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How To Start a Travel Blog – A Guide for Beginners

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This article is for anyone who wants to learn how to start travel a blog from scratch. In just 10 minutes, your new blog could be up and running. In that time, you’ll choose a blog name, set-up a hosting package, install WordPress and customize the look of your blog. We’ll even show you the basics of post creation and traffic building strategies.

This guide is so simply written that you don’t need to know anything about web design or computers to follow it.

Learning how to start a travel blog can be intimidating at first. Choosing the right host, a good name and the perfect theme can be confusing. But I’ve done it numerous times and I will make it easy for you by walking you through the process, step-by-step.

We decided to start a travel blog in 2012 and it took a while, but today it earns 6 figures annually (USD) after tax and we only “work” around 15 hours / week. To start your blog today, you won’t spend more than $3.95 / month. That’s less than $50 for the first year… a pretty good investment if you ask me!

Are you tired of working at a job you don’t enjoy so that you can save for limited travel? Do you want to get paid to travel the world instead?

Ask any successful travel blogger, the best way to do this is to start a travel blog.

Free eBook When You Start a Blog Today
Blogging eBook

We’ve compiled our best travel blogging content from Goats on the Road, plus a bunch of never before published tips and tricks to help you boost traffic and earn real money from blogging. This eBook is normally $19.99 on Amazon, but it’s FREE for a limited time only when you complete STEP 2 in this post.

Note: By using the links in this post, we receive a commission but you won’t pay anything extra. It helps us to keep this blog running and pays for the time we spent creating this epic eBook resource. Thank-you for your support!

Already own your blog, but still want to learn how to make money blogging?

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Don’t wait another day to start your blog. It only takes 10 minutes and it can change your life. I’m not trying to sell you anything in this post, I just know that a post like this one changed my life 5 years ago and I’d like to pay it forward.

Let’s get started!

STEP 1 – Choose Your Domain

I’m going to walk you through every step of this very easy procedure, and it will probably only take around 10 minutes to get your blog online, so let’s get started. Click the blue button below and a new tab will open. This is the SiteGround hosting service page where you will essentially chose your blog name and get it online.

When you click the button, a new screen will open. Return to this screen to follow more step-by-step instructions.

 

Click the above button and automatically receive 60% off your blog StartUp cost for a limited time!

From the SiteGround hosting page (pictured below), Click the “Get Started” button under StartUp. This is the cheapest SiteGround plan and it’s perfect for beginners and right now, they’re offering 60% off their usual rates.

how to start a travel blog

Once you click “Get Started” on the SiteGround page, you’ll be brought to a domain registration page like the one below:

Build Travel Blog Enter Domain Name

The domain name is the part of your website that goes between the “www.” and the “.com” in your web address (URL) and it will also be your blog name, your company and your brand, so choose wisely.

Consider choosing a name that is relevant to what your blog will be about (not like Goats On The Road! Oops…). If you’re a family travel blog, consider having the word “family” in your name. Backpacking? Perhaps use the word “backpacker” somewhere in the name.

Enter your new blog name / domain name into the field between “www.” and “.com” and hit proceed.

Having trouble thinking of a name? Email nick(at)goatsontheroad(dot)com and I can help you!

Step 2 – Your Hosting Package

What is Site Hosting? Basically, companies like SiteGround have massive servers (computers) set up all around the world. When you pay for hosting, you’re essentially paying for your space on those servers so that people can access your blog online. Every blog must have a host.

If you ever have a problem with your website, contact your hosting service (in this case, SiteGround) and they will help you fix any issue. It’s important to choose a reliable hosting service because they will be the beating heart of your blog and you must be able to rely on them.

Why SiteGround?
I chose SiteGround because they have the fastest speeds, reliable servers and unbeatable service. I’ve been blogging for 5 years and I’ve used many other hosting services in the past, but I couldn’t possibly recommend them when compared to SiteGround. I’m not getting paid to say this either! Millions of people agree that SiteGround is the best hosting service, hands down.

