Most people love to travel or go on holiday. Many of these travellers and holidaymakers are able to showcase their travels and their holiday pictures to the world through their blogs. They are able to publish their itineraries, their photos, videos, travel tips and so on for the world to see. Some are able to make money from it and some are even able to fund their travels from the money they earn.
Unfortunately, many are not able to start their own travel site let alone make money from it. This is because they don’t know how to do so. Starting a travel blog can be quite an intimidating task. There are so many technical things to think about such as buying a domain name, choosing web hosting, setting up domain name servers, setting up content management systems and finally publishing content. The technical aspects are the most difficult part of starting a travel blog. In fact, I found the technical aspects quite difficult. But when I got the hang of it, I realised that all these things are not hard at all.
How to start a travel blog
In order to start a travel blog, one needs a domain name, web hosting, content management system, social media presence and ability to write compelling content on a frequent basis. Although, one can start a travel blog free from the numerous free blogging services such as Blogger.com and WordPress.com or Tumblr but, none of these sites are owned by the blogger and ultimately remains the property of the blog-publishing service providers. Nonetheless, Blogger which is owned by Google still remains a very popular blogging system and allows one to use a custom domain name and get rid of the extension blogpost.com. This facility makes Blogger a very attractive system for starting a travel blog or in fact any blog. Take a look at this particular blog of mine which is also using Blogger. All I have is a domain name and you can see it’s a fully fledged blog with no hosting. Great thing is that I don’t have to worry about hosting or running out of bandwidth.
Both Blogger and WordPress allows one to create free blogs with their extensions blogspot.com and wordpress.com respectively but at same time, they allow bloggers to buy and redirect their free blogs to custom domain names.
However, if one is serious about travel blogging, they must be prepared to use a system that allows them to control all aspects of their blog. WordPress.org which is a free and open source blogging system is one of the most powerful and widely used blogging platforms today. They allow a blogger to customise every aspect of their blog. Most if not all of the popular travel blogs are hosted on this platform including this one.
In order to start a travel blog with WordPress, one will need to buy a domain name which can be bought from Namecheap, Godaddy and various numerous registrars out there. Webhosting with cpanel is then required so that WordPress can be installed on the server quickly in a few easy clicks. Some of the most popular webhosting for WordPress include Hostgator, Bluehost, Godaddy and Dreamhost. My hosting is hosted on a dedicated hosting from Hostgator. I have outgrown my shared hosting facilities and this blog now requires dedicated hosting.
After WordPress is set up using cpanel, the travel blogger can now start publishing their travel posts and showcasing their travels to the word. However, it does not end there. There is really no point publishing anything, if no one’s going to see it. In order to be successful as a travel blogger, there are many things to take into account. For instance, the blogger will need to have a strong social media presence and use it effectively in order to get traffic. Social media has the ability to drive large number of eye balls to the blog. If used properly, it can be fetch huge numbers of visitors.
The traffic to the blog is what matters and this is what a blogger will need to have to make money from their travel blog. This is where most bloggers fail. Now that more and more emphasis is given to blogs that are rich in content either in the form of written content, pictures, videos, infographics etc; it’s important to write good attractive content that has the ability to go viral on social media. Sharing on social media particularly Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn is becoming more and more important. It also appears that Google and many of the other search engines are taking a note of those blogs that have a large number of shares (although this is currently denied by Matt Cutts – the head of web spam team at Google). You can check his blog here and keep an eye on his posts. He’s probably one of the most important person in the search engine world to be following.
How to make money from a travel blog
There are many ways to make money from a travel blog. This includes the use of contextual advertisements such as Adsense, Infolinks, Chitika, Yahoo Bing Network, Kontera and so on. But it’s very hard to make money from these as the blog needs huge traffic to convert into something substantial. For most bloggers, they make pennies and nothing more than a few dollars a month.
Other ways include; direct link selling, affiliate marketing such as from products chosen from Amazon, Clickbank or travel affiliate programmes. Most major hotel and ticket sellers have affiliate programmes. But to be frank they are not really money makers. Most visitors to a travel blog are not coming to the blog to buy travel tickets or book hotels. In fact, they are coming for information and when they come, they read and they go. So what do you do?
Another method is through guest posting. Many bloggers including travel bloggers publish guest posts written by their blogger friends or followers. Some only publish paid guest posts if you give them money. This is an open secret that money is being asked for publishing guest posts. This means that a blogger pays another blogger for featuring their article. Some are charging as much as $500 a post.
Another way to make money from a travel blog is offering writing services. More and more travel companies, individual bloggers and content creators now require content. A good travel blogger can offer their writing services and make decent amount of money by just setting up a sales page on their travel blog. I have my own page set up and offer various services and get contacted every now and then.
Offering advertising space is another great way to make money from a travel blog. Many companies are looking for advertising spaces on travel blogs. Most of these spaces include in the sidebar or sometimes even in the blog post itself. In fact, the sidebar is like real estate, you can rent it out, put your own products on it, affiliate links and so on – the potential is endless.
Many companies are now offering money or even freebies to travel bloggers to blog about their products. This allows the blogger to test products and then write about it.
Do you want to start a travel blog – I can help
Do you want to start your own travel blog? Have you ever wondered how some are able to start their own travel blog and show case their travels or their country to the world and make money from it? But you don’t have the necessary technical expertise for setting up your own blog let alone make money from it.
My new book on starting your own travel blog is now available on Amazon. The book is called “How to start your travel blog and make money”. It walks you through the various steps from setting up your own travel blog and generate revenue from it. The book will walk you through the entire step from the very start from registering a domain name to setting up WordPress or Blogger, the two main blogging platforms. There’s an extensive chapter on the use of social media and how to get traffic from it.
You have everything in this book to be successful…
It’s the entire blueprint for you to follow, I have hidden nothing. The topics that have been covered in this book are given below. In fact, these are the very topics that I had difficulty in and most bloggers actually face.
The first half of the book is about setting up the travel blog and the second half consists of topics on creating content and what a travel blogger must do in order to make their blog visible and get traffic. The final chapter is about how to make money from the travel blog. Some bloggers just rely on the same old crap contextual advertising as mentioned above and then after a while get fed up and ultimately give up. I have a great list of all the techniques that I use to make money from my travel blog and you could be doing the same.
The topics covered in my book include
Introduction to travel blogging and how to start it
Why everyone should have a travel blog
Things needed to start a travel blog
Registering a domain name
Setting up custom domain with Blogger
How to set up hosting
How to set up WordPress using cpanel
Changing WordPress theme
Installing WordPress plugins
Creating travel content
How to create posts
Search Engine Optimisation for your travel site
Off page SEO
Track your website traffic
Things to do after publishing your post
How to promote your travel blog using social media
Commenting for traffic
Travel sites to join
How to make money from your travel blog
Message from the author
The book “How to start your travel blog and make money” is available on all Amazon stores.