How To Start A Travel Blog: An Easy Step By Step Guide

Starting a successful travel blog
How To Start A Travel Blog
Travel Blogging Tips

Travel blogging has given me the freedom to travel the world for the past 9 years. Want to start your own? This detailed guide will show you how to start a travel blog & make money.

Already Have A Blog? Make sure to read my more advanced post about how to become a successful travel blogger.

I’ve been working as a travel blogger for the past 9 years, and earn six figures annually from professional blogging. So I regularly receive tons of email and questions asking for tips about how to start a travel blog.

I know, I get it. Seeing constant photos from my wild travel adventures on your Facebook or Instagram feeds makes it look like a dream job…

After all, I get paid to travel the world! I admit it’s a pretty sweet gig.

But travel blogging isn’t as easy as it looks from the outside. There’s a lot of work going on in the background that most people don’t see.

So today I wanted to share a useful guide on how to get started travel blogging. Because it’s the first step to becoming a successful travel blogger!

How To Start A Travel Blog In 2019

How to Start a Successful Travel Blog
10 Simple Steps to Start Your Travel Blog

The Travel Blogging Journey

The act of starting your very first travel blog is actually pretty easy. If you follow my guide, you can have your own blog up and running today.

However, starting your blog is just the tip of the iceberg.

Now keep in mind the following advice is for those who are prepared to take travel blogging seriously, as some of these steps require spending money.

If you just want to blog as a part-time hobby, you can always start a simple travel blog for family & friends on WordPress.com. It’s totally free!

But if you’re interested in making money with travel blogging like I do, keep reading below for the details.


💥 Essential First Step To Start A Blog 💥

In order to get you started down the right path building a brand new travel blog, you’re going to need an (affordable) domain name and hosting — we’ll be using the provider I personally recommend to make it easy.

Get a free domain name and up to 60% off a hosting plan with BlueHost.

Get Your Domain & Hosting Now →


Step 1: What Should You Call Your Travel Blog?
What Should You Call Your Blog?

1. Pick A Name For Your Travel Blog

My first travel blog was called YearAroundTheWorld.com. Do you see the obvious problem with that domain name? Well, I didn’t, not until later.

I was backpacking through Central America, blogging about my experiences and having a great time — when I suddenly decided I wanted to travel for longer than one year. Whoops!

Make It Short & Memorable

Your travel blog domain name should be relatively short, easy to type, easy to spell, easy to remember, and easy to share. I recommend brainstorming by writing down a bunch of words you think will best describe your blog.

Adventure? Food? Culture? South America? What do you want to write about? Who are you? What is your passion? Write everything down and start playing with different combinations of words.

Try using a thesaurus. Ask your friends for advice & suggestions.

Avoid Hyphens & Numbers

This can be difficult to do these days, but it helps to avoid using hyphens or numbers in your domain name because otherwise you’ll be forced to explain it to someone. For example:

POTENTIAL READER: “You have a travel blog? Cool! Where do I find it?”

YOU: “Oh, it’s called expert hyphen vagabond the number 100 dot com.”

As you can see, this type of domain isn’t the greatest for word-of-mouth marketing, which happens to be a good source of promotion while you’re traveling and meeting people.

Avoid Overused Words & Similar Branding

Avoid trademarked company names or words that may be overused in the industry. Sure, you can pick something like Nomadic Bob, Adventurous Wendy, or Wandering Clarence.

But domain names like that won’t stand out very much in the travel blogging niche because those ideas have already been taken by others who are more established.

You’ll have better luck in the long-run with something more original.

Try To Think Long-Term!

Think good & hard about choosing your travel blog’s domain name, because changing it, later on, isn’t easy (or fun). Be careful not to pigeonhole yourself.

If you call your blog Twenty-Something Travel like my friend Steph (sorry Steph!), what happens when you turn 30? Branding yourself is important in the travel blogging business.

I was thinking long-term when I eventually changed my blog’s name to ExpertVagabond.com because, let’s face it, at 3 months in I was HARDLY an expert.

Yet I was passionate about becoming a professional travel blogger and knew eventually this would be perfect. I’d just have to grow into my new name!

Step 2: Hosting For Your Travel Blog
Your Travel Blog Needs to be Hosted Somewhere

2. Set Up Hosting For Your Blog

What the heck is hosting? It’s not as confusing as it sounds. Most websites need to “rent” space on the internet. A place to store all your blog’s data, files, and photos so that people around the world can easily access it when they type in your domain name.

Hosting can actually be pretty cheap. I recommend new travel blogs get hosting with BlueHost. There are many different hosting companies out there, but BlueHost is very affordable & makes setting up a new travel blog crazy easy.

They offer quality shared hosting for a very low price (only $2.95 per month for 12 months through this link).

[Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through these links, at no extra cost to you. But I’d still recommend them even if I wasn’t!]

Eventually, when you have hundreds of thousands of visitors per month on your blog like me, you may want to upgrade your hosting to a dedicated server. But those can be expensive (mine is over $200 a month)…

So if you are just starting out, getting a basic hosting account with BlueHost is much more affordable.

How To Set Up Your Travel Blog

STEP A: Click the green button that says “GET STARTED NOW.”

Starting A Travel Blog Step 1


STEP B: Pick a hosting plan depending on your budget/goals.

Picking a Plan


STEP C: Check to see if your blog name (domain name) is available.

Starting a Travel Blog Step 2


STEP D: Add extra features if you want to.

The only feature I really recommend is Domain Privacy Protection. Otherwise, anyone can look up who owns your site, giving them access to your contact info. This way they won’t be able to.

Blog Hosting Extra Features

Get Your Free Domain & Hosting Now →


3. Install WordPress Software

To start a serious travel blog, you want a self-hosted WordPress account. This means the WordPress software resides on your hosting company’s servers, not on a free WordPress.com account. What’s the difference?

