7 Steps For Starting A Successful Travel Blog

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Indiana Jo blogging at the beach.

You’ve decided to start a travel blog? Congratulations! I’ve been blogging since 2010 and in a good year, I can earn over $100,000. It can be a dream career but it’s competitive and there’s a lot to learn. I’ve created this post as a framework and packed it with tonnes of resources. While you can get your blog online quite quickly, mastering it will take longer. Bookmark this page and return when you’re ready to tackle more topics.

I’ve assumed you want to make money from your blog or get sponsored trips. Also, as WordPress and Google are dominant, my tips are geared to those platforms.

Table of Contents

Step 1: Plan your travel blog

I know it’s tempting to get your blog online ASAP but take at least a few hours to plan. Here’s what to consider.

1. Define your purpose

People start travel blogs for different reasons. Is it a hobby blog? Do you want to quit your job and blog full-time? Do you want fame and fortune or a place for your photography and writing? For many, the goal is to make money. That’s a fine pursuit but it’s not really a purpose. A better purpose, more likely to earn you money, is reader-focused i.e. share my amazing travel tips about Los Angeles (and monetise it when I can).

2. Choose a niche

The days of general travel and lifestyle blogs are over. The ones you still see online were typically started years ago. You’ll find it easier to succeed if you launch a new site with a specific niche. How niche? It’s a balancing act. You want it broad enough that you don’t run out of topics but not too broad that it’s too competitive. You also want the scope to expand into related topics. I have a Prosecco Themed site which now includes Italian drinks and cocktail recipes.

3. Research the market

You need to know who your potential competitors are. Type your niche into the internet, see what’s out there and whether there is a gap in the market. In all likelihood, you won’t find a gap (travel blogging is saturated) but don’t be disheartened. Focus on standing out from the crowd. You could write about a destination you know really well. Or maybe you have a particular travel style (rock climbing?). If all you see are huge brands and no blogs on the first few pages of Google, it’s a hyper-competitive niche. You may need to rethink.

4. Consider monetisation models

Most blogs won’t make money for at least a year or two, but it’s worth thinking about monetisation models. The main ways to earn money are: from ads placed on your site, affiliate income from recommending products, hotels or tours, and sponsored deals with brands. Monetisation can be very precarious so it’s good to diversify your income.

5. Think about your Audience

Who is your blog aimed at? Families, honeymooners, backpackers, luxury travellers? How old are they, where do they live, how much do they earn? Once you know your intended audience, write for them – a backpacker won’t need 5-star hotel recommendations. There’s a wonderful synergy if you and your readers are alike e.g. you’re a solo female traveller writing a solo female travel blog. Don’t choose a niche just because it seems profitable. Expertise is important – a married man won’t gain traction in the solo female blogging space.

6. Choose a blog name

There are so many options for your blog name. If you have a niche, including the destination in your blog name can help. If your site is about you, using your own name is a good option. In all cases, make sure your blog name is short, simple, easy to spell and memorable. If I could go back, I wouldn’t use Indiana Jo. Sure, it’s short and fun but it’s regularly confused with Indiana Jones, and people think I’m from Indiana – I’m not!

7. Check domain name availability

A domain name is a website address e.g. indianajo.com and if you’re serious about blogging, you should own your own domain. Buying a domain name is cheap (under $20). You can check if your proposed blog name is available at Namecheap. You want a domain name where the main TLDs (top-level domains) e.g. .com, .net, .org etc are available. This prevents audience and business confusion. Imagine if there was another travel blog at indianajo.net. Bad.

Tip: It’s easier to buy your domain name through your host when you set up your hosting plan and website. That way you can skip some technical steps like changing Nameservers (pointing your domain to your host). If you’re not ready to buy a domain, you can instead get a ‘blog name’ on a free blogging platform e.g. WordPress.indianajo.com or Blogger.indianajo.com.

8. Check your blog name on social channels

Check your blog name is available across social media channels. If you have a super popular name, you might need to adapt it. For some channels, I’m @indianajoblogs. Don’t count on being able to ‘force’ someone to give up an inactive account. I’ve tried. If your blog name is taken across all channels, you may want to think of a new name.


Apple keyboard

Step 2: Set up your website

Setting up a website can be technically challenging. Earmark a few days so you don’t rush the process (and make mistakes). Below, I share my go-to blogging platform, hosts and themes. I’ve set up over 10 websites so these are tried and tested.

9. Choose a blogging platform

Unless you can code, you’re going to need a Content Management System. A CMS is an online blogging platform that lets you build a basic website, add some design elements and update it with content (blog posts and pages). There are several platforms to choose from. By far the most popular is WordPress, which is what I use.

I’ve also tried Blogger, Weebly and Wix, but WordPress is the clear winner. It’s geared for blogging, search engine optimisation (see below) and monetisation. If you want to do more research, here’s a comparison of blogging platforms. Here are the most popular platforms:

  • WordPress
  • Squarespace
  • Weebly
  • Wix
  • Blogger
  • Drupal

WordPress.com vs .org: If you go for WordPress, understand that there are two versions – WordPress.com and WordPress.org. WordPress.com is easier for new bloggers as you’re hosted on the WordPress platform. However, you’ll quickly reach its limits and can’t monetise it very well. WordPress.org requires you to get your own hosting and has a steeper learning curve. However, if you’re serious, start with .org. If you do choose .com, you can migrate later. Here’s a more detailed guide to the differences between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.

How to set up WordPress? There are loads of WordPress tutorials online but if you do it all in one go via your hosting company, you’ll get a simple 3-step setup: choose hosting, buy a domain, and install WordPress. Doing it separately and tying the elements together is more complex.

10. Buy website hosting

Unless you’re on a blogging platform that will host your site (e.g. wordpress.indianajo.com) you’ll need to buy website hosting. The main thing you need is a WordPress Hosting Plan (assuming you’re going with WordPress). I’ve tried many hosts and these are the three I recommend. They’re all secure, reliable, keep your site running fast, and offer value for money. Plus, they offer a WordPress Hosting Plan.

  • DreamHost is great for starting out. The right balance of price and support with introductory offers.
  • Siteground is great when your blog is growing (or for new bloggers prepared to spend a bit more).
  • BigScoots is for when you’re making some money. It costs around $100 a month but that includes ‘fix-it-for-me’ support. My site is hosted by BigScoots and I couldn’t be happier.

Bluehost: A lot of bloggers recommend Bluehost because they offer brilliant affiliate commissions. Nice for the blogger. Not great hosting for you. Squarespace is also appealing to new bloggers because they bundle together your domain name, hosting, blogging CMS and themes for a monthly fee. It’s tempting but many pro bloggers later move to WordPress for better site speed. Do your research.

11. Connect your domain, blogging platform and host

As I’ve mentioned, if you start with your host, the setup should run smoothly. Step 1: you’ll choose your WordPress hosting plan. Step two: you’ll choose your domain name. After you’ve paid for the hosting and domain, you’ll be guided to Step 3: ‘Install WordPress’. Your host will take you through all the right steps until you’re set up. No tutorials are needed! Tip: keep a secure note of all the various logins and passwords as you go through the process.

12. Design your website layout

With WordPress installed, it’s time to design your site. Frustratingly, out of the box, most websites look nothing like the slick designs you see online. You’re going to have to customise your site. But first, plan what you want your site to look like. Will you have an introductory home page with navigation? What topics (categories) will you cover? Sketch it out so you have an idea of what you want to achieve with your design.

13. Get a lightweight theme

A theme is a stack of code created to help you click, drag and drop a design into place. Most blogging platforms have a ‘theme’ store where you can download pre-designed websites. Choose your theme carefully. If it has too much ‘bloat’ (unnecessary code), your website will start slow and get slower as you add plugins, widgets, images, videos and content. Look for a lightweight theme. Astra, Kadence and Generate Press are consistently three of the fastest. I use Generate Press. They all have free and paid versions.

Tip: DO NOT use a theme with a page builder like Divi or Elementor. I’ve made this mistake. They are super slow and make it very hard to move away from (you have to redo your whole site design). WordPress has its own page page builder – Gutenberg which is generally enough and much faster.

14. Create a brand logo, profile picture and Gravatar

To create a solid online presence, you will want a logo, profile picture and Gravatar account.

  • Designing a logo: Canva is an excellent free resource for creating an initial logo with lots of templates and fonts.
  • Profile picture: choose a picture you like, crop it so it’s mostly just your face and use a relevant image e.g. you travelling rather than you with your Christmas hat on.
  • Gravatar is a ‘globally recognised’ avatar that integrates with your WordPress account (under ‘Users’) and will populate in useful places like blog comments.

15. Don’t prioritise design over content

It’s easy to get lost in perfecting your site design. But don’t let it stop you from blogging. Some of the top blogs have ugly designs but they’re not winning traffic for a pretty home page, they’re pulling in readers for their top-notch content. You’re not going to have many visitors at first, anyway (sorry). It’s okay to start with a site that looks bare and add to it over time.

16. Choose plugins that help not hinder

Plugins are bits of software you can easily install on your website to add functionality. A great plugin can supercharge your site. A bad plugin can leave you with security risks and speed issues. Different blogging platforms call them different things e.g. extensions or widgets. Usually, they sit in a library and you can add them to your heart’s content. Resist. Each plugin has a speed cost which ultimately means an income loss. If there is a good plugin, I’ve included it below.

17. Create essential pages

There are a few essential pages most websites need. These include:

  • Home Page – a blog’s home page used to be a chronological list of posts. Today, most blogs have a static home page. Think of it like your shop window. Fill it with your best stock (popular blogging categories and posts). Add more as you progress. Here’s my Home Page.
  • Contact Page – you can use a plugin like WPForms. Or do what I do on my contact page and just include your email address.
  • About Me Page – this is essential for demonstrating E-E-A-T (basically expertise, more below). You want to give your life story in so far as it’s relevant to your niche. Here’s my About Me page.

Over time, you might want to add more pages like a Work With Me page. I also have a page for a deeper dive into my newsletter and social media. And I have a fun Map of Places I’ve Been.

Difference between pages and posts: Generally, pages stand-alone and don’t change much. It’s where you put the info about yourself. Blog posts are your core content like your travel guides and tips. Posts are organised into categories, include a publication date, and will need updating over time.

18. Understand urls and permalinks

Wordpress admin panel showing permalink structure.

Having a little understanding of urls (a.k.a. permalinks) can go a long way in saving you from trashing your site. What is a url? It’s the website address for your post or page. Example: https://indianajo.com/top-travel-sites/

Important things to know are:

  • choose a good permalink/url structure. Have a simple structure with just the post name and no date. Set this up on day one and don’t change it. See the image above.
  • when you create a post, think hard about the url – make it as short and informative as possible. My url above would have been better as ‘digital-nomad-work-tips’.
  • do not change your url if at all possible and never, ever casually change your permalink structure. Any url change requires you to do an ‘address redirection’ in the same way you would if you moved house. Casually editing the url means nobody will be able to find your original post. Change your permalink structure, and people won’t be able to find any of your posts. This can kill your site in a minute.

