Last updated: 7th May 2023.
Starting a travel blog is the best decision I’ve ever made.
Through this site, I’ve funded 12 years of full-time travel and gained a book deal for my travel memoir, along with a big New York City agent. I’ve been featured in large publications, like the Wall Street Journal, the Independent, and the BBC. I’ve been interviewed on the radio in front of an audience of 1.6 million listeners. I’ve been to over 100 countries. And I make a comfortable six figures each year in entirely passive income, meaning the money comes in whether I’m working or not. (In 2023, I average about three hours of work a day).
And yet, before starting Never Ending Footsteps, I had zero writing experience, had no idea how to run a website, didn’t really know what a blog was, and had never heard of WordPress.
I hadn’t even travelled before.
I’d just graduated from college with a physics degree and was fully intending to throw myself into a career in particle physics — that is, after I took a year-long round-the-world trip.
Guys, I’ve now been travelling full-time for twelve. freaking. years. That’s 12 years of travel paid for entirely through this travel blog. I want to cry when I think about it.
But you know what? Success to me isn’t just about the money, the book deal, and the media mentions.
Running Never Ending Footsteps has led to life-changing friendships with some of the most fascinating and inspirational people I’ve ever met. It’s taught me dozens of new skills and taken me to over a hundred countries. I even found my boyfriend of 10+ years through this travel blog!
So yeah, I’d say starting a travel blog was the best decision I’ve made.
There are approximately seventeen bajillion articles describing how to start a travel blog in 2023, so I hesitated throwing my take into the mix for many years because of it. After reading several of these articles and cringing my way through them, though, I couldn’t hold back. So much of the information was outdated and wrong! And so, I want to write an article about how you can actually start a travel blog.
I want to show that you can build a six figure business — quickly and without selling out. And that being creative doesn’t have to mean being broke.
You don’t need to do what everyone else is doing — in fact, I recommend actively avoiding it. In a space as crowded as the travel blogging world, you need to stand out and that’s why my guide is the one you should follow. It’s one that’s based around what will give you the best chances of success in the present day.
And how do I know it works?
Because I’ve been mentoring a dozen brand new travel bloggers over the past two years, helping them get set up and find financial success in lighting-fast time. I even secretly started a second travel blog in March 2023 (anonymously, so that I couldn’t use my existing audience to jump-start its success) and it’s already making money, less than two months after launching it.
So many of the biggest travel bloggers write these guides but have no idea how to gain success in 2023 because they all did it back in 2010! The tactics that worked back then (back when Instagram didn’t even exist!) are the opposite of what works now.
I know what works in 2023 because I’ve been successful at starting in 2023.
So with that out of the way, let’s jump into the article!
Here’s how to start a travel blog in 2023:
- Find the perfect name to suit your personality
- Set up hosting for your blog
- Install WordPress
- Learn how your blog’s dashboard works
- Download a lightweight, user-friendly theme
- How to design a logo
- Install these essential plugins
- Start making money from day one (yes, it’s possible!)
What You Need to Know About Travel Blogging in 2023
The first thing you need to know is that travel blogging in 2023 is nothing like the travel blogging of a decade ago.
Most people’s impression of travel blogging is that it’s producing diary-style first-person narratives about somebody’s own travels, sharing their first impressions and personal experiences of a country.
This was the type of content that reigned supreme in 2012. Back then, you cultivated an audience who followed your adventures in each and every destination you visited. Bloggers didn’t publish helpful guides; they wrote chronologically about their travel experiences, focusing on telling stories and offering their opinions of a country, sharing lessons learned and future plans. People followed personalities, and they followed them for entertainment.
A decade later and this style of blogging is archaic. How many Gen Z-ers do you know who subscribe to blogs? No, when it comes to entertainment, people are looking to Youtube and TikTok to follow along on travellers’ adventures.
So what is travel blogging in 2023?
Travel blogging is more along the lines of guidebook writing. It’s actually useful to think of it as running a travel website rather than a blog. It’s not about entertainment (at least, not entirely), it’s about helping people. It’s writing detailed guides to destinations, sharing the top things to do and how to make the most of your time there. It’s about positioning yourself as a travel expert and teaching readers how they can see more of the world.
It’s actually a lot of fun, and these useful guides make so much more money than personal narratives.
My storytelling posts usually average $100 a year in advertising income, while my detailed city guides make more like $2,000 a year from ads. You can do the math: write 50 excellent city guides and you’re making $100,000 a year! Or… you can write 1,000 excellent stories to reach that same income level.
I know which one I’d choose.
First, we’ll take a look at the technical steps you need to take to get your blog up and running, then I’ll dive into how you can write those detailed travel articles and set them up to make you money.
Step One: Deciding On a Name for Your Travel Blog
Finding the perfect name sounds as though it should be one of the most challenging aspects of starting a travel blog. A lot of new travel bloggers spend days and weeks agonising over finding the name that feels just right.
In reality, though, as long as your chosen site name isn’t offensive, you’ll be all good.
This ties in to what I was saying in the previous section: in 2023, the vast majority of your income is going to stem from writing helpful guides to cities and countries. And I’ll let you in on a secret: for most successful travel bloggers, 90% of their site traffic comes from Google (not social media). People will be googling what to do in Tokyo, find your blog, browse the article, then get on with their trip. Most likely, they won’t have even noticed what your website was called.
Think about it: when you’re searching online for travel tips, how much attention do you give to the names of the travel blogs you end up visiting?
That’s why your blog name is less important than you think.
If you can rank in Google (and I’ll teach you how to do that later on), you can easily make money from that traffic. And the name of your blog? It could be anything and you would still be pulling in income.
So. With that being said, here’s what I recommend keeping in mind:
You don’t really need to stand out: Yes, names like Nomadic [name], [name] Abroad, Backpacking [name], [name]’s Travels, and Wandering [name] have all been done to death, so if you go down that route, know that your site name is going to be fairly generic. That’s not a bad thing! It’s short, catchy, and has worked for others in the past; there’s no real need to avoid choosing similarly.
What about your name?: If in doubt, register your own name as the title of your travel blog! Why not? You’re never going to grow out of it, it’s an accurate representation of who you are, and it makes branding a hell of a lot easier.
You should probably take a long-term view: Don’t call yourself The Thirty-Year-Old Traveller if you plan on running your site long-term — what happens if you’re running that blog when your 50?. Likewise, My African Adventures is going to lead to you feeling as though you can’t write about anything outside of the continent. Having a travel style in the blog name — like Backpacking [name] or [name]’s Luxury Travels Travel — could cause problems down the line if you decide, for example, you no longer want to stay in dorms every night.
Keep it classy: If you’re hoping to eventually end up taking sponsored trips or working with companies in any capacity, think about how you’ll feel when handing over your business card or pitching for a trip. “Hey, I run the successful travel blog, “Sex, Drugs, and Travel” won’t necessarily make for the best first impression. Imagine introducing your site to the CEO of a tour company to see if it feels right. Imagine being older than you are now — will the name hold up when you’re 50, 60, or 70?
Make the name as easy as possible to share: I’d avoid a site name that contains more than around five words, and I’d also recommend against using hyphens, because they make it tricky to describe your site address to people. Imagine being on a podcast and having to say, “my site is travel hyphen like hyphen a hyphen local,” or, “my site is Travel Like a Local with hyphens in between every word.” Most bloggers I know with hyphens in their url have come to loathe it.
Similarly, long, complicated words can make it tough for people who may not know how to spell them off the top of their heads. The word peripatetic describes a person who moves from place to place — sounds like a great word to include in your travel blog name, right? Now imagine how much of the general public can spell the word correctly first time, let alone know what it means!
Keep in mind that not everybody uses American English or Commonwealth English — if you’re Canadian and call your blog something like My Favourite Places or The Bold Traveller, not everybody will spell those words in the same way, so may not be able to find your site.
Check out the social media options before buying the domain: Before purchasing your domain, see if the name of your site is available on every social media network you can think of. It’s not the end of the world if your chosen site name is too long for a username because you can modify it slightly. I’m NEFootsteps on everything, for example. And if you’re really in love with your blog name, just use your actual name for social media — lots of bloggers do that.
Think of puns and quotes: If you’re really struggling, I suggest finding a long list of travel quotes and seeing if any of them resonate. Do you have a favourite inspirational saying that you can work into a blog name? Can you think of a play on words with your name to twist it into a travel-themed phrase? How about your favourite songs? Are there any lyrics that resonate with your current mindset?
How Did I Choose Never Ending Footsteps?
I opted for Never Ending Footsteps for the name of my travel blog because it’s one that can grow with me. It doesn’t link me to a particular travel style, specific age, or length of trip. I personally wanted to choose a site name that didn’t include my own name because — thinking long-term! — it would be easier to sell my site somewhere down the line if it wasn’t tied to me as a person. Finally, I liked that, while Never Ending Footsteps evokes a sense of travel, I could potentially transition it into something else in the distant future. Never Ending Footsteps would work as a name for a hiking blog or a personal development site, for example.
Hopefully by now, you’ve decided on a name for your blog. Now it’s time to move on to the next step: registering it!
Oh, and full disclosure, as always: This blog post contains affiliate links. If you decide to purchase through one of these links, I receive a commission from the sale at no additional cost to you. (I’ll also teach you how you can do this too, later on in the post!)
Step Two: Setting Up Hosting
Hosting was the scariest part for me, because what even is hosting? When I started out, I had no idea. Fortunately, it’s quick and easy to get it all set up.
Hosting is essentially a home for your travel blog — it’s where it lives on the internet. So in order to have your website exist, you need to sign up with a host. What your host does is provide the physical servers for your website to live on, maintain the software required to keep your site online, and perform regular maintenance to keep your site up and running smoothly.
Honestly, I don’t understand much more than that, so don’t panic if you’re baffled by what on earth I’m going on about. You don’t need to know how it all works to get your blog set up — I’d say 95% of travel bloggers couldn’t clearly explain what hosting actually is to you.
All you need to know is that: you need it in order for your site to exist.
I’ve tried and paid for four different budget hosting companies over the years and had countless issues with all of them apart from Bluehost. They’re the host I recommend most. I use them every single time I start a brand new website — and all of the bloggers I’ve mentored do, too. In other words, I’m putting my money where my mouth is: I use this myself!
And exciting news time! I’ve reached out to Bluehost and got them to agree to give readers of Never Ending Footsteps a discount on their hosting! When you use this link, you’ll pay just $2.95 a month, rather than $8.99.
Bluehost is also one of the cheapest options around, their live chat support team are helpful, friendly, and can usually fix issues within minutes, and — bonus! — you’ll receive your domain name (the url of your site) for free. Setting it up should take you less than ten minutes, and I promise it’s super-easy.
Head to Bluehost’s homepage. This is what you’ll see — you can change your currency in the top right-hand corner:
Hit that green button that says “Get Started Now” and you’ll be redirected to a page outlining their different hosting plans:
Don’t go for their recommended plan, “Choice Plus” — you absolutely don’t need this. Instead, I recommend the cheapest plan, for $2.95 per month. This is the one I always use when setting up a new site.
(The “Plus” plan is for people who will be running multiple blogs, which you won’t be doing right now. The added privacy and security included with “Choice Plus” aren’t needed, as there are free, just-as-good alternatives to those features out there. And the “Pro” plan is for sites that receive a lot of visitors — this isn’t you right now, so you don’t want to pay extra for resources you’re not using.)
Select the “Basic” plan and you’ll be sent to the following screen:
This one’s easy! Type your chosen blog name into the box on the left and click next. Check the name multiple times for spelling errors! Now check it again. You wouldn’t believe how many people register a domain name with a spelling mistake in it and don’t realise until everything is set-up and paid for.
Okay, so you’ve chosen your domain name and have clicked next. Now it’s time to pay for your hosting.
This is the part when Bluehost tries to get you to sign up for things that you absolutely don’t need, so I’m going to tell you which extras I always add to my package — as well as what you should skip out on paying for.
Okay, let’s dive into these options, what they all mean, and why you don’t need most of them.
For the service term option, I recommend 12 months (which is $2.95 a month) as opposed to 36 months ($4.95 a month). Well, that’s a no-brainer, isn’t it? You’re tied into a shorter contract and paying less money for it.
As you can see above, domain privacy + protection is the only additional feature I recommend going for. Basically, when you run a website, it’s possible for people to use services to find out who owns the blog and what their home address is. You definitely don’t want this on the internet! The privacy and protection feature hides these details and replaces them with a generic Bluehost address.
None of the other features are needed, as there are free, same-quality alternatives out there to all of them. There are free programs that backup your site for you; Yoast SEO has a free option that contains everything you need to optimise your site, you can get a quality SSL certificate for free, and Google Workspace Business Starter is not required at all.
So that’s everything! Fill in your personal details and payment information and you’re good to go!
Bam! You’ve now set up your hosting and domain name — easy, right?
You’re now so close to having your site up and running.
Step Three: Installing WordPress
Now that you’ve set up your hosting, it’s time to install WordPress. This is the software that you’ll use to run your website. Through WordPress, you’ll be able to publish articles, accept comments, install useful features, and customise the look of your travel blog.
As you’ll see in the screenshot above, it’s now time to create your account on Bluehost. After you click on that blue button, you’ll be asked to enter a new password for your site.
When you’ve entered in your password and clicked “create account”, it’ll take a couple of minutes to process and take you through to the next step, so don’t panic if you’re sitting there for a while.
And with that, it’s time to start building your site. You’ll see the below graphic next, and you already know what to do: click create your website!
Okay, now the fun part starts! Fortunately, Bluehost really holds your hand through every step of the process. So let’s choose the option of “a little help” on the right-hand side:
On the next screen, you’re going to want to click on “blog”.
On the following screen, it’s pretty self-explanatory: the type of blog you’re creating is “travel & documentary” and you’re creating the site for yourself:
Moving on! You’ll now enter the name of your site — I’ve used “Lauren’s New Travel Blog” as an example, and then you can enter in a tagline. Honestly, just put some placeholder text in here, as you’re easily able to change this at any point in the future — there’s no point agonising over it right now.
Now, Bluehost will ask you to pick a theme that appeals most to you. Just as with your tagline, I wouldn’t recommend spending any real time on this. This is just a placeholder to help you get your site off the ground — you’ll want to change it to a premium theme once you’ve finished setting up. (I’ll recommend some of my favourite ones in the next step).
So in this case, I’ve just selected the first them on the list (Sinatra) and clicked “use this theme”.
You can breathe now.
The hard part is over.
The technical part is finished.
You’re all done.
You’ve now successfully registered a domain name for your site, signed up for hosting, and installed WordPress. And now?
Now is when the fun truly begins.
Step Four: Logging In to Your Site
There’s now two different ways that you can access your website. The first is displayed in that screenshot above: just click on the button that says “log into WordPress”.
The second method is what you’ll be using from now on. Just head to https://yourdomainname.com/wp-admin. You obviously want to replace “yourdomainname” with the url you just purchased. (And the wp-admin part stands for WordPress admin).
With that, you’ll see the following screen:
Type in your username and password and you’re in!
That screen you now see is your WordPress dashboard and that’s where you’ll be running your business.
Down the left-hand side, you have all of the important stuff
- Posts (for writing articles for your readers)
- Pages (for static pages on your site, like an about me or contact page — these will be shown on the navigation bar at the top of your site at all times and will be easily accessible to your readers)
- Comments (where you’ll approve, spam, or reply to comments on your articles from readers)
- Appearance (where you’ll alter the look of your site by installing a new theme, editing its code, and adding sections to your sidebar)
- Plugins (for adding additional features to your site)
- Settings (where you can alter your site settings).
It all sounds a little overwhelming right now, but I promise it’ll all fall into place within a day or two.
Here’s what your next steps should be in order to get your site live and kicking:
Step Five: Finding a Theme
It’s time to make your site pretty! Your website theme is how you’re going to personalise your site to get it looking exactly how you’re currently hoping it will. Here are a couple of options for finding a theme, and I’ve used both of these on Never Ending Footsteps:
Elegant Themes: The very first version of my blog used an Elegant Themes theme (Divi is my favourite), and I made my way through several other ones during my first couple of years. For $89 a year, you’ll gain access to 87 professional-looking themes. It’s great value for money, getting to choose from such a wide selection means you can play around with different designs, and the support team always managed to solve any problems I was having within 24 hours. You can browse all of the designs before signing up, too!
ThemeForest: If you want to use a theme with an even slicker design head to ThemeForest. There, you’ll pay around $50 per theme (the price varies, but averages out at around $50), but the themes available have hundreds of options for customisation and have a support team to solve your queries within a few hours. I’m currently using a ThemeForest theme on Never Ending Footsteps and I love it!
Once you’ve bought a theme, it’s time to install it on your site.
Themes will usually include installation instructions, so this shouldn’t be difficult at all. On Themeforest, for example, you’ll be able to download an installable WordPress file.
Once you’ve downloaded the file, you can log into WordPress, click on Appearance – Themes – Upload, upload the zip file you’ve just downloaded from Themeforest, and you’ll be on your way to a beautiful site.
Prepare to spend a week or two customising your theme, learning how it works, and getting everything to look exactly how you want. This part can be overwhelming at times, but don’t panic — whenever I install a new theme, I find myself still optimising it a month later. It’s something you’ll probably work on for a while, so there’s no need to get it perfect right away.
If you’re having problems and want to get your site looking a certain way, you can use the support forums on Elegant Themes or Themeforest to get help from the theme’s creator.
And if you’re really struggling, just drop me an email. I’ve installed and customised themes for over 30 travel bloggers now, so I can probably show you exactly where you’re going wrong.
Step Six: Getting Yourself a Logo
A logo/banner/header is what you’ll use to differentiate yourself from other bloggers, so it’s kind of a big deal. But I’ll jump in here and say that I don’t think it’s something you need to put a huge amount of time or money into in the beginning stages of your blog. More important is your kickass content, then once you’ve started to build a following, you can pay more attention to your site’s design. As with practically everything in life, you’ll gain more benefit through investing money early on, but if you want to cut corners, this is where I recommend doing so.
Here’s what I recommend:
Canva: Canva is completely free to use, so if you’re starting your travel blog with a tight budget, this is a great option. Once you’ve created an account and signed in, click on create a design and play around with any of the banner-sized options. If you click on, for example, Tumblr Banner or Logo, you’ll find a list of pre-made templates that you can customise with your blog name. I created the logo for Never Ending Footsteps with a free trial of Canva Premium!
Fiverr: If you’re not comfortable with your own design skills, I recommend heading to Fiverr and checking out what’s on offer. You’ll be able to browse reviews and examples of each designer’s work on the site to ensure you receive a decent-looking end result. If I wasn’t confident in my design skills, I’d use Fiverr to find a designer. Readers of this site can use the coupon code AFFSURVEY10 to get 10% off their order.
Etsy: Fun fact! Etsy is a fantastic place to pick up a pre-made template for a logo for your site. Just search for travel blog logo, blog banner, travel logo, and see if any of the designs work for your vision. This is a great way to get something up on your site that’s well-designed and professional-looking without having to learn graphic design yourself.
Step Seven: My Essential Plugins for Travel Bloggers
You’ve got all of the design features of your site installed at this point, so it’s time to start working on some of the behind-the-scenes stuff. With your site almost ready to go at this point, you’ll want to start installing some WordPress plugins. These will help improve the functionality of your site and give you access to a ton of new features.
Head over to the plugins section of your site and click on “add new”. You’ll then be able to search for the following plugins:
Akismet: I didn’t realise how much websites are inundated with spammy comments until I started this site. At the moment, I receive 2 or 3 spam comments a minute. Fortunately, I don’t have to see any of them because Akismet catches and deletes them automatically.
Comments Not Replied To: Building a community is important, and this plugin shows you a list of comments you haven’t replied to yet. If someone spends their time commenting on your blog, it’s worth taking a few minutes out of your day to reply. Plus, if your readers can see you reply to everyone, they’ll be more likely to leave a comment themselves.
Contact Form 7: This will add a form to your contact page so that people can email you.
Interactive World Maps: Have you seen the beautiful map on my Where I’ve Been page? It’s a plugin called Interactive World Maps, which I highly recommend getting. It’s a paid plugin, so it’s not something to opt for if you’re trying to keep your costs low, but if you want a beautifully designed map to showcase your travels, this is the one to go for.
Yoast SEO: If you install only one plugin, make it this. Yoast SEO makes it so easy to improve your rankings in Google and is the absolute best plugin out there. It comes with hundreds of features and options so I won’t list them out there, but needless to say: you need this.
Step Eight: Your First Blogging Steps
Create an about page: Before you even publish your first post, you should create an about page. The first thing I do whenever I arrive on a travel blog for the first time is find out who the blogger is, what they’re currently doing, and why I should care about them. An about page is so, so important. It tells potential readers why they should follow along on your journey. This is also the place to let your personality shine! Share weird facts about yourself, tell people why you want to travel, show them you’re human and worth following. You want to be anything but boring here, as this is your chance to grab your readers and convince them to stick around.
Write your first post: After you’ve got your about page sorted, make your first blog post about you. Tell people why you started the blog, what it’s going to be about, where you’re going, and where you’ve been. Your introduction is how people will get to know you and it helps kick your blog off with a bang. Once you’ve written it, start sharing it on social media — Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are where you’re going to want to start publicising your wonderful content.
Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through: Don’t be boring. When I decided to start a travel blog, I was so focused on appearing professional and being an expert that I ended up writing bland posts that read like a Wikipedia article. Little did I know, it’s your personality that’s going to convince people to subscribe. Once I embraced my inner idiot and started writing about the ways I’d screwed up on the road, my traffic skyrocketed. It’s so important to have a personality in blogging; don’t try to be a guidebook. Be a person. Be yourself. Even if you’re really weird. One thing that helps me achieve this is to write my blog posts as I would speak, then tidy up the grammar and sentence structure afterwards.
Create a business plan: Nobody talks about this, but it’s so important! If you want to find success, you need to treat your travel blog just like any other business. How are you going to find success? How will you monetise your site? How will you build an audience? Where do you want to be in three months? Or in a year? Which companies do you want to work with? Where do you want to be featured? Start thinking long-term, write down your goals, and start working towards them from day one.
If I was starting a travel blog in 2023, my plan would involve joining dozens of Facebook groups to network with other travel bloggers, looking for travel blogging guest post opportunities to build links to my site, focusing on Pinterest to build traffic, writing 3,000+ word resources that are better and more detailed than anything on Google’s first page, and making $500 a month. You should be able to achieve that income goal within 3-6 months of starting your travel blog.
Install Google Analytics: You’ll want to be able to record how many people visit your site each day, so Google Analytics is a must. This will allow you to track your traffic and find out more about your readers. Don’t get obsessive over it though! It’s far too easy to waste an entire day staring at your live analytics. Check every couple of days to see which posts are receiving traffic and whether it’s increasing or decreasing over time.
Stand out from the crowd by doing things differently: There are hundreds of thousands of travel blogs out there now. How are you going to stand out from the crowd? I’m a contrarian so if I see that everyone’s doing something, I try to do the opposite in order to find a niche.
I don’t take press trips or sponsored hotel stays or even accept free products for review. Why? Because every travel blogger does all of those things and I knew it was one of the things their readers dislike most about their blogs. I decided I’d pay for everything myself and travel how non-bloggers travel and have received nothing but amazing feedback in response to it.
I don’t offer advice on how to travel the world. Instead, I write about how I screwed up while travelling, because nobody else is doing that. And because travel isn’t always amazing but so many travel bloggers pretend that it is. I don’t make out that my life is perfect and I’m living the dream — instead, I write frequently about my battles with anxiety and what it’s like to deal with a mental health disorder on the road. I write about what it’s like to get lost in every goddamn city you visit; about how it feels to get scammed for the twentieth time in a year; about how to deal with your boat starting to sink in Thailand.
Everyone says to create a regular posting schedule. I didn’t start off by posting regularly though, and I never have. Bloggers say to post three times a week, but sometimes I’ve posted once a week for months on end. When I got a book deal, I posted once every three months and my traffic still grew. Interestingly, I once posted every single day for a month and my traffic dropped! Most important of all is focusing on your quality of writing. Don’t rush to post as much as possible if it’s going to sacrifice the quality of your work.
There are some things that will help you find success and that’s why everyone’s doing them. Go self-hosted with Bluehost, come up with a catchy name, find a beautiful theme, and come up with a way to brand yourself. But everything else isn’t as important. Post when you want, travel where you want, and write about the things that interest you. Be yourself. That’s the way to build a successful travel blog.
How Do You Make Money With a Travel Blog?
A lot of travel bloggers recommend waiting until you’ve built a large and engaged audience before you even start to think about monetising your site, but I don’t think it’s necessary. There are plenty of ways to start earning money that won’t negatively affect your growth or annoy anyone who visits your site. Here’s how I recommend getting started:
Adsense: The easiest way to start making money with advertising is through Adsense. Sign up for an account, enter in the ad settings you want (I’ve received the most success with a 300×250 sized banner placed below the first paragraph of a post), and then you’re good to go! Download the Quick Adsense plugin, too, as it makes placing the ad code anywhere on your site straightforward. Experiment with different placements, too.
You should be able to make as much as $1 per 1,000 visitors to your site if you have enough placements, and while that won’t sound like much, once you reach 25,000 visitors a month, you can leave Adsense, join Mediavine and start making 10x more money with advertising. There are plenty of new travel bloggers who manage to reach 50,000 page views a month in under a year — with Mediavine, that means making around $750 a month in ad revenue, which is enough to live off in cheaper countries like Vietnam.
Amazon: If you want to get started with affiliate marketing (and you definitely should — I make those annual six figures from affiliate marketing alone!) Amazon Associates is best for beginners. Any time you mention a product on your site, you can search for the product through Amazon Associates, and then use that link in your post. Whenever your readers click on that link and choose to buy anything, you’ll receive a commission on that sale. Packing lists, in-depth reviews, and gift guides are great for monetising through Amazon, so get started with those.
I have packing lists on my site that make me over $300 per post each month, so if you can write a detailed packing list and get it ranking first in Google, that’s a great way to make money before you have a huge audience. Write three of them? Well, now you’ve got $1,000 coming in each and every month.
