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Start A Travel Blog: The Must-Do’s and Need-To-Know’s

I’m on a mission.  I am dedicated to answering all of my emails, Facebook message, Twitter tweets, and Insta comments with awesome articles that I’ve already published for detailed, accessible information.  How to start a travel blog you ask?  Well first and foremost, let’s not re-invent the wheel.  Check out a few of these titles to see if your answer can be found in a different blog post:

How To Plan An Epic Backpacking Trip
Save Money While Traveling
Top Gear: A Travel Blog Starting Kit
How To Travel The World While Working Freelance

Or if you’re just looking for a more general story or guideline about how I got started in the business and how I’ve become successful try: How I Got Started: The Challenges of Living Abroad & How To Overcome Them.

If you’re looking for more technical information then this is the right article to read! As a blogger, I’m always hunting around the internet for ways to improve my user experience and general blog layout.  I’d like to describe my style as classic, yet sassy. Feminine with a few badass elements to it.  Long time readers know that I enjoy dropping a F bomb here and there, but I also enjoy discussing financial tech and nutrition over tea and coffee.  Whatever you style is, own it, find your niche, and kick some serious ass.

1. Choose a name

And don’t make it your own name. That’s boring and it’s too hard for users to remember or spell on social media platforms.  Your name should symbolize who you are as a person, express your interests, and hint to what your blog will be covering.  While your blog and writing will improve with time, your name will stick with you forever (because the Internet) so put some serious thought into it before you buy the domain name.

2. Buy the domain name & domain privacy protection with Bluehost

A few years ago, I got TOTALLY screwed by WordPress and my original domain, wanderonwards.com, was taking hostage by a blitzkrieg by Wild West Domains.  Now it’s being held hostage for 3000 USD and not a damn person will answer ANY of my emails. Don’t risk going viral and then LOOSING your domain name because life is full of disappointments and then you die.  I don’t have any experience with GoDaddy or any other domain name registration so that’s why I’m recommending my current service provider, Bluehost.

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3. Start writing.

Like seriously. Just write about anything.  Do what ever you have to do to get content onto your website so people will have something to do when they swing by.  I would suggest posting 2-3 times a week if you’re a one-man team and if you have the luxury of having multiple writers, crank it up to one per day.  Don’t think too much about “creating perfect content” as everyone has their own journey when it comes to blogging and readers will appreciate being able to jump back in time to your older posts to see how normal you were before you “made it big.”  Just take The Blonde Salad for example.  Chiara Fernanananaiii (or however you spell it) is the highest paid blogger in the world right now.  While her blog is a full-fledge company now, if you flip back to her content from 2009, you’ll see that she’s come along way. Awkward poses. Weird spray tans.  The girl has done WORK since 2009 and she rolled in 8 million dollars in 2014.  I’ll probably buy her shoes at some point, if I’m being really honest.

4. Social Media.

Don’t get in your own way. Set up all the necessary social media platforms for you to be discovered and I would recommend only posting as frequently as you create high quality content. If that means 2-3 times a week, that’s fine.  If that means everyday, good luck.  Don’t be afraid to interact with cool people and block weirdos.

5. Marketing

Collaboration is the easiest way to grow your brand.  Travel with other bloggers and tag each other in social media, ask companies to share their piece you did about their product, or even ask your mom to share it on her Facebook! (Like mine does haha).

You can also encourage people to share your articles with friends and followers indirectly by increasing your “shareability.”  Shareability is an element that encourages people to share content subconsciously. If you write about “12 Places You And Your Best Friend Should Go In 2015,” you’ve already mentally prepared your viewers to consider who they’d take on this adventure and they’re more likely to share it with their intended partner in crime.

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Don’t underestimate the power of SEO either! Be sure to avoid gimmicky titles unless you’re confident that it’s captivating enough to draw in users on it’s own.  Take for example: 23 Things To Do Instead Of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23.  This article went SUPER viral with over 5.2 million hits in 2 days with the help of JUST the title.  Unfortunately the original article is currently held hostage at wanderonwards.com so the SEO isn’t as helpful for my .org domain, but you live and you learn.  Have titles and SEO rich content reflect the way people normally GOOGLE things like “Americans moving to England” or “Cost of Coachella.”

6. Branding and Visuals

I buy all my themes and plugins from Envato Market.  Of course you can build a website without spending a dime, but the reality is, you have to invest money to make money, ya dig? The visuals and capabilities of a free theme and plugins are no where near the quality of a purchased product and users can tell if you invested in your website or not. I try to brand and design like Fashion bloggers because they are the highest paid bloggers for a reason.  Learn from people who you aspire to be and you’ll save a ton of time.  Also, learn how to photoshop because it will save you A WORLD OF PAIN when it comes to editing photos that would be otherwise “useless” AND you can also design graphics on there pretty easily with the pen tool.

Hope this helps!

Check out more photos like these on Instagram! It’s my fav.

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Know a traveler that would love this post? Don’t be shy to share! Don’t forget to comment below to let me know your opinions, share stories, and let me know what you want to see on Wander Onwards next!

If you want to see more photos and updates, check out my FacebookInstgramYouTubeTwitter and Tumblr! Interested in working with me as a content creator or to be on Wanderonwards.org? Follow me on Linkedin or email me at wanderonwards@gmail.com!

 

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About Vanessa Elizabeth

Vanessa Elizabeth is a cultural chameleon currently based in London. She enjoys sports (such as CrossFit and dating), cooking, and demolishing her savings account. When she's not busy blogging about her feelings, she works full-time and practices Chinese with her English/German friends.

  • Karla

    I love this Post.