Let’s talk about how to start a travel blog. Whether you’re looking to lead a life as a digital nomad (traveling full-time as a content creator), spend some time working remotely while documenting your travels, or build a sustainable online business around your travel blog, this guide will get you started on your travel blogging journey.
Have you ever dreamt of traveling the world and making a living from it? I know I have. Choosing to start a travel blog may just be the right motivation you need. And no… you don’t need to be a flight attendant or get a job working on a cruise ship in order to make this dream a reality.
Enter: learning how to start a travel blog. The best part about travel blogging, is that you don’t need any formal training or a degree in order to start doing it today. 카지노사이트
If you’ve been bitten by the wanderlust bug and want to launch your own (profitable) travel blog, then you’ve come to the right place.
Over the past 10 years, I’ve grown my own blog (this one) to reach over 4.4 million annual readers and have learned how to make money blogging to the tune of more than $450,000/year in revenue from this blog. I share this not to brag, but to illustrate that you’re learning from someone with real, practical blogging experience.
In this guide, I’m going to show you how to start a travel blog—and even how to do it on the side if you’re still working a full-time job. This process is based on both my own experience with launching a side outdoor blog, Hike with Ryan—and real world advice from several successful travel bloggers I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing on my podcast.
Now, let’s buckle up and get ready for an awesome journey.
How to Start a Travel Blog (and Make Money) in 8 Easy Steps
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I’ll earn a commission. When you purchase a product or service using my affiliate link, the company compensates me, which helps make this guide free of charge to you. Know that I only recommend products I’ve personally used and stand behind.
Before You Pack Your Bags: The Basics You Need to Know About Travel Blogging
Before we get too deep into this guide about how to start a travel blog, there are a few critical foundations that need to be laid right now.
These are factors that’ll dramatically influence whether you succeed with your travel blog—or not.
The Basic Tools (and Skills) Every Travel Blogger Needs
First off, before you even hit the trail (or tarmac), you’ll need to make sure you have the right tools and gear to help you build a successful travel blog.
Here are a few of the basics you’ll want to invest in—keeping in mind that you can always add to your toolkit depending on your needs over the coming weeks, months and years.
Lightweight laptop. Don’t skimp on your laptop, as it is the central piece of equipment that you’ll need in order to start a travel blog (and keep it running)—think of it as your office. You’ll want to get a laptop with good battery life, a decent-sized screen (you’ll be writing and editing photos from it) and of course, the lighter it is, the better. Two of the best travel blogging laptops that fit this bill perfectly are the 13″ MacBook Pro (at $1,200) which is hands down the best laptop if you’ll be doing some photo editing for your travel blog and the 13″ MacBook Air (at $999.99) if you’ll be focused mostly on writing. A MacBook is well worth the investment as it’ll last you several years without worry of it breaking down while you’re in the middle of the trip.
Powerful camera. One of the most important aspects of travel blogging, is telling the stories of your adventures. And what better way to do it than with pictures of everything you see, do and experience? This is why you need a good camera to capture those vibrant storytelling moments. I highly recommend the Sony Alpha A7 II (at $998.00) mirrorless camera paired with either their 28-70mm lens that comes standard with the camera, or an upgrade to the more diverse 18-105mm f/4 OSS G lens (at $598.00) that’ll help you shoot just about any type of setting without the need to travel with multiple lenses. Similarly to your decision about the right laptop to travel with, investing up front in good camera gear will pay major dividends in the quality of your content—and this tool will also last you for several years at least.
Backup power. The nature of travel blogging, is that you’ll often be away from power sources. A high-capacity power bank, like this one from Anker (at $139.99) that can charge both phones and laptops multiple times over, will help ensure that your devices never run out of power. And speaking of power, you’ll also want a reliable worldwide travel adapter (at $11.00) or two, so that you’ll always be able to plug in and charge up in the next country on your trip.
There are always more tools and gear you can pick up to improve the quality of your content (or images), but the basics of a good laptop, camera and backup power will set you down the right path to getting started with your travel blog.