Other affiliate programs: As long as you don’t go overboard and stuff every single paragraph with a ton of affiliate links (which can always be tempting!), there’s no reason why you can’t join other affiliate programs, too. Some popular ones that I use and recommend include Booking.com for linking to accommodation I’ve stayed in, GetYourGuide for recommending tours and Skyscanner for whenever I talk about finding inexpensive flights.
That way, when you write a detailed travel guide for a place, you can recommend the hotel you stayed in, share how you found cheap flights, and recommend that your readers make the most of their time by taking tours. Then, of course, you can make money whenever somebody clicks those links and follows your recommendation.
I have a single post on my site that brings in $1,500 a month in Booking.com commissions alone, so you can see how lucrative affiliate marketing can really be.
Most important of all: I use every single one of these companies and have done since the very first day I started travelling. If you hate Skyscanner and never use them, for example, you shouldn’t recommend them to your readers just so you can make money from them. You’ve got to be ethical!
The best thing about affiliates is that you can start making money from day one. If you start your travel blog off by writing a travel guide to Athens and find that it makes its way to the first page of Google within the next month or so, you can add affiliate links to that post and you will make a decent amount of money from it — even though your overall blog doesn’t get that much traffic.
That’s all I’d focus on right now. I’d steer away from monetising your social media, trying to get comped travel, and running branded content posts/sponsored posts in the early stages, if not forever, because they’re most likely to annoy your readers.
How Much Does it Cost to Start a Travel Blog?
Now that I’ve covered how to make money with your site, let’s take a look at the upfront costs you can expect to pay to keep a blog running. Here are several options:
You want to run a blog to keep friends and family informed of your travels: free
If your aim is to keep a record of your travels for your friends to follow along with and you have no desire to turn it into a business, there’s no need to make an investment up front. Instead, I recommend heading to WordPress.com (rather than .org) and setting up your site through there. You won’t have to pay for hosting and you’ll have access to free themes to use on your travel blog.
You want to start a professional travel blog but don’t have much money to do so: $109
There are definitely ways that you can cut corners without sacrificing the overall quality of your travel blog.
I’ve yet to come across a popular travel blog that wasn’t self-hosted, so that’s an essential. When it comes to a theme, having a slick and modern one will create a better first impression, so I think that’s important, too. Opt for a ThemeForest theme in this case, for around $50, and you’ll be well on your way to building a wonderful travel blog.
For your logo, go for Canva if you’re trying to save money. They have some pretty impressive banner designs that won’t cost you a cent to use, and you can hire a professional designer further down the line as you find success. Skip everything else that’s paid at this point — you can invest in those later on once you start making money with your site.
If you’re tight on money, then, you’ll find you’ll pay $59 for your Bluehost hosting, $50 up-front for a professional theme, and that’s it!
You’re determined to build a successful, lucrative travel blog as quickly as possible: $150 up-front
If you’ve got money to spend and you’re ready to dedicate as much as you can to getting your travel blog off the ground, you’ll be looking at large up-front costs. You’ll also likely start making money within your first year of blogging, if not sooner.
You’ll cover the basics with a Bluehost hosting plan for three years ($100), and then splurge on a ThemeForest theme for around $50.
You’re me: $330 a month
Ha! I’m including me in this list because you’re most likely curious to know how much you’ll be looking at spending on a site once you’re successful. Here’s how my main monthly expenses break down:
- I pay $35 a month to host my site with Cloudways. As my site has grown, I’ve tried a variety of hosts over the years, sometimes paying as much as $300 a month in an attempt to make my site the fastest on the internet. In the end, I settled on Cloudways, as it offers an excellent balance of speed and price.
- I spend $100 a month for SEMRush. This is an SEO tool that allows you to see which keywords your site is ranking for in Google, determine which articles are best for you to write next, analyse your competitors’ websites, learn which sites have linked to yours, track brand mentions online, and all kinds of other useful stuff. It’s pricey, but I easily make that money back every year from the information it provides me with, so consider it an essential. You can check it out with a two week trial through this link.
- I spend $700 a year for newsletter services with ConvertKit.
- I spend $600 a year to schedule pins on Pinterest with Tailwind.
- I pay $400 a year for accounting software with Xero.
- I pay $250 a year to host my travel photos online with Crashplan.
It sounds like a lot, but keep in mind that I make well over $10,000 a month from my travel blog, so they’re all expenses that I can justify.
Is It Too Late to Start a Travel Blog in 2023?
I receive a lot of emails and comments from readers who are concerned it’s too late to start travel blogging. Is it? Nope! Hell no. Seriously — it’s not too late.
And the pandemic? It caused a lot of travel bloggers to give up. While the travel blogging world used to be super-crowded, it’s now thinned out over the past year, as bloggers who were reliant on press trips began to run out of money. And now that the world is starting to return to normal, those of us who focused on passive income are doing better than ever, with less competition than before.
It’s a great time to start.
And you know what? There are so many more opportunities for income than there used to be. When I started out, there were only a handful of travel bloggers who made $1,000 a month, and they were the people who had been blogging for several years. These days, there are several hundred travel bloggers who are pulling in six figures each and every year.
In Facebook groups, I see new bloggers sharing how they managed to reach six figures in just a year or two of blogging — something that used to take the original travel bloggers four or five years to manage.
If I were to start my travel blog today, I’d be able to reach my current income within two years. So don’t be dissuaded by the sheer number of travel bloggers on the internet today — focus on generating traffic then monetising your audience, and you’ll be doing well in no time at all!
Now Get Blogging!
I have one final suggestion, and that’s to take a look through the comments of this article below. I now have almost a thousand comments on this article from people asking questions and looking for advice. My answers will likely be useful as you start your travel blogging journey, and feel free to ask for any clarification in the comments, too!
And most of all, good luck! I promise you can do it :-)
So this is actually only the second blog post I’ve read about how to start a travel blog, but I must say that I like yours the best. Mostly because you mention a little a bit about what you’re paying up front when you sign up for Bluehost. I’m sure if I started a live chat with them I could’ve discovered it on my own, but sometimes I have a little aversion to social interaction lol being an introvert sucks … anyways … I just wanted to thank you for helping me understand why I was so confused when I tried to start my website and it was declined due to insufficient funds lol being a food runner/expeditor does’t pay much lol
I really liked this post a lot and just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated all the information and time you put into it. I didn’t even know about logos and that was awesome that you shared that because the first blog post I read just mentioned “good content”.
I am saving this for future reference and thank you greatly for the inspiration your blog has given me. Keep on doing you =) You’re doing GREAT!
Thank you so much for your kind words, Eden!
Before I put this guide together, I spent several weeks looking at similar posts by other travel bloggers to make sure that I could fill in any gaps they’d left. I found the majority of them didn’t include as much information as I would have liked to have seen when I first started out, so I’m thrilled to hear that my article was helpful for you :-)
Hi Lauren, I’m a new travel blogger based in Nigeria and I decided to start my travel blogging with touring round my state in Nigeria. I’m really having a hard time thinking about if this is really best for me but I know I have a strong passion for going places. And I can’t explore other continents because I’m underage and my college won’t allow me to. I have already created my word press account and uploaded my first about post. But I need advice on how to move on and I am using the WordPress free plan for a start. What kind of advice can you give to me please ?
Start by writing about the places you’ve already been to in Nigeria, and focus on building up your social media following. You can still find success by writing detailed guides to destinations you’ve already visited.
Hey, I stumbled on your blog while looking for ways to work since I’m laid off from my job as a cook due to the pandemic. I was bouncing around an idea regarding a travel blog revolving around virtual vacations since no one is allowed to go anywhere. All you really find is dry how to dos on the subject. I thought about how get the most out of it on a budget. Now I think I really want to try it. Just because you are stuck at home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy the world. I was hoping you’d have a little advice for me.
But do you think most bloggers set out with the intention of creating the kind of blog that can be monetized?
For me it’s been an evolutionary process – I started out on Google’s blogger in 2013 just as a way of keeping memoir for myself really, as well as a postcard substitute for friends and family. Then once my content grew I got frustrated with blogger’s limitations and moved to wordpress.com, then to wordpress.org hosted as part of my husband’s business website, and only to wordpress.org/Bluehost last month with a free theme from Catchthemes.
All I’ve paid for so far is Bluehost. The next step might be the paid-for version of my theme, but I think it’s unnecessary spend any money AT ALL until you know you’re going to stick with blogging – it’s easy enough to import existing content into a wordpress blog, so doesn’t it make more sense to create some content first and see if you enjoy the process? After all, a monetized blog seems take an awful lot of time and effort and probably isn’t for everyone – I still haven’t decided whether the monetized part is something I want to pursue.
It’s tough. I think more new travel bloggers are setting out with the intention of making money purely because there’s so much inspiration out there to quit your job and try it, and it makes it look easy.
There are pros and cons to investing in your site when you first start out. Like you say: you might end up giving it a go and then discover you don’t actually enjoy the writing and you’d much rather travel without the commitment. But at the same time, if you don’t take the time to build a slick blog that looks professional it’s going to be incredibly hard to build any kind of audience, which could discourage you from continuing, because it seems so much harder than it should be.
I’ve only just started and I’ve read quite a few “How to start a travel blog” posts – but I particularly like what you say towards the end about doing things differently. That was initial gut feeling, finding a USP rather than trying to compete in an overcrowded space, until I started reading about having to blog prolifically to start with etc. I like your approach better.
You’re also the only person who specifically mentioned getting a logo – something that I’d only had loose ideas about, but will definitely go about getting this now.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge!
Thanks so much, Maki! I actually wrote about this recently: Everyone Said I Was Doing it Wrong. I find that a lot of bloggers recommend doing the same things to find success and, while clearly they have worked for them, I’ve found success through doing things differently to everyone else. Standing out from the crowd is so important!
Thanks for this list! I can vouch for Fiverr. Found a great graphic artist who did my logo. She runs a legit design house with other artists working for her, so it might be better to find a user with an extensive portfolio and lots of positive reviews.
Oh, that’s good to hear! Thanks for the tip :-)
Wow wow wow, firstly, well done on your achievement!!
Secondly, thank you for sharing these steps as many do not go into so much detail. Greatly appreciated.
I’m in Cape Town, South Africa, recently retired and have always been interested in writing about our travels. We’ve done numerous motorcycle tours and I would usually do a short reflection of it. Friends have been pushing me to write more. ..I’ve recently posted 2 recent day trips on Facebook (Colleen Arendse-Stain), and being reminded again to start a book or a blog….now that I have more free time, I would like to give it a go. Thank you for the advice and inspiration…
When will you visit Cape Town???
Best of luck with getting it all set up, Colleen! And I looooove Cape Town :-)
What if you are unsure what your niche is? I want my blog to encompass all aspects of my traveling life whether it’s the how to’s, budgeting, disasters on the road, travel hacking, etc. I’m concerned that by doing everything I’ll slip through the cracks and won’t be noticed.
I’d recommend focusing on one angle and tying everything else into that. For example, you could make budget travel your main focus, but still write about everything else. Travel disasters could be tied into traveling on a budget if you have mishaps in hostels, for example. Travel hacking could have a budget focus, so it isn’t all about getting as many credit cards as possible. How to travel on a budget… you get the idea. After you choose a niche that doesn’t have to be your sole, sole focus — you just want people to be able to say, “Oh, Mike? He’s that guy that writes about…”
My focus is being a walking disaster, but that isn’t all I write about! I’d probably only end up posting every few months if that was the case. I still write resource-y posts and guides to cities and posts about anxiety, but I’ll throw in a mention of a misadventure I had every now and then.
Hi Lauren –
Your blog is awesome and is set up so beautifully!! I’m working on setting one up and am trying to add a “Where I’ve Been Map” that I can link things to. I’ve been looking at maps on a few different travel blogs and yours is the closest to what I’m looking for.
Any tips for creating a map with countries colored in that can be linked to certain posts? Most of the sites I’ve found either share only a map with filled in countries OR a Google map with pins that can be moved around.
Any help is appreciated! Thanks :)
Hi Alison. Yep! I use a plugin called interactive world maps for mine. I highly recommend it as it’s easy to use, looks great, and is very customisable! :-)
Lauren, is it possible to move from my existing WordPress address to this host and get the .com address? I don’t want to start from scratch after all this time, and I’m generally happy with my existing blog on WordPress, but I know I will have to start paying for it soon. Thanks for any feedback you can provide!
Yep! You just need to transfer your site from wordpress.com to wordpress.org. When you log into your dashboard, navigate to tools and click export -> all content. Once you’ve done that, sign up for hosting and install WordPress using the directions I included in this post. Once that’s sorted, you can log in, head to tools -> import -> WordPress, and upload the exported file from your wordpress.com site. Let me know if you need any help! :-)
Are there any free themes? Could I possibly bring in my own theme designed by a graphic designer ? To sign up for wordpress do I have to use WordPress themes ?
Hi Marcy. Yep, just google free WordPress themes and a ton will come up. You can also hire a graphic designer to help you out with your site — I’d recommend this as you’d likely end up with a more professional looking theme. Yep, you need to use WordPress-specific themes for WordPress.
Let me know if I can help with anything else!
All good stuff! After building over 100 WordPress sites I would highly recommend using good security plugins, WP is easy to hack.
Awesome! Thanks so much, Jane! I’ll get on that now :-)
Hi Lauren, I’m in the process of switching my WordPress blog over to a website and your post is the most helpful I’ve found so far. I had a few questions, but they’ve mostly been answered already in the comments :-) Jane’s tip sounds good about redirecting the admin login to avoid hackers, but what does this mean? How do I do it? I’d be really grateful if you or Jane could explain. I’m sure I could google it, but you make everything sound so clear and easy to follow :-)
Yep, it’s super-easy to do. Download this plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/better-wp-security/ and you can change the url of the admin area, and add a load of extra security features to your site, too :-)
I’m surprised you didn’t mention joining travel blog success like all the other bloggers do – which is impressive! I love how you personality just shows through your delicate writing!
I started blogging about my travel experience recently as well, but I am a photographer and I have my name as the domain for my portfolio site – so I just built a blog page on top of what I already have – I’m still debating if I should just create a separate domain for blogging or just keep it as is..
I like to do things differently :-) Honestly, I think Travel Blog Success is overpriced and unnecessary. I’ve never joined so I can’t speak from experience, but I’ve been just fine without it.
nice article as usual! I wanted to know if the plugins are hard to use with wordpress?
What do you think of squarespace?
Plugins are super-easy to use. Just search for them in the the plugins section of your WordPress dashboard and hit install. The settings for them are easy to understand, as well.
Never used Squarespace or subscribed to a site that uses it. I don’t like many of the templates and there aren’t many options for customisation.
Glad you found it helpful, Kate! Digg Digg works fine for me, so you shouldn’t have a problem with it — maybe try again? I’ve never used Genesis, so I’m afraid I can’t help with that. My theme is called Presso and I bought it from Themeforest.
Thank you for sharing your tips on this post I found it really helpful :-)
I am currently travelling and about to launch my own blog, more to share my experiences than to make a living out of it but obviously still want it to be unique and interesting.
I read your book “How NotTo Travel The World” whilst I was travelling around India and loved it ❤️
It’s good to know I’m not the only one who makes travelling mistakes and gets into the odd disaster…. Haha st least we will both have entertaing stories to tell! xxx
Thanks so much, Jayne! I’m delighted to hear you enjoyed my book, and no, you’re definitely not the only one to have disasters :-) Best of luck with your blog!
Thanks, Lauren. I’ve read a gazillion “how to set up a travel blog” posts and even attended webinars but this is the first time I think I could actually do it. I started writing a weekly travel column for the newspapers 10 years ago but shied away from blogging because I’m technically challenged. Thanks for your confidence boosting “how to start a successful travel blog” post.
That’s amazing to hear, Helga! I’m so happy to hear my post could fill you with the confidence to give it a try :-) Honestly, I had no idea what I was doing when I first started, but you pick it up pretty quickly :-)
Just finished your book and reading through this blog! My husband and I plan to head out for a year of travel in a couple of years and I’d like to blog. In the meantime, I have a sort of friends and family blog about camping in Colorado. It isn’t hosted and I use free wordpress. I’d like to transform it into something lots more professional and public. So, my question is–should I just scratch it and start over? Sounds like it is hard to move content and change a name? Because I’m giving tips on where to camp I think I may need to re-visit some of the older locations anyway. Will it actually disappear so that people will only find the new one? Finally, about how long did it take before your blog began earning an income? What exactly did you do–seek out advertisers? Or did they find you? Thanks!
What you could do is set up a new blog, then export all of your content from your wordpress.com site to your new one. There’s literally an export and import button on both WordPress versions, so it should be super-quick and easy. You could either redirect your old site to the new one, or just delete the old one if it doesn’t receive much traffic.
I started earning money from my site three months after starting it, and was making enough to live off of after around a year. Advertisers found me for the most part, but one thing you could do is create a Facebook group or small community of travel bloggers who started their sites at the same time as you, and share contacts with each other there.
Hope that helps!
I have been following your blog for so long now and it has helped me so much with my travels so I first just want to say thank you!! I’ve just started my own blog so my family/friends can keep up to date with what I’m doing etc, I originally didn’t set it up to make it into a business or to make money but I can’t help but notice how many people are making a living from blogging. My main question would be when and how did you know when to turn it from a hobby into a priority? For me I don’t want to spend money on a domain/Wordpress.org etc if it’s only ever going to be a hobby but I also know I can’t get anywhere without if that makes sense, sorry to ramble on I just don’t know what to do and after reading this post I thought it might be best to ask you the expert hehe! xx
Roughly how much a year do you think you’d spend on expenses for your blog? Preferably in NZD or something I can convert just so I have an idea ?
These days I’d estimate I spend around 2000 USD a year. I use WP Engine as my hosting company and pay around $70 a month for them. They’re one of the best hosting options there, but pretty expensive and completely unnecessary for a new blogger. I pay around $120 a year each for social media scheduling with Coschedule and Pinterest scheduling with Tailwind. Maybe around $50 a year for new plugins for my site. $600 a year for my newsletter service with ConvertKit. That’s probably about it.
During my first year of running this blog, I think I probably only spent around $50 a year. I paid for hosting and that was about it.
Hi Lauren! I am just starting out trying to create a travel blog too and I’m really struggling with making my site look the way I imagine. I’ve purchased a theme and it’s “installed” but doesnt seem to resemble what I purchased. I am not well versed in graphic design but I like to consider myself computer savvy. Can you suggest or recommend a good resource/s for setting up the themes and basically making my sight look like I imagine? Also a good place to create a banner? or is that what you mean by a logo? I’ve been considering travel blog success but I just dont know that I’m ready or willing to invest in it yet.Thank you so much for your help!
Your theme will usually have installation instructions that run through how to set it up and get everything looking how you want it to. Otherwise, using the theme options page on your WordPress dashboard is where you need to be. That’s where you’ll make all of the changes to your site’s appearance.
Yep, you can have a banner made through the same sites I recommend for a logo.
You probably won’t recognise my name, but I’ve tweeted you a couple times :) anyway, I just wanted to ask, what is a logo? I’ve never heard of that before. I seem to be having some issues with my domain name registering, but once its sorted, (fingers crossed it will be.) I’ll be moving on to personalising my blog. how do you pick a theme? There seems to be thousands of them! As someone who doesn’t have a clue or anyone to ask, I feel like i need to be walkeeen at this for 2 days and I’ve still not got my blog! Please help!d through by baby steps! I’ve already been derailed twice, please help! haha
hope alls well!
Oh, by logo, I mean the banner up at the top of every page. The Never Ending Footsteps part is the logo. It’a way to help brand your site and inject some personality to it, rather than having some plain, boring text as the site title.
When it comes to picking a theme, it took me about a week to find one that I like. I went to Themeforest and sorted the WordPress themes by popularity. From there, I went down the list until I found one that I liked. Honestly, it all comes down to what features you’re looking for and what style works for you. Take a look at the live preview of each site and see if anything clicks. Most of the themes are very customisable, so it’d be hard to go wrong!
Let me know if I can help with anything else!
Great tips, wish I would’ve had this post when I started. I’m glad you mention how much work it is behind the scenes as many people just think is taking photos and publishing then online. My biggest challenge has been seo, I actually invested in a professional to help me out. Looking forward to your posts.
Thanks so much, Sanket! I’m so happy to hear you found the post useful :-) It definitely takes a lot of work to build a successful site, which is why it can sometimes be a little frustrating when people assume you’re on a permanent vacation!
That’s a good tip about investing in someone to help you out if you’re not so great at a certain skill. I know that I tried to do everything when I first started out to the detriment of my site!
I’ve been following Dave since 2012-ish and then you soon after – you’ve both been so incredibly helpful with all my travel planning. Loved your book too!
I’m looking to start monetising my blog but I’m currently using blogger – I want to transfer everything so I can have my own .com name… can you do this with a blogger page or do I need to start again and copy paste the content across? I’m just worried about losing any follows!
Hi Clare! :-) You can keep your current Blogger site and just get a custom domain for it. Info here: https://support.google.com/blogger/troubleshooter/1233381?hl=en#ts=1734115
Great advice :)
I have a question around how your blog became successful – was there one particular moment or incident which turned your blog into a profession? There are so many travel blogs out there so im just wondering how you go about getting “discovered” – how did your readers find you?
There wasn’t really a particular moment when things skyrocketed — I definitely noticed a huge jump in engagement and follower numbers once I started embracing my disastrous side :-) but much of my growth has been pretty organic. If you were to look at my traffic numbers, it would be something like 5,000 visitors per month on average for the first six months, 10,000 visitors per month for the next six months and so on, so I’ve always had steady growth rather than one big moment when things rapidly expanded.
But that’s talking about audience size, which is different to turning my blog into a profession. For me, I didn’t think of my blog as my *job* until I’d been running it for around nine months (and travelling for three of them). By that point, I was making enough income to live in Southeast Asia, and was starting to become more well-known in the travel blogging world. It was at that point when I realised, hey, I don’t actually have to go home after a year :-)
And as for how my readers found me, I can actually answer this quite accurately as I recently ran a reader survey and asked exactly that question! To quote from that post:
“35% of you found me through Googling something random and 30% discovered me through another travel blog. On the lower-but-heartwarming end of the spectrum, 5% found me through a friend’s recommendations, 8 responders know me in real life (hi!), and 5 of you even found the site through buying How Not to Travel the World first.”
I’m in my last year of high school and your blog has definitely inspired me to chase my travelling dreams :)
Was just wondering though, is a web blog essential/necessary in funding your travels or could your travels be funded from other things?
What else could provide as a main resource for funding travel?
Saf – the way from Australia :)
Hi Saf! Nope, it’s definitely not essential. There are so many ways you could fund travel that don’t involve opening a laptop — teaching English, working as a surf instructor or divemaster, working on a cruise ship, running tours, working in hostels, working in bars… And for something online based, it could be doing your current job remotely if you don’t need to be in the office, working as a graphic designer or computer programmer or an app developer or a translator or a freelance writer or editor, or an SEO specialist or a social media marketer, or selling things you’ve made on Etsy or elsewhere, or self-publishing books on Amazon. The possibilities are endless! :-)
Thanks Lauren, for creating another master class post. I am bookmarking the post because in near future, I am going to make a travel related blog. Such instruction can make my work easier.
That’s so kind of you to say! Glad you found it useful :-)
Just wanted to say thank you Lauren, some fantastic tips in here. Nearly finished your book now, it’s brilliant. Never read a book that’s kept my attention and interest like yours does. You should be so very proud of yourself for such great writing. Best wishes and safe (as it gets with you!!) travels! Richard – BeyondTheVan.
Thank you so much, Richard! Your comment truly means the world to me :-)
This was really helpful, thanks so much. I still have a lot to figure out, but you’ve given me a good start.
No problem! Happy to help :-)
You’ve mentioned in your post and a few of the comments that you would suggest starting a FB page with other bloggers who are starting out around the same time as you. Do you have any tips/suggestions/advice on how to find people just starting? All the bloggers I follow online are already established.
Thanks so much :)
Hey, Renata! I answered this a couple of comments down :-)
My mother brought me a copy of your book home from work one day last year, and it had me cracking up thinking about how similar we are in terms of unlucky things seeming to gravitate to us no matter where we go. I got head butted on a subway in Shanghai by a man applying eye drops, for example..
Currently in the process of (trying) to set up my blog for my upcoming travels, and this post is doing wonders, so thanks so much!
Oh, that means the absolute world to me to hear, Jack! And oh my god, I laughed so hard at the image of you being headbutted, haha. Feel free to drop me an email if you get stuck when setting up your site! :-)
Thanks for the informative post! I’m also in the process of starting my own spiritual travel blog and was wondering…how did you find other bloggers who were new to start a Facebook group? I agree with Renata in her comment above; all the bloggers I see on social media are well established and not beginners like me.
Twitter chats could be a good place for starting to get to know other bloggers, like #TTOT. Also, searching for hashtags like #rtwsoon for people who are about to head out on a rtw trip, or #rtwnow. Or googling travel blog 2016 “first post” or “my itinerary” or “travel plans” or something like that should bring up recent posts from new blogs. There are also a ton of Facebook groups, like the Travel Bloggers group, and lots of others for newbies as well. Just have a search for “Travel bloggers”. Finally, you could look for other travel bloggers who are commenting on blog posts.
I forged most of my friendships through Twitter, because it’s more conversational and you’re not like, “hey! *Facebook friend request even though you have no idea who I am*!”
great Article about starting a travel bog. After I had finished it, it was clear to me that you have written more or less about “professional” travel blogs.
I have also started my own blog. But it is primary used to keep my family and friends up to date. So i choose one of the easy to use platforms. In my case: http://www.traveloca.com . I think it was a good decision as long as I don’t have such a popular travel blog. :)
I am a real non technically-minded blogger and until my blog gets not hundreds or thousands of visitor per day, I think such a platform makes much easier. :)
Hi Maria! Yep, this is a guide to starting a successful travel blog, so a lot of my tips are based around how to give yourself the best opportunity possible of making it. If your blog is for friends and family, there’s no need to spend money on hosting and themes and stuff :-)
Yep, perhaps it gets more popular in time. Than I can think about such a “professional” blog but up to now it is enough :) What I could do so far is following some of your tips from step eight.
