The Indie Guide to Creating Your Own Travel Blog
For those who want to see the world, learning how to start your own travel blog seems like the perfect thing to do. Travel blogging is a wonderful way to record your adventures and can sometimes result in the ability to travel for a living. However, travel blogging is not as simple as creating a website and watching as all the free trips come pouring in.
A successful travel blog will take months, maybe even years of dedication to be successful. However, the rewards could not be greater.
If the idea of all that hard work hasn’t put you off, you’re ready to learn how to start your own travel blog.
What’s in a Name?
First impressions matter in everything from meeting new people to running a successful business. Your blog’s name is going to be the first thing people will see, and it’s important.
Your blog’s name or title needs to encapsulate the following:
- It needs to be short – anything more than three or four words and people will struggle to remember it.
- It needs to be unique – the last thing you want to do is inadvertently lead people to other businesses by causing confusion.
- It needs to be descriptive – if people can’t make an educated guess as to what your blog is about from the name alone, you’re going to lose traffic.
- It needs a broad scope – you may have a great idea for writing about one specific thing, but you will quickly outgrow a limiting name.
If you can manage all that and create a name that is meaningful and relevant to your adventures, then that’s a job well done. While this may sound like a tall order, don’t stress over it. Keep an open mind while you do other work, and something may just come to you.
You’ll need to know the basics of what your travel blog will contain and how it should ideally look before you ever start work on a website.
When starting a travel blog – and this cannot be stressed enough – do not start with creating the website.
Stop, think about your branding, and write down your ideas. Think up alternatives for style and layout and work to find the best starter content possible, even if it takes some time.
That said, don’t stress too much about coming up with the perfect plan before you start work. While it is good to be prepared, there comes a time when you’ll have to get to work and start building the website. Don’t worry, nothing is set in stone. You can always make adjustments and improvements. In fact, if you’re not improving things as you go, you’re doing something wrong. There will be room for change as you learn.
Hosting your Blog
Setting up site hosting for your travel blog can seem intimidating if you’ve never done anything like it before. There are plenty of companies out there that will offer to host your blog for you, but giving up the hosting rights means ceding both control and income to someone else.
The best thing you can do is to buy your own domain name and look into VPS hosting as a happy medium that will let you retain control without having to worry about all of the technical aspects that come with your own dedicated server. Also, owning your own domain is going to give you the cleanest URL, which helps people find you easily.
Web Design and Theme
Web design is a huge part of planning your travel blog. User experience design is a vital component in how people are going to interact with your blog, and you need to do your research.
Remember, people are going to be accessing your blog from a variety of different devices, such as laptops, desktop computers, tablets, smartphones, and more. Each of these comes with their own requirements and restrictions, and you’ll need to accommodate as many as possible.
When in doubt, try to imagine that your reader has never seen a travel blog before. Your job is to make things as simple as possible for them.
Creating SEO-Friendly Content
You’ll want to learn about creating SEO-friendly and quality content to increase the traffic on the website. SEO optimization is an entire skill base in and of itself, but it’s worth doing some basic research on it. At the very least, look into picking up some simple tricks to increase website traffic.
Your top SEO practice will be to create useful, quality content aimed towards helping your readers. Use your own high-quality images, be descriptive, and genuinely strive to produce your best work for a niche category. Best SEO practices often change, but good quality never goes out of style and will get you consistent results.
Write about the things that you care about. The passion you hold for travel is going to be a key factor in marketing your blog to other people. If you can make that passion come across through your words, it will make up for other things that are not quite there yet. Consistency is key, so make sure that you’re writing to produce new posts on a schedule several times a week.
Starting a travel blog is not an easy task, but it can be done. Once you have a snappy and meaningful name, you’re off to a good start. Follow it up with careful planning and website design and make sure to get your own domain name, probably while utilizing VPS hosting. Finally, make sure you care about the content you are creating and maintain a consistent posting schedule. You’ll get there eventually.