A lot of people travel quite often, and maybe you do too. Like these people, you might gather a lot of happy experiences. You get to taste new food, meet new people, see new places. You get so excited about it that you also want to share your experiences with others.
So, how do you create a blog to share your travel memories and adventures? Do you need to hire a professional to build one for you? How much would creating a blog could cost? How do you make your blog stand out from other travel blogs? We’re gonna discuss all of these questions in this article.
Here’s a quick list on how to start a travel blog in 2019:
- Create your identity
- Select a blogging platform
- Choose the right hosting for your blog
- Install WordPress
- Stand out with a unique blog theme
- Install necessary plugins
Step One: Create Your Identity
Creating your identity basically involves two things:
- Choosing an awesome name for your blog
- Designing a unique and memorable logo.
Choosing an Awesome Name for Your Blog
Choosing a domain name for your blog (e.g. yourblogname.com) is probably one of the most important aspects of starting a travel blog. It also might just be the most challenging, so it’s a good we’re doing it first.
You should aim to choose the best possible title for your blog. Here’s a couple of things to keep in mind when brainstorming for a name:
- Think Long Term – When choosing a name, try not to pick on that would only be relevant for a short duration of time. You don’t want to pick a name like “adventuresinchina2019.com”. You can already tell what could go wrong with this name. First, what happens when you decide to travel somewhere else that’s not China? What happens when 2019 is over? Will you buy a new domain for 2020?
- Pick a Name That Describes You or The Purpose of Your Blog – No! Your blog name doesn’t need to have the word “travel” in it. You can make up a name by using phrases that infer travel. Your goal is to get people to read your name and immediately go, “oh, this is probably a travel blog”.
- Keep it Short and Memorable – You don’t want a name that your readers find tiring when typing into their address bars. You also don’t want them finding it difficult remembering your blog name. So, keep it short between 2 – 4 words maximum! The shorter, the better.
- Don’t Tie Yourself to Your Blog – Many people add their names to their blogs. Their names could sound like “tianasadventures.com” or “lifeofrob.com”. These don’t sound bad, do they? After all, it is your blog. What happens though if your blog becomes so successful someday and you decide that you want to sell it. Unless the person you’re selling it to is also Tiana, you might have a hard time selling off your blog.
Designing a Unique and Memorable Logo
If your blog name should give a good idea of what your blog is about, your logo should give a clear picture of your blog’s purpose.
Your logo should be simple and memorable. You want your readers to see your logo somewhere else and be able to easily recognize you. With thousands of travel blogs out there, you don’t want yours getting lost among the crowd. The best news? You don’t have to break the bank to design a unique and professional logo.
These are ways to get a logo design:
- Canva – If you’re starting your travel blog on a budget, this is the tool for you. Canva is a free online tool that can be used for a wide range of designs. Not only can you design a logo, but you can also design banners, headers and much more.
- Fiverr – You don’t have the time to try and create a logo design on your own? No need to worry! Fiverr is a freelancing website where you can pay people to do just about anything for you. Head over to Fiverr, browse through available logo design services and get someone to design you a professional logo.
Although a logo is important, don’t waste too much time on it. Right now, you should focus more on blog content. When you begin to get a significant amount of following on your blog, you can then focus more on your designs.
Step Two: Select a Blogging Platform
There are quite a good number of blogging platforms. Some of them include WordPress, Google’s own Blogger.com, Wix.com, to mention a few.
Before choosing which blogging platform is best suited for you, you should have some things in mind. As a beginner, you want a blogging platform that is easy to set up, learn and future proof.
With these selection factors in mind, our most suitable pick is WordPress.org. Why? It hits the mark brilliantly. WordPress.org is easy to set up, has a low learning curve and more features can be easily added to it as needed.
Step Three: Choose The Right Hosting
You need somewhere online where people can publicly access your blog. A host can be described as the home of your blog. The hosting service provider which you register with is basically renting out space and other resources on their computers for your blog to live.
There are many hosting companies out there. Every one of them will claim to be the best. However, there will always be Pros and Cons associated with them. Consider their pros and cons before purchasing any hosting for your blog.
Step Four: Install WordPress
WordPress is an open source software which is used for publishing, as a content management system and blogging tool. It was developed and is managed by a community of developers. WordPress currently powers 33% of ALL websites, including many reputable brands such as CNN and Sony Music.
WordPress is easy to install on a host and differs slightly between different hosts. Once you register with a hosting provider, they will be able to walk you through the simple steps of installing WordPress on your host. Usually, the majority of hosting providers offer one-click WordPress installation.
After installing WordPress, your administrator login should look like this:
After logging in, you will access admin dashboard – the main working and managing ground of your blog.
Step Five: Stand Out with a Unique Blog Theme
The last thing you want is to look like the rest of the blogs out there. One way you can stand out of the crowd is by using a unique and elegant WordPress theme.
WordPress gives you the option to choose between free and premium themes. There are many free themes available to you on WordPress.org at no cost. However, not all of them look spectacular. If you can spare some money, look into reasonably priced but premium themes.
Premium themes are paid themes that offer more uniqueness, customizability, and functionality. They usually cost $25 upwards depending on the features and developer. Why should you get a premium theme?
- Well, first, premium themes are just more attractive than free themes.
- There’s is always customer support from the developers.
- They come with documentation which makes it easier for you to understand and make changes to your theme.
- They are also faster and more SEO friendly.
You can head over to Themeforest.net to browse through their large collection of WordPress themes that are comfortably categorized by topic. So, you shouldn’t have any problem finding themes related to traveling.
After choosing and purchasing a theme, you need to download it. Whatever theme you chose will come as a compressed file in .Zip format.
To install, look at the sidebar on the left of your administrator dashboard which has a list of options. Click on Appearance->Themes->Upload.
Select the .Zip file which you just purchased and click Install. Congratulations! You just installed a WordPress theme.
To add features or change the settings on your theme, you can consult the documentation. Most documentation provides a step by step guide to setting up and customizing your theme.
Step Six: Install Necessary Plugins
So, you’ve set up you’ve installed your WordPress theme, now we can look at adding plugins. Plugins provide added functionalities to your blog. You can add social media sharing, SEO functionalities and so much more. These are the 3 most essential plugins for any travel blog.
Akismet: If you want to run a successful travel blog, you need to protect your blog from spammers. These are people that post irrelevant comments on your blog adding a link or two to theirs. Akismet deletes spam comments before they even show up on your blog.
Jetpack: This plugin provides quite a good number of features. Our favorite one is the traffic statistics feature. It provides a simple way to know your blog’s traffic sources, amount of visits in a day and views per page on your blog. That way you can know what traffic sources are working for you and what pages your followers are most interested in.
Yoast SEO: You want to leverage every possible medium to get more followers. A very effective medium is search engines. As you focus on writing great content for your readers, you should also focus on optimizing it for search engines. Yoast SEO makes this simple to do. It provides analytics and suggestion tools that help you improve your content for search engines.
How to Start a Travel Blog: Easier Than You Think
That’s it! You’re set to start blogging about your experiences and growing your followers. There will always be more features to add to your website as time goes on. For now, all you need are these basic functionalities to get you going.
Think carefully about your domain name, research hosting providers and blogging platforms. Spare some money for the design aspect of your blog – and start blogging your way to success!
This content is sponsored by Rick Wright.
Photos: Screenshot and Shutterstock