Want to learn more? Here’s a detailed guide to changing urls.


Step 3: Get listed on search engines

Getting your site to show up in search engines can give you a massive traffic boost. Here’s how to get listed.

19. Install the Yoast Plugin (or similar)

Getting a website listed and ranking on search engines can be a full-time job (called Search Engine Optimisation, SEO). Fortunately, there are free plugins that will do it for you. On WordPress, Yoast and Rankmath are the two most popular. I use Yoast. Site-wide, these plugins will index and map your blog, add schema and submit it to search engines. On the page, these plugins have checklists for creating optimised content (image below).

Tip: Yoast and Rankmath have easy-to-toggle settings. Be careful! You are ultimately messing with the structure of your site and can easily cause problems without realising it. Ideally, set it and forget it unless you have a specific issue you know that you need to fix.

Yoast SEO boxes to complete on wordpress

20. Learn technical SEO

While SEO Plugins do a fantastic job of holding your hand at the beginning, there’s no substitute for learning about technical SEO. What are indexing, schema and sitemaps? You will need to know more in the long run. When you’re ready these are the best free resources:

21. Set up a Google Search Console account

Want to check your site health or see which posts Google is showing to readers? You need a Google Search Console (GSC) account. While you probably want to focus on creating content first, do get GSC set up so you are collecting data. Here’s how to set up GSC.

22. Connect to Google Analytics

You also want Google Analytics to track your blog traffic. The easiest way to connect to GA is the MonsterInsights plugin, which will walk you through the setup process. I use the free version. You can learn more about Google Analytics with this free GA course.

What’s the difference between Google Search Console and Google Analytics? GSC shows you the technical structure of your site (and any issues like indexing). It also shows you which blog posts Google is showing to readers in search engines. GA, on the other hand, tells you what is happening when people reach your site – which pages they look at, how long they stay on the page and their demographics. GA includes data on readers coming to your site directly, through social or newsletters (GSC doesn’t show this).


Step 4: Create content

Content is the cornerstone of your blog. Yet, creating money-making content isn’t as simple as writing what you like. Here’s how to write content that pays.

23. Learn keyword research

Keyword research can help get your content to the top of search engine page results (SERPS). What is keyword research? It’s a form of SEO that involves using tools to find out what internet users are searching for (keywords/phrases). The best tools give you data on monthly search volumes and how competitive a keyword is. Generally, if a new blogger writes a post about a very competitive topic e.g. things to do in San Francisco, they’re unlikely to feature highly in search engines. However, if they choose to write about a less competitive and more focused keyword e.g. things to do in Gas Lamp Quarter at night, they have more chance of being featured.

There are some free keyword research tools to get started. When you’re ready to invest, Keysearch is the most accurate tool. I have a paid account with SEMRush and a free account with Ahrefs which are both excellent and expensive SEO tools. But neither have accurate keyword data (they use estimates). Keysearch is both better and cheaper (yay!). Keysearch also has the best tutorials for learning keyword research.

screenshot of google search engine page results

24. Focus on reader search intent

It may sound obvious, but you should match your content with the reader’s search intent. For example, if someone searches for ‘how to start a travel blog’, they’re expecting tips about starting a travel blog. If, instead, you tell a personal story about how you decided to start a travel blog because your Mom likes Paris, you’re not matching intent. That’s fine but don’t expect search engines to list your post. The best way to understand search intent is to put the keywords/search query into Google and see the results.

25. Structure your content with headings

As all teachers tell you, structure is key. And when it comes to blog posts, you can easily optimise your blogs by using proper headers. In WordPress, you add ‘Headers’ which are tagged H1, H2 etc. Look at this post. My main title automatically uses an H1 tag (that’s how WordPress is set up). The rest I have inserted as H2 titles. In some posts, I have more sub-headings like H3 and H4. With a proper structure, you help readers and Google understand your content. Here is a good guide for using header tags in WordPress.

26. Use a table of contents

To boost your SEO and make your posts super user-friendly, add a table of contents. I use the free Easy Table of Contents plugin. Not only does it allow readers to jump to the relevant part of your content, Google likes TOCs, and it’s a good way to sense-check your post structure.

27. Include your E-E-A-T

When Google is deciding where to rank posts, it looks for signs of E-E-A-T – Expertise, Authority, Trust and Experience. In practice that means elevating posts from people who know about a topic because they’ve been there and done that. So, if I wrote a blog about health and money, I wouldn’t expect it to do well because I’m not qualified in those fields. However, I do have a wine qualification and run Prosecco tasting tours so my Prosecco site has E-E-A-T.

28. Write awesome, unique content

That might sound vague and obvious but in a saturated internet, it’s important to stand out with good, clear, high-quality content that is unique to you. Writing isn’t everyone’s strong suit. If you struggle to avoid travel cliches or don’t find it easy to put personality into your posts, here are some tips for writing engaging content.

29. Write content in topic clusters

With E-E-A-T in mind, one of the fastest ways to boost your content is to write a cluster of articles about the same destination. Whether it’s a suite of posts about Hawaii or Italy, you’re giving Google a signal that you’re an authority on the topic. And you’re giving readers more articles on the same topic. Write cluster-by-cluster and you stand a better chance of having earlier success.

30. Create a content calendar

Creating a content calendar will help you write content in clusters and achieve consistency. It can also help you pitch for sponsored trips and manage seasonal content (e.g. a post about Christmas Markets), both of which should be done months in advance. I use Trello for creating my visual content calendar, setting tasks and creating blog checklists.


Step 5: Add images and videos

Blogs need visual media as much as they need words. Here’s what I’ve learned about adding media to your posts.

31. Add unique images where you can

A photo is worth a thousand words and adding unique images to your posts is essential – nobody wants to see wall-to-wall text! Plus, adding pictures demonstrates E-E-A-T. If you don’t have good images, you can use free stock photos from places like Unsplash and Creative Commons but your own images are always best.

32. Optimise your images

Properly optimised images help your site run faster, keep your hosting costs lower and mean your images might get indexed in search engines. There are a few steps to follow: upload the right file type, use the right dimensions, compress the image size, and label them well. Here’s a full guide to WordPress Image Optimisation. There are some free plugins to help, as mentioned in the guide.

33. Include the image alt-text

When you upload an image, you’ll notice there is a box called ‘alt-text’. This is used by screen readers for visually impaired readers. Make sure you fill out the ‘alt text’ from the get-go. As well as being inclusive, it’s another signal to Google of a well-done site. Here is a complete guide to Alt Text Best Practice.

34. Consider adding video

While a picture is worth a thousand words, a travel video is worth a thousand pictures. Video creation doesn’t have to be time-consuming – even a photo reel synced to music can boost your post engagement. I use the GoPro Quik App for quickly stitching together video clips I’ve taken on my iPhone. You can see some of my videos on YouTube. Vitally, these videos can be monetised with ads.


Step 6: Promote your content

It’s good to have traffic from other sources than just search engines. Here are the best ways to increase visitors.

35. Post on social media

Social media can be a great way to promote your content and brand. Unfortunately, most channels want you to ‘pay to play’ i.e. buy advertising space. Consequently, you don’t get a lot for free, but you should milk the free option for all you can! On channels like Facebook and X, it pays to share content that is a mix of your own posts, general chat and other relevant articles. Instagram and TikTok is all about you.

36. Focus on your favourite social channels

Being active on every social platform is exhausting. You can either outsource it to an assistant or choose your preferred platforms and work them well. My favourites are Pinterest for visuals and Facebook because I like micro-blogging. Instagram is good for photos and videos (TikTok and YouTube are also videos). Experiment but I always come back to the channels I personally use the most.

37. Think about social monetisation

Many influencers monetise their social channels through sponsorship, brand collaborations and affiliate marketing. Strategise! My monetisation model is ad revenue. For that, I need people to click through to my site. Since more of my readers click from Pinterest and Facebook compared to Instagram, that’s where I focus. Tip: don’t build your business on someone else’s land. I’ve read horror stories of influencers kicked off channels for one wrong move, their entire income gone in a flash. Be active on social, but run your own platform, too.

38. Decide based on the data

Using Google Analytics, check which social channels are bringing traffic – likes do not necessarily translate to website clicks. As well as GA, all social platforms offer free business-level analytics for measuring which posts perform. Tip: Pinterest is a good long game. It’s the only channel that regularly brings traffic from pins I created years ago.

39. Use a scheduling tool

Social media algorithms like to be fed regularly. Waiting until you have a pithy quote or great selfie won’t wash. Get those posts lined up using a scheduler. There are lots of free and paid tools. I use the free Meta Business suite for Facebook and Instagram posts.

40. Keep readers with related posts

The people already on your site are the best people to promote to. Using a plugin like YARP (Yet Another Related Post Plugin), you can create a reel of further posts for your readers to hop to. Be aware that lists are automatically generated and won’t be perfect. See the image below: the ‘related’ content is a mix of Africa, Asia and Italy. So, don’t use them as your only tool (see internal linking).

related post screenshot with images

41. Add internal links to your content

If you’ve got two related posts, make sure you link from one to another. Continue this as your site expands, creating a web of relevant internal links. This is a hugely successful SEO strategy as it helps Google understand your website. It also gives readers somewhere else to click once they’re finished. There is a whole strategy to it so here’s a great guide to internal linking.

42. Put your social accounts on your site

Social media traffic is a two-way street. You want people to come to your blog from your social channels, and you also want your readers to go over and follow your social accounts. To place quick links, I use the free plugin Social Icons Widget.

Social media follow buttons on blog

43. Set up a newsletter subscription

Start collecting subscribers early on. There are lots of email subscription services to use. The most popular free options for new bloggers are Mailerlite and Mailchimp. Tip: set up double opt-in to send a confirmation email. This filters out spam email addresses. Once you’ve got an account, you can add a sign-up box to your website (generate the box within Mailerlite or Mailchimp – they have full instructions).

44. Tell people IRL

Facebook once suggested I pay $50 to ‘boost’ my post to 11 more people. I would have reached more people by standing in the street and shouting. And therein lies a strategy. Get promoting. In the pub, at the gym, tell your hairdresser, remind your aunties. Every trip I go on, I leave business cards scattered around, slap branded stickers on walls and dispense travel tips like an expert. Cost: free (apart from the business cards).


Step 7: Site security and protection

The worst time to pay attention to site security is when things go wrong. Spend half a day now making your blog secure.

45. Get spam protection

Aksimet is a free plugin that filters spam from the comments section of your site. Install it and keep it updated. Be aware that not all spam is filtered so you will have to do some manual policing. As a general rule, if there is a link in the comments, it’s probably spam. Delete. You have to pay Akismet once you start making money but the fee is small.

46. Make sure your site is backed-up

Good hosting companies will keep a regular backup of your site but check the details. How often do they do it and how long is it kept? My host backs up my site but in the past, I paid for a backup plugin by Vaultpress. I had to do a reinstall after a developer screwed up some stuff and I was very grateful to be able to roll back a day. If you’re keeping costs low, there are some free plugins. Here’s a good comparison of WordPress Backup options.

