Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links and I may receive a commission if you purchase through them.
Looking to get guidance on how to start a travel blog to document your own experiences as well as help educate others on where to jet-set to their next vacation?
If you love traveling the world and sharing your life with others, you’ve come to the right place.
In this post, I’ll be walking you through the steps on how to become a travel blogger and make money as you travel the world.
This is a great side hustle if you’re looking to make some extra money on the side or even if you want to do this full-time.
Should I Start A Travel Blog?
Since you’re here on this specific blog post that talks about building a travel blog, you’re probably already set on this niche or have a lot of interest in this topic.
Choosing a niche that has potential is already half the battle, so hurray for you!
If you choose to become a blogger in the travel blog niche, you’ll want to make sure you have enough expertise on the subject and at least enjoy traveling. It doesn’t make sense to give advice on something you don’t know much about, right?
So why is a niched-down blog great?
First, a more focused blog is much easier to rank through SEO as you talk about a specific set of topics that are related to one another.
You’ll also be able to have a more focused audience, which makes creating and selling your own products and ad space to companies so much easier.
Not sure if starting this type of blog is right for you? Check out my Niche Selection Planner to see if this is the right topic for you.
It’s so much easier right now to choose the right niche than to figure out later that this wasn’t something that made sense in the first place.
You want to make sure you can talk a whole lot about this subject, the competition isn’t too intense with too many large players, and it’s a niche you can actually make money in.
Is Creating A Travel Blog Right For You?
If you have a passion for traveling and love recommending places to go to your friends and family, starting a travel blog might be just right for you.
You never know who you’ll positively impact and greatly inspire through your blog, whether it’s just showing people pretty pictures to look at if they can’t afford to go somewhere or inspiring others to travel to beautiful places they’ve never heard of for the first time.
It’s a great feeling that you might be helping others positively change their lives every single day!
Another great thing about starting a blog is the relatively low start-up costs and recurring expenses. For only a few dollars a month at the start, this is so affordable, especially if you’re on a budget.
Compared to other side hustles, this is a steal because often you need to invest hundreds of dollars, if not thousands of dollars, just to get started.
Again though, make sure you’re becoming a blogger for the right reason. Make sure it’s not all about the money because blogging is not easy. If money is the only motivating factor you have to continue, there’s a high likelihood that you’re going to fail.
There will be bumps in the road, such as social media or Google algorithms being unfavorable to your traffic and long hours ahead to create content. Blogging isn’t an easy road to success.
How Much Do Travel Bloggers Make?
So how much does a blogger even make in this niche, you might ask.
The unfortunate answer is that it all depends. There’s no set amount that you’ll earn for sure.
The incomes each blogger earns will vary depending on how much quality content a blog has, which monetization strategies are used, the strategies that you grow your traffic, and so much more.
I’ll talk more about how to monetize your blog later on in this post.
How To Create A Successful Travel Blog
Okay, so if you’ve got the right reasons for starting a travel blog business and it seems like the right fit for you and your goals, let’s start the tutorial.
In the following steps, you’ll be able to start your own blog in just 15 minutes.
Free Or Paid Hosting
Before we begin, we should probably get into the debate between free or paid hosting.
I’m sure you’ve seen ads where platforms such as Blogger, Tumblr, Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com are promoting free domains and hosting.
Don’t let that get you sucked in!
There are a ton of limitations with these free platforms so if you’re serious about starting a profitable blog, you’ll want to skip free hosting.
Firstly, these sites only provide you with a subdomain. That means that your blog is hosted on their site so you don’t have full control and you can’t customize it the way you want.
Second, if you want to actually make money from your blog, you’re going to have to get your own domain and be self-hosted. It looks way more professional and you can fully customize it to your needs.
Don’t panic though if you feel lost right now. I’m going to show you exactly how to start your own blog for a very affordable price using WordPress on Bluehost in the following steps.
1. Register Your Domain Name
Let’s first get into purchasing your domain name.
Where To Purchase Your Domain Name
You can always purchase your domain name from your web hosting company but I recommend avoiding this.
