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Nick Wharton By
Posted 09 Jul, 2018 | 74 Comments
Posted in: Blog Design, Travel Blogging, Travel Blogs

Is today the day you finally learn how to start a blog? Have you been thinking about doing it for a long time, but you keep putting it off? Are you worried that learning how to start a blog that will one day earn money is an overwhelming task?

We want to help. We started this blog in 2012 and even though we didn’t know the first thing about blogging, after 1 year it earned enough to supplement our travels and today it earns over $20,000 USD / month through advertising, affiliates and product sales.

This tutorial is the easiest to follow, step-by-step guide on starting a website with WordPress and it’s the only one which offers a 63% OFF discount on Bluehost hosting ($95.98 $59.40), one-click WordPress install, our WordPress Beginner Blogger Video Course for free, a $20 Blogging ebook for free, as well as ongoing email training and access to our private beginner blogging Facebook support group.

Learn how to start an online blog for free by scrolling down to continue reading.

Prefer to start a blog by following along with an easy video tutorial? Click Here

What are people saying about our free course?

start a blog and get a free course (Testimonials)

It is possible to learn how to start a WordPress blog for free, but you would not own the domain (included in the price above), you won’t be able to track the visitors properly, you won’t be able to design your website / blog and most importantly, you would never be able to earn money from a free WordPress blog because you don’t own it.

Disclaimer: All of the links to Bluehost are affiliate links, which means we receive a commission for any purchases you make using our links. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, in fact you can save as much as 63%, and it helps to keep this blog running so we do appreciate your support.

Using this guide, you can easily learn how to create a travel blog with WordPress, Drupal, Blogger or any other platform as Bluehost makes it easy with one-click installs of all major blogging platforms. We recommend WordPress because it’s by far the easiest to use and most popular, but you can choose anyone.

What We’ll Cover In This Post:

Note: If you already have a blog, but would like to purchase the beginner blogging course and ebook by Goats On The Road, CLICK HERE. Once you click the link to our discount, you will always see that discount, even if you look at the Bluehost home page separately. This is due to a cookie being set in your browser. The regular Bluehost price is never less than $3.95 and goes up to $7.95. Our discount is always $2.95 / month.

Sell courses to earn money for travel

Readers of this blog get 63% off the cost of blog hosting, our Beginner Blogger Video Course, our $20 ebook for free and ongoing email training. They also receive $175 in free advertising with Google (perfect for growing blogs), 24/7 support and a 30-day money-back guarantee with Bluehost.  

CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED

…or keep reading to learn more ☞

When we started our blog it was after reading a guide very similar to this one, and although we didn’t get a discount or a free course, we are still thankful every single day that we read that post, because if we hadn’t, we never would have learned how to start a travel blog, we wouldn’t be earning $20,000+ / month online today and we wouldn’t be travelling full-time and living the amazing life that we are now.

FREE COURSE OFFER

With over 2 hours in video content and more than a dozen PDF downloads, it has everything from writing your first post and setting up WordPress, to installing plugins and creating a professional looking blog design. The course offers new bloggers all the vital steps for building a foundation for a successful travel blog. Start your blog today and get the free ebook and free course, as well as access to our 24/7 New Blogger Facebook Support.

CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED

We honestly believe that travel blogging is the best way to earn money on the road and pay for travel.

We remember when we were considering starting our blog and we had doubts, just like you probably have today. This is why we’ve taught over 1,000 people how to start a travel blog from this website and after each and every one of them has started their blog, we’ve sent weekly emails to check on them to make sure they’re on a track to success.

You will get the same VIP treatment when you start a blog from this page. You will be a part of the Goats On The Road New Blogger team, you’ll be added to our private blogger Facebook group where you can ask for help from hundreds of our other students and ourselves, and we’ll help you along the way.

CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED

…or keep reading to learn more ☞

Some of the people who started a blog with us were able to earn income within just a few months of reading our ebook and following the instructions in our training. Some of them are even earning thousands of dollars per month just over a year after starting their blog.