47. Add a privacy policy

Privacy is a hot issue online and while each country’s rules are different, you’re almost certainly going to need a privacy policy. Don’t worry, there are plenty of templates online that you can use. Find a resource for your country. I use Rocket Lawyer here in the UK. As a minimum, there is a free WordPress Privacy Policy that you can install on set-up.

48. Use a cookies opt-in plugin

As well as a privacy policy, you’re going to need a Cookies Opt-In plugin. You see them on every site for a reason (it’s the law). Mine is managed by my ad network, Mediavine. However, here is a comparison of Cookie Opt-In Plugins. Do test it on your site as so many of them cause UX (user experience) issues. When you have a minute take time to understand how your site collects data about your readers, how it’s stored, and your legal obligations. Here’s a guide to Internet Cookies.


Let me see your site!

I couldn’t possibly end this post with the legal rules of Cookie opt-ins. And anyway, I want to see the product of all your hard work. Drop a comment below with your website and I’ll be sure to hop over and have a look. I also want your feedback. Would you like to read more tips? Do you want a printable checklist or content planner template? Let me know.

Like this? Share it on Pinterest…

apple keyboard with text overlay

A little credit to some of the bloggers I started out with: Sateless SuitcaseFoodieTownThe Occasional TravellerBeatriceBP.comTravel AddictsHelen in Wonderlust.

Author - Jo Fitzsimons

Hi, I'm Jo, the writer behind Indiana Jo. In 2010 I quit my job as a lawyer and booked an around the world ticket. As a solo female traveller, I hopped from South America to Central America, across Asia, the Middle East and Europe. It was supposed to be a one-year trip but over a decade later, it's yet to end. I've lived in a cave, climbed down a volcano barefoot, spent years as a digital nomad, worked as a freelance travel writer, and eaten deadly Fugu. Now I'm home, back in the UK, but still travelling far and wide. You can find out more About Me.

327 thoughts on “7 Steps For Starting A Successful Travel Blog”

  1. Jo Fitzsimons made a really helpful guide for people who want to start travel blogs! This guide has everything you need to help you plan, set up a blog, write interesting posts, make sure search engines find you, and keep your site safe. It’s a great read for anyone starting a blog!

    Reply
  2. How might I change my trip without paying an expense? As indicated by Southwest change flight policy, You are permitted to change your trip in the span of 24 hours of booking with no flight change charge. Likewise, that relies upon the kind of your ticket and you will be expected to pay the flight change expense.

    Reply
    • Hi Emily, it will all depend on what your airline offers. I’d contact them to discuss. Hope you manage to fix it.

      Reply
  3. Thank you for such an informative guide, lots of useful links for me to explore.
    I plan to travel next year and thought it would be fun to make a personal diary, one where my friends could chose to view rather than having to view on Facebook. So my first job in hand is to get my thinking cap on and come up with a name …. how do I check if the name is already in use? ‘Google it?’.
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Hi Kerrie, how exciting and what a lovely idea for your friends and family and also as a log for yourself. You can use a domain registration company like 123 reg to check if a domain is already being used. They will also usually suggest alternatives if yours is taken. Good luck with your travel and blogging adventures 🙂

      Reply
  4. Thank you so much for the informative article! There really are a lot of things to consider when starting a travel blog that I didn’t even think about before. You’re so right about choosing the right name before you start too. I couldn’t think of anything and was literally holding off on starting a blog just because I couldn’t think of a good name. Now, I just started a new travel blog named , so I hope I’ll still be happy with the name in the future. 😀

    Thanks for all the great tips, I’ll definitely implement them in my blog!

    Reply
  5. Wow! Such an articulate post it is! I am a fan of your writing. Being a new writer, it’s always good to see inspiring posts like this. I am a management graduate and write for 12th pass students for various career options. I write for a good blog: I want to write about a lot of things out there, please guide me on how I can become a good blogger.

    Reply
    • Hi Megha, happy to help. My tip would be to keep practising. See what works and what doesn’t. And enjoy 🙂

      Reply
  6. Thanks Jo, for the great tips! Recently I have been thinking of starting my own travel blog and this has really helped me! Can’t wait to start now! thanks a ton

    Reply
  7. And instead off placinng yor url as links use your pimary keywords as Anchor One way links.
    Publish the blog with RSS feed and allow others to join for your informative substance.
    Use Google to choose a site in order to do that.

    Reply
    • You do need to take a little care about over-optimising your anchor text. I’d say that’s not one for newbie bloggers to focus on straight away but thanks for the tips and comment.

      Reply
  8. The landing page is absolutely crucial should you want to make
    quiick money online. I located this book within the piles at the local
    Salvation Army thrift store. Your page needs to
    look professional with zero errors.

    Reply
    • In 2021, I’d say your landing page needs to be fast and mobile friendly, which no longer gives much scope for landing page design. Zero errors is a great goal but I’d also opt for 80% perfection for the sake of getting something online.

      Reply
  9. Wonderful article. I really enjoyed reading it. I will definitely implement these useful tips in my travel blogging. Thanks fro sharing this informative aricle. Looking forward to reading more of these.

    Reply
  10. Not everybody can share their failure. I just start the way to be a blogger so you just help me so much. Thanks a lot very appreciate.

    Reply
  11. Jo,

    Thanks for the blog. I am still confused. I just started my blog website (through dynadot) and am still not sure if I still need WordPress and why. I went on their website. It seems like wordpress is another hosting company. I did not see any option to install WordPress. What am i missing?

    Hope to hear from You!

    Reply
    • Hi Marko, it is confusing and it will depend what you’ve bought with Dynadot. Here are the common elements: 1) domain name e.g. IndianaJo.com 2) blogging software e.g. WordPress or Dynadot’s own software where you write your posts 3) hosting (the place in the cloud where your blogs are stored. The confusing bit – you can buy various combinations of these three elements. For example, if you go direct to wordpress.com, you can get all 3 together, often for free (if you don’t buy the upgrades). Dynodot might give you 1 & 3 and give you an option to use their software of WordPress’ software. Or you can get all 3 separately, which gives you the most control over your blog but is often too complicated when you start out. I hope that helps? Look back over what you’ve bought and installed and you should be able to unpick it. Good luck.

      Reply
  12. First off I want to say excellent blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you do not mind.
    I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your
    head before writing. I have had difficulty clearing my
    thoughts in getting my thoughts out there. I do enjoy writing but it just
    seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or hints?

    Cheers!

    Reply
    • Hi Ahmad, great question. It really depends what I’m trying to write. If it’s fiction, I jump in and go back and edit later, accepting that what I write first is only a draft and the job of the draft is to be terrible. For travel/non-fiction, I outline to break it down e.g. a guide for visiting the Statue of Liberty, I’d think of the sections I want to cover from what to see, how to get there, ticket types and visiting tips. If you’re really blocked, try conscious stream of writing for a few pages – no purpose to the writing just putting what’s in the head down on a page to clear some brain space. Hope some of that works. Also, 15 minutes is not a lot of time to waste! I’ve spent entire days procrastination. You’re doing well 🙂

      Reply
  13. Hi Jo! Your blog post is awesome. But I have a problem. I’m a Nigerian from West Africa. I have not travelled abroad before. But I have this profound enthusiasm for travel blog, tell me do I stand have a chance? Or what niche do you suppose?

    Reply
    • Hi, have you thought about writing about your home town? Either for people who want to visit or for local people? That’s a good place to start if you’ve not travelled abroad yet. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  14. Hello! I just published my very first blog post and I found this, along with many of your other posts, very helpful as I’ve been searching for answers while taking that first step into the blogging world!

    I will be posting new content every Friday, and as my blog grows I would love for you to make your way to my page if you find the time! Thank you!

    Reply
  15. Jo, your comment on choosing a blog name carefully is 100% true. My old blog was living, breathing proof of that!

    I started a personal travel blog titled “Microadventures with Nick” and I kept getting people on my Facebook page asking “who the hell is Nick?” It was a real shock to me but makes so much sense now. I changed the blog to “Southwest Microadventures” and now it seems like my content is taken more seriously than before.

    I’m just starting out again but it’s so funny how choosing the right blog name makes a difference to readers! Plus I feel much more authoritative and confident now too!

    Anyways, great article and site! Keep up the good work! I’ll be subscribing now for sure! 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi, I don’t sell sponsored posts or guest posts. Everything I recommend on here is a genuine recommendation from something I’ve tried and like. Sorry but I personally think sponsored posts are awful and trick travellers into buying things that are recommended based on money received rather than being genuine suggestions.

      Reply
  16. This was very informative. Thank you. I am a travel blogger from Kenya and my website is kemzykemzy com
    I would love if you check it out and tell me what you think.

    Reply
    • Thanks Kemzy, I had a look at your blog – nice design and layout. My top tip would be to get your site set up for https instead of http – google gives priority to secure sites. Your blog host will offer an SSL certificate and upgrade for you. Good luck!

      Reply
  17. Hello dear
    Love the inspirational list! Envious of these bloggers. Would love to start my own soon!
    I am confused over blogger and WordPress. Since, blogger is free and it also allows affiliated links along with adsense so i am a little hesitant about WordPress. Since WordPress has more plugins and i can host my blog and there is no threat as google slap in case of blogger. But rest every thing i can do on the blogger like having custom domain name etc.Thank you for posting such a good article.

    Reply
    • Hi Astura, taking the first step can seem daunting but you should go for it. The main difference between WordPress self hosted and the free options you mention is control. At the beginning this will matter less but if you goal is to monetise your site, you will eventually want WP hosted. There’s nothing stopping you trying blogger now and moving later. It depends whether you want to spend the time learning one platform then moving to another. If you do want to try it first, I’d try WordPress (free) which will be easier to jump up than crossing platforms. Good luck.

      Reply
  18. Hi,
    Thanks for this! It was very helpful! I recently started a travel blog but been a bit slow on the content front! Also, I need to start using Pinterest!
    Would love if you can check my blog and share your thoughts : talesandmiles

    Reply
    • Hi Tejaswi, Ive just checked it out – I love the clean design. I’d just focus on getting a bit more consistent on your posting dates. Good luck!

      Reply
  19. Hey, this was super awesome and helpful! I am actually launching my travel blog today and so I’m learning new things everyday, but this was extremely helpful! Come check me out at Dianni Travels

    Reply
  20. Marvelous work!. Blog is brilliantly written and provides all necessary information I really like this site. Thanks for sharing this useful post.

    Reply
  21. Thanks, Jo – what a thorough and helpful post! Having recently started my own travel blog, I really appreciate the candid view of the hard work that goes into it (my learning curve was rather steep as well). I definitely struggle with the tension between “writing just to write something” and “writing something I care about writing.” So far, I’ve elected to follow the latter because I have to write about what inspires me which is probably not the best for SEO and traffic, but it is what it is. 🙂 Not so good at the drip feed, either: “Here, let me throw up on the page for all of you with everything in my head.” Ha. I’m going to keep this post handy – the links will be helpful as my blog grows!

