People start blogs for lots of different reasons, I started a Travel Blog, as I have a passion for traveling, I also love photography and writing, and especially planning trips and researching destinations. So with all those things combined and with encouragement from friends and family, who suggested I should be sharing and documenting all this, I decided to start my own travel blog called Digital Travel Guru, which I launched in 2016.
So why start a travel blog?
- Well did you know you can earn from your blog?
- You can use it to develop your writing skills
- It’s a great hobby
- You can add it to your CV and professional account like LinkedIn
- You can learn and develop a host of skills (such as WordPress, branding, social networking, marketing, earning money online, SEO) and most of it can be self-taught.
- Its fun
- You get to network with lots of other bloggers and visitors to your blog
- You can make new friends
- You may be able to get some free trips/hotel stays and other freebies
- You can make money from various ways associated with your blog such as youtube, writing paid posts, selling your photography, drone footage, videos etc…
- You can have people guest post in your site, which gives you more publicity etc
- You get to officially share all your travel experiences online for others to see
- You can work with brands.
- You could get freelance opportunities
- Plus lots lots more ……
So you now know how blogging will help you and what possible opportunities you may get from blogging…… So let’s head onto the next step.
How do I think of a name?
With millions of blogs o the internet, it can be tricky to think of a name. It personally took me over two months (as at the time I was new to all this and had no clue where and how to start) lol.
I wrote down all the words I liked to represent what I wanted to do, as I cover travel I wanted to keep the name broad, and not narrow it down to any particular travel niche.
So 200 words later I started trying different word combinations together and kept asking people what they thought, I also had to check online that the names were not already being used. You can use namechk.com it will search the web and all the popular social media platforms to see if the name is in use. Eventually, I came up with Digital Travel Guru, and here’s the breakdown of it.
Tip: try and think of something distinctive and something your blog visitors will know what your blog is about.
Digital: Representing the digital world, blogging, online networks, online magazine, social media.
Travel: Representing all things travel related.
Guru: Represents knowledge, experience, and information.
Once your name is confirmed – you can get a logo done, if you choose, too, there are many places on the net for this, it just depends on what your budget is or you could try your graphic design skills out. Just google logo design, and see what comes up, some people have got them done for $10 – up to $500. I initially got a basic one done, then paid a graphic designer to do mine along with the branding for my site.
Here is an article on website branding you may want to take into consideration for your site:
Buying you domain:
Once you have found your perfect name the next step is buying your domain, I would strongly recommend you go self-hosted unless you want to do it purely as a hobby, self-hosted gives you full control of your site, You can buy the .com in may place on the net.
I bought Digital Travel Guru via site-ground, who also host my blog. Basically, a host is where you rent space on the net to put your blog. There are many providers out there but to date, I have not found one as good as site ground and their customer service is fantastic. Many top bloggers recommend using them. I have multiple sites with them and it works amazingly well and to date, I have had no issues.
Site-ground is very cheap and you can check on their site which type of account you want https://www.siteground.co.uk/
Once you have bought your domain, you will also want to sign up to the social media platforms you want to promote your posts on such as Facebook, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, Twitter etc …
You can sign up to as may as you want, the more you do, the more places you have to share your content on.
Below are some links for you to read on the benefits of some of these platforms for bloggers
This is my favorite way to engage with fellow bloggers and for networking.
I run 3 social media groups one for all types of bloggers and two for travel bloggers, check out my links at the bottom of this post and feel free to join, we would love to have you there and to see your blog.
There are literally thousands of Facebook groups for bloggers for nearly anything you can think of and that equals a lot of resources and people for you to learn from and great places to ask your questions.
Another benefit from groups is for bloggers to get more engagement, a lot of groups allow you to directly share from your social media sites to get comments, follows etc, some groups run threads where on different days there are different engagement opportunities. You also get to meet lots of other bloggers, which is a real plus. I have got such a great network from some of these groups and made some fabulous friends.
Here is a post about the benefits of Facebook groups:
You can even start a group for your blog, as groups tend to get more engagement sometimes than Facebook fan pages, I have both so all aspects are covered, and both have different options so I would recommend you build both up.
I am focusing one WordPress, as the majority of bloggers that are self-hosted use WordPress and it is the most popular platform.
Once you have your WordPress login details, log in to WordPress.
You will need to follow the guides below on setting up and starting.
First thing is to find a theme, you like, there are hundreds of themes on WordPress you can get for free and also paid ones.
You can also find lots of other guides on the internet and youtube videos on how to start using WordPress.
The way I learned WordPress was checking different features reading up on plugins and widgets etc…. If your really unsure some people get someone to set up everything for them (this will cost you money depending on how you want your site to look and what features you want to have). However you can do it yourself but it takes times and patience, but it’s also a great way to learn.
Once you have set up your WordPress, be sure to add your contact section one the site, set you to subscribe box for visitors, and add your social network links such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc …. Also, social shares on your page, so visitors can share page content easily.
Here is are some posts on the best plugins and widgets to get for your WordPress:
Also, you may want to become familiar with certain terms used in the blogging world and for websites: you can find a glossary below: Each term may require some additional reading and practice, such as SEO for example.
Publishing Posts & Content:
Congratulations if you have got to this step, this is where the funs starts. You are now ready to publish your first post yaaaaay!!!
Prior to launching your blog, it is a good idea (but not essential) that you have 8-10 posts to upload to your blog site as soon as your site is live. Why? Because think of this, if someone goes on to your site after if you have just launched you want then stay around your page, also subscribe to your page. If there is only one post, they could leave quickly. So it’s always a good idea to have some content on your page to keep visitors on your site and interested.
In terms of what content to post, the options are endless, from photo to videos, you can add all to your site, as well as your written posts of course. I have kept my site flexible to add lots of different content such as featured bloggers, travel resources, videos, photos, and different pages for different countries. In WordPress you can add as many different categories to the menu as you want and edit your site to have lots of options to feature all your content.
If you are looking for blogs topics to motivate you, check some of these links below:
Look out for my post on how to earn money from Travel Blogging coming soon …
Hope you enjoyed reading this post and I would like to wish you all the best in starting your blog. Look forward to seeing all your blogs soon.
Good Luck and remember things take time and patience, keep going you will get there bit by bit, and remember there is a lot of help out there.
If your interested in guest posting or having your blog featured on my site please contact me on:
Here are my social media links you can see more form my Travel Blog Site:
Here are my Facebooks Groups: