How to start a travel blog in 2022 and make money (A complete guide)
So you want to start a travel blog but don’t know where to start? Don’t worry. It will only take you a few minutes after you finish reading this guide.
The Travel industry is a big space, with estimated worth of over US$7 trillion. So starting a travel blog is a bold step, especially if you like travelling from time to time.
What’s more? An average travel blogger will see a monthly revenue of over $10,000, according to goatsontheroad.
But that doesn’t mean all travel bloggers make money. In fact, if you don’t follow the right steps to start your travel blog, it will end up making you no money.
If you want to start a travel blog and succeed, then read on. I will show you in a practical step by step guide, how to start a travel blog and make money money.
Here is what you will learn:
- How to pick a blog name
- Best web hosting plan for your blog
- How to install $ set up WordPress
- How to promote your travel blog and reach more audience
- And…. How to make money with a travel blog
Let’s get started…
How to start a travel blog and make money
Befor we proceed, let’s first outline the basic things you need to get started.
- A Blog / Domain name – This will be the name of your blog. It will also be used to access your blog on the internet. For example, in our own case, our domain name is mktprofit.com. While our Blog name is MKTProfit. Cost: $11 per year
- Web hosting plan – A platform that will ‘house’ your blog content and make it available to the public. There are different hosting providers, but we will be using the best service for this guide. Cost: $3.95 per month
- Website Builder – A software that builds your website structure. WordPress is our best choice. We recommend self hosted WordPress.org because of somany factors. Cost: FREE
- WordPress theme – You also need to install WordPress theme to make your travel blog look more like what it represents. Cost: Free – $1000
- Pugins – Using plugins, you can extend the functionality of your blog. Cost: Free – $300
Blog / Domain name
The first step in starting a travel blog is choosing a name for your blog. This is the name your blog will answer on the internet.
Naming your blog doesn’t have to be difficult. You can combine 2-3 words together to form a name. But you have to make sure your name perfectly fit your travel Niche.
For example, this very blog you are reading covers topics on the ‘digital marketing space’ and the ‘MMO’ niche. While choosing a name for it, I combined ‘Marketing’ and ‘Profit’ to come up with ‘Marketing Profit’. Later on, I reduced the name to MKTProfit.
Same thing applies to my other blogs. One is ‘Solar Gadget Base‘ and the other ‘Tonex Hub‘.
Registering your domain name…
Domain name registration comes after you choose a name for your travel blog. Your blog domain name will be your website address on the internet.
This will be the address your audience type into their browser when they want to access your website.
Domain name registration usually cost between $8 to $11 depending on the registerer.
If you buy a hosting plan below, your domain name will be registered free for one year!
Domain name and web hosting goes hand-in-hand. Without a hosting plan, your blog will not be on the internet, and without a domain name, your blog won’t have a web address.
If you are new to this hosting thing, I recommend you read different reviews of different hosting providers to be able to choose the best hosting for your travel blog.
The reason is because, hosting plays a very vital role to your online business. It is responsible for your blog visibility on the Internet, plus, 85% of your customers satisfaction depends on it.
If you host your travel blog on a poorly configured hosting server, your blog will suffer.
For peace of mind, we recommend you go with BlueHost shared hosting as a beginner, and scale with them to a dedicated hosting plan.
Different factors comes into consideration when choosing hosting plan. A perfect web hosting provider should meet the following criteria:
- Up time: Your hosting provider should at least provide 99.9% uptime guarantee. This is very important because if your blog readers continue to experience down-time on your blog, you will gradually lose them.
- Customer Service: They should be able ansmd willing to assist you incase you run into any kind of hosting-related problems. If they don’t offer a solid support, then there is no point hosting with them because there are times you need human help in terms of managing your hosting space.
- Price: Wouldn’t you like an affordable hosting plan? Of course, you have to save some money. Look for one that gives you a discount.
- Reliability: Also, chose a hosting provider that is reliable. Check how long they have been in business. Any stains on their name?
Why we chose BlueHost is because they meet all these criterias.
Bring your website to life. Best Values
50 GB SSD Storage
24/7 Customer Support
After you’ve buy a hosting plan and register your domain, next thing is to chose a website builder for your blog.
There are bunch of softwares sites that build websites. The most popular ones include:
So, which one is best to start a travel blog?
Short answer: It depends.
Each of these websites builders are unique and can archive almost the same thing. But what matters to most experts include:
- Ease of use
- and Designs
WordPress is leading in all of these!
If you are a beginner, you can learn and master WordPress in less than 45mins. That’s how easy the software can be.
You can build all kind of websites using WordPress. You only need to install the right WordPress theme and required plug-ins to have a full functioning travel agency website and blog.
WordPress is free to install, and luckily, BlueHost has a one click WordPress installation wizard.
Another thing you need to start a travel blog is a travel agency WordPress theme. If you browse through WordPress theme directory, you will find many free themes to start with. These themes are free and sometimes comes with free/paid extensions.
But considering how many people already using these themes on their blogs, you may be thinking of getting a premium WordPress theme or even a custom theme.
