How to Start a Travel Blog
If you love to visit exciting destinations, then starting a travel blog may be perfect for you. There are approximately 1,196,000,000 blogs globally, and a good share of them have a travel theme. If you want to be a successful travel blogger, you need to be prepared to work hard. In the end, however, the most popular ones are worth a lot of money. Consider these steps to creating a travel blog.
Select Your Target Audience
There are many different types of travelers in the world, and it is impossible to reach all of them with one blog. Therefore, you must narrow down your target audience when starting to answer the question: how to start a travel blog. Knowing your target audience helps you to understand how to create content that will connect with them. Some factors that you will want to consider include:
- Income level
- Education level
Once you know what type of person will be reading your blog, then find a picture of that person and put it where you can look at it often. While you will want to return to redefine your target audience as your travel blog grows, having a photo to look at when creating content helps you make many other choices when starting a travel blog.
Choose Your Domain Name
The next step in how to start a travel blog is choosing your domain name. There are several tips to keep in mind when selecting your website’s address. The image below shows you what a domain name is:
(Image Credit: Elogic)
Make It Easy to Say and Type
While you cannot control the occasional user typo, your domain name should be easy to type. For instance, do not try to get cute and use the number 4 for the word. You should also avoid using slang, so do not try to use Xpressive Vacations for Expressive Vacations. Since users complete over 50% of all Google searches using their voice, you also should make sure that your domain name is easy to say. Try to avoid using numbers and letters in the same domain name, using hyphens, circumvent homonyms and eliminate abbreviations.
Choose an Easy-to-remember Domain Name
Ask yourself what key characteristics you want people to remember about your travel blog. Are you creating a website for women travelers, people who like to travel by themselves or people who love roughing it? Then, try working that word into your domain name. For example, you might call your website women travelers, globalsolo or roughingit. Whatever domain name you choose, try to keep this root between six and 14 characters long.
It can be challenging at times but try avoiding words that may have a different meaning in the future. If you plan on attracting an international target audience, then find out what those words mean in other countries.
Never hitch your travel website to another brand’s products. Let your personality show through. You do not want their reputation management problems if something goes wrong within their brand. Your target audience may not have positive thoughts about the other brand, or they may see you as dishonest for trying to steal the domain name.
Secure Your Domain Name
After you have decided on several domain names, see if they are available. You may find that the domain is inactive or that you can buy it from its current owner for very little money. Check to see if the domain name you want to use is about to expire. If so, you may want to wait and get everything ready to roll if it becomes available. You should always try to buy a domain name ending in .com, but if that is not possible, try to secure .net or another choice. While organizations mainly use .org, anyone can use this top-level domain without restrictions.
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Choose Your Web Hosting Service
Especially after May 2021, when Google makes Web Core Vitals a ranking factor, your web-hosting service can make or break your travel blog. Therefore, the next important step in how to start a travel blog website is to choose a great web hosting service. You will need to decide which type of web hosting meets your needs the best by finding out the answers to a series of questions and comparing options within your price range. Questions that you should ask include:
- How much storage is available for your website’s files?
- How much bandwidth is available?
- What type of technical and data support is available?
- What type of web applications can you install?
- Is your website backed up to a secure location automatically?
- How much uptime is guaranteed?
- How is the security of your site guaranteed?
Pick Your Content Management Software (CMS)
Many people who are wondering how I start a travel blog are surprised to learn that much of the groundwork is done for them when they choose the right CMS package to meet their needs. Top CMS choices include:
- WordPress- This CMS claims a 60.4% of the market. The biggest reason is that it is free to download, and you can find many free plug-ins and templates to add to your travel blog. (Image Below)
- Joomla- This CMS claims 5.2% market share because of its free download and its many free templates.
- Drupal- This CMS claims 3,.4% market share, and it is a free download. Free templates and extensions are available, but they are much harder to find.
- Squarespace- This CMS claims 2.7% market share. While you can use this option, it is much more difficult to customize to meet the needs of your target audience.
- Wix– This CMS claims 1.9% market share. You can find fully hosted Wix choices, but you are limited in available choices.
(Image Credit: WordPress)
Choosing the Right Theme for your Travel Blog
After you have selected your CMS, then you need to choose your theme. Your theme creates the graphical user interface for your website. You can find free and premium options. Choose one that is responsive as it will change automatically to display on the viewer’s device correctly. Pick one that is SEO-optimized as it will help to get your site ranked better. Be sure that the theme is compatible with major browsers. Ensure that the theme comes with technical support. Pick a theme with very few plug-ins because they will slow down your website. Here is an example of an appropriate theme for a travel blog from WordPress:
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(Image Credit: WPBeginner)
Set Up Your Website
The last step you must complete is to put it all on your domain. Start by using a tool to install a MySQL database in cPanel. Then, install your theme. Choose if you want to install any plug-ins or eliminate any that came with your theme. Some plug-ins that you may want to consider include:
- Yoast– This tool provides an XML sitemap, internal linking suggestions and hints on how you can improve your SEO.
- Premium SEO Pack- This tool makes it easy to share your content to social media, suggests keywords and monitors pages that are down
- W3 Total Cache- This tool helps to speed up your website, which is important for connecting with your travel blog’s target audience.
- Broken Link Checker- This tool constantly checks that all the links on your website work properly.
Create Your Website’s Navigation
The next step in creating your travel blog start is to decide on the categories for your website navigation. Start with essential words and work your way down to those that are less important. Your choices will depend on your travel niche market, but they might include an about me, a listing for each of the critical geographical areas you plan to cover or types of travel. While it is tempting to get cute with your wording of these items, avoid the temptation because your target audience and the search engine robots will use these words to find things on your website. Your travel blog navigation can appear at the top, bottom or side of the page, but it should be in the same position on every page. For example:
(Image Credit: MOOZ Themes)
Creating Your Travel Blog Keyword List
After laying out the top-level pages, open a spreadsheet and start listing every idea that comes to mind about that topic. Since you are brainstorming, do not try to critique yourself at this point. Once you have listed your thoughts, open a free keyword finder tool, like Keyword Generator or Keyword Sheeter, and enter your main word to find even more suggestions.
