Are you thinking of starting your own travel blog? The online space may be crowded right now, but you can still stand out if you have the right tools for creating some kickass content. Here are a few tips on how to succeed in travel blogging.
1. Pick a domain name that suits your personality.
Choose a blog name that will last. If you pick “NewcastleAdventures.com” or “Backpackinginyour20s”, then you will have to change your identity if you move to a different continent or get older.
Avoid common and overused words such as traveller, nomad, adventure, vagabond or wanderlust.
Limit your name to three to four words and keep it simple. Don’t try to be clever with jargon or slang that requires translation. Don’t put hyphens in your domain name as these can make your website address difficult to remember.
2. Set up hosting for your travel blog.
After choosing your domain name, the next step is to register it and pay hosting fees.
Hosting services provide space for your travel website on the Internet. We recommend hosting packages from Bluehost or Hostgator. You should be able to set up hosting for your blog in less than ten minutes.
3. Install WordPress and learn how to navigate your dashboard
WordPress is the app that will run your travel website.
Pick an appealing theme and website design. Add your name and slogan. Check out the menu on the left-hand side, which contains all the essential stuff – pages, posts, comments, plugins, and settings – and learn how your dashboard works.
4. Install essential plugins for blogging
Plugins are tools that provide your travel website with additional functions and benefits. There are currently over 40,000 WordPress plugins available. Below are some plugins that you might want to consider.
- Akismet – detects and deletes spam comments automatically.
- Contact Form 7 – ads a form to your contact page so that people can reach you.
- Mash Share – allows your readers to share your posts on different social media platforms.
- BackWPup – ensures that none of your content will be lost. This plugin even gives you the option to upload data to Google Drive, Dropbox, and other cloud storage services.
- Jetpack – a plugin package of goodies ranging from spell-checker to functional widgets.
- Yoast SEO – the best plugin for improving your Google rankings.
5. Build your Newcastle travel blog
There are two types of text on your website: pages and posts. A page contains static information while a post gets updated as you write more. When you add a new post, the previous post gets pushed down in the archives. Pages are permanent and do not get buried.
- Create an About page. The first thing you need to do when starting a travel blog is to create an About page. This page tells your readers who you are and why your journey is worth following.
- Write your first post. Introduce yourself to your audience. Start with why you started a blog. Answer questions like what’s your blog going to be about? Where have you been in the past months or years? Where do you plan to go next? Here is your chance to let your personality shine. You are not writing a guidebook but a journal. After posting your first article, share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social spaces.
How to start making money from your travel blog
· Create a business plan.
You can make money from your travel blog if you treat it like a business. Set short term and long term goals. Plan your strategy – build an audience, monetise your website, network with other travel bloggers, seek linking opportunities, join Facebook travel groups, partner with other companies.
· Install Google Analytics.
It’s a must for every online enterprise. Google Analytics is a tool that shows you how many people visit your website daily. It also allows you to track traffic that is generated by your posts and learn more about your readers.
· Connect with other bloggers.
Join Facebook groups and Twitter chats to find lucrative gigs and build relationships with people in your niche market.
· Emphasise quality over quantity.
Most bloggers have a posting schedule. Some do it three times a week while others only post once a month. Do not rush an article just to meet your deadline. What is most important is content quality.
You don’t have to wait until you have built a huge following to start monetising your site. Here are three ways to start earning money without annoying your visitors.
1. AdSense. Sign up for an AdSense account and experiment with different sizes and placements for your banner.
2. Amazon. Search for products on Amazon Associates and link them to mentions in your post. When readers click on the link and make a purchase, you will receive a commission on that sale. Gift guides, packing lists, and in-depth reviews are excellent for monetising through Amazon Associates.
3. Affiliate programs. Travel insurance providers and booking platforms offer affiliate programs that offer money-making opportunities. Recommend a hotel through Agoda or share how you found cheap flights at Skyscanner. Write a detailed guide on the pros and cons of travel insurance. Whenever somebody clicks on those links and follows your recommendation, you make a commission. Just make sure you do not go overboard with tons of affiliate links in every single paragraph.
Let Jezweb help you get started on your travel blog
With so many travel blogs out there, is it still possible to compete and succeed in 2020?
Think of blogging like the restaurant business. There are plenty of burger joints already, but new ones continue to pop up, and old ones try to hang on. That’s because people never stop looking for fresh things to try. All you need to do is look at the existing blogs and find a way to do better.
Your travel experiences are unique to you. Your story is what will make your blog stand out from the crowd. Whether you’re in Newcastle or elsewhere in NSW, let Jezweb give you some sound advice to get you started. Contact us today.