3 Challenges All Travel Bloggers Face
Starting a travel blog is by no means easy. Sure, many travel bloggers (especially on Instagram) want to paint the picture that they’re leading a life of leisure every single day—but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Starting a travel blog and running it successfully takes a lot of grit. 안전한카지노사이트
Let’s quickly look at a few of the most common challenges you should be prepared to face and overcome as you start a travel blog:
The competition is stiff. The reality of chasing a pursuit as fun and rewarding as travel blogging, is that well… a lot of people want to be a travel blogger (who wouldn’t want to be?). Because of that, travel blogging can be a highly-competitive and saturated industry. However, if you position yourself well (don’t worry, that’s the first section of this guide on how to start a travel blog) and put in a lot of work, you can build a very successful travel blog within a niche you’ll enjoy.
Time constraints. Particularly if you’re starting a travel blog on the side of a full-time job you’re still holding onto, carving out the time for both travel and content creation will be one of your greatest challenges. You’ll have to learn to balance work, travel and creating the content that’ll help you amass an audience for your blog.
Loneliness. If you’re going to be traveling solo, chances are that there will be times you’ll have to battle with loneliness (as exciting as your travels may be). Thankfully though, technology enables us to keep in touch with our loved ones no matter where we are in the world, and staying at the right hotels or hostels along your journey can also help insert you into the social circles of other travelers with similar ideals and pursuits. Consider traveling abroad with a dog to help make your experiences that much richer.
Knowing these challenges ahead of time will help you prepare for them mentally, thus increasing your chances of succeeding as a travel blogger in the long run.
Should You Learn How to Start a Travel Blog?
Alright, now the last step before deciding whether or not you should actually launch a travel blog today, is answering the critical question… “Why should I start a travel blog?” Here are a few of the best reasons you should consider travel blogging—so that you can decide if a travel blog is something you really want to do.
Passion. If you’re passionate about traveling, then starting a travel blog is definitely a good idea to consider. Not only will travel blogging help you to document your own adventures, but it’ll also help keep you motivated to visit more places, seek out unique experiences and help people from around the world experience life outside of their comfort zones.
Profit. A travel blog that’s run well, can be a great source of income whether you do it full-time or as a side business. My good friend Selena Taylor went from starting a travel blog on the side of her day job in Los Angeles a few years ago, to amassing more than 175,000+ Instagram followers and earning well over $10,000 – $15,000 per project she books with hotels, tourism boards and lifestyle brands around the world. She’s now travel blogging full-time and earning well into the six figures from a combination of her own blog revenue and content partnerships.
Pass on your experience. Another compelling reason to start a travel blog, is with the blogging goals of sharing your adventures with like-minded people, especially those looking for inspiration on where to go & how to do it. A travel blog is also a great way to share lessons learned, tips and advice to help other travelers.
If you’re still reading, then that means you’re serious about learning how to start a travel blog—today.
So let’s get to it, shall we?
How to Start a Travel Blog in 8 Easy Steps
While starting a travel blog and getting it running can seem like quite a challenge from the outside, it’s not as difficult as many people—as long as you break this process up into manageable steps, set the expectation that it’ll take weeks, months and possibly even years to become a profitable full-time travel blogger.
Starting a travel blog is a major investment in your own future, and the results can be incredibly rewarding.
Here’s how to start a travel blog in 8 easy steps.
- Pick a Smart Travel Blogging Niche
The first (and arguably most important) step when starting a travel blog, is to pick a well-defined niche within the broader “travel blogging” space that you can carve out as your own.
What is a travel blog niche?
A niche is a clearly defined set of topics, positioning and style you want to specialize your blog around. Having a niche will help you stand out from the thousands of other travel blogs, and it’ll differentiate your content in a way that makes your travel blog more appealing to an audience seeking your specific type of content.
Travel blogging itself is a large niche within the overall industry of “blogging.” However, it’s such a broad blog topic idea that it has so many other sub-niche possibilities you can choose from—to both find your own style & message, as well as starting out in a less competitive space.