    M Blake ( late flight out . com)

    Reply
    • Hi Blake, I’ve just stopped by your site – it’s looking good! Almost 10 years after starting my blog, I still struggle to find the balance between writing for humans versus robots. Good luck with the blog and travels.

      Reply
  22. Hey Jo,

    Thank you for writing this article! It’s still relevant for all starting bloggers despite the niche they’ve chosen. I like your flow with words and I’d like to include you in an expert roundup about blogging. If you’re interested, I’d send you the details via email. If you even have the time, I’d be more than happy to do an interview with you about travel blogging.

    Reply
  23. I just wanted to say thank you for this really helpful article. I’m just starting out with my blog, cool footing. com

    I need all the help I can get, it really is a steep learning curve.

    Reply
    • Hi Anastasia, I’ve just popped over to your site. It looks good and you have an amazing 2019 of travel lined up. My only suggestion is to either compress your front page image as it takes a while to load. Good luck with the blog.

      Reply
  24. Thank you for this wonderful article! I have recently started blogging (or restarted it rather and more seriously) as a means to scratch that writing itch and to also promote my published book/s.

    My blog is family friendly and has stories and observations from my traveling with my young kids, along with kids book reviews as well, as travelling and reading are two of my favourite things.

    I’m like you as well, not all that IT-savvy, but have had to learned to manage my website very quickly. It was a steep and frustrating learning curve and even now, I don’t think I’m using the full functionality of Squarespace.

    My blog link: storymummy . com

    Reply
    • Hi Story Mummy, well done on picking up the blog again and on the books. Keep climbing up that IT learning curve. I’m still doing it every day.

      Reply
  25. Your travel blog information help me alot to write about travel ,it’s give such a great information which is very helpful.thanks for sharing such a grate ideas.

    Reply
  26. A huge Thank you, Jo! I came across on your blogging post through Pinterest which has prompted me to make the commitment to (finally) learn from my readings (noting I’ve been reading ‘how to guides on blogging forever’! It seems I’ve stumbled along with my blog but fall short of the end goal (financial sustainability) so will make a concerted effort to sort that and download Sharon’s ebook! Thanks for the tips! My blog has a strong Aussie focus, with a number of posts featuring the Northern Territory.

    Reply
    • Hi Ann, I hope the blog is going well. It’s great to have a very niche focus. I recently started a niche site focused on a specific part of Italy and I’m finding my engagement is much higher. Good luck.

      Reply
  27. Hi Jo! I had never considered blogging before, mostly because I didn’t think I had much to say. But now, I have to blog for a class I am taking at Illinois State University! I actually really enjoy it! I think I am going to keep up my blog, even when I am done with my class!
    My class is only a four-week summer class, so it ends July 13. Any insight, or tips you have for me would be great and super helpful!!! (most of the posts I have are because they are a requirement for my class)
    Thanks!!!

    Reply
  28. Great tip Jo! Blogging requires investment of time and effort, but slowly and steady it ‘ll pay off if one does proper marketing and SEO for it. Recently I’ve created travel blog on Pixpa, it was really simple if you not so good in technology like me 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi, I’ve never heard of Pixpa and would advise the majority of people to stick with one of the well-known blogging platforms, many of which are free and easy to set up and, most important of all, provide a good platform for growth as the success flows.

      Reply
  29. Thank you for this! I just recently launched my blog and I am so inspired! I am being laid off from my job, so now is a good time to do what I have been wanting to do, which is live life abroad! Exposing my son to culture is important to me so we will be departing for a new home this August! Can’t Wait!

    Reply
    • What an exciting adventure you have ahead. I hope the journey and the blog take off and you don’t have to return to a normal 9-to-5.

      Reply
  30. Hey thank you for all the tips. This actually inspires me to start my own traveling blog. I’ve been wanting to do it over a year now, and for some reason had no courage to take a risk. Well I have a summer ahead of me so I will defiantly take the risk now and see where it takes me. 🙂

    Reply
  31. You’re making me think I should just do it!! I regretted not having gone to .org almost immediately too. You mentioned losing people…was this when you moved to the first time to wordpress.com or can you lose people between the two wordpress’s..if you see what I mean?! I’m concerned I might but then I think I should do it sooner than later anyway as I’ll probably end up wanting to at some point…..hmmmm I think you might have convinced me

    Reply
    • Do it! Do it! I suppose you could lose your traffic moving from one WordPress to the other if you change your url structure – just make sure you don’t change it (or set up proper redirects). Good luck!

      Reply
  32. Hi there, I really love the honesty of your post, I appreciate it when people acknowledge if they found something difficult, or of the times that they failed before they succeeded.
    I am writing a family travel blog about our adventures…and misadventures as a family with 5 kids. We have left our old life and are traveling the world, one disaster or adventure after the next! I also began as a complete novice..(I think I still am) and I am just learning about how to reach a larger audience, so your post has been very helpful, thank you.
    I enjoy real, raw and funny stories when I read travel blogs and that is what I am trying to achieve at Learningbrave. Before we left on our travels, I could only find accounts of how wonderful everything was for traveling families! Do you think there is a demand for stories, or is everyone mostly wanting travel tips and advice?
    Thanks again, Skyler Learning Brave

    Reply
    • Hi Skylar, sounds like you have a nice angle for your website. I can’t imagine travelling with 1 kid let alone 5 so well done. I’ll check out your blog. Good luck!

      Reply
  33. I just started a small family travel blog, thank you for all of these great tips. I’ve been getting caught up in too much information but decided today to just keep it simple.

    Reply
  34. Hey Jo. Your post has been so helpful to me as i am trying to design my own travel blog. As a new blogger, i have really taken alot of notes that are going to be very helpful. Thanks again

    Love Esther from Uganda

    Reply
  35. Thank you for the post, great information! I am in the process of setting up a travel only blog. I have a lifestyle blog now where I have a section on travel: This is forty dot me I want to focus more on travel. I am a travel agent and I want to advertise as well as share experiences. My new blog is: 4t ickets to paradise dot com I haven’t pushed the launch button yet. I’m still in the research and design phase 🙂

    Reply
    • I’ll check those out. Good luck running both blogs. I recently set up a second site and I forgot how much hard work it is.

      Reply
  36. These tips are so useful, thanks! Unfortunately number 3 (the second number 3) already got me with a stressful move from wordpress.com to .org! The rest of your tips are really helpful, I’ve just started my blog www. gotmybackpack. com – would love to hear your thoughts! Kieren.

    Reply
    • Hi Kieran, yes it’s quite a learning curve moving between WordPress platforms but it’s worth the effort. Thanks for the link to your blog, I’ll go and check out.

      Reply
  37. Jo, thank you so much for the info. I’ll keep it in mind as I grow my own blog. I’m currently using Blogger but, now I feel I should look into WordPress before I develop too much further after reading your article. I started this project merely to share stories with friends and family, as you did. Now it feels like there are so many different elements to maintaining the blog and it’s difficult to do it professionally, alone. So, thanks for your guidance.

    -Travel Light @
    travellighttac. blogspot. com

    Reply
    • Happy to help. I managed my website alone for many many years so it is achievable but it is hard work! Good luck!

      Reply
  38. I stumbled into your blog by an accident. Really useful tips for beginners! I was also struggling with some of the issues mentioned – like how to get the traffic or how to write in an attractive way. Fortunately, I’m was able to get on a right track ?

    Reply
  39. This is the most helpful post I’ve read of it’s kind! I’ve just started blogging as a hobby whilst I’m teaching English, but it would be great if I could move on and turn it into a proper blog in the future. Here it is: globalgoodyear. wordpress. com/

    Reply
    • Happy to help. And I wish you every luck turning your hobby into something more. Just keep at it – persistence shouldn’t be underestimated. Thanks for the link – I’ll go and check it out.

      Reply
  40. Very good post! In fact, I enjoyed reading the back and forth in the comments almost as much as the main post itself (almost…) 🙂 This post really goes to the point of evergreen content. I try to focus more on features in my blog for that reason. You provided a lot of great takeaways and tips from your learnings. Much appreciated for that.

    Reply
  41. Hey Jo! I’ve been reading up a lot of travel blogging lately, as I’m going to Hawaii in February and want to log my travels, and your post has definitely helped my understanding. I especially liked the information you included on choosing a name and domain name wisely. I would appreciate your thoughts on this guide I read recently for how to make a travel journal [commercial link removed by admin].

    Reply
    • Hi Emily, I’m glad you found my post useful. I also enjoyed the article you linked to. I have removed the link because it was commercial and experience tells me you were trying to place a backlink. Still, I checked it out and enjoyed it. Personally, I’d never travel with an entire craft pack but it was a nice idea. Good luck with your personal blog. I’d appreciate it if we could stick to personal websites here (not promoting cruise companies). 🙂

      Reply
  42. Thank you, that was very helpful. My friend and I are just starting out and didn’t realize how much work it is from setting up our blog, maintaining it and posting our adventures but we enjoy it. Our site is Jack n Jill Adventures

    Reply
  43. That was a very informative post..thank you! I am just starting out, built some content in the last 3 weeks and planning to “push” the button to share it on Facebook this weekend. Its a travel blog, started to share our family’s travels and to provide helpful tips for other families on the destination.
    Kids On Trips

    Reply
  44. It’s quite useful information. I have learned certain things from here. I started off my blog gotraveltipster.com just for fun but really want to use it for some serious business now. Thanks for such a great post.

    Reply
  45. Quite informative & useful Post for new bloggers, we are also starting a blog soon. thanks for sharing this post

    Reply
  46. This is so fantastic. As I am in the beginning stages of creating my website, I am beginning to get a little bit overwhelmed with what goes into it. I am so passionate and determined to make my website successful (not just financially, but just something to be really lroud of and genuinely helpful to people). I love this post as it has brought me back down to earth and given me some ideas on what I should be focusing on at this stage. Thanks so much for that!

    Jenna

    Reply
    • Hi Jenna, it’s really easy to get overwhelmed in the early stages and it’s such a steep learning curve. I’m happy to have helped to bring you back down-to-earth. You have a great attitude for blogging and I really hope that you make a success out of it.

      Reply
  47. This is really helpful for new bloggers, all 10 information are helpful for travel and really so informative to easy way to understand.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  48. Great post! Here is a basic (maybe dumb) question. When starting your travel blog, do you start with your most current trip and continue to post working back a year or so, or vice versa? Thanks for sharing your expertise!

    Reply
    • Hi Stacy, it’s not a dumb question at all. In fact, it’s something I deliberated over for too long when I first started blogging. My inner perfectionist wanted everything neat and chronological. However, I found I was travelling quicker than I was writing so I ended up way behind and stressed because of it. As soon as I gave up the chronological posting, things became easier. For search engine purposes, I try to write a chunk of similar posts with a theme e.g. Mexico. But that doesn’t always work. As my main goal is to have post show up in Google rather than from people following my homepage, I tend to write whatever inspires me on the day I sit down. I personally found this method leads to my most popular posts. And it’s also a more liberating way of working. I hope that helps.

      Reply
  49. Great website. Plenty of helpful information here. I am sending it to some buddies ans additionally sharing in delicious. And certainly, thanks in your effort!