Another great thing about SiteGround is that when you pay for 12 months or more of hosting, you get your domain registration (the part in Step 1) for free. They’ll also install WordPress for you (free of charge) and help you every step of the way. Make sure you have pop-up and ad blockers turned off as they can mess up the chat screens.

Okay, back to creating your blog. After you choose your domain name and hit “proceed”, you’ll arrive at a purchase page like the one below. Fill out all of your info. For “Password”, choose a secure password and write it down because we’ll need it in step 3.

Start a travel blog

Enter in all of your information, including your credit card info. Sign up for 12 months at first so that you get the free domain registration and set-up help from SiteGround. You can decide to cancel or renew after a year if you’d like.

Under “Extra Services” keep the box ticked that says “Domain Registration” but uncheck the other two boxes for now. We’re trying to start a travel blog for as little money as possible today. You can pay to add these later if you’d like.

Start a travel blog extra services

Make sure the box at the bottom of the page that says “I confirm that I have read and agree to the SiteGround Terms of Service.” is ticked and then hit the button that says Pay Now.

How To Start a Travel Blog Pay

As soon as you hit that “Pay Now” button, you are eligible for Our Free eBook. We put a lot of time into collecting our best posts from Goats On The Road and giving you some never before published traffic boosting and money-making tips. Click the button below, enter your email and get your free copy!

Blogging eBook

After entering your email, please check your inbox and JUNK folder for our reply.

 

After you’ve made your payment to SiteGround, you will receive a payment receipt and a confirmation email in your inbox. The first important steps of creating your blog are complete. You now officially own your domain and your site is ready to go online!

STEP 3 – Install WordPress (Put Your Blog Online)

Okay, so you’ve chosen your domain name (ie: www.YourNewBlog.com) and you’ve paid for 1 year of hosting, now you need WordPress so that you can add posts, pictures and pages to your site – without knowing a bunch of complex, geeky code! Don’t worry… it’s free and really easy to set up.

WordPress is by far the most popular and easy-to-use software for bloggers. It’s totally free and it’s an open platform so you have lots of freedom to grow and learn.

In your confirmation email from SiteGround, you’ll see your new User Name and Password which you created in Step 2 and which you can use to sign-in to your SiteGround User Area.

Click Here to go to the SiteGround page and enter your new username and password on the top right of the screen to log in.

Start a blog SiteGround log in

This will bring you to the User Area where you can install WordPress. From the User Area, click the “My Accounts” tab at the top of the screen. Then click the button that says “Go To cPanel”.

Create Travel Blog Go To cPanel Button

You are now in your website’s backend or “Control Panel”. To install WordPress, scroll down and look for the button that says “Softaculous” (I have no idea why they call it this) under the “AUTOINSTALLERS” heading.

Install WordPress Create a Blog

After you click “Softaculous”, you’ll be brought a screen with lots of different software you can install. For today, we’re just going to install WordPress. To do so, simply hover over the WordPress icon and click “Install”.

Start A Blog From Scratch WordPress

Now you’ll be taken to the final step of setting up WordPress with your new SiteGround account – the WordPress Setup screen. Here you’ll fill in all of the boxes to set up your WordPress account. Fill in the blanks as shown in the screenshot below and then click “Install”.

Set Up WordPress For A Blog

That’s it! Now you’ve installed WordPress and your blog is ready to go!

Set up a blog from scratch success screen

STEP 4 – Choose & Customize a WordPress Theme

Now comes the fun part – you get to choose what your new blog will look like! But first, you have to sign in to your new WordPress blog.

I know, there’s been a lot of signing into different areas today and some new passwords to remember. Don’t worry, from now on you’ll mostly just be signing into WordPress.

To do this, open a new browser window and type “yournewblog.com/admin” into the website field (of course, change “yournewblog” to the name of your actual blog).

Start a Blog log in to wordpress

You’ll then see the WordPress Login screen. Type in the username and password that you entered in the WordPress set-up screen from step 3.