Because if something goes wrong with your web host, such as their servers going down, the last thing you want is to have both your domain and hosting down at the same time. It’s always better to separate the two.
I recommend Namecheap as the number one choice whenever I need to purchase a domain.
They’ve never failed me so far and I have purchased multiple domains from them.
They also have competitive prices with numerous sales each year.
Brainstorm Your Domain Name
Once you know where you’re going to purchase your domain name, now you need to figure out your domain name.
Brainstorm a bunch of names for your travel blog that fits your personality and how you want to be portrayed online.
Take some time to think this through carefully as this domain name will stay with you once it’s registered.
Most of the time, your first choice isn’t going to be available so brainstorm a few dozen backup names. Get creative!
Now, input the domain name into the search bar.
If you want to search for multiple names at once, you can click the bulk options button to the right.
Choose Your TLD
Next, choose your desired domain extension a.k.a. TLD.
I always recommend getting a .com extension over other ones.
Get Privacy Protection
After you find your desired domain name, go to your shopping cart and make sure you check the WhoisGuard option.
WhoisGuard hides your personal information so that it won’t be public if someone looks up your domain.
This makes sure that your phone number, address, and so on are hidden from people who just want to steal your information.
This is a free feature in Namecheap but it’s so important, so take advantage of it!
Next, purchase the contents in your cart.
Now you’re done purchasing your domain name. Hurray!
2. How To Set Up A Travel Blog With Bluehost
Next, you need to purchase your web hosting service.
My preferred choice as a new blogger is Bluehost. Based on my experience with starting new blogs with them, I highly recommend them.
If you’re new, you probably don’t have a lot of money to spend when you’re starting out and you don’t know if you’ll be making money from this.
Luckily, Bluehost is a very affordable host with different plans available depending on your needs.
Here are some reasons why you should use Bluehost:
1. They’re reliable. You need your site to be up and running most of the time.
2. They have great customer service. They’re always available to help you 24/7 if you have any problems. This is so important if your site is down and you need help getting anything back up and running.
3. They have affordable prices. Their plans are seriously cheap with prices starting at $2.95 per month. They are perfect for beginners to save money!
Now let’s get on to the tutorial.
Purchase Web Hosting
First, let’s head on over to Bluehost.
Here, you’ll see all of their hosting plans laid out. If you’re starting a blog for the first time, all you need is the Basic Plan.
Next, it’ll take you to the domain name set-up page. Here it’ll give you the option to register a new domain for free with Bluehost or to use your own.
If you’ve already purchased a domain from Namecheap earlier, fill out your domain name in the right field and click next.
You’ll see your cart on the next page which will show you the summary of the plan that you’re purchasing.
Here you can choose the period of hosting that you want to purchase.
You’ll see above that included in the package is a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate. This SSL certificate protects your reader’s sensitive information and will show a lock icon on their browser.
You don’t need any of the other features that cost extra money so skip the Package Extras section.
Next, purchase your hosting with your credit card or Paypal. Voila!
Now, there are just a few more steps you need to do to configure your domain.
Point Your Domain Nameservers To Bluehost
This step is where you connect the domain name that you purchased from Namecheap with your hosting from Bluehost.
Let’s navigate back to your Namecheap account and point your domain’s nameservers to your Bluehost web host.
Go to your Namecheap account dashboard and then select Domain List on the left-hand side of the screen.
Once you go to your domain list, you’ll see an area that allows you to point Bluehost’s nameservers to your account.
Below, you can see that I added Bluehost’s nameservers to my domain. You should receive an email from Bluehost once you purchase a hosting package from them that will tell you exactly what to input in this field.
Then click Domain List in the left-hand menu.
Now you’ll see an area that lets you fill in your Bluehost nameservers.
You should have received an email from Bluehost when you purchased web hosting that tells you what to input here.
Then allow up to 24 hours for the change to come into effect.
3. Install WordPress
We’re almost done! All that’s left is to install WordPress.
Login to your cPanel at https://yourdomain.com/cpanel.
Under the Website section, click the Install WordPress icon.
