Do you want to learn how to start a travel blog and make money from it in 2021? Curious to know how you can make your travel blog successful? You’re in the right place.
Travel blogging is just not a hobby as you can make thousands of dollars every month from it.
Travel blogging is growing rapidly. There’s too much competition out there.
Although there are a ton of articles published online on starting a travel blog but if you follow this guide, we guarantee you’ll succeed in the travel blogging industry.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the details.
Table of Contents
- How to Start a Travel Blog in 5 Simple Steps
- Top 8 Essential Plugins Every Travel Blog Should Have
- 5 Things to Know Before You Start a Travel Blog
- FAQs on Starting a Travel Blog in 2021
- Final Thoughts
How to Start a Travel Blog in 5 Simple Steps
Step 1: Pick a Niche [Use Google Trends!]
Travel blogging is extremely saturated.
You need to micro-niche for travel blogging if you want to succeed.
Here are TEN most profitable sub-niche ideas for travel blogging.
- Budget travel: You can cover how to travel on a budget without spending a lot of money. People love a frugal lifestyle. If you can teach them how to travel cheaply, people will thank you!
- Worldwide travel: Have any plans to travel around the world? Then, you can definitely consider creating a travel blog around it. You can cover everything from itinerary to travel hacks to accommodation to top attractions.
- Traveling gear: If you’re someone who loves to review products, you can try this niche where you can find traveling gear on sites like Amazon and create useful reviews around them.
- Make money with travel blogging: If you’re a digital nomad, this is an excellent choice as you can share how you earn money while traveling. You can share experiences on making money from freelancing, coding, affiliate marketing, etc.
- Solo travel: Planning a solo trip can be tricky and first-time solo travelers research a lot and read everything they find on the internet. So it’s always a smart idea to start a blog around solo travel sharing tips and tricks on how to do it like a pro.
- Female travel: Female traveling is growing rapidly as there are many female travel bloggers (and vloggers) who are traveling around the world. If you’re a female or someone who likes to share travel tips for females, this niche is a great choice.
- Travel photography: Traveling photographers make a lot of money. As a travel blogger, you can sell your photos online on platforms like Adobe Stock, Shutterstock, Alamy, Etsy, or even on your travel website.
- Adventure Travel: Adventure travel is a niche that involves exploration with a certain degree of risk. If you’re an adventure freak, you can travel around the world covering forests, deserts, mountains, and the list goes on.
- Luxury travel: If you’ve sponsors or enough budget, luxury travel is a great niche. You can share everything from your luxury hotel experience to flights, shopping, traveling, and more.
- Motovlogging travel: A moto vlog is a type of vlogging recorded by a person while riding a motorcycle. People love to watch moto vlogs. You can use both your YouTube channel and travel blog to share your videos online. You can also do moto vlogs in your regional language to attract specific audiences.
Here’s a quick tip for you: use Google Trends to find the popularity of the niche you want to consider.
Here’s an example of comparing female travel vs luxury travel on Google Trends.
As you can see above, people have MORE interest over time in “luxury travel” than “female travel”.
Similarly, you can try finding the popularity of any niche idea you want to consider. Google Trends is free to use and a great tool for finding the popularity of any niche!
Step 2: Choose a Domain [3 Quick Tips]
Coming up with a great domain name idea is always hard. It takes a lot of time for beginners.
Don’t worry, we’ll show you how to find great domains within a few minutes. Here are some easy yet effective ways to come up with a memorable domain name for your travel blog.
1. Use your name: The simplest way to come up with a short yet memorable domain name for your travel blog is to include your name as a suffix or prefix.
Examples include (replace Anil with your name);
- Anil Travel Diaries
- Anil Travelogue
- Travel with Anil
- and the list goes on
2. Use domain search tools: There are a ton of free tools available online that can help you come up with great domain name ideas.
For instance, we used Lean Domain Search to give you an example. Just enter any keyword and it will instantly give you a list of all the domain name ideas.
Have a look;
You can also use these blog name generators for free to find a ton of ideas for your travel blog.
3. Be creative and create your own version: We now Google everything to find information online, right? Google became a synonym for “search”.
But what’s the meaning of Google? No one knows. They coined their own term and it’s pretty simple, easy to type, and easy to remember. You can also brainstorm such domain ideas to make them easy to remember.
Here are some examples of such domains.
- And the list goes on
Step 3: Buy Web Hosting [Exclusive Deal for You!]
Once you’re done with domain research, it’s time to buy web hosting.
Choosing reliable web hosting can be tricky as there are hundreds of web hosts out there.