  • Your website is “MyTravelBlog.com” rather than “MyTravelBlog.WordPress.com”
  • You own your data and have full control
  • You can sell advertising on your site
  • You can install plugins & custom themes
  • You can use Google Analytics tracking (important)

Yes, you want to use WordPress too. Not Blogspot, not Blogger, not anything else. WordPress is the king of blogging, and probably always will be.

Most professional websites use the WordPress blogging platform these days, even major brands like the New York Times, BBC, Time, Beyonce, etc. You’re in good company!

BlueHost Makes It Easy!

Installing WordPress with your BlueHost Account is super easy — because it’s done automatically with the click of a button.

Once installed, you’ll be able to log into the WordPress dashboard with your new username and password and start building your site. Welcome to the club! You now have a travel blog.

That wasn’t too hard, was it? But wait, there’s a little more!

Step 4: WordPress Travel Blogging Tips
Using WordPress for Your Travel Blog

4. Learn How To Use WordPress

Feeling intimidated about WordPress? Don’t worry. Because it’s the industry standard when it comes to blogging platforms, and has been for years, there are TONS of useful tutorials online that will teach you about anything you need.

Here is my favorite free WordPress training resources:

  • WordPress itself has a huge library of free wordpress lessons that will help you get started.
  • If you become a BlueHost customer, ask customer support about Blue Flash, their own series of free tutorials and guides.

Basically, spend a Saturday learning how to use your WordPress dashboard, how to tweak your site’s settings, how to post an article, etc. You’ll get the hang of everything with practice.

5. Download A Professional Theme

Your new WordPress blog comes with a couple of standard “themes”, or designs for your site. While this is ok for playing around in the beginning, if you want to take this seriously and eventually make money with your travel blog, you should buy a premium design.

Professional blog themes cost about $50, and they’ll greatly improve the look and functionality of your site.

I’ve changed themes a few times over the years, but the current one I’m using is called GeneratePress.

Another great place to buy blog theme designs is a marketplace called ThemeTrust.

Many professional themes provide a support forum where you can ask questions about customization, and someone will help you get the look you’re after using CSS/HTML coding. Or, you can hire a cheap web developer through Upwork to do custom design work on your site.

You may also want to have a cool logo created. I used a site called 99 Designs for mine. A professional logo really makes your brand stand out from the thousands of other travel blogs online.

Step 6: Install Travel Blogging Plugins
Some of My Travel Blog Plugins

6. Install Essential Plugins

You can think of WordPress plugins as third-party apps for your travel website. They give your blog additional features. Most plugins are free, some you have to pay for.

You can download new plugins in the “plugin” section of your WordPress Dashboard.

Here’s my recommended list of plugins to install with your travel blog.

  • Akismet – Protects your blog from spammers leaving comments on your posts. Not perfect, but probably the best one out there.
  • Yoast SEO – Very important plugin for optimizing your articles for Google search, plus integrating Google Sitemaps and Analytics.
  • Easy Social Share Buttons – Nice social media sharing buttons for your articles.
  • WP Rocket – Caching plugin that speeds up your travel blog
  • Imagify – Automaticaly optimizes your media library images for fast loading

There are others of course, but these will get you started.

Travel Blogging Social Media Tips
Use Instagram to Help Promote Your Blog

7. Craft Your Online Persona

Create An About Page

One of the first things you should do on your blog is to create an about page. This is one of the most highly trafficked pages on any travel blog, because it tells people who you are, your background, and explains why they should follow you.

Keep it fun and personable. Let your readers know who you really are!

Embrace Social Media

If you want to build a successful and profitable travel blog, posting regularly to social media is important.

Learning how to master social media is a huge topic, one that I cover more here: Secrets Of Professional Travel Blogging

To begin, sign up for all the most popular platforms, and keep your social media username the same on all of them if possible. Otherwise, people can get confused.

A note on social media. Sometimes people ask me if they should start their travel blogs on Facebook or Instagram instead of having an actual website.

No, I don’t recommend relying on Facebook or Instagram. You don’t have any control over those platforms, and they could easily disappear in the future.

Use social media to promote and support your blog. Don’t build your business on a platform you have no control over, it’s just too risky.

Step 8: Writing Your First Posts
Time to Start Blogging about Travel!

8. Writing Your First Blog Posts

Now it’s time to begin creating content for your travel blog. When you first start out, I recommend publishing new articles at least 1-2 times per week. But remember, quality is more important than quantity!

Take your time to craft excellent, useful blog posts that have impact. You want your articles to inspire wanderlust, but they should include plenty of actionable tips too.

In the beginning, maybe tell people why you are starting a travel blog. Or share what you’re packing for an upcoming trip.

Share your favorite (or not so favorite) parts of a country. Give tips for fun things to do, share your crazy travel stories, show-off your beautiful images in photo essays, create a short video tour, or give food recommendations.

Whatever the topic is, writing a blog post will help you understand how to publish images, headers, and all the other formatting that comes with publishing on WordPress.

Try writing about different topics to find your voice, and see what kinds of posts actually resonate with readers.

For example, road trip guides do really well on my site. But I didn’t discover that until later. You need to experiment!

Need some ideas? Here are some of my most popular blog posts.

What If You’re Not Traveling Now?

Are you still planning your travels? Well, you can write about that too. Share different ways you are saving money for travel or maybe a bucket list of activities you want to try.

However my favorite strategy is to write about what you know.

As an example, let’s say you live in Richmond, Virginia. Maybe you don’t think it’s an interesting city to write about, yet there are thousands of people looking for travel tips about Richmond every day.

Share what you know with them! Help these people have a great trip, and they will become regular readers.

TripAdvisor recommends 225 things to do in Richmond. That’s easily a year’s worth of blog posts right there!

Network With Other Bloggers

Remember to read other travel blogs for inspiration and ideas, and leave thoughtful comments on their articles. Link to other people’s blog posts from your site when appropriate.

