If you like to travel, enjoy remote work and have a knack for writing, you might’ve thrown around the idea of creating a travel blog. Trips to new places are often full of learning experiences and interesting stories, which can make for great blog content ideas.
With a travel blog, a Costa Rican jungle excursion can turn into an article on the importance of learning a little bit of the local language before you visit a new place. Maybe you’ve visited France every summer since you were little and want to provide an in-depth guide to vacationing in France. No matter what you decide to write about, you can turn a travel blog into a fun hobby, a way to start a side hustle, or a segway into a new career.
What You Need to Know About Travel Blogging
A travel blog is a collection of online articles that dives into travel-related topics like trip itineraries, travel advice, packing tips, travel stories and more. If you’re planning on starting a travel blog, you’ll need previous or upcoming travel experience, a website or blog host, and a few article ideas. A logo, personal branding, and marketing strategy can also come in handy as you grow your blog.
How to Start a Travel Blog in 9 Steps
Being a travel blogger can sound tempting when a lot of people use it as a way to work from home and travel the world. Since it only requires a computer, wifi, and a place to post your articles, a travel blog is a pretty accessible way to grow a community online—especially if you know how to bring people to your site.
1. Choose Your Blog Type and Audience
Before you start blogging, you’ll need to decide who you’re writing to and what you’re going to write about. There are thousands of travel blogs online which means it’s a pretty competitive field. To grow an audience, it’s best to define yourself as an expert in one topic rather than trying to be a travel blogger, lifestyle blogger, and fashion blogger all at once.
You might be passionate about budget travel and want to show other college students how they can travel the world without a trust fund. For that blog type, almost all of your blogs would be for an audience who wants to travel for less money. You want to find a good balance between choosing a specific topic and not getting too dialed into every detail.
Writing about travel in a specific town that only gets a few dozen visitors a year might mean you have less competition but it also means your potential audience is a lot smaller. Try coming up with a few blog post ideas and searching them on your preferred search engine. Now, find out how many blogs already exist around your topic. If there are five to ten, you’re probably on the right track. If there are over twenty, you might want to find a tighter niche.
2. Name Your Blog and Secure a Domain
Nomadic Matt, Hand Luggage Only, and A Blonde Abroad are a few of the most popular travel blogs. Most travel blogs usually use their name and a travel-related word to come up with a catchy title. Try to write down a list of things that describe you and then a list of things that describe the way you like to travel. Look for words that rhyme, start with the same letter, or would make a play on words.
You could also try to look up a few travel idioms or famous travel books and magazines and see if you can get inspired by their titles, headlines, and travel-related phrases. Since your domain is the place where everyone will find you, try not to make it too long, complicated, or difficult to pronounce. Choosing a “.com” domain will make it more trustworthy, but you can also explore other domain options that better fit your budget or aesthetic.
You can also use blog hosts like Medium or Hubpages, where your blog will live under a greater umbrella of written work. This can help bring more views to your posts as you grow but will mean less autonomy.
3. Select a Template and Create a Logo
A lot of website hosts offer pre-made templates that you can use if you’ve never built a website before. When you’re first starting out, you shouldn’t worry about hiring a website designer unless you have a really specific vision. Website designers will make your travel blog project a much more expensive endeavor.
For your logo, you can try to build your own with resources like Canva or hire a designer to create one for you. Making your own logo will save you money, but if you’re really set on building a personal brand complete with a specific color palette, logo, and fonts, it could be worth it to work with a professional.
4. Prepare Your Videos
Adding videos to your travel blog can help make your posts even more engaging and boost the amount of time that people are spending on your blog. If you’ve done any research on search engine optimization (SEO), you might have learned that each website has a domain ranking, which has some influence on how high your blog posts will rank on Google.
Adding videos to your blog can aid in SEO because it will increase the amount of time your reader stays on your page. This will show Google that your blog post must be high quality because people are spending a lot of time there. Other ways to help the SEO of your travel blog and boost its domain ranking include:
- Using specific keywords and keyword phrases in your blog post that your readers might use to search your blog post’s topic
- Answering commonly asked questions about your blog’s topic
- Reducing your website’s loading time
- Linking to reputable sources
- Getting linked to from reputable sources
5. Write Your First Posts
If you’re thinking about starting a travel blog, you might already have a few ideas for your posts, but it’s okay if you’re still brainstorming your first ideas. You can start by writing down a few of your previous trips and some key moments from them. Consider questions like:
- Is there anything I wish I knew before going on this trip?
- What is one thing I learned while traveling to this place?
- What is something I wish I packed for this trip?
- Would you visit this place again?
- What should everybody who visits this place do?
- What should people who visit this place eat?
If you’re not a confident writer just yet, write how you would speak to a friend. You can always go back and fix any run-on sentences, spelling mistakes or adjust the tone.
6. Generate Engagement with an Audience
A lot of website and blog hosts have a feature where your readers can leave comments. If you’re open to receiving comments, the comment section can be an intimate way to engage with the people reading your posts. If not, you can consider having a contact page or leaving your email address at the bottom of your posts. Your audience will be more likely to return to your posts if they feel a personal connection with you.
7. Network with partners and Brands
One of the main ways travel bloggers make an income from their blogs is by partnering with brands. If your blog about hiking around the world starts to get thousands of views, a backpack brand might want to be featured in one of your posts.
They would pay you to write about their backpack so that your readers might visit their website after yours. Once you start getting a few thousand views on your posts, you can reach out to brands you like and see if they would be interested in partnering with you.
8. Monetize Your Content
Besides partnering with brands, you can also monetize your content by adding advertisements to your blog post. For this, you would use a service like GoogleAds, which would automatically populate your blog post with ads that your readers could be interested in. With a service like this, you get money for every visit your blog receives.
When you’re getting consistent website views, this can be a regular income stream. You can also monetize your content by pitching new blog ideas to publications and getting paid as a freelance writer.
9. Promote Your Site
Besides using SEO techniques to organically bring new readers to your blog, you can also promote your posts on social media, in an email newsletter or just through a text blast to your friends and family.
If you have a social media presence, Instagram and Twitter can be two great places to share your recent posts. You can also try reaching out to write a guest blog for other bigger blogs where you’d link to your own blog in your byline or bio.
Kickstart Your Travel Blogger Career
While you give yourself a few weeks to work through this comprehensive travel blogging guide, you can share your ideas with friends and family as you go. Sharing your completed logo and the behind-the-scenes of building your website before you launch your site can be a good way to start building an audience before you even start writing. If you still need a little guidance, Skillshare has the best class selection for developing a career as a travel blogger.