Open a travel blog has become very simple, thanks to the development of platforms such as WordPress anyone can create a website even without special knowledge of programming and web development.
Obviously you have to learn how to use the platform and understand where you need to start to start the adventure in the world of blogging.
In this article I want to guide you step by step creating a travel blog, and how to earn money by working online.
Thanks to the blog, in fact, I had the opportunity to change my life and I managed to create a remote job that allows me to travel and live as a Digital Nomad.
Creating a blog is within everyone's reach and I'm sure you can do it too; my partner had practically zero technical skills, but thanks to my advice she managed to start her blog and create a very active community.
The really important thing is to take the project seriously and dedicate yourself to the blog with passion and constancy, only in this way will you be able to make money with a travel blog, or with any other blog.
Why Create A Blog?
Many believe that starting a blog now when the web is so inflated is not the right thing, especially in the travel industry.
Personally I tell you that it is absolutely not true, because if you do a good job and find the right niche you will surely have the opportunity to emerge and make yourself known.
An important tip: don't think about starting a travel blog just to make a lot of money or travel the world for free.
Sure there are various ways to make money with a blog but it takes effort and some time before you see the results.
Find a niche
The first thing you need to do when you want to start a blog is to choose the profitable niche, that is the general topic on which you want to focus the blog.
You have to think that there are different travelers and each one belongs to a specific niche.
So, you could talk about luxury travel, low cost travel, mountain or beach travel, family travel or backpacking travel. In short, the themes are many.
You could also choose a particular destination, a city, an island or even a country.
Choosing a specific niche will allow you to have a well-defined target, it will be easier to decide which content to write and it will help you grow faster and monetize.
The best way to find the right niche is to understand what your passions, interests and skills are
Choose a name for the travel blog
Choosing the name of the travel blog will be the most difficult challenge, also because this is a very important phase.
However, there are some rules to follow that can help you find the right name and not make mistakes that could cost you dearly:
- The name should be short, easy to spell, pronounce and remember;
- Avoid using hyphens or numbers;
- Do not use abused terms (travel, trip, nomad, vagabond etc.) but try to distinguish yourself with an original name;
- Think long term and look for a name that can last and is not focused on something that can change;
I recommend that you brainstorm and start writing as many words that describe your niche.
Try to create combinations, help yourself with a dictionary of synonyms and antonyms.
This work is very important because changing the domain name in the future will not be easy.
Important: many people just get stuck on choosing the name, but it's just an excuse not to start! Don't make this mistake, choosing a name and buying a domain is the best thing you can do!
To find out if the name you have chosen has not already been taken by someone else you can use the service of Aruba.com to check the availability of domains.
Purchase Domain and Blog Hosting
Once you have chosen the name of the travel blog, all you have to do is register the domain (www.domainname.com/com/org/ecc) and buy Hosting, that is the web space that will host your blog.
Generally the various hosting companies also take care of domain registration.
But which service to buy?
There are a lot of hosting companies and especially at the beginning it is not easy to choose the best one.
Also because many bloggers recommend certain companies just because they pay high commissions through affiliations (we'll see what they are later), such as SiteGround. The beauty is that if you go to see most of these blogs they don't have SiteGround Hosting.
In any case, I recommend evaluating the hosting according to the following parameters:
- Value for money;
- Customer care;
- Simplicity in management.
I personally have always chosen Aruba, even if the more "experts" advise against it, I have always found myself well and in my opinion for those with little experience it is an excellent service, with the best prices ever.
In addition, the assistance is in English and I have always resolved anything quickly.
It probably won't be the fastest of all but it does the job brilliantly.
Important: there are many platforms that offer a free service like Blogger, WordPress.com, Wix etc. I do not recommend them if you decide to start a travel blog to earn you must have your own domain.
Install the WordPress software
If you have registered the domain name and purchased Hosting, the next step is to install WordPress. With the plan Hosting WordPress di Aruba, you don't have to do anything because WordPress is pre-installed.
Otherwise you have to download it from the site WordPress.org and install it manually via an FTP software like FileZilla which is used to transfer files from your computer to a server.
Caution: as I said, don't make the mistake that many make starting with the version sitename.wordpress.com, it is true that it is possible to open a blog without purchasing Hosting, but this platform has many limitations.
How to set up your travel blog
After installing WordPress, you will need to log in to the control panel to manage the platform, so type www.sitename.com/wp-admin and enter your credentials.
Here is a quick overview of what the side menu looks like:
Home: home page of the administrative area.
Updates: to manage any updates to themes, plugins or WordPress itself.
Articles: to view and create blog posts.
Media: manage images and multimedia files.
Pages: in this area you can create and manage the individual pages of the blog, such as About Us, Contacts, etc.
Comments: here you can reply to user comments.
Appearance: to customize the graphics of the site and manage the Themes.
Plugin: install and update plugins.
Users: in this section you can manage the users who have access to the blog and give them particular privileges.
Tools: here you will find some useful tools.
Settings: here you can change the various settings of the site, such as the title of the blog.
Download a Professional Theme
The WordPress theme is nothing more than a graphic template that serves to improve the look of your travel blog. If some time ago you needed to know the programming codes, now it is no longer necessary, just download and install a theme.
Basically WordPress includes some standard themes and you can download tons of free templates. Just google "free WordPress themes" and you will find thousands of options.
But be careful, I do not recommend using free templates, as long as your goal is to create something professional.
Your best bet is to purchase one of the many premium themes: they look better, are faster and more secure thanks to frequent updates.
Many prefer to start with a free theme and then move on to a paid theme, the problem is that changing the theme is not an easy job and requires a minimum of technical skills.
With a not excessive expense (about 60 $) you can immediately open a professional-looking travel blog.