Yes! And I’m planning to update this article over the next week or so to include money making tips and a few other bits and bobs :-)
Oooooo!! Excited to read that update, as your clarity, illumination, and support is always appreciated ;). Thank you for everything you do!
Thanks for the tips, Lauren!
Thanks for this! Lot’s of great tips for us lil guys starting out.
You’re welcome! :-D
Just stumbled upon this post on google – very helpful article! I’ve been blogging for about 6 months and most of my viewers come from Quora. Do you have any tips on similar sites to gain more visitors? Would really appreciate any advice :) Keep up the good work!
Thank you so much, Maria! I don’t focus too much on traffic generations on sites like that, purely because it takes a lot of time and effort and I’m not sure how sustainable the traffic is. For example, I used to get quite a bit of traffic from the TripAdvisor forums to my Maldives posts (it was in my top 10 referrers), but I just checked, and six months later, I get two visits a month. I’ve seen things like this happen over and over, so it’s not something I personally focus on. But if Quora works for you, then that’s great, and there’s no reason to stop working on it! :-)
One thing I would suggest is to focus on guest posting. Pitch articles for huge sites that are relevant to what you write about (for example, I could pitch a writing site about how I got a book deal, or an anxiety site about how travel helps my anxiety, or a personal development site on how travel changed my life, or a women’s site about how I met my boyfriend on the road). It’ll bring new people to your site, benefit your blog by giving you a link back (and therefore helping increase your search traffic), and it forces you to practice writing for a different audience!
This is my first time visiting your blog and first off, it’s fucking awesome. As I’m sure most of your followers are, I’m a travel nut (currently writing this while in Vienna, Austria) and want nothing more than to be able to travel for the rest of my life. I’m currently a junior German and Communication Studies double-major and would love to be able to travel after I graduate and share my experiences with others. I found this article really helpful! I did have a few questions for you though. 1) How exactly did you gain all of your followers? 2) How do you use your blog to pay for your trips? Obviously, money plays an important role in travel.
If you could give me any tips I would really, really appreciate it! (:
Awww, thank you so much, Jacqueline! I really appreciate it! :-)
1) Honestly, it all happened organically. Remember that I’ve been doing this for six years now, so that’s a lot of time for people to find me and decide to follow along on my travels. I just shared my travels here on my site and linked out to my social media pages on the site, I shared photos of my travels and little updates on Facebook and Twitter, and somehow people found me. I realise that isn’t very helpful, but I really didn’t do anything beyond share what I was doing. I didn’t buy any followers, or take part in reciprocal liking, or anything like that really. I’d imagine the vast majority of my followers stumbled upon my site in Google and decided to follow me then.
2) I have an entire post dedicated to how I fund my travels here: https://www.neverendingfootsteps.com/2014/01/28/how-i-make-money-to-fund-my-travels-around-the-world/ but it’s a little out of date now. These days, I make money through advertising (small banner ads in the sidebar and through ads on my Youtube channel), affiliate sales (this post is an example: if you decided to set up your site using Bluehost by following my link, I’d receive a small percentage of the sale), freelance writing (I write regularly for About Student Travel and Too Many Adapters, and occasionally write pieces every so often for other websites and magazines), and book royalties from my memoir. I think that’s about it.
There are a few things other travel bloggers do to make money that I don’t: taking press trips and charging a day rate (or taking press trips for free in order to save on travel expenses), selling ebooks or courses, doing social media marketing for other companies, selling photos online, working with brands on sponsored posts, placing ads on social media, selling ad space to other travel bloggers, using something like Patreon, where their readers help support them, or reader donations… there are lots of ways you can make money through travel blogging!
Thanks, Karen! :-)
No problem! Glad it helped :-)
I’m SO glad that you said not to spend money on Travel Blog Success! I feel like everyone just recommends it so that they can get money from the affiliate links…
Yeah. A lot of travel bloggers make it sound as if you’ll never be successful unless you join. Not true!
can you recommend a good (free) travel theme by WordPress. I’ll be traveling by bike with daily entries and lots of pictures…thanks!
The problem with free themes is that more often than not they contain malware and dodgy links, which will do nothing but penalise your site — that’s why people give them away for free, because they know they can add, for example, links to cheap viagra, etc from your site and cash in from that. It’s for that reason that I recommend going with a paid one.
If you don’t have the cash to spend, use one of the themes WordPress recommends in the themes section of your site. I haven’t used any of them, so don’t have any personal recommendations.
thanks Lauren, all good points!
I’m not looking to monetize my blog and mostly want it for friends and family to be able to access to follow my travels but maybe there are other issues too that could effect my site negatively by going with the free stuff.
Ah, just use one of the WordPress ones you’ll find in your backend then.
Hi Lauren, This is amazing! Probably the most comprehensive guide I’ve read so far. I am new to travel blogging and i’m looking at monetizing my blog too. I have used wordpress.com before, but the features are so limited which is why I’m shifting to wordpress.org, I want to take blogging seriously but i’m quite confuse about hosting. Thank you so much, the step by step guide for BlueHost is a big help for me!
Thanks so much, Lhea! I’m so happy to hear that :-) Let me know if you have any questions at any point!
This might be a bit of a naive question, but in terms of theme and logo, do you have to go through a professional graphic designer or can you just sort of put something together yourself? I would love to design my logo myself :)
No, you don’t have to go through a professional! If you can do it yourself, you totally should :-)
Lauren, thank you! One of my aims for 2017 was to start a travel blog and now that the year is half-way through, I’m starting to realise I need to get ON THIS right now. Thank you so much for your helpful blog article — it’s inspiring, easy to understand, and packed full of useful information. Can I ask what some of your favourite travel blogs are? I love yours (obviously) but I’d love to discover other authentic travellers out there to inspire me on my own travel blog journey.
I’m so happy you wrote this post, Lauren! I’m a longtime reader of your site and have been inspired by how much travel has helped you to grow. I’m setting out for my own soul searching experience in July and this has convinced me to take the leap and try travel blogging for myself to see how it goes.
That’s amazing, Edna. I’m touched to hear my story could inspire you <3 Best of luck with your blog and let me know if I can help out with anything if you get stuck along the way.
Who do you use for hosting your travel blog? Is it still Bluehost or somebody different? I read in another blog post of yours that you changed hosting company a few years ago and experienced a rise in traffic from search engines. Would you not then recommend starting with a more expensive host to give yourself the best chance of success?
Would there be much interest in retirement travel as a niche do you think? My children have flown the nest, my husband has died and I want to start traveling and showing other older women that it’s never too late to see the world. Is there any chance I can find an audience at my age? Travel blogging seems to be focused so much on younger women in their 20s.
This has been so helpful, thank you. Can I ask if these are the exact steps you followed when you started your blog or like are these things that you learned along the way? You are obviously successful and I was wondering if you made it by doing this exactly or doing some things differently. I hope this makes sense!
Can I be cheeky and ask which banner design you like most for a logo in Canvaa? Theres so many to choose from and I want one that will make me stand out.
This was just what I needed to give me a kick up the butt and convince me to start my travel blog! Time to start brainstorming names…
Yay! I’m happy to hear that, Loretta! Best of luck :-)
Hi Lauren. This was an amazing post! It not only inspired me to start my own blog but also to follow the exact steps you’ve laid out on your post. It was very helpful. Thank you. I have one question though. At the bottom of your blog, it says ‘Copyright Lauren………’. How do I do that on my blog using Word Press. Currently it says ‘Proudly powered by Word Press…..’ and the theme I use. Can I edit this?
Yes! If you go to Appearance -> Editor and find your footer.php file, you should be able to edit it in there. If not, most themes will have something in the theme options section of the WordPress dashboard where you can change it.
This is the most detailed post I found on starting a travel blog so I have to say thanks to you for that Lauren. My one question to you: would you recommend making your own logo in Photoshop or Canva when you’re starting out?
I’d go for Canva if you don’t have experience with graphic design yet. It’ll be much easier than trying to teach yourself Photoshop from scratch.
You don’t have to answer this but how much money do you make through this travel blog?
Thank you SO much for this Lauren! A treasure trove of information for new bloggers :o)
Happy you found it so helpful! Thanks! :-)
Apologises if you’ve answered this in another comment, but how long did it take before you started making money? How soon do you think a new travel blogger can start making money, realistically? How long to make their first penny and how long before they make $1000 a month, then $2000, etc. What are the best types of income for new travel bloggers to chase?
Hi Lauren. Why do you recommend Bluehost over Hostgator, etc? Who do you use for hosting your travel blog?
Thank you a lot for this Lauren! You made an overwhelming task sound manageable. No easy feat when you’re as scared of technology as me!
Oh, that’s incredible! Thanks so much for the huge compliment, Gemma!
I am about to embark on a 3 month trip backpacking SE Asia with my fiance, I have thought a lot about blogging…. but don’t want to start while I’m there. This will be a big first for both of us and we don’t want to worry about bringing our laptops as we are unsure what the trip will bring and don’t want to risk losing or breaking it. Have you or any bloggers you know started blogging after your trip as more of a reflection on the events rather than staying current with your posts?
Great , These are amazing tips for start travel blogs and these are very effective tips.
i wanted to tell you i found this incredibly informative and helpful. i want to share the kind of unconventional trips my brothers and i go on and you have given me a great starting point. once i get things up and running i’ll be sure to send you a link :)
happy travels to you.
So happy to hear that! And yep, I’d love to see how it looks when you’ve got it all set up :-)
This gave me the boost of confidence I needed. For about 2 years now, I’ve wanted to travel and be able to share it with other people. I’ve looked into doing a vlog as well, but have been to scared of failure. Thank you so much for posting this and making it easier for me finally start doing what I’ve been meaning to for years!
Thank you so much! I’m thrilled to hear I could make it easier for you :-) Good luck!
I just wanted to leave you a little comment to let you know that I read your book and it inspired me to try start blogging. So much so I even referenced you in my first post!
My blog is more as a pass time and fun than as a way to try make any money down the road but it was something I’d never really considered until I’d read your book. Your initial experience of travelling alone was also a comfort as my own first week travelling never exactly went to plan either! I just posted a blog piece about it (I came from the UK to Melbourne) and it made me remember all the things that happened during that week that I’d forgotten about. But writing it also made me realise how far I’ve come in 10 months.
So thanks again :D
So sorry to bother you if this has been asked before but, what is the difference between using Bluehost and transferring my current content over and simply purchasing a upgrade on WordPress for my blog?
Thanks so much lady!
I am just starting out with a travel blog and this article was really helpful! It looks like a daunting task to start a successful blog and monetize it but your words make it look do-able so thanks for that :)
Amazing! I’m so happy to hear that, Marium! :-)
Hi Lauren! Just wanted to say what an amazing blog this is; it’s really helped me with a lot of my travels around India and the Middle East. I’ve only just started my travel/self growth blog and I’m feeling so overwhelmed about trying to get more readers and how to do this? You mentioned getting in touch with other travel bloggers in the beginning stages but I’m not sure how to do this!? Thanks so much, love, Sophia
you are fantastic! Great (and super helpful) article. Thank you for helping out us aspiring travel bloggers
Thank you! I’m glad you found it helpful :-)
Your article is very powerful, I take your advice seriously while preparing to start my own travel blog.
Good luck! :-)
Hi Lauren, thanks for this very informative post! I usually don’t comment on things I read but this made an impression on me. I also have a question for you. Your disclaimer states that the income produced helps reduce the cost of running the site but is that all one can expect from following your advice is to supplement your travel budget or are you able to travel full time from the revenue of your site?
Hi Michael! Thank you so much — I’m pleased to hear that :-)
Oh, I should probably make my disclaimer clearer — I’ll go update it now. I was referring to the income from this specific post helping to reduce the running costs. I’ve more than funded over five years of full-time travel through Never Ending Footsteps.
Thanks for the Tips :-) this is very informative for me.After reading this I follow all the steps to start my Travel Blog I am very thankful to you Lauren.
Happy travel & All the best
Thank you! Same to you :-)
i almost never comment on blogs but this is a must!
I stumbled on your blog while doing a research on how to start a Travel blog and your steps are very simple, informative and really helpful. Thank you!!
Hope i can come back to give you a feedback when i eventually start mine.
Thank you and All the best with everything :)
Thank you so much! Definitely let me know when your blog is all set up and I’ll be happy to give you some feedback :-)
I always follow your blogs and really they are inspiring for me!!
I have read this blog on starting a travel blog and i found that your way is very simple, i really like it!!
i just want to ask few questions:
1- I didn’t get about how toe use of skimlinks. i am little confused about it.
2- Please tell me how can i use youtube for earning money if i start travel blog.
Thank you for sharing such blogs
Ah, thank you so much! :-)
1) They have instructions for how to set up Skimlinks on the site: https://skimlinks.com/getting-started — you basically copy and paste a line of code onto your site, and then Skimlinks will take words from your articles, check to see if there are affiliate programs for these products or services, and add a link for you if there is. Once it’s installed on your site, you can just forget about it and it does all of the hard work for you.
As an example: if in a blog post, I wrote: “I decided to buy the Canon 550D camera this month and I’m loving the photos I’ve been getting from it!” Skimlinks would detect that Canon 550D was the name of a product and insert an affiliate link to the Canon website or Amazon, and then if anyone clicks that link and buys a product, you get a percentage of the sale.
2) I probably make around $10 a month from Youtube, so I’m not really the person to be asking! I don’t actively film videos on my channel, so it’s not a source of income I pursue. A good way to start is by putting Adsense ads on your videos through the Youtube Partner Program.
Hi Lauren ,
I came across your blog today and its seriously a very inspiring one….I have been searching for some sources which help me in setting up a travel blog….i found yours very helpful and informative….
Thank u so much and all the best for your future endeavours….
Just a small question. What camera do you use, as your photos are always so colorful! Thanks so much for this useful guide Lauren :)
I use the Sony A7ii :-)
Thank you sooooo much for this guide Lauren!! I’ve just taken the plunge and got a Bluehost account, found a theme and I’m now starting to think about content. I know you say that your traffic and success hasn’t been affected by how much you post, but do you have a number of posts per week that you’d recommend for someone starting out? As much as possible? Once a week?
I’d love to see a more advanced guide about how you made it as a travel blogger after you’ve set everything up. This is so useful for new bloggers so it would be awesome to see a similar guide for more intermediate bloggers too.
Oooh, that’s a great idea! I’ll put some ideas together and see what I can do :-)
We are just starting off with out blog and this article was incredibly helpful! I have followed your steps to start our site but am confused when asked to connect to a wordpress.com account for the JetPack in order to download some of the plug-ins you mentioned. I wasn’t sure I should connect since I read in your comments that WordPress.org vs WordPress.com is very different.
You definitely don’t need to use Jetpack to download any of the plugins I recommend. I still use all of them and I’ve never used Jetpack. Feel free to drop me an email with more details if you’re still having problems and I’ll see if I can help out :-)
Hi Lauren! wHat do you recommend writing about if you’ve just started your blog but haven’t started traveling yet? I feel like i’ve run out of ideas after my first few articles (travel plans for my rtw trip, why I want to travel, and a past trip). Thanks for the helpful article.
Hi! ? I want to say that this post has been really helpful, especially the tip about the business plan because most blogs will advise to wait. It helps the reader to think long term and I really like the part when you say you said you were a bit of a contrarian. Haha!
I want to know about w h a t should be the first posts. I mean there are the technical parts of building a blog, the installation of plugins and all such things but I was hoping to find an article about what should be my first posts… when I start a travel blog from scratch what do I actually do and where do I go and what do I write about? The truth is that I am only beginning to s e t o u t to travel and wanted to blog about it but don’t know where to start in the “travelling” part, and I have received help about the “blogging” part. Do i just go to a place and talk about it? Wouldn’t that be boring?
Do you have an article somewhere in this blog about the blog post ideas I am looking for? I’ll be really glad to read them! Your blog inspires me ?
I was wondering what Hosting actually was. You mention it confused you too so I’m relieved to know I’m not alone and I get it’s basically paying for your website address but is that it or does that pay for access to plugins etc?
Right, so hosting is basically paying for the server (computer space) that your website lives on. The advantage to going self-hosted rather than using wordpress.com or blogspot.com is that your site will typically be faster, you have access to support if anything goes wrong with your site, and you’re paying for the flexibility and freedom to do whatever you want with it. Blogspot/Wordpress.com, etc restrict you in terms of what themes you can use, what plugins you can install, how much you can monetise your site…
thank you for these tips. I purchased the host on bluehost and I am looking at themes. The one I want cost $59 do you recommend paying the $49 for the install theme.
No, don’t pay to install the theme. You literally just download the files, log into WordPress, and click on Plugins -> Add New and upload the theme file you just downloaded. It’s really easy to do and you definitely don’t need to pay someone to do it for you :-)
This was really helpful, thanks so much. I still have a lot to figure out, like my blog name, but you’ve given me a good start. so thanks for sharing this information…Such a great Resource and the best guide on starting a travel blog Ive read so far.
Thank you! Best of luck with your blog! :-)
Great blog i love it has a lot of great information and i like how you kept it real about you don’t necessarily have to buy the travel bloggers program. I started my blog back like 2 months before i took off to my journey to Southeast Asia for three months in August. I’ve been doing a few posting every now and then just been trying to come up with a few different ideas to get more traffic and start earning some income i really don’t care how much I start earning in the beginning just as long as I’m making some type of income it would make me feel that I’ve started somewhere
Take A looking at my travel blog and let me know what you think or what would you recommend me changing
My main topic is A African/Haitian Nomad thats on a journey to see the world on a budget learn about new cultures and there history. I’m planning for my next journey going away for 7 months to 1yr to Africa in the next few months
I also want to thank you for this post. I am new to the world of blogging and your article was very helpful. Any suggested beginner user guides to WordPress? I find getting accustomed to the dashboard a little overwhelming!
Oooh, that’s a good question! I had a look around and this site has a ton of information on getting started and understanding what everything in the dashboard does: http://easywpguide.com/wordpress-manual/dashboard/dashboard-menu-options/
Hi Lauren. Thank you for providing such a different point of view to starting a travel blog. You’re right – so many are the same! I found this post a couple of days ago but have come back now before I take the plunge tomorrow and start setting up – I think I’ve decided on thetransientexplorer.com as a name. Maybe without the ‘the’… My problem is I like to make sure everything is perfect when actually I need to make a leap – kinda like travelling I guess!
One thing I have noticed is BlueHost is promoted by most bloggers. I used to have little websites years ago and I’m guessing things have changed, but I once got charged $100 for a data spike so I get a bit nervous, especially of a non-UK company. Because BlueHost are often mentioned I think I’ll follow your advice and use them.
I look forward to coming back to your blog and checking out some more posts.
Just wanted to say that I’ve spent all day researching how to start my travel blog and your guide was easily the most comprehensible and easy to follow. I now feel like I’ve got a good chance at making my travel blog a success. Thank you.
Thank you so much, Anna! :-)
Thank you so much for informing about Skimlinks, will definitely try that.
No problem! Hope it works out for you :-) It makes affiliate earning so easy.
Thanks so much for this post! It has made a huge difference for me. :)
I’m so happy to hear that, Ryan! :-)
I wanted a tip on if i am starting and i want to approach a company to affiliate should i go directly and tell my plan, or i do some stuff build the website and then go for it?
You’ll want to build the website first, so that you can show the company where their affiliate links will be placed. For the most part, though, you won’t ever directly approach a company and pitch to affiliate for them — they’ll either already have an affiliate program you can apply for or won’t offer one at all.
Hope that helps! :-)
Hi Lauren. Long time reader of your site here. Do you have any tips for how to inject more personality into your posts? I’m a big fan of your blog because reading it feels like I’m sitting down with a friend over a cup of tea and hearing about their travel stories. I’d love for my blog to have the same kind of feel. Thanks so much Lauren!
One thing that helps me is to write in a similar way to how I speak. You could just record a few minutes of you talking about a trip you took, then replay it, and transcribe what you said. It’ll eventually become second nature to write in this style, so you won’t need to keep recording your voice. Also, reading, reading, reading. Read lots of books and article from writers with big personalities and study how they get their point across and the types of words they use.
Hope that helps!
Wow Lauren, you’re truly INSPIRATIONAL. I live to TRAVEL and this post has given me the mojo to start my own blog which I had been procrastinatng for so long. Thank you so much.
Wow, thank you so much for the compliment! :-)
Thanks so much for writing about this! A travel blog of my own is slowly forming in my mind.
Did you ever take lessons for journalism/ writing to feel confident about your writing style? Or did you intuitively post articles? (if that makes sense).
I didn’t. I found the best way to improve my writing was to read and write as much as possible. Something as simple as sitting down every day and forcing yourself to write 1000 words, whether you publish them or not, can do wonders for your writing ability. Practice, practice, practice! Even now, whenever I look back at blog posts I wrote a year ago, I want to make edits and spot dozens of ways to improve them. It shows me that I’m constantly developing as a writer and improving the more I write.
Incredible Post!! You have done an amazing job. Worth reading this entire article for travel bloggers who are about to start their travel blog.
Keep it Up!!
Thank you! :-)
I got to thank you for writing this article. I’ve been researching stuffs on how to start a travel blog and I find yours very inspiring. I want to restart blogging with a new perspective but felt pressured since most of the bloggers I knew are following some kind of patterns like writing articles in exchange for freebies and with that I felt really pressured. Coz I don’t like I’ll be good at it. After reading this post, I felt at ease. I realized I don’t really have to do what everyone else is doing. Thank you for making me realize that! Now, I’m still brainstorming for a blog name. ?
You definitely don’t, Charlyn. If something doesn’t make you feel comfortable, you can find a different way to fund your travels. It’s totally nerve-wracking at first, but I feel nothing but relief when I think about how I didn’t go down the route. And honestly, from what I’ve heard, most readers of travel blogs find the freebies the most irritating aspect of sites, so if you do something different, you’ll most likely attract readers because of it.
Good luck in your search for a name!
Hi, I have a question. So how we make the money from the blog? Just by clicking on the travel link we share? Thanks for the reply.
There are so many ways to make money from a travel blog. I’ve listed the ways I recommend at the end of this article. I’d suggest going for advertising through Adsense and affiliate links to start with. In both cases, you’ll make money if one of your readers clicks either an ad or an affiliate link that’s in your post.
How is this different from the bajillion other “how to start a travel blog” posts? How is this unconventional?
The. Exact. Same. Stuff. Infact, it is the same as the bajillion “how to start a blog” post. Not even “travel blog”, just “blog”.
Just a post for you to insert affliate links.
Unfortunately, as soon as my post started to rank in Google, other travel bloggers began to copy the stuff I’d shared in this post, so I’ll take your point on board that it’s not as original as it could be/used to be. And on top of that, I guess my opinions on certain things changed, like travel blogging courses. To be fair, though, in the introduction I say:
“You don’t need to do what everyone else is doing — in fact, I recommend actively avoiding it.
I’ve never joined Travel Blog Success and won’t tell you that you should; I think it’s expensive and unnecessary. I’ve had a strict no press trips or sponsored travel policy for three years and counting, preferring to make my blog a success so that I can just afford to go wherever I want, rather than traveling on someone else’s dime. I write about how not to travel the world and don’t try to pretend to be a travel expert. I’ve never had a regular posting schedule. I’ve done everything differently and that’s what’s helped me to stand out from the crowd.”
And I don’t think this post deviates from that message. I still recommend to do all of those things and that’s unconventional advice in travel blogging, where people will say: “have a regular posting schedule! Write detailed resources! Don’t inject too much personality into your posts! Be an expert!”
And yes, there are affiliate links in this post, because as much as I’d love to offer I’ve everything I’ve learned over the past six years of blogging for free (and this post actually does if people don’t click my links), I do still have to eat. And I do believe the things I’ve learned have value.
It’s good work by you! Very interesting blog and article! I want ask you about some themes, what i want to use in my website(blog). I consider these: Divi, Monsteroid, Avada, maybe X-theme. Have you seen or work with anyone of them? I also found information about them on https://www.templatemonster.com/blog/avada-5-0-vs-monstroid-2/ it’s Avada 5.0 vs. Monstroid 2 they are all good i think. So what can you advise to choose?
I actually used to run this site on Avada! I really liked it, but it was super, super bloated. It offers so many features and customisation options that it slows down your site and makes your pages enormous in size. I’m not sure about the other themes you mentioned as I haven’t used them, and I’m currently offline and using data in Namibia so can’t check them out right now.
thank you Lauren this article has made up my mind to start a blog. I love technology , however I am an older learner :) I will be travelling solo to Italy Paris & Barcelona later in the year. Art is my passion as culture and history is what I love so much. An old friend and I travelled for 4 weeks around Turkey a few years ago although I made a beautiful photography book through Blurb I did not keep a blog and now wish I had. I did keep a journal. However, this time I think a blog will keep my family & friends up to date but importantly I will be able to share my daily adventures and cultivate lasting memories. I will start thinking of a name first..that will take me a while. Thanks again
Hi Heather! Best of luck with coming up with a name and getting started with your blog. I’m so glad I started mine so that now I have such a detailed record of my travels.
This is quite informative. I like it. I have done a lot of content for clients in the Travel niche and find this topic interesting. I, however, wish to start my blog because I equally love traveling and talking about the best travel destinations. Do you think this is the right blog for me to start? All in all, your content is quite useful. At least I have some points to get me started if I settle for this. Very rich content.
I think travel blogging would be perfect for you as you already have experience writing travel-related posts and it obviously hasn’t put you off writing even more :-). That’s a good thing, because a lot of people start travel blogging thinking it’s going to be their path to riches, but find after just a few months that they don’t enjoy it and they’re not making enough money to make it worth it. So having a passion for writing and travel is helpful when it comes to starting :-)
Thank you, for this blog! It’s gonna help me a lot :)
I quite enjoyed your website, and have caught myself glued to your past blogs for several weeks now. Being 30 now, I finally caught the travel bug five years ago, and have since been to almost 20 countries, and will be going to Morocco, Spain & South of France (2nd time to France) in May.