    Reply
    • Ahhh. Thanks, John!!! And, you’re welcome. This site has always been about you guys and girls who read my posts so it’s nice to receive comments like this.

      Reply
  50. Wow. I probably should have read this article a few weeks ago, BEFORE attempting to set up an entire blog site! I am not even traveling, just working my job, and trying to get all the basics laid out before the next trip. It has been so much more difficult, and required so much more learning, than I ever imagined. I have read several articles about start up, and have to say that you put it in the most straight-forward and honest manner that I have seen. I understand why this article is still so popular, after several years. I have already signed up for your newsletter, and intend to take Matt’s course as suggested, once I catch the finances back up from the hosting, web protections, applications, etc. I have already purchased. Thank you for the extra insight, and I look forward to learning more from your page. Attaching a link in my blogs we are reading now section. Wishing you continued success!
    Roxanna, gypsywithadayjob.com

    Reply
    • Hey Roxanna, glad you found the post helpful – even if it was a bit after the fact 🙂 I’ve just popped over to your blog (love the name by the way) and tried to leave a comment but there was a problem. You may want to test it. Let me know when it’s fixed and I’ll go repost my comment!

      Reply
      • It seems I had comment approval checked in my settings, so I have unchecked that, and your comment did appear. am not sure it is all fixed, so need to check a couple more, Thank you so much for some feedback. It is nice to have a comment from someone besides my best friends, at this time, lol!

        Reply
  51. Hi Jo! I don’t usually comment on blogs but yours was really helpful and an easy read too. I enjoyed it and appreciated all of your detailed info. Thank you for spending so much time on it! As someone who has a travel blog I can really appreciate the time it takes to write a post. Right now my blog is really a journal for myself, family and friends but my husband wants to monetize it. We’ll see… anyway here’s the link for your own entertainment. (By the way, I love my blog name and it’s not that old so yes, there are good ones if you think hard enough) My Adventure Abroad (dot com)

    Reply
    • Hi Amy, glad you found the post useful and yes, it does take some time to crank out a post. I actually did a quick ‘survey’ in one of the blogging forums and found that most people spent about a day, sometimes more, writing a post! I’ve just been over to your blog and you have a really nice, clean design going on. And I’m about to delve into your snow monkeys post – I didn’t see them when I was in Japan and I’m very jealous. Good luck with the monetisation. If I can help, drop me a line.

      Reply
  52. I’ve just read this while having a massive row with my partner sat in our hotel room in Cusco as to how much time it’s taking to keep our blog going.

    I really want to forward him this link, but the argument is way too fresh for that! Thanks for your amazing tips, especially on management of expectations… we know we aren’t going to make a fortune, but it is soul destroying putting all this time in to only have our equivalent of ‘Aunty Mildred’ interested in what we’re doing!

    It’s all about striking a balance… hopefully we’ll get there, and I’m more encouraged we will after reading your blog. Thank you, from the currently not talking to each other ‘Journeying Journos’!

    Reply
    • I’ve already mentioned in a message to you that I have that row daily – with myself! It’s hard to strike a balance and it’s even harder to justify spending the time when your initial enthusiasm has worn off and the page views aren’t rolling in. But, it does take time and commitment is rewarded…eventually.

      Reply
  53. Fantastic tips. This post was so good. I have just started a blog about the best restaurants in dubai. I would love for you to check it out!!

    Reply
  54. Hi Jo,

    Great article with lots of info. I am currently on a trip of my own, I did 6 weeks in SE Asia and I am now working on a farm in New Zealand. I have decided to start a blog but i have no experience with it. What you have written is really helpful but Im a bit unsure as to where to start still. Do I create a Facebook page first or start a separate blog and link it to a FB page? I have also never used twitter for my sins! Is it best to use twitter for current updates? Im probably not asking the right questions but its quite daunting when my online experience is FB and Email!

    How long would one of your posts cover? So would 1 or 2 days constitute 1 post? Any help would be appreciated!

    Cheers!

    Reply
    • Hi Craig, what a fantastic experience you’re having in New Zealand. Generally Facebook and your blog are separate spaces and although you will want to post links to your blog on your ‘Blog Facebook page’, I’d start with the blog first. If it helps, check out my blog and then my Facebook page and you’ll hopefully see the difference.

      In terms of how long my posts cover, it really varies. I might write an itinerary that covers 2 weeks of travel, with just the highlights or just one day, covered in detail. There is no magic number so I’d say just write what you think feels right and you can carve it into smaller chunks if it gets unmanageable. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  55. Thanks for sharing the tips. Have a travel blog already but the greater challenge at present is to promote. Would follow your tips for sure. Thanks again

    Reply
  56. You article about “So, You Want to Start A Travel Blog? 10 Things I Wish I’d Known” is very interesting and good linked with article information and image info too. Great experience for me thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.

    Reply
  57. Hi Jo, just curious what you think of doing a travel Instagram? My biggest concern is the South American internet connection that you mentioned before, but I figured Instagram would cope with it better than WordPress or other proper blogging platforms. Do you think Instagram would be ok over there?

    Reply
    • Hi Katie, brilliant question. I guess it depends what your goal is. If it’s keeping friends and family up to date, make sure they’ll install Instagram and I’d say go for it. And even if you’re interested in creating a following and maybe getting some business from it, there are plenty of Instagrammers who are being invited on press trips purely off the back of their Instagram account. I was last in South America the year before last, so 2014 and the wifi/internet situation had improved dramatically compared to when I was there in 2010, 2011 and 2012. And the beauty of Instagram is that you don’t need connection for long in order to be able to post, so your web requirements are lower. In the vast majority of places (jungles excluded) you’ll find somewhere to post. Also, look into scheduling services which let you schedule a few posts at a time and then pushes them out at set times. I like the simple interface of Buffer (though I only use it for Twitter). This article lists a few to look at:

      Let me know what you choose to do because I’ll follow you. And you can find me on Instagram at

      Good luck and have an amazing time in South America!

      Reply
  58. This is fantastic and very helpful. We (Feed The Couple) Have just started blogging and taking all the tips we can into practice! 😀 Loving the rest of your blog.

    Reply
  59. I absolute do agree with the “blog ideas” on your post’s header image 😀 Anyway what was your really problem with WordPress in self hosted mode? Was it attacked or something else? I read “8. Get Ready To Become An IT Expert” that’s why I think maybe you had something IT security on your previous WP self hosted blog.

    Reply
  60. Hey Jo. Just letting you know that this article came up on first page of the search result on Google. Thanks for sharing these tips! It’s really useful for an aspiring travel blogger like me!

    Reply
  61. Wow! Thank you so much for this article. For years I’ve dreamed of getting into journalism, but a year or two ago I dropped out of university to work full time to earn enough to fund my extensive travel plans. I let myself become distracted and never seemed to find the time to actually sit down and simply write! I found this post utterly inspiring, and actually, quite motivational. At 20, I think it’s now time to do this properly! I will definitely be following your blog (once I get mine up and going, haha!) x

    Reply
    • Hi Tamara, I know this is a slow reply so apologies. I do like to reply to all comments even if it takes some time – hope the blog is going well. And if you became distracted again, perhaps this is a timely reminder to get back to it 🙂 ha ha

      Reply
  62. Hi Jo, the article is really helpful. We started our journey with blog a month ago and are quite surprised with the response on social media so far (numbers of followers, Google Analytics etc. in our opinion – we thought we will have 3 of them and it turned out there is quite a few). We don’t know yet what is a good number however it motivates us to write more and try different social media. My question is what do you think about considering ourselves as a travel blog while we are posting mostly about dogs, spending time outdoors and being active (but having a full time job in UK and live here for a while)? We never considered ourselves as travellers but we did some journeys before (again, is it worth to write about our past instead of posting about here and now while we kind discover only surroundings for now (will see what future brings)?). So many questions, but probably we need to find one definite answer. What is a purpose of our blog and who we want to write to. And the other question is what do you think about Youtube? It is a power now, however requires so much work – we actually don’t know shall we focus on it as well (we have videos about dogs so far, but have lots of ideas)or it is better to stick to those social media you’ve mentioned? (Twitter and instagram are our bests now, there is some response on facebook and google plus). Haha, I should probably just write a private message to you now, but maybe next time 🙂 Do you have any advice for us? Please visit our blog: llamteurs. Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • Hi Llamateurs, sorry for the slow reply – I’m so pleased things have been going well for you. It’s a job of persistence (which is why I’m sat here on a Friday night replying to comments and not out in the late season sunshine in a beer garden somewhere). I’ll go and check out your blog…

      Reply
  63. I read your post and it was really helpful. I opened a blog recently and I need some advice about it since I am not a professional blogger and I.

    traveltophotograph

    Greetings

    Reply
  64. I followed you on google plus! I find social media so overwhelming and tricky to navigate. Which platforms do you think travel readers use the most? I’d also love to hear more about your twitter experience, I find it super overwhelming. I feel like an old lady (at 32) for just getting on that train!

    Reply
    • Ha ha – old at 32 – ha ha (I’ve just turned 40!) 🙂 Thanks for the follow on G+. I think different blogs have different experiences on different social media platforms and it depends what you want to do. For me, I want to engage with readers so I tend to focus most of my time on Pinterest and Facebook. Twitter I use largely for connecting with brands and tourist boards. I play around with Instagram for fun but it rarely to never translates to click-throughs to my blog. Google Plus is pretty much dead (so I should probably update this post)! If you like pics and videos, Snapchat is very popular but it’s not for me. Yes, it is a minefield and I’d recommend picking one and trying to master that while maintaining a presence on the other platforms. Don’t worry, it takes time – be patient with it.

      Reply
      • Not sure if a blog is more ambitious than what I need. In past trips, I send 2-3 pics and 2-3 sentences per pic to 5-6 people each day via email. Any advantages to creating a blog or should I stick with email?

        Reply
        • A blog doesn’t have to be a huge beast. A bit like a photo album, some people print out all of their snaps and spend hours curating a story. Others print out their favourite pics and just slap them in. The main advantage of a blog is having all of your trips kept in one place and also the ability for friends and family to go back years later and reread what you posted – most people won’t do that with an email. If you need any tips on getting started, let me know.

          Reply
  65. Hi thank you for this greate article. I saw the post is from 2013 but I think most or almost all of it has not changed, yet. The hosting is something that have become more diverse. Beyond WordPress I found some travel related blogging services like travel pod, travelblog.org and traveloca. I have chosen for myself. But i mention that I am not really a professional blogger. I primarily write about my trips for my friends and family from Germany (and maybe some others). But for me it’s more than enough.

    Sabine

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing your experience Sabine – you’re right. It’s all about finding the best blogging platform that works for you. Good luck with your blog and happy travels.

      Reply
  66. Great tips. I’m trying to get my niche travel blog about cat cafes going before I travel for 2 months this summer. I find the visual aspects to be the hardest. I can’t decide on a logo! I’m at Latte Cats

    Reply
    • What an amazing travel blog niche – love it! Sorry it’s taken me a while but I’ve just been over to your site and it’s looking very slick. I’d say images are going to be a huge part of your site, especially for their Pinnable content so I’d get that aspect optimised above all else. Yes, logo selecting can be hard. I ended up paying a graphic designer. Good luck with the blog.

