Looking to start a travel blog? Yes, this was me a year ago, trying to figure what I wanted to do in life. I always wanted to start a travel blog so WHY not just jump right in.
Before You Start A Blog:
» Figuring out your blog/domain name
So we made a BIG mistake with our blog name the first year and we are paying the price for it. Find a name that people are going to understand or know what to expect when visiting your website.
If you want to promote your blog and get followers – meaning connecting to social media. Make sure your blog name is 15 characters or LESS, or you’re going to be stuck like us trying to figure out creative ways to shorten your username and will probably have to re-brand in a year.
» Find a host website
I registered my domain on Bluehost for $30/year and then installed WordPress to host my website. WordPress has great free themes that you can use if you don’t want to buy a new one.
» Find your niche
What do you want to write about? What type of audience do you want to attract? These are important questions, that I feel we finally have an answer to after a year. For us, we know we want to attract young professionals who love to travel and attend festivals.
» Perfect your About Me page
This is the one page that everyone goes to learn more about you and your story. Tailor the About Me page to the audience you want to attract, but be honest and open.
» Prepare Content
Before you go live with your website, you have to make sure you have posts for people to read. I would advise having at least 5 published posts on your website.
After You’ve Started a Blog:
» Set Goals
Are you blogging to share your story, help others, make money or to promote a business? Goal setting is a necessary part of any action plan. It gives you the ability to decide what you want to achieve, what’s important in your business, understand your limits and enable growth.
If you don’t have written goals, we encourage you to make time to work on short-term and long-term goals. Without having goals, you will never know how far you have come.
As Earl Nightingale said, “People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.”
» Write Great Content
It is easier said than done, especially while being consistent. The main thing is to have fun with your writing and to be yourself, there are a lot of step by step tutorials, guides and how to posts. Find what makes you different and stand out to generate more readers.
» Have a presence on Social Media
Now don’t sign up for every social media platform focus on the ones you know best. Pinterest is a great way to drive people to your blog. I focus on Pinterest and Instagram since I had already had an account set up and I’m always on there anyway.
Remember if you want to turn this into a business, you need to produce high-quality images. This also means no more dark, drunk photos with your friends.
» Find a community
Finding a community on Facebook is a way to connect with other bloggers and Travelers to hear their stories and blog advice. The Facebook group Girls vs. Globe helps connect girls from all over. You’re able to share your content, seek out advice or collaborations if you’re looking for guest writers.
I also recently joined Nomadness Travel Tribe group, which is meant to bring black travelers (men and women) together to share their travel stories and tips. A lot of the members post where they are going or provide guidance on places they have been.
» Setup Your Newsletter
The best way to keep your readers coming back to your website is to send out newsletters. Now! You don’t want to send out newsletters every day and clog up their mailbox, that would make them opt-out in a heartbeat. It is best to send monthly newsletters to update them on what is going on in your world.
Mailchimp is the email marketing platform I use to send our newsletters, it’s free, you’re able to customize your email and sign up form on your website to get subscribers.
» Learn SEO
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It will potential help drive more traffic to your blog by making your posts searchable. I love the Yoast SEO plugin, it has a content analysis tool that helps you make your text easy to read, and the SEO analysis that checks whether your text is SEO-friendly.
Check out the lessons we learned while blogging here.