I use the theme Soledad by Themeforest, in my opinion it is perfect for a travel blog, costs 59 $, is simple to manage and offers a lot of features.
On the Soledad theme purchase page you will also find a list of other blogs that use this template, it is very useful to see how other bloggers have customized it.
In any case on Themeforest you will find hundreds of other themes to choose from, you can click on each theme and see the demo.
WordPress plugins are like applications that allow you to have additional functions, there are free and paid ones.
You can manage them from the "Plugins" section where you can install new ones, here's how:
Log into your WordPress control panel, click on the Plugins section in the sidebar and click on “Add New”. Find what you want and select “Download and activate”.
In my opinion the essential (free) plugins to get started are:
Akismet: protects against spam comments;
Yoast SEO: is the plugin to optimize the contents of the blog in an SEO key, that is to improve the positioning of your site on Google.
TinyMCE Advanced or Wp Edit: are text editors that are used to make WordPress more similar to Microsoft Word.
GDPR Cookie Consent: to manage the Privacy page and the Cookie banner
Suggestion: plugins are a very important tool, but don't overdo it because too many plugins can weigh down and slow down the blog.
Now is the time to give life to the blog and insert the first contents, starting from the essential:
Who I am: on this page all you have to do is introduce yourself. Readers read your articles because they are looking for information, so they want to get to know you and understand why they should trust you.
Talk about yourself, what you do, your passions and insert some photos, show who you really are!
Contacts: a simple page with your contacts or with a contact form to fill out. The contact page can be useful for your readers, if they need to ask you for more information, or for companies that want to collaborate with you.
Privacy: is a standard page with all information relating to privacy, the processing of personal data and the management of any cookies.
Logo: as a graphic designer I can tell you that a good logo is essential, it will make you unique and recognizable. I understand that at first, spending a lot of money on a logo could be a problem, but don't worry there are some cheap but professional online services.
For example, the best site for graphics services and more is Fiverr.
Social media is currently one of the biggest sources of traffic you can use to grow your travel blog. The main platforms used by travel bloggers are:
Most travel bloggers recommend using all social platforms, or the most important ones.
I will go against the grain, but I suggest you focus on what you think will work best for you and your target. For example, if you are good at making videos then Youtube is definitely the right choice. While if you love to take beautiful photos, Instagram is ideal.
At first it's not easy to manage all the various social networks and blogging, especially if blogging isn't your first job.
In any case, you can subscribe immediately to the various social networks (always use the same name) to make sure you have the accounts with the name of your brand.
Important: social media are used to promote your blog, but they cannot replace the website, also because they are external platforms that could always disappear.
Thinking About Contents: Writing First Articles
Now that everything is set up you are ready to start this wonderful adventure. Now it's time to create the contents, I tell you the truth, this is perhaps the most difficult part, but it is also the most important and it will allow you to grow, make yourself known and consequently earn.
Obviously the first suggestion is to write about your passions and what you know well.
But be careful, sharing your passions and your experience is not enough, you must first understand if users are looking for certain topics and keywords.
For example, if you are passionate about "scooter travel" but no one is interested in this niche it will be very difficult to create a successful audience and community.
The research phase is essential, study the various travel forums and Facebook groups, they are the best sources of inspiration.
Try to understand what people's problems, doubts, uncertainties are and give them a solution!
Use online tools to analyze the most searched keywords monthly, among the best and free are:
- Google ADS with the keyword planner
- Neil Patel (Ubersuggest)
- Answer The Public
- Kw Finder
Then create an editorial calendar by planning in advance at least 25 articles, you can use pen and paper or programs such as Word or Excel. The ideal would be to write 1 or 2 articles a week, but remember that the most important thing is quality, both for the user and for Google.
So take the time to write excellent articles, but above all useful for the reader.
Create the Newsletter
The newsletter together with social media is another promotion and loyalty tool. What you have to do is create a list of contacts to whom you periodically (I recommend once a week) send updates, advice, news or any offers.
To manage the newsletter there are various software with different functions, some are free, others have different paid plans.
Among the best known there is certainly Mailchimp, which offers a free plan but does not include some automation features.
I sincerely prefer GetResponse, has a basic plan from 13 € per month, but offers many features including Autorisponders, which are essential for scrolling through the list.
Another great advantage of GetResponse is the control panel and assistance completely in English, which especially for a novice can help a lot.
You Are Not Traveling: Can You Open A Blog?
If you are wondering if it is possible to start a travel blog even without traveling, the answer is yes. Obviously the more you have the chance to travel, the more material you will have to create content.
However, there are also several possibilities for those who do not travel:
1-You can create content on how to travel while saving money, or various tips on organizing your trip
2-Or you could create a blog about your city, talking about the neighborhoods, the various activities, restaurants and clubs etc.
Earn money with a Travel blog
We come to the most important topic: make money with a blog!
I often hear people who say that now with a blog you can no longer earn, maybe some time ago, but now the sector is saturated. I don't understand on what grounds such a thing is said.
Today more than ever there are many ways to make money online thanks to a travel blog and more.
Basically you have to see the blog as your "office" and the visitors as the customers. So the first fundamental thing is to have traffic, it will not be enough to visit your mom or friends, the more visitors you have, the more you earn.
The first goal is therefore to build an audience and to do so you have to create lots of quality content.
Among the main sources of income for those who have a blog are the affiliations, you will basically earn commission by selling services or products through your blog.
Another earning possibility is the sale of Infoproducts, for example travel guides.
Or you can make money with the service of Google AdSense, basically by hosting the banner ads on the blog.
The earning possibilities are endless and it is impossible to talk about a few lines. We will see more in the next articles how to make money with a travel blog.
I hope you enjoyed this first guide and clarified your ideas a bit, but don't worry, step by step I will explain many other fundamental things to create your successful travel blog. What would you like to learn in the next article?