How to start a Travel Blog

Enjoy traveling and writing? Then starting a travel blog isn’t a far-fetched idea. But blogging about your journeys isn’t all about interesting destinations and quality content. You need the right blogging system or software to support you. We’ll show you how to create a travel blog and which skills are important.

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How to start a travel blog: the right content topic is key

Travel blogs are a dime a dozen. Nevertheless, it is worth creating your own – if only to document the experience for yourself or share it with friends and family. Sharing of experiences and a passion for foreign cultures and adventures should be the main motivator for launching a blog. Because while it is possible to earn money with your own blog, often, it remains a hobby.

The theme of your blog can usually be derived from your passion and travel goals – for example, a trip around the world or a vacation in Asia. If you want to make the blog a bit more thematic, you could focus on encounters with locals, beaches, cities, and so on. When you’re covering a broad range of topics, it’s wise to create different categories within the travel blog to help readers navigate your blog more easily. Whatever you do, always stay authentic and report on topics that are close to your heart.

What to look out for when creating a travel blog

Considering what you want to write about on your travel blog is just one side of the coin. You’ll also want to explore how you can tell your stories. In general, there aren’t many readers who enjoy incredibly lengthy texts with a muddy structure. Practice keeping it short and divide your reports into paragraphs and chapters. In addition, photos and videos are indispensable for any travel blog.

Explore text and image styles, i.e. language features, colors, filters, before you publish your first entry, so that your travel blog is unique in content and design. “Gimmicks”, such as Google Maps or other kinds of maps that lets readers follow your trip are a good idea too.

Take a closer look at the navigation or structure of your travel blog. Traditionally, blogs are laid out chronologically. To enable readers to search for specific destinations and experiences, categories within the menu panel, but also tags and a tag cloud as well as a search field are good orientation points.

Do you need programming know-how to start a travel blog?

When creating a blog the question often arises as to whether one needs any knowledge of programming. The good news is that starting a travel blog does not require any programming know-how. Thanks to website builders, you can easily create a travel blog in just a few clicks (sometimes even free of charge). The advantage of website builders is that you get hosting, domain, blog, templates, and many other functions from a single source.

Tip

Create your own website with IONOS – using the customizable MyWebsite builder, for example.

If you want more personalization options and enjoy using technology, you can choose a CMS instead. CMS are more hands-on but at the same time allow for better customization. However, this requires a little more knowledge and time to create a page with WordPress.

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Which CMS is the right one for a travel blog?

Besides some basic considerations such as your level of technical expertise, the time you’re able to invest and how much you want to customize your blog, there are a few other questions you should ponder:

  • What’s the monthly cost of running a website or blog? Although you can create a free travel blog, it may be worth investing a little more for additional features and templates.
  • Which functions do you need?
  • Should the blog be expandable – e.g. might you need to add pages or features?
  • How much freedom do you want when it comes to design and structural layout?
  • Plan on making some money with your blog? Which marketing strategies will you adopt to spread the word?

The table below is a comparison of four blogging systems that are particularly well suited to bloggers of all categories, including travel and food blogs.

 

WordPress

Joomla

Blogger.com

Tumblr

IONOS Website Builder Plus

Audience

Blogs and websites for all

Professional; for websites with blogs (rarely pure blogs)

Beginner, semi-professional

Beginner, private users

Beginner, advanced and professionals

Ease of use

Quickly overwhelming for beginners

More for advanced users

Intuitive and easy to use

Very easy

Easy

Design

Thousands of templates (additional charges may apply)

Many templates

Limited options

Limited options

Highly customizable

Expandability

Solution for most needs

Diverse, but often subject to charges

Limited options

Limited options

More features available in pro version

Marketing

Very flexible

Very flexible

Limited options

Rarely required

Very flexible

Costs

Free or subject to charge

Free basic version

Free

Free

From $5/month

Tip

In addition to the blogging software of your choice, you can use numerous, often freely available blogging tools, to edit images or text, optimize your content for search engines, and help with marketing.