Next, click Continue Installation on the next page.
You’ll then be prompted to set up your installation.
Under Software Setup, choose from the following:
- https://yourdomain.com, or
The choice is up to you. I personally would choose the shorter version without the www because it looks cleaner to me.
Next, in the In Directory field, put the location you want WordPress to be installed in. You can either:
- Leave it blank – This means that when you enter https://yourdomain.com, WordPress will automatically load at the root directory, or
- Enter a subdirectory name such as blog – Your blog address will be https://yourdomain.com/blog
On my site, I left mine blank so WordPress loads under https://blogblossom.com.
Under Admin Account, enter your username and password you want to use each time you log in to WordPress.
I highly recommend choosing a unique username and a hard-to-guess password as hackers will try to hack into your site.
Please do not use admin as a username as that is the first thing hackers and bots usually will try when attempting to log in to your site.
Then, click Install.
The installation process should take around a minute.
Once it’s done, log in to your WordPress at https://yourdomain.com/wp-admin and use the name and password you generated earlier.
Congratulations! You’ve finished installing WordPress and now you’ll be able to see your WordPress dashboard.
4. Install Your WordPress Theme
Next, it’s time to install a WordPress theme.
I recommend using Kadence as your WordPress framework and then using a WordPress child theme on top after.
Kadence is free to use, very versatile, and blazingly fast compared to other frameworks.
You can also get Kadence Pro if you’d like more features but this isn’t necessary if you’re just starting out.
To download Kadence, first head on over to your WordPress dashboard.
Then under the left-hand toolbar, click Appearance, then Themes.
Click the Add New button at the top.
In the search bar, look for Kadence.
When you see it pop up, click the Install button.
Once installed, click Activate.
Once you’ve got Kadence installed, you can then purchase a WordPress child theme.
Here are some of my favorite ones that are both beautiful and stylish for travel bloggers:
Check out my post on 25 feminine WordPress themes if you’re looking for other great options.
5. Install WordPress Plugins
After installing your theme, you can now install WordPress plugins based on your needs.
First things first, check out my post on the basic WordPress plugins that every blog should have when starting out.
These basic plugins on this list are a must to make sure you are backing up your site, securing your site, and more. Plus, all of them on that list are free!
If you are using Kadence as suggested above, you will also need to add the Kadence Blocks plugin for Gutenberg. This is free to use as well although you can always get Kadence Blocks Pro too if you’d like more features.
I also recommend checking out these more advanced WordPress plugins to set yourself up for success:
- Tasty Pins – Optimizes your pins and images for both Pinterest and SEO
- Tasty Recipes – Displays your recipes in a beautiful and customized way
- ShortPixel – Decreases the size of your site’s images for faster page loading time
- Grow Social – Adds social share buttons on your site that won’t slow down your site
- WP Rocket – Caches your site so that it loads faster and incentivizes readers to stay longer on your site
6. Set Up Your Social Media Accounts
Once you’ve got your blog set up, you’ll want to set up your social media accounts.
Blogging about travel destinations is very visual so you’ll want to join social media platforms that can help showcase your posts and entice people to head on over to your blog.
You don’t need to join all of the social media networks out there.
In fact, joining every single platform would be very counterproductive because it takes time to manage every account and engage with your audience.
I recommend just focusing your attention on the following platforms and growing these accounts at the beginning of your blog journey:
You can also create a Facebook page and Twitter account if you think your audience is on there.
7. Set Up Google Analytics & Google Search Console
Next, it’s time to set up your Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts.
Both these accounts will help you gather data so you can see your progress as you build your blog.
Google Analytics tracks your site’s traffic so you can see where your traffic comes from and your audience’s behavior, such as exit pages and bounce rate.
Google Search Console tracks your site’s keywords so you know how people search and find you through Google.
All you need is a Gmail address to connect your site to your Gmail account.
8. Set Up Your Legal Pages
Once you’re done setting up the structure of your blog, it’s time to be proactive and take the steps to protect yourself legally.
Blogging can have really bad ramifications if you’re not careful, especially if you’re going to be giving recommendations on where to travel, places to live, and activities to have fun.