      Reply
  67. It is true! I did not realize how much work I need to do just to set the basics of my blog even if it looks very easy… Anyway I really enjoy in describing my pictures in a form of a small true stories so I would be glad if you can check it also and give me your opinion.

    Reply
    • Hey Greg, well done on the blog and yes, it is quite a lot of hard work! I’ve just checked out your site – looks like you’re having a great trip. It would be great if you could install a comment function (I was going to comment on one of your photos but couldn’t). Happy blogging!

      Reply
  68. I am a new travel blogger and your article has been very helpful for me to read, so thank you!! It is so much more work than I expected when I first started off, but I am having a blast doing it. If anyone would like to check out my blog, please visit anderlustallday.com!

    Reply
  69. Thanks for the post Jo! Loved it 🙂

    I have this blog where I share my personal experience backpacking in India.

    It’s quite new but I think it could be helpful for some. Plus it is crazy and funny.
    Let me know your thoughts 🙂

    Reply
  70. Hey, great post!
    I have a love-hate relationship with my blog – currently we are on the hate side. I started 7 months ago, had some engagement, but now I’m kind of in a dead end (thinking to quit and just enjoy my travels). I’m on a round the world trip and I totally underestimated, how much time would I need for all the content I want to share. 🙁
    If you would take your time – check it out and tell me what you think. Thanks and lovely greetings,
    s xx

    Reply
  71. These were really good tips! They’ve actually inspired me to start! Thanks for giving such good advice and I look forward to continue to read your blog!

    Reply
  72. This made for great reading. Really helpful for a newbie like me! Thanks :). Feel free to drop by: theroamingphoenix.WordPress.com

    Reply
  73. This is such a great post! Really easy to follow, step-by-step guide ideal for all of us would-be bloggers! I’ve just started a wordpress.com site and am thinking about investing in a domain name, so it’s really useful to know what I need to think about once I’ve got one!

    Reply
  74. Great tip learned so much! Just started my blog, hoping to apply all the stuff I learned there! Check it out guys 🙂 Mitchadventure.com

    Reply
  75. What an awesome resource, thanks very much! I’m a Kiwi living in Abu Dhabi, trying to get out and about as much as possible. I’ve always enjoyed reading your blog 😀

    Reply
  76. Hi Jo! Just came across this website when Googling blog improvement tips – really useful advice, thanks a lot! If you’re interested, I’d love to hear your thoughts on my travel blog, that I just started a few months ago as a hobby: maps and magnets

    I wanted your advice – I was thinking of migrating to a self-hosted site, but dot come is taken. How important is a .com extension? I can use mapsandmagnets net but wondering if that reduces SEO traffic etc? I really love the name so wouldn’t want to change it. This will still remain very much a hobby blog 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Mehek, I’ve just popped over and I love your site – great name, writing and photos! My main comment was going to be to get your own domain if you’re in any way interested in taking your blog a bit more professional. In an ideal world you’d own the .com, .net and a few other domains for your site. Personally, I wouldn’t want a .net of a site that already exists in case it confused my readers (people tend to search for a .com first in my experience). As you know (from reading the above), I went through a significant name change because I couldn’t get the url and I don’t think you should be afraid of a name change if that’s what it take. I agree that maps and magnets is nice but a) the magnets part isn’t that integral to your site e.g. it’s not about collecting magnets and, in fact, there didn’t seem to be any magnet references in the content; and b) you’re a wonderful creative being and I’m sure you can come up with something just as good. That’s just my opinion. If you’re wedded to maps and magnets, get the .net and go forth and make it work. Wishing you a happy blogging year.

      Reply
      • Hi Jo! Thanks so much for your advice! I decided a .com was pretty important after all, and just bought mapandmagnets.com, and a few related domains 🙂 A small name change won’t be so bad after all! In the process of designing the whole thing, can’t wait to share it with the blogging community soon! Thanks again! Happy blogging!

        Reply
        • Nice domain and I’m pleased you went for the domain.com – some people don’t care but the fact you were asking the question makes me think you’d be frustrated not having it. Look forward to seeing the updated design.

          Reply
  77. Hi Jo, I have just started the travel blog and have gone live last week. Today I came across this post of yours and cannot agree more with basically all the points you have mentioned here. Now I have to promote my blog “shamelessly” :-). I also realise that it will be ton of work to constantly and consistently churn out the posts after posts. I understand that I need to take many steps to promote my blog, can you tell me what are two things that I should be immediately doing to promote the blog. Thank you for this very informative and inspiring post.

    Reply
  78. Thanks for such an incredible guide Jo! Been looking for hints and tips and this is the best by far 🙂 I’ve only recently started blogging so am a newbie at all this, so if you have any pointers or comments please let me know! Thanks again!!

    Reply
  79. As many others, I also started my blog, and have been googling about blog improvement when I stumbled upon this post. It was pretty helpful as I was missing some of the points you’ve emphasized here.
    Thanks so much. If you happen to have time to check my blog and make a short comment on what do you think in general I would be very appreciative.

    Thanks a lot,
    Anca

    Reply
  80. Hello Jo, I just came across your 10 + 1 tips for travel blogs. I just started blogging on my travel trip. I just blogged on Asia and food places in Singapore currently. I would appreciate it if you could visit my blog and give me some advice! Thank you in advance! 😀

    Reply
    • Hi Jaydn, congrats on starting your blog! I’ve just been over and some of your food pictures make me want to hop on a flight! Just a couple of thoughts – have you thought about really focusing on food and travel, it’s more of a niche than a blend of both food and travel stories and will let you showcase your photography more. If you prefer to stick to both, have you thought of weaving some of your storytelling style that I saw in your “story” post into some of your travel pieces? Over time you’ll find your footing for sure. Good luck and welcome to the blogging world!

      Reply
  81. Hi Jo, thank you for your 10 tips! I have just started out on my traveling blog, and it came as a handy guide for my blog. I was wondering whether u could visit my blog and give me some feedback. I blogged mainly on Asian destinations as of now. Thanks!

    Reply
  82. Thanks for the great advice — so helpful as we start out on our adventure! If you are interested, I’m at: .

    Reply
    • Navigatorof4 – I’ve just checked out your blog and I have to say I’m really impressed – you have a real writing talent (IMHO). If you can stick with the blogging while you travel, I think your stories will be amazing. And on a personal note, I’m pleased you’re seeing more of the UK than just London 🙂

      Reply
      • Thanks so much for the encouragement, Jo! Just getting online again since we headed out. Will be writing again soon. So much to tell, so little internet connections!

        Reply
        • navigator4, that was my biggest frustration when travelling back in 201 – it would take a day to write a 30 minute piece and get it uploaded with photos…though I was in Latin America and I really have noticed a huge improvement in internet speed since then. If you can, spring for a coffee in a place that has fast wi-fi and just get it done there, it can save you half a day. Good luck writing and happy travels.

          Reply
  83. On the brink if starting my own travel blog, this has been of tremendous help turned RESOURCE! Thank you! And I look forward to reading much more from you…..

    Reply
  84. Thanks for the great tips! Recently been thinking of starting my own travel blog and this has really helped me! Can’t wait to start now! 🙂

    Reply
  85. Hi indianajo!

    I am just starting out with my tra el blog. I have facebook, instagram and tumblr. I’m working on pinterest amd after reading your tips I think wordpress may be a better option than tumblr.
    Please follow me 🙂 any advise or tips on generating traffic/followers would be very appreciated.
    Thanks , Bec 🙂

    Reply
    • Bec, I’ve never used tumblr as a platform so can’t comment from experience. However, I find blogging so much easier now I have moved to WordPress. Good luck with the blog!

      Reply
  86. Jo, I read your 10 (11 really) steps with great interest… I recently did a 3 month travelling stint through Asia updating Facebook all the way and was told that I should have done a blog instead. I’m now sorting myself out for another travel from Russia to China in February and thought this time I would take the challenge of doing a blog…. hopefully it will be as good as yours 🙂

    Reply
    • Thanks for the nice words, Staurt. Exciting trip coming up – it’s one I’d like to do myself so please do come back and post a link so I can have a read once your blog is up and running and let me know if you need any more tips! happy blogging.

      Reply
  87. Hi Jo,

    Thanks for this useful information. I recently started a travel blog and do realise it is a lot of work. With articles like this one, it really helps to focus on the important things first. Anyway, it’s lot’s of fun, even though the website still looks a bit “naked”, the comings weeks / months / years, it will be filled with lot’s of interesting news, articles and advices (I hope). Thanks for writing this article to help out the newbies 🙂

    Reply
    • Sabine, you’re welcome – I’m glad to help…on that note, I hope you don’t mind a bit of specific feedback…I’ve just removed a lot of my old “news” posts from my website. I thought it would be a good idea to post about current travel affairs but I later found that the traffic/appeal for those posts died as quick as the news pieces. I don’t want to discourage you, just sharing my experience – non-newsy “every green” content i.e. timeless advice has worked better for me over the years. Of course, give it a go, but just keep longevity in mind. Happy blogging!

      Reply
  88. Very helpful post, me and my wife are looking for tips to manage our blog so this worked just fine! Thanks

    If you are interested in checking our blog is , it will be really nice to have some feedback from an ongoing successful blog =)
    We are trying to mix videos from our trips with writing text and we have a youtube channel as well

    Thank you in advanced!

    Reply
    • Thanks Marcelo – happy to have helped! And thanks for the blog links. The site looks nice. And video is a real bonus if you have skills in that department (I don’t!). Good luck!

      Reply
  89. Great tips! I really enjoyed reading this post – and learnt a thing or two. Some time ago I was also considering migrating to wordpress but in the end i decided to stick to blogger because i wasn’t willing to get myself in such a tech mess and the free version was not really that ahead of blogger.

    Reply
    • Irene, good decision – you have to work with whatever platform works for you and if that’s Blogger, that’s great. Also, I agree that there is little between Blogger and WordPress in terms of the free products. As an aside, were you aware that you can buy a domain name (without having to pay hosting) for around $10 which will let you get rid of the .blogspot in your blog name? Just an idea. Happy blogging.

      Reply
  90. Hello Jo,
    I started my blog a few months ago. Nothing to serious, as I was in my last semester at uni and had lots to do. It was a good start to get me knowing what I want to do exactly with the blog. I had too many hobbies to choose from and now I have things sorted. Reading your post and many others, now I’m sure to convert to wordpress. It’s better late then never. I also want to self host my blog but I found some of them to be too expensive, specially because I have to pay all of it beforehand. Do you know any host that doesn’t have this policy and also supports wordpress? What host are you using?