Themerorest has beautiful and stylish WordPress themes that can be user for travel blogs. You can buy any theme from themeforest starting from $2.
Using plug-ins, you can extend the functionality of your WordPress blog. There are several WordPress plug-ins designed for travel blogs. Check them out here.
How to install WordPress on BlueHost
Head over to bluehost.com and click the “Get Started Now” button.
This should take you to their shared hosting plans. Pick any plan of your choice and click the blue “select” button.
From there, you will need to enter a domain name.
The page looks like this:
On the name box, enter your domain and choose the domain extension from the drop-down menu next to the name box.
The domain extension could either be .com, .net, .com.uk, etc.
Think about which option is most relevant to your site and who you expect your visitors to be.
If you already have a domain name, you can enter it into the box on the right.
In the next step, you will be asked to create a bluehost account.
It is pretty easy. Just fill out the form and double check your package information.
Be careful with pre-ticked addons. If you don’t want those extras, make sure you unchecked them to avoid extra cost.
Next, you will be taken to payment page. Once payment is made, your account will be set up.
WordPress will now be automatically installed for you. But that’s not the end, you will need to set up WordPress.
Login to your control panel and select ‘My Sites’ from the left panel.
From here, you can log in to your existing WordPress site, which will be on the domain you gave Bluehost. Or you can select ‘Create Site’ and build a new site using WordPress.
Howto find topic ideas for your travel blog
After installing WordPress and mastering how the platform works, what you will do next is write your first blog post. But before then, you need to find topics to write about, that people are interested in.
So, what should you write about?
Travel blogs can cover variety of sub-niches including:
- Travel guides
- Cheap places to go
- Cheap flights
- Relaxation spots
- Cheap hostel
- Reviews, etc.
Finding a topic to write bout depends on the focus of your blog.
For example, if your travel blog niche focuses on reviewing cheap hotels in various cities, then you should finding topics on that respect.
To find topic ideas for your blog, you need to:
- Do keyword research
- Spy on your competitors
- Join Forums and Q&A sites
When people want to learn about something, the first place they go to is Google. They type in a search query and rely on Google to provide the best answer.
Finding those search queries people type into Google is what we call Keyword research.
Doing a simple keyword research will give you some ideas on what contents you should be creating on your travel blog.
For example, if you own a city guide travel blog covering a perticular city, doing keyword research will will give you some topic ideas such as:
- Places to visit in New York
- Beaches to visit during Holidays
- Restaurants to eat in New Jersey, etc.
How to do keyword research
First, think of how your target audience will locate your blog on the internet. Which keywords are they going to type into Google?
If you can come up with a list of those keywords, head over to SEMRush keyword tool and input them one after the other.
SEMRush will show you some topics your competitors are already writing about.
In addition, SEMRush will show you how difficult or how easy those keywords will be, to rank on first page of Google search results.
Spying on your competitors
Honestly, if you are not sure what to write about on your new travel blog, you can spy on your competitors and steal topics.
I don’t mean you should you should copy contents from your competitors website upto your. Instead, look at the topics they cover on their website and create a similar topic that is way better than theirs.
If you don’t know who your competitors are, try using Google search to find them. Type in your main keywords into Google and see the results that comes up. They are your competitors.
How to spy on your competitors
First, make a list of your competitors url oaan a notepad. Then head over to SEMRush and paste those url from notepad.
The software will analyze the full url and list all the pages that drive them most traffic. You will be able to see what topics your competitor already have on their website.
Repeat this for different websites to come up with more topic ideas.
Join Q&A websites
Both forums and Q&A websites are excellent places to discover new topics.
Join any travel related forum and any Q&A website to see questions and forum topic other people are interested in.
For example, if you use Quora to find topic ideas, head over to Quora.com and type in ‘travel’ on the search bar.
Quora will list all the questions related to travel. From there, you can find ideas of what to write about on your travel blog.
How to promote your travel blog
Now that your blog is ready to start receiving traffic, next step is to promote your travel blog and make people care about reading it.
You need a promotion strategy.
You can promote your travel blog using:
- Paid Promotion strategies
- Free promotion strategies
Paid method of promotion
This includes any strategy that involves spending money to drive traffic to your blog.
- PPC advertising
- Paid guest posts
- Sponsored posts
- Facebook ads, etc.
Paid promotions works faster in growing your blog. But just because it works doesn’t mean you should try it. Most times, it is not a good idea to pay for traffic, especially if you don’t have a sales funnel.
Free method of promotion
Yes, you can promote your blog for free without spending money on advert. This method include using:
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Pinterest – Read our guide on how to use pinterest
- Social Media
- Q&A websites, etc.
Using the free methods to promote your travel blog is best especially if you dond have a budget.
Wrapping it up
Travel is one of the most profitable industry. With monthly worth of over US$7 trillion. However, it is one of the most competitive space.
Starting a travel blog requires that you will be willing to spend more time and effort creating more contents to keep your audience returning.
As you can see, there are a lot of money on this space. You only need to build your audience base and make money theough different channels.
That will be all for now. Thanks for reading.
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