We’ve used a ton of web hosts and if you’re a beginner, we recommend you to check out Bluehost.
It’s officially recommended by WordPress itself, and over 2 million sites are hosted on Bluehost hosting servers.
The best part is, you get a free domain when you buy web hosting from Bluehost.
Here’s how you can get Bluehost hosting for only $2.95/mo (instead of the regular $7.99/mo price!).
Visit this special link to visit Bluehost’s homepage where you’ll see our co-branded page where you’ll get a special discount.
As you can see above, you’ll see an exclusive offer for BloggersPassion fans where you can grab their hosting plans starting at only $2.95/mo
Click on the Get Started Now button to continue to their shared hosting packages which look like this;
If you want to host only 1 website, you can go with their Basic plan which costs you $2.95/mo.
But if you want to host multiple sites, you can go for their Plus or Choice plus plans as they both cost you $5.45/mo.
Quick note: We recommend you to go with their Choice Plus plan as it costs you $5.45/mo but gives you a ton of extra hosting features.
In the next step, you’ll be asked to set up a domain name. As already mentioned above, Bluehost provides a free domain for 1 year.
You can either register a new domain for free or enter your existing domain or skip this step to continue later (you can always set up your domain later and you’ll receive a FREE domain credit so you don’t need to worry!).
In the final step, you’ll be asked to create your account with Bluehost.
You can also use Google Single Sign-On to make creating your Bluehost account even easier with one click.
Once you’ve done signing up with the Bluehost account, you will see a confirmation message which looks like this;
Then, you can use the Bluehost 1-click install option to quickly install WordPress on your Bluehost hosting account.
If you’ve any questions or need any assistance, you can mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be glad to help you along the way.
Step 4: Choose a Premium Theme
Your website design is extremely important. It’s the first thing people will see when they land on your site.
Don’t use free themes. Avoid them. They don’t offer support, enough customizations, and most are NOT search engine optimized.
Invest a few bucks in getting a premium theme for your travel blog.
A good premium theme gives you the flexibility to customize your travel blog’s design however you want. Most of the premium WordPress themes are SEO-friendly and mobile responsive.
So which premium theme is better?
Although there is a wide range of premium themes available for travel blogs but we recommend the following two premium theme options.
- Elementor Pro
Let’s briefly talk about both of them now.
GeneratePress is a responsive and easy to use WordPress theme for bloggers. It’s also available for free but we recommend you to check out their premium theme as it comes with all the incredible features.
GeneratePress premium plan starts at just $59 per year and gives you access to the following features.
- All premium modules & features
- Full access to the Site Library
- 1 year of updates
- 1 year of premium support
- Use on up to 500 websites
- 30-day money-back guarantee
2. Elementor Pro
Elementor is a popular page builder plugin for WordPress that is used by over 5 million users worldwide. It also has a free version.
You can use Elementor to customize your travel blog however you want. You can also create landing pages, customize your 404 error pages, design your header, footer, and so on.
Here are some of the features of Elementor Pro.
- Drag and drop builder
- Access to Over 300 Pro Templates
- Access to Theme Builder
- Create signup forms easily
- Create everything from landing pages to a blog to an online store
You can also read our in-depth Elementor Pro review to find more details about this amazing page builder plugin.
Step 5: Start Creating Content
Once you’re done with setting up your blog and installing a premium theme – it’s time for you to start creating new content.
You can create the first blog post on many topics or you can simply use it to introduce yourself and what topics you’re going to cover on your blog (and how it’s going to be useful to your audience).
Here are some quick tips to create great content for your travel blog that gets you results.
Optimize for long-tail keywords: Make sure to use long-tail keywords to get more search traffic to your site. A long-tail keyword is a keyword that contains 3 or more words.
For instance, “how to start a travel blog for free” is a long-tail keyword that contains 8 words.
You can get better rankings by targeting such long-tail keywords instead of short-tail keywords like “travel blog”.
Are you getting it? Long-tail keywords attract a highly specific audience, and they are easier to rank no matter what niche you are in. You can use tools like Semrush to easily find profitable long-tail keywords.
Always focus on quality: Publish only quality and informative blog posts. Publishing 1 HIGH-quality article is better than posting 5 mediocre blog posts. Try to publish 2000+ word articles as they tend to rank well in Google and also attract lots of social shares.
Be consistent: Pick a blog posting schedule. Use an editorial calendar. Even if you’re posting thrice a month, stick to that schedule as consistency matters a lot.
Top 8 Essential Plugins Every Travel Blog Should Have
The best part about using WordPress, you’ll have access to literally thousands of useful plugins.
