Many aspiring travelers want to make money while traveling and starting a travel blog is the best approach towards it.
Thanks to the internet, now travel blogging is not exclusive to big media houses like BBC, Guardian, Travel Planet, etc.
Now anyone can travel to different places and can make a six-figure income while doing so.
All you have to do is start a travel blog and monetize your website.
But, it is not as easy as it sounds.
It requires a lot of dedication and hard work to get paid to travel.
If you want to learn how to start a travel blog, you can follow these 10 tips to start a travel blog and make money blogging.
1. Choose a Name that Best Resembles You
Choosing a name for your blog is the first thing that you have to do to start a travel blog.
But, do not choose just any name.
There are hundreds of travel bloggers out there who are doing the same thing that you are aspiring to do so.
You must distinguish your travel blog from the rest of the best travel blogs if you wish to be called the best.
So, how to create that distinction?
Well, you can offer your readers something unique which they can use to recognize you from miles away.
I’m talking about your brand image.
Brand image is how you present your brand (in this case it’s you) and how it is perceived by others.
The brand image starts with a unique name that best resembles your personality, goal, and business plan.
There are different dimensions to brand image like logo, theme, personality, etc.
But, for now, we are focusing on just the name.
So, stay away from generic names like a nomad, backpacker, journey, etc. these keywords are saturated enough for you to use.
And they are very limited as well.
For instance, if you use blog names like travel cheap, then you are limiting yourself to cheap traveling.
It means no high-end restaurants, 5-star hotels, or other fancy stuff.
No one wants that right!
So, avoid using these words which are limiting in nature.
Pick a blog name that is interesting, uniquely memorable, and define your goals well.
Make sure the name that you have chosen also has an unclaimed domain name otherwise there is no point in starting your blog.
2. Start a Travel Blog
So, you have chosen the name for your travel blog.
Now let’s start a travel blog.
There are many domains and hosting providers out there but I always recommend Bluehost because of its reliability.
They offer a free SSL certificate, 24×7 365 days of uptime, and security that you can trust.
Bluehost is also recommended by WordPress.org which makes it even more reliable and trustworthy.
Now, You would need a logo as well to start a travel blog.
A good logo builds trust and gets people to stick around. It communicates subtle details about your website like who you are, what you do, and how you can help.
The logo is a very important aspect of any business so you cannot go wrong with this.
You can either design a logo yourself or you can hire someone who can design a logo for you.
A logo design company can charge you a hefty price for a logo design which you can avoid by hiring a freelancer.
For hiring a freelancer, I recommend using Fiverr.
Fiverr is a freelance marketplace where you can find many freelancers who are ready to do work for as low as $5 per gig.
It’s best for those who are starting out as new and cannot afford a big fee demanded by a logo designing company.
You can also use Creative Market for the logo.
It is also a marketplace where you can find all the creative stuff like photos, graphics, logos, etc.
Here, you can buy a predesigned logo from Creative Market. But, these logos will be generic.
So, I recommend using Fiverr where you can get a custom logo specially designed for you.
If you want to design your logo yourself then I recommend you to use Canva Pro.
Canva Pro offers some amazing mockups and design layouts for your logo which you can use to design your logo.
If you are good with designing then Canva Pro is the go-to tool for you.
3. Build your Website using WordPress
We will use WordPress to build our website as it is free, fast, and easy to manage.
WordPress is a beginner-friendly, free-to-use content management system that offers users an easy no-code approach to website development.
When i say WordPress, I am talking about WordPress.org (not wordpress.com).
Related article: WordPress.com and WordPress.org: Major Differences
Anyone can create a website on WordPress with little to no knowledge about coding.
In case you do not want to get your hands dirty, you can hire a website developer using Fiverr to design a website for you.
But, if you can develop the website on your own, you can follow the steps that I have mentioned below.
Step I – Initial Step up
Here I’m taking an example of Bluehost for demonstration purposes but the steps are the same for almost all the hosting providers.
Head towards the Bluehost official website and choose your hosting plan.
