4 Strategies You Need to Know to Start a Successful Travel Blog

4 Strategies You Need to Know to Start a Successful Travel Blog
Me (Amanda) working on my blog.

A Beginner's Guide to Starting a Successful Travel Blog

Let’s face it, travelers love to share! A great way to document your travels, share advice and show the world your way of travel is with a blog.  

I will admit, we never would have imagined living in a RV and traveling full-time if it wasn’t for other full-time RVers sharing their lives on YouTube, in blogs, and on social media. We watched from our couch for two years before taking the leap and going full-time.

The process for starting a blog is simple when you break it down. We’ll discuss our content plan, blog naming and domain selection, web hosting, and style.

1. Content Mapping: Maps? We Use GPS!

Mapping out your site is simple especially when you are just starting out. I like to compare this to organizing an RV. You work with what you have and don’t overload it!

Know Your Overall Project:

  • What is your subject matter?
  • What is your main content type?

Figure Out How Many Pages You Will Need to Organize Your Content:

Draft your top-level navigation. These are the main pages for your website. Here are some typical pages:

Common Pages:

Additional Pages/Items:

  • Home
  • About Us
  • Contact Us
  • Blog
  • Store
  • Newsletter Sign-up
  • Instagram Feed

Your map will help you to create a sitemap which does wonders for your site’s SEO. Sitemaps help search engines, like Google, find your site’s pages. This is important since search engines don’t only rank websites, they rank pages as well.

Schedule Your Content:

  • Content is the reason people will visit your blog.
  • Choose a schedule that you can stick with, whether that is once per week, twice per week, or even once every other week.
  • Consistently posting new content to your site keeps visitors engaged.
  • New content also gives search engines more to crawl and rank.

Here is an example content plan that will work for most RVers!

2. It's a Naming Game

Naming your blog can be fun and stressful. Keep it on the fun side with these tips:

Use Keywords

Use keywords that describe what your blog is about. Ex: if you have a blog about finding locally grown foods in urban areas, you may consider names like Find Local Foods (findlocalfoods.com) or Grown Locally (grownlocally.com) or Urban Garden Foodie (urbangardenfoodie.com).

Make It Catchy & Simple

Bounce ideas off others. See if they find your name memorable. Having visitors recall your blog name makes it easier for them to return.

Avoid Using Numbers & Hyphens

Numbers and hyphens can be misunderstood when someone is hearing your blog name. They won’t know if you are using numerals or spelling out the numbers and hyphens are often forgotten.

Choose the Right Extension for Your Domain Name

There are so many extensions to choose from these days but .com is still the most popular. I highly recommend choosing a name that you can get as a .com as that is everyone’s go to when typing in a URL.

Research

Do a search for the name that you want to use to see if it is already taken.

Register Your Domain

It’s better to act fast when you pick a domain name. You never know if someone else will buy it before you do! Some web hosts include a free domain with one year of hosting. So, just keep that in mind.

3. Hosting: Isn't That What You Do When You Throw a Party?

For new bloggers, web hosting can be confusing especially when trying to troubleshoot issues with connectivity – kind of like troubleshooting issues with the black tank!

Web hosting is a standard business that varies greatly when it comes to price, what is included, and customer service. These options range from free hosting at WordPress.com with limitations on your website and content, to large companies offering cheap hosting at the cost of great customer service, and to fully involved, hands-on hosts that cost quite a bit more.

Don’t choose your host just based on price. Look at what they are offering, what their customers have to say about them, and make an informed decision based on your needs and budget.

4 Strategies You Need to Know to Start a Successful Travel Blog

4. Makin' It Pretty

By now you know the subject matter for your blog and it’s time to think about the colors and layout that are best suited to your story.

Do you want your site to be fun and energetic, formal, bold and loud, subtle? Take all of this into consideration when deciding the look and feel for your website.

WordPress

WordPress is a free website software that allows individuals who have a wide range of technical abilities – from no website knowledge to coding experts – to create their own websites using plug and play features.

Most hosts will have one-click download options or set up WordPress for you.

Now It's Time to Go Shopping for a Theme!

You will need a theme to use with WordPress. Themes are the design structure for your blog. There are endless choices and possibilities when it comes to themes. Just remember one word – simple.

WordPress themes make creating a website super easy! There are free themes, reasonably priced themes, and themes that cost a bit more packed with features.

Make sure to check out reviews and that the theme matches the vision for your website before deciding on a theme.

The Quick List: 4 Things to Consider for a Successful Travel Blog

If you want the quick and dirty breakdown of what we previously covered, you have scrolled to the right place! Here are the four things to consider when setting up a blog:

  • Content, content, content. Plan your blog to keep it simple and deliver great content
  • Pick a simple, catchy name and try to find it as a .com
  • Hosting is important so pick a plan and company that works for you
  • Make sure your blog design and colors fit your content

Did I Say Simple?

I think that this is the most important thing that I want you to take away from this post. KEEP IT SIMPLE. You have plenty of time to grow your blog. Focusing on a good foundation will keep you focused early on.

Amanda Figlio Escapees Avatar

Author

Amanda Figlio

Amanda is a small business web designer running The Modern Tradesman with her significant other and business partner, Rich. They bought and renovated a fifth wheel before hitting the road full-time last year.

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