I’m sorry to hear you did not enjoy Bratislava. My fiance is from Slovakia, and we go to Bratislava yearly. If you ever make it back there again, I highly recommend checking out some wineries located on medieval castle grounds outside of the city. Especially in Spring, it can be simply bliss!
Currently living on the West Coast of Canada, getting anywhere (Europe, Asia, Africa) is not only expensive, but the fights are at minimum 9 hours.
I do have a full time career, however I am in the early stages of starting my blog, and have years of photos and written material to start with.
How do you suggest someone with a full-time career, and say only 3-4 weeks a year to travel, successfully launch their blog?
Thanking you in Advance
Thank you so much for this post. Incredibly informative. Thanks to the post, I was able to setup my blog quite seamlessly and also made a few edits to the original theme (I’m a developer so I found some of the PHP debugging, files stuff fun – so geeky haha!) I’m three posts old right now and have so much motivation to write more posts. I want to go back and share details from previous trips and start a series on specific themes. Too many ideas.
I love the point about letting your personality shine through – that helps me write more naturally and in a conversational tone. I’m no expert but my experience and stories make me who I am. Right now I am focusing on the look/feel/layout and content. I’ve only added a few links to resources using the Amazing Affiliate program (was so easy to setup) but waiting to get more readers to see where it all leads.
Hi Sonya! That’s so wonderful to hear :-) And it’s such a great sign that you’re full of motivation from the very start, as that’s usually when people will realise it’s tougher than they thought and give up. So, yay! Best of luck with your site — I’m heading over there to check it out now :-)
Thank you lauren! I am following your steps and excited to start my travel blog but I am stuck at finding a theme. Are there any elegant themese themes you would choose now? I don’t like the Cherry Truffle one you spoke about in your post.
Definitely Divi theme! It’s super slick and modern.
I’ve spend some time reading different travel blog posts and I’ve found that I have enjoyed yours the best. I like how your off the beaten path and not like the typical travel bloggers. I started to read some of your very first blogs and found them very inspiring, but I also can connect in some ways with how you think. Most days I wake up and ask myself what the heck am I doing with my life because most of the time I feel incomplete. Something is always missing. I’ve always enjoyed traveling and its always something I’ve dreamed of and being 24, almost 25. I’m tired of waiting because honestly I don’t know what I’m waiting for.. So I guess my main question is how did you choose a topic to stick with? I know my interests in animals will always have a pull on me when I travel. There’s so many beautiful creatures out there and I feel like I could take it with me in the future as well. Is that something that could last?
Hey Rebecca! Your comment definite resonates with me. I felt very similar to how you do before I started travelling, and seeing the world has helped me feel more fulfilled and happy in life. I also struggled with feeling as though I was just waiting and waiting when all I wanted to do was leave immediately — I decided to travel after I graduated and man, that was a long five years of studying and attempting to focus on work when all I wanted to do was be somewhere else!
Anyway, it took me a few months to figure out what topic I wanted to focus on. At first, my site was pretty generic and I was trying to write helpful guides and short stories about my experiences. It wasn’t until I’d been travelling for a few months that I started to figure out who I was as a traveller and what my future was likely to hold. That was when I made the decision to brand myself as an unlucky traveller, so it wasn’t something I started out with from day one. I think that having a focus on animals as you travel would be a great niche, though! You could write about animal charities you encounter around the world and how to ethically volunteer with wildlife as you travel. I think it’d work really well and obviously wouldn’t be something you would grow out of either. I like it!
I have read this post and comments. I like that you are so natural and easy to communicate with. I have been travelling for many years now and would like to start a travel blog and hopefully monetise from it.. i dont want it to be too complicating, just fun and easy to start with.
Please assist me
Hi Faiekha! Thanks so much for saying that :-) Starting a travel blog can be tricky and time-consuming when you start out, but it becomes much easier the longer you do it. I recommend starting out by following the steps in this post and then you’ll be in a great position for running a successful travel blog.
I go travelling in a couple of weeks time for a year around Asia and Australia and I have been debating starting a blog for a while – this post has encouraged me to definitely start one, thank you.
One question I do have though, is what device do you use to blog on? I’m not taking a MacBook or laptop and was wondering if it is even possible me to run a successful blog from just an iPhone?
Thanks for your help!
I travel with a Macbook Pro and do recommend taking a laptop if you’re aiming to blog on the road. I don’t know of any successful blogger who doesn’t use one. Typing out a 2000+ world blog post sounds like it would be an awful and slow experience on an iPhone! Plus there’s stuff like editing photos, fixing site code, email management, etc that would be much trickier to do on a phone. It’s not impossible, but I’d imagine it’d take five times longer to do anything, which would leave you with no time to actually see the places you’re in. When my laptop broke, I attempted to run my site from a tablet and lasted four days before I’d discovered a bunch of tasks I couldn’t complete without one.
I will say, though, that if it’ll be a blog to keep friends and family up to date with what you’re doing, you’d probably be fine with a phone, as you wouldn’t need to worry too much about editing, post formatting, marketing, etc. If you’re hoping to one day make money from your site, you have to treat it like a business and that means using a laptop.
This is simply my treasure!! It’s been like a month that I’m reading this wonderful article and following it step by step, word by word. The result is the birth of my first travel blog. I’m sure many people would be inspired as I was to do great job!
Thank you so much
I’m so happy to hear that, Marc! Next up, I’d recommend creating an awesome About page so your readers can learn more about you and your travels :-)
Hey thank you this really helped me towards starting my own blog! I appreciate your advice!
Thank you! :-)
HI Lauren !. i really want to do this travel and blogging things, but i do not own a camera yet im still a student and budget limited person. I just want to make my own Money first without using my parents. Do you have any ideas how to earn Money first? im starting my first ever blog soon. So do you mind lending you genius way of thinkings ? please !
Do you have a phone with a camera? If not, you can take photos from Flickr’s creative commons section — as long as you attribute the photographer, you can use them on your blog for free. It might be worth looking into freelance writing at http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com while you wait for your blog to become profitable.
Thank you Lauren.Great tips and inspiring!
Glad you found it useful, Steve!
You’re my travel blogging hero! I love that you’ve managed to do all of this WITHOUT selling out like other travel bloggers. You’re an inspiration Lauren and I hope you don’t ever give up or stop blogging. You do more than you realise.
Awww, thank you so much! That means a lot and I so appreciate that comment, Patrick! Sometimes it feels as though I’m cutting off my nose to spite my face when I take a stand against all of the sponsored stuff, but hearing from readers like you make me feel as though it’s all worthwhile.
Lauren! Thank you for this helpful guide. I’ve been going back and forth about starting a travel blog for my upcoming trip for months now but your post is what’s convinced me to take the plunge. I’ve thought of a name, signed up for WordPress and Bluehost and now I have to start looking for a theme. With any luck I should be up and running by the end of the next week! Do you mind if I send you an email at that point to gain your feedback on how I’m doing so far?
Of course! Just drop me a message through my contact form and I’d be happy to help :-)
Your blogs and especially this post are tremendously inspiring.
I have been meaning to start my own blog for such a long time. I even started 2 anonymous blogs, but could never gather courage to continue them. Now that I am highly motivated, I finally want to start blogging from scratch with my name (finally) but not limiting it to just travel at the moment. I would love to publish some of my poetry and short stories too. Still innumerable apprehensions and inhibitions are not leaving me alone. I am more concerned about if I am making any sense for the readers, if they would like me, what if I become a butt of jokes, etc.
Since I am relating more to your blog posts after going through many, I would be grateful if you could shed some light on me for fighting all unnecessary doubts and worries
A Young Aspiring Blogger
I share your fears, and actually I still experience them now from time to time.
I just keep in mind that you can’t please everyone and not everyone is going to love what you put out into the world. But that’s okay, because you don’t know who they are and their opinion of you doesn’t matter. And a bonus: if you do receive hurtful comments, it gives you a thicker skin and helps you deal with it better, which is always good :-).
For the most part, though, there aren’t many travel bloggers that receive a lot of hate, and those that do, get it for a reason — they’re racist or offensive or rude, etc — so it’s really not something you need to worry about. For example, fter doing this for six years and building up a reasonable sized audience, I still only receive a negative comment maybe once every three months, if that. And I can be pretty polarising, as I focus on a lot of negatives when I travel, which can sometimes rub people up the wrong way!
Hope that helps ease your fears. I promise that the longer you do it, the easier it gets, and you’ll see that nobody is laughing at you and your readers love and appreciate you :-)
Just to say thanks for the tips. I’ve been travelling for 3 years now but I’ve only just realised the potential of blog writing. I’ve got a lot to catch up on. Thanks for the tips. Good luck in the future travels
There’s so much potential! Best of luck with everything and let me know if I can help out with anything at all! :-)
I just started my own blog on Squarespace and found it frustrating to use compared to my past WordPress. Do you know anyone that uses Squarespace or does everyone use wordpress?
Hi Jessica! I don’t know of anyone who uses Squarespace — everyone I know uses WordPress.
Thank you for this Lauren! I have a question for you if it’s not too personal. How much time would you estimate you need to spend per week to build a successful travel blog? How many hours did you spend when you first started and how much do you work on your blog now?
That’s a good question! I’ll answer the easy part first: right now, I spend about 20 hours a week total working, whether that’s on my site or freelancing or whatever.
When I first started out, I probably worked around 20 hours a week, then when I decided to turn my travel blog into a business, I slowed down my movement and worked harder. For example: four months into my travels, I decided to go to Chiang Mai and spent six months living there and working on my site. There, I probably spent around 40-60 hours a week on my site. Then once I started travelling faster it was more like 10-20 hours a week. It really did depend on what I had going on in my life at that time.
So as for how many hours I think you need to put in at the start, the simple answer is as many as possible. I think it depends on your situation, though. If you have a full-time job, or you’re currently travelling quickly, you’re not going to be able to put 40 hours a week into your site. And that’s okay. Just try to hit a minimum of 20 hours and you should be good.
Do you sell text links as advertising on your site? What are your thoughts on it? How much should you charge per link?
Ah, that’s a controversial topic! For anyone else who is reading: selling text links is a way to make money with a travel blog, but is very risky to do so. Basically a company pays you to place a link to their site in one of your posts. That link helps them to rank higher in Google, but it’s also against Google’s terms of service, which means that if they catch you, they’ll penalise your site and you could lose all of your search traffic overnight.
I sold text links on my site for several years, and it was an easy way to make money, but I don’t recommend doing it. I feel that the risks are too great with something like this, and it’s much better to focus on building a business instead. Work on creating the best resource on the internet for a particular subject, have Google send you a ton of traffic, and place affiliate links for companies you use and love in your post to make money from that traffic. It’s a much more legitimate way to make money and there isn’t that risk that your business will be destroyed overnight without warning.
But having said that, obviously I can’t judge anyone who decides to sell links after I did it for several years, so if you want to go ahead with it, a typical price is around $200 per link.
There are a whole bunch of “how to start a travel blog” entries out there, but this was one of the more comprehensive and clear examples, so it was the one I used to set up my new blog. Thanks for writing it.
Ah, thanks so much, Andrew! That means a lot :-)
I’ve spent all weekend searching for tips on starting a blog (food not travel though) and I just wanted to let you know that yours was most helpful. I followed your guide step by step and it was so much easier than I expected it to be. Now I feel ready to start writing my first blog posts and hopefully to build a successful brand. Thank you for all you do, Lauren!
Thank you for commenting, Chaaru! I’m so happy to hear you found my guide to be helpful :-)
This is definitely a must read post for someone starting up their own blog. Thanks for sharing the plugins info, very useful to me considering there are tons of plugins out there.
I have a question on Fiverr and 99designs. 99designs’ pricing looks pretty steep to me so I’m more keen to try Fiverr. But it would be great to know which one would you recommend in terms of quality of work and results?
It really does depend on what type of look you’re going for with your site — some of the artists offer watercolour styles, and some are more modern… and having not used Fiverr myself, I don’t have any personal recommendations based on experience. I wouldn’t want to recommend something I haven’t personally used. But play around with the site, check out the design examples and reviews of anyone you’re considering, and if you find something similar to what you’re looking for, it should turn out well :-)
Just wanted to let you know that I’ve set my blog up using your advice and I found it very easy to follow. All I need to do know is find a theme and then I’ll be ready to start writing!
Wow, thanks so much, Malik! Best of luck in finding the perfect theme :-)
I’ve been considering starting a travel blog for a while now. I currently work full time in Texas and have been saving up some money to travel full time (for at least a year, hopefully more) . I estimate that within the next 1-2 years, I’ll be able to take a hiatus from my work and start my “gap year” of sorts.
I have traveled to Central America several times, Asia once, and typically take at least 2 trips out of the country per year. I do take alot of weekend trips around the state and nearby states.
My question is, would it be reasonable to start a blog now? I would write about my past experiences traveling (not sure if this is a good strategy, or if it’s better to blog while actually there). I would also write about travels within the US and my international trips (about twice a year). Would it be worth using these past experiences and occasional trips?
Yep, definitely start your blog now. Writing about your past experiences is a great way to get the hang of blogging, and figuring out how WordPress works, etc. When I first started my site, I only wrote about past travels, and it worked well for me!
This article helped me a lot!
Thank you for being so honest and open about your success.
Have a lovely day,
Great read. Very helpful for the beginner like myself that’s interested in starting a blog. Love the insight on how much it costs. Thank you
No problem! Glad you found it helpful :-)
Yo Lauren! I have maybe an interesting question for you. What are five things that you feel you did wrong when starting out with travel blogging? What mistakes have you made and what regrets do you have?
I love this question, Aman! In fact, I loved it so much that I wrote an entire blog post about it: https://www.neverendingfootsteps.com/travel-blogging-mistakes hope you enjoy the read!
Hi Lauren. I’ve been using your guide to set up my site and so far its going really well, thank you so much for all of the detail you’ve put into this. My question for you is what should I look to include in my blog’s sidebar?
Take a look at mine for what I recommend. I always think you should have a short about section at the very top, along with a photo of yourself. As for everything else, it’s not as important. I’ve gone for some social media links, a sign-up form, and a list of my currently trending posts for any new readers.
Great Work! I glad to thank you for guiding me, actually I’ll be staring my travel blog and your article is very helpful for me.
Happy to hear it, Ana! Let me know if I can help with anything as you get your blog set up :-)
Hey Lauren. I’ve been working on my own travel blog for a year now and I wanted to ask how long it took for you to see this success. At the moment I receive only 1000 visitors a month and I’m feeling demotivated. I’ve done everything you list in this post but I don’t feel like I’m getting anywhere. Any tips? (I’m too shy to share the link to my blog!)
I was receiving 1,000 visitors a month just under six months after staring my blog. How long have you been running yours for? And honestly, your reluctance is probably holding you back. If you’re too shy to share the link to your site, how are you attempting to build traffic to it?
thank you for this helpful guide… the best one i have found on starting a travel blog… now to sign up for bluehost. My husband and i are going to travel in our retirement and want to write about how to save money while doing it… best wishes.
Best of luck, Joan! :-)
Fantastic post, Lauren! You covered everything I needed to know and I’m convinced to try my hand at this travel blogging thing! Wish me luck!
Good luck! Let me know if I can help out with anything at all! :-)
This is hands down the best guide I’ve seen for starting a travel blog on the internet. I can’t imagine how long it took to put all of this together, so thank you, thank you for doing so!
Wow! Thank you so much for that enormous compliment! :-)
Hey Lauren. What do you suggest doing if you can’t afford to pay for a premium theme? Are there any free themes out there that you would recommend? Thanx
Yeah, I would recommend looking through the themes that WordPress offers (click on appearance/themes/add new/popular) and see if any of those work for you. I recommend not just googling “wordpress free themes” as these are often full of dodgy links and are rarely updated, leading to google penalties and an increased chance of being hacked.
So Bluehost has terrible reviews. Why do you still continue to recommend them?
Eh, search for any hosting company’s reviews and you’ll find terrible ones all over the internet. It’s not a Bluehost thing — check out HostGator reviews or GoDaddy reviews. It’s similar to how if you search for travel insurance companies you’re pretty likely to find nothing but awful reviews, but that doesn’t mean all travel insurance companies are evil. I recommend Bluehost based on my own experiences, and as I mentioned in the post, after trialing four companies, Bluehost gave me the best service. If you want to pay as little as possible for your hosting, I believe Bluehost is the best option out there.
Just a quick question from me, Lauren. What laptop do you use for running your blog, and is there any that you would recommend for travel? I’m about to start my big RTW trip in a couple of months and want something small, lightweight, and hopefully cheap. I have a Macbook Pro at the moment — would that be too heavy for this trip? Thank you!
I use a Macbook Pro, too, and have been happy with it. I thought about getting something smaller for travel, but I didn’t want the annoyance of having to type on a smaller keyboard, and none of the really small laptops receive amazing reviews. I’d recommend just sticking with what you have. If you find it’s really impossible to travel with, you can ship it home or sell it, and pick up another one wherever you are in the world. I bought my laptop in Mexico and my boyfriend bought his in Taiwan, so it’s easy to do while you’re overseas.
Wow! Very elaborately you have explained with apt names (of plugins or affiliates, etc) and your choices. As an absolute new comer in this field, I read few other “how to” sites. And finally I decided to stick to yours and have blindly followed your picks. Hope this will help me building a travel blogger of me :)
Thanks so much, Gargi! If you run into any roadblocks, feel free to drop me an email and I’ll do my best to help you out. I know how intimidating these early stages of building a travel blog can be :-)
I’ve been comparing your post with several others from travel bloggers, and many of the other posts suggest building an email list is something you should prioritise. Do you agree or disagree? I notice you didn’t mention it in this guide and was wondering why.
Yeah, I don’t think it’s much of a priority in the early stages of running a site. There are more important things to focus on, like generating traffic, before you worry about sending out newsletters to an audience you don’t yet have.
This is great guide to starting a travel blog I just search for that how to start a blog and found your post. Its good to have travel blog. Thanks for sharing these step by step guide.
Hi Lauren, Just wanted to say that this is the clearest and most helpful ‘travel blog beginner’ post I’ve read so far! Really useful and love that you are honest about how much everything costs and what beginners should bother splurging on! I’m going to check out your book as well, my sister has struggled with anxiety and think it might be inspiring!
Thank you so much, Steffi!
Hi Lauren, I am just starting to build my blog and reading your article was really helpful. I am in a dilemma whether to use WIX or WordPress. I am inclined to using WIX as it make it so easy to customize the look of the blog as compared to WordPress. But i am concerned if the growth potential in terms of monetization and plugins would be limited if i were to use WIX as compared to WordPress. Appreciate your advice.
Wix will limit the amount of customisation you can do with your site, as there aren’t many themes or plugins available in comparison to WordPress, so you might struggle to get your site looking how you like. Wix is also more expensive than WordPress and the sites don’t perform as well in Google. There’s a reason why almost every top website in the world is on WordPress.
Wix is much easier to learn and use, but that’s about its only advantage. I think you’d eventually grow out of it and switch to WordPress in the end.
Looking to start a blog, I am in no position to travel at the present moment (young twins), but thought perhaps for content sake I could use my local environment, this wont simply be just photos and un-planned material.
Is this a possibility before we can actually travel?
The goal here is to eventually retire myself from my day job, which I’m sure we all want to achieve.
I have a premium theme and a web designer/word press guru for a wife so that side is no issue.
Yes! That’s definitely possible. Some of the most lucrative travel blogs are actually resource sites for a city the person lives in, rather than the nomadic, long-term travel blogs.
After reading this post several months ago, at the beginning of my trip, the thought of starting a blog has been floating about in my head. Yesterday I launched my site =) Thank you for the guide.
I may be mistaken, but I’m sure I read something about Stumble Upon on your site and how to drive traffic? Perhaps it was in a different post? Could you direct me there please?
Ah, that wasn’t me. StumbleUpon used to be a great traffic driver back in 2011 or so, but is pretty much dead these days. Pinterest is where it’s at now!
Thank you for sharing, the article is very detailed
No problem :-)
Hi Lauren – I absolutely love your article. I find it a refreshing approach to blogging. I have been tossing around the idea of starting a blog myself for over a year. I have finally thought of a name that I really like and it looks that no one is using it BUT a website called “uniregistry” owns it when I try to register with Bluehost. Do you know anything about buying a domain name that isn’t actually being used? I’m wondering if I can buy this at a reasonable price (which I don’t even know what a reasonable price is) and then transfer the domain over to Bluehost? I’d really appreciate any insight you may have! Thanks!
Have you looked on Uniregistry to see how much they’re charging for it? It looks like you can just type in the domain name on Uniregistry and buy it through there. So I’d take a look at that first to see what it’s for sale at. If it was me, I wouldn’t spend more than $50 at the absolute most for a domain name, and even then, it’s quite a lot when maybe a similar name would be available for free through Bluehost.
Ah, okay. Fingers crossed it works out! :-)
So I’ve come across this blog after reading tonnes (literally tonnes) of other posts on how to start a travel blog and this is by far the best one I’ve seen. Step by step with everything you need to know in one place – both the good and the bad! Excellent post! Really helpful for a beginner like myself :)
That means the world to me, Aaron! Yay! :-)
I’m glad I found this during the set up process. I’d like to get to a point where my travels are paid for! haha- probably unrealistic for a loooong while.
Don’t be so pessimistic! If you work hard and focus on building an engaged audience, you could be getting comps in under a year.
This page is awesome and really helpful. Thank you for the inspiration! I’ve started my first travel blog for my friend who is unable to make a trip we planned years ago. I was wondering if you could shed some insight on how to link interactive world maps to blog posts for each respective country. I can’t figure it out and I’d love to get it working! Did you write your own code or did you just use the interface provided. Thanks so much and happy travels.
Yep, it’s super easy. Just paste the url in the action value column.
Super detailed! I’m happy to see I have done much of what you recommend! I can’t believe you earn $6,000 a month. I’d love a post that details how your revenue has increased year over year since you started, particularity the earlier stages, and how your revenue has diversified over the years too. Great post!
I’m currently working on a post about that as we speak! :-)
Hey Lauren, I loved your blog and found out that you haven’t been to India yet. I hope you are planning to visit This Beautiful country soon and I will get the opportunity to meet you.
I’m heading there in a few months!
Hi Lauren! I aspire to travel like you! I love this post, it perfectly outlines creating a successful blog and that is my goal. I started a free WordPress blog several months ago to keep family and friends up to date on my travels, but I’ve really enjoyed it and want to pursue it on a more professional level. Is there a way to upgrade to Bluehost without losing all of the content I have already published? Do I need to just start from scratch? What would you recommend I do?
You don’t need to start from scratch! Just sign up for Bluehost, install WordPress, and then you’ll be able to click export on your WordPress.com site’s dashboard and import it on your WordPress.org site’s dashboard.
Many thanks for the great insight. As an over 50 couple who travel the world two or three times a year I am sick of wasting the knowledge and experience we have picked up along the way. So your blog and tips are now our inspiration to start and over 50s travel blog.( As so as we return from Borneo)
Many thanks again
Paul and Lorrainne
Ah, i’m so happy to hear that! And it sounds like you have lots of useful information to share. Best of luck with it! :-)
Lauren! If you will visit India, Is it possible to hangout with you?
Unfortunately not. After a few bad experiences, I no longer meet up with blog readers unless I know them well or have mutual friends.
Lauren – just reporting back. The owner of the registered domain wanted a *cough cough* cool $14000 for it!!! Needless to say…it’s not mine and nor will it be. I figured out a twist in the name and am happy with it. Now I simply need to start writing content. I have travel content over the past five years that I could cover; would you think I’d be better off starting with the first trip or the my most current trip? Thanks again for all the help – I really love this post and think it’s the best one I’ve seen.
Hi Julie, i am having the same dilemma whether to cover my travels over the past four years or to start with the latest trip. Lets connect to bounce back some ideas,
Your post is just amazingly well detailed, whenever i had any doubts i used to refer it to sail through with the doubts. Thanks for such an amazing post.
Thanks so much, Asmaan! I would recommend doing a mix of both in the beginning. Write about the most exciting trips you’ve done in the part and mix it up with some of your most recent travels.
Hi Lauren, this post has been amazing as I’m beginning stages of developing my own travel blog. I was wondering how you navigate citations for facts in a blog. Say you were talking about the history of a city, would you need to cite that in your blog or does that count as common knowledge? Any insight would be great! Thanks!
I only cite an article if I’m quoting directly from somewhere that has information you can’t find anywhere else. I’ll normally be like “Here’s a couple of paragraphs I copied and pasted from Wikipedia[link]” or something like that — it doesn’t need to be super formal with a blog.
Fantastic article, incredibly informative and sure to be very helpful to many people who read it and are wondering where to start like myself. One question I do have though, when you were first starting out, how often did you need to post and therefore travel in order to build an audience and did you need to have a fair amount of money saved up before starting the blog in order to do this?
Hey Alex! I would say at least two posts a week is a good amount. For the first six months of my blog’s life, though, I was publishing about once a week, and because I was studying, I wasn’t travelling at all. I just wrote about past trips I had taken and my upcoming travel plans. These days, I try to average two posts a week and travel for four-ish months of the year. The great thing about travel blogging is that it doesn’t require you to travel full-time in order to be successful — some of the most lucrative travel blogs are resources about the city the author lives in, for example, so they barely travel at all!
Great Post!. I was about to buy a book about this subject before i read this post. Now i feel like writing a book about this subject lol. TBH your blog is like a blogging bible to the newbie bloggers like me. I will always come back for more info. Thanks very much for sharing.
Sweet, thanks so much, Elizabeth! :-)
Just wanted to say that I love that you pay for all of your travels yourself and don’t take press trips! I have to say I was drawn into the idea of travel blogging by the thought of traveling for free but knowing there’s another way definately has me thinking. Maybe it would be even better if I paid for my own travels to go wherever I wanted rather than taking the free trips. Just gotta start making money first I guess!
Hi, thanks for the tips, but I think you should develop the monetisation part.
By the way there’s a small mistake, you wrote ‘adesense’ instead of ‘adsense’.
Thanks for the correction! To be honest, I really don’t think that there’s much more you should focus on when it comes to monetisation as a new blogger. In fact, advertising and affiliate sales are the only ways I monetise my blog right now.