    Reply
    • Hi Matin, congrats on finishing your uni semester and getting your blog set up. Yes, hosting can be difficult. I started with GoDaddy for no particular reason than they offered a starting deal price but I would urge you NOT to use them. Although the service was fine, I subsequently found out that one of the senior members of the company was an African trophy hunter. Vile. So, I moved immediately when I found that out. Now I’m with DreamHost and I couldn’t be happier. They were affordable, have great support and are easy to use. I’m going over to your Facebook page now and will send you a link because there is a Dreamhost offer on at the moment I think you might find useful. Good luck and happy blogging!

      Reply
  91. I really enjoyed your blog post Jo!

    I was planning starting a travel blog too. Do you have any suggestions on great places to blog about?

    Reply
    • Thanks. I think it’s important to write about any place that inspires you and absolutely somewhere you have been, even if it’s close to home because that way you will able to convey the real texture of the place.

      Reply
  92. Hi Jo,

    Thanks for your article, it was really informative and has given some great points to consider. I am trying to start a travel blog, my first few blog posts are too lengthy and story-like so I am trying to write them in a more captivating and interesting way.

    Thanks again,

    Heather-Ann

    Reply
    • Hi Heather-Ann, glad to help. As an extra tip, my articles (apart from this one) are actually very long and story-like and still I get a nice number of readers. So, I wouldn’t assume long and creative is a bad thing. I’d just suggest making sure your stories are interesting (that’s also a “note to self”!) and add in a lot of headers to break up the content for those who want to scan read. Good luck!

      Reply
  93. Thanks so much for all the help! I’ve been vlogging for about a year now and I’m currently doing a lot of research in preparation to start my own travel blog. I haven’t gotten a site up and running yet…still in the planning stages, but I did link my YouTube channel, if you’re interested in checking it out 🙂

    Reply
    • Thanks, Stephanie. Vlogging – wow, I have so much respect for the bravery and effort that goes into that tangent! I’ll check out your you tube channel!

      Reply
  94. So I’m going to say straight up that I’ve had this page open in my Chrome browser for about two weeks while starting my travel blog after 10 years of traveling. I’ve probably read it at least 6 times. I initially struggled with trying to customize wordpress to my liking, but I’ve pretty much given up on that in order to just get the ten years of content out. I love your site and I’ll keep coming back for tips!

    Reply
    • Aww, thanks Guerrilla Gallivanter – it’s comments like this that motivate me to sit down and share my thoughts, so thanks for the support in return! And 10 years of travel – wow! Now I bet there are a lot of stories to be told. If it makes you feel better, I had a deeply unpleasing site design for around 9 months because I also couldn’t get my head around WP. I just pressed on with my content and when I finally got the chance to breathe, I improved the site design. I confess I ended up paying someone to do the design for me then had someone over on Fiverr (love that site – I’d recommend checking it out), do all the technical stuff. Good luck with the blog and I’ve love it if you came back and shared your stories!

      Reply
      • Fiverr looks like an awesome site, I had no idea about that! How would I go about sharing my stories with you? I can send them by Morse Code – the way I’ve been writing my blog – or in envelopes filled with glitter.
        Thanks again!

        Reply
        • David, I’m all for Morse Code – I love a good brain twister. Although, now you mention it, glitter filled envelopes are always going to win 🙂 I’d definitely check Fiverr out. I have a few guys I’ve used if you’re looking for WordPress or virtual assistant work…equally, you can pay someone to sing happy birthday to you or mediate for an hour about enhancing your personal wealth. There’s a lot of, errrr, “quirky” stuff on there!

          Reply
  95. Thanks for the tips! I’ve been blogging for a few years now and it helped give me some needed direction and perspective.

    Reply
    • Hey Jeannie, glad to be able to help. Finding direction and perspective can be tough – I think I’m still searching but the quest continues!

      Reply
  96. Hi Jo!

    Thanks a lot for posting this. I’m currently setting up my own travelblog (on paper that is). But i still didn’t have the courage to go in the deep, take the challenge and post it online.
    After reading your post, i got a little bit more courage 🙂
    The tips are superb and are helping me out a lot to get things straight.

    I’m leaving to Southeast Asia the 21th of June. Doing a backpack across Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos un til septembre. So I hope i can get my blog online by the end of may.

    In the meanwhile, i’m gonna keep enjoying your stories 🙂

    Thanks Jo!!

    Reply
    • Hey Yuri, glad you enjoy my stories and also my tips. I’ll share another blogging tip with you – it’s possible to set up a blog online and place the privacy level as private so only you can see it. I recommend this for when you do get the courage to make it public – it will all be there, ready to go and if you decide to keep it private, that’s fine too! Amazing trip you have planned. I love that part of Southeast Asia – is it wrong (and greedy) that I’m always jealous of other people’s travel plans when I have so many of my own 🙂 When you do get your blog online (and I have EVERY confidence you will), do come back and post a link. I’d love to follow your adventures!

      Reply
      • Hi Jo!!

        Wauw thanks for the very quick answer and the tips offcourse.
        And no, i don’t think it’s wrong to be jealous. I have the same thing with my best friend. Eventhough i’m going on a 2,5month trip, i’m jealous of him going to Australia. But it is a good kind of jealous as we all know 😉

        Well, the moment I have my blog online, i’ll give you a headsup.

        Another thing. If ever, you feel the urge to travel to Belgium, give me a headsup aswell. Why? I’m Belgian (obviously), Antwerp..a very nice city in this little country. And eventhough not a lot of people know the country, it has a lot to offer. So i’d be glad, to guide you trough our streets, or fix you a place to crash. So if you ever get interested…;) just so you know

        Yuri

        Reply
        • Hi Yuri, I am wholly embarrassed to say that I have NEVER been to Belgium! I know…I know…it just seems to close 🙂 But, I’ll definitely get in contact when I decide to head that way – it’s always nice to have a local invite, so thanks for that! As for your blog – looking forward to seeing it go live…whenever you’re ready (of course!).

          Reply
  97. Hi there!
    Fantastic tips. This post was so helpful. I have just started a blog about the Middle East and Abu Dhabi. I would love for you to check it out!!

    Thank you!
    Lizzy

    Reply
    • Hi Lizzy, thanks for stopping by and I’m glad you found this helpful. I don’t have your website address – can you please post it here and I’ll pop over and check out your site 🙂

      Reply
  98. Indiana Joe!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. I came across it by typing in ” How to start a travel blog” on Google search, and there you were, with pointers and assurance that I too can do this blogging thing that I have been wanting to do for a while now, but have been terrfied to start and get hung up along the way. You see, like you at the beggining, I am not too savvy with techie stuff. I know the basics of how to work a computer: check my email, post on Facebook, look for videos on Youtube, Microsoft Word, etc. But a blog was way out of my comfort level. I now feel more confident in my ability to actually pull it off. I am currently in Bali, Indonesia for the month of February and heading to Thailand next. I want to share my traveling experiences with more than just my friends and family on Facebook. I believe I can reach a wider audience as I am a professional, 42 year old female with no children, husband, or mortgage to speak of (to the horror of my family and friends. They think I’m a bit, if not a lot crazy.) who stored my few valuables (I’m a minimalist), took my savings and hit the road with no particular itinerary in mind other than to travel SE Asia “on a shoe string” as Lonely Planet puts it. I invited several of the people in my life to come along and all but one turned me down with a million and one excuses, and the advice to get my head checked, because what I was about to do is just absolutely insane in their opinion. And so, with all that in mind I proceeded to do it anyway. So, here I am in Bali, with my dear friend Patrick, ready to launch that blog I have been contemplating for a while now. I originally was considering Tumblr as it was suggested by a friend who blogs, but for me, after reading your post and further research, Word Press is where it’s at. Your advice and assurance on this post has catapulted my desire, energy and confidence to a whole new level. Thank you once again from the bottom of my heart.
    Sincerely, a very grateful,
    Aida Mercedes Cabrera
    P.s.
    The name I have chosen for my blog is: The Compass Rose Chronicles
    Look for it soon, and please feel free to give me all the feedback you wish.
    Until next time.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Aida. What a lovely adventure you’ve taken yourself on! I’ve come to realise over my travelling years that there is a solid core of “crazies” like us who have taken to the road instead of perpetuating the routine that has become our 21st century world. It’s very different living life this way and sometimes it can be hard (for the past 30 minutes I’ve been sat in a courtyard trying to avoid the rain in really cold temperatures so I could send an email!) but the vast majority of it is pure experience and enjoyment. I hope you find blogging your adventures to be a rich and rewarding endeavour. There are likely to be some challenges along the way but I always find it to be worth it; especially when people like yourself drop by to say they’ve enjoyed something they’ve read. Nice blog name! I’ll definitely come over and check you out when you’re up and running. Let me know if you have any questions along the way. Good luck and enjoy the journey 🙂

      Reply
  99. Thanks for your article. I’ve also started a travel blog & run into a few difficulties in blogger. I didn’t know that cutting & pasting from word etc uses up loads of memory. As a result I have lost my contact by email link. Some blogs are slow to load as I have plenty of photos ( use low resolution). But it is fun & I am getting a few advertisers & lots of free travel!

    Reply
    • Mike, good to know I wasn’t the only one experiencing trouble with blogger – sucks about losing your link but sucks less if you’ve managed to swing some free travel! Happy blogging.

      Reply
  100. Thank you for the precious tips! I’m just starting with my blog and I’ve already planned a Spain-tour for the next months!

    Have a nice day!

    Reply
  101. Great blog! I just started a travel blog not too long ago and I’m glad to have chanced upon yours. Great tips that I’d bear in mind.

    Reply
  102. Very informative post Jo. I too want to start a blog. I am confused over blogger and WordPress. Since, blogger is free and it also allows affiliated links along with adsense so i am a little hesitant about WordPress. Since WordPress has more plugins and i can host my blog and there is no threat as google slap in case of blogger. But rest every thing i can do on the blogger like having custom domain name etc. What would you suggest? I intent to choose blogging seriously.

    Reply
    • Suman, ultimately it is down to personal choice. Here are the main differences I see based on what you have said. It’s worth recognising that there are 2 wordpress options – 1) wordpress.com, which is free and similar to blogger and 2) wordpress.org, which is more advance and isn’t free because you need to pay for someone to host your website for you. Plugins you will only find on wordpress.org (some plugins are included on wordpress.com but you don’t have the full range or control as you have on .org, i.e. there is no ‘plugin’ function: . Blogger restricts you to adsense. On .org you can do what you want. In the early stages I honestly wouldn’t get too focused on adsense or the wordpress equivalent. A common misconception is that simply by having ads on your blog, you will generate income. Not true. You need people to actually click on the ads. So, I always then ask, when was the last time you clicked an ad on a blog? The answer for most people is that they rarely do. The upshot – most blogs need a lot of traffic to generate any income. In my first year of blogging on blogger (admittedly I was only posting about once a month and had very low traffic), I earned 10 US cents. Barely enough to buy a bite of a hamburger. I’m not saying it can’t work for you, but something to think about. I get the impression you instinctively prefer blogger so I would suggest starting there – you need to enjoy your platform and its interface so that blogging isn’t a chore. The beauty is that you can fairly easily move between the platforms (though do some research first and NEVER change your url links – I did that, traffic disappeared). I hope that helps, but contact me if you want any more tips.

