Is today the day you finally start your own travel blog? Have you been thinking about doing it for a long time, but you keep putting it off? We want to help. This guide is the easiest to follow, step-by step tutorial to starting a travel blog online and it’s the only one which offers a 200 page Travel Blogging eBook totally FREE. This offer is only available for a limited time because this book is normally $20.
…or keep reading to learn more ☞
When we started our blog back in 2012, it was after reading a guide very similar to this one (although we didn’t get a discount or a free blogging eBook). We are thankful every single day because if we hadn’t read that post and started this blog, we wouldn’t be earning $10,000+ / month online and we wouldn’t be travelling full-time and living a life like this one.
We honestly believe that travel blogging is the best way to earn money on the road and pay for travel and we’re not trying to sell you anything here. This guide is free and our ebook is free. We just want to pay it forward and help other people to get into this business while it’s booming.
We remember when we were considering starting our blog and we had doubts, just like you probably have today.
There are a few reasons that you might not want to start a blog today, and that’s fine. But in reality, these things are not worth putting off your blogging potential. Click on any of the reasons below that you think apply to your situation:
We’re going to show you how to start a travel blog and our blogging ebook will show you how to grow and earn money!
The purpose of this guide is to start the best quality blog for the least amount of money possible, while the eBook will give you the foundation to build a blog that can profit as early as 6 months down the road. It’s not just for travel blogs either, this guide will help you create any type of blog you want.
You can start a free blog if you want, but you won’t own the domain and therefore you can never earn any real income from it. If you follow this guide, your new blog will cost you less than the price of a cup of coffee ($2.95) per month ($35.40 / year). This is the cheapest and best hosting available today.
If you’re having difficulty with any of the steps in this article click the little chat button on the bottom left of the screen, send us a message and we’ll help you out.
Let’s get started!
Step 1 – Set Up Your Domain & Hosting
To get started with this process, you can click the blue button below and it will take you to a special Bluehost sign-up page which includes our 63% Goats on the Road discount. Once clicked, the Bluehost page will open in a new tab in your browser. Simply click back to this tab to continue following directions.
🔴 If the button doesn’t work CLICK HERE to continue.
Click the above button and automatically receive 63% off your blog StartUp cost for a limited time!
After you click the blue button above, you’ll see the special Goats On The Road discount screen at Bluehost. Now just click the green “get started now” button on that page.
After you click the “get started now” button, you’ll be brought to a new page where you will sign up for hosting.
Now you can simply choose the cheapest, most basic plan on the left and click “select”. There’s no need to spend any more than the absolute minimum today. We’ll keep the sign-up process as cheap as possible now, you can always upgrade later.
Go back to the Bluehost tab in your browser and select the basic plan.
Now it’s time to choose your domain! Don’t worry, you won’t be charged extra for this as it comes free with your Bluehost basic package. After clicking “Select” on the cheapest basic plan, you’ll see a “Sign Up Now” screen like this:
A lot of people have been emailing me because it’s so hard to think of a name! Trust me, I know. We’ve been there and it took us a while to think of a name for our blog. Luckily, you don’t have to think of one right now!
Already chosen a name? Then you don’t need to use the above pop-up. From the “Sign Up Now” screen (pictured below), simply type in your new domain in the left box and choose “.com” from the drop down menu (.com websites are the best). Then click “next”.
The domain name is the part that goes between the “www.” and the “.com” in your new blog’s web address. It’s also the name of your blog, your brand and your new company so choose wisely. If you need help, click the little chat button on the bottom left of your screen, send me a message and I’ll help you choose a name.
Time to pay!
With the Goats On The Road discount you won’t pay more than $106.20 USD today and that will keep your blog running for 3 whole years. You’ll have to fill out all of your new account information now. It’s quick and easy and they don’t ask for anything too personal aside from your credit card info 🙂
Further down on the page you’ll have to confirm the package that you chose. Here, make sure the cheapest one is chosen (Basic 36 Month $2.95/mo). If you want to start by just paying for 12 months at first, go for it. Totally up to you, but you’ll spend more / month if you choose a shorter plan and let’s be honest, you’re going to be a pro blogger for many years to come!
Let’s keep it cheap and go for 36 months. There is one of these check boxes that you might want to splurge on, Domain Privacy. It’s only $1 per month and you don’t have to if you don’t want to, but if you pay the extra dollar a month for this, it’ll save you getting emails from random people asking to design your blog or to add something to it.