Now you have to create an account by following the on-screen instruction.
After completing the instruction, you’ll be redirected towards the payment gateway.
You can pay using a credit/debit card, Net Banking, etc.
Step II – Create a password for WordPress
After making your Bluehost purchase, you’ll be asked to choose a password for your WordPress account.
This password will be used to log in to your website.
Make sure it’s strong and you remember it.
Step III – Choose a theme for the blog
Now select a theme for your blog.
For now, you can choose any theme that comes with WordPress (we will change the theme later).
After selecting the theme, click on the “Start Building” button.
Step IV – Fill in details
Now, you’ll be prompted with a question “What kind of website can we help you set up” with two options “Business” or “Personal”.
Choose business, since we’re going to operate this blog as a business.
On the next screen fill in all the necessary details asked.
Step V – Miscellaneous Setting
You’ll be again prompted with a question “What kind of website would you like?” with two options ”Static” or “Dynamic”
Choose statics website for now.
You’ll be prompted with whether to install the woo-commerce plugin or not. Select “Not now”
By following the instructions, you’ve successfully deployed your blog.
4. Setting Up your Website to Look Amazing
To start a travel blog, you need to connect with your visitor visually by making your website attractive.
An attractive website delivers a smooth user experience and makes them want to explore your website more.
You can improve the website attractiveness by using a premium WordPress theme.
Earlier I said choose any theme just to set up your blog as an initial step.
But those are free themes that come with WordPress which is very basic and has limitations when it comes to monetizing.
The premium themes are professionally designed and coded with advanced features, functionality, and customizability.
These features ensure your website stands out from others and also improve your user experience.
I recommend using the Divi theme which comes with many features like a 100% customization option with drag and drop website building.
It’s affordable and the theme offer multitude of design, layout, and visual styles for you to choose from.
If you are not happy with Divi then I suggest you to use the Genesis pro theme for your website.
It also offers customizability and visual experience but the best part is the customer support of the theme.
It is a well-supported theme with constant updates released by StudioPress.
If you are looking for more options, you can also browse Themeforest which is a marketplace for themes.
Here you can get good themes but it would require a little digging.
Another main aspect of website set-up is WordPress Plugin.
WordPress Plugins are small add-on software that helps websites in adding special features.
There are some essential blogging tools that we need to install for travel blogs to function better.
As the name suggests, Akismet anti-spam prevents any spam to hit your website. This is essential for the security of the website.
Rank Math is an SEO plugin that helps you in optimizing your site’s content and keywords. It is a highly recommended tool as it helps you in improving your website ranking.
It’ll offer advanced SEO analytics along with Google Analytics integration for keeping track of your website.
Also, while posting the blog, Rank Math displays essential information that can be used to improve the post’s SEO performance.
As a travel blogger, you would need to send your visitors important emails like a newsletter, offer, deals, etc.
You can create your own customized emails and the best part is it’s free for your first 1,000 subscribers.
Social Warfare Pro allows you to decide exactly which image, title, and description appear on social media sites when shared.
This plugin helps you in getting your social media game right by sharing your content and getting social media followers.
Speed is very important for a website.
It’s one of the most important algorithms set by Google.
WP Rocket helps in caching the page and decreasing the loading speed which can make a website faster.
Ezoic is a technological platform for the website owner based on Machine learning and AI.
It helps you in increasing your ad revenue by analyzing user behavior and pitching them the products that they are most likely to buy.
I recommend using this platform because it can improve visitor sessions, ad revenue growth, testing, website performance SEO, and content delivery.
Your website is the most important asset and you need to safeguard it by using different security measures.
Updraft Plus is a website backup tool that helps you create a website backup.
If your website for some reason lost all the data then you can use this plugin to retrieve all the data from backup and get your website back to normal.
Another important security plugin that I want to share is Sucuri.
Your web server is at constant risk of being attacked by a hacker.
Although Bluehost provides site protection we would still need another layer of protection.
This plugin offers site protection from hackers by redirecting all the requests through their cloud server instead of the hosting server.