Even if you don’t want to earn money through blogging, the free course and ebook will at least show you how to properly set up and use WordPress and design a nice looking blog!

How To Start a Travel Blog - Blogging in the caribbean
We learned how to start a travel blog just a few years ago, and now… this is our office!

There are a few reasons that you might not want to start a blog today, and that’s totally understandable. 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

Common Excuses to Not Start a Blog

I don’t understand why I need to pay for a blog if WordPress is free.

This part is confusing for a lot of people and understandably so. Why would you pay for a blog if WordPress is FREE? In reality, WordPress is free, but only for a very lite version of it. If you want to design your blog, customize it and be able to upgrade elements of it, you’ll need to pay for hosting to unlock the full version of WordPress.

Also, on the free WordPress you will never own your domain or your blog and someone could easily steal it from you. By signing up for Bluehost, you’ll get a free domain registration (ie: YourBlogName.com), you’ll own all rights to your new blog, you’ll be able to customize it exactly how you want and you’ll be able to monetize it and earn money one day.

Luckily when you sign up for Bluehost using the link in this post, the full version of WordPress is free. You also get a free domain name, free advertising credit, our free course, our free ebook and free 24/7 support from both Bluehost chat and from our amazing Facebook Group. That’s a lot of FREE.

There are too many blogs online today. I’ll never make it as a travel blogger.

We hear this ALL THE TIME from would-be bloggers. Sure, when we started Goats On The Road in 2012, there were fewer travel bloggers online. But even then, people told us the market was too saturated.

Back then, there was no opportunity for bloggers. Today, virtually EVERY travel company knows the value of advertising on travel blogs. That’s why more travel bloggers today are earning 6-figures per year than ever before.

I’m not currently travelling, so I have nothing to blog about.

This is totally backwards and so many people think this, and never start a blog because of it. In reality, just as many people want to read about saving for travel and planning for a big trip as they do about the trips and destinations themselves.

Write about quitting your job. Write about building your blog. Write about saving money and planning out your big itinerary. This is what all travel blogs are based on and it will likely be your most popular content down the road.

I can’t think of a blog name

This is the easiest excuse to squash because if you start a blog using this how to start a travel blog guide, you won’t have to think of a name today. Bluehost allows you to buy your domain without a name, install WordPress, begin blogging and then pick your name later.

This is perfect because it will give you the opportunity to create some content and really get a feel for where your blog is going and what your niche will be. That way, you can pick a name that suits your blog, after your blog is created. Genius.

I don’t know enough about blogging, the internet or website design.

First of all, most bloggers who you read today started out just as new as you (or even newer). When we started Goats On The Road, we didn’t even know what WordPress was, we had barely used Facebook and had never taken a web design class in our lives.

The FREE eBook that you’ll receive after starting your blog today includes the basics of designing your blog, as well as how to add photos, posts and plugins. It also gives you a beginner’s rundown of WordPress.

I don’t have enough money to start a blog.

I’m sorry but I have to be brutally honest here. If you have enough money to pay for the device that you’re reading this post on, then you have enough to pay for your blog, which will cost you less than a cup of coffee ($2.95) per month using our discount. Think of those few dollars as an investment. Invest a few bucks today and if you keep at it, you could be earning a full-time income from blogging one day.

I don’t have enough money to travel internationally.

As far as running a blog goes, this is actually an advantage for you. The hardest thing about building a successful blog is nailing down a niche. If you’re only travelling within your country or within your region, you’ll already have a great niche.

You can become the expert on your home province, state or country in no time! You’ll be able to work with local businesses far easier than an international blogger works with international brands.

I’m not a very good writer or photographer.

As long as you can write fluently in your language, you’re a good enough writer to be a blogger. People who read blogs online don’t want to read poetic language and jargon. People online want to get straight to the point! Think about it. When you search the web for answers, you generally want the quick and easy version.

If you read the posts on this blog, you’ll notice that we never over-describe things or try to sound like a magazine or novel. Blogging is simple writing.

