Blogging Tips

How to Start a Travel Blog

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I’m so glad you’re reading this because it means you are thinking about or in the early processes of starting your own travel blog. If you’re looking for advice and handy hints on how to get started, I’ve learned from (many mistakes) and can hopefully help steer you in the right direction to starting your own travel blog! I started my blog back in December 2012 as a way to share my tips and travel secrets with friends and family. I wanted to create a space on the internet where they could go to see the hotels, restaurants and activities I recommended in places I had travelled. Since then, this blog has allowed me to travel far more often, to far more places, and build a career out of travelling the world. Pretty neat if I do say so myself!

So if this sounds like a pretty sweet deal to you, I’d love to help send you in the right direction to making your dreams a reality. So lets get started!

How to Start a Travel Blog

STEP ONE – Choose a name for your blog & purchase the domain

This is perhaps the most exciting part of starting a blog because it all becomes very real, very quick! As fun as this process is, it is also the single most important point when starting a blog. Think of your blog name as a business name: it can make or break your operations. Ideally your blog name should be short, simple and give prospective readers an immediate idea of what your blog is about. A good guide is to stick to under three words if possible as otherwise your domain will become long and forgettable. Once you have decided on your name, you’ll need to check if it is available. I went to my hosting provider, to check if my chosen domain name was available.

STEP TWO – Set up Web Hosting

For my hosting I use Dream Host, who I chose after researching my options and deciding they were the best for a cheap hosting provider for my .com address.

Use this link to set up your web hosting with Dream Host for just $7.95 per month!

The base service starts at just $7.95 per month, which I found to be the cheapest on the market for the level of service and support offered. I’ve been with Dream Host for the past 4 years and every time I have an issue I just shoot through a support request and have an answer within a few hours (no – this is not a sponsored post with DH – I just love their product enough to rave about them!)

Later in the piece I upgraded to “Dream Press 2”, which is essentially a premium hosting service for WordPress blogs with high site traffic. When started to reach readers around the blog I found it necessary to upgrade to the faster service, which is offered at $14.95 per month. I wouldn’t recommend starting out with this but it is great to keep in mind when your blog starts to gain more and more readers!

Wordpress Hosting - DreamHost

STEP THREE – Install WordPress & Choose a Theme

Now that you have registered a Domain (.com address) and have registered yourself for hosting (the people who power your website daily), it is now time to install WordPress (the backend to creating beautiful content for your site). is used by most bloggers to power their websites as it is simple to use, clean, and creates beautifully crafted content without needing to learn any code. For beginners who are completely new to this process and don’t really know what WordPress is, essentially it is a program that makes blogging a whole lot easier. All you have to do is a make one click to install WordPress to your Dreamhost domain. For a step-by-step guide, it looks like this:

1. Log in to your DreamHost account

2. Click on “Goodies” in your left hand sidebar

3. Click on “One-Click Installs” from the drop down menu

4. Select “WordPress”

5. Select your domain and hit “Install for me now”

6. Go to your website and add “wp-admin on the end” (

7. Log in with your WordPress username and password


Next up is your WordPress Theme. While WordPress offer a bunch of themes free of charge and this is tempting to implement in the beginning, trust me when I say it is worth the investment to purchase a beautiful theme for your blog. Themes are a form of personalisation as it allows you to show the personality of your blog through colour & style choices.

When I arrive on a pastel, girly coloured theme I almost immediately associate this with a food or baking blog. For a travel blog, the options are endless. As you are promoting destinations and things you have seen on your travels, I strongly suggest picking a WordPress theme that is highly visual and allows plenty of opportunities to show your photographs from around the world.

Remember to keep it simple. Readers want to land on a page that is easy to navigate, with a number of menu items to direct them to the content they are looking for (i.e. “Destinations”, “Types of Travel”, “Lifestyle”). This makes it easier for readers to find the content they want to read after landing on your homepage. Another consideration is to choose a theme with a sidebar, allowing you a small area to show a brief “About Me” and immediately introducing yourself to your new readers. Here you can also place ads to help monetize your blog later, or direct readers to highlighted content.

Last of all you might want to consider a Responsive Theme – essentially meaning your blog will look beautiful both on a desktop, ipad, and smartphones. In this day and age it really is important to ensure your blog displays beautifully to all types of devices, so I would strongly recommend making this consideration when choosing a theme. Personally I have seen the importance of this as now more than half of my 1 million page visits per month arrive on smart phones! Crazy!

My preferred resource to finding a theme is but there are many other sites like this available – so be sure to shop around!

Theme Forest


What makes great content worthy of hundreds of thousands of readers around the globe?