Become an active member of the travel blogging community.

Earning Income with a Travel Blog
How To Make Money With Your Travel Blog

9. Start Making Money With Your Blog!

At first, your only readers will be family and friends. But that’s ok! We all started like that. To begin making money with your travel blog, you need to have a larger audience than just family and friends.

The more traffic your travel blog receives, the more money you can make with it. It takes time to build an audience and grow traffic. Don’t focus on making money right away, focus on building your audience.

However, you can start earning income early with Affiliate Programs like Amazon.com and Booking.com.

Basically, affiliate programs let you recommend things like clothing, travel gear, photography equipment, tours, or even hotels you stay at within your blog posts. You then earn a small commission whenever someone clicks on one of these tracking links and buys something.

Another option is showing display ads with Google Adsense, which lets other companies post banner advertisements on your travel blog.

How Much Money Can You Make From A Travel Blog?

Honestly, the sky (and your imagination) is the limit. In the beginning, you won’t be earning too much money though, and it really depends on how much time you put into it.

Your income and success grow only when your audience grows. So that should be your first priority moving forward!

Attracting new readers to your blog with great travel content.

To give you an example, you might be able to make a few hundred dollars (or a few thousand) per month after a year of blogging. It really depends on all kinds of unknowable factors.

While it took me about four years to start earning over $100,000 a year from blogging, others I know were able to achieve this milestone even earlier!

For additional ways to earn income from your travel blog, please read: Getting Paid To Travel With Blogging.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Really Make Money Blogging?

Yes. To become a successful travel blogger though, you need to provide value to others. Blogging about your day is not the same as writing a helpful destination travel guide. In addition to the fun articles, produce stuff people are actually searching for!

How Much Does It Cost To Start A Travel Blog

The up-front costs for starting a travel blog are pretty cheap. If you sign up for hosting with BlueHost, it’s only $2.95 a month (for the 36 month package).

Plus, you might want to download a profession theme for about $50. Not needed, but it does help you stand out.

On top of those expenses, you may want a nice logo designed too. Using a site like 99 Designs, you can have one made for another $50. So all-in, you’re looking at spending about $150 upfront.

Is Travel Blogging Too Saturated?

While it may seem like everyone and their grandmother has a blog these days, most people don’t take it very seriously. Only the most dedicated make a living with it. So it’s really up to you how much effort you put in.

Do You Need A Laptop & Camera?

Yes, you’ll need both. They don’t have to be top-of-the-line, but you’ll want a computer for writing and sharing blog posts, and a camera for capturing images from your adventures. Here are my favorite travel cameras.

Should I Enroll In A Travel Blogging Course?

Buying an online course isn’t a requirement to building a travel blog. But like anything in life, if you want to get good at something, investing time & money to be trained certainly helps. However, I’d recommend setting up your first travel blog to determine if you’ll enjoy it or not. Because blogging isn’t for everyone.

Happy Travel Blogging!

Setting up a travel blog is easy, but please be aware that building an audience is much tougher. You shouldn’t expect to see any large reader numbers for at least a year, maybe longer.

That’s one full year of blogging on a regular basis, and putting in at least 10 hours a week (most professional bloggers work 30+ hours a week).

Yes, it’s a dream job, but travel blogging is still a job that requires hard work. Creating a successful travel blog won’t happen overnight either.

But no risk, no reward! Good luck out there, and happy travel blogging. ★

Ready for the next step? Read my more advanced post about how to become a successful travel blogger.

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Start A Travel Blog: My easy step by step guide to building your first travel blog and making money.

READ MORE TRAVEL BLOGGING TIPS

I hope you enjoyed my guide to starting a travel blog! Hopefully you found it useful. Here are a few more digital nomad type articles that I recommend you read next:

Have any questions about how to start a profitable travel blog? What about other suggestions? Drop me a message in the comments below!

THANKS FOR READING

Hi, I’m Matthew Karsten — I’ve been traveling around the world for the last 9 years as a blogger, photographer, and digital nomad. Adventure travel & photography are my passions. Let me inspire you to travel with crazy stories, photography, and money-saving travel tips.
Matthew Karsten
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Comments (524)

  1. I’m starting a travel blog and it’s not easy. But when you know SEO and you have expertise in blogging I think everything can happen faster. We need audience and with SEO it’s really possible in my opinion!

    • Even if you know a lot about SEO, it takes time. One of the most important factors is the age of a site — if you blog regularly for a few years you’ll rank much higher than those just starting out.

  2. Everything seems pretty straightforward here, but I guess the main problem is to find the much needed time to blog when you are traveling. It’s not easy to sit down and write your blog posts when you know that everyone else in the hotel you are staying at is partying and having a good time!

    • So true Cleo! If you treat travel blogging as a real business and work your butt off, you won’t have the time/energy to go out every night of the week. It’s a huge filter. Only those who truly treat blogging seriously will succeed.

  3. Thank u so much for this post. Before reading this post I just had a idea in my mind that I didn’t even share with anyone but now I am totally excited and ready to make it come true.

  4. Quite useful tips on starting a travel blog. I had a domain name with a hyphen and free hosting on blogger the first year (rookie mistake). Then I realized my mistake bought a new domain name, hosting and theme to go with my blog.

  5. Fantastic post! I found the step-by-step instructions and screenshots to be super helpful. I just made the big switch from WordPress.com to self-hosting this week. Thanks so much!

  6. Thanks for the tips! I recently started a blog about adventures in San Diego (where I currently live), and my current and future travels so I am always looking for tips! Your blog on Iceland was super helpful too since I’m going to drive the Ring Road in 2 months!