When we started this blog, we were horrible photographers. Luckily there are a lot of free tutorials for photography on YouTube and it’s quite easy to learn how to take great photos and with just a few hours practice, you can improve your photo quality dramatically, even if you’re just using your smartphone.

I don’t have a passion for travel, writing or photography

If that is the case, then this job isn’t for you and you should consider following a path towards success doing something that you’re truly passionate about. If you don’t love the job of blogging, then it will feel like just that… a job.

Travel blogging should be so fun that even when you spend 6 – 10 hours per day at your laptop, you’re happy because you love building up your own travel business. There will be hard days even if you’re passionate, but if you’re not passionate at all about travel, then you’ll never make it as a travel blogger.

No more excuses…

CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED

…or keep reading to learn more ☞

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, while our email training shows you the beginner steps of building a website!

We’re not selling you anything here. You will purchase your domain at a discounted price with Bluehost (a lead hosting provider) and because we are an affiliate for Bluehost, you get a massive discount and you’ll be able to download our course and ebook ($119 value) immediately after starting your blog.

The purpose of this guide is not just to teach you how to start a travel blog. We want to show you how to start the best quality blog for the least amount of money possible.

The free eBook and training will give you the foundation to build a blog that can grow and profit as early as just a few months down the road. This guide, the ebook and the training aren’t just for travel blogs either, the information will help you create any type of blog or website you want.

You can learn how to start a travel blog for free if you want, but you won’t own the domain and therefore you can never earn any real income from it (plus I won’t be able to send you our free ebook & training).

If you follow this guide, your new blog will cost you less than the price of a cup of coffee. At $2.95 per month (billed $35.40 / year over 3 years or $59.40 for a single year), this is the cheapest and best hosting available today. We host this blog you’re reading on Bluehost and we love it.

If you’re having difficulty with any of the steps in this article simply contact us and we’ll help you out. Remember, we’re here to help even after you’ve started your blog. We’ll be emailing you each week to help you out and you’ll receive our beginner’s ebook to get you off on the right foot and you’ll be a part of our very active travel blogging Facebook Group if you choose.

If you can’t think of a blog name, don’t let that stop you taking advantage of the free course. Start a blog today and think of a name later… for free. We’ll show you how below.

Okay, now it’s finally time to get started!

STEP 1: How To Start a Travel Blog

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, a Bluehost page will open in a new tab in your browser. From there you can begin signing up Bluehost and installing WordPress. I’ll explain the process below. When you click the button below, you won’t be asked to pay for your blog until the very end of the process (5 – 10 minutes) and the price will be very clear.

CLICK HERE TO START A BLOG NOW!

  If the above button doesn’t work CLICK HERE to continue.

Click the above button and receive 63% off your blog StartUp cost + our free ebook & training.

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.

How To Start a travel blog with Bluehost

After you click the “get started now” button, you’ll be brought to a new page where you will sign up for hosting.

What is Hosting?

Every real blog online has to be hosted by a hosting company. Bluehost is one of the most used and trusted hosting networks on the internet and with our discount, it’s also cheaper than you’ll find anywhere else. In early 2017, Bluehost made major strides in improving their customer service and server speeds, so today it is again one of the strongest and most reliable hosts online.

It’s worth noting that you could start a blog for free, but someone else would own your blog / domain. You must own the domain and pay for hosting if you ever want to make real money from your travel blog, or if you want to design it yourself and add to its functionality. When you click the Get Started Button at Bluehost, you’ll be buying your site name, hosting and brand so that you own it 100%.

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.

How To Start a Travel Blog with Bluehost - Choose a 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:

Choose a Domain Name How To Start a Travel Blog

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.

Can’t think of a blog name right now?

No problem! Bluehost has you covered. Simply go back to the “Sign Up Now” screen at Bluehost, hover your mouse to the top of the screen and you’ll see a magical pop-up appear. Click “Choose Free Domain Later” and Bluehost will allow you to continue with your sign-up process and pick a blog name later on.

