How To Start a Travel Blog And Make Money
Travel blogging with all its perks seems attractive but it takes a lot of sacrifice and work before you reach that level of cool. It will probably take you a couple of years before you can call it a success but the key is to be persistent!
Starting a blog is fairly easy. I use WordPress and I recommend this platform to anyone.
However, if you want to get serious with blogging it will take a lot more than just signing up for a free account on WordPress. Here’s EuroTribe’s step by step guide on how to start a travel blog and make money;
Think of a Name
People often ask me what is a good name for their blog and that question has more than one answer. Nowadays many good domain names are already taken so this has to be taken into account. What you want may already be taken. My friends screamed in horror when all the names they could think of were already taken.
That’s why it’s really important to secure your name earlier, even though you may not start blogging immediately!
What’s the secret sauce for a good domain name? It has to be short and easy to remember! Yet, this will be difficult. You’ll need to do a lot of brainstorming.
Also think about the niche and what you want to write about. Avoid making a generic travel blog, there are thousands of them on the internet and it’s very difficult to break through in this field with such name. You know names such as ‘Nomadic-this’ or ‘Adventure-that’.
Thesaurus is a really helpful website when brainstorming site’s name. If your domain is taken, Thesaurus will show you a list of synonyms of your desired word and perhaps give you an alternative.
Avoid numbers and hyphens as this may lead to errors when typing.
Buy Domain and Hosting
So the next step is securing your name and buying hosting.
Hosting means buying the space on internet where you will store your blog’s data. You can get both through Lunarpages.
If you are just starting out get a domain and hosting from the same company. Lunarpages offers a very easy and quick installation. They also give you a free domain if you buy hosting through them.
The one option I really recommend is buying the domain privacy protection. This means that nobody will be able to see who’s the owner of the site, your address or phone number. It’s worth several euros more for increased protection.
Once you buy hosting you’ll get a free and a one click WordPress installation with it through Lunarpages. This means that your site won’t be on a free WordPress account and won’t look something like this ‘myadventures.wordpress.com’.
Another famous platform is Blogger but believe me, you wanna be on WordPress. Most professionals nowadays use WordPress for their business but for personal uses too. You can install thousands of plugins and themes.
After you install WordPress from your hosting provider, you will be able to login into your WordPress account and here’s where the creative process begins. 🙂
Get a Theme
WordPress comes with many free themes but if you want to have a full control over your blog and better customization options you should buy a premium theme.
Professional themes cost from 20$ to 100$ but this is more than worthy in the upcoming run. Look for a theme that is responsive.
I buy my themes through ThemeForest and here you can find themes for different niches and budgets. Once you get a theme you also get access to support forums where you can post questions and see what others have posted.
Plugins can be easily installed from the WordPress dashboard. They give you more additional features and options.
Plugins that have been extremely helpful and that I love using are;
Akismet – Protects your website from spam comments.
Yoast SEO – Must have plugin if you want to rank higher on Google. It’s simple and easy to use! You’ll learn basic SEO fast. There’s a free and premium version of the plugin.
Digg Digg – Social share buttons.
W3 Total Cache – Reduces loading time of your website. The speed of your website will significantly impact your SEO.
There are thousands available plugins for WordPress. Some of them are free and for some you have to cash out. You can search for plugins from your WordPress dashboard.
Books and Courses
There are many resources online where you can learn more about the business of blogging.
Other great books that are not 100% about blogging but that touch this topic are;
The 100$ Startup by Chris Guillebeau
There are many courses online that can help you learn more about travel blogging. The most popular one is probably the Travel Blog Success.
Obviously you can’t start a blog without content. A lot of people will tell you that you need to publish at least 2 times a week and I think that’s a good rule if you are just starting out. You should take everyone’s advice for granted, mine included and see what works best for you. I only write when I have something to say whether that’s two times a week or once a month. Quality over quantity.
Invest In Good Gear
If you want to have a successful travel blog you’ll need to invest in good gear as well. Photography will be one of the key aspects of your blog so you need a good camera. You also need a lightweight and portable laptop among other things. Check out full EuroTribe’s Travel Gear Guide.
Yes you can make money with your travel blog but it takes a lot of work and probably this will happen only after two years have passed. There are different ways for making money with your travel blog.
These include sponsored posts, affiliate programs, display ads etc. You can even be paid to travel and write about destinations, hotels, tours. Companies will also offer you products on regular basis in exchange for reviews on your site.
This is not everything. There are endless opportunities to make money if you have some entrepreneurial spirit and knowledge of a certain topic. You can start a consulting business, tour business, create an ebook or a course etc. As I said opportunities are endless. 🙂