  7. Greetings from Panama City, Panama! Just read your article about theft in Casco Viejo… and it was very timely for me, because I was just having a mojito on a rooftop bar in Casco last night. I’m also supporting my travels by writing, doing some web design, and Google AdWords management. My main reason for coming down was to help a friend of mine start his locally sourced grocery store here in the city, but it’s quickly becoming a lesson in the limits of my Spanish knowledge. Hopefully, by the end of my three months here I’ll be able to express my thoughts with locals a little more coherently.This is my first time traveling internationally and working from my laptop. You can bet I’ll be guarding my computer like a hawk with an egg from now on…

    Your blog has inspired me to take up writing again (I was a creative writing major at the University of Montana a lifetime ago). So, thanks! I plan on releasing regular blogs for the rest of my time here. Cheers from one wandering gringo to another! :)

    • Enjoy Casco Viejo! That brings back memories. You should be fine Clay, just don’t take your computer out to bars. Bad mistake on my part…

      Good luck with your project!

  8. I’m so glad that I found your blog. These are very helpful tips for those of us who have a recently created a travel blog.

  9. Hey Matthew! This article is so awesome that decided to create a travel blog myself! It’s only 3 days old but we all have to start somewhere right?

    Just wanted to thank you for sharing this with all of us!

  10. Hello Matt,
    What kind of name do you suggest would be better? Something creative, some crosswords like vantastic travelers, freedomesia etc or something realistic like travelinginavan? I wan the blog to be easy to find, even suggested in search results and found by mistake. But i don’t know how a search engine works and what is more relevant the name, the content or the numbers of readers that a blog already has. Please let me know what is your advice.
    P.s. Amazing blog, i love your photos :D

    • Hey Oana! I think it’s better to keep it simple & memorable. Out of your choices, I like “traveling in a van”. Even with a word like “vagabond”, people still sometimes screw up the spelling to “vegabond”, or don’t know what the word means.

      It’s best to not confuse them, and people are easily confused.

  11. Hello Matthew!
    First of all congratulations on your awesome blog, I’ve learned a lot just from reading it and I’m already planning on taking my very first trip as soon as I’m done with college. I have a question that’s not related specifically to this article though, which camera do you use? Your shots are great!

    Regards from Mexico,
    Roman.

  12. Hi Matt,
    I absolutely enjoy reading your post. Great insights on the industry. I have been traveling for 20 years and I am a teacher. I recently left the classroom to travel with my family and “mobile schooling” my children. My upcoming website will focus on traveling while teaching on the road. What do you suggest my first blog post should consist of? Should I discuss how I got to this point in my life or should I just begin to write about life on the road?

  13. Hey Matt! I’m trying to start up my blog, but have run into a problem. The name I really want to use isn’t available as a .com name (or .org). Should I go with a .net (or other?) address, or go with another name? Thanks, and keep on rockin’!

  14. Hi Matt

    I started my travel blog a little bit late – as I have been traveling nonstop since 2011. I have tons of amazing photos that are buried deep in my personal instagram account.

    I noticed that you have only around 500 instagram posts, which are very well thought out. Now that I want to start a blog, I am wondering if I should start a NEW branded instagram account (@apirateslife), and re-use the most relevant of my 1,654 posts with a “purpose” and strategy in mind, or if I should just continue to use my personal account (@rickerrr) which has 1,000 followers and 1,600 posts, but re-post old content to the same audience?

    Thoughts are appreciated! Thanks Matt!

    • Hi Rick! My advice is to just re-name/re-brand your existing Instagram account. Instagram allows you to change the username. Then, concentrate on only posting your very best images, even if you’ve already posted some of them in the past. I occasionally re-post old images if they’ve done really well.

  15. Hi Matt,
    I am a new reader of yours. Thank you for this article. I am sure I will be ripping through your other articles in the near future :)

    We have recently started a travel blog. To make it easy to build an audience, we have decided on concentrate only on the Indian travellers (we are from India). The number of people travelling in India is at an inflection point right now. Is it a good strategy? Did you focus on global audience from the beginning?

    • Hello ruchika. Nehul jain dis side from chandigarh. Wats ur travel blog name as i m very much interested into travelling since a long time. Can v get in touch on fb or whatspp as i too love to travel around india as n when i get d chance. Hope to get a reply from u.

  16. Hi Matt I came across your article and found it very helpful but my question is how can I write a 1st blog entry or several about travel if I haven’t done any traveling yet? When I say I’m at step one I truly am at step one into turning my dreams of travel into reality. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks! :)

    • Hey Jon! Maybe write about your goal to start traveling more? Or take some short trips nearby where you live? Museums? National parks? World Heritage sites? There is always something to write about. What do people travel to your area for?

  17. Hi, Matthew –

    Great article! Thank you. Getting ready to spend six weeks moving around the African continent and would like to keep family & friends updated. Trying to determine best way to: a) access blog through particular device (trying to determine what is the best to travel with – iPad, laptop, etc.), b) best way to upload photos from my DSLR, and c) relative ease of finding Internet Cafes (with WiFi) on the road.

    Any help you can provide would be much appreciated.

    Thanks!

    – John

    • Hey John, wifi is pretty easy to find these days, but it really depends on where you are. Rural Africa might be more difficult. You should have no problem in cities though.

      As for what device to bring, it depends on how serious you want to take blogging. While it’s possible to update a blog with just a tablet, it’s not as fast or convenient as having an actual laptop. There are more options for editing photos and typing out articles using a laptop. If you’re worried about weight, maybe a Macbook Air?

      I don’t know any serious professional bloggers who get by using just a tablet.

  18. Truly inspiring.. Matt i just started following you from few weeks. I am completely inspired by you and made my decision to have my own travel blog. I am travelling from last 3 years but never think of writing it. Your advice will be seriously very helpful for me and i think for others also.

    Rakesh P

  19. Matt, what plugin are you using for the right bar and your social media buttons?

    I’ve been trying to find a good social media button in the side bar for a while now. Would really appreciate your thoughts.