Most of them are free while some of them cost you a few bucks. We handpicked some of the essential plugins that you can install on your travel blog to make it a success.
1. Rank Math: If you’re running a travel blog and looking to grow your search traffic, you must install the Rank Math SEO plugin. It’s a WordPress optimization plugin that helps you optimize your blog posts for specific keywords.
It also has a free version which comes equipped with a lot of features but if you need even more incredible features, you can go for their premium plans. You can also check out our Rank Math plugin review to find more details about this plugin and all the features it offers.
2. WP Rocket: Website speed is one of the most important factors that contribute to your website success. If you’re looking to speed up your page loading times, get a premium caching plugin like WP Rocket.
It’s the same plugin we use at BloggersPassion and it works like a charm. You can also read our detailed review of WP Rocket to learn more about this premium caching plugin.
3. Wordfence Security: Security your travel blog is extremely important as there are thousands of WordPress sites that get hacked every day. Although using a secure web host like Bluehost can be useful but you should also consider using plugins like Wordfence security.
It offers a firewall that identifies and blocks malicious traffic. Also, it comes equipped with a real-time IP blocklist that blocks all requests from the most malicious IPs, protecting your website while reducing server load. It’s also FREE to use.
4. UpdraftPlus: You need to regularly take a backup of your site so, in case of accidental data loss, you can restore all your files. Here’s where the UpdraftPlus plugin comes into play.
With this plugin, you can take a full backup of your files and database backups into the cloud and restore them with one click. It’s free to use.
5. Google Analytics Dashboard Plugin: Monitoring your site’s traffic is important as you should know what your top posts are and how you’re generating traffic to your site. Although you can use Google Analytics to monitor your traffic but you can install this handy plugin to see all your stats from the dashboard.
It offers an easy setup of Google Analytics for WordPress with just a few clicks that provide real-time stats inside your Google Analytics dashboard. It’s free to install.
6. Akismet Anti-Spam: Akismet is one of the most used plugins in WordPress history with over 5 million active downloads.
This free WordPress plugin automatically checks all comments and filters out the spam comments so you can prevent spammers from reaching your site with unwanted links.
7. Editorial Calendar: Consistency is extremely important to succeed in blogging. As a travel blogger, you might not get time to publish content frequently. Here’s where having an editorial calendar helps to batch your posts or drafts in advance.
This WordPress plugin gives you an overview of your blog and when each post will be published. You can easily drag and drop to move your blog to manage your entire blog posting schedule.
8. Smush: If you’re running a travel blog, you might be using a lot of images within your blog. So it’s a better idea to install a free plugin like Smush which shrinks your image size to improve your page loading times.
You can also shrink the size of your images in bulk. This plugin also offers “Lossless Compression” which means it compresses images without affecting image quality.
5 Things to Know Before You Start a Travel Blog
If you want to build a successful travel blog from scratch, here are the FIVE most important things you MUST know.
1. Collect emails from day one
If you’re running a travel blog and looking to make money from it, build an email list from day one.
An email list is the #1 reason why most travel bloggers make thousands of dollars each month.
Here are some amazing email marketing stats that you should pay attention to.
- According to Statista, there are 3.9 billion daily email users. This number is expected to climb to 4.3 billion by 2023.
- According to Campaign Monitor, marketers who used segmented campaigns noted as much as a 760% increase in revenue.
- According to HubSpot, 78% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement over the last 12 months.
So if you’re looking to build a successful travel blog from scratch, don’t ignore email marketing.
You can check out our FREE blogging courses section to see how we offer free courses to collect emails.
Similarly, you can also offer freebies such as newsletters, eBooks, free guides, checklists, etc to quickly grow your email subscribers as most people like “free stuff”.
2. Get access to the right blogging tools
You need to get access to the right tools to succeed in travel blogging.
Although there are a ton of tools available out there but we’ll share with you just two ESSENTIAL tools you can use to grow your search traffic and subscribers.
We’ve been using Semrush for more than 5 years now. We also generated more than $300,000 in affiliate commissions using their affiliate program. It’s also the same SEO toolkit used by over 6 million people worldwide.
So what’s special about Semrush? Why should you use it?
Semrush gives you access to over 45 SEO tools under one roof. You will get access to many tools including;
- Keyword research
- Domain analysis
- Organic research
- Brand monitoring
- Site audits
- Backlink research
- Social media analysis
- Keyword rank tracking
- And the list goes on
Want to try Semrush for free?