How to start a travel blog when you can't think of a name

If the popup pictured above doesn’t show up, scroll to the bottom of the page and there should be a box that looks like this:

Choose domain name later

Click the Choose Later link and you’ll be able to choose your website name at a different time, free of charge. A lot of people never learn how to start a travel blog because they have a hard time thinking of a name. This is no longer an issue because you can choose your domain name later.

Click For Quick Tip: Names To Avoid

Try To Avoid These Words

Nomadic

Nomad

Backpacker

Backpacking

Budget

Vagabond

Wandering

Wanderer

Adventurous

Global

Travelling

World

 Bonus Tip: Avoid using numbers, hyphens or symbols in your domain name. 2Travellers might sound cool, but it’s harder to remember and not as good for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).

If you have already chosen your domain 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”.

How to Start a Travel Blog Start a Travel Blog 3- Sign Up Now
Enter your new domain name, choose “.com” and 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, send me an email and I’ll help you choose a name.

Time to pay.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Immediately after entering your credit card information and clicking “submit”, you should see a pop-up appear on your screen at Bluehost, which will allow you to download the ebook & sign-up for the training, all for free. Don’t close out of this pop-up. If you do close it by accident, or you simply don’t see it, please forward us your transaction reciept email that you receive from Bluehost. The email will be from “noreply@bluehost.com” and the subject line will be “BLUEHOST ORDER COMPLETE”. Please forward it to nick@goatsontheroad.com.

With the Goats On The Road How To Start a Travel Blog discount you won’t pay more than $106.20 USD today and that will keep your blog running for 3 whole years. If $106.20 is too much for you today, you can start your blog for just 1 year ($59.40) and I’ll still send you the free ebook & free training.

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 🙂 Don’t worry, Bluehost pages are 100% secure and use advanced encryption technology to keep your information very safe.

You’ll have to make sure the address and phone number match the country (ie: if you put “France” as the country, then you should also put a France phone number and France address). If you don’t have a phone number, just add whatever phone number that matches the country (even if you make it up), because you can change this at any time after signing up.

How to Start a Travel Blog 4- Account Information
Click back to the Bluehost tab in your browser and fill in all this fun stuff.

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 or Basic 12 Month $3.95/mo). If you want to start by just paying for 12 months at first, go for it.

As I said, I want to teach you how to start a travel blog for the least amount of money possible today, but 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. Totally up to you.

Important Note: If you selected the option to “Choose a Domain Name Later” you must leave the “Domain Privacy” box unchecked. Don’t worry, you can add it when you decide on a name later on.

starting a blog choosing a hosting package

Note: Taxes depend entirely on what country you’re reading this “how start a travel blog guide” from. 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”. When you submit for payment, the next screen should include our popup to get your free ebook and training.

Don’t close out of it! If you do close it by accident or you don’t see it, no problem, just remember to forward us your transaction receipt that Bluehost will email you after your purchase. To find the email, look in your inbox for an email from noreply@bluehost.com with the subject line “BLUEHOST ORDER COMPLETE” and forward that email to nick@goatsontheroad.com.

How to Start a Travel Blog 6- Billing Information
After you click “Submit” the total charge on your credit card will be $106.20 USD ($59.40 if you opted for 1 year)

STEP 2: How To Start a Travel Blog

Download Our Free Course & Ebook

Success! Once you pay for your hosting and see the Congratulations Page at Bluehost, a popup should appear that allows you to download our course and ebook. If you don’t see it, try hovering your mouse arrow to the very top of your screen to see if it appears.

Click the button that says “Get the course now!” and you’ll be brought to a new window in your browser where you can download the free course and ebook.

Note: If you don’t see the above popup at Bluehost or you closed it without clicking the green button, don’t worry. Simply look in your inbox for a transaction receipt from Bluehost (subject line: “BLUEHOST ORDER COMPLETE”) and forward that email to nick@goatsontheroad.com and I’ll review your info and send you the book and training.