      Reply
  103. Hi Jo, am so glad I found your site. It’s very well written and easy to understand. I’ve been overwhelmed with a lot of information and jargon about how to market your blog, SEOs, etc, available on the net these days. And quite frankly, I did get a bit lost.

    I started a blog a few years back but it was mostly for my own consumption and for my family and friends who would usually ask me to share information about my trips. But like you said, it’s hard work to keep up, and as you can see, my blog is now a bunch of misc formats, e.g. photo gallery, highlights, trip reports, reviews.

    I actually appreciate your tip #1 and tip #3 which is maybe what I have to re-assess. I’ve been doing a bit of input on AFAR.com and TripAdvisor, and I enjoy seeing people benefiting from my tips, or reviews, or simply sharing my itinerary. I am curious you mentioned TripAdvisor to promote my blog. I wasn’t aware of how to link them to my blog. I was hoping to revive my blog again so that fellow travelers can actually benefit from the more detailed information like trip reports, etc but I’d like to build traffic so that people can actually see them 🙂

    Reply
    • Oooh, the Japanese food on your blog looks sooooo good. I miss Japan…sorry, back to blogging (I’m easily distracted!).Thanks for the kind comments about my site – it’s been a long process getting it to this stage.Yes, there is so much information out there about SEO and blog promotion. At one point I was online around 16 hours a day blogging and researching and I’m not sure I was that further forward. I probably actually need to update this post a bit. At the time I was getting some traffic from forums (people see the link to your blog on your profile and pop by), but I wasn’t as engaged with social media as I should have been. That’s changed now and Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram and Pinterest are the main ways I promote my content. Guest posting on other sites and commenting on other blogs are also good ways to introduce yourself to the world. I try to think about promotion as having two parts – the shop front (readers) and the stockroom (what google and search engines see). Play around with social media for promoting to readers while keywords, SEO and getting linked to on other blogs and sites will help with your stockroom. Of course, the one item that is good for readers and google is great content. I get the majority of my traffic from organic google searches which means that people are coming to my site because they want to read my content. You need a strategy that involves promotion and content but I genuinely believe that content is key. I don’t always get it right. I’ve spent a long time writing posts I’m proud of only to find they lacks interest or umph for others. It happens. I learn, I move on, write more, write better. Cross fingers. Repeat. I don’t think it matters that you have different kinds of content – it keeps it interesting, but if you can develop them into themes e.g. Photo Friday, it will help you focus and let your readers develop an understanding of what they come to your site for. Your readers will undoubtedly cheat on you with other blogs but so long as they come back for those things you do well, you will have succeeded (according to my measure of things!) I hope that has helped. Your blog has a nice look and feel to it. Stick with it and eventually it will grow.

      Reply
  104. Hi Jo, great advice! I’m only a newby to the world of travel blogging and can already see that it is more difficult to get noticed than I originally anticipated. Lucky for me I have some decent saving to travel on and am currently doing it for the love of it and at the same time learning so much about running a website (about SEO etc.)! Hopefully I might get more traffic in the future.

    Reply
    • I’m glad it helped. When I first hit publish on my first post I sat in anticipation of the millions of follows who would naturally find me and follow my every word…even after years of hard work, I’m still waiting 🙂 But, like you, it’s the love of it that drives me to keep posting. And finding out about SEO! Good luck – been over to your site and really like it, especially your blog name. Keep up the good work.

      Reply
  105. Hi Jo, great advice! I’m only a newby to the world of travel blogging and can already see that it is more difficult to get noticed than I originally anticipated. Lucky for me I have some decent saving to travel on and am currently doing it for the love of it and at the same time learning so much about running a website (about SEO etc.)! Hopefully I might get more traffic in the future.

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  106. Super helpful! Thanks so much for taking the time to write this out. Luckily we started on a good platform, but still looking for a balance of location reviews & experiences that strike the right chord with readers. I just want to be interesting. lol. Good to hear I’m not the only one that struggles.

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    • Jess, if you ever master the skill of being interesting, let me know your tricks 🙂 I think it’s something most bloggers struggle with. I find my collection of handwritten trip notes fascinating, but I have come to accept that most people don’t. Sigh. But seriously, your voice will develop over time and just keep getting stronger! Good luck with your venture and I hope it goes well. I pop in and check out your site…

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  107. I stumbled into your blog by an accident. Really useful tips for beginners! I was also struggling with some of the issues mentioned – like how to get the traffic or how to write in an attractive way. Fortunately, I’m was able to get on a right track 🙂

    All the best in a New Year!

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    • Hi Justyna, glad you found the tips helpful. I’ll confess I sometimes re-red them myself when i get into a black hole of “why am I doing this?”! I used to agonise over traffic…still do, a fair bit, but along the way I realised that persistence and time are often the key. Glad you’re on the right track – hope it continues that way! Happy blogging.

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  108. Very useful article and great tips. Something I-should’ve-read-before-I-started-our-blog lol! Well I really enjoy blogging but more I read about platforms, I feel less confident about picking Blogger. As its a simple blog, I haven’t found a reason yet to migrate to WordPress but hopefully, I never have to.
    Another requirement imo is pre-knowledge about SEO as I’m spending a lot of time on it now. No commercial goals for me but I’d love for the blog to fare better (at all!) in the page ranking which I think a lot of bloggers will want too.
    Thanks again for the great article!

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    • Shraddha, if Blogger is working for you and you see no reason to change, then I say stick with what you’re happy with! SEO is a tricky one and I’ve touched on it in two other posts: which practically guides you through SEO for each post. Not sure if there is an equivalent for WP.com or Blogger? I used to write a lot more for SEO, now I’m veering back towards more natural content, with SEO playing a secondary role. Play around with it and see what works. Ultimately, you still need to have fun if you want to stick at it and hopefully in the long-term the constant posting and the following it should attract will help your rank. Glad you liked the article!

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    • Thanks, Yana. Glad you liked the post. Keep at it – blogging can be a battle, but if you get into a routine of posting it becomes (a bit) easier!

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  109. Thank you!! I’m going for it. I didn’t have any problems from blogger to wordpress.com so keeping fingers and toes crossed this will go ok *eek*!! Thank you for all of your help 🙂

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  110. I’m a big fan of lists so why don’t you make a list of the reasons you want to move to .org. For me it was the plugins, having control over the site to keep it ad free and the flexibility to own and be able to better change the design (not that I’ve done it yet!). I already had my own domain so that was no problem. I lost traffic in the move from Blogger to WordPress.com – apparently it’s common because Blogger has a different format for its permalinks (the blog urls). You can set up a redirect to point one to the other, but I didn’t know what the problem was, I just saw my view numbers fall off a cliff 🙁 I think if you’ve already done the migration to wordpress and had no problems, you should be fine. Here’s an article that helped me figure out (after the fact!) what I’d done wrong –

    If you make the move, I hope it all goes well, just do your research first and you should be fine!

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  111. Great and informative post, thank you very much for sharing all of this…I made the exact same mistakes with choosing a platform…and I’m currently with wordpress.com and wondering, after a month, if I should already make the leap to .org!!

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    • It’s funny, Globamouse, as soon as I migrated to wordpress.com I regretted not making the jump straight to .org. It can be scary stuff but once I figured it out and took the plunge to go self-hosted I didn’t regret it for a minute. I’m no expert and found it easier than I imagined. Be really careful with your urls, but if you’ve already moved to .com, I’m sure you’ll be fine. Just think of all those amazing plugins you will get to use as a reward for the change 🙂 If you need any help, let me know.

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      • You’re making me think I should just do it!! I regretted not having gone to .org almost immediately too. You mentioned losing people…was this when you moved to the first time to wordpress.com or can you lose people between the two wordpress’s..if you see what I mean?! I’m concerned I might but then I think I should do it sooner than later anyway as I’ll probably end up wanting to at some point…..hmmmm I think you might have convinced me….!!!

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  112. Hi, great post and very useful tips. Thanks for sharing! I just started my own blog and this post gave me a lot of answers to some of the questions I had.
    Your blog looks great too! 🙂

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    • Thanks, Nina. I’m glad someone can learn from my newbie glitches! I discovered today that my old blogging name (Jo Blogs) is on the market Out of interest I asked about the price – $4,000! For a domain name!!! I politely replied that if I had that amount of spare cash I would spend it on travel…or diamonds…or both 🙂

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  113. This is an absolutely fantastic post. Although my website/blog is four months old now and I am beginning to get the hang of things, a lot of things you said really resonated with me and gave me a few things to consider too. Thank you.

    My website has a dual purpose, the secondary aim of promoting and selling my published series of travel books (which is getting added to as I write), but primarily to inspire people to travel and to provide the inexperienced backpacker with the advice, hints and tips they will need to make their dreams a reality.

    If you want to stop by, I’d appreciate any comments or thoughts you may have? Or even any criticisms? (But please be kind!) ;D

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    • Thanks for the kind comment, Mike – pleased to offer some food for blogging thought. As I come fresh from just having accidentally deleted an FTP file (thankfully recovered), it’s a good reminder that I’m still getting the hang of things too. I’ve been over to your blog – looks good! I may be in contact for some tip as I’m musing with the idea of my own eBook 🙂 Happy blogging and good luck with the book sales!

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      • Thankyou very much! I’m glad you liked the site! I’m open to any and every bit of advice on how to improve it if you have any after seeing it? You should definitely write your book! Please feel free to drop me an email anytime, I’ll be glad to help if I can.

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  114. Hi, thanks for this great article. It has opened my eyes about my blog. I guess what started out as a place to share stories probably ended up being a whole lot of “look at me me me” that probably drove away interest from friends and family (except my parents). I really should have made it more about how my travels can help teach something to those out there reading. I will keep this in mind going forward.

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    • Hi Ken, glad to help. It can be a difficult balance to strike. My blog also used to be a place to share stories then I started writing lots of tips and guides, losing my non-travelling friends and family as readers in the process (thanks to my Uncle Dave for the insight!). I think the key is a blend of personal and helpful. I’ll let you know if I ever get that blend right 🙂 On the plus side, every blog we post teaches us something.

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  115. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and helpful tips on blogging. As I’m sitting here in Paris trying to figure out how to redefine my own travel site, your blog came in handy as a reality check for me. So thank you!

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    • Tanya, you’re welcome. Glad the post helped. I had a conversation with another traveller yesterday about how much work blogging involves, which is oddly comforting knowing other bloggers don’t always find it plain sailing either. Your blog looks good – keep at it.

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  116. I love the tips and the honest feedback on setting up s travell blog and trying the fund your own trip. Your insight and how you use the technology to run your blog and been every helpful and is it great to know my ipad is able to do the job for my own blog projects.

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    • Thanks, David. I’m always happy for people to learn from things I think I could have done better 🙂 Good luck with your blog and feel free to send me a link!

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    • Thanks, Chris – I’m glad I’m not the only one who finds travel blogging requires continual effort! I see from your blog that you spend a lot of time in Asia. Any insider tips always welcome. I’ll be in Bangkok later in summer for the 3rd time so will do more exploring then.

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