Start a blog sign in to wordpress

The next screen will be your WordPress Dashboard. This is where all of the bloggy magic happens. If you want to play around in here for a bit, go for it! Get to know the many different sections of your WordPress blog.

The dashboard is where you’ll start new posts, change your website appearance, add plugins and make your website become an extension of YOU.

Now let’s get on with your blog customization and theme installation. In the WordPress Dashboard, look on the left-hand toolbar and hover over “Appearance”, then click “Themes”.

Create a blog install theme

A screen will load like the one below. You can then click the button that says: “Add New Theme”.

Start a blog add theme

This will take you to a screen that will allow you to choose from thousands of themes!  Take your time. When you start a travel blog, you want to kick it off with a style and theme that suits you and your new brand.

Choose Wisely
You don’t want to change your theme too often, so try to pick on that you know will work for your new blog. You want your visitors to recognize your site when they return to it time and time again. Choose a theme and stick to it!

To see what each theme looks like, just hover over it and click the “Preview” button. Once you’ve chosen a theme, hover over it and click the “Install” button.

Install theme make a blog from scratch

Now that you’ve picked the perfect theme, you can go in and customize it by adding your own logos, colours, pictures, widgets and page elements. This is how you customize your theme to be just how you want it.

Make sure you’re in the “Themes” section of the Dashboard by hovering over “Appearance” and clicking “Themes” again.

Create a brand new travel blog your theme

You’ll now see your new theme on the screen ready to customize. Hover over your theme and click the “Customize” button. This will bring you to a screen that will allow you to change the colours and layout of your theme.

In the image below, you can see an example of the theme customization page. Going down the left hand side you can see which theme you’re editing and different parts of the theme that you can change.

How to start a blog customize theme

The options to customize your theme that appear on the left-hand side are as follows:

  • Site Identity: The title of your site and the tagline that will show up in Google searches
  • Colours: Edit the different colours on your blog. From background colours to font colours.
  • Header Image: Most themes will have a header image at the top. Here you can upload a picture of yourself to show on your home page.
  • Background Image: Sometimes sites have an image as a background. This can look too busy though so be careful if you choose to upload a background image here.
  • Menus: Here you can change what will appear in the menu bar at the top of the page. Write the structure of your blog on a piece of paper, then transfer it to your menu. Make sure your readers can easily navigate your site!
  • Widgets: These are those cool things you find in the side bar of most blogs. Choose and customize them here.

Each theme is different and offers different things that you can customize. Play around for a while in here and try to find a layout that is fun, interesting and most importantly – easy to read and navigate.

STEP 5 – Start Travel Blogging!

Now that you’ve chosen your blog layout, theme and colours, it’s time to begin blogging. You have a lot of work and research ahead of you.

For now, let’s just start with the basics. Writing a blog post. To do this, head back to your WordPress Dashboard and at the top of the screen hover over the “+New” button and click “Post”.

Start blog write your first blog post

You’ll then be brought to the Edit Post Screen. Here you can type away and create as many blog posts as you want. Get writing! The more content you create, the quicker your blog will grow. If you can write a post a day, or even just 3 posts / week, you’re doing a great job.

Set a schedule for yourself and stick to it. If you can only write 1 article per week, always write just 1 and publish it at the same time of day. If you can publish every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 4:00 pm, stick to that schedule.

Google loves it when a blog produces content on a reliable schedule… like a newspaper.

Try to write things that people will find useful. How-to’s, guides, hacks etc. Don’t just write a diary. These types of blogs hardly ever attract readers or make any money without some level of useful information.

Now you’ll want to set up your social media accounts for your blog. Don’t use your personal social media accounts for this. Set up an entirely new Facebook fan page, Twitter account, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest etc. Set up as many as you think you can handle and continuously post on each account.

social-mediaAfter you’ve produced a lot of useful content (posts) on your blog and you’ve started your social media accounts, you’ll want to start with basic marketing of your blog so that you can grow your readership and eventually earn money.

