I started Globe Trottica in November 2015. While running a travel blog is not easy and is never ending work, it has allowed me to work from anywhere in the world, network, share my stories, and establish connections. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever decided to do, and I’m going to show you how you can do it, too.
Here is How to Start a Travel Blog in 5 Easy Steps!
Step 1: Choose a Domain Name
A domain name is the URL of your website. My domain name is globe-trottica.com. Another option you can choose is to get a free domain name if you’re just starting out. Instead of globe-trottica.com, it would be globe-trottica.wordpress.com. However, if you’re serious about starting a blog, I don’t recommend this. If you purchase your own domain name, then you own your content. It’s also way more customizable. You can sell things, rearrange your website, and add plugins like SEO (so people find you on Google).
Think of a catchy, unique domain name that people are going to remember you by! This is typically one of the hardest parts about starting a website. Take a few days to think of a name you really like before purchasing that domain.
You have a couple options for hosting your domain. I use Go Daddy and can definitely recommend them. Search on Go Daddy to see if the Domain you’d like is available.
Bluehost offers a free domain name when you purchase one of their plans. I’ll talk more about them below.
Step 2: Choose a Hosting Company
A host is a place where all of the files and information on your website is stored. Think about it like putting all of your personal items into an attic. The attic is hosting your personal belongings. You wouldn’t want to lose them, correct? This is why choosing a good hosting company is very important. You want a fast, secure server with amazing service and 24/7 availability. You also want it to be affordable. I personally use Bluehost.
To start out, I recommend Bluehost. They have amazing rates that are affordable, their servers are fast, and their customer service is always very helpful. Their rates begin at around $3.95/month and increase based on the type of perks you want. For starters, the basic plan is perfect.
Check out the photos below for a step-by-step guide to setting up your Bluehost domain:
Step 3: Install WordPress
WordPress is the blogging platform that many bloggers, including myself, use. This is where all of the magic happens! It’s where you’ll write posts, add and edit photos, insert products, add plugins, customize your theme… I absolutely love WordPress. The New York Times even uses WordPress! I wouldn’t choose any other blogging platform.
Keep in mind that there are two WordPress sites:
- WordPress.org: Once you have your domain and host, this is the one you’ll be using
- WordPress.com: The free site that I mentioned above where you do not have to purchase a host (they do the hosting for you for free, but your website would be globe-trottica.wordpress.com)
The site is completely customizable, they have tons of Plugins to offer, and most themes are compatible with WordPress. They’re on top of their website and plugin updates and the entire site is organized and very easy to use.
It’s quite easy to install WordPress on your hosting company.
Here are pictures to take you through the process:
Step 3: Get to Know WordPress
Play around with WordPress. The more you get to know it, the easier it will become to navigate. Plugins are also one of the best parts of paying for a WordPress site, since plugins like Yoast SEO and Jetpack will help people find your blog so you can gain readers and followers.
Step 4: Install Plugins
There are a few plugins you’ll need to install in order to get your blog up and running. Download the plugin to your computer, then go to your WordPress page, select Plugins >Add New >Install.
- WordPress SEO by Yoast: Search Engine Optimization-This will help your blog posts show up on Google to help people find your blog. This plugin makes it easy to enter KeyWords and SEO Titles.
- Akismet: Make sure you activate it on your WordPress site, it should already be there
- MailMunch: Get started with a popup box to start collecting emails for Newsletters
Step 5: Pick a Theme
A theme is the entire design and layout of your blog. This is where it’s time for your personality to shine! It’s like finally painting and designing a room in your house.
Picking a theme is one of the best parts of having a blog! I use themes from Envato Market. There are free themes as well as themes you can purchase. The purchased themes are more customizable and you can usually have more leeway with your own design, so I recommend investing in a theme you really love. You can also preview each theme before purchasing.
One word of advice is to check out the comments and reviews on the theme, as well as FAQ. If the reviews, comments, and responses are frequent and recent from the theme, that means they have good customer service and will help you if you ever need help.
- Free Themes: WordPress has some free themes
- Premium Themes ($30-$100): I use Envato Market. Another website you can purchase themes on is StudioPress
Once you purchase and download your theme, go to the side bar in your WordPress site and click Appearance > Themes > Add New > Upload Theme (as .zip file) > Install now > Activate.
You don’t need to have design experience to customize your own theme and create your own blog. I had literally no idea what I was doing when I started this blog, and learned from trial and error. Go with what looks modern and easy to read (what attracts readers on the internet), and the rest will come naturally!
Time to Get Writing!
Now that you’ve learned how to start a travel blog in 5 easy steps, it’s time to write, write, write, post, post, post! Be consistent (at least in the beginning) to gain followers and readers for your blog. Write an About Me section, organize your blog however you’d like, have good, quality photos, and start to get a feel for how running a blog works. Write about what you’re interested in, whether that’s food, cultural travel, fashion, etc. Write in your own voice to stand out from the crowd.
It’s a lot of work and it’s going to be very time consuming, but if you’re writing about your passions and interests, then it will come easy. A blog is great to have, especially if you’re starting your first backpacking trip and want a place to share your photos and stories. If you have internet access and some extra cash, then don’t hesitate to start your blog today.
Let me know if you have any questions about starting a travel blog in the comments below!
Disclaimer: Some of these links are affiliate links, where I make a small commission at no cost to you. I only recommend products that I use and love!