After following the steps to get your free ebook, go back to the Bluehost screen and close the popup. Now you’ll see the page that’s pictured below:

How To Start Travel Blog Create Bluehost Account

Click the “Create Account” button. Now you’ll see the welcome to Bluehost page. Try to include a capital letter, a number and a symbol if possible and make sure you write it down. This will be the password that you use to sign into your Bluehost account. Enter in a password in the middle box and then retype it in the bottom box and hit “Create Account”.

Start a Blog create password WordPress

 

 

You’ll then see a screen like the one pictured below. Simply click the button that says “go to login” to continue installing WordPress.

Account Created Start a Blog Tutorial

 

You will now reach the page where you can sign-in to your Bluehost account. To get to this page in the future, whenever you want to sign into your account, the URL is https://my.bluehost.com/cgi-bin/cplogin. You can bookmark that so that you always know how to easily login to your WordPress Blog.

Login to Bluehost Start a Blog Tutorial

For now, login using your domain name and password. The domain name should already be written in the box and your password is the one you just created. Go ahead and type that in now and login to Bluehost.

Once you have logged into Bluehost, the automatic set-up and install of WordPress will begin. If you’re confused and wondering why you have a Bluehost account AND a WordPress account, let me explain.

Bluehost is your hosting account. You won’t really need to access your hosting account all that often, but it’s where your website actually lives. WordPress is the software you will use to edit posts and design your blog, so after this initial set-up you’ll mostly be logging into WordPress rather than Bluehost.

Let’s continue.

The next screen you’ll see is pictured below. Here you can add the name of your site, a tagline (a brief 1 sentence explanation of your blog) and where you’ll display your posts. For now, choose a different page. Don’t worry about getting everything exactly right here. I’ll show you how to change these settings in the Beginner Blogger Course.

WordPress Setup How To Start a Travel Blog

When you’re done, click “Continue”.

The next screen will be asking you about your goals. These settings really don’t matter so please don’t worry too much about them.

Simply choose “Share my ideas, photos, stories or videos.” and then click the option “a little” under “Are you comfortable with creating websites?”. Then click “Continue to Theme Selection”.

Choose Your Goals Starting a Blog with Bluehost

Next you’ll see a screen like the one pictured below. This screen will allow you to choose a theme for your new WordPress blog. A theme is basically a design template that you can start with so that your blog automatically has a nice-looking look and feel right off the bat.

Every blog has to have a theme. I recommend that you quickly pick one from here (most of these are free) and I’ll show you how to find even more free themes later in my course.

To choose a theme, hover over it and click “Use This Theme”.

Start a blog and select a theme

Next, Bluehost will automatically install WordPress for you. This is one of the many reasons that I love Bluehost. Many other hosts require that you install WordPress yourself. This can be confusing and time-consuming. Bluehost will do all of this for you right now. 

Installing WordPress Start a blog

Now you’ll be able to login to WordPress. Great job! Simply click the button that says “WordPress” to quickly log in. Don’t worry about the other stuff on this page, we’ll cover that in the course.

Login To WordPress Start a Blog Tutorial

The next screen you’ll see will be the WordPress Dashboard. This screen is no longer Bluehost, you are now fully in WordPress. This is where you’ll add new posts, photos, videos and design your blog. Congratulations! You officially have your own WordPress blog now!

WordPress Dashboard How To Start a Travel Blog Tutorial

You can keep reading this post, or, if you already have access to my course, you can download it and begin following the steps in it. If you don’t have the course yet, email me, tell me your domain name and I’ll send it to you right away.

STEP 3: How To Start a Travel Blog

Design Your Blog

After loging into WordPress you’ll automatically be brought to the WordPress dashboard or “back-end” of your new website. You may just want to bookmark this page. You’ll be in here a lot. You’ve already learned how to start a travel blog, but now we’re going to cover a bit about blogging, creating posts and navigating the WordPress Dashboard.

First you need to quickly edit your profile. To do this, click the top right of the screen where it says “Admin”. Once in this screen, scroll down and add your name as shown below: