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Nick Wharton By
Posted 25 Jun, 2016 | 72 Comments
Posted in: Travel Blogging, Travel Blogs

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.

Still, some people have some reservations about starting a blog and that’s totally understandable. Read the common reasons people tell us they are hesitant to start a travel blog and click the ones that you believe apply to you.

Common Excuses to Not Start a Blog

There are too many blogs online today. I'll never make it as a travel blogger.
I'm not currently travelling, so I have nothing to blog about.
I can't think of a blog name
I don't know enough about blogging, the internet or website design.
I don't have enough money to start a blog.
I don't have enough money to travel internationally.
I don't have a passion for travel, writing or photography.

No more excuses…

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 $2.95 / month. That’s around $35 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.

Limited Time Offer


$19.99FREE! (1)

Free eBook If You Start a Blog Now!

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.

Click Here to learn more about this eBook.

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!

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
Bluehost sign-up 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. After you complete Step 1 (signing up for Bluehost Hosting), I’ll send you my ebook for free.

Note: If you’re reading this post on your mobile phone, this tutorial will still work perfectly. Just complete the transaction over at Bluehost, and then come back to this page to submit your request for the ebook and continue the tutorial.

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

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

Bluehost Goat Discount Page

 

Once you click “Get Started Now” on the Bluehost page, you’ll be brought to the page where you’ll choose your hosting package. Don’t worry, the cheapest package is a great all around package for a new blog and with our discount it’s just $2.95 per month (less than a cup of coffee!):

How To Start a Travel Blog with Bluehost

 

Now it’s time to choose your domain. 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.

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!

📝 Click For Quick Tip: Names To Avoid

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

If you know the name you want for your blog, go ahead and enter it at the Bluehost page and then click next.

How to Start a Travel Blog Start a Travel Blog 3- Sign Up Now

Next is the final step in the transaction, where you actually pay for your new blog at Bluehost. Simply enter in all of the information that is requested. Don’t worry, the credit card payment system at Bluehost is 100% secure.

How to Start a Travel Blog 4- Account Information

Before adding going to the next step, be sure to review all of the charges that will be made to your account. You should make sure that the “Basic Plan” is checked which is $2.95 / month with our discount. Also uncheck all of the boxes except for Domain Privacy. I know it’s an extra $1 / month, but it’s worth it.

You don’t have to pay for this if you don’t want, but basically it saves you from getting a bunch of spam emails. When you start a blog (with any host) your domain and email is added to a public record, similar to a phone book. This means that everyone can check the record, see that you’re a new blogger and email you with spam to try to get you to buy services from them. In my opinion, the dollar a month is worth not getting the spam emails.

Choose the basic plan, uncheck all the boxes (except for perhaps domain privacy) and you will pay $2.95 / month. Enter your credit card info and make sure to check the box that says “I have read and agree to Bluehost’s terms of service”, then click “submit”.

Starting a blog at transaction account details enter your credit card number


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 😀


Blogging eBook


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 – Install WordPress

Now you’ve paid for your domain and you officially own it! You’re ready to become a blogger. The next screen you’ll see at Bluehost is a congratulations (and upsell) screen. Just ignore all of the extras that Bluehost is offering. While some of the tools on this page are useful, they’re not necessary for a new blog. Scroll down below the offers and click “No Thanks”

how to start a travel blog

After clicking “No Thanks” you’ll be brought to a new page where you’ll set up your account and login details for Bluehost and your new WordPress installation for your website. Click the button that says “Create your password”.

How to Start a Travel Blog Start a Travel Blog 7-Welcome To Bluehost

 

The next page will ask you to enter your new password twice. Try to make the password both memorable and hard to crack (use symbols, numbers and capitals if possible). After you’ve entered your password the exact same in both boxes, tick the box to agree to the privacy policy and terms of service, and then click “Next”.

How To Start a Travel Blog create password

 

The next page will congratulate you on your new password and account with Bluehost (you get a lot of praise in this process 😀). Now click “Login”.

Login To Bluehost How To Start a Travel Blog

 

At this point Bluehost will automatically install WordPress for you. This saves quite a few steps in the process and is super convenient! The next screen will prompt you to choose a theme. If you see a FREE theme that really catches your eye on this page, you can install it, otherwise you can skip this part and move onto the next step because we’ll add a free theme to the site later on.

starting a new blog and choosing a wordpress theme

 

That’s it! The next page will allow you to sign into your brand new WordPress site! Simply click the button that says “Start Building” and you’ll be brought into the backend (WordPress Dashboard) of your new blog.

Starting a travel blog automatic login to wordpress dashboard with Bluehost

 

STEP 3 – Set Up WordPress & Design Your Blog

Now comes the fun part – you get to choose what your new blog will look like! But first, you have to Quickly set up WordPress. After clicking the “Start Building” button in the previous step, you’ll be brought to your new WordPress Dashboard. You’re no longer on the Bluehost website. This is the backend of your own website. Click “Business” to move to the next step. Don’t worry, if you click Personal, it doesn’t matter at all. Both are the same when it comes to building your site.

Setting up wordpress after starting a new blog

After this, you’ll be brought through the process of setting up the WordPress dashboard. It’s all pretty self-explanatory, and when you’re done you’ll see the screen below:

how to start a money making blog with bluehost's easy wordpress tools

At this point, your site isn’t technically online. Nobody will be able to see your site live… which is a good thing! As soon as you click that “Launch” button, your site will go online at your new domain address (ie: www.YourNewBlog.com). But it’s best to create some content and design your blog a bit before actually launching it so let’s do some of that first.

 

For now you can ignore all of the Bluehost tools offered in your WordPress Dashboard, but it’s still a good idea to browse around the dashboard a little bit. 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!

If you’re willing to pay just $89 / year or $250 one-time for an amazing theme with excellent customer support, templates, drag and drop functionality and advanced features that will help you as you grow,  check out the Divi Theme by Elegant Themes. It will make your blog look professional and if you run into any issues, the folks over at Elegant Themes are there to help. For new bloggers, it’s worth the cost for the support alone.

If you’re going to start with a free theme, back in the WordPress theme selecter 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!

Like it? Pin it! 🙂

 



How To Start a Travel Blog

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Nick Wharton

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Nick is the co-founder, editor and author of Goats On The Road. He contributes to numerous other media sites regularly and shares his knowledge of travel, online entrepreneurship and blogging with the world whenever he can. Nick’s advice has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider and Forbes.

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72 thoughts on “How To Start a Travel Blog Guide (+FREE 200 Page Blogging eBook)

  1. This is a fantastic round up of how to start a blog, and I’ll send it to a friend who wants to start a fitness blog. By the way, if you are ever interested in a guest post from me, just give me the nod!

  2. 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.

  3. 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 😀

  4. 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 🙂

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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! 🙂

  10. 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! 😉

  11. 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!

  12. 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!

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. 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!!

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  21. 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!

  22. 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!

  23. For those looking to start a blog, this is an invaluable resource … thanks for all the effort that you put into this post!

  24. 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.

  25. 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!

  26. 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!

  27. 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!

  28. 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.

  29. Really nice post, very useful. I am planning to create my own travel blog. But had many queries. But thanks guys, you solved many doubts. Thanks for sharing.

  30. 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.

  31. 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!

  32. 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.

  33. Hiya guys! I’ve been slowly working on my travel blog for about a year now, there’s probably a lot more I could be doing to promote it (certainly adding more content!) but posts like this are a great resource to consider some of the basic start up & technical points. Thanks!

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