Grab your 30-day FREE Semrush Pro account (worth $119.95)
ConvertKit is the #1 choice for thousands of bloggers to build and grow their email lists. It offers so many features to make list building easier.
The best part about using ConvertKit is that it also offers a FREE Plan that allows you to build up to 1000 subscribers for free.
ConvertKit premium plans provide you the following features.
- Unlimited landing pages & forms
- Send email broadcasts
- Sell digital products & subscriptions
- Free migration from another tool
- Automated funnels & sequences
- Facebook custom audiences
- Newsletter referral system
So what are you waiting for?
3. Understand basic SEO
If you want to run a successful travel blog, you need traffic. It’s a smart idea to focus on attracting more traffic from search engines like Google. Why? Search traffic sends you high-quality visitors for FREE.
So you need to learn and understand basic SEO to get better results. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of improving the visibility of your website pages in search results.
You can improve your organic visibility by focusing on the following things.
- Keyword research
- Link building
- Creating useful content
- Improving your website page loading times
- Improving your website’s user experience
- Technical SEO (such as fixing your site’s issues)
Although you don’t have to master all the above-mentioned things but you need to have a basic understanding of those things.
That being said, if you’re a complete beginner to SEO, we highly recommend you to check our newly launched premium eBook SEO Playbook.
It teaches you how to generate 1000 visitors/day from Google even if you’re a beginner.
Here’s what you’ll learn in this eBook:
- How to create an SEO friendly design that ranks well
- How to create content that Google loves
- How to get 1000 visitors/day from Google
- Attract quality backlinks to your site
So make sure to check it out if you want to grow your search traffic as a beginner.
4. Learn how to monetize before you even start
You will not have the motivation to work on your blog if it’s not making any money. It’s a smart idea to find out how you’re going to make money from your travel blog even before you launch it.
The best way to monetize your travel blog is to use passive income streams such as selling your own products and affiliate marketing.
Did you know that we made more than $300,000 selling just one affiliate product?
If done right, you can also make such an amount of money from travel blogs. You just need to focus on the right monetization strategies.
You can also find and analyze other travel blogs in your niche to see how they are monetizing their sites. Few travel bloggers also share income reports in their blogs so make sure to follow and analyze those earning reports.
5. Learn how to promote your travel blog
Website traffic is the currency online. How are you going to make money with your travel blog without getting any traffic?
That’s why blog promotion is extremely important. Even before you start your travel blog, learn how to promote it so that it reaches more audiences worldwide.
Here are some of the proven ways to promote your travel blog to get more traffic in 2021.
Analyze your competitors: You can use tools like Semrush to quickly find the top-performing content in your niche.
Just enter any of your competitors and Semrush will show you all the keywords that are bringing them more traffic.
Let’s take an example of the NomadicMatt website and once you enter the domain, you’ll see a list of all the top organic keywords of that domain.
Have a look;
You can simply pick some of those keywords (if they are relevant to your niche) and create great content around those keywords to generate more traffic to your travel blog.
Write on Quora: Quora is the #1 question and answer platform where millions of people ask questions to get answers. You can pick a few topics and write helpful answers on Quora. You can then link to the relevant content on your blog to drive traffic from Quora.
Write guest posts: Guest posting is the best way to promote your travel blog. You can build quality links and attract relevant traffic to your sites. Here’s a huge list of free guest posting sites you can use to write guest posts and get quality links and traffic to your site.
FAQs on Starting a Travel Blog in 2021
Here are some of the frequently asked questions around starting a travel blog and making it successful in 2021 and beyond.
Once established, you can earn $2000 to $10,000 a month from a travel blog. Many travel bloggers depend upon income sources such as freelancing, affiliate marketing, selling their own products, AdSense and sponsorships.
Yes, you can. There are a lot of bloggers who run travel blogs without actually traveling. You can consider starting a travel blog to share travel blogging tips, how to get cheap flights, travel vlogging gear, and more.
WordPress.org is the best blogging platform to start a travel blog. WordPress gives you full control over your site, it’s better optimized for search engines, gives access to a ton of plugins and themes to run your travel blog effortlessly.
The best way to make money as a travel blogger is to build passive income sources such as selling affiliate products, selling your own products including eBooks, courses, etc.
If you’re just getting started, you can quickly make money by offering freelancing services such as writing, web design, etc.
Building a money-making travel blog from scratch takes time. You should be prepared for the long-term game. Don’t expect quick results and be consistent.
Make sure to focus on building your audience from day one. Also, try to diversify your income sources.
So what are your thoughts? Did you like our in-depth guide on how to start a travel blog? Do you have any questions? Let us know in the comments.