To do this, you’ll want to share your articles on your social media accounts, and do A TON of guest posts.

Email all of your favourite bloggers and ask them if you can write an article on their site and link back to your new blog from it. If your blog is about budget travel, then the anchor text should be “budget travel”… like this: Budget Travel. In that link, the words “Budget Travel” link to GoatsOnTheRoad.com.

Those words are called “anchor text” and the more links you have with certain anchor texts, the more likely Google will show you in search results for those terms.

Be careful not to create hundreds of the exact same anchor texts in different guest posts because it can start to look spammy. Choose variations of your main anchor texts and link to specific articles with anchor texts that match the articles’ main point.

For example, if I wanted to write multiple guest posts and link back to this post I would use anchor texts like Start A Blog, Create a Blog, Start a Blog From Scratch etc.

Now you’re going to continue to write new content, add new pictures and posts to your social media accounts and write a ton of guest posts for months on end. This will be your routine. Recycle it over and over and watch your traffic grow.

It will be VERY slow for the first year, but suddenly things will speed up, Google will start to recognize you and you’ll start growing a loyal readership. Once you’ve grown some traffic, you’ll be able to start earning an income.

Note: To keep track of your traffic, you’ll want to set up Google Analytics. Click Here to learn how to do that.

Start a WordPress Blog Analytics

Because this article is “How To Start a Travel Blog”, I won’t get into too much detail about creating posts, using WordPress, running social media and marketing your blog online. For now, we’ve covered the basics to start a blog that can one day earn you a full-time income.

You can check out our Travel Blogging Section for more about running a blog, plus, we’ll have more step-by-step tutorials like this coming soon. We’re going to cover everything from how to earn free travel, get flown around the world on press trips and get paid to travel.

If you bought your domain and built your blog through affiliate links in this post, thank-you so much for your support! Don’t forget to email me at nick(at)goatsontheroad(dot)com to get your free copy of my Travel Blogging eBook.

MORE POSTS TO GET YOU AMPED ABOUT TRAVEL BLOGGING:

If you have any questions about running a blog, or you run into any troubles while following the steps in this article, please do not hesitate to Contact Us.

Congratulations! You are now officially a blogger!

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How To Start a Travel Blog From Scratch - A Guide for Beginners

 

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Any bookings, orders or services paid for through Goats On The Road won't cost our readers extra, but do help to keep the Goats On The Road through affiliate sales. Some articles are supplied by third-party writers and don't necessarily reflect our personal views or opinions.

Start a Travel Blog Today!

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Did you know that travel blogs can earn $100,000 / yr or more? There are thousands of blogs earning enough to pay for full-time travel and put some extra money in the bank each month.

We want to help you start a travel blog so that you too can earn cash online and travel for as long as you want. We've put together an easy to follow, step-by-step guide that will show you how to Start a Travel Blog from scratch, and we'll even give you our $20 ebook FREE to help you start earning money from blogging.

About Goats On The Road

Nick & Dariece started this website to encourage others to do what they love. For some it's travel, but happiness comes in many forms. It's all about lifestyle design.

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72 thoughts on “How To Start a Travel Blog – A Guide for Beginners

  1. Luke

    Very cool post. We have already started a blog and are working on getting more traffic. We really appreciate the help and advice. It’s nice to have someone who has “made it” looking out for those of us just starting out.

    Reply
  2. Steven

    Hi Goats!I sent you guys an email in regard to blogging a few weeks ago, just wondering if you had chance to read it 😀

    Reply
  3. Bex

    Thank you very much for this! Before this post I was getting lost and thinking it would be too hard.
    You have proved it isn’t, so I will start setting up my blog now 🙂

    Reply
  4. Lani

    Thank you very much for posting this “how to” guide for blogging. It’s incredibly helpful. Definitely takes the intimidation out of setting up a blog.

    I look forward each week to your weekly updates. Were I about 30 years younger, I think I’d be living on the road, too. At this point in my life, I’ll settle for living vicariously through your adventures. Thank you!

