Start your own blog today
Do you enjoy reading travel blogs, but would you rather start to write a travel blog and get paid while traveling the world? Whether you want to be a travel blogger or a create a blog about your favorite recipes, it is very easy to make your own blog or website. Even though it might look like a lot of trouble to go through, setting up a website isn’t that hard.
Keeping it up and creating interesting content on a regular basis is essential and we will inform you about that later.
Write a travel blog and get paid while traveling the world
Let’s start at the beginning by explaining how to write a travel blog and get paid. Many bloggers and website owners earn a decent amount of money on their blog.
Maybe today is the day you want to start earning money with your own blog too.
Follow these simple steps to learn how to make money travel blogging.
Choose your niche and name
Choosing a niche and name for your blog is the first and most important part of the process of becoming a successful blogger and earn money while traveling.
While creating a blog, you’re also creating your brand.
Think about brands that stay stuck in your head and brand names you could never ever forget. That is what you want to create too.
You want your readers to remember your name and you want them to almost see your logo when they hear your brand name.
What do you want to write about?
It’s not always the thing you consider most interesting that is the one you end up writing about. When choosing your subject, you should think about the fact if there are a few subjects that pop up in your head. Can you create valuable content about this subject? And can you keep the content coming? I realized that finding topics to write about becomes easier the longer you’re at it and after a while subjects will pop up in your mind at unexpected times.
Consider these tips when choosing your subject:
- Do you consider yourself a knowledgeable person on this subject?
- Can you write about it?
- Do people want to read it?
- Are people searching for this topic in search engines?
- How’s the competition?
You can check these items by browsing the Google Trends page and by doing keyword research.
To check out the competition, type your search words into Google and see who shows up on the first page. These are your highest ranking competitors.
Your aim when you create a blog should be to be on this first page as well.
Doing keyword research with KeySearch is more effective and their platform is interesting to use.
Niche and sub niches
Niches and sub-niches are an important part of creating a business plan.
When choosing your subject, you actually choose your niche and after that, you should consider choosing a sub-niche.
If travel is your niche, you will have a hell of a lot of competition. But if tiny house travel is your niche, you will end up in a much smaller market. There, your chances of flying high are much better. So instead of talking about travel, try talking about travel for pregnant mothers or travel with your pet parrot.
Your sub-niche can be expanded at any time in the future.
Your name: choose wisely
Depending on your subject, your brand name could be a witty wordplay or a straight spot-on name. I personally love wordplay brand names and names that sound easy. This process is one that you should consider personally and don’t worry if it takes a little longer. You don’t want to be stuck with a name you’ll regret and you’ll want to build your entire empire around this brand.
You want to create a blog with a catchy name that people will remember.
Recommended tool to search for brand name ideas and to research keywords: Keysearch Keyword Planner. Claim your 20% discount for this valuable online tool with the discount code: KSDISC
Get your domain and hosting
After deciding on your name and niche, the next step in starting your own blog is getting a domain and hosting.
In the best case, your domain is exactly the same as your name.
It’s not advisable to use too many weird signs and underscores in your domain name.
Chances are that your domain name is already taken and you have to alter your plan. You can either change your name or try being creative with the domain name.
Be careful with this last option, because if you use an alter ego of a domain with a great following, chances are that people who are looking for you, end up on the other domain. You don’t want your name to resemble big players in the market.
Find your own unique name and brand before you’ll be able to write a blog and get paid for it.
Your own domain vs a free website
When starting your own blog, you’ll have the option to buy your own domain.
But you can also create a free website with platforms like WordPress or Wix.
I once started one of these projects and I wouldn’t recommend it. Platforms like these are less customizable and restricted in options when trying to get paid for your work.
Affiliates, brands, and ad networks are more likely to collaborate with a website that is located on their own domain instead of a free hosting website.
If you plan on expanding your brand, write a travel blog and get paid, this is the one thing you shouldn’t comprise on.
What to look for in hosting
When choosing your hosting, you should consider these things in advance.
Ability to Grow
To start, you want to choose web hosting that allows you to grow. Even if you’re starting out small, your blog might grow immensely. So you want to make sure your hosting can easily grow with you.
Unless you’re a tech wizard and you have experience with building a website and pointing nameservers, tech support could be a lifesaver as it has been for us in the past. I’m not a tech newbie, so I could manage to do a lot on my own, but I still needed support for a few things that were just too complicated for me.
Some hosting services provide unlimited domains, unlimited subdomains, and unlimited email addresses. You might think you don’t need that, but we ended up using those services.
After a while, you might want to add a subdomain to your blog to talk about specific stuff. Or maybe you want to add a webshop or a web forum.
Subdomains allow you to do so.
If you don’t have to pay a lot extra for unlimited options, take it!
Make sure to choose hosting which provides a CMS setup.