What a great post! I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a travel blog, and this post broke it down so nicely into steps that I am now convinced to bite the bullet and go for it!
I studied in Europe a year and a half ago, and traveled quite a bit – I kept a blog while there, but it was mostly just to keep my friends and family back home updated on my travels. I enjoyed it so much that I want to start a more professional blog, but what do you recommend about the content – should I start when I go on my next trip in a few months, or start by writing about all the places I’ve been in the past?
Thanks so much!!
Hey Cristina! I’m so happy to hear this post could inspire you to try your hand at travel blogging :-)
As for content, I’d recommend starting as soon as you can, and writing about your previous trips. That way, you’ll have got the hang of WordPress and how publishing blog posts, etc work by the time you take your next trip. I started out by writing about previous trips I’d taken, then once I started travelling six months later, I didn’t have to worry about figuring out how blogging worked when all I wanted to do was write about how amazing everywhere had been.
I have came across many article on how to start a travel blog. But I have to admit that you have mentioned the entire process step by step but with necessary details. Your article is informative as well as inspirational.
Thank you so much :-)
That was a lot to digest, yet also great information. I have thought about starting a traveling blog, but my grammar pretty much sucks. Recommend I take classes to deal with that?
Well, your grammar wasn’t terrible in your comment :-) If you think it really needs some work, you could take some classes, but I’ve found simply writing frequently on my site has hugely improved the quality of my writing.
I have a dumb question — how do I get a photo of my face appearing when I leave a comment? Do I need to upload my photo anywhere on this page to get it to show?
That’s a Gravatar! Upload a photo here: http://gravatar.com/ and whenever you enter in your email address in a comment field of a blog, your photo will show!
I haven’t seen many questions about SEO on here, so I have some I wanted to ask you. Especially as your post about starting a travel blog ranks first in Google! You must know what you’re doing :-)
-How can you get started with SEO?
-What tactics work in 2017?
-Can a new travel blog rank for anything really in Google?
-Guest posting a good option?
Interesting read. I actually started travel blogging in 2011, made a fair bit of money from selling text links, and was penalized by Google and lost everything overnight. I went home a few months later when I ran out of money.
Fast forward five years and I’m ready to give it another shot! How have things changed since 2011? I assume text links are a no-no? Are there any ways to start making money as soon as you start your travel blog? What the hell is a Pinterest? Haha. I can’t believe you’re still going! I remember following you from the Chinese tea scam days!
Very helpful guide thank you! Do you make much money from freelance writing or do you recommend not pursuing that path as a travel blogger?
Hmmm. I think it’s a good way to fund your travels while you’re building up traffic on your travel blog, but I think as soon as you start making money from your site, you’ll quickly move away from freelance writing. Having to constantly pitch pieces gets old quickly, and forever chasing up payments is even worse. Plus, the money is usually kind of terrible. So, yeah. Go for it in the early days, but expect that once you start making decent money from your site, you’ll likely start working on that full-time.
I’ve read through every single guide on the first page of Google and yours was easily the best Lauren! I love how much personality your writing has and unlike everyone else, I didn’t feel like you were desperately trying to sell me things.
Ah, thank you so much, Gemma! :-)
I don’t think I’ve ever sat and read an article this long from start to finish before. Great read. My question for you is: do you have any tips for building an audience over the first three months of a site’s lifetime? How do you get people to discover your travel blog when it doesn’t have an audience or much of a standing in Google yet?
Pinterest, definitely. Write posts that do well on Pinterest and teach yourself how to create beautiful pins. Join Pinterest groups and Tailwind tribes. Pinterest is one of the easiest ways to start building traffic when you don’t have an audience yet.
This was honestly the most helpful post I’ve found on how to start a travel blog. Thank you so much for sharing! Now it’s time to start working on mine.
Best of luck, Ivan! And thank you so much for the huge compliment :-)
I have started blogging myself. I am trying to find out the basic problems that my blog is having and looking for solutions. Also, I’m searching for some basic things like themes and other stuff.
I have read your whole article, I am looking forward to getting a positive result after performing this myself.
Can you suggest me any basic idea that I might need in the future as a new blogger?
Oh, you asked me the same question later on, so I’m already answered it below. If you have a more detailed question, I’d be happy to help out, but a request for basic ideas could mean anything!
Cheers for this. What’s your take on Travel Blog Success? I see most travel bloggers recommending that and wondered why you don’t?
I just think Superstar Blogging offers so much more value — you learn from experts in their field rather than top travel bloggers, and it focuses more on building a business than taking freebies and press trips, etc.
Plus, every single travel blogger promotes the crap out of Travel Blog Success and it annoys the hell out of me, so I don’t want to be one of them :-)
Thank you so much for your post, it is so helpful and full of useful content. We have started a blog and your tips and advice has really helped us. Thank you so much!
No problem! Happy to help :-)
Looking to start a blog, I am in no position to travel at the present moment (young twins), but thought perhaps for content sake I could use my local environment, this wont simply be just photos and un-planned material.
That’s a good idea! As I’ve said a few times in these comments, some of the most successful travel blogs are those that are about one specific location rather than dozens of countries around the world. Blogging about your local environment would be a smart thing to do :-)
Hey Lauren! Cool name ;)
You said in your post that you’re now making $7000 a month from your travel blog. If it’s not too nosey, can I ask how long it took for you to reach this ammount? I know that it didn’t take long for you to start making money, and then to make enough to live in Southeast Asia, but what about this high level of income? How long does it take for most travel bloggers to reach these levels and do you think it’s possible for anyone to get there?
Hey! I started making that much around four years after starting this site. I’d say you could reach these levels in two or three years if you focused on driving traffic through writing incredibly detailed guides to rank in Google, and pretty pins to bring traffic from Pinterest. Then kept your sole monetisation strategy to be affiliate income.
Just wanted to say thank youfor this, Lauren! I’ve been searching for months about how to build a travel blog and actually turn it into a business and your guide is the first I’ve found that actually covers this. No questions, just wanted to tall you that I really appreciate the effort you must have put into this guide.
Oh, thank you so much, Lance! Best of luck with your blog! :-)
I’ve been wanting to start a travel blog for so long. I think fear of the unknown held me back. Ok thats a lie. I know fear of failure held me back. Luckily, I am putting the pieces together slowly. In so doing i’ve been reading so many travel blog tips for beginners to saturation point. Yesterday I came across your post. I’ve never been so glad to find something that makes so much sense – and all in one place. So much useful information. I know its a long one but I’ve read it a couple of times so far lol – noting down and some! So, thank you. Thank you for taking the time to share this info and honestly so. And thank you for giving me that extra push I really needed!
PS: Im from Kenya, noticed on your interactive map you haven’t been yet, or maybe you did before blogging. In any case, Karibu sana (most welcome)!
I have researched about choosing a specific web host. I ended up having many options. Can you tell me if Bluehost is the ideal one to host my website on?
Yep, when you’re just starting out, Bluehost is the best inexpensive host.
I have started blogging myself. I am trying to find out the basic problems that my blog is having and looking for solutions. Also, I’m searching for some basic things like themes and other stuffs.
I have read your whole article, I am looking forward to get a positive result after performing this myself.
Can you suggest me any basic idea that I might need in the future as a new blogger?
I’d say that most of the basics are already included in the article!
I tried to start my own blog on wordpress just for my Peru Trip and found even that “easy to use interface” very finicky. My photos and text didnt line up at all how I wanted them to. Secondly I did buy up a domain name and hosting through GoDaddy a few years ago and again used a free design template but again despite the ease of use found it too hard to use. I don`t have an idea in my head of how the website should look or be designed. What made me comment on your page is that you gave a lot of good start up advice but also that you mentioned you have anxiety. Other than chronicling my world travels with photos and video and having a poetry section, I was thinking of also having a section on my mental illness and links to helpful resources. I am worried bc my illness is the most stigmatizing of all of them, about using my real name and having my photos of my travels associated with my mental illness blog or section. Should I have a different blog or website for that and use a pseudonym? I currently work for the school board so that health information is a touchy subject I dont want prospective/current employers ect to know about it.
I know I just read your article but I still feel lost on where to start…I write about travel, spiritual growth, mental illness, healing mental illness via shamanism and psychedelics (controversial) I write poems. How do I pick something so someone will remember me like you mentioned, oh melody…she writes about…..
Looking to start a blog, I am in no position to travel at the present moment (young twins), but thought perhaps for content sake I could use my local environment, this wont simply be just photos and un-planned material.
Sounds like a good plan to me!
Hi Lauren – the first time that I’ve been on your blog is through a Google search of how to start my own travel blog. I’m in a bit of a rut right now, with my quarter life crisis, and I want to say that traveling has been one of the most consistent and loved things that I have in my life. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, as I hope to share with my friends/family/others in the near future. This was super helpful! :-)
I’m so glad to hear that, Vickie! Best of luck as you get your own travel blog up and running :-)
Hello Dear Mam, this blog post is very useful information for the new bloggers, your blog post went to get a lot of new education after I read it,
Please continue to post such an informative blog. Therefore, people like us will be motivated in real life.
I’m new in this area and I’m building my website, I’m working hard on this
Your blogs are very useful here and especially to this blog, which provide this point information, I have received lots of help to read this blog post, please continue to share this kind of information.
Good luck, Nazrul!
Hi Lauran, very informative and useful post – thank you. A couple of questions:
1. How do you even go about uploading photos in to your blog posts i.e. working out what size they should be, inserting them etc?
2. How did you break through in to freelance writing? I’d say I definitely have advanced writing skills – I write at length every day in my job, I’ve got a personal blog and I write creative prose and poetry in my spare time, but I have no idea how to sell my skills online or even where to start. Any tips would be appreciated.
I edit my photos in Photoshop and save them at 1500 px in width, then upload them to my site (just click upload on the new post screen), and resize them to 750 px in width (which is the width of the text area in my theme). I save them at double the width to start with to ensure the photos look pretty on retina screens (which have double the pixels). Always make your photos as wide as your theme will allow them, as the bigger the photos, the better your site looks.
I’m not the best person to ask about freelance writing, as it kind of just fell into my lap! I started writing here, and then once I’d built up a reasonable audience (10,000 visitors a month or so), companies began contacting me to ask if they could pay me to write for them. I’d recommend building up a portfolio on your site, then heading to https://problogger.com/jobs/ to apply for writing gigs.
I really enjoyed your blog post! It’s the third I’ve read, but I really like yours because you gave more information about advertising and plugins. I also really admire how you travel on your own salary! I do that as well, and though it’s hard, I want to keep it that way because I feel it’s more fun and freeing, and isn’t the “freeing” feeling what makes traveling so amazing?
I just purchased my domain through BlueHost and am currently working on it before launching. I’ve run into some problems with my business plan, though, because I currently became unemployed and don’t know how I can now afford to travel while I look for a new job.
What is your recommendation for content when you’ve had to put travel on pause? Has this ever happened to you?
I appreciate the help, and I definitely will begin to follow your blog!
Thanks so much, Karina! I definitely agree that not taking press trips makes travel feel more freeing — I can do and write about whatever I want without having to worry about pleasing a random tourism board!
As for what to write about, focus on previous trips or post travel guides for wherever you’re currently living. If you can build your site up to be an amazing resource for where you’re living, you’ll do really well in Google/find it easier to make money than trying to write about everywhere in the world. During the first six months or so of my site, I had never travelled before, so was focusing on writing about London, my upcoming trip plans, and previous trips I’d taken.
Bloody brilliant post on how to write a successful travel blog! Thank you so much Lauren! I’ve only recently heard of WordPress (very old fashioned)and affiliate marketing, AdSense, plugins and Tumblrs are all unknown territory to me… One question though, what is self hosting???!!
Thanks in advance,
Ah, so self-hosting is basically paying for the server (computer space) that your website lives on, rather than using the free option a company like WordPress offers.
The advantage to going self-hosted (wordpress.org) rather than using wordpress.com or blogspot.com is that your site will typically be faster, you have access to support if anything goes wrong with your site, and you’re paying for the flexibility and freedom to do whatever you want with it. Blogspot/Wordpress.com, etc restrict you in terms of what themes you can use, what plugins you can install, how you can make money from your site, etc, so you’re really limited.
Wow, thank you Lauren.
This really is a minefield!!
I just set up a free WordPress.com site last month to write some travel blogs, and thought that was it!
Do I have to set up hosting myself though if I want to add plug-ins etc? and Do I really need a ‘theme’?
How do you go about adding advertising links and getting commission?
Sorry for all the questions.. it’s mind boggling to me!
I’ve only recently left working with domestic and sexual abuse survivors (prior to that working with offenders) and started working from home, so this is a huge learning curve for me! I learnt to type on the old fashioned typewriters years ago, so I feel like an old dinosaur!
Thanks anyway, much appreciated,
Hey Lauren. I’ve just recently moved to India to work as a teacher and wanted to set up a personal blog for some time. I’m so pleased I stumbled upon your blog post because it’s helped enormously! I’m really enjoying documenting my adventures and sharing it with friends and family. I’m not too bothered about boosting my popularity at this stage, but I look forward to learning more about the blogging world!
Thanks again! Emily
Best of luck, Emily! :-)
I am going through this post for the 3rd time and it still amazes me about all the details. You really filled all the gaps. I have been thinking about starting my own travel blog for about 4 months, but I don’t get the courage to do so. I have only been on a single international trip. I work in a 9-6 job. So I don’t even have much of a data dos share. I am also scared about funding my site because I am new to this blog world. Can you guide me?
Thanks in advance. Keep rocking.
Thank you! Honestly, you just have to take the plunge and do it. If you’d started four months ago when you first decided to do it, you would have likely started making money from your site by now! Write about the place you currently live in if you can’t travel, and make yourself known as a resource for that specific place.
I started my blog in May of this year thanks to this post! THANK YOU so much for the inspiration and also the detailed steps on actually getting started. Just made my first big affiliate sale and I am so excited!
Yay!! I’m so happy to hear that, Katie! :-)
Hi there – nice write up! I’ve set up personal websites before (for bands and music), but only recently want d to do a travel blog. I’ve experience with WordPress but one of the issues I’ve found was that while going this route means you have control over your site, you don’t always have the right suppprt if the themes and plug ins go haywire. Ive had some of my site break without being able to fix it.
So I moved over to Squarespace. 24/7 support. They work great for my music sites. But they have limited templates and themes for travel themed blogs.
Any experience or feedback on WordPress vs Squarespace?
I haven’t used Squarespace before, so I can’t comment on the differences and pros/cons, so if Squarespace works for you, stick with it. If it doesn’t, I recommend WordPress because it’s so powerful and you can do pretty much anything you need to with it. But you’re right in that the downside is not always having the best support — it’s not something that’s ever affected me, as the support for my theme/plugins has always been kickass, but it could mean you’d need to hire a tech person if your site breaks at some point. If that happens, you can usually hire someone on Fiverr for not too much money to get things working again.
Love you blog, Lauren. Any tips on authenticity as a blogger? You’re one of the few I follow who do it right and I’m eager to follow in your footsteps.
Thank you so much, Vivien! Honestly, just be yourself. Write your blog posts as though you’re telling a story to your best friend or writing in your diary, don’t filter to the point where your personality disappears, and embrace any of your quirks. Write your blog posts as you speak aloud and then edit them afterwards, and that’ll help you personality to shine through.
Amazing, amazing post! I can’t believe how much information you share. I have a question for you. How do you possible decide on the best theme for a travel blog?! There are so many incredible ones out there that I’m having problems just choosing one.
Thanks for sharing.Keep going!
Its nice and informative blog.I am new to this and don’t know where to start but your post helped me giving an idea.
Best of luck, Sravani! :-)
Very nice article, can you also please share the marketing methods that you use for this blog.
Good question! Most of my success has actually come quite organically to me. Social media is a big one for me — Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest have worked best — and guest posting on other sites. I should do more of the latter, actually, as that’s a great way to build your audience. But um, honestly that’s about it!
I am about to start my travel blog and I must say that your post by far is the best! I read a lot on how to start a blog but never found anything as detailed and simple as yours. You just make it look very easy. I have taken all your tips into account and hopefully will be up and running my own blog in just few weeks! Fingers crossed :)
Thank you for making me believe that it is doable! :)
Ah, that’s so lovely, Arina! Let me know if I can help with anything as you get set up :-)
Thanks for this article – it had a few things in there that would never have occurred to me otherwise.
I’ve been running my blog for over 3 years about living and travelling on a boat but had never considered Yoast/WPTouch – WPTouch especially is really great.
So glad it helped you out, Matt! :-)
Hei YO! Thanks for the tips. I willing to start my own blog. I think after doing a lot of trips I want to be helpful to other people. Thanks to you now I have a clue.
On this stage, I’m trying to understand wordpress.org a little bit more. How does the advertising work with WordPress? Do they plug in their own google adds? Or what are the important points that we can hold the control of our own sites?
You have complete control of your site, and advertising is separate from WordPress. With Google ads, you’ll sign up for them and be given a code to copy and paste onto your site wherever you want the ad to show up.
You’ve done so well at carving a niche for yourself… what do you think is a good travel blogging niche that has yet to be overdone? I want to stand out from the crowd but it feels like there’s no way to do so anymore.
Oooh, good question! I think, though, that the best thing to do would be to travel and write and then wait to see what consistencies emerge from your blog posts. If you’re creating a niche just because it’s not overdone, it’s more likely you won’t feel passionate about your site and then stand less chance of finding success. I think that travel blogs focusing on a specific city or region do exceptionally well, and I also think that sustainable travel is going to be huge in the coming months and years.
hi Lauren. When do you think is the idea time to start a travel blog? I’m going to be traveling when I graduate in 2019 and I want to get a head start but is it worth starting when I won’t even be leaving for another two years? Thanks for all that you do in the travel blogging world — reading yours is always a breath of fresh air.
As soon as possible! Start writing about where you currently live, get onto social media and start building an audience, work on finding your writing voice — if you start now, you’ll be making money from your blog by the time you leave to travel! :-)
Thank you very much, excellent insights as I am just starting my blog!
Glad you found it helpful, Samantha!
This is an awesome guide! Can you explain a bit more about how to make money with affiliates? I’m not quite sure what they are or how to get started. Thanks!
Sure! So it’s like a commission. Say you want to recommend a travel product to your readers — in that case you can google [product name] affiliate, and if there’s a program, you can sign up for it. If not, you can usually find it on Amazon and use Amazon Associates to link to it. Once you’ve created an account there, you can then create a link to a product and place that link on your site. If one of your readers clicks that link and buys something, you get a commission on the sale.
Here’s an example: if I booked a hotel, I might then write a blog post about the place I visited and recommend the hotel if I liked it. In that blog post, I can add a booking.com affiliate link whenever I mention the hotel. If someone reads the post, clicks that link, and decides to book a stay at that hotel, I make a percentage of that sale. Let me know if you have any further questions!
Brilliant informative site. I have just sailed up the Mozambican coast and am now in Pemba. I met many great local people all along the coast. I came across your blog whilst doing some reasearch with a view of bringing my yacht here to charter. You have now inspired me to get one of these going. I use instagram simply because its so easy to edit pics and post. If you interested instagram moveswithsail2017 . My yacht’s name is just4fun and in the next few months I intend setting up a wordpress with the same handle. Maybe ‘theadventuresofjust4fun.com Do you think this is a bit too long ? Thanx
Thanks so much! Sounds like an incredible trip — Mozambique is such a wonderful country! I think your domain name is a little too long. Maybe just4funadventures is available? Or just Moveswithsail?
Very informative! How to increase traffic on existing blog?
Updating old posts, writing guest posts for other blogs, and focusing everything you have on Pinterest!
Hey! thanks for giving motivation…..I will start my pet blog soon..one more thing wordpress is better than blogspot?
Yes, definitely go with WordPress!
More wonderfully inspirational and easy to initiate ideas! When life is busy, it’s fantastic to hear your tips and be reminded of some of the little essentials. Much needed motivation!
Hey, thanks so much, Essa! :-)
Thanks so much for giving me the guide lines for starting new blog. I just decided to learn how to create a travel blog, your article was really helpful for me.
Glad to hear it! Feel free to drop me an email if you have any questions :-)
Hi, this is very useful for me. Starting, running, upgrading and maintaining a travel blog is a difficult and time-consuming activity. In the the beginning we made a blog about the trip and thought everyone will love it. Not so. Thanks for giving us some useful ways to increase the audience.
The early days are the toughest, because you’re still figuring out your voice and it’s a struggle to build your audience. But stick with it! It’s hard work but you’ll get there in the end :-)
I love this article and it honestly has given me a little extra boost to continue what I am doing!
I’m so happy to hear that, Jason!
I have to personally thank you so much for this article. I’ve had it bookmarked for the past couple of months and i used it as my bible while creating my own Travel Blog. I would revisit it every once in a while to make sure I was following through on all your valuable advise. My blog has been up for a few months now and though I don’t yet have much of an audience, I’m really glad this post gave me the inspiration I needed to get started.
I just have one question though. I’m at the stage wherein I’m trying to approach Affiliate programs such as TripAdvisor, Agoda, etc, and I find my applications rejected. When did you start applying for Affiliate programs? Was it right at the beginning? Or did you wait till you had some dedicated traffic before applying?
Thanks again for this article!
Really loved the way how you explained each and everything in detail and still kept it entertaining until the last line. You shared your own experience as a beginner, putting yourself in our shoes and that really gave me the idea how to start from scratch. I feel a lot more confident now and hopefully gonna start my blog asap. Thanks
Thanks so much, Salman! Best of luck :-)
I really enjoyed reading your advises and i feel like go out there and be a blogger. Travel is my passion and o always wanted to share it with my friends and family.
I’m going to Central America soon and i’ll start taking photos and videos and share them in a blog i’ll open.
Thank you so much!
Good luck, Leo! :-)
Thank you so much for your post! It was really helpful. May I ask if the Basic plan from Bluehost was sufficient for you? It seems as though the plans have changed and that you can only get Domain Privacy through the Prime plan now.
I really want to get the ball rolling on my blog, but nervous at the same time.
I think you should be able to still get it on the basic plan. This page https://my.bluehost.com/hosting/help/domain-privacy seems to indicate you can buy it after you’ve set everything up.
I see that! Thank you so much for your quick response.
No problem! :-)
This is an excellent guide, I’ve taken the plunge to convert my wordpress to a real blog.
I love maps so it was great to see your suggestion for the interactive world map plugin. Just to let you know that it now says “This plugin is deprecated” after installing, but it does recommend a different one to use.
Do you still use the old plugin?
Really? That’s so weird, as it says here https://codecanyon.net/item/interactive-world-maps/2874264?ref=NEFootsteps that it was last updated on the 19th September 2017 and the creator was replying to comments and answering support questions for the plugin nine hours ago. Are you sure you downloaded the right plugin, as I can’t see anywhere that it’s stopped working?
I’d ask a question in the comments section of the plugin about it or ask for a refund if it really has been depreciated. It’s unfair to get someone to pay $21 and only afterwards say that it wasn’t working and to download something else instead!
Thanks for your quick reply. Turns out it’s all in the detail ;) I searched your suggested plug-ins instead of clicking through. After a bit of playing around I could tell it definitely wasn’t the same as yours! There’s a free version with a similar name (map instead of maps).
Once I get my blog going I think this will be a great investment. Keep up the good work and happy travels!
Ah, got it! :-) Thanks so much, and good luck with getting your site off the ground!
Thanks for this great information!!
I specially found your tips very good :)
I have already started blog an running well but can you please suggest me plugins specific to travel which can help me to create a better travel blog
That’s included in the guide! :-)
I wanted to see if you could tell us about the ways of getting the blog legal with the state. And how the money you generate actually gets transferred to your (bank,PayPal) account? Or where ever it goes too. Really enjoy your blog!
Legal in what way? You’ll want to register as self-employed and get an accountant so that you can start paying taxes, but you won’t need to do this until your site starts making money because it’s a hobby up until that point. But that’s about it. Some pay me via Paypal and some via bank transfer; usually the former though.
How do I start a website that costs me nothing at all?
Use WordPress.com instead of WordPress.org, get a free theme, and you’re done :-)
This is good. My wife and I have a pretty amazing idea for a blog. Came up with the idea like 2 hours ago and this was the first thing I read. Pretty solid advice.
How can I ask you questions in the future?
Same as you’re doing right now! ;-) Leave a comment here or message me through my contact form.
Sounds good. Do you have any resources for the product review side of blogging? Like a person i should research, or a site I should visit.
Would you recommend me doing one site with different blogging types? For example, one tab is travel, one tab is product reviews, one is parenting stuff, etc…
I want to do a lot, but dont want to pay for multiple sites. Wanted to see if you have had seen anyone do that in the past.
Great step by step on starting a blog – I’m about to start mine…what do use for security of the site or are you a specific plan with bluehost that keeps everything secure?
When I was with Bluehost, I used the Word Fence plugin, but now site security is included in my package with my current host.
This information was SO helpful for me! Starting a new blog, I had no idea where to start. The process could easily be intimidating and overwhelming, but this step-by-step makes it relatively easy. I’ve come back to this post almost daily as I get going. I’m still in the early stages of travel blogging and still learning a lot, but I feel like I’m off to a good start. So thank you!!
My blog: http://www.lichenandlayovers.com
That’s so kind of you to say, Erin — thank you! Best of luck as you get everything up and running, and feel free to drop me an email if I can help with anything!
No questions, just my undying gratitude that you put this guide together. Can’t wait to get stuck in with this in 2018.
Ah, thank you so much! Glad you found it useful and best of luck!
That’s what I need! As a novice, I’m very grateful to you for your information. I’m starting my blog this weekend. I feel scared but excited! Thank you.
Best of luck, Mary! Feel free to head back and ask me any questions if you get stuck or confused :-)
To be honest earlier today was the first day I thought of starting a travel blog. This was very very informative and I have already favourited to save on my web-page.
I had just one question – what would you suggest be the best way to get traffic to your blog?
Pinterest and Google! Focus on SEO for both :-) Oh, and guest posting for larger sites.