This prevents any cyberattack on the web server and your website and hosted content remains safe.
5. Monetize Your Blog
Our purpose to start a travel blog is to earn money and for that, we have to monetize the blog.
You can monetize your website in multiple ways.
Here, I’ve listed some methods which you can use to monetize a blog.
I’m sure you have seen this type of advertisement earlier.
Whenever you visit a website or blog, you might have noticed an advertisement banner or a display ad.
This display ad comes from a web advertising platform that hosts these ads and whenever someone clicks on the ads and makes a purchase you get a commission.
At the same time, you’ll also get some money per 1000 impressions.
But you need to ensure the placement of the ads does not interfere with the main content of the website otherwise, the user can exit out of your website.
You have to place the ads strategically and that’s why you have to choose a premium theme.
Premium themes ensure that the display ads do not create a problem for the user experience.
In this method, the blogger does the marketing for a brand using blogging platforms.
When the blogger manages to make a sale through an affiliate link, then the blogger earns the commission for that sale.
Here, the payment will only be done for the sale and not for impressions, but the commission will be higher than the display ad.
The commission can range anywhere between 5% to 30% or more.
There are many different affiliate programs to choose from and you can choose as many as you like.
But, focusing on certain programs is much more profitable than choosing anything randomly.
If you want to know which affiliate program worked best for me then I’ve written an article on 5 high-paying affiliate programs for new bloggers.
I use these programs as well.
You can use all those ad networks as a combination to get the maximum income.
These programs also offer dashboard access where you’ll have full access to the data like clicks, earnings, impressions, etc.
If we talk about the average income that you can earn from affiliate programs, then here are some statistics that can intrigue you.
Low-level affiliates can earn $100-$300/day, the intermediate can earn anywhere from $300-$3000/day and advanced affiliates can easily make $10,000/day or even more.
So there is a lot of scopes to start a travel blog or as a matter of fact any blog but it should be a profitable niche.
When you start a travel blog you’ll also get sponsorships from various brands.
That’s the best part of being a travel blogger.
Sometimes, you get a barter system like a ticket in exchange for the promotion of a hotel or flight vendor.
You may also get a deal from the hotel chain to promote their hotel in exchange for a free stay.
If you’re lucky, you can also get your entire trip sponsored along with some money.
It is all about how much traction your blog can get, how well you are pitching for brand deals.
Sell your Own Product
Selling your own products is an amazing way of utilizing the user base that you’ve created.
You can sell merchandise like t-shirt, mugs, pens, etc. or you can also sell digital products like an ebook, video course, etc.
But first, increase your website visitors, gain some loyal followers, and then sell your own products.
To sell your products, you can use Etsy which is a marketplace where you can buy and sell products.
You do not even need a separate website or page for this.
You can simply create your Etsy store and start selling.
6. Increase Website Visitors
Our entire blogging business model is dependant on the website visitors.
You have to always focus on increasing the website visitors and that can be done by SEO.
According to Social Media Today, SEO is the number one global traffic source for affiliate marketers with 69.22%.
In other words, to drive traffic to your website you have to improve your website SEO performance.
So, what is SEO?
Whenever you want to search for something, what do you do?
You Google it, right!
You insert keywords related to that thing in Google and you get hundreds of results.
Now all those results are ranked based on the SEO performance decided by the Google algorithms.
If you can follow the guidelines or algorithm of Google better than the competition then you’ll be ranked higher.
Now, SEO is a never-ending topic and I can talk about it for hours.
But, to save you time and effort I’ve got you a course that can help you with SEO.
It is called an Affiliate SEO mastery course, which helps you in mastering the SEO, getting that page 1 spot in Google and also increases your affiliate revenue.
But, after going through this course you can learn some of the best SEO tips and strategies that you can incorporate into your website marketing plan and skyrocket your website growth.
Now a question arises!
How can you measure how many visitors have visited your blog?
You can do that with Google Analytics.
Google Analytics generates valuable data and metrics that you can use to improve your performance further like the number of visitors, traffic source, country of the visitors, etc.