Our hosting provided a free and hassle-free WordPress installation for every domain or subdomain. WordPress is a free resource. If you know how to use it, you can also install it by yourself.
It is a lot easier when you can install it to your domain with a single click.
UPDATE: We recently changed our hosting to SiteGround and we couldn’t be happier with their service and website speed!
SSL security certificates are super important these days when you create a blog. You should definitely make sure you have it or Google might decide not to show your website to its users.
These SSL certificates are a must, so make sure your hosting offers this.
This is an item I overlooked at the start of our blogging quest.
Internet users can do a WhoIs for your domain name and find out your email, your address, and even your phone number. If you want to stay secure and unknown, get the extra domain privacy.
It’s better to do this from the start since it’s more difficult to do it later.
Once your information has been out there, there is always a way to query it and find it.
Setup hosting and complete details
Web hosting companies try to make it easy for customers to create a profile, buy a domain name and set up hosting. Depending on what you need, you can either choose a small hosting package or go big straight away.
We recommend starting with a small plan to start with. Since you can always adjust your hosting plan later when it becomes insufficient. The most important thing is to make sure your hosting plan can grow with you and you’ll be able to change it.
When setting up hosting, your provider will ask for a few details about who you are and what your company or website is about.
It’s all very straightforward and easy to complete.
One thing you should consider is if you want to buy domain privacy. We didn’t get this to start with and I actually would have wished we did.
People can WHOIS your website and actually find the address you submitted with your hosting company. For a few extra €, your hosting provider keeps your address safe so no one can google or whois it.
Set up a WordPress website
WordPress is an easy platform to work with. So it’s no wonder that most of the internet is running on WordPress websites. It’s easy to set up and maintain and there’s an abundance of plugins to help you achieve what you want so you can create a blog that rocks!
You can choose to select a different platform to work with. But I can only recommend WordPress because of its simplicity and huge support database.
WordPress offers a lot of free and paid plugins to do tasks on your website you don’t want to do manual. We’ll get back to the different plugins later!
First, let’s talk about how to set up a WordPress site on your hosting.
Automatic set up by your hosting company
A lot of web hosting providers will gladly set up your WordPress website for free. This is an automated process you can start with one click and end up with a fully installed WordPress system.
After that, you still need to choose a theme to customize the look and feel of your new blog before you can start to write your travel blog and get paid. Then the only thing left to do is to start writing your travel blog or sharing your photography.
If you’re not tech-savvy, the automated WordPress setup is the way to go.
It’s simple and quick.
From there it’s pretty easy to start your blog or create the blog you always dreamed about.
UPDATE: We recently changed our hosting to SiteGround and they are just the best web hosting service so far!
Once your WordPress site is installed, you’ll need to adjust a few basic settings to finalize the installation.
Your blog will need a name, a slogan, and a logo.
After that, set up your location and time zone.
You also want to create a WordPress account, so you can log into that for a few reasons. Your WordPress account will help you to keep statistics and you’ll use it to comment on other blogs. If you use the WordPress account that is linked to your own blog, you won’t have to fill in your data most of the times. WordPress knows it’s you and will place a link to your website automatically.
Get the basic and the important plugins
When you create a blog, it will need a few plugins in order to have a safe and good working blog. Since there are just so many plugins available, we narrowed down the plugins you really need. So here they are:
Jetpack comes with the WordPress installation and you need it. You can use Jetpack for site statistics and a lot more. The Jetpack plugin is also able to share your new posts to your social networks automatically, show recent posts at the bottom of your article, and provides a standard comment section below your posts. In Jetpack, you can choose to let Jetpack monitor your website for downtime. If your blog goes down for whatever reason, Jetpack will send you an email to let you know. This is important for you to know because a website that is down, should be fixed as quickly as possible and you’ll want to know about this.
Yoast is an awesome plugin to help you with SEO. Search Engine Optimisation is an important part of web design and online visibility. If your SEO is bad, nobody will find you through search engines. So even if you don’t like thinking about this, you’ll need to do it and Yoast can help you do this hassle-free.
WP Cerber Security
This is one you’re not allowed to skip. Hackers roam the internet and they’re trying to hack your site. Even if you think you’re still too small to be interesting to hackers, you should always secure your website. WP Cerber Security is one of the best plugins available for free to secure your website.
We use Monarch plugin which comes free with our Elegant Theme, but AddToAny is a great sharing tool as well.
Get a nice website theme
The looks of your website are important. Nobody loves roaming around on a website that looks like it was around even before the eighties.
When a website looks nice and slick, people will see that you’ve put effort into it. Hopefully, they will appreciate that. Your website looks more professional and that is a good characteristic. Make sure your blog looks pretty and is easy to navigate.
The WordPress platform offers a lot of neat and free themes.