15 popular travel blog niches to explore in 2023:
Remote work/digital nomad travel
Country blogging (traveling within your country)
City blogging (focused on particular cities)
Traveling for work
Food-centric travel (visiting restaurants)
Outdoor adventure travel
Traveling for seniors
RV or van traveling (road tripping and #vanlife)
As you can see, the options are truly unlimited when it comes to picking a niche for your travel blog—so the only constraints are your own imagination and what other people are interested in seeing content about. If there’s an audience of readers out there looking for inspiration on a certain type of travel, then there’s an opportunity to fill that need with your travel blog.
For some more inspiration on how I’m doing this with my hiking blog, Hike with Ryan—check out these posts:
Best Gifts for Hikers
Best Hiking Boots this Year
Yosemite Day Hikes You Can’t Miss
The Best Time to Visit Yosemite
A few ways you should think about narrowing your niche down, is to pick a topic area that you both (1) love and (2) has clear monetization opportunities.
How do you pick a profitable travel blog niche?
The first step in making sure your prospective travel blog niche has real profit potential, is to make sure there’s already an existing audience out there, craving the kind of content topics you’re considering starting a travel blog around.
Do keyword research. The fastest way to estimate real world demand for your travel blog niche, is to do keyword research. That means using a free tool like Twinword Ideas or more advanced tool suite like Ahrefs, to look up the most popular keywords within your prospective travel blogging niche. This will give you an indicator of what people are actively searching for online, how many of them are seeking content on these topics and will give you insights about what they’re willing to spend money on.
Conduct a competitor analysis. Competitor analysis simply means checking out what your competitors are already doing. Like it or not, every possible travel blogging niche (that’s worth getting into) will already have established competitors—but that’s a good thing. You can take a close look at their blogs, research their monetization strategies and use tools like Ahrefs to learn how they drive traffic to their blog and set up Google Alerts to monitor their activities as well. Chances are, if your competitors are profiting from their travel blogs—you can do it too.
If you want a deeper dive into picking a clear, research-backed niche for your travel blog, read my in-depth guide: How to Pick a Niche to Blog About (+21 Profitable Niche Blog Examples).
Now that you’ve settled on a clear travel blogging niche, let’s tackle the next phase in your blogging journey.
- Choose Your Travel Blog’s Name (Wisely)
Choosing a blog name (that’s both interesting and still has a .com available) for your travel blog, may not be so easy.
As a starting point, pay careful consideration to making sure you choose a travel blog name that: 카지노사이트 추천
Is descriptive of your niche (if possible)
Reflects your own brand and style
Boosts your blog’s SEO opportunities (a name that includes your main keyword if possible)
Adapted straight from my ultimate guide about how to name a blog, here are a few quick tips and easy techniques that are specifically designed to help with naming your travel blog.
10 Quick Travel Blog Naming Tips and Techniques
Read a book (or article) within your travel niche to uncover new words and potential names
Dust off your thesaurus or dictionary and search for catchy words
Try alliteration to come up with a travel blog name (Budget Boating, The Trippy Traveler, Wander Well)
Find a good pun for your travel blog name (In Tents Camping, Girl Gone Travel)
Use humor (Do You Even Travel?, Fit Bottomed Girls)
Unrelated words can be more memorable
Use your own name or nickname if you’re having trouble
Brainstorm words that relate to your niche (wayfarer, grifter, vagrant, nomad, adventurer, wanderer)
Take a break and try something new (go for a walk in nature to seek inspiration)
Use made up words (get creative, there are no wrong answers)
Another useful tip when picking a travel blog name, is to avoid words that are either cliche (as they’ve been overused) or can be easily misspelled.
Also, make sure that your blog name is memorable as you’ll (ideally) be using it as your domain name as well.
Finally, here’s a quick video breakdown of my best advice on how to pick a strong name for a blog:
- Select a Blog Hosting Platform
For your travel blog to be publicly viewable on the Internet, you’ll need to:
Get a blog hosting plan
Register your domain name
Luckily, this process has become extremely easy to do—and is very affordable too (less than $3.00/mo).
What is blog hosting?
A hosting service is a company that owns servers and has the technology to make (and keep) your blog available online. Because of the important role your hosting platform plays in blogging, you’ll want to you invest in a reliable hosting plan from day one. Failure to do so could mean your blog is offline at times, losing you valuable readers and telling search engines that your site isn’t reliable.