    Reply
  5. ThatManViv

    That was a good guide … Well Done …

    In the past Ive bought 2 domains. The frist was stolen by the hosting company, the second I lost after the hosting comapny sold out and the new one said they did not receive the DNS info from the former hosting co. . That site, thatmanviv.com, contained 40 pages, and 60 blogs – broke my heart.

    Congratulation to you both for what youve achieved and share.

    Reply
  6. Mike

    Hi,
    Can these instructions on how to set up a blog be used on an iPad? I don’t have a laptop, but take my iPad with me everywhere I go.

    Reply
    1. Goats On The Road Post author

      Yes, you should be able to…but keep in mind that the screen shots in this post will look different on an iPad. Also, you’ll want a keyboard if you’re setting up a blog! 😉

      Reply
  7. Jardes Gomes

    Hi guys, I´m a 62 years old man still in good shape and working as a Tourist Guide here in Cuiabá Mato Grosso – Brasil, around my city we have a lot of beautiful places like going Southwest at 100 km. we have the North Pantanal one of the last wild place in the world, going east just 65 km. from town we´re at Chapada dos Guimarães a little tourist city over the highland, 500 meters high from Cuiabá level, full of waterfalls, caves etc. , going northeast 150 kms. from Cuiabá we have a little village named Bom Jardim near Nobres city, where you´ll find rivers crowed of fishs like Piraputangas, Dourados, Pacus, Piavas and little Lambaris and the best you can make snorkeling with them in a clear and clean water full of springs. Thanks a lot for all the information and teachings mainly with how to make a blog. I´ll be here following you, congratulation for this beautiful way of enjoying life. So long, yours Jardes Gomes.

    Reply
  8. Magdalena

    Wow guys, this is amazing, I’m starting to travel soon and was really lost about how to make a blog about it, but with this post it seems just so easy! It’s wonderful that you share your knowledge and experience with fellow bloggers and travellers, thank you so much! I hope that one day my blog could also attract as many readers as yours! Big thumb up! 🙂

    Reply
  9. john

    Great tips! I’ve had my site for 2 years now and wasn’t even aware of half of these little things I can do to boost my site! I especially liked the Plug-Ins list you give! Keep up the good work! Your site looks amazing!

    Reply
  10. Pingback: Reader Asks: Do you recommend SiteGround? | Adventures with Poopsie

  11. V. Anjanette

    This is the most thorough information on starting a blog , I have read. I have always wanted to start a blog , done the research, some were not positive at all.They made it seem you had to be a big cooperation to make any profit. Was not looking to get rich .Thank you so much, for I love to travel. Happy and safe travels!

    Reply
  12. Maggie

    Absolutely fantastic posting! Lots of useful information and inspiration.Good compilation of details about starting a blog Thanks for sharing such an informative content.

    Reply
  13. Peter

    Do you have any special tips on guest posting? 🙂 I think that is one of the keys to growing your blog. You might have the best blog in existence, but if no one knows about it, then you will never get anyone to read it.

    Reply
  14. Nathan Aguilera

    Thanks for such an informative post you guys! I used the details found in this post along with a course I bought to set up my own blog! I look forward to continue to follow your adventures and hopefully our paths will cross along the way one day!

    Reply
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  16. Wendy Carter

    You guys are inspirational! I’m going to Hong Kong in June, traveling SE Asia with a group of friends for 6 weeks, and I’ve recently decided to stay and work for as long as I can. Going to blog my experiences… thank you for showing me where to start!!

    Reply
  17. Jonathan Bennison

    Yes….someone else recommending the nothing short of amazing company that is Siteground! I don’t use the word amazing often either. I used bluehost before and the shared server speeds were so slow I can’t understand why people recommend them. But most of the established bloggers out there do as they get kickbacks from bluehost!

