How to Start a Travel Blog
Over the past few months, I've seen more and more people hitting the road to travel and see the world. Tired of staying in one place and wanting to see new things, these people are discovering a new version of freedom.
And, with this new taste of adventure often comes the desire to share the journey with friends, family members, and, perhaps, followers. But to share their travels, these new road warriors are having to learn new skills, unearth long-dormant technical knowledge, and figure out some technical wizardry.
If so, I invite you to learn from me, and I'll show you how to start a travel blog of your own.
Before I continue, let me give you a little context because you might be looking at my website and thinking to yourself, “This isn't a travel blog!”
If you're thinking that, you're right! I didn't start my online journey blogging about travel. However, I have written over 600 blog posts, attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors from almost every country in the world, and built a business around creating content and teaching business principles to other aspiring entrepreneurs.
In addition to the blog you've discovered here, I have a YouTube channel for entrepreneurs and business owners (as well as a travel channel I co-host with my wife), a popular audio podcast, and I even wrote a book to help people develop a strategy so they can leave their day job.
Ok, credibility established?
How to Start a Travel Blog
My goal here is to share the best options. Not all of them, not the cheapest, but the best ones I've found after being in the online business industry every day for over 6 years.
1: Pick Your Domain Name
Your domain (aka URL) is the address of your business. Like “Wall Street,” “Hollywood Blvd,” and “Rodeo Drive,” your address is important, so choose wisely.
A popular trend in travel blogging is to have a catchy name. YouTube superstars like Marc and Trish have KeepYourDaydream.com, and my good friends John and Christina have FollowYourFreedom.com. On this site, I went with my name, ElloryWells.com, and the travel blog for my wife and I is AshleyandEllory.com.
When in doubt, go with your name. And, if there's ever a question, shorter domains are better than longer ones.
Personally, I prefer to buy all of my domains from one place (it makes it easier to manage that way), and I use GoDaddy.com.
If you need additional help buying and configuring your domain, I have several video walkthroughs in my training course, 8 Weeks to Exit.
2: Sign Up for Hosting
The next step to start a travel blog is to sign up for web hosting.
After testing 4 or 5 different hosts myself, I finally landed on GreenGeeks. They have hosting plans as low as $4/mo, 24/7 support (which is great for travel bloggers who might be anywhere on the continent), and a great team behind them. And, if you're the type to put solar panels on your rig, you'll be happy to know that GreenGeeks powers all of their servers with renewable energy.
If you're planning on selling products on your website, GreenGeeks even offers a free SSL to encrypt your site.
3: Install WordPress
After you've purchased your domain and chosen a host, the third step is to install WordPress. This is the software that you'll use to configure your new travel website.
Good news! WordPress is free =)
And if you're looking to do a little more with your website, I use, love, and recommend the theme designs from ThriveThemes.
If you'd like some expert guidance on how to configure your domain so that it forwards your traffic properly, plus video walkthroughs on how to install and set up WordPress, you might like my training program 8 Weeks to Exit.
4: Write Your About Page
Now that you have your travel blog created, it's time to create your about page.
One thing that will help you be successful in your adventures is to add your personality into your work. The channels I follow on YouTube and the travel blogs I read are both informative and entertaining. Your friends and followers want to know who you are, why you chose to travel, and how you're doing. So, put it all in a well-crafted About Page.
By the way, I have a free training that outlines the 5 pages every website needs and more. You can find it here.
5: Get a Good Camera
Over the past several years, there has been a massive switch from reading to watching. Companies like Netflix and Amazon have become part of our core entertainment experiences, and YouTube allows people like you and me to bring our viewers along for the ride.
Whether you decide to create a travel vlog alongside your travel blog is up to you. But, one thing you'll definitely need is a good camera that not only takes great photos but that takes great videos too.
With a good camera, you can share photos (or videos) of your rig, your campsite, and your adventures. Cameras also enhance your storytelling and teaching by enabling you to show people instead of just describing. And, when you're out traveling, you don't want to drain your phone's battery by using the internal camera, so having a dedicated device is a must.
Most of my videos are filmed using the Canon 80D, which is around $999 for the body. You can read my review of that camera here. I also shot this video about the first lens you should buy.
If you'd like to save a little cash or don't want to worry with learning about lenses, you can grab the Canon G7x Mark II. I love this little camera and use it whenever I don't want to carry the bigger one. The G7x has a flip out screen so you can see if you're in the frame, and a decent enough zoom to capture all of those photos of bears in Alaska!
6: Create Your First Piece of Content
After you've built a solid (and professional) foundation for your travel blog, it's time to create your first piece of content! Woohoo!
Log into your WordPress Dashboard, click on Posts > Add New, and get crackin'!
One of the best things about having a travel blog is the ability to share your adventures with your fans. You can document your challenges and take people on the journey with you. And, if you're going to create a travel vlog on YouTube and create your own channel, you can easily embed those videos on your website too just by copying and pasting the code provided by YouTube (found by clicking on the “Share” button).
BONUS TIP: Get Expert Training!
As I mentioned before, I've had a 100% online business for over 6 years. And in that time, I've learned what to do, what NOT to do, and how to teach other people how to leverage the power of the internet to create a lot of freedom.
If you're interested in learning from me, I have a training program that will teach you everything I know about WordPress, e-commerce, content marketing, SEO, building an online business, and more. There are over 40 videos that walk you step-by-step through every step of the process, plus you get access to my private group on Facebook where you can get all of the support and encouragement you need to succeed!
Finally, one of the most popular questions about full-time traveling is “How do I make money?” If you've got that question too, check out this post about How to Get Started With Affiliate Marketing. Linking to the products you use in your travels is a great way to generate a few extra dollars to pay for your additional propane tanks and the inevitable upgrades to your wifi.
If you have questions, please let me know. And, safe travels!