I found this really helpful.Thank You! I have ideas of how i want my travel blog to look like but the content is what I am worried about. Throughout my travels, i was inspired to document the most powerful moments i had with ‘strangers.’ I haven’t yet shared them with the world. For a muslim, a girl, and coming from a conservative culture, I saw the world very different when i began travelling at 20. I want to have a human-centric approach to my blog to show the beauty of people of different cultures and faith. From Asia, to Europe, to the US, Middle East and Africa, I don’t like being a tourist, I tend to dwell on immersing myself in the local life, attend events, get togethers, food stores and places of worship. And through such, I have become a better person myself. I want to share my travel expriences in a very captivating way whilst being able to break stereotypes and prejudice.
Sounds fascinating! I’d love to read your blog — let me know when you’ve set it up and I’ll offer some feedback. But don’t worry about the content, I think it sounds like a great niche for your site.
Hi Lauren. This is by far the best read about how to start a travel blog. You didn’t advertise, you smartly inform people. Thank you. ?
Thank you so much, Rachel! That means the world to me :-)
Thanks for your effort and sharing the valuable post with us, I did a lot of research on how to start a travel blog but didn’t find the right information for a beginner. Once I read your blog and realize that you have shared the right information that I’m looking for, Keep sharing your valuable and informative content on a regular basis. Thank you once again.
Glad you found it helpful, Amy! Feel free to drop me an email with any questions if you have them :-)
What do you do about copyright on your images? I’m particularly concerned about theft of mine. I notice you don’t watermark yours – is there something you do behind the scenes to prevent your photos from being stolen from your travel blog?
Yeah, I don’t care. People will take your images whether you add a watermark or not, and the watermark makes them look ugly, so I don’t have one. It’s part of the package that comes from working online.
Nice guide. I guess the one thing that’s holding me back from starting a travel blog is the belief that it’s too late. There are so many travel bloggers out there now that it feels impossible to get your voice heard. Do you think it’s too late to make money with a travel blog now? And what tactics can I use to be discovered when there’s so much noise in this space?
No, no, no! It’s definitely not too late. I’m a part of a few Facebook groups and there are so many people who are starting to make thousands of dollars a month within a year of starting their blogs. It’s so inspiring to see and proves that there’s always space for more people in this industry. Focus on improving your photography, figuring out how to drive traffic through Pinterest, writing as many guest posts as you possibly can, and providing the most detailed resources on a topic to rank highly in Google. You can do it! :-)
Spot on with this guide! I’ve been blogging for three years and agree with everything you’ve said. Keep on being your authentic self – the internet needs more people like you!
Hey, thanks so much! :-)
i am shankar, 60 yrs male from india and have been travelling around for the past 35 years . After marriage family priorities and business life took over. In between my passion for travelling, photography & reading continued. Lot of my friends and relatives have been encouraging to put my experiences in writing and making extra buck too. Now i have been thinking seriously, why not start at this point of time and still see the world & make money too.
All i want to know from you is, is it right time to start writing blogs combined with my travels and also make some extra buck.
You insight and encouragement is going to plan my future. After going thru your writeup on travel blogging, i feel excited as to why not start off now. Your views and comments should help me in shaping my passion. Please advise.
The best time to start is as soon as possible! It takes a while to get everything figured out, so if you’re determined to start a travel blog at some point, start it today. Good luck! :-)
Hi Lauren! Great guide as always. I’m setting my travel blog up now by following your instructions and wanted to say thank you for the effort you put into this resource. It’s helped me no end as I’ve tried to figure out this whole blogging thing. I’m now starting to publish my first blog post and wanted to ask what you think is a good word count to be aiming for. I know your posts generally skew longer and was wondering if there’s a reason for that?
Yes! I find that the longer and more detailed my blog posts are, the easier it is for them to rank in Google. I usually publish blog posts of at least 2,000 words, but sometimes aim for as many as 4,000! Oh, and also, when I was writing my book, I got into the habit of writing 5,000 word chapters and haven’t been able to break it yet — it feels more natural to write the longer posts now, especially if it’s a narrative. Hope that helps!
you havent replied to my query sent on jan 14th 2018. awaiting ur reply soon.
i want little help from you, please suggest me a good and free seo optimized theme for self hosted wordpress blog.
Take a look at the options offered by WordPress in the themes section of your dashboard. They have some quite nice ones these days :-)
Hey, I found this super helpful and intriguing!
Do you think you need to be on a long travel trip in order to start a travel blog? Or (because I am little money and am still studying) can you start a travel blog with only two trips a year?
Nope, definitely not! The most successful travel bloggers are the ones that travel only a handful of times a year. When I stopped travelling full-time and found a base in Portugal to live for six months of the year, my income doubled within a year! Start by writing about where you currently live and you’ll find it far easier to make money than focusing on the entire planet — with the latter, Google won’t know what you specialise in and you’ll subsequently find it harder to rank for many terms.
Thank you for your instructions. I have thought of starting a travel blog for a while since I love to travel. I am just so busy with work, kids, and life in general. You have definitely inspired me to start it now though.
I just have a few questions about the business aspect of a blog.
Did you set up a corporation or any type of business account?
Are your travels tax deductable even if you don’t make that much money off of it?
Does every travel blogger make money?
How can I keep a blog going since I can’t travel all the time because of my kids’ school schedule?
Thank you in advance.
1) I didn’t set up a business until this year. For the first five years of running my travel blog, I was registered as self-employed.
2) As long as you can show a business plan that details how you were planning on making money through those travels, you should be okay.
3) No, not every travel blogger makes money. There are no guarantees. If a travel blogger didn’t go self-hosted, had ugly photos, and was a terrible writer, they’d be unlikely to find success.
4) Not being able to travel all the time is the best way to build a successful travel blog! The travel bloggers that make the most money are the ones that have a home and don’t travel frequently. You have more time to work on building an audience and can position yourself as an authority in your hometown, too!
I just read your article and it was worth my time.. I recently just started my blog too, which i hope to make it a travel blog rather than a travel guide, and tips blog later on when i have the resources.
And yeah, I’m now a BIG FAN..!!
Thank you! Best of luck with your travel blogging career :-)
I have some although it was a great post
Can I use blogger for blogging.
What is the disadvantage if any?
I wouldn’t recommend using Blogger. It has some pretty severe limitations and you’ll find it harder to build an audience on the platform.
Hey, Thank you so much for such a thorough explanation.
I am a freelancer tour organizer and mostly I organize tours for groups, Currently, I am working in India and organizing tours(mostly treks) in the mountains of India. I recently thought about developing a travel blog for myself and was about to start up my own travel organizing company, this article cleared up many things which I was confused about, I was very confused about the SEO part too but I hope these steps will clear up some fog for me now!!
Really appreciate it! Thank you for sharing!!
Yay! Feel free to drop me an email if you have any questions or need help with anything as you get set up :-)
Really helpful post! Just have a quick question about Bluehost – If I put in my address which is in the UK, there is tax added to the total which is around $21. Does it matter if I keep the country as the US to avoid paying that tax or does it need to be your actual country? Sounds stupid but thought I’d ask!
If you have a US address you can use then yeah, I assume you can do that. Worth a try!
Please, please post an updated breakdown of how you make money with your travel blog Lauren. I’m sure many of us here would love to read it! I’m curious what sources of income you have, the percentage breakdown of these sources when it comes to your overall income, how much you make (if that’s not too personal!) and how much time you spend working on your blog at present.
You got it! It’s definitely on the list — I’ll try to get to it within a month or so.
Really useful tips! I haven’t even thought that there are so many fine points to pay attention to!
Right? It sounds overwhelming at the start, but things do start to fall into place as you work at it.
I’ve just come across your blog and I’m really enjoying reading it (currently about your trip to Maputo!). I do a bit of travel blogging on the side and enjoy doing it but find it hard to get it out to a wider audience. Have you any other suggestions?
Thanks so much, Sam! My biggest recommendation is to guest post on other sites. Not necessarily travel blogs, although somewhere like Nomadic Matt would definitely help expose your writing to a new, wider audience, but sites that are relevant to the topics you write about. As an example, I might write about travelling with anxiety on a large mental health-focused site, or how I budget for a month-long trip on a financial advice website, or what it’s like to travel as a bisexual for an LGBT magazine. Stuff like that. It’s one of the best ways to build up your audience, as not only does it bring new readers to the site, but it also gives you links that’ll help your article rank higher in Google and therefore bring more readers in that way.
I literally googled “how to start a travel blog” and this is the first site that came up. I currently enjoy traveling a lot, have started to post photos on Instagram and have become super interested in travel blogging.
Your instructions make it seem so simple! And great advice/tips!
Thanks so much, Raven! Best of luck if you decide to go ahead with travel blogging :-)
I have caught the travel bug after putting down deposits for my Round the World trip, however, this wont be until sept 2019, as we have to save enough money. I’m wanting to start a travel blog, is it too early now? I have been to many exciting places (Tanzania, Turkey, San Francisco, Zakynthos, and many beautiful places in my home country, UK) and will be going to NYC this summer.
What i’m wondering is do you reckon it is too early to get into my travel blog before my RTW trip? I am worried I dont have enough content (stories and pictures!) to keep posting regularly?
Nope! It’s never too early — the earlier you start, the better! There’ll always be things to write about, whether it’s your previous trips, your plans for the future, where you currently live, and random pieces of travel advice and tips. The most successful travel bloggers are those that don’t travel super frequently, so don’t feel as though you need to be travelling full-time in order to build a successful travel blog :-)
I’m currently studying engineering physics in Sweden (where I’m from) and after this semester I’ve decided to take at least one year off to travel. I have always loved writing (I have been writing a diary since I was 12, and I’m now at the age of 28) and I’m also very passionate about photography. I have done some traveling before I started my studies and I have lived and worked in Spain, Australia and New Zealand. I’ve always written about my travels, but only in my diary or personal blog. I want to combine my passions (writing, photography, traveling) and turn it into a professional travel blog. My main intention is not to make money (that’s just a big plus), but to reach out to people. To share my travel experiences. I get so inspired by you and other great travel blogs out there, I want to inspire too.
Do you think I can create a successful international blog even though english isn’t my native language?
I think I’m pretty good at english, but I can’t tell if my grammar is correct at all times. I mean, spelling checks are easy, but checking entire sentences and sentence structure and all of that… it’s a bit harder. Any thoughts or tips regarding this topic? Do you think that I have to improve my english writing skills before I start blogging? Or do you think people would read anyway? And do you know of any successful blog written by someone that have another native language than english?
Thank you for this post!
Hi, i had a question about billing… does the total on blue host mean that that is the total that you pay once a year or can you pay it monthly? meaning can i pay it monthly or or does it take it out all at once? sorry very new to this and a bit confused, just want to make sure i can understand everything that im investing in.
Hi Rachel! You pay for it all up front rather than month by month.
is there a way to pay it month by month or is that the only option?
I think that’s the only option.
Lauren I love the concept of the blog. I full heartedly agree, you don’t see a lot of people blogging about the down side of traveling. I recently spent 3 weeks in Europe solo traveling, and I got a lot of compliments about how pretty the pictures were, meanwhile no one saw all the internal muck that was beginning to come up. I finally stated my blog after a year of sitting on it. Right now it’s just for fun. We’ll see where it goes. I also enjoyed reading about your Cook Island experience, as its currently on my list for travels in 2019. Cheers. Ryan
Best of luck with your blog, Ryan, and with your travels to the Cook Islands! Thanks so much for the huge compliment :-)
Thank you for this very interesting post. I’ll keep your advices in mind for my brand-new blog ;)
Thank you Lauren for sharing this great information.. you inspired me to start my own travel blog.. One question, how to get traffic with new created blog ? Thank you so much..
Best regards, Karen.
Pinterest, guest posting, and writing long and detailed travel guides to popular destinations.
Thank you so much for the great insights. I’ve been itching myself for the past month or so in trying to publish my first post. I felt the “About Me” page and first post are almost similar and based on what you suggested, it doesn’t seem too different too. So I’m a bit worried.
Also, what I am mostly worried about is if it’s too late to start up a travel blog now?
Hey! thanks for sharing information, as a beginner it will help me to learn and write my own travel blog.
Wow! Thank you for such a detailed post! My 13-year-old daughter is taking next year off to travel. We set up her website and plan to launch it in June. I’ve been looking at ways to monetize her site because I think she would feel so accomplished if she made a buck or two. We are literally starting from scratch, but she wants to makes go of travel blogging for this year. We are super excited! I’m so grateful for your post!
Hey, Thanks for sharing such awesome tips for making a travel blog.
No problem! :-)
Thankyou. This is so engagingly written. I am in Buenos Aires with a cold & just decided to explore blogging as I can’t dance at mo with this cold. And I love writing vignettes about ordinary but magical things. I’m in a cafe at this moment for my favourite coffee y medialunas ~ lol not good food for a cold but good for the soul. When i get back to my room, I’m gonna start. Thankyou for you simplicity & integrity.
Thank you for the huge compliment! :-) Best of luck with getting started, and feel free to drop me an email if you need help with anything at all :-)
Hello, Lauren! I enjoyed reading your take on starting a travel blog. You gave a lot of good information and ways to help get started. I’ve wanted to travel my whole life and now in my late 40s, I’ve finally decided to stop wasting time waiting for the travel fairy to visit me and start living my dreams. Writing, photography and travel are my passions and I’m super excited to get started putting all three of my passions to work for me instead of me working for them.
I have a bit of a different approach with my travel blog, at least I haven’t found one like it yet, and I’m looking forward to trying it on for size.
My biggest concern is getting started and actually developing the audience. Short of physically pulling up my site on random strangers phones for them to visit did not seem like such a great idea so I’m wondering what steps did you take to create a following or was it a matter of trial and error?
Thank you so much for any information you can offer to help me get started. Safe travels!
Hi Lauren i’m starting my website soon and will get blue host from your link :) I have a question. Is it a must to spend money on theme. Could i just look for free themes and still earn money through blogging?
Yep, you can use a free theme to get started! And once you start making money from your site, you can invest in a paid theme.
I’m just about to launch my website (which I’ve been avoiding for a while). I came across your article and it’s now getting me excited!
Good luck, Jesse! Let me know if I can help out with anything as you get your blog set up :-)
Yikes! I thought this was going well until… I followed all the instructions, and then when I got to the point where I wanted to log in to the admin portal of wordpress, I could not figure out my username and/or password. So I tried to get a new password, and neither my email address or what I thought was my username works. What do I do? I’m all signed up and paid up but can’t do a thing!
Hi Leanne! Try Bluehost’s live chat and they should be able to help you out: https://helpchat.bluehost.com/
Thank you so much for sharing this information. I’ve been planning to launch a travel blog myself and I guess I will bookmark this page for future reference.
Again, a great post!
Hello Lauren! thank you for your amazing blog! :)
yes….you’ve heard that a million times…but still it’s true and hearing nice things about your achievements can never be too much ;)
I was really inspired by your article now to finally kick start my own blog. I have an existing webpage with squarespace.com.
they are amazing. most of the plug ins that you are recommending they have built in anyway. but of course their annual service is a bit more expensive. I did some calculation and am thinking to switch to bluehost and themeforest. BUT then I realized that the plugins also have to be paid…or am i not getting it? Cause I don’t find it in your listing for the costs of starting a travel blog. hmmmm?…:)
Thank you for your time and answer!
Hey Sanya! No, all of the plugins listed in this post are totally free to use, apart from the Interactive World Maps one. And thank you! That means a lot to me :-)
Thanks for this post Lauren. It’s helped me so much and I’ve finally set up my own travel blog. It does take sooo much work and I feel like I could’ve done with a ‘how to use WordPress’ post before starting the process too haha!
Hi, thank you for this amazing tips.
At this time I’m working as a writer, but I’ve always dream to become a travel blogger. That’s great chance to see the world and earn some money :)
I’ve a few question to you. I have no idea how to create my own travel blog and how to promote it. And which camera should i purchase for my blog as a beginner blogger.
I’ll be grateful to you if you answer me.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful article.
How many post should I create in advance before starting a blog?
It doesn’t really matter, to be honest. I created my site first and then began writing for it. You wouldn’t need more than two or three, though.
I had a great journey navigating through your blog, and I would like to mention that it is amazing and very relatable. But I do have a question. How exactly do you make money? I do not have an idea about running blogs but I am a travel enthusiast and want to turn travelling into a full time career. I am just not sure how to make the money required for travelling. I hope you will help me out.
For me, I make money from advertising (with Mediavine), affiliate marketing (from various companies, like Amazon, World Nomads, Booking), book royalties (from sales of my travel memoir, How Not to Travel the World), and, um, that’s about it! I used to make money from freelance writing, but eventually stopped doing that because the money was pretty bad and I didn’t enjoy the work.
Great tips! I used to have a website a few years ago and now I have stopped due to losing interest. Now after I read this, it kinda motivates and inspires me to start a travel blog. Cheers!
Sweet! Best of luck if you do decide to do so :-)
I’d like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this.
In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get
my own site now ;)
Sweet! Get on it :-)
How did you add the number of posts to the hover on the interactive map? I can’t find how to do that.
Your blog has forced me to create my own travel blog. It is not as extensive as your site. Not to mention we are coming to Portugal and the Azores based on your posts.
I do that manually every time I publish a post, or whenever I remember to update it. And don’t worry too much about your site not being so extensive — I’ve been running this blog for eight years, so I’ve had tons of time to write my blog posts! Hope you have an incredible time in Portugal. It’s such a wonderful country.
I was able to get help from the developer to figure that out. I was using tags and not categories and that was the problem. We enjoyed our trip and now looking to retire in Portugal and possibly the Azores as the destination. Although, the mainland is probably better for travel.
I found that writing posts after the fact can be difficult to remember all the info and all the odd things that happen along the way. It takes me 4-8 hours to put together the pictures and text for each day of travel. I should probably take notes along the way ;-).
Fantastic and informative post – wish I’d known this years ago when I started travelling! BTW it helped me immensely in using your step-by-step instructions to set up my own travel blog (mostly just as a memoir of my journeys, not with monetisation in mind), and I had a trial run of if during recent trek in Nepal.
Any thoughts on setting up/linking to FB, Twitter, IG, etc? Seems like an additional burden to maintain the various social sites as well, but it would be nice to be able to post to IG and have it appear on blog…..
Hi Lauren, love your website and I am half way through your book, which I also love! I am a big traveller myself but mainly long weekends all over Europe and three long backpacking trips over the last ten years. I want to set up a blog to document my adventures, but down the line if I wanted to upgrade to a more professional approach would it be a relatively straight forward process of moving all the material to a paid for service? I am in two minds whether to jump in the deep end and pay for the items and services you outlined above or whether to go for more of a memoirs approach.
Hi Lauren, this is so great. I have been trying to decide if i should start a travel blog.
My husband and I love to travel and now we are taking our kids with us (8 and 5 both on their second pasports)
I love to take photos and am not so sure about the writing.
Would i set it up the same way. Does wordpress work for that or should i use something else?
I am initially looking to share with friends and family but would love to be able to travel for a year with the kids but currently our jobs don’t allow it. Longest trips about 4-5 weeks
Sorry for rambling. Thank you again for ao much clear information.
I’m not new to traveling, but I am new to travel blogging. I’ve been researching travel blogs for a few weeks now and just came across your page, thank you for the information and the time that you took to write this! It was very clear and helpful!
Thank you so much!
thank you very much, i have always loved travelling and always wanted to start travel blogging since the first time i left my country. i have learnt alot from your guide and from you and intend to get started right away.
My desire is to meet you one day, my home Country is Zambia in southern Africa so do swing by one day, lol.
very insightful and best regard,
Wow I just love your article here on blogging as a travel blogger! I have been in the same career for 10 years and I am ready for a change. I have been thinking of becoming a travel agent (solo on my own) for years. Do you have recommendations?
great info! One question I’m starting a travel blog site myself but have not published it yet, did you wait till you had several blog post before you published your site or did you just publish it once your blog site was set up?
No need to wait, just start publishing now! It’s going to take a while for people to actually find your site, so get everything up as soon as possible.
Hey Lauren ,
I wanted to start a travel blog in a local language is this a good idea to start it in a local language ? I have a passion about writing and travelling but never use blog for the same. Should I go with free or Paid in wordpress for the very first time? And is it possible that you start a free first and then convert in to paid and your blogs are available as same as before?
Hey! I found this information to be invaluable and very inspiring! Just like you before your blog, I’ve never written anything but I have been curious about blogging for some time now. I’ve always wanted to travel the world and experience different cultures, meet new, interesting people, eat amazing food and write about all my adventures but I always let the fear of failure deter me or I would feel so intimidated because I wouldn’t have a clue how to get started and like you I’m not technically inclined at all! This has really been a great article for me to read and I feel so excited! You make it sound so easy! Do you think incorporating spirituality or capturing culture and local destinations instead of just touristy attractions would entertain readers? Do I start my site before I go anywhere? Do I write about the places I have already been even though I don’t have all the pictures I feel I would need to make my web page more interesting or captivating (Or all the memories intact for that matter)? I would like to focus my travel blog on the people, culture, spirituality or native life, mostly (of course, also along with and all the other things people usually write about in travel blogs). Do you think that would be a good niche?
Just read your blog. This blog not only helped me a lot but also improved my knowledge of blogging too. Thank you so much for the great info and keep sharing your ideas with us so that we can explore more.
No problem! :-)
I’m off to the island of Mauritius in October, where I will be staying for the next few years. In the past 6 months I have been preparing for this as I plan to create a travel photography blog before I leave the UK. I have one question to ask. Before I do, let me just say that I have a photography website that is up and running, but it does not have a blog section. So my question is: Will I be able to create a blog from the information provided above, and add it to my website or will I have to create a blog separate to the web site?
Hi Marc! You should be able to add a blog to your website without needing to follow my instructions, as it’s likely already built into your site as a feature. Is your site running on WordPress or Squarespace or…?
Thank you so much for this post! it really encourages me to keep going on making my own travel blog as for now I have my travel videos on my youtube channel but I wanna do the next step !
Good luck! Let me know if you get stuck with any of the steps :-)
I LOVED your post. I found it incredibly helpful and inspiring. My thoughts on starting a travel blog are very new. I currently graduated University with a Photography degree and I have been saving money to travel. I spent two months in India then spent two months in Israel, now I am back in England starting my saving process again. Do you recommend I hold off getting a blog up and running until I have the funds to actually start my travels?
I recommend starting now, as the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll find success! You’ll still have plenty to write about, having spent time in India, and starting now means you’ll get the hang of how blogging actually works by the time you can afford to travel.
Hello Lauren! I have love traveling ever since I was a little girl with my family. A few years ago I started traveling on my own, and I haven’t stopped since. I’m currently an elementary school teacher and travel every break I get, but I keep wanting to blog and had no idea how to. I love writing in journals, so that’s a plus :) My question is, do you ever go back and blog about past travel experiences? Or do you focus on the present and future outings? I want to set up a Blog and your article was amazing! Any additional advice will help and thank you for being honest in this article.
Hi Lynda! Yep, I definitely do. I try to focus more on storytelling over creating a resource when I do this, as things may have changed in the time (like prices, quality of food in restaurants, etc) since I was there, but there’s no reason why you can’t blog about previous trips. It’s a great sign that you already love writing in journals :-)
This is great. I think the best way to find your travel blog is to just go out and travel. Eventually, you’ll figure out the kind of travel you want to do. Thanks for the good points here.
I do agree with that, actually. People change, and assuming you’re going to be a budget backpacker forever when you first start out could end up being disastrous if you realise you can’t stand hostels!
This is a great blog! Thank you! I have just set up a blog on WordPress and this was so helpful! I’m still creating my blog and I would like to have a hotel section and would write about the hotels I’ve stayed at.
So I need photos for my post – should I approach hotels and ask permission to use their photos? As I’m just starting out not sure if I’d be eligible to be an affiliate on booking.com but have seen that other travel bloggers must have used that as an option and it looks great but have literally written three post, so may be small fry!
You could do that but I recommend using your own photos of the hotel instead. It makes your review more personal and proves you actually stayed there :-) Definitely sign up as an affiliate now. You want to be making money from the first post you publish. If you’re going to be talking about the places you stayed in in your posts, why not add an affiliate link? You might not have an audience now, but when you do in the future, you’ll wish you’d set up all of your posts for success from day one.
Great tips, I am new here but I must say you are pretty famous!
I am curious to know what your opinion would be for starter with respect to starting costs? Well I hope I am not asking a question thats already been answered but I didn’t read it yet!
There’s a whole section in the post about that :)
As many have replied – this blog is great! My husband and I love to travel. For years he has said I should create a blog. We just got back from Grand Cayman and I’m starting to think more seriously about it! My husband is OCD, analytical, guidebook and I’m more of a free spirit. Thinking about maybe posting from our 2 points of view? Haha. Coming up with a unique name and brand would probably be my biggest struggle. Thanks for your blog – it’s gotten me many things to think about!
Thank you so much for putting this guide togetherness. It’s proven to be invaluable to help me get started on my own blog, theteatimeadventurer.com. The hardest part was getting started. The content pours itself out. I know I’ll look back on my first few posts eventually and say, why did I post that. I have two questions for you; my first question is how do you figure out who to contact about adding a link to your blog to drive traffic? How established should you be post wise? I’m having trouble getting to the next step. Second, would you recommend contacting a more experienced travel blogger to read your posts to get feedback? I know it’s important to join blogging superstar, but I’m a little tight on funds right now. Hope this changes in the future. Thank you again.
Thanks for sharing an amazing guide for bloggers in the making. I am now kinda inspired to start off immediately!
Good luck to you!
This article was very informative. As I am a newbie and hardly know this blogging world, you made an extra effort to write this article in very simple letters. Thank you!!
I love this post thanks a lot. I still struggle with the traffic, even though I have my blog for a long time now. But it just won’t get more :(
Thanks for your advise anyway :)
Greetings from Vienna!
Am I *really* the first one to notice that the math doesn’t make sense here: “You should be able to make as much as $1 per 1,000 visitors to your site if you have enough placements, and while that won’t sound like much, there are new travel bloggers who reach 50,000 page views a month in under a year — that’s $500 a month…”
$1 for 1k = $50 for 50k. Not $500
So they either had 500,000 monthly visitors or they’re earning $50 a month! ?