    Reply
    1. Goats On The Road Post author

      I agree 100%. We switched to Blue Host on promises that our site would be faster and it was 40% slower. In fact, SiteGround runs almost twice as fast as all other hosts we’ve tried in the past. Their service is unbeatable and they’re just the best. We could probably make more money if we recommended numerous different hosts, but SiteGround is so far above the competition that I choose to only recommend them.

      Reply
  18. Kaine

    This was a great read. I’ve recently started blogging and have been really enjoying the process. I have a lot to learn and this helped give me some direction, especially with regards to types of content.

    I haven’t considered guest blogging yet, though I have read about it in other places. Was there any point you thought “Now we’re ready to start guest blogging” or was it just when you felt you had enough content on your blog?

    And to think I came here to find out about getting from Puerto Princesa to Port Barton. Much appreciated. Keep it up.

    – Kaine

    Reply
    1. Goats On The Road Post author

      Hi Kaine!

      Too funny that you came here looking for transport options! Yes, guest posting is important. Make sure that you have some content on your site to link back to though, and your social media channels should be linked back to as well! You don’t need a ton of content, but you should have some useful, solid articles available.

      Good luck!

      Reply
  19. Jennifer Cooper

    I would thoroughly recommend TSOHost as well as a hosting provider – they have been invaluably helpful whenever I have messed up my blog and can’t even login to wordpress, as well as sorting out my site when it got hacked recently.

    In terms of themes, if you can’t pay a web designer, but perhaps don’t mind spending a small amount, I would recommend getting the genesis platform and an associated ‘child’ theme – they have very professional designs and I hear their themes are optimised fantastically for SEO!

    I am still trying to build my blog traffic after starting a blog and posting relatively consistently for a year – then taking a break for 2 years due to a hectic life – but I am back on it now!

    Reply
  20. Serhat Engul

    Great tips my friend. I had to pay a lot of money when I had the webmaster install wordpress to my blog. It does not look that complicated. I will do it myself for my next blog. Thank you.

    Reply
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  23. Tomas

    HI guys!

    Great article! incredible useful as a guide of how to start.. I have a question, once you start having people coming to your blog regularly and have some sort of fluency of readers, how are you going to actually make money? just google ads? or something like that?

    Thanks and keep inspiring people! you guys are amazing!

    Reply
    1. Goats On The Road Post author

      Hey Tomas,

      Thanks for the comment. Income can come in many forms. We don’t use any ads on this site, but make most of our money through brand partnerships and affiliate sales. You can also start freelance writing for other sites and getting paid upwards of $200 / article. While the FREE ebook that we’re giving away is great, we have a new ebook coming out that’s all about turning a blog into a 6-figure / year business and it has all this monetization information. Stay tuned!

      Reply
  24. Isobel Lee

    Wow – great post and really in depth! I migrated my free wordpress travel blog to my own domain just a month ago and I’m really enjoying the challenge of growing the site. Who knows – maybe one day I’ll make an income from it too!

    Reply
  25. Madison Ogburn

    Oh my goodness! This post is such a breath of fresh air! And my website is a little different – I don’t guess it could be classified as a travel blog, but it’s a website about one particular place to travel, and then a blog about traveling to beaches.
    Thank you so much!

    Reply
  26. April

    Great information. My husband works construction, so we travel a lot. Maybe I will do a blog on all the travels we do. Never realized I could make money doing that.

    Reply
    1. Goats On The Road Post author

      It’s a great way to earn a living! Not many people know that you can earn $10,000 USD or more / month from travel blogs. It’s still a hobby in most people’s minds but it’s a career for many.

      Reply
  27. Hattie

    Hi guys!
    This was such a helpful article- I’ve been blogging on my website on and off for just over a year and you’ve made me realise how important it is to stick to a schedule! It can be disheartening not seeing my site traffic grow but hopefully in time it will begin to do so. My absolute favourite posts to read and write are budgeting ones, and I have a growing collection on my site now.
    My husband and I are moving to Ningbo in China to teach English in August- it’s great to see what a good time you had and I hope we’ll love it as much.

    Reply
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