    Thanks,
    Chris

    • Hey Chris! The floating sidebar is called “Q2W3 Fixed Widget” and the social media buttons are part of a plugin called “Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress”.

  20. Awesome article Matthew, Thanks for sharing all your great info with us. After 2 years of travel in India me and my friends have started writing a blog which explores the southern parts of India. Movingshoe.com.

    Any suggestions from the “travel king” is much appreciated!

  21. Thanks Matt for this great post & so true with all your tips on starting a travel blog. The name is very important & once bloggers start using that name for all their travels – it creates content on the URL which certainly don’t want to loose in changing the name. For me branding is very important – it helps for people to know about my disability & all your tips are certainly great to know I’m following the right path. Thanks once again for sharing your tips – Best Abhs

  22. thank you soo much for sharing this tips, i’hv been blogging since quite some time and now would love to explore the world …. a laptop with a internet connection is all you need … thank you for inspiring me !!

  23. We are at the end of a full year around the world adventure. Finishing up in Mexico because the food is so good and everything is cheaper here than in Sydney. I started our blog in October before we left and we still don’t have an audience. I almost gave up in June but love recording all that we are done. When we get home I can’t imagine not continuing with the blog because there are so many more stories to share. I wish i had of read your article 12 months ago. So many others stop after the hosting but you have talked about the social marketing side that is equally important. Thanks for this information and for not saying that it is easy because it is not. Take care Christie

  24. Matt,

    I just had to say, reading a lot of your articles REALLY inspired me. At this point, you are probably my idol. I’m 22, and so far I have been all over the Netherlands and to Paris, France for a brief time. Ever since then, I’ve been addicted to traveling and I am destined to figure out a way to travel all over. Maybe even being gutsy, and dropping a lot of things just as you did, and possibly just see where life takes me. (Perhaps working along the way to receive food/shelter)? Still thinking things out and gonna save.
    I’ve now started my own travel blog, and I know I have a lot to learn!

    Thanks for truly being an inspiration.
    And if you’re in Mexico, you should take some pictures of the beautiful cenotes there!

    -Michelle

    • Hey Michelle! Glad you enjoyed this article about starting a travel blog. Yes I’ll be in Mexico for the winter, working hard on my own blog. Sometimes it’s good to take a break from moving around so you can really focus on the business side of blogging.

      I plan to go scuba diving & swimming in many cenotes! In fact I wrote a post about my last cenote adventure here.

  25. Great advice. All details are here. Step by step. Once just has to follow to get to the goal. Thanks for the work of putting this together. I can recommend it to friends that keep asking me about “the whole blogging thing”.

  26. Hi Matt, thanks for a great post. Although I don’t really get chance to travel enough to create a travel blog, I was wondering if it would be an idea to create a travel blog on other people’s travels and allow them to share and contribute their adventures? Possibly collect a few adventure stories from family and friends? As a seasoned traveller would love to hear your thoughts Matthew.
    Thanks
    Dave

  27. Thank you for the insight into this new world of blogging. I have found this blog a great source of information. At this time I only have a wordpress.com free account that I am using to learn a few of the ropes. However in the next month I will be following your advice and switching to a Bluehost account. I am not planning on traveling until 2017. My plan is to start my blog now and hopefully know enough by the time I leave to start making a little money, or at least have some followers. I am willing to invest some time and money into it to start and see how it goes. I have many things to learn and do in the next two years, that is going to be my source of topics along with my past travels.

    Thanks again for the great blog

  28. I really liked your article. It’s crisp, concise and very informative. You have not minced your words anywhere. Its really a hard work to keep running the blog. I have started blogging this year on July.. I write about various stuffs like my musings, travel logs, poetry. But travel stories are my favorite ones, as i love travelling.

    • Travel stories are great Namrata, but make sure to include some useful information too, stuff that will help your readers have a similar experience. The more detail, the better!

  29. Hi! First and only article I feel I need to read to start! I’m leaving in 4 days for 8 months to Europe (first time!) and am really excited to tell all about it! My question: what do you write about when you are back at home? Thanks in advance!

  30. I really enjoyed your article – I have read a few guides and this one is the simplest and best. With regard to blog names I really don’t know if mine is a great one or a rubbish one – because you have to visit my site to understand the name. It is about a VW Bay that used to be an ambulance – hence SickBayDays.com and my travels in it.

  31. I’ve started a blog last March this year and since then I’ve been following your blog. It is harder than I thought. Providing good quality all the time–and building an audience is the most difficult of all. Can you provide more tips on how to build your audience and sustain it?

  32. I just started my travel blog ( goseastheday.com ) in the past couple of weeks and your blog post was the best advice I found online! Although not much time has past, I am already seeing success and am very happy with where I am at so far. I couldn’t have done it without you!! Thanks so much!

    • Great to hear Jillian! Good luck with your new travel blog, and remember to keep up the hard work. Learn as much as you can about blogging.

  33. So interesting! I’m chaperoning my professor husband’s Global Business class “Amsterdam to the Alps,” the first in a series of trips we are planning. Social media is my responsibility and although making money is not the point, I certainly believe optimization can be critical in the promotion, acceptance, and reputation of the class.
    This may be a whole new area of travel blogging!
    Thanks for your help!

  34. You can say that I’ve been blogging and traveling for over 16 years now. As a member and contributor of one of the largest sources (1.3 million users) of unbiased, user-generated travel content in the world, I’ve written and reviewed over 3500 related travel tips about 40 countries in 6 different continents. Recently, after spending plenty of time on Instagram, I wondered why I hadn’t started my own blogging sooner. I already have the bones to venture out and start my own blogging site, but how do I even begin my journey? First, start by searching on how to best start your own blogging, which lead me to your very informative guide.

    Thank you so much for helping me find the tools that I need to get me started on what I hope to be a prosperous venture.

    • Wow Jaye, that’s a ton of content. Which reminds me of something I’m passionate about. Why publish that content on someone else’s website when you could be growing your own brand?