But after trying out dozens of these free themes, we turned our ship around and decided to pay for a cool theme in order to have a blog that looks a million times better. We got an awesome deal with Elegant Themes and we have lifetime access to their awesome themes and plugins. Once you become a member of Elegant themes, you can use their themes and plugins for as many websites as you can build.
We haven’t regretted getting this one-time purchase and we’re using it in all of our websites.
Start Creating your blog
Probably, you started the entire process because you had a vision of what you wanted to create in the first place.
Now is the time to do just that!
Focus on the content you want to create to reach your audience. Now it is time to start writing your travel blog and get paid for it. Many long-time bloggers will tell you to start focussing on the right content straight away. They’ll tell you about the need to do keyword searches and never start typing before you know the subject will bring traffic to your website. I would recommend to start out with the content you wish to create and once you get the hang of creating content, you can up your game with keyword research.
It takes some time to find out how everything works and to define your exact audience.
Learn from professionals - Join a blogging course
Learning from a professional has a lot of advantages and you can learn all there is to know about blogging from someone who has already made it as a blogger. Some travel bloggers have created extended courses to teach new bloggers how to get started and how to reach the top, as they did.
We joined the Nomadic Matt Superstar Blogging course when we first started out and it has tons of information for new bloggers. An extra advantage to the Superstar Blogging course is the very useful Facebook group you’ll get access to where you can ask your blogging related questions and socialize with other bloggers.
Add the first pages
Besides articles and blog posts, you need to create a few important pages.
The ‘about’ page can be interesting if you want to create a personal touch to your blog. For most blogs, an ‘about’ page is vital to connect with your readers and let them know who you are.
Other pages can be category pages, contact pages, and many other different possibilities. If you start with the basic about page, the other pages will follow with ease.
Again, start out small and once you get the hang of it, you’ll see which pages your blog needs to grow and to make posts easy to find on your website.
Start creating content
Once your basic settings and plugins have been installed, you’ve made the first steps to create a blog.
Now you can start writing your very first blog posts.
It’s a good question to ask: what should my first blog post be about?
But there’s no good answer to that.
You can just start with whatever you like.
When we started blogging, I thought it would be very important my first post was spot on, until I discovered nobody was reading it anyway! It takes time for readers to find you and your blog should have over fifty posts before it will start to gain traction.
So don’t worry about the first one. It’s more important to discover that you’re learning new things about blogging and I’m happy to see that my posts are getting better. I’m starting to see how the SEO works and how I can make posts to look more attractive.
When I look at my very first post right now, I can only sigh and think: ‘I need to redo this one!’
SEO optimization and keyword research
Google algorithms change on a regular basis and SEO techniques that used to work a few years ago, don’t work anymore. Times of keyword stuffing are over and Google actually crawls your entire content to find out what your content is about.
As a new blogger, it’s difficult to score for big keywords and all the big players in the market will score higher with their established website than your newly created website will. That’s why it’s important to research your keywords wisely and use them with care. Your keyword use should feel natural in your content and long-tail keywords are king. Don’t focus on single words, but use sentences like people do when researching a topic.
We use the KeySearch keyword research tool because it’s affordable and it works like a charm.
Using tools like these will help you understand what people are searching for and you’ll learn to implement the answers to questions that people actually want to know. Your blog posts should be the answer to a problem or question that people are looking for.
Promote your content
We’ve discussed how to set up your blog. Now that you started creating your first pieces of content, you’ll need to find a way to get your stories to your readers.
So article promotion and article marketing is the next step in line.
We started using an awesome tool for social media promotion and we can offer you a deal if you decide to get it too! The tool is relatively new and it’s getting better every day.
Missinglettr is a social media marketing tool that will create full-fledged social media campaigns for all of your posts. Get a 50% discount on any plan for your first three months with this link.
Translate your blog
Whether you decide to write your blog in your native language or choose a language that is widely spoken, like we did when we started out, it’s a good idea to consider translating your blog.
Google likes to see blogs that have a translation in one or more languages and your blog will score for a wider audience.
Of course, translating all your content is a massive and time-consuming job, but if you can do it, it is well worth the effort.
We started translating our blog a while ago and we used the super easy-to-use plugin WPML, which works perfectly with our theme and it has all the features you might need. We got the CMS version because it works flawlessly with page builders like the one we use.
Read this post by Neil Patel about how translating his blog got him tons of visitors.
We’ve discussed how to set up a website and start blogging. Most bloggers are trying to make money while blogging in the long run. Don’t forget to use the right tools in order to get a successful blog that actually earns you some travel credit/
- Web hosting by SiteGround
- A cool theme by Elegant Themes
- Learn from professionals with a Blogging Course
- Research your Keywords with KeySearch. Use the discount code KSDISC for a 20% discount
- Spread your content on social media with MissingLettr and get your first 3 months for free
- If you’re up for it, translate your blog to score better in search engines
This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)