A lot of bloggers have gotten sued in the past because they didn’t protect themselves, so don’t make the same mistake.
It’s easy to just try to find some free policy templates online but you are at risk when you do this as many aren’t written by actual lawyers.
To protect yourself, I recommend getting the Legal Templates Bundle from Amira Irfan (who is both a blogger and a practicing lawyer!).
The bundle includes 3 essential pages and 9 great bonuses on top:
- Disclaimer Template
- Terms and Conditions Template
All you need to do is plug in your information and you’ll be protected in less than an hour. This is a real lifesaver!
Check out my blog post for more information on why it is essential to use these 3 legal pages on your blog.
9. Write Your Blog Posts
Next, let’s finally get into content creation.
This is the most important component to grow your blog. Without great quality posts, you won’t get traffic to attract an engaged audience.
Start brainstorming ideas for blog posts that you think fit well with your niche and start writing.
I recommend having at least 10 quality posts before launching your blog.
More Writing Blog Post Tips
10. How To Promote Your Travel Blog
So you’ve got a variety of quality posts up on your new blog. Now, it’s time to start promoting!
Without promotion of your posts, this means no traffic which equals no money of course.
There are a variety of ways to get traffic. The most passive way is SEO where you’d get search engine traffic from Google, followed by Pinterest.
You can take a look at my post on 8 ways to get traffic to your blog for free.
I highly recommend working on diversifying your traffic as relying on just one avenue is not smart in the blogging world.
Check out my tips on how to generate traffic and an engaged audience through Pinterest:
- How To Set Up And Optimize Your Pinterest Account
- How To Create Amazing Pinterest Pins (In Just 5 Minutes!)
- How To Convert A Personal Account To A Pinterest Business Account
- How To Easily Set Up & Enable Rich Pins On Pinterest
11. How To Make Money As A Travel Blogger
Now that you’ve got your blog started, let’s talk about how do you make money as a travel blogger.
There are many avenues you can make money and you don’t need to choose every single avenue if you don’t want to.
It all depends on what your end goal is, how much time you have to dedicate to your blog to create these revenue streams, and what you’re comfortable with.
You can always just start with one or two of these options and then add more as your blog expands.
A really good income stream for any type of blog is adding ads to your blog posts because it is passive.
It shouldn’t be the only revenue stream you add to your blog though.
Because if advertising revenue is your only income stream, you will put a lot of emphasis on trying to get as many pageviews as possible.
Constantly trying to get more views to your blog can very draining if you’re constantly trying to get to new all-time traffic highs. You’re at the mercy of the algorithm changes of social media and Google, which is stressful.
With that being said though, it is still a great stream of income for new bloggers.
Here are some great ad networks for travel bloggers to join:
- Adthrive – Requires at least 100,000 pageviews per month
- Mediavine – Requires at least 50,000 sessions per month
- Monumetric – Requires 10,000 pageviews per month
- Ezoic – No minimum pageview requirements
Focus on building the foundations of your blog before thinking of adding ads.
Promote Affiliate Links
Another great way to make money from your blog is to promote affiliate products and services in the travel niche.
You can earn quite a bit of money through this stream and it’s again very passive like ads.
Find some products and services that you trust and enjoy and add them to your blog posts and social media posts, such as deals from hotels, airlines, and travel agencies.
I recommend checking out these 7 affiliate networks to join if you’re a new blogger. These networks will connect you with tons of brands where you can earn a percentage of the sales that you promote.
I highly recommend joining:
More Affiliate Marketing Tips
- Best Affiliate Marketing Courses To Skyrocket Your Income
- 20 High-Paying Travel Affiliate Programs To Join Today
- 40 Affiliate Programs That Pay Recurring Commissions
Create Sponsored Posts
Making money from brand sponsorships is a great revenue stream for travel bloggers.
In this niche, you’ll often find sponsored opportunities to review travel destinations in detail while you’re there. This is a great way to enjoy yourself while making money at the same time!