      Don’t get me wrong, there are good reasons for guest posting and writing for other outlets from time to time, but you should really be working for yourself if possible. Save the best stuff for your travel blog.

  35. Nice post! I’m from Brazil and I started blogging this year, showing people how beautiful is our country. Most of my posts are from Santa Catarina, south of Brazil. Thanks for sharing your experience, your are such a good blogger! Congrats!!

  36. Hey! thanks again for all the great tips! i just joined travel blog success, i am leaving in a week for as long as i can!
    And very grateful for discovering couchsurfing.com through your site, it will make my trip to India much smoother and less expansive, i already changed my plan from 2 months to 6 months and just graduated last wednesday from a 120h TEFL so i can teach in Thailand for up to a year after India, then Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam…
    Martin P
    P.s I have wanted to do this for close to 30 years now and reading about people already traveling for a long time is very encouraging.Thanks for the inspiration!

  37. I have been travelling for almost two years now, but never thought of starting a travel blog. I was scared with all the technicalities involved in designing and setting up the blog. If that was not enough all these terms SEO, backlinking, Social Media etc. kept me away from starting my own blog, until one fine day I came across this post of yours. This clarified lot of doubts. One, setting up the blog is not difficult, second, running the blog will require tons of work and equal tons of patience. Needless to say that you have motivated me enough. I have now finished with setting up of blog, following your step-by-step guide, and it has also gone live last week. Of course, it still requires lot of fine tuning which I will be working upon in the next few days. I hope the blog works out. Thank you Matthew for being a virtual guru.

    • Hey Shailender, glad to hear this post helped you get started! Just checked out your new travel blog, I like the theme. Your logo actually looks very similar to my first logo.

  38. I’m so thrilled there are people like you who are willing to share these kind of things for free. I would probably skip a lot of things if I wasn’t following your travel blog and some other top blogs while starting my own.

    Keep up a good work and from time to time write more these kind of articles cause they are really helpful.

    Greetings from Croatia,
    Anca

  39. Thank you so much for this article. Finally took the leap and joined the overwhelming but nonetheless amazing world of travel blogging and your articles have given me some direction and useful tips. Hopefully, I get to be successful or just have fun and meet interesting people in the process. Thanks again, and definitely keeping my eye on this blog. :)

  40. Thanks for a great article. I have been traveling for about 3 years and started blogging about my travels about 2 years ago. I blog on travelpod and even when you google for my blog it is hard to find. I am thinking of going a bit more professional, beyond friends and family. Do you know if I can set up a blog on the wordpress software before paying for a host? I don’t know if my little netbook will be able to perform setting up my new blog. Thanks

  41. Hey Matt I am an inspiring Traveler. I didn’t think Travel blogging was a job. I just always wanted to travel and blog and blog it on like youtube and my own personal blog (that i didn’t start yet) I was just looking at ways i can get paid to travel because thats what i want to do with my life and came across your blog and I must say I am inspired. I’m planning my first Solo trip for feb of 2016 and that gives me plenty of time get my blog started. I just wanted to say thank you because of you I know now that I can do something I always wanted to do and call it a job. Thank you so much. I look forward to reading all of you other blogs.

    — Your Newest Subscriber/Fan/Best Friend

  42. Thanks Matthew for this great and informative post. I am opening a word file and taking notes while reading. Thanks Man

  43. Hey Matt! Thanks for writing this post, I’ve been following you for a while now and really appreciate how open and honest you are with your audience!

  44. Thank you for this. There are a lot of helpful start up ideas out there but I like the way you laid it out there. Very direct and sharing personal experience.
    I am in the planning stages and nearing my trip departure date soon and getting so nervous…I am quitting my job to follow my dream of traveling and still have to meet my quota for savings. I like the idea of writing about my prep work and things before I leave. So thanks for inspiring me to start sooner than later.
    Cheers and happy trails.

  45. Just re-read this – it’s SO useful. You’re officially my favourite person right now. A bit of a weird question for you… I’m a writer by trade and am currently trying to get back into magazine freelancing AND get into blogging, simultaneously. Is that a really bad idea? I can’t figure out which is the best route to go down or if I should carry on trying to do both… Your wisdom is greatly appreciated… Rach

    • Sure I’d say that’s a good idea. Magazine freelancing will actually pay bills, blogging takes a while before any income rolls in. I have many friends who balance them both. Some who’ve been able to quit or reduce freelancing when the blog took off.

  46. I tried to add the plug-ins you recommended, but WordPress is saying it is only allowed in .org and not .com, which is what I have. Do you use dot org then?

    This is such a helpful post! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Yup, WordPress.com sites are hosted by WordPress, you want to self-host your site using the WordPress.org software.

  47. Great article! However I was wondering at what time you finally felt like an “expert vagabond” (emphasis on expert ;)) and what you did write about before? I would feel dumb giving people advice at this stage I am currently on (so I’m also sticking to my friends & family so far) but don’t want to wait until I feel being wiser, so I stick to personal experiences so far.
    Would be happy to get some advice! :)

    • After 6 months of travel I felt pretty confident to start sharing advice. The problem I see many travel bloggers making is they are comparing themselves to other travel bloggers. Don’t write for bloggers, write for the average person who knows less than you! Personal experiences are important too.

      • Ah thank you, actually you’re right… I mean if I compare myself to you, I definitely suck in giving advices, but my average-travelling friends already started to approach me a couple of times to get some advice on cheap air fares and stuff. So I’ll keep going! :)

  48. You got it all pretty much covered. I am already blogging in the travel niche, but to be honest it is quite difficult to be original without spending some money for a good camera, money to travel here and there, etc etc.

  49. Instead of using wordpress.com, what do you think about “wix.com”?

    I just started creating my blog but I’m using wix and am not sure whether I should switch over to wordpress or not.

