2011 Everest Base Camp. 4 months after I left Ottawa to travel the world Introduction on How to Start a Travel Blog in Less Than 15 Minutes If you have wondered how to start a travel blog, you have come to the right place, I will teach you. Then I will teach you how to KILL it blogging, and make some serious cash by leveraging your travel blog. This travel blog helped me escape from a boring life back home in Ottawa, Canada. It has helped give me the freedom to see the world and live an exceptional lifestyle. I am going to get VERY detailed in this post, and walk you through step-by-step with simple, well-written instructions, about how to start a travel blog. I will use lots of pictures, screen shots of a real life set up, and examples to make this a smooth as possible. First, I will briefly talk about my personal experience as a travel blogger, and why everyone who travels should start a travel blog. Then, I will dive right into choosing the best host for your blog, and how to get your travel blog set up as fast and as easy as possible! If you don’t care to read about my story, just scroll down to where you see “How to Start a Travel Blog Step 1”. If you want to know a bit about the man who is helping you, and why you should learn from me, then read on. Just another Tuesday afternoon in the life of a travel blogger Keep in mind, I was super confused when I was first trying to figure out how to start a travel blog, so the purpose of this article is to keep that confusion to a minimum, and get you started in less than 15 minutes! (I think it took me a full week to figure it all out, I wish I had a guide like this to teach me). Let’s begin. Why Start a Travel Blog – My Personal Travel Blogging Experience The most common questions I am asked by my readers are “how do I start a travel blog?” and “how do I make money from a travel blog?” The money part will come later; and I promise I will tell you how I make money travel blogging, and how you can too in upcoming posts in this series. It’s not really that hard, but first things first; you need to learn how to start a travel blog, and from there the sky is the limit. Starting a travel blog was the best decision of my life, hands down. Since I began, I have visited every corner of the globe, often for free, and sometimes even paid for. I was travelling through India in 2015 on my Royal Enfield motorcycle, when I saw an advertisement for India Bike Week. I decided what the hell, and sent them an email asking if they would like some media coverage. This was just a shot in the dark, next thing I know, they are paying for me to get there, putting me up in a 5 star hotel, giving me a backstage pass to India Bike Week, and having me come up on stage and give a speech. The main stage at India Bike Week Another time I was at a travel blogging conference called TBEX (highly recommended and super fun), it was after midnight, we were drunk, outside of one of the parties. We had all been giving a free bottle of wine, but no one had an opener. I remembered watching a YouTube video where I guy opened a bottle of wine using his shoe. I put the bottle into my shoe and repeatedly hit it against the wall. This was a high risk maneuver considering the large crowd of my colleagues watching, along with destination reps. Well guess what, the cork slowly popped out and the crowd cheered. I shared the bottle with the rep from Meteora, Greece and next thing I know, two days later I am on my way for an all expense paid trip to check out some crazy monasteries in Meteora! Buying Land in the Caribbean I have made enough money both directly and indirectly from my travel blog to buy a property on Little Corn Island in Nicaragua, where I will build a Caribbean Sea view house early next year. The 1/4 of land I just bought on Little Corn Island.. Not a bad view, right? After you learn how to start a travel blog, keep an eye out by signing up for my newsletter as I will start to write about how I was able to leverage my blog to earn this money. This isn’t Rocket Science, You Can Do it Too! You can do all this as well; it’s really not that hard. I had little computer knowledge (and still don’t!) before starting a travel blog, and frankly didn’t care for social media or the Internet in general for that matter. Well I will tell you, that has certainly changed now! I love every aspect of it, I never thought I would have Instagram, let alone tens of thousands of loyal followers encouraging me to keep going. After so many questions from so many readers, it’s about time I share what I have learned and teach you how to get started in travel blogging. Should I Start a Travel Blog? Before you learn how to start a travel blog, you must first decide if you WANT to start a travel blog. Do you Love to Travel? If you love to travel, and plan to travel, then YES, you should start a travel blog. If you hate to travel, then no, don’t start one ;). If you only plan to travel part-time, or just sometimes, it is still a fun way to keep track of your memories, and maybe still reap the benefits from it. Travel Blogs are for Part-time Travellers as well I have friends who have started travel blogs, and only travel on their 3 weeks of holidays every year. The rest of the year they are working in their home city as usual, some even manage to squeeze a free trip in here and there for weekend getaways. If you are like me, and planning to drop everything and hit the road long-term, then starting a travel blog will be the best decision of your life, I promise. The First Step is to not Procrastinate and Just Start Already! People love to put things off until tomorrow, or next week. “Well, it’s already Friday, I might as well start fresh on Monday..” This is not how successful people think. Step one is starting, so get started already! Learning how to start a travel blog took me to places I never dreamed I’d go. It has secured my life of travel, as well as my financial future. Ok, enough rambling of how much I love travel blogging, and why you should start a travel blog. Let’s get down to business. How to Start a Travel Blog Step 1: Choosing the Right Host This is the beginning of it all. You need a good hosting company. Choosing the right host for your travel blog will get you off to the right start and make sure you have no issues going forward. Best Host for First Time Travel Bloggers For a first time travel blogger, you want a host with great service, inexpensive prices, and most of all a simple and reliable platform. I use Bluehost, I started with them, and they have been great to me ever since. Hands Down the Best Support My favorite feature with Bluehost is the live chat, this is key. Any question you have, they are there usually in less than a minute, 24/7 to answer it and walk you through any troubleshooting. I have spent HOURS online chatting with them as they helped me start this travel blog, along with all the other websites I now own. Luckily for you, I can condense the hours and hours of my time spent chatting to them into this quick guide to help you get going and answer all your questions related to how to start a travel blog. Let’s Save you some