Ah, I forgot to clarify. Once bloggers hit 25,000 views a month, they can join Mediavine and make far more money with advertising than they will with Adsense. 50,000 page views usually equate to $500 with Mediavine, or around $50 with Adsense.
So the numbers are correct, I just forgot to mention you’d want to change ad networks once you started receiving more traffic.
Truly useful piece of information. It’s good to learn the ways to improve a blog from top bloggers.
I’m glad to hear that! Best of luck with your blogging journey :-)
Hi!. Your article was a huge inspiration for me and I just run my own travel blog. For now I am blogging in polish but maybe some time I will decide to start doing it in English even tho it’s not my first language ofc. Thank you once again!
No problem! I think it’s a good idea to blog in your native language, as there’s probably a lot less competition when it comes to travel blogging in Polish!
Just read your article but I already built my blog but in Squarespace. Maybe you can help me with some great plugins for my website?
Ah, sorry, I have no experience with Squarespace so I’d just be googling best plugins for Squarespace to answer your question.
Hi Lauren. This was a wonderful post. I know a lot of people like you said are doing travel blogs/vlogs. I still would love to do a blog with pics and Vlog about airlines. I see all the others out there. But not so much bigger guys like me, And not meaning tall. My concern starting this would be trying to get viewers and well funding to get tickets to review the airlines. I really love the step by step process you did. It is the best how to start a blog I have read yet. My goal is to do a flight a week or a flight every other week. Starting from scratch makes that hard. Just wondering you had ideas on ways to make it so even if I make no money at the start. Any help you might have would be a big help. And hope you don’t mind helping a beginner out.
Umm! I really don’t know where to start commenting, your article is so articulated I’ve got lot of good Information from it I’m amazed.
So i just have one question.
I have not travel the world before, but i have travel overseas two times to Indonesia twice, and the USA once.
So my question is.
After doing a research, Is it okay to start a Travel blog that directs and inform people about places to visit, what to do when they get there, where to go, which to avoid, and stuff like that.
And all that without me being travel, I just conduct a research and inform people.
Is that okay from what you have been experienced?
Thank you so much for you very informative article! It makes me think that the dream of becoming a blogger is well within reach. My question for you is this: how important do you think it is to specialize your blog? Do you think a blog about trying out all kinds of new things might be as well-received?
Love this post, it’s the best one I’ve seen. So I’m a big traveler and one of my New Years resolutions for 2019 is to start my own travel blog. I’ve never heard about hosting before and was wondering if you think first-time bloggers should invest in this? I’m a perfectionist and the main thing holding me back from starting the blog is my hesitation about the design and layout not looking perfect but what are the benefits of hosting on Bluehost? Exactly what is hosting?
Also I’m heading to Cairo, Luxor, and Beirut in a few weeks and I want to start blogging there. Do you think that I have enough time to get this up and running?
This was such an enlightening article for me. I love traveling and have always wanted to start a blog with no clue on what to do and how to go about this, and reading your article has given me such good direction. I still have questions though and I can email you if you have some time for me pls.
Thank you! Yeah, definitely drop me an email if you’re having any problems with getting your site set up :-)
I want to start a travel blog, but I’m not a full time traveler and not sure I ever want to be. Initially I though of your first option “run a blog to keep friends and family informed of your travels” but I also want to blog about other stuff, like social problems (I work for an NGO and my line of work is International Development) and personal relatable stuff (moving on my own at 17, having married young, being vegetarian, etc). Have you found bloggers with this kind of issues and what have they opted for? How does it work for them?
i recently started my blog. after reading your awesome guide. thanks for that
Best of luck with it :-)
I honestly read everything and even keep a note of the important things. I’m planning to start a travel blog soon but wanted to be educated first of what is expected to happen. Great post!
Thanks, Keith! Best of luck with getting yours set up and running smoothly :-) You can always drop me an email if you get stuck along the way, too.
Thanks so much for you guide- super in depth and easy to read. I’m really interested in starting a travel blog and I have been for years, but my anxiety has been a huge factor in preventing me from taking the jump. I think I am finally ready to just go for it- and I’m excited! My question is, you wrote this article almost 5 years ago. How have things changed since then? Do you think it’s STILL not too late to start a travel blog?
Yep! I update this article every couple of months and added the section about whether it’s too late last year. So, this article is up-to-date already — as soon as something changes I make sure to add it here :-)
Loved your article, but Bluehost deactivated me because my government ID didn’t match my mailing address. My husband and I retired, sold our house and are full-time travelers. I can’t give them an ID that matches my mailing address because my mailing address is a mail-forwarding business, so they deactivated my account after a couple of days.
Just thought you should know.
I still want to set up a blog, but will have to find a different route.
Thanks for such a detailed thread! Clarified many of my doubts although I decided to use a different hosting where I had registered my domain.
Hi! This is a really great post about starting out in travel blogging, and I wish I had read it a year ago, when i switched from a free to a self hosted WP blog. I found the hosting /theme/plugin sections particularly helpful and would like to stress that a good security and a backup plugin are essential and I would also install Jetpack as it does a lot of essential Support and is free/good value.
Living in Europe, I was not sure about Bluehost , and went with a cut-price EU provider which is Slim in Prices and customer Support but I had no major issues so far. I just get what I pay for!
As a Hobbyist, I am not averse to creating some income, but I agree with you that good unbiased content is the key. It is refreshing to read a professional blogger who does not take sponsored or press trips – which, let’s face it, don’t reflect the reality of travelling! – yet still make good income from the blog. I hope you Keep the transparency, and thank you for such a detailed post!
Firstly, great post!!
I read your book a couple of years ago, before properly committing myself to travel. It definitely inspired me to not be afraid of things going wrong. Now I am away, 4 months into travelling SEA, and I am definitely one for not pretending that travel is always sunshine and roses with no challenges!!
I have been very VERY slowly working towards a blog the last couple of months but am ready to get serious. I wonder how you developed a writing routine in the early days when you didn’t know what you were doing? I love to write but I’ve always been very bad when it comes to a blank canvas.
I’m so happy to read this. This is the type of manual that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this greatest doc.
Thank you! That means a lot :-)
Starting september i’ll be going on a world trip for around 12 months, and considering to start my own blog as well, partly because of that the site I co-write for doesn’t do enough marketing or knows how to market itself and is stuck with declining page views, partly because of posts such as yours.
My biggest concern however, is how do you generate enough traffic, especially when you’re just starting out with the blog. I’ve recently deleted my social media accounts as I didn’t reckon they were worth my time so I can’t rely on those, but do have some knowledge about marketing due to my studies, but little regarding SEO
Do you have any advice on how to generate sufficient traffic, especially when starting up your site. And how do you write and post for the best SEO results? I understand that that’s partly traffic, but to create organic traffic you need to write in a certain way / use certain words , or am I mistaken?
For a long time, I thought about creating my blog about travels. Each year there were more trips, the photos no longer fit on the hard disk and memories began to blur. This article became an inspiration for me. The blog was created and let us see where it will lead me :) Thank you!
First off, thank you for this awesome, comprehensive how-to! It’s helping me a ton, as I’m just starting out.
I have a question: how many hours a day/week would you say it takes to connect with people on and post content to Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest, in order to stay relevant?
I’m pretty averse to social media, and I’m trying to understand whether I have time to stay active and promote my blog on those platforms, all while working a full-time job and some freelance gigs.
Thanks a ton! :)
Honestly, I’m pretty averse to it too, these days. I deleted my Instagram, share my posts on Facebook and Twitter when I publish them, which takes about 5 minutes a week, and Pinterest I use Tailwind to schedule my pins to go out, so maybe five minutes a week? The longer I’ve been a travel blogger, the more I’ve realised that social media doesn’t really do much to help out your site. 85% of my readers come to my site from Google, so it started to feel like a bit of a waste of time. It’s definitely not essential to find success!
Thanks so much for this amazing information. When choosing a name for your blog, are there any problems if your name is similar to another business? I have seen several blogs with similar names. But, I wasn’t sure if it creates problems if it is similar to an unrelated business if the domain name is available.
I’d steer away from anything with an identical name, but it’s okay if it’s similar. After all, there’s a travel blog called Never Ending Voyage, and it’s never caused any problems for either us — we’ve both been very successful! If somebody registered like, neverendingfootsteps . org, yeah, that would be a problem.
Hey! I must say that your post has been the most helpful out of all the ones I’ve read. Thank you so much for doing this. I have only one big question bothering me-
When I first start broadcasting about my travel blog on all platforms of social media, and people will come to my blog to check it out, will it look good that I have only one post? Should I rather write and post 10 articles before I share it on social media? I would really like to know how to start with my blog- one article at a time or posting a few?
Thanks for the lovely post.
I am in the process of starting my blog, but I’m bogged down by bluehost and their associates.
I followed through on the process as described, but bluehost is yet to add the wordpress theme I chose to my domain name.
Contacting their customer service has been a pain in the neck: the guys on their chat seems lost all the time and take forever to respond, I called their line, I was on hold for about an hour, no one answered. Nohting has been resolved yet.
Is there any advise you can give or anyway you can help? I feel like the more bluehost lingers on this, my desire to get this blog going may wane.
Hi Uzoma! Hmmm, what do you mean that Bluehost is yet to add the WordPress theme to your domain name? If you log into your WordPress dashboard, you can add the theme to your site by clicking on appearance – themes – upload and do it all yourself without getting Bluehost involved. Themes are something that you add yourself, not something your host gets involved with. Unless I’m misunderstanding what you’re saying.
Feel free to drop me an email with more information if you’re still struggling! It should only take a few minutes to figure out :-)
Thanks for the reply, You are awesome. I’d be emailing you shortly.
Good Lord this was fun and exciting to read from beginning to end. I almost hate to say I’d like to start a travel blog too but yup…Two Cats Travels is weighing on my mind. Even with your detailed instructions I’m a little overwhelmed by the technology of it all… but I’ll just follow your step by step directions to see where we land. I LOVE the idea of making your first blog like a first date…more of a getting to know you moment! My husband is claustrophobic so planes are an issue so our travels have proceeded concentrically from our home in New England. We’ve made it as far as Croatia and I am so hoping for Japan someday soon…I have never written to a blog before but you really have me jazzed to turn this kernel of an idea into the whole cob as it were! Questions: Once I get this started is it to late to write about our past travels over the past 3 years if I fact check? Or does it need to be an in the moment excercise. I ask because every time we go somewhere I immediately come home an create a hardcover book as a memento for us and I love to write so they are not just pix. As a hook or unique angle I’m thinking of the old children’s phrase curiosity got the cat and satisfaction brought it back because that’s basically why we travel. Does this make sense outside my head? Anyway, thanks and happy travels! Warmly, Lori and Jim
Hi Lauren, I’ve been thinking about starting a ‘travel’ blog but am moving more toward even a ‘life/lifestyle’ blog if that’s even a thing. I love to travel but I also enjoy a lot of home design stuff and do a bit of wedding coordinating. I know this is all a bit scattered but at the same time they are all a part of my life. Any recommendations, as I am a total newbie, on where to begin figuring out my niche? there’s a lot of pieces of my life I think could be beneficial to a blog but I’m so hesitant to start and be confined by only one of these things!
Wow thanks a lot! I just lanuched my blog and this post gave me a million new ideas to think about. Thanks for spreading the love!
I have always written a personal travel journal and after several people suggesting I should write a blog – I’m seriously considering it. For now I’d love for it to be mainly for family and friends but I also want the option for it to be something more later on if I wanted it to be. Is there any themes that are free that I can choose? I can commit to $2.95 a month for hosting but nothing more at this stage as my travels at the moment are for 6 months so budget is tight. Also can you download and create an entire blog on WordPress on an iPad? Because that’s all I have with me on this big trip ?
like your website and especially your incredible story and all the tips you give here. Well done!
I am working on a website about tips and tricks for backpackers myself and have to say one tip from this post I would really like to stress is
LET YOUR PERSONALITY SHINE THROUGH!
I am getting there more and more myself. It feels more natural to write and just have a look at some other blogs. Some people flat out swear half the time – in successful blogs! So whatever your style is, write like that, write like you talk. Best advice ever!
Also, what I am always curious about is, how long it takes to make money from your blog. A lot of people give you different answers and for example you said after 3 months you started making money, but it took you about a year to live on it.
But how much time did you spend on average? I assume (and you actually mentioned it as well) you lived in cheaper countries and worked probably close to 24/7 on your blog in the beginning. I guess. So for someone who works 40h per week and works on their blog in the evenings and mostly on their days off it would obviously take a lot longer. But nevertheless, from what I read it is absolutely not unusual that it might take more than a year to make any money at all. I am not even there, but I notice how I get better at things and I’ll get there. Would just like to know what your take on this is.
Now I know it can really take quite some time, like seriously you will have to be persistent. But if you see progress and you believe in what you do, just hang in there! That would be my personal advice.
Thanks Lauren for all the useful tips and stories you share.
All the best
Thank you so much for putting this guide togetherness. It’s proven to be invaluable to help me get started on my own blog, The hardest part was getting started. The content pours itself out. I know I’ll look back on my first few posts eventually and say, why did I post that. I have two questions for you; my first question is how do you figure out who to contact about adding a link to your blog to drive traffic? How established should you be post wise?
Keep Posting, You are a Big inspiration for all of us. I have recently started my travel blog so Its cool to come across experienced bloggers like you.
Wow I am so confused… (nervous laugh)
I just purchased through your link on Bluehost today :) Thought I would support you out of all the blogposts I’ve been reading about how to start a blog.
I literally have no clue what I’m doing in there, it is so much fun! And I am happy to announce that wowiwalkers.com will be up whenever I find the courage to hit “launch”.
My boyfriend and I are going for a year. Thanks for the inspiration during the years.
Hi Cecilie! Ah, congratulations for taking that first step :-) It’s a great sign that you’re finding it fun, too! Best of luck as you work through those early stages and let me know when your site is live. I’d love to take a look at it :-)
Wow :) you just cleared my clouded mind thank you so much , i just bought a domain name to build travel blog and was fully confused where to start how to start , do i have to updated the blog after ever trip or i have to updated as a whole. how i am going to do it . you just showed me my way :)
Hi Lauren! Really great suggestions. We’re just starting out but took much of your advice into consideration. Thanks so much! We figure that if nothing else we’ll end up with a nice collection of our travel memories together: http://wanderinghikers.com/
By the way, I noticed you don’t have Instagram in your list of social media links. Is that not a platform you recommend using for helping build your audience? Personally, I don’t like how it limits hyperlinks to just your bio page, so it’s hard for someone to use the platform to drive traffic to a website. On the other hand, we like to make cinemagraphs and Instagram displays them quite nicely. Any thoughts?
I wanted to start a travel blog recently and I just don’t know where to start. I like backpacking in Europe, especially the Camino – Santiago de Compostela. Already been there twice and I want to start a travel blog on this particular journey. However, I just don’t know where to start from. I get all the website setup but the contents are my problem. Not sure what to start from.
Can you give any advice?
I’m planning to do another Camino sometime soon before I actually start my own website just to get more information and ideas from the travel.
That’s awesome. I’m actually going to be walking my first Camino in a couple of months! I’d suggest brainstorming which kind of posts you would have wanted to read when you were planning your Camino, or backpacking in Europe. So maybe that’s a packing list or a day-by-day itinerary or what to know before you go… or maybe it’s a narrative about how the Camino changed your life or why you decided to walk it a second time or the people you met along the way.
Whenever I’m not sure what to write about, I always think about what I would want to read on a blog. Hope that helps!
Because of your post, I started a travel blog in no time. Thank you so much, the steps was easy to follow. I have been to 25 countries and fell its the right time to start
I have been very fond of travelling over the globe and i just love to write about travelling stuff. But i am always keep on facing financial issues..i cant leave my job immediately..Is it really important to travel to a city to write a blog?Could you please advise me a way to deal with all such issues?
Thank you in advance!!
Hey, Lauren! Yours is the first article that i read when i thought of starting a travel blog and i don’t think i’m going to need to look at anything else because you have explained everything so vividly. I am not a person who travels constantly and continously. Travelling was just my hobby and i recently discovered that i want to keep doing it as my priority and want to make a living out of it by making a blog and because i don’t have enough money, i am doing some part time jobs to earn money so i can travel to different places. because obviously with so much competition out there i won’t start getting paid very soon. So, what i wanted to ask was , do i need to travel constantly and a lot to start a blog or can i have some breaks in between the travelling to earn some money?
This is brilliant, thank you so much for all of this amazing information! It has actually inspired me to go ahead with my ideas and I have started taking the initial steps to do so!
Thank you again, I look forward to following you further :-)
Firstly thanks for taking the time to write in such detail about a topic which is quite daunting to someone contemplating entering the world of travel blogging, My question might be a bit stupid but I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction, I was following your step by step guide, I got the name, set up hosting, set up wordpress but I then had to leave it for a bit and when I came back to it I cant find continue from where I left off, pretty much from picking a theme onwards,,any help would be greatly apreciated
I started traveling when I was 10 in 1974 and 3 years ago began traveling again when I came to work in Iraq. My dream was to go to Maldives, I was recently divorced so I was a bit scared going by myself but I was like my bucket list will never get done if I don’t start. Thats when I found YOU ! my first alone trip was to the Maldives …. to Fulidhoo because of you! I work around so many people that travel constantly and would love to have a blog. My question is how often to start out would you need to travel? Can I continue to work and blog every trip I go on which is about 3-4 months? I would really appreciate your opinion and by the way I loved Fulidhoo and because of that trip I am fine traveling alone . Thank you! Carol
Is it sensible to start a travel blog with a best but free WordPress theme for 2-3 months or longer and then jump to a professional theme like Divi from Elegant Themes?
Yeah, you can totally start off with a free theme for a few months while you get the hang of things and start to build your audience up :-)
I am 2+ months away from 65 but still holding up on my dream of capturing the images of the world and sharing my thoughts in writing … which you made me realize is through travel blogging. I searched and met your articles. It inspired me 😊
Thank you so much. Your step by step instructions helped me understood the necessities it requires. I wish I could still fullfil this dream.
Thumbs up for Lauren!
Thanks for the great advice on this; my blog is set up and running now. Looking at starting the next step of your advice which is the monetising side. I have one question about a dedicated bank account for the blog in the early stages of setting up, and noticed you gave the following response to someone else question:
“You’ll want to register as self-employed and get an accountant so that you can start paying taxes, but you won’t need to do this until your site starts making money because it’s a hobby up until that point”.
Would you set up a dedicated business bank account for your blog and then look at taxes once revenue is coming in, or would you just use your personal account for now until it starts taking off?
Lauren, I must applaud you for this article, you are an amazing writer! Of all the guides I have read about blogging few days ago, this is the most detailed yet concise and captivating of all.
Am a novice in the blogging world with very little travelling experience, being born and brought up from a small village and poor family in Nigeria. I decided to create a travel blog about travelling , presenting poor people’s travel style and luxurious travel style, sharing mostly about people’s travel experiences in those two categories and encouraging everyone in their capacity to be involved. It is an entirely different approach to the usual travel blog and I want you to help me organise this idea to be more realistic and business savvy.
Kia Ora Lauren
I am reading this from New Zealand and I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your generosity in sharing this info. One of the best I have I read. I have just started a year long Diploma course in Travelwriting and Photography so I was really keen to see what I could do to start and take the plunge to start my blog.
Keep up the great writing and come to New Zeland sometime.
Ah, thank you so much, LJ! I actually spend a month of every year in New Zealand! My boyfriend is from Christchurch, so I’m always popping back to hang out with his family.
Hi Lauren! I’m sad to say that I’d already purchased hosting before I read your article a few months ago, so I ended up with something other than Bluehost. I didn’t understand how affiliate links work either, so I’m REALLY sorry again. But I AM considering switching hosts following a day-long site outage that my current host refuses to explain. In your experience, is it fairly easy to switch hosting plans? If I go with Bluehost I’ll sign up via your affiliate link now that I know how that works, lol.
Yep, I’ve never had any problems with switching hosts, although it definitely took a little bit of googling to figure out which steps to take — if you get stuck at any point, you can always use the Bluehost live chat, if you decide to go with them, to ask for help understanding any of the steps.
Awesome, thank you so much!
Stumbled onto your blog not long ago, while looking for inspiration to start my own. I really appreciate that you’ve written this! It’s awesome!
I’ve come across a little hitch, that maybe you can help me understand. While looking into wordpress, (This is before I commit to hosting and domains and all that) I noticed that to use the business option (instead of the personal) it costs around $350 a year! Yikes, wasn’t expecting that, in your blog here it never mentions anything about that.
If I set up through bluehost first, and then to wordpress, like you’ve mentioned, do you not have to deal with the scary $350 for a business site set up?
Ah, you’re looking at wordpress.com — wordpress.org is what you’re looking for :-) and what this guide is for. WordPress.com hosts your site for you — so there’s no need to sign up for Bluehost — whereas WordPress.org allows you to use your own host as described in this post. You want the latter, as self-hosted sites have a lot more freedom in terms of plugins, advertising, and other stuff. WordPress.org is totally free to use, so no $350 a year — definitely don’t pay that!
Ohhhhh!!! How did I ever miss that detail. Thank you so much for clarifying that. Just downloaded it now and am officially even more lost. I guess with wordpress.com you can play around with the workings of the site before you launch it, and with wordpress.org, even to play around with it you have no choice but to pay for hosting.
I wanted to play around first to see if I even have a clue how to do all of this before paying, because committing to a pay thing, and then realising I’m not smart enough to figure it out, is a very real thing. Damn!
You can play around with wordpress.com first if you like. I think the dashboards are similar, you just won’t have access to the same plugins and will be a little more limited than you would be with the .org version.
But yeah, you need a host to use wordpress.org. But honestly, WordPress is so simple to figure out that I don’t think you’ll have a problem just going with it.
Hi Lauren, thank you for your incredibly helpful post.
I was wondering – once you’ve set up your hosting (for example with Bluehost) and have your website built and ready – how do you integrate the posts on your website/blog with your social media platforms such as FB/Instagram? Is there an integrated way to do this or is there lot of duplication if you want to post and establish presence on social media also (eg, do you have to post on your blog, then post on Instagram, then post on Facebook etc)?
No problem! I usually publish my blog post, tweet it out immediately after it goes live, and then share it on my Facebook page the day afterwards, and that’s it.
The more I put thought into it, the more I think I may just take the plunge and do it. I have an urge to share my travel stories and no one to share them with. This reason alone makes me think it would be worth it! Thanks so much for your replies. :)
Thank you for the informative post. I had hosted a blog around 2008-2009 but closed down after running it for a year or two, so I had some experience but needed a checklist kind of post to get started again. I’ve launched another travel blog in 2019 and I must thank you for this post as it helped me refresh everything I knew without having to go through 10 different articles :-)
Hi Lauren, thankyou for your post information, I have been thinking of starting a blog about “my family travel bucket list” I haven’t traveled outside of Australia yet but I have so many places I want to take my family, and have found that I spend alot of time researching everything about traveling with kids and family that I would like to share it with other parents out there that want to travel as well. Of course I would use reviews and do thorough research, and even have others contribute to what I am posting as well. I guess what I’m asking is, do you think this is an idea worth looking into? Thankyou.
My twin sister and I currently own and run a travel agency in addition to our full time jobs. We’ve only had the agency for about a year but so far it’s been moderately successful. We want to start getting into travel blogging as well as vlogging because we believe that it mirrors why we got into traveling and starting the travel agency. We grew up poor and never had the opportunity to travel. In college we were blessed with the opportunity to do a travel abroad program in Ghana and have been traveling ever sense. We want the blog to mirror our current and past travels as well as talk about food wine and culture shock while traveling for example when we went to China a lot of ppl wanted to take pictures with us and we did it understand why and after talking with locals we learned that there aren’t a lot of black ppl in China so that’s why they wanted to take pictures of us so we want to touch on the cultural exchanges that we do while traveling and meeting locals. I guess my question is do you think it’s a conflict of interest to have a travel blog as well as a travel agency? Do you think the viewpoints that we want to relay are different enough for us to stand out? How would you suggest dealing with two different ppl writing for the same blog bc although we are twins we have different personalities experiences and thus writing voices? We leave for a trip to Thailand and Indonesia in three weeks. Is it realistic to have a blog up and running by then or should we take pictures and write once we get back from the trip?
,Thanks for your wonderful article.I like to start a travel blog. It is 2 week still I am looking for a suitable name for my blog. Will it be ok if I use the nomber 2 instead of ‘ two’ to make the blog name shorter.Your advise is appreciated.thanks
Yep, that’s fine!
I never commented on a blog post before, but I have to say I love your post. I have been looking into starting a blog for at least a year now and all the post I have found are the same. Thank you for being different. You have inspired me to make my dream a reality. I look forward to checking out more of your post.
Your article was very helpful! When you mentioned making money off of affiliated programs such as world nomads or booking.com do you have to reach out to those companies to set something up to get commission through links in your posts or how exactly would you go about actually making money off of them?
Nope, just google “Booking affiliate program” or “World Nomads affiliate program” and sign up on their sites. Takes 2 seconds to fill in the forms and get your account set up :-)
What do you think of using content from places you have previously traveled to to kickstart your blog? Do you think it’s ok to write about trips you’ve made in the past year or only new recent trips?
Nah not necessary! I don’t do it.
Good day to you.Thanks for your advise on ‘boost on Facebook’ I only recently started publishing on word press. As I am on a limited budget and zero experience on blogging I started with a personal plan.
I try to install yoast SEO plugin (free version) but it is only for business plan according to word press. Is there any alternative SEO plugin or even other way to do SEO for newbies like me. This is just a temporary measure until we are financially stable.Thanks Lauren…
Ah, I see. If you’re using wordpress.com, then yeah, you won’t be able to use Yoast. That’s for people who self-host with companies like Bluehost or pay with WordPress.com.
I don’t have any personal experience with using wordpress.com, but I’d just say ignore the plugins for now. Just focus on making sure you’ve got your keywords in your blog posts and that your articles are as useful and detailed as they can possibly be — if they are, they’ll start to rank.