    • There are all kinds of competitors to WordPress out there. Use whatever you want, but know that most people end up switching to WordPress eventually. It’s not going anywhere, and it’s what most professionals use.

  50. Wow, I searched Google for too long for this information before stumbling across your blog. This is exactly what I was looking for: a detailed, informative article about starting a blog. I followed the steps you outlined (including your links to Bluehost) as I created my first travel blog. Your blog is inspiring, especially to a “wannabe” travel blogger. Now off to read your other posts on this topic…

  51. Thanks for the advice, I am at the ‘My Mum is my biggest and only fan” stage of travel blogging, but it is nice to dream.

    • We’ve all been there Carly… time & consistency is honestly the biggest factor. Produce great content on a consistent basis and people will start spreading the word. Starting with your family!

  52. Great tips, Matthew. My friend and I are just starting out, and it’s definitely not as easy as it looks. There are a lot of travel bloggers out there providing great advice and resources. We don’t want to have similar posts, so research is key (and something I enjoy doing, huzzah!) in providing original content!

    Going to check out Travel Blog Success!

  53. Hi there. Loved your feature. I just began my blog a few months ago. I began it on WordPress, and I have the premium plan, so my domain name is thegraziegirl.com. I pay a charge yearly. But, have I done this backwards? I keep hearing about domain hosting, like you suggest here, but I’ve created my blog first. Should I still get a host?

  54. Thanks for the ideas . What is probably also important but missing is a breakdown of what to do on different types of blogs , I mean there are photo blogs , others are video blogs etc

  55. Thanks for all the great information!

    When i saw the price of Travel Blog Success I gasped a little. But you are right, it is an investment. And I know how much work it all is (so much work) going to wait for a coupon code and then sign up.

    Thanks!

  56. Hi Matthew, Very interesting read I must say! have only recently started my travel blog and realise I have a long way to go. My husband and I are early 50’s, and plan to travel from next year, but I decided to start my blog now to get it going. I am adding blogs from our recent trip, but will add others this year from where we live (New Zealand) but also on up and coming trips. Many thanks for your inspiring website and advice.

  57. hi man
    thanks about your information i have a question! i think that traveling without friends is hard and i am tired in most of the time because i think that i am alone! may u guide me is that true?and what do i do for this problem!?thanks
    sadeq from iran
    be happy

      • I read your blog and recommendations it was very inspiring thanks a lot. I was traveling around for more than 3 decades, but just like anybody else, since last month I decide to blog and hey maybe get started my own business as a free man living on the planet guess anybody has a fair chance to do so and any start is not easy but I am quite certain that I follow your advice. I gave up my job, flat, etc, and have my tickets and travel gear ready in two weeks start and I am sure I`ll visit your blog for more inspiration. Tell me if I can help any how in return. So long all the best Matt.

  58. A good place to begin your travel blog is writing about your local town/city or region. Many blogs make it look so easy but it can take many hours for just one article. It is a good way to see if you actually enjoy doing the research, write, edit and use photography with your articles. And you often already are familiar with the place where you live and have an income so you don;t have to depend on your blog or other activities to make money.

    Getting familiar with blogging software etc also tkaes time and you don’t want to do this when you’re travelling.

  59. I just thought of starting blogging and have came across this. Very inspiring!
    Now, let me start mine from scratch and let’s take it from there. Kudos, Matthew!

  60. Very detailed guide and a valuable resource for newbie bloggers. I am looking forward to your next article on this topic.

  61. Awesome tips, Matthew. Hands down, the best article so far. I don’t know why I didn’t stumble across it sooner, since I’ve read so many in the past. I need to switch from wordpress.com to wordpress.org.

    I was travelling for about a year before I got interested in blogging. Do you think it’s wise to write about past experiences and stories? Or will this confuse readers as to what you’re doing at the moment. Also the memories of mine may be a bit foggy. Thanks!

  62. What an incredible resource. This is by far THE most informative article on starting your own CAREER in travel blogging that I’ve come across to date. I love that you take the time to interact with every person that posts on here. I’m sure your schedule leaves little to no time for that, and it’s impressive that you make the time.

    Visually this page is impressive. I’ve got a Masters in Creative Writing and I’ve been trying to think of ways to use my degree to bring in an income while I spend my time writing my screenplays, which brings a much MUCH slower return on my investment. I’ve spent the last two years traveling all over the US, part of that was on the Pacific Crest Trail, and people have been asking why I haven’t written a book or at least blogged about it. I always laugh, because they have no idea how much work goes into a blog, and I’m not one for doing things if they’re not going to be done right. Suddenly I looked up and realized that I was just traveling and no longer writing (YIKES).

    Your article is refreshing, well organized and the visuals are much appreciated. I’m looking forward to receiving your monthly emails.

    Thanks again,

    Stephanie

  63. Thank you Matthew for this post, it has inspired me to bite the bullet and start my journey as a travel blogger with my own unique (I hope!) spin.

    You mention blogging about current and future travels. What about (distant) past? I have been traveling all over the world since 1998 (!) but never published anything about those trips, though I’d love to do so now. Is this accepted/encouraged/frowned-upon within the community?

  64. Great article! I just recently started thinking seriously about backpacking solo for a few months, and your blog has really helped me. My original thought has just been saving up a decent amount of money and set a budget for the trip, but reading travel blogs really makes me want to think further and not settle for a few months.

    I do want to start a blog, much for my own and family’s sake, but also for sharing my adventures. I’m also a hobby photographer, so I really want to share my photos. I just keep dwelling on one thing: which language should I write in? I’m from Norway where the travel blogs are many but no one really stands out, but I’m still thinking about writing in english to reach a wider audience and so that people I meet can read about my journey without language barriers. What do you recommend? I guess it’s a really stupid worry, but I just can’t make up my mind. I guess it’s easier to get lost in all the international travel blogs, but also a possibility to really make it too.

