How to start a travel blog
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Have you ever thought you would like to start your own Travel Blog? If the answer is yes, then quite often the next question is how do you start a blog? I have been asked that question many times so I am going to show you step by step how to start a travel blog.
Blogging is a great way to share a journal of your travels with your friends and the wider world. Although it may sound daunting for anyone starting out without any technical knowledge on how to begin, it doesn’t have to be. If you follow these steps you can have your very own blog up and running today.
Setting up a Travel Blog
We started Frequent Traveller three years ago and it has grown into a site that not only lets us share our world travel experiences, but also provides us with funds to help offset the cost of travelling. It also has the added benefit of allowing us to interact with other like minded travellers to share travel stories, tips, and recommendations. If you have been thinking about starting now is time to do it.
Best Way to Start a Blog
Some people think starting their own travel blog is expensive, time consuming, and complicated. They often say to me why not just use the free blogger platforms? My answer is that it’s not complicated, and that anyone can start a blog. Having your own blog hosted on your own platform gives you greater control over the look and feel of the site as you are not bound by the restrictions imposed by a free blog site.
Also many people that start with a free blog platform soon realise they can’t do what they want with the look and feel of the site so then must go through the process of changing over to self-hosted. It’s best to do it right the first time and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Just follow my guide here to be up and running with your own self hosted website today. It’s that easy.
The 4 easy steps needed to start your own travel blog
Pick a name for your travel blog
Purchase the name for your travel blog (Domain Name)
Pick a hosting company for your travel blog
Set up your travel blog
Step 1: Pick a name
First up you will to need a name for your blog, which is commonly referred to as the domain name. This is the name typed into the address bar of your internet browser to find your blog. It’s the easiest step and very important.
Domain names need to be purchased from a reseller. When thinking of a name for your blog try to pick a name that is at least easy to remember. Try to avoid names with hyphens, or misspelt names, as they are harder to remember and prone to typing errors. Shorter names are better but bear in mind most of the obvious names will already be taken so think of something creative that says ‘You’.
The most popular domain names end in .com or .net (e.g. www.myblog.com or www.myblog.net ) they are cheap to register and can be purchased by anyone. Others like the country specific domain names such as .com.au for Australian domains are generally more expensive, and come with restrictions such as needing an Australian Business Number. My advice for anyone starting out is to stick with .com or .net
To check if the name you want to use is available click here Don’t worry if the first name you try isn’t available just pick from the alternative recommendations displayed or try different combinations until you find a name you’re comfortable with.
Step 2: Purchase the name
Now that you have found the name you want and checked that it’s available to register, you need to purchase the name. To do this you can either purchase it from a reseller such as namecheap or one of the many other domain registrars.
For the purpose of this guide I am suggesting a company called SiteGround which is who I use for frequenttraveller.com.au They offer excellent after-sales support, and the few times I have had to contact them for assistance they responded fast and were extremely helpful. Our reputation is extremely important to us so I would not recommend them if I didn’t genuinely believe they were one of the best hosting companies in the business.
As a bonus if you also use them to host your website they offer free domain name registration. If you decide to use SiteGround the domain name will be purchased with the hosting so you can skip straight to step 3.
No problem! If you choose a company that doesn’t offer a free domain name you just need to purchase it yourself then redirect the name to the company hosting your site. This is not complicated but involves one additional step.
To find your website on the Internet you need to set what is called a DNS setting against your domain name to direct it to where your website is located on the Internet. Without getting too technical in its basic form it’s merely a way of telling the domain name where to go when someone types the address into the browser.
The term used for this is the DNS setting and once you have registered the domain name and purchased hosting (which we cover in step 3) your hosting provider will direct you to log into the DNS setting of your domain name account and type in an address that is provided by your web host. The address will be something like ns1.yourhost.com or 246.246.80.125 This is an example of what it looks like.
If you haven’t already done so, and prefer to register your name through the reseller of your choice go ahead now and purchase the name.
Step 3: Pick a hosting company (with free domain name)
Now it’s time to set-up the website hosting. This is the company that will host your website on the internet. Again, there are many to choose from for example BlueHost which is very popular, or SiteGround which is who I use.
As you are just starting I would recommend you choose the cheaper plan at $3.95 per month. Once your website grows you can easily upgrade to a bigger plan but for now the cheapest plan will be sufficient so go ahead now and purchase the hosting. Click here and choose the Start Up plan. During the sign up, you will be asked to choose an existing domain name (if you have already purchased the name) or register a free domain name for your travel blog.
Step 4: Set up your travel blog
Now that you have purchased the domain name and decided on the hosting company, it’s time to tie it all together and get the new website site up and running. This is the fun part! If you purchased hosting through SiteGround it’s very easy and you are now ready to install your website.
For our Website we are going to install a program called WordPress. Although there are alternatives, WordPress is by far the most popular blogging platform and it’s estimated that over 20% of all websites on the Internet use it, including most of the best travel blogs. WordPress is fast, free and very easy to use, and it’s what FrequentTraveller.com.au is built on.
To do this first log into your hosting account and click on my accounts, then go to cPanel. From here you want to go to the WordPress tools section and click on WordPress Installer. The screenshot below is from SiteGround but other Web Hosts will look very similar.
Once selected click Install, then when prompted type in the name of your blog and follow the prompts to complete the install.
You will be asked for a password for your new site and an email address. Once installed you will receive an email with the logon details for the WordPress logon of your new travel blog. The whole process is very easy and the wizard will walk you through the complete install.
That’s it the hard and boring stuff is over and your new travel blog is now ready to go! You can now log into WordPress with the username and password you provided during the install.
The first thing you will want to do now is install a theme (template) for your new site and make it look the way you want. There are literally thousands of different styles and customisations you can make to your new website to give it your very own personal touch, and I suggest that you jump in and install a few different themes until you find one that you like. WordPress is very versatile and if you want to change the look and feel of your site it’s a very easy process changing how the site looks.
For an in-depth tutorial on customising WordPress including installing themes and getting started click here
Now it’s up to you to fill your new travel site with great content and pictures of your travel. Good luck and happy blogging.
I hope our guide on how to start a travel blog has been helpful. Please leave a comment if you have any questions and I’ll be happy to help.
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