MONEY! Since I use personally use Bluehost for all my sites, and I recommend them to everyone getting into the travel blogging game, I will use them in this guide. Because Bluehost and I are so tight, I can get you a 30% discount if you click through any of the links in this article. In order to get the discount though you MUST click through from my site and complete the sign up. This can be any picture, screen shot, or Bluehost link. The easiest way to follow this how to start a travel blog guide is to open bluehost in a new window. Click the button directly below to do so, this will also make sure the discount is applied! OPEN BLUEHOST WITH DISCOUNT Keep that page open in a separate window, and follow along with the instructions below. Starting a Travel Blog Step 2: Choosing a Hosting Plan and Getting Registered Now that you have opened Bluehost in a new window, you should see the homepage like this. Click on the green “get started now” button. This will then bring you to where you must select your plan. Now we choose the right plan for your travel blog. It is unlikely you will need the “business pro”, I don’t even use that. If you plan to just have the one site, and use your blog as a hobby, go for the cheapest “starter” plan. If you plan to try to monetize your blog eventually, or build more sites, choose the “plus” plan, this is what I use. Next up, you need to enter your domain name. I am assuming here you have one in mind. If not, think of something “evergreen”, meaning you won’t outgrow it. Don’t use “travellerin20s.com”, what happens when you’re in your 30’s? Don’t use “apoortraveller.com”, you will never make any money. Your domain name is your BRAND NAME, it is you, your business, your everything, choose wisely. Once you have one in mind, enter it as seen in the screenshot bellow. Now you enter your account information, package information, and billing information. Useful Tip** Use an email address you check often. Make sure you have chosen the right package. Uncheck all the extras, these aren’t necessary for a new blog. Now enter your billing info, then click next. At this point you may be asked to buy extras, skip all this and click complete. Now congratulate yourself as you officially own a small piece of the interweb! How to Start a Travel Blog Step 3: Logging into “C-panel” and installing Wordpres Now we will set up your bluehost password and dive into the backend of things. Choose a complicated password, and WRITE IT DOWN! After you click “create”, enter the password you just created and log in. Close the pop-up box you see below. You are now on the main page of your bluehost account. Click on “Home” in the top left. Then scroll down to where you see “install wordpress” and click that. You will now be redirected to mojo marketplace. This is where we will complete the install of wordpress. You should now see the screen below, you want to start a brand new install. Now select your domain and click check domain. After you check domain, you will be brought to a screen a box to open “show advanced options”, click on this. Here you will change your site name, user name, and password you log into your travel blog with. Then click Install Now. You will then see that your install is underway. Wait a minute or so and when the set up is complete you will see this. You are now ready to log into your blog and get started using wordpress! How to Start a Travel Blog Step 4: Logging into WordPress WordPress is where all the magic happens. Enter the url as follows into your search bar “www.yourtravelblog.com/wp-admin” and this will bring you to the sign in screen. Sign in with the credentials you created in advanced options above, and your set! WordPress will seem confusing at first. You will be starting with a default theme, these are fine for hobby blog, but if you want to get noticed you need a paid for theme. I always suggest to buy a good theme, they aren’t that expensive and will make your new travel blog look pro right from the start. Have a look at Theme Forrest and search for travel blog themes. I have bought many themes from them and they are easy to use and set up. I am no expert at wordpress, I learned by watching youtube videos like this one and spending a lot of time playing around with it. There are many sites out there that will help you set up wordpress and learn the basics. A site I use often is wpbeginner, check out this article that helps you learn wordpress one week. This travel blog is your baby now, learn how to be a good parent and nurture it to life! The Conclusion on How To Start a Travel Blog By now you know how to start a travel blog, how to install wordpress, and are learning the basics of blogging by reading those articles and watching the videos. I will continue to write more articles about how I got to the point where I am, and how you can as well. Make sure to sign up to my mailing list so you are first to receive this valuable information as soon as it is released. If you use this how to start a travel blog guide and successfully get yours up and running, please use the contact form to let me know your site URL and I will add you to my list of travel blogs, your first backlink! If you have any questions about how to start a travel blog, please ask them in the comments below. This way we can help each other out and keep out travel blogging community close. Like this post? Help out and share it!TweetEmail 10 Responses Clare October 13, 2015 What an excellent post – every current travel blogger will wish they had this key information before starting. Every future travel blogger, or those pondering the idea, should take full advantage or your post sharing the tricks of the trade. Loved the shoe-wine-bottle story, awesome! Clare Alex December 10, 2015 Thanks Clare! Karen King October 13, 2015 Fantastic article… I am sure it will be a valuable resource for lots of people! Alex December 10, 2015 Thank you Karen I hope it will be! Joel October 20, 2015 Interesting article, but did I miss the part about how it makes you money? I’ve been contemplating doing something like this, but don’t really know how to monetize it… would be interested in more information in that regard. Joel Alex December 10, 2015 Hi Joel, This is something I plan to answer in my next article. It should have been out by now but things get busy in the blogging world. Good luck and let me know if you ever need help setting up! Alex Joel Buhler November 5, 2015 I wish it was as easy as you make it sound, I thought I’d try it, but haven’t had much luck… wordpress and Bluehost can’t seem to work together for me… it’s been an exercise in frustration so far for me. Alex December 10, 2015 Bluehost live help has always been great to me. Try a few different people on the chat as some a more interested in helping then others. Good luck and stick to it 🙂 Jazzy November 12, 2015 I definitely have to agree with Clare, if I had something like this when I first started blogging, life would have been a little easier. Jazzy recently posted…How to Suck at Travel Blogging Alex December 10, 2015 Thanks Jazzy, I hope it can help lots of people join our ever growing community!