    If I didn’t already state so: love your blog, and I definitely will be coming back for more :-)

  65. Excellent article, thanks for all the tips! I just started doing the whole “social media” thing a few weeks ago. I’m currently on tumblr, twitter, and trover (I found out about trover through your site) and my blog is on wordpress. I decided to go with the name “Next Stop Earth”, the one I originally had picked out (which I can’t remember now) was taken. I haven’t purchased a domain name yet, I’m currently concentrating on building content and followers right now and when the time is right I’m going to move to my own domain name, forward the traffic, and keep it going. Right now I’m writing about past travels and local spots, as per your advice I’m working on a few personal Top 10 lists related to travel. Please check out my site if you have a moment and any advice, comments, criticisms you have I will gladly take. This is my dream, so I’m doing everything I can to make it happen!

  66. Very helpful tips! Thanks Matthew! My partner and I met while traveling and decided to stay together as we plot our next adventures together. We just started our blog so this post is very helpful. Found your blog when I was researching about travel blog success. Will definitely add yours to our list! Happy trails. Anna and Tom

  67. Great tips–and you’re right about having patience. About 18 months into my blog, all that effort is starting to pay off! I lucked out with the name; Ardent Camper began as a tent camping blog, but when my husband and I joined the community of young, working full-time RVers last year, the name simply started referring to a new kind of camping.

      • Thanks! It’s great that you interface with your readers, too. Once you gain a visitorship, that’s part of what really helps build and maintain a rapport. I’m sure that connection is what has helped successful blogs like yours do so well. Thanks for being communicative!

  68. I found you blog about a 3 weeks ago and have been envious of your lifestyle. Opens my eyes to the face that you actually have to do a lot of work though! I have a Tumblr with about 10k followers so if I ever do muster up the courage to drop everything and travel the world, the transition might be easier. Keep up the awesome posts though!

  69. Great post and very insightful information. I have a recently created blog and it’s still a work in progress. Thanks for the tips!

  70. Great guide and very good point about names in particular!

    My own site is called “Camping With Style”, and in June 2014 that seemed like a great idea, but by October though, when it was too cold here in the UK to camp I quickly saw a problem!

    I am instead planning to transition to “Wander And Be Curious” to give me much more leeway so I can cover predominantly camping and glamping in the summer, and all broader aspects of the outdoors and adventure travel when it’s too cold to camp.

    I’m a professional marketer and really thought long and hard about my name initially, not long enough though! I can’t stress how important getting this bit right, first time is, it will save you a whole heap of hassle in the long run. It’s good to have a niche, but make sure it’s not a seasonal niche! :)

  71. It’s been said before but these are great tips, especially about setting your website up. Wish I’d read this earlier!

    Many thanks.

  72. Thank you for this step by step guide. I used it and am in the process of working out the details and plan to start blogging very soon. I am new to all social media so I have A LOT to learn and every little bit helps.

  73. This is such a great post! Really easy to follow, step-by-step guide ideal for all of us would-be travel bloggers! I’ve just started a wordpress.com site and am thinking about investing in a domain name, so it’s really useful to know what I need to think about once I’ve got one!

  74. Thanks for an additional wonderful post.. Canada Dedicated Servers Where different might any one obtain that kind of info in such an ideal approach connected with producing? I’ve got a powerpoint presentation subsequent 7 days, with this particular in the hunt for such information.

  75. Great tips, wish I would’ve had this post when I started. I’m glad you mention how much work it is behind the scenes as many people just think is taking photos and publishing then online. My biggest challenge has been seo, I actually invested in a professional to help me out. Looking forward to your posts.

  76. Great article! Thanks for writing it. It’s always encouraging/inspiring to read about bloggers who have stuck with it to get to the point you’re at :) Congrats!

  77. This is so helpful; thank you! I have a blog already but it’s about travel+feminism+cycling and I’d like to start a more travel-specific one. Well, cycle-travelling to be precise! I only have mine through wordpress too (although I pay for the name without wordpress in the title) and hosting scares the bejesus out of me, so thank you for the careful breakdown. I’ve had a name knocking around my head for a while so I think I’ll get on it tonight.

    That said, a question: do you rate something short and snappy over something original/memorable? If you had to choose (since it’s so tough now; all the good names are gone!) which would you pick?

    Thank you so much :)

  78. Thank you so much for the post! Its just what I needed. I’ve been traveling for a while, but never really thought about writing a blog, until a week ago lol. I’ll definitely use these tips to improve my blog.

  79. Looks like my name ‘VagabondingMike’ is definitely an epic fail then..hahaha.

    Oh well, I guess I’ll have to double down on my efforts to overcome the short-comings of my name name choice.

    Great advice though!

    • Ha! Don’t take it too personally Mike, it’s just a suggestion, not a rule. I quite like the term “vagabond”. I wasn’t the only one when I picked mine either.

    • Will keep at it in some form until I no longer enjoy it, but can’t see that happening anytime soon. I find myself slowing down a bit these days, however I’m always still excited to visit new places & share them.

  80. Hi Matt,
    Thanks a lot for the advice, I’ve been holding off buying a decent theme for my WordPress site until my readership picks up. Do you think a changing a blog’s theme to a paid one directly relates to an increase in traffic or is content still king?

    • I think a strong design keeps people interested in reading & exploring more of your site. Usability is key too, must be clean, simple, and easy to navigate. First-impressions are pretty important — especially when we all have such short internet attention spans!

  81. Thanks for writing this article! It’s always good to get this type of advice from someone whose been doing it for a while. As someone who I just starting out seems to me 2 major things you need are good content, not just want you want to talk about but what ppl are searching for and engaging with your target audience! Looking forward to reading the advanced tips!

    • Very true Nigel! Content that helps other people is important. For example, even if you’re writing a narrative travel story, including useful tips about how readers can enjoy a similar experience is key.