Thanks for some great advice.
I am planning a 12 month trip through Central and South America and I am looking to start a travel blog now as I plan. Some great advice for me to consider. I am clear on my usp/focus and I have experience at building wordpress sites. At the moment I’m trying to think of a good name… going to throw it out to my group of friends to see what comes up.
I am quite a mature person and have travelled with a pack on my back quite extensively.. but never blogged. Going to give it a try. Cheers for the inspiration.
Hey, hi and hello!
Your blog on how to startup… well, blogs was the first one I have read and I have to admit that I got to the end and was truly stumped for questions. I mean, I DID have questions but nothing that I could not figure out and find on my own. For the most part, you cleared up all mysticism that I had found surrounding blog startups.
I am aiming to start my own travel blog within this year so I am doing the rounds right now to gather what information I can on how to do so and what I should really be looking for. I have only read a couple blogs so far and yours has pretty much delved into the waters that other sites just didn’t go into, like your own income and expenditure for instance!
But with a newfound sense of confidence, I am still going to make the leap and hopefully will have found my own little corner of the blogger world to fashion into my own!
Thank you! And Happy New Year!
I was wondering if it is possible for you to switch from a personal blog to a buisness blog? I want to begin my blog soon, but do not currently have the money to begin with a buiness one? Is it easy to switch an excisting personal blog to a buisness or would you think it is better for me to wait until i do have the funds and then start from then?
This is such great information and such a good resource for bloggers. I honestly wish that we had this information on hand when we started our blog back in 2013. Coming up with the right name was the hardest but we did get there in the end. Hosting was also hard as everyone had their own opinions what was the better. Thanks for this article.
Thank you for sharing your tips and knowledge. Starting anything new is always intimidating and can be overwhelming. It’s nice to get advice from people who actually have done it!
My family & I are very excited to evolve our travel blog!
Love this Lauren! Which subscription widget do you use? I’m stuck between feedburner vs jetpack – if either of them! Thanks
The widget in my sidebar? That’s from ConvertKit.
I used your site almost exclusively in an attempt to create a travel blog. Unfortunately, BlueHost/Word Press is one of the worst and most complex ways for someone who’s new to the game to enter the business. While they seem to have a lot of options, their tech support is $99 a month which after spending a $100 for the hosting, template, and a plug in, doubles the cost to get started.
Luckily, my husband who’s far better at this than I am is helping, but even he has been having a frustrating time sifting through unexplained menus and information with no tutorial.
I had so much planned and now I am very close to canceling my account with BlueHost/Word Press and either going with another hosting site that is much simpler OR sticking to posting YouTube Videos, Instagram, and FB posts.
Feel free to ask me any questions if you’re having problems, either here or through my contact form.
I promise it’s so easy to use once you get the hang of it and you definitely don’t need to pay for WordPress tech support!
The vast majority of the internet runs on WordPress, so it’s really worth figuring it out. Keep in mind that your host is just the space where your website lives on the internet, so all hosting services are identical. Once you’ve signed up for bluehost and installed WordPress, you’ll basically never sign into your bluehost account again. Then everything is done through your WordPress dashboard. I just thought I’d mention that, in case you’re trying to do anything on the bluehost site.
As I said, feel free to ask me any questions!
Hi Lauren! Thank you for sharing this. Such a great information specially to my fellow beginner bloggers out there! I really don’t know how to start on blogging but to be honest this blog makes me feel better and gets me go to with confidence. Thank you again!!
The article was really helpful and motivating :) good luck with your travel plans for 2020!
I’m glad to hear it! My travel plans have been cut short due to coronavirus, but that’s okay. Hopefully things get back to normal soon :-)
Hi Lauren, I wrote to you earlier on here. I’m not even a traveler, but just want to let you know: I discovered this site by googling: “Best lifestyle blog NAMES” and you were one of them! Congratulations! I’m going to follow your blog, even though I backpacked 30 years ago!!!
Thank you so much, Annien! :-)
Hello! You’re article is really helpful! I got so motivated, I got a name and logo! I want to register my domain with Bluehost, if I pick the 36-month plan, do I pay monthly or do I have to pay the 106$ once off? Thank you
I think you now have to pay upfront.
I have started my travel blog 3 months ago.I have bought my domain from word press. Unfortunately I hardly get more than 5 visitors a day and sometimes none.
Recently I consulted another travel blogger he told me my travel blog confuse readers as they don’t know what I am writing about.travel blog also lacks good navigation.I have improved the navigation part but still I hardly get visitors.
I also feel blue host maybe a better choice than wordpress because I have to upgrade it inorder to get stuff like SEO and Custom email.
Lastly I think I have start with the wrong footing. Is it better to start all over again with blue host and a new domain.Thanks…
This is so helpful, thank you!!! I have always loved traveling but we are a young family and don’t have the means to travel as much as most but I really feel like this is what I am being called to do. I’ve travelled a lot around my state but that was years ago. Would you recommend posting about previous travels even if they were quite a while ago? And I love to budget out places that we want to go to but haven’t visited yet, would you recommend posting those ideas as well or should I just stick to something that I know? Hopefully we will start traveling more but until then I’d like to build my blog and make it successful before then. Thank you so much for your time and this post, it has been extremely helpful.
I’m sure you must get the same message often, but your site was one of the big reasons why I was able to finally make the decision to start blogging. After reading about how you were able to start traveling from a low wage job and turned it into a business, It really made me think I could achieve that too. I’ve struggled with depression and with thinking where I am is as good as my life is going to get. I’m not going to lie, it’s been really hard at times, thinking all there is to life is working to pay bills so i can live to work to pay bill, ect.
I am where you were back in 2011 and while it’s been years and, like you said, the travel blog market is really diluted now, you make it feel like it’s not to late to start living life. I’m in the process of building a site and hoping to get more of a social media presence so i can start building an audience. I’ve even planned a trip a few states away just to get out for a little bit.
It’s not much, but it’s given me something to look forward to again.
Thank you so much. You have no idea how grateful i am to you.
I just ran across your site after searching @ hiking through Portugal to France which I am doing in the fall. Any advice you can give. Not sure if I’m really up for for blogging the whole time although I’m equipped to do that. Bit of a geek. Guess it would be nice if I could make some $ at it but that is very secondary. But advice would be greatly appreciated as I have never been to Spain…but I’ve been to Oklahoma.
I’m so happy to hear that!
Your article is a great help. I decided to start travel blogging and created a website using Godaddy for Domain and globehost for hosting. It was a breeze and cost me $12 to get my site up. The pandemic has made us Work from home and using the spare time for the website creation. Any suggestions on a good free theme, i have started with Writee but it has some limitations.
Happy to have found your extremely helpful article which am bookmarking for future reference.
Hi Lauren, I need your opinion if you don’t mind: I have bought my domain and built website through Dynadot. Now I learned I need wordpress. Dynadot have access to WordPress through their VPS plan ($10/month). I don’t really understand terminology like servers, plug ins etc… If you were me, would you stay with dynadot and get that plan, or move the domain to Bluehost and get WordPress through them? Thanks!
If you haven’t bought hosting through Dynadot, you can keep your domain name with them, buy hosting through Bluehost and then download WordPress through there. It’ll be cheaper that way. I bought my domain name through a random site I found when I was first starting out, so my domain name is on a different platform to my host. I’d probably do that. When you sign up for Bluehost, you can just select I already have a domain name, enter your one that you bought through Dynadot and then access WordPress through Bluehost.
Hi! I’m just starting my travel blog underthesameskye.com and trying to get to grips with this whole pinterest thing! Something noone says in their blogs regarding pinterest is – should you be pinning other peoples pins to your blogs? Or just your own when trying to grow a following? I love this post, but this is the one question I can never seem to find the answer to!
Most people recommend pinning 80% other people’s content and 20% your own. That’s what I try to do, unless I’m feeling lazy, in which case Tailwind just pins my stuff automatically for me.
Hey Lauren thanks so much for making this post it has helped me an incredible amount in getting my blog set up.
Now my main dilemma is when the best time would be to actually go all in and publish my first post…I’ve only traveled to a handful of places so I know I could probably write a few posts about where I’ve been already but I don’t want to start posting until I actually have plans to be traveling for a significant amount of time and know I will have plenty to write about, which may not be until a couple years from now. What do you recommend is the best thing to do in the meantime?
I’m a teacher, and I’ve gotten very bored with quarantine and summer. My husband and I have taken some amazing trips, and I would love to start a travel blog to document them and the ones to come. I’m basically wondering what purpose does a host serve? I would love to make a living off of a blog in the future, but I’m not about to quit my job with those dreams unless they become true. I would like to invest as little as I can in the beginning because I’m not sure of what I would even blog during the school year in between travels, so I would hate to invest and not see a return.
Hosting is basically like renting a space on the internet where your website lives. The hosting company provides the physical servers for your website to live on, maintains the software required to keep your site online, and does regular maintenance to keep your site up and running smoothly.
You can get free hosting with sites like Blogspot, but they’re very limited — you can only run certain ads, some of the ads that do run make your hosting company money as opposed to you, you can’t install many plugins, and are limited with themes. When you opt for free hosting, you have no control over your blog — it could get shut down tomorrow and you’d lose everything.
That’s why I recommend self-hosting with Bluehost, as that removes all of those limitations.
Wow, I love your set up. The info is so honest. I just recently started my own travel blog as my husband [The Big Guy] and I are looking to move abroad come first of the new 2021 yr. The pandemic put a screeching halt to our March 2020 take off date. Ha. I have been told I should not be so personal but its hard to be personable in your blog without losing your personality. You do a great job. My blog is 100% yet – still have a page or two to add & fill in, but I’m close, I think, to start thinking about affiliates soon.
Just for giggles, how much do you charge for mentoring?
Oh, I found your blog when I was looking for info on moving to Portugal, just fyi. Best, Holly
Hey Holly! Such a bummer to hear you had to postpone your trip :-( But I wholeheartedly disagree with the person who told you not to be so personal with your blog — it’s what helped me to be successful! Readers want to connect to people who are human, and the more personal you are, the more relatable people will find you :-)
My mentorship program is $300 a month if you sign up in June. Feel free to drop me an email if you’re interested!
great blog post, thanks for your work putting everything together.
I was already at step 7 when finding your post, but even the things mentioned in step 8 helped me – especially the tips on HARO, Pinterest and Facebook groups.
Thanks and all the best, hope we can travel soon again.
thanku so much Lauren for giving a most valuable information about blog.Before,reading your post i m too confused about blogging but now everything is clear…Lauren, your writting way of posts was so simple and awesome.i can easily understood each and every line of your post…
There are approximately seventeen bazillion articles describing how to start a travel blog out there and few of them makes sense… I keep reading a lot of them but yours is one of the practical and useful one!! Great post…
Thank you! So, so, so many travel bloggers have ripped off this post since I wrote it, so I’m thrilled that you rate mine as more useful! :-)
Hey Lauren, Hope you are doing well.
I am yet to start my travel blog and this post has been my goto place for any doubts whatsoever. I have been dwindling upon the idea of whether to publish my blog now or not. As due to covid-19, travel plans have been halted. I do have a few places that I have travelled, but I am in doubt whether this is the right time to publish or not. Would people really be interested in trips that I have taken 6 or 7 years back?
Please help out here. I have already written 10 posts and just waiting for the right time to publish. Also, is it a good idea to start affiliate links right when I start or should I wait for some traffic?
Thanks in advance. :)
There’s still plenty of other travel-related content you can focus on — like general travel tips. How to save up for travel, how to make friends while travelling, how to save money on flights, how to overcome jetlag, how to handle dorm rooms, how to use points and miles, how to pack for a weekend away… that’s just off the top of my head. You can also write about where you currently live, if it’s a popular tourist destination. And you can totally write about trips you took years ago, too — I’m currently writing a post about something I did eight years ago. I just don’t make recommendations in those posts because I can’t be sure of accuracy of restaurant/hotel quality.
The right time to publish is yesterday :-) The sooner you start, the sooner you build and audience, the sooner you’ll start making money. Absolutely start today. And start with affiliate links from day one, yes.
Thank you so much Lauren for the support and guidance you have provided. I finally created my blog and even published a few posts. I am a long way to get it all optimized and everything but just as you said, taking the first step was the most important.
You are an awesome person and blogger. Thanks again :)
Hi Lauren, i am amazed with your website really ,, i am an Egyptian interior designer,,studied architecture and have gone only to Turkey,Istanbul couple of years ago,,i LOVE traveling and would like to link between architecture,interior design and traveling,,,um planning to travel to malaysia KL next trip,, and would like yo to advice me from where can i start.
Wow, I just love your article. The info is so honest. I just recently started my own travel blog. This post will really help me to grow my blog significantly. Keep up the good work. Thanks a lot for this awesome piece of information.
Heya. This is such wonderful post and I feel very inspired! I’ve been rethinking what I’d like to do in life and Travel Blogging is something I’ve always wanted to do but have never done because I get extremely frustrated sitting down using technology. Do you ever feel like this? What would you say to someone who’s starting a travel blog with content written from years ago? Alongside new travel posts, of course. Thank you so much for your time x
Thanks so much for the great blog post! I like that everything is right here. I’ve been working by writing for a blog, but I think I might start my own blog on the side. I really love writing… Almost as much as I love traveling.
Thank you for putting everything together. I know all about writing, but this will help me with setting it up to begin with.
Looking forward to the end of this pandemic so we can travel again.
I am so grateful that I stumbled upon this post of yours. There’s so much value in this post and I can’t thank you enough for it. I had an epiphany only yesterday that I do want to start a travel blog. I mean, I’ve always loved traveling and I’ve always thought of how I can share these travel experiences with people. Creating a blog has been going in and out of my mind for the past years but it was only yesterday that I am truly determined to get serious on it.
I can’t wait to start implementing the steps you mentioned here. It’s gotta be a tough road, but it’s a road I am willing and actually excited to pass through.
Again, thank you so much for this. I’ll be checking our your travel blogging mentorship post now. Hehe. :)
Thank you for creating this guide! There was so much information in the article, and as I’ve been reading the comments, there’s been a second wealth of information there as well. I like that you really go over every single possible step a person may run into. I’m starting a new blog, and I had no idea where to start! This certainly is a big help for me! Thank you for the help!
Hi! I’m just thinking about building my own business and starting a blog. How did you learn to operate WordPress? Are there some tutorials you would recommend?
Please let me know, I’m not sure if it’s going to be intuitive..
Loved this guide!
Honestly, I didn’t find WordPress too difficult to understand. You have your posts, where you write your blog posts, your pages, where you publish your static pages, your comments where you moderate comments, your categories where you categorise your posts, your menus, where you build your structure and navigation. I found it all very intuitive! I struggled more with deciphering how my themes worked, but they usually include documentation and demo content that shows you how to build up your site. If in doubt, Google your problem and you’ll probably find an answer :-) Or I can build your site for you if you’re on my mentorship program, so you don’t need to worry about it!
Helow Lauren! How are you?
You absolutely great. Just like wow. Your blog content made me think about to persue blogging. What a great travel writer. Haha. Sorry i’m just amazed about your writing skills.
Quick question. Since beginner and looking forward to be your mentor and guide to start and navigate my blog, is that something about how tos? I mean for the next 3 months you will guide, navigate and teach me and for the next month i will be the one who will manage my blog? Please enlighten me lauren and have a great day.
Yeah, with the mentorship, I spend each month showing you how to build up your blog to stand the absolute best chances of success — it doesn’t have to be for three months, either. Just for however long you feel you need — could be a month; could be six months.
Hi Lauren! I’m sad to say that I’d already purchased hosting before I read your article a few months ago, so I ended up with something other than Bluehost. I didn’t understand how affiliate links work either, so I’m REALLY sorry again. But I AM considering switching hosts following a day-long site outage that my current host refuses to explain. In your experience, is it fairly easy to switch hosting plans? If I go with Bluehost I’ll sign up via your affiliate link now that I know how that works, lol.
Hello Lauren. My wife and I have been following you travel blog for several years. If you don’t mind, I have a few questions about your website. Do you use custom post types and taxonomies? I noticed your destination url’s are listed like “destinations/continent/country/” not the typical “category/continent/country”. Your other groupings (archive pages) such as blog, monthly-summaries, popular posts, resources, site news, what’s it like in, musings, packing, travel itineraries, travel expensise, confessions, incidents, travel plans, etc. – I figure some of these may be standard WP pages but are some of them custom taxonomies similar to the standard WP categories or tags? Thank you
That’s a setting with the Yoast plugin — you can just choose to not have category show in the url. Everything else you mentioned is a standard WordPress page.
I had been blogging for past 5 years almost (foodravel com) and yet I’m struggling to make any money. At times I feel like giving up and then I get hopes from people like you that some day I will shine. But when? Always a question.
You really make it sound so straightforward !! (I was going to say easy, but then decided that that’s SO definitely not the right word … it sure isn’t easy and you’ve probably put a lot of hard work into this) and I will definitely save this post for the future ! I’ve been thinking of a travel blog for a while, as I started traveling last year – sadly a few months before Covid-19 hit the world and after months and months of still somehow trying to get around without being unreasonable, had to just stop it all and go home. But I’m definitely planning on going again, and my next trip might bring me all the way up to Greenland, if I do it right ! So then I’ll surely have a lot to talk about … Thank you so much for all the super helpful advice, I especially love the bit about “doing things differently”. That’s what I always say – I’m terrible at posing for nice pictures, and people will more likely see dirty clothes, muddy shoes, sweaty faces and greasy hair … because well, that’s the hard reality of what will happen ! Keep going, you’re great ! X
I really enjoy your blog and following your adventures. Good luck with your move to New Zealand. I live in Charleston, SC and you should check it out once the pandemic is over.
I have a technical question about your photos. Do you compress or use a compression app to make the image size smaller with the photos you use in your posts?
Thank you! I’d love to visit Charleston — it’s definitely on my list. I’d love to do a big southeast US road trip once the pandemic is over, as it’s a part of the country I really haven’t explored yet.
For photos, I compress them using Lightroom once I’ve finished editing them. I usually aim to have them between 100 and 300 kb in size when I upload.
There is so much individual and local culture in the American Southeast. You really can’t beat Charleston, Savannah, New Orleans, and St Augustine. I hope to read about your travels there once the pandemic is over.
Hi Lauren :)
I’m currently following your post to help set up my first (well, second, but first official) blog.
So I’m stumped. My setup process was a little different than yours. I was never prompted to “install” WordPress. And by the look of your screenshots, it doesn’t seem like you “installed” WP either. It looks as if you were just prompted to register/sign up for an account with them to be able to use it.
I’m stumped because I didn’t have this step. Maybe it’s because I already had a blog.wordpress.com acct previously. Although, this time I’m creating a blog using a hosting account.
So my question to you is, do I need to physically go to the WP.org website and install WP there? Because that is an option and when I visit the site, it shows that I don’t yet have it installed. Or is the sign up/registration sufficient?
Thanks in advance for the help! (I’ve tried my best to find an answer to this problem, but have spent enough hours without any success, so I decided to reach out and ask :))
Feel free to drop me an email through my contact form and when I reply, you’ll be able to attach screenshots of what you’re seeing. You should be installing WordPress through Bluehost, not through WordPress.org. Does this article help you out? https://www.bluehost.com/help/article/install-wordpress?_ga=2.161335485.122244224.1609126555-2039552607.1593160949
And thanks for the reminder to update the screenshots on this post to make sure they’re current! I’ll get working on that this week :-)
Loved your article on how to set up a travel blog.
I live in Australia and am looking at going down the .com.au route instead of a .com website.
Any tips on that?
I hope 2021 treats your bustling travel life better this year.
I have a question about copyright.
Do I need to apply/register for copyright, or does the content on my website automatically come under copyright? If it’s automatic, should I state it in my footer? If not automatic, how do I register?
I have just read your article on how to begin a travel blog, with interest. You provide a host of blogger hacks with insights into the art of blogging and travelling.
Out of so many principles to success the one that stands out for me is, ” don’t try to be a guidebook. Be a person. ”
I used to travel for a living for the same reason you started travelling. A passion to see what was over the horizon. Then the obsession really got a grip of me for 15 years. The pictures and my diaries from that time are sadly lost or damaged beyond use.
I still make notes on our travels and have started a diary again regularly.
I always liked writing, and writing about where I’d been. I worked as a photographer, so my niece suggested I start a travel blog to combine the two.
I spend a lot of time in Italy, sampling the food and the culture. My partner and I plan to travel more in, and out, of Italy so hopefully I will have a lot more inspiration and material to fire up my literary creativity.
Thank you, Lauren for taking the time to share your knowledge and secrets with the rest of us.
Wow! I’m so happy I found your blog! You really gave me a lot of motivation to start my blog :-)
I found your post incredibly helpful! My question is a little off topic but I don’t know who else to ask.
About a year ago I decided to start a blog through bluehost and word press and had no idea what I was doing, didn’t research it and it was a total disaster. I just recently found out that I am still paying for it and I have spent hours trying to figure out how to cancel the services and subscriptions with no luck!! I have tried to contact the company but its an automated machine and when I enter the information it just hangs up on me!! Any guidance or help you can offer would be much appreciated!!
I would really like to start over with a travel blog and do this the right way! But I am worried that if I start another blog and it doesn’t work out I will be stuck in the same situation!! Thank in advance for your help!!
You can cancel your account. Just log in to your Bluehost account and click on do not renew — you won’t be charged any further payments. Instructions are here: https://www.bluehost.com/hosting/help/how-to-cancel-my-hosting-account
But beyond that, is there any reason for you to cancel this one and start another one? Can you not stick with your current one and work on that? Having an aged domain helps your site to rank in Google, so there is a benefit to keeping your current set-up.
I loved this. I see a few hundred comments above me so wonder if mine will break through. I’m in year three of travel blogging and infinitley patient that it will pay off one day. Thank you for the advice, I plan to take you up on lots of it. Just ordered some books and will go in depth on the other points. I would kind of argue your point (in that my blog is first hand experiential) that personal storytelling won’t work. Many of my comments are about how I made someone feel like they are there, or want to book a trip to go there. Just a little point that hopefully separates me to some degree. Thanks again for the insight! I’ll be following!
The problem with storytelling is that it won’t bring a large audience to your site, as storytelling posts rarely rank in Google or perform well on Pinterest — those two sources making up 95% of traffic for almost every travel blog. And the other issue is that they’re tremendously difficult to monetise with affiliates, as you’ll rarely be reaching your audience at the booking stage of their trip, which is when they’ll be looking to spend money through your recommendations. It’s not to say you can’t find success through narrative posts, but that it’s best to have plenty of resource guides on your site, too — the guides will bring people to your site and your stories are what will keep them there.
I had just started blogging a few days back and was so much confused about which topic to choose. First I selected to blog about technologies and updates but laterwards I shifted my topic to travel-related.
So going through the topics I got your topic about starting a travel blog, it is so knowledgeable that if a person wants to start blogging related to travel must read this topic as it has all the details from the beginning like how to buy hosting and the most important that is to choose the topic that about which topic that the want to start a blog and also telling about the theme you should use.
Thanks for proving such great knowledge to people and helping me with great knowledge and excitement to focus on my blog and making it more beautiful.
I have suffered with Depression for the past few years and would love to start a travel blog, travelling is my passion and the pandemic has certainly made me realise even more how i want my life to go! I want to eventually leave the office day job behind and spend time experiencing the world with my family. Your article is inspiring and i am going to give this my best shot.
I am so glad I came across your page today – I am graduating with an engineering degree this winter and am planning to doing some traveling (mainly to Australia) for about a year!
I would love to start a travel blog, as similar to you, I’ve always loved to travel and have wanted to find a way to do it more than just a few weeks a year.
Do you think it would be possible to start a successful blog when only traveling a few months a year to start? Also, would it be worth starting it before my trip and just including stuff from around my state?
Thanks in advance and keep up the great blog!
Thank you so much for the advice ! My girlfriend and I have seriously been considering starting a travel blog and this has motivated me so much. Together we have been to Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, and Panama so far, but we are scared that we do not have enough traveling experience to start a blog, or that we will run out of things to post before our next trip. Do you think it is still attainable ?
Absolutely! There’s hundreds of blog posts you can write just for those destinations alone
Travel Tips for Costa Rica
The Best Time of Year to Visit Costa Rica
How Long to Spend in Costa Rica
How to Spend a Week in Costa Rica
How to Spend Two Weeks in Costa Rica
What to Pack for Costa Rica
How Much Does it Cost to Travel in Costa Rica
First Impressions of Costa Rica
The Best Things to Do in Costa Rica
The Best Beaches in Costa Rica
Is Costa Rica Safe
The Best Accommodation in Costa Rica
What to East in Costa Rica
And that’s just at a country-level. You can also write a dozen posts for each of the cities/towns you visited. Do that for every destination. Write similar posts for the country you’re currently living in. Write general travel posts, about how to stay safe while travelling, how to avoid scams, how to save money while travelling, how to save money on flights, how to make friends while travelling, what’s it like in hostels, how to find the best tours, how to plan a trip from start to finish, items not to pack with you, why you want to travel, tips for travelling as a couple.
The most successful, most lucrative travel blogs are the ones that only focus on an individual country, so the fewer the destinations you concentrate on, the more successful you’ll be :-). It’s a big misconception in travel blogging: that you have to be well-travelled and a full-time traveller to find success, but the opposite is true. Even for myself, I tripled my travel blog’s income within a year of stopping my full-time travels to find a base.
So yep, 100% attainable. And there’s no way you’ll even come close to running out of things to post about.
Thank you so much Lauren. I have been so confused trying to start a travel blog! I have a library full of information on how to start a travel blog and I was still unable to start one. Your information prompted me to start now with it. Your steps are easy to follow. I like the way you justify every step you mention. Once again Thank You! You are my redeemer!
I am also thinking about starting a travel blog to gain exposure regarding my photographs and share my travel stories with others! Do you have any general advice for me in how to approach starting the blog and how to go about gaining interest and readers? Also many of my entries to the blog will be me talking about past travels and experiences, as opposed to being currently in those places and was wondering if that is alright or if the blogging world is more so oriented to blogging about things in the present as opposed to the past?