hosting gives bloggers the power and flexibility of the WordPress platform plus cost-effective web hosting in one package. Get started today to take advantage of this all-in-one package that starts at $2.95 per month.
Wix is flat-out the easiest blogging platform to use with its simple drag-and-drop interface that lets you organize travel photos and blog posts easily. Start building your travel blog today for free.
Strikingly focuses on helping users create the best-looking blog possible, so you can let the videos and photos of your adventures do most of the storytelling. Start today by creating a free Strikingly account.
More Top Blogging Platforms
Because of the importance of the visual elements of a travel blog, we recommend opting for a blogging platform that makes displaying photos easy. Although the three options we listed above perform well in this area, you may want to assess a wider range of options before committing to one. To help you with that, check out our full post reviewing the best blogging platforms on the market today.
Step 1 – Get Started with Bluehost and WordPress
Getting started on our favorite solution for travel blogging is easy. Head over to Bluehost’s website to check out the available hosting plans. These range from $2.95 per month to support a single WordPress site to $13.95 for multiple websites, more storage, and additional perks.
Another bonus of going for a Bluehost plan is the included free year of domain registration, which will come in handy later in this post. And all plans are backed with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
You can find out more details about what Bluehost service delivers in our full company review of Bluehost.
No matter which option you go with, you’ll get WordPress installed on your Bluehost-hosted site. Additionally, Bluehost provides special tools with WordPress hosting that work to optimize the load times and overall speed of your site. When you have a lot of videos and photos on your travel blog, a fast-loading site is crucial for keeping visitors on your pages.
You then can choose the initial term length of the plan that you want to use. You’ll save more money when you agree to a longer-term plan, with the best deal usually coming when you sign up for three years upfront.
Once you’ve determined the best Bluehost plan for you, just click Select underneath the plan’s price.
The next step in the process will be to select a domain name to acquire through Bluehost. Put a pin in this, as we’ll come back to domain selection after you take care of two important preplanning steps.
Step 2 – Determine Your Travel Blog’s Niche
Rather than trying to compete against firmly entrenched travel blogs that cover every aspect of travel, it’s smart to set a focus for yours before you get started writing.
If you have a particular area of travel in which you have a lot of experience or a particular passion, that’s a great starting point for carving out your niche.
Perhaps you want to specialize in traveling with pets, finding out-of-the-way places, eco-conscious traveling, or local storytelling and cultural immersion. Whatever drives your love of travel, use it to focus your blog post topics and research how many other travel blogs are inhabiting the same niche as you. It’s not a problem to have a focus shared by other travel bloggers, just make sure you’re not entering an already too-crowded conversation if you want to grow a serious audience.
It’s easier to rank higher in Google search results when you focus on a niche area. You’ll generally have less competition for your keywords and an easier time climbing the SERPs as you continue creating your content.
Look for areas where your competitors are light on content. Even if they’re covering the same topics, you should be able to find aspects you can do better than your competitors, or at least things where your unique experience and perspective will be novel and valuable.
Once you’ve determined your travel blog’s niche, you’ll have the information needed to tackle the next step.
Step 3 – Develop a Name for Your Travel Blog
When selecting a title for your travel blog, you want it to be snappy and easy for your visitors to remember. Make sure it correlates to the niche you determined above, which will not only help visitors remember it but also boost your SEO out of the gate.
The other thing to keep in mind is that you’re going to want your blog’s name to be the same or at least very similar to your URL. Using a blog title and domain name that are different will only confuse your visitors. For example, we here at Crazy Egg wouldn’t want to settle for crazychicken.com as our domain.
Try these tips for finding options that can work both as a domain name and blog title:
- Match your blog title to the tone of your writing. For example, a silly, pun-based title likely won’t work for a travel blog that covers serious subjects
- Clever puns can be acceptable as long as they are memorable and don’t rely on a misspelling
- On that note, just avoid misspellings of common words (like you often see with startup companies), no matter how clever they may seem
- Avoid using numbers in place of letters or words
- Avoid words that are difficult to spell correctly
- Keep it as short as possible. Going over three or four words in the name is usually ineffective, and a simple title is nearly always better than a complex title
Keep this in mind when you get to the point where you can acquire your domain from Bluehost.
The important thing is to take your time researching and coming up with a handful of options. Your travel blog title can be anything, but many first-choice domains are already owned by someone else and unavailable to get through a service like Bluehost. Don’t be afraid to invest some significant time on this step and the previous one.
