How to start a travel blog in 2021? We’ve put together a handy guide on how to start a blog by yourself in 10 VERY easy steps.
Few would argue that 2020 was awful, and 2021 has hardly started off with a bang has it? But, where there is change there is also opportunity. At YPT instead of retreating have doubled down and just been writing like crazy!
Covid-19 might be stinking pile of dump, BUT with all this time spent at home, there really is not better time to start a blog. We’ve said travel blog, but when it comes to blogging you can literally write about ANYTHING. It is our, or at least my opinion that everyone could and should blog. It is therapeutic and hey everyone has their story. How to start a travel blog? Actually it really isn’t that hard.
In 2021 it really has never been easier, or cheaper to start s travel blog, or any other niche. Gone are the days when you needed to be a technological genius, nowadays yo just need a cool domain, a great host, and WordPress. Still confused?
Here’s our guide on how to start a travel blog.
1. Think of an idea
This article might be called “how to start a travel blog”, but the world is already full of travel bloggers – or worse, wannabe travel bloggers. You’re probably ten years too late if you wanna be a Wandering Earl type. But niches know no bounds; there are too many examples to cite here, but food blogs and more esoteric ones (Soviet travel blogs, for instance) can do very well. I personally went down the route of street food. Why? Because I’m passionate about it! WHATEVER you blog about you need to be passionate about.
2. It’s all about the domain name
The domain name is essential, so let’s go through some real do’s and don’ts!
A proper domain name will set you back around $10 or less, so don’t be cheap and get something as generic as happyvegan.wordpress.com – this is the 21st-century equivalent of having an Angelfire account (been there).
There are also a lot of new TLDs (top-level domains, or the suffixes you see after the website name): .life, .site, .party, .xyz and so on and so forth. These are not awful but should generally be avoided. .com and .net are still kings, with .info useful at a push. Most of the best .coms have long been taken, of course, but if you’re creative you can still find something. I got streetfoodguy.com in 2019.
Final point on domains: keep them simple. It’s easy enough to tell someone “streetfoodguy.com, all one word” and have them remember it. If I had something like “gaz4food.top”, I have to explain how to spell ‘gaz’ and whether or not it’s the numeral or the word for ‘4’ etc. etc.
For a VERY in depth guide on picking a great domain, click here. Short rule of thumb though, try keep to .com, or .net.
3. What about starting a blog for free?
If you are in any way serious about blogging DO NOT start a blog for free. BlogSpot etc are OK if you just want to keep a small journal. They DO NOT work if you want to get noticed on Google, or more importantly MAKE money!
4. You need a host
The host is where you park your website – the land, as it were. You might own the house but you’re just renting the land. If you’re a first-time blogger, I’d go with an established player like Bluehost.
Disclosure: We are affiliates for Bluehost, and will receive a commission if you sign up through my referral link. This is at no additional cost to you, and you will get great pricing and a free domain name through my link. BUT we also use Bluehost and that is why we recommend them.
Reasons to use Bluehost:
- Free domain name – straight off the bat, this will save you $10, or so.
- Free email address. THis is VERY important. Professionals do not use @gmail, or @hotmail accounts.
- Bandwidth is unmetered – this means you don’t have to worry about your blog crashing if it suddenly gets a ton of traffic. Basically your site will stay online regardless.
- Extensive library of training videos – Everything from installing WordPress to how to SEO and the like. YOu will not be flying solo here.
- Refund if you cancel your account within 30 days. Not happy? Get refunded it is that simple.
- 24-hour technical support. This is very important. If your site goes down – and it happens, then you don’t need to be fiddling around with time differences.
- They’re the cheapest on the market! There is no other company that offers a similar product for the same price. Period.
They’re not really built for sites with huge traffic, but walk before you run, baby! If you do want to start with your own private server then follow this link.
5. Build your website
Ten years ago this step wasn’t so easy, but now it really is. There are various platforms out there like Joomla and Wix, but they are essentially very limited. The industry standard and the best platform is WordPress.
Go onto your Bluehost account, install WordPress onto your new domain (Bluehost can walk you through this), and then either use a theme they provide, find a free one online, or even buy a premium one. There are literally thousands of WordPress themes available to download.
After this, research on how to use WP and start playing around with it. You don’t need to go all public right away, take your time, play with things and get it right. Always remember great content beats glitz!
6. It’s all about social media
It really is up to you how much social media you embrace, but in reality, you need at least Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You can easily link these to your site using widgets and plugins. Oh and now there’s TikTok! But again take your time, build a name!
7. Install the WordPress App
There’s a great app for both iOS and Android that gives you site stats and will even let you add blogs on the fly. I really couldn’t recommend this app more!
8. Write – share – write (eat sleep rave repeat)
How to start a travel blog? Get ready to write!
As blindingly obvious as this sounds: you won’t get anywhere without writing stuff. Write as much as you can, try to optimise your blogs (which we’ll talk about in another post), proofread everything you do, make it interesting (duh) and start sharing.
The sky really is the limit, but it’s not as simple as A-B-C. If you don’t love your subject matter, people aren’t gonna love reading it. This brings us back to the Golden Rule of blogging: be passionate about your topic! If you do not like what you write, why will like to read it!
9. How you can start a travel blog and make money!
Of course the holy grail is to monetize your blog and ideally start living off of it. I will not lie and say this is easy, because it is not. It is though far from impossible. Many people (such as ourselves) make our money online and get to travel as part of the perks.
Not only that, but we have happily worked with many travel bloggers, either giving them free, or drastically reduced prices on tours. If you have the time and patience to build your brand, the sky truly is the limit.
If you do decide to start a travel blog, feel free to get in touch with us. I personally love to help any aspiring blogger. Once you start drop us a line and lets geek out about trading links and the Holy Grail SEO!!!!
10. How to start a travel blog in conclusion!
Street Food Guy drops the mic! What happens next is down to you! Oh and in case you need that link again, here it is..