Without these data, you’ll be just shooting in the dark.
So, make sure you have Google Analytics installed on your website.
7. Use Social Media Platforms
If you are not using social media platforms along with your website blogging then you are missing out on a huge opportunity.
Having omnipresence helps you to reach out to your community far better than any other means.
You can develop people-to-people relations using social media.
Now, Managing all these social media platforms and your website can be a cumbersome job.
You can avoid this by using Tailwind social media tool.
It is a social media managing tool that helps you in curating content and scheduling posts which can save you some valuable time.
You can also measure ROI using this tool.
Now there are multiple social media platforms that you can use but below I’ve listed the three most important blogging platforms that are essential for travel bloggers.
Instagram is one of the best blogging platforms for travel bloggers.
To start a travel blog on Instagram, you need to share some amazing pictures.
You can get quality followers from Instagram which you can redirect to your website and drive quality traffic to your blog.
You can also learn how to become an Instagram blogger and monetize Instagram and make it your secondary source of income.
As a travel blogger, your job is to share visual experiences with your audience, and there is no better way of doing that than Instagram.
Facebook is similar to Instagram, you can get quality followers from Facebook which you can redirect to your blog.
You can create your own page or group and can develop your own Facebook community.
You can also live stream on Facebook just like Instagram and connect with your followers in real-time.
Pinterest is a visual search engine where you can post images and small videos.
You can also create boards where you can pin your images or even others.
While pinning the images, you can post links to your blog and drive traffic to your website.
You can also make money on Pinterest using affiliate marketing.
This is an amazing course that teaches everything that you need to know about Pinterest SEO.
Either way, Pinterest is an essential part of your social media game, and make sure you make full use of it.
8. Start a YouTube Channel
Apart from starting a travel blog, you can also start a YouTube Channel and upload travel vlogs.
Earning from YouTube can become an additional source of income or even can become your main source of income.
Many YouTube travelers do not have travel blogs, they build their travel blogging business using YouTube.
For getting started with YouTube all you need is a camera.
It’s a professional camera and holds good for both photography and videography.
The best part is that it can shoot some amazing shots at night which other cameras fail to capture.
But if you are on a budget then you can use your smartphone to shoot videos and later switch to something professional.
It is very easy to start a YouTube channel and share your travel experiences.
Growing your community is much faster in YouTube than the traditional website blogging,
It’s because watching a video requires much less effort than reading an article.
If you do it right, you can have millions of followers and make thousands of dollars.
9. Keep Your Quality High
If you want to start a travel blog, you need to keep your content quality high to ensure people return back to you for more.
Your content will be of no use if it does not offer value to the readers.
Good quality content helps in attracting the right audience, engage them, and motivate them to share your blogs.
There are subtle things that you can do like adding your own images, special tips, or some hidden places that almost 95% of bloggers miss out on.
These efforts that you put in to offer the best quality reflect in gaining valuable audiences to your blog.
10. Have an About Me Page
About me is the most important page of your website.
This page offers you an opportunity to introduce yourself to the visitors.
It is an excellent way to express your personality and project your influence on others.
You cannot go wrong with this.
The content of the about me page must be engaging, fun and should reveal interesting facts about you.
People love to listen to stories and you should tell your story to others like why you started travel blogging, what challenges you faced and what is the goal of your life.
With an “About Me” page, it’ll be much easier for you to personally connect with your visitors.
Start Your Travel Blog Now!
So this is how you start a travel blog from scratch.
I have covered almost all the topics from building your website to monetizing it.
Blogging is not about writing anything, it is about sharing the experience that you are going through in your life’s journey.
It might seem like a lot of work! But, it’s worth it!
If you can earn money from travel blogging, then you’ll have the freedom to enjoy life.
You can meet new people, chat with them, listen to their stories, make new friends and much more.
The sky is the limit!
I hope you like this article and best wishes for you to start a travel blog.
Leave me a comment below if you have implemented the tips that I shared or if you find yourself stuck comment below I’ll help you out.
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