If you’re looking to build out your new blog’s online presence completely, you should also make sure that you can register social media accounts using your blog title at this stage as well. If your preferred title is taken on social media sites, you may want to rethink your choice, just not at the expense of sacrificing a good domain name for a worse one. You want consistency here, but the domain is the most important part of this process and the toughest to get what you want.
Step 4 – Research Domain Name Options
Now, we re-enter the Blluehost setup process. You’ve selected a plan and entered your payment information. Now Bluehost wants to know the domain name you’d like to register and get your first year for free.
Take the list of domain and blog name options you’ve brainstormed and plug them into the text field you see to check their availability.
As we mentioned in the previous step, it’s important for your blog title, domain name, and social media account names to match. Visitors have a far easier time remembering your blog name and URL when everything matches.
Either way you choose to search, Bluehost will let you know if your choice is available to you. If it isn’t, Bluehost will also suggest similar alternatives, whether that entails different combinations of the keywords you searched for or using that same domain name with different extensions than .com, like .online, .info, .blog, and more.
Once you’ve found an available domain you are happy with, confirm your selection with Bluehost and finish the checkout process. Bluehost will get everything on their end set up for you, allowing you to take the next (and final) step needed before you can get to writing your blog posts.
Step 5 – Install WordPress
Before you can begin writing your travel blog content, you’ll need to install WordPress inside your Bluehost-hosted site. Bluehost makes use of an auto-installer that greatly simplifies the process.
Log into your newly-created Bluehost account and click the Hosting tab located on the left side of your screen. Then, click Add Site in the bottom right corner.
Select the Install WordPress option and click Continue to proceed.
You’ll then need to fill in the information you want to use with your WordPress account, including:
- Your domain name
- Your username and password
- Your email address
- Your WordPress site title
The username, password, and email address you enter are for creating a WordPress account separate from your Bluehost account. These items can be the same or different from what you use to access your Bluehost account.
Click Continue to start the installation. Once it’s finished, your new blog is ready for you to fill up with travel content!
Step 6 – Begin Writing Your Blog
Now you’ve got a WordPress site on Bluehost’s web hosting that’s live and ready for visitors. But first, you’ll need to start writing posts for your blogroll, so there’s something waiting for your first wave of readers.
Remember your niche when writing up your blog posts. It’s a good idea to make your first few laser-focused on it, so they can serve as a general introduction to your writing style, favorite topics, and what you’ll be covering in future posts.
It’s understandable to feel a bit overwhelmed by the blank slate that is your new blog. Here are some pointers to help you get started on the right foot:
- Build background pages: Your “About Me” page, “Contact” page and similar pages that tell visitors about you and give them a way to engage with you are vital. These pages help you establish your authority and experience. Don’t speed through setting up these pages. Give them some thought.
- Post regularly: If you go a few weeks between posts, visitors are going to give up on your site or just forget to come back. You want people to keep coming back to your blog, so posting consistently is key.
- Be thorough: When you are describing a recent trip, visitors want significant details. Be prepared to create some long articles when you have plenty to say o a subject and include plenty of photos or videos.
- Short posts are important, too: You aren’t going to want to write a 10,000-word blog post every day. Sprinkle in plenty of shorter posts that provide advice or share some news about your niche travel topic. Write some quick, funny stories about your travel snafus and successes. You can even consider breaking up your longer posts into a series of posts if the topic makes that appropriate.
- Always add value: Don’t just write to try to hit a certain word count. Your new posts should always add value to your site. If you are going through the motions or rushing through your posts, visitors are going to see it and stop returning to the site.
- Focus on SEO: Your travel blog may be great, but if visitors can’t find it, it won’t matter. Having a basic understanding of SEO rankings and applying proven SEO techniques to your blog posts is key. This gives you a chance to move toward the top of Google search results.
- Show off your personality: Finally, make sure your posts demonstrate who you are as a person. Your visitors want to feel like they know you through your writing, especially on a travel blog. They want to be able to experience travel through your eyes. It’s easier for them to do this when you are being personable and relatable in your writing and imagery.
Always promote any new blog posts on social media or online communities you belong to. You can share photos and videos as teasers on social media, too. When you post content to social media regularly, it makes you look more professional and can do a lot to widen your readership. Your followers will come to rely on and expect your posts, driving regular traffic to your travel blog.