One of the most reliable hosting services, and the one I (and many other bloggers) highly recommend, is Bluehost. Not only is Bluehost one of the best all around web hosting services on the market for the past 20 years, but they’re also extremely affordable—especially considering that their plans come with a free domain name included.
You can expect to get your blog hosted on Bluehost for $2.95/mo, which includes access to their 24/7 technical support team as well.
Another great reason to go with Bluehost for your travel blog hosting, is that they also include a “one-click” WordPress installation immediately after you’ve signed up.
I highly recommend you use WordPress to power your blog, as it is a robust content management system (CMS) that’s also super easy to use and customize the design of your blog. And according to recent blogging statistics, it’s by far the most popular blog platform in use by millions of bloggers around the world (including me here on this blog).
Now, that brings us to our next step in learning how to start a travel blog—designing the layout, look & feel of how your blog will look.
- Design Your Travel Blog
Now comes one of the most exciting parts of starting a travel blog (aside from the actual traveling of course)—designing your travel blog layout.
This stage is important, as it determines what your visitors will see and experience when they visit your travel blog.
A well-designed and easy to navigate travel blog also helps build trust with your audience. So how do you design the perfect travel blog?
Consider Your Branding
An important factor to consider when designing your travel blog is branding. Take for example, the homepage design of my good friend Selena Taylor’s travel blog—Find Us Lost.
As you can see, there’s a very clear set of complementary colors, text styles and prominent use of her original photographs being displayed on their homepage. Selena has a very well-defined brand for her travel blog.
Keep in mind that while today you may be an unknown (brand new) travel blogger, it’s important that you nail your branding right from the start.
The two most important aspects of travel blog branding you need to consider today are:
Blog aesthetics. This deals with how your travel blog will look. Use colors and images that reflect your own unique approach to your niche.
Blog personality. Your travel blog’s personality includes factors like your writing tone and conversation style. It also has to do with the vibe you want your blog to have—which will do a lot in terms of attracting (or repelling) certain types of people. Keep in mind too, that your travel blog’s About Me page will likely be frequented by readers, so put a little extra care into designing that page.
Use the Right WordPress Theme
A WordPress theme is a free (or low-cost) piece of software that you can install on your WordPress-powered blog, and it helps easily control/edit the overall look of your travel blog.
Every theme will give your blog a different visual layout and display your content in different ways. If you’re not sure which theme to use when starting your travel blog, I’d recommend evaluating my picks for the best WordPress themes as a starting point to evaluate all of the top options on the market today. For most new travel bloggers, I end up recommending they go with the free Elementor WordPress theme to get your blog off the ground and stay on a smart budget.
After installing your theme, it’s time to load up a few WordPress plugins that’ll add some additional functionality to your travel blog.
Install These 4 Functional Travel Blog Plugins
Just like a theme, a plugin is a (smaller) piece of software that enhances the look, feel and features of your travel blog. The main difference is that while themes deal with the overall aesthetics of your blog, a plugin enhances a particular functionality.
Some handy plugins to help start a travel blog on the right foot include:
Yoast SEO. Yoast SEO is one of the best plugins when it comes to improving your blog’s SEO performance, which will help you rank content higher in organic search results.
Social Counter. Social Counter is a plugin that makes it easy for visitors to your blog to share your content with a single click. It also gives you useful analytics concerning your content’s social media performance, which helps determine which social channels to spend more time on.
WP Google Maps. What’s a travel blog without maps of where you’ve been (and where you’re planning on going)? WP Google Maps is a simple plugin that allows you to create custom Google maps with high-quality markers containing categories, descriptions, images, links and more.
Modula Image Gallery. This is a great plugin that helps you efficiently, store, edit and optimize your photos and images—which will be a large part of your travel blogging experience.
With these core design pillars in place, you can now start spending some time tweaking the design & functionality of your travel blog.
While this should absolutely be a fun learning experience, I recommend limiting the amount of time you allocate to perfecting your travel blog design, and get it to a level of “good enough” so that you can start shifting your focus over to the more important activities of traveling, creating content & building an audience.
For a more detailed, step-by-step tutorial on how to build your travel blog with WordPress, join my free course below.