Want to become an awesome travel blogger, but don’t know where to start? Here are some words of advice, to help start a fabulous, catchy and interesting travel blog.
1 // Determine your specialty
Travel is the most crowded niche there is, so you would want to make sure that your site stands out. What can you offer that other travel blogs don’t? Narrowing your topic so you cover only a city, town, country or continent is great but you might have some difficulty in expanding later on, especially if your domain name is dependent on it.
Want inspiration? A few travel bloggers share combine their expertise with travel. For example, you might want to focus on family travel, budget travel, traveling as a vegetarian and so on. Basically, what you need to do is offer a twist in your blog that people do not get from other sites.
2 // Come up with a memorable domain name
A domain name, or the address or URL of your site, is among the biggest steps you need to make in starting a travel blog. For one, you do not want it to be made up of more than five words otherwise, remembering it will be a pain. One-word names are great but you can go up to three.
Choose a name that best describes what you blog about and make sure that it has not been taken yet or registered as a business name. If your preferred name is not available, you can try to add an article like ‘the’ but you must remember that there is a huge likelihood that your site could be mistaken for the other, driving away traffic, or vice versa. Names that contain keywords are also recommended but choosing one that can be easily remembered is a higher priority.
3 // Secure your social media
Before you buy your own domain, try to see first if the possible social media names for your site is actually available. You would want all your usernames to be as close, if not equal, to the name of your site so that associating them with each other is much easier. You can use tools such as Namechk.com to see if you can secure all social media platforms that you plan to use with just a single name. Once you have that in place, purchase the domain and setup your social media accounts!
4 // Buy your domain and get hosting
Web hosts are responsible for holding the files that make up your website. Most seasoned bloggers would go against using the same company to purchase your domain name and blog hosting in case things go awry. Take for example the orange county website design services and let us know your thoghts on it.
There are plenty of hosting plans out there such as Bluehost, Hostgator, Dreamhost and A Small Orange, to name a few. Each of these companies has various hosting plans that can cater to all your needs. You can start with the low-end plans first and then upgrade as your blog’s traffic and size grows. Shop around and see which one fits your preferences and your budget.
5 // Setup your blog and add plug-ins
Once you have paid for a hosting plan, you are often give access to a cpanel where you can set up your website. WordPress is among the most popular blogging platforms being used today but other options are also available, like Blogger. Simply install your chosen platform in your cpanel and you can already access your site using the admin login page.
To set up your blog, install a theme layout (you can choose the free ones, get a premium theme for a fee or build your own from scratch or from an existing theme). Once done, you can also opt to install plugins that will help add certain features to your site. Some plugins can help filter out spam comments, limit login attempts (in case it is being hacked), add sharing buttons or automatically share published posts to social media and so on. Do them minimally though because these plugins can also hog resources that will slow down your site.
6 // Start writing
It’s difficult to grow your blog and make yourself an authority in the travel niche if you barely have the content to prove this. Consistency is often the key to a successful blog so make sure that you add new content regularly – you can start with one per week and then move to producing more once you get the hang of it.
There are many ways to create content that is engaging and share-worthy but basically, you would want to produce one that is extremely informative. You can choose to publish posts in a list format like this one, which is very popular, or you can also opt for opinion or editorial style ones. Be sure to highlight the most important details that you want to share and that you provide your readers with information that cannot be obtained anywhere else. Of course, pictures also do a great job at attracting your audience.
7 // Don’t forget to get the word out!
A lot of people may be allergic to social media but in the digital age, it is often impossible to spread word about your blog if you do not do it on social media. If you can get ahead of your writing, you might also want to schedule your social media shares ahead of time so you do not have to go online all of the time. Online tools such as Coschedule, Buffer, Hootsuite and Tailwind or Board Booster for Pinterest, can help you do this task faster.
8 // Start your email list
An email list is extremely important if you want to get loyal readers to come back to your site over and over again. Setup an email list which you can do with Mailchimp, Mad Mimi, AWeber and other similar tools. You might also want to add in a freebie such as a free and exclusive ebook to entice them to give you their email addresses. Email lists are also effective in spreading out information that could potentially earn you money (in case you are monetizing your blog) because you know that these subscribers trust you enough to give their personal information.
Starting a travel blog can seem overwhelming but you don’t have to put too much pressure on yourself. Take it one step at a time, write about what you love most and your blog will surely grow!
Bio: Jason Biondo is an amateur bodybuilder and a travel junkie who loves to share insightful tips to his fellow health enthusiasts and travelers. He is also a User Interface Developer Consultant and the Founder of Trekeffect. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.