How to create a travel blog: pages and content that should be included

The pillars of your travel blog are your travel reports. These are best arranged chronologically, but can also be sorted by thematic focus, country, etc. However, there’s plenty of potential to structure content when it comes to travel blogging. You’re well advised to optimize your blog for search engines and keywords:

The sky’s the limit. You could publish checklists or packing lists for multi-day hikes or city trips, safety tips, and dos & don’ts for visiting certain countries, tips for must-see sights, or culinary trips. Anything that is somehow related to your travels – from preparation to unpacking – can be useful.

There are some pages every travel blog should contain:

  • An “About me” page, where you introduce yourself to your readers
  • A “Contact” page with a contact form
  • A privacy policy and, if required, terms and conditions.

A privacy policy and terms and conditions are mandatory if you conclude contracts or sell products on your blog. Many website builders and CMS will provide (legally compliant) templates that can be adapted as required.

Starting a travel blog: step by step

Once you have decided on the theme of your travel blog and a system, you can follow the step-by-step guide below to set up and publish your blog.

Step 1: Decide on a name and register the domain

The theme of your blog should provide some direction as to its name. It is important that the name is short and easy to spell and remember. After all, your URL will usually be based on your name. What’s more, ensure that your desired name doesn’t already exist (even in a similar format), so that there is no risk of confusion. If the name is unique, register the corresponding desired domain.

Domain Check
  • .com
  • .net
  • .org
  • .biz
  • .info
  • .online
  • .shop
Tip

With IONOS you can easily check and register your desired domain. For blogs, you can even secure a .blog domain.

Step 2: Set up hosting and CMS

Depending on the system you have chosen, you may need to find a separate hosting provider and install a CMS. With building kits like the one from IONOS, hosting and CMS are provided from a single source,and you can start configuring pages and functions right away.

Step 3: Decide on the design

Decide on one or more fonts, colors, page layouts, and other design features. Most systems will allow for some flexibility here.

Step 4: Create content for your travel blog

Now that you’re all set, you can start writing your first texts, add pictures, and publish your travel reports on your blog. Posting regularly is recommended to ensure your readers return to your blog.

Step 5: Spread the word about your travel blog

Want to keep others in the loop too? Make sure you spread the word about your website. Use social media such as Instagram and Facebook, forums, and communities to engage with travelers and other interested parties. You can post your content by diving deeper into SEO best practices.

How to make money with a travel blog

As mentioned, it is rare but certainly possible to earn money with your travel blog. To this end, you have the following options:

Affiliate marketing

Blogs that discuss travel products or always stay with the same hotel chains or fly using the same airline can set so-called affiliate links to brands. These are links with an individual identifier, by which these companies recognize that a visitor has come from your blog. For each contact or click you get paid a small referral fee.

For this purpose, sign up with an affiliate networks or check out hotel and travel providers’ websites to see if they offer a corresponding program.

Cooperation and sponsorship

Sometimes payment comes in the form of overnight stays, free product samples and other perks. If your blog has a high audience reach, some hotel chains may pay for you to include their accommodation on your blog. The same applies to makers of hiking equipment, cameras, etc.

Adverts

Some advertising networks let you add your blog as advertising space. You’ll be paid for every click on a banner or other advertising.

Don’t forget to label any sponsored posts or ads as such. And be careful about the brands you promote on your blog. Products and partners should fit your content, as otherwise adverts may seem untrustworthy.

Five tips for your travel blog

Tip 1: Write for yourself, not for others. Creating a travel blog is a personal endeavor. For the sake of credibility alone, you should always stay true to yourself. Don’t write about trips for the sole purpose of making money or pleasing others.

Tip 2: Try to be different. Every country has been traveled; every sight photographed. There are even profiles on social networks that show the same poses in front of familiar sights. Try to find a new, personal angle on things.

Tip 3: Exchange opinions with a community. The blogger community is tight-knit and supports one another – but only if both parties get something out of it. Harness the power of blogger relations. Make use of it to boost your reach.

Tip 4: Use the potential of SEO. As mentioned above, there are many ways to position your blog in search engines, especially for packing lists and travel tips. Keyword tools help you find the right terms and new ideas.

Tip 5: Analyze and optimize your travel blog. Use Google Analytics and other analytics tools to find out how many visitors your travel blog has, what content is performing particularly well, and in which areas you could improve.