A lot of brands promote their brands through Instagram static posts and stories and TikTok so you’ll find a lot of opportunities to make money through these platforms. You can also promote brands in dedicated blog posts.
To get these opportunities, you can personally pitch to individual brands that you want to work with or join blogging networks that act as a third party between brands and bloggers.
If you’re a new blogger, it’s often easier to get opportunities through blog networks.
Later on, when you have a more engaged audience and have worked with more brands, you can earn more money by pitching brands by yourself.
Check out my post on 10 blogger and influencer networks to join as a new blogger.
Create Digital or Physical Products
Creating your own digital or physical products is also a great way to add another avenue stream to your blog that can scale your blog’s income to a whole new level.
For travel bloggers, you can create so many products to sell to your audience. Here are some ideas:
- Printables (ex. travel budgeting spreadsheets, templates, workbooks, planners)
- Physical products (ex. apparel, stock photos, binders)
- Lightroom presets
They often say that the money is in the list. This is so true!
With an email list, you can engage with your audience at a very personal level, have conversations with them, find out their pain points, and promote your own products as well as affiliate products.
Having an email list from day one is an underrated revenue stream that your blog should definitely have.
It’s extremely important to start at the beginning because although you should have social media to promote your content, your email list is your own.
With your own email list, you will always have access to your audience’s inbox.
With Google and other social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram, they constantly have algorithm changes. That means your content might not show to your audience depending on how the landscape changes.
I highly recommend Mailerlite for new bloggers. It’s totally free for up to 1000 subscribers.
Start A Youtube Channel
In addition to your blog, another way to make money is to start a Youtube channel.
You can re-purpose your content from your blog and use it to create content in video form.
Becoming a travel Youtuber is another way to add in more ad revenue and this will help diversify your earnings so it’s not all from one channel.
12. Blogging Courses And Tools
Don’t forget to keep educating yourself and learning as you start to build your blog. The blogging landscape is constantly changing so it’s important to keep up to date with best practices.
Check out my list of resources and tools for a successful blog.
Do check out these courses below that will help you scale your blog’s traffic and income right from the get-go:
Paid To Post
Instagram is a big avenue to make money as a travel blogger.
If you’re looking to add another stream of revenue through social media, you can check out the Paid To Post course.
Paid To Post will teach you how to score sponsored blogging & Instagram jobs, work with brands, and become a high-paid brand ambassador.
Journey To The Center Of Amazon
A great first affiliate network to join for new bloggers is Amazon Associates.
Although Amazon products don’t have the highest commission percentages, they’re a trusted vendor and most people have purchased from them. This makes them a great place to start promoting at the beginning, whether you’re promoting travel luggage or accessories.
Learn how to maximize your affiliate earnings from Amazon with the Journey to The Center Of Amazon course. You’ll learn all the tips and tricks to increase your income.
Stupid Simple SEO
Stupid Simple SEO is hands down the best course on how to grow your blog traffic through SEO.
You’ll learn how to find the right keywords for your blog posts, create the right site structure, and so much more.
It’s one of the most in-depth SEO courses I have taken. Highly recommended!
Check out the free masterclass today to see if it’s right for you.
Pinteresting Strategies 2.0
Pinterest is a great search engine to grow your blog traffic so you’ll want to be spending a lot of time here for massive growth in addition to SEO.
To learn how Pinterest can bring your niche site traffic, I recommend checking out Pinteresting Strategies.
Inside this training bundle, you’ll get:
- Pinteresting Strategies
- Pinterest Title Traffic Hacks
- Pin Design Rules to Breaks
- Pinterest Niche Site Deep Dive 2021
- Bonus: 15 pin templates (10 Canva, 5 Picmonkey)
I hope this post gave you a little bit of insight as to how to start travel blogging for beginners. Good luck and most importantly, have fun!
Don’t forget to check out these other blog posts for more blog tips.
More Blogging Tips To Check Out
- 20 Things You Should Do Right After You Start A Blog
- 10 Undeniable Signs You Should Start A Blog Today
- The Ultimate List Of Tools & Resources To Run A Profitable Blog
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