Let’s pretend for a moment that your top keyword is European travel. Enter that phrase into the checker, and you will find lots of suggestions, like European travel deals, European travel this year and European travel for young people. Once you have generated several ideas, write your topics out on post-it notes and group them according to related topics.
If possible, get friends and family that are like your target audience involved at this point to see how they would group the topics. When you write posts, you will want to link these similar ideas together in separate blogs. You may also want to take the most important ones and put them as subtopics under your primary navigation tabs. You can also find keywords for your travel blog by using Google’s autocomplete search, for example:
Creating Your Travel Blog Home Page
The next step in travel blog start up is to create your home page. The page should make your target audience feel at home and that you have their best interests at heart. Keeping several factors in mind will help you create an awesome home page.
Use Crisp Images
You want your target audience to imagine themselves in the place you are writing about, so you need great images. Using images on your travel website is a two-edged sword because it also makes your website load slower, which can turn off your target audience. Therefore, you should:
- Use simple images as these photos have smaller file sizes.
- Avoid mixing different formats as they require larger files so that they do not become pixelated.
- Select images with as few colors as possible.
- Compress your images and save in the proper format.
- Always choose images that support your written content.
- Pick images that have a person that resembles your target audience in them.
- Choose images that make an emotional connection.
- Always use copyright-free photos or photos where you own the copyright and host them on your server.
Once you have added the image to your home page, create an alt tag. Image readers use this tag to describe the photo for people who cannot see it. Additionally, if the image becomes unavailable for some reason, this text will appear. Use simple HTML to add this text.
Use Interesting Subheadings
When your target audience views your website, they are likely to skim instead of reading every word. Therefore, you need to entice the reader to learn what you have to say by using subheadings. They also help to break up your content, so the page looks more attractive. You should use one h1 header that is less than 70 characters long. Then, use as many h2, h3 and other subheadings as you need to provide structure for your travel blog’s home page. Depending on your template editor, you may need to use HTML for the headers or merely tell the editor that is what you want to do.
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Linking on Your Travel Blog Home Page
Another critical element that you need to include on your home page is links. These should point your target audience viewer to more information that they will find useful. In almost all cases, you will want to link to the main page for each of your chosen travel categories when following the steps for how to start a travel blog. Use linking words, called anchor text, that lets your target audience member know what they will find on the page if they follow the link. Here are a few examples of links on the home page of a travel blog:
(Image Credit: WPExplorer)
Words Under Your Travel Blog Subheadings
The words under your travel blog subheadings should tell the viewer more about the subheadings’ topic. Try to incorporate exact keywords from your list into your content at about a 2% ratio, but only use them where they make the most sense. Aim to write at a seventh-grade level using Associated Press style. Use language that your target audience is likely to say.
End With a Call-to-Action
While you are just about done following the steps in how to start a travel blog website, you need to incorporate call-to-actions that tell your target audience what action you want them to take next. This statement should inspire your audience to act by showing the benefits of following your suggestion to them. Use words like I, my, and mine to personalize your statement. It is better to soft-sell your audience than promise them things that you cannot deliver. The image below shows a call to action example for a travel blog:
(Image Credit: Expert Vagabond)
Creating Your Travel Blogs Internal Pages
You have come a long way since you asked how to start a travel blog, but you still need to create your website’s internal pages. Regularly developing new pages helps to boost your rankings, so carve out some time weekly to create unique travel blog posts. Ensure that each page is high quality so that others will want to link to it from their sites. You have the hard part done because you have already created a list of ideas when you created your keyword spreadsheet.
While you are creating these pages, concentrate on adding good search engine optimization to your site. While Google and other search engines keep their exact algorithm a secret, there are some factors that you can bet are on the list, and you need to incorporate them into your site.
- Create Pages With Useful Content- Your readers need to come away from your page with the feeling that you have added something to their lives.
- Keep Your Site Mobile-friendly- Consider if each element you add to your travel blog is responsive and how much it will slow your page loading speeds down.
- Focus on User Experience– Track user experience by following the dwell time in the Google Console. Look to see where people are leaving your travel site and discover what you can do to improve those pages.
- Keep Everything Connected– Make sure that you connect every page to your travel site’s navigation system.
- Improve on-page optimization– Never create a webpage without writing a unique meta description, employ Schema Markup on every page and garner domain authority by linking out to reliable sources.
Diib®: Check Your Travel Blog Statistics Today!
You now have the answer to how to start a travel blog. The rest is up to you. As you continue to work on your site, concentrate on building your expertise as a travel expert, show your target audience that you are an authority in the field and can be trusted to tell them about the best travel deals and destinations.
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The best platform for beginners to start a travel blog is WordPress.
Here are a few steps to getting started: 1) Know your audience and niche. 2) Set up your domain and hosting. 3) Download WordPress and get familiar with it. 4) Download a theme that is professional and attractive. 5) Get popular plugins. 6) Start blogging.
Seems like a silly question, but yes, you can start a travel blog without traveling. As a travel agent, you likely have hoards of information and data on specific locales and destinations.
Yes, they do. In fact, an overwhelming 77% of Internet users report regularly reading blog posts according to the latest blogging statistics.
There are several effective ways to make money with your travel blog. 1) Direct advertising, which is selling Ad space on your blog. 2) Affiliate marketing. 3) Selling related products or services. 4) Selling digital products. 5) Native Ads.