Basically, when you buy a blog, your web address is public record unless you pay to block your name (it’s the same with all hosts). By paying the extra money, you’ll save yourself from getting a bunch of spam emails.
Note: Taxes depend entirely on what country you start your blog in. If you see taxes added to the total amount, it’s the local government tax and can’t be avoided. Some countries don’t charge tax on hosting and some do, but it’s not usually more than $25 or so.
You’re almost done the hardest part! Go back to the Bluehost tab in your browser and enter your credit card information, tick the “I confirm” box and then click “submit”.
Click The Blue Button Below!
You’re now eligible for our free blogging eBook. Simply click the blue button below and enter your email and we’ll hook you up. But you’re not done setting up your account yet, so make sure you keep scrolling down to complete the process. We’re almost there…
Note: This eBook is ONLY free for people who start their blog using links in this post. If you already have a blog, or you don’t want to start one today, you can buy it on Amazon 😀
Okay, back to creating your blog. So far it hasn’t been too hard right? Now we get to move onto the fun stuff. Creating your account, designing your blog and writing your first blog post.
Step 2 – Set Up Your Bluehost Account
The first screen you’ll see at Bluehost now is this upsale page. Bluehost is just trying to sell you a couple of extra features for your blog. Just ignore these, scroll down and click “No Thanks” at the bottom right of the screen.
Now you’ll see the welcome to bluehost page. Click “create your password” to begin with the WordPress installation.
Now you’ll be asked to think up a new password. Try to include a capital letter, a number and a symbol if possible and make sure you write it down.
Got a good password? Type it exactly the same in both boxes, tick the box and then click “Next”.
You’ll then see a screen like the one pictured below. Simply click the button that says “Log in” to continue installing WordPress.
Bluehost will now automatically download WordPress for you! This is an excellent new feature that makes the blog start-up process even easier. You’ll see a screen like the one pictured below.
After the install is complete, Bluehost will load the next screen that will allow you to quickly log-in to your brand new WordPress blog! Simply choose your new domain name (ie: YourNewBlog.com) from the dropdown menu and then click the “Login To WordPress” button.
Note: If a new page doesn’t load after clicking “Login to WordPress” and you just see loading bars but nothing’s happening, simply wait a few minutes and hit refresh on your browser. It should then reload with the completed page.
Step 3 – Design Your Blog!
After clicking “Login To WordPress”, you’ll automatically be brought to the dashboard or “back-end” of your new website. You may just want to bookmark this page. You’ll be in here a lot!
Now comes all of the fun stuff! You’re ready to pick a sexy theme / design for your new blog and start adding articles, pictures and videos. The eBook that you received for free through this post explains blog design in great depth, so we won’t get too far into it here, but I will show you how to quickly choose a theme to get started.
After signing into WordPress in the last step, you should be seeing a screen like the one above. This is your WordPress Dashboard. This is where all of the bloggy magic happens. Our eBook will explain a lot of the stuff that is in this area and will help you to get to know the many different sections of your WordPress blog.
Note: In the future, to get back to this screen, simply type your domain in the browser with “/wp-admin” on the end (ie: www.yournewblog.com/wp-admin)
The dashboard is where you’ll start new posts, change your website appearance, add plugins and make your website become an extension of YOU.
WordPress now makes the set-up process easy. When you login to your new WordPress dashboard, you’ll see a easy set-up Welcome Screen that will help you with the next steps.
Click the button that says “Business” to start creating your blog. If you accidentally hit Personal, don’t worry. The settings are the same and this step doesn’t really matter.
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”.
A screen will load like the one below. Bluehost probably already installed the Twenty Seventeen theme for you. If that’s the case, you don’t have to add a new theme right away. If you’d like a different theme, you can then click the button that says: “Add New 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.
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. A good one to start with is the “Twenty Seventeen” theme. This one is created by WordPress and is excellent for beginners. It’s also the theme that should be auto-installed to your new website by Bluehost.
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.
💡 Bonus Tip: Check out Canva.com to easily create a professional looking logo
To start customizing your new blog, hover over “Appearance” on the left side of the dashboard and click “Customize”.
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.
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.
Don’t worry, if you applied for our free blogging ebook in the earlier steps by clicking the blue button and entering your new domain name, you’ll receive our ebook soon. In that book, there is a ton of more info on customizing your blog and even some useful plugins that will help you get started.
STEP 4 – 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”.
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.
After 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.
Because there is so much information in our eBook, 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, you will learn A LOT from the free eBook, which should be arriving in your inbox soon. It covers 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!
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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