How to Start a Travel Blog | 6 Simple Steps to start a Travel Blog

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Travel Blog is not something new in this world of blogging. How to Start Travel blogging is a blog in which a travel blogger shares his/her experience(s) of the travel, from where the journey started, how it went, where it ended, and some final guidance regarding what to do and what shouldn’t.  The success rate of a travel blog lies in the fact that how closely writer has experienced everything mentioned in that particular blog as only then, a true review can happen. If this starts happening, Travel Blog will be at the top of everyone’s mind. And, with people finding traveling fascinating and penning down their experiences for their readers, the time is no far when travel bloggers will be ruling this world. So, let’s discuss some of the key points regarding how to start a successful travel blog.

1. Your Domain Name is Everything

This is the first step of starting out. You have to choose a domain name for your blog (must be related to travel). There are certain ground rules which you have to follow for maximum traffic reach or popularity.

  • Try to keep the name timeless

This simply means that no matter how many years later someone visits your blog, your domain should still be relevant at that time as it was back then when you had just started.

  • Keep it short and simple

 You probably don’t want your readers to forget your blog’s name, or just remember a few words from it. Your blog’s name shouldn’t be more than 3 to 4 words. 

  • Don’t go after names like “wanderlust” or “traveler for life”

These names have now seen their graves and selecting them will be like making your own grave for your blog.

2. Choose a Hosting

After choosing your domain name, it’s time for you to choose a hosting. If you don’t know what a hosting platform is, then in layman’s terms, it’s the place where all your website content will be stored.

There are a lot of platforms, especially for beginners. One of them which stands out among the rest is SiteGround. With many easy to use features, it’s one of the best hosting platforms for beginners.

It provides high-quality SSD storage for all your website content, making it faster than its competitors in the market. It gives 100X increase in input/output operations as compared to traditional drives.

SiteGround also provides free SSL certificates which provide additional protection to your visitors, making them feel safe about the personal information they enter on your website, which can range from email addresses to credit card numbers.

Their cheapest (basic) plan starts from $3.95 a month. All the plans on SiteGround include free automatic backup for your website, which means you need not to worry about your website data being lost.

SiteGround is ideal for you if you are just starting out and don’t have many prerequisites. As your blog develops, you can further boost your plan and reap more benefits.

3. Start with WordPress!

After doing all the formalities of registering your domain name and buying a hosting plan, it’s time for you to create a blog on WordPress.

WordPress.com and WordPress.org both are distinct with distinct functionalities. You have to install the .org version for your blog.

The major difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is that WordPress.org works on self-hosting websites. After installing WordPress there are a lot of options for you to choose from, which ranges from themes to plugins to make your website look more appealing and attractive.

There are a million plugins to install from, on WordPress. SiteGround also easily installs plugins in just a few easy steps. Usually, no one faces any issues while installing plugins using SiteGround but even if you do then don’t worry, their customer support is excellent in terms of providing assistance in any matter related to their hosting platform.

4. Content is King

If you want some genuine traffic to engage with you can be there for a long period of time, then probably this the area which of utmost priority. No matter how good your photos are, or how beautiful your travel blog looks, if you don’t use the right words to describe your experience, you might not be able to keep your audience interested for long.

The best way to grow is to learn from your competitor. Analyze their content, observe how they start their article and how they are interacting with the audience. Reality is that there are a lot of travel bloggers in this industry but not everyone is up-to-the-mark. You only need to compete with the best ones, leaving the mediocre ones behind.

The other thing you shouldn’t do is ‘making the blog about yourself’. No one wants to know what you did all the time or what you ate, or what those sitting on their desks or couch are not doing.

Make the blog about the place you visited, talk about its culture, how it’s different from other places, what are the exotic must do things there and why should they pay to visit there. You have to eliminate the ‘I’ and consider more about the audience’s experience.

Delivering good content depends on many factors and making it crawl up in the search engine results is all about SEO which stands for Search Engine Optimization.

In order to get your blog in the top search results, your content should be Search Engine Optimized.

To write an SEO friendly article, you need to find keywords and use them throughout the article. So, when someone enters these keywords in the search box, you have higher chances of showing up.

SEO tools like SEMrush and AHref are very useful for searching for profitable keywords. What these tools do is search your profitable keywords, track the keyword strategy used by your competitor and also run an SEO audit for your website, looking for backlinking opportunities and many more feature to provide for.

5. Content Marketing Plan

Now that you have written a good search engine optimized content, what’s next?

Now content marketing is your next step!

What you have written should catch up with the target audience. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest are many among such other platforms where you can promote your blogs. Instagram and Twitter are to keep your followers updated about all your activities.

But many don’t know that Pinterest is one of the underdogs in this segment. Travel bloggers get more traffic from Pinterest than from Instagram or Twitter. 

The platform has visual content on it, so your photos should be of high quality and in vertical format. To be more SEO friendly, use hashtags in your pins and use keywords in the description.

To get more traffic you need to be more and more active and do as many pins as suitable. Using the Pinterest Analytical Tool, you can post at a particular time when there is the most traffic. Also, don’t forget to link all other platforms on your Pinterest blog.

6. Choose an appropriate Affiliate Program

Now it’s time for you to make money from all the hard work you have put in. The best viable option is Affiliate Marketing. There are basically two types of Affiliate Programs: –

  • Pay Per Click (PPC)

This is the most basic type of Affiliate program. The visitor needs to click on the link or banner you have placed on your website and for that, you will be paid. In a nutshell, you have to drive your traffic to the merchant’s website.

  • Pay Per Sale (PPS)

As the name suggests, you will get a fixed commission when one of your visitors purchases a product from your given link to the merchant’s website. The commission, in this case, is usually fixed. My picks as the most profitable Affiliate Marketing programs for travel bloggers are:

  • Booking.com 

This is one of the best Affiliate Marketing programs for travel bloggers out there. It allows you to earn up to 40% of the commission of booking made through your website. You also have the option to customize what type and place of accommodation you want to display on your blog, which is a great feature to have. 

  • TripAdvisor

It is one of the most trusted and largest travel community to date. You can choose from their gallery of text links, banners, and content widgets. You get around 50% commission on the booking amount.

  • Agora

They also have pretty decent affiliate programs, for travel bloggers. The more bookings you get, the higher you get paid. They also have a great support system for you to help you out of any situation.

  • Skyscanner 

This website has affiliate products ranging from Flights to Hotels to Car hire. This affiliate program is easy to implement and a  commission is paid on the rates fixed by the network.

  • Airbnb 

Airbnb is one the most popular platform for travelers out there who want to stay in the comfort of a home. House owners register on the platform and they make the guests live with them, providing them with food and all other necessities. There are two types of affiliate programs for you to display. Guest affiliate program and Host affiliate program. When you select the guest affiliate program, you will get a commission for every booking made through your site. If you qualify for the Host Affiliate program, then you can showcase Airbnb hosting opportunities for your audience and earn a commission for each new host who signs up.

  • Hotels Combined 

If you display the listing from the Hotels Combined website on your blog then you can earn a commission for each booking made. There are several tools on their website to help you with that.

  • Travelpayouts 

The website pays up to 80% of the revenue to you as commission for generating a booking through your website.

Note: Certain websites mentioned above have high requirements in certain cases, you might not be able to qualify for them during your initial phases.

So, that’s it! Now, you are ready to get your journey started as a Travel Blogger and with some consistent efforts and utter dedication, you can achieve new highs in no time

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