The golden question. Here are a few key considerations when crafting content:

1. Blog Post Layout – Make sure to use headings and subheadings to make your content easy to read. Breaking up your text with images is also essential, but be sure to strike a balance between photographic content and words.

2. Write Regularly – If you’re someone who has sudden bursts of inspiration and cannot sit down to write once a day, consider scheduling your content weeks or even months in advance. That way when life gets busy or you just don’t feel like writing one week, you won’t have to!

3. Listen to your readers – It is important to remember that you are not only writing for yourself, but also for your audience. Reading and responding to comments is a great way to better understand what your readers want to see next.

4. Be Original – When I first started using instagram and social media I was posting all of my photos facing away from the camera, usually walking in the centre of the frame and with a hat on (which in all honesty was just so that I didn’t have to do my hair each day). Four years ago when I started taking these photos and sharing them, I was asked at least a few times a day why I faced away from the camera – the answer being that I found that approach more inspiring as it put the audience in my shoes. Nowadays you can hardly pass an instagram page that doesn’t have a shot like this, if not a major overuse! Remember to be original and come up with your own ideas/style… after all, nothing beats the original!

5. Stop trying so hard – I can’t express just how important this is. Based on personal experience, I didn’t see success from my blog until I stopped trying for it to be a highly read blog. When I first started out I would write mass amounts of blog posts with little meaning to them, just to pump out more content in an effort to reach more readers. But the truth is if you genuinely love something and you write about your passion, the readers will eventually come. Being inauthentic is something to never aspire to and believe me when I say it is easy to pick ’em!

Money Matters - World of Wanderlust


I’ll cut straight to the point: travelling the world doesn’t come cheap. If you’re starting a travel blog chances are you love to travel, and if you love to travel you’ll need money in the bank. Sure, you can travel the world cheaply and have great success sending out budget travel tips, but no matter which way you look at it travel is an expense.

I’ve left this point ’til last because I sincerely do not think you should enter blogging with the primary concern to get rich quick. That being said, it is entirely possible to make a career out of travel blogging and entirely admirable to do so, but if you love something enough you will be prepared to do it for free until your work is good enough to warrant payment. Or at least that’s what I read when I started and the model I followed… and it worked!

Monetising your blog is a lot easier and less scary than you think it will be. Once you have followed all of the above steps you should have a great blog name, a strong interest in travelling, a desire to create great content and already a number of great posts showing your ability to do so. With such great content and passion to back you up, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be looking to make a living out of your passion!

When I first started blogging I had no idea where to start in order to make money from my blog. I was working a part time job in hotel reception for five years before I quit to start blogging full time and for half a year of full time travels I was relying solely on my savings to get around.

One day I realised there had to be a way to create a career out of this and simply went from making no money at all to making enough money to fund my travels and now, enough to put some aside for a rainy day (or a spontaneous getaway more like!)

Its as simple as this: sign up with an ad network and implement the ads on to your blog. If your readers love your content enough and are happy to be getting great information for free, they won’t mind seeing an ad pop up on their screen every so often. I chose Google Adsense as it was the easiest to implement and to my surprise (because I had read so much to the contrary), I have actually had more success with this ad network over any of the others. To this day I rely on Google Adsense to fund my travels!

The longer you spend blogging, the better your content. It’s true what they say – practice makes perfect! After a while you will find yourself being contacted by brands and companies in the travel industry who are interested in collaborating with you. Thus it is important from day one to have your contact information clearly visible on your blog. But remember – you are not only what you say yes to, but also what you politely decline. I have chosen to turn down 80-90% of job offers thrown my way as I believe they are too spammy, not related to my blog, or I simply don’t wish to have the pressure of a collaboration on my shoulders whilst I travel. And a final note on freebies: they’re never free. Whenever a brand offers you an item for free, they are really offering you the item in exchange for your labour. In return you will need to create, edit and promote content for them. So before you accept a freebie think to yourself if you can justify your time & labour as a decent exchange. If so, great! If not, there will always be plenty of other opportunities down the track!

Singapore meetup WOW

STEP SIX – Grow your Audience!

As I mentioned earlier, the best way to grow your readership is to create great content, be consistent, and most of all, be authentic. Blog readers are most attracted to read your blog if they can relate to you and find similarities between themselves and you, so it is most important to just be yourself!

There are however a few key points to be mentioned here as there are so many ways to grow your audience (once you’ve made great content, of course!)

Get Social – It is one thing to be on social media and it is another thing to get social with your followers. Hosting meetups, responding to invitations to meet for coffee and writing back when and where possible is the first step in growing a loyal audience.

Search Engine Optimisation – The easiest way for non-readers of your blog to arrive on your blog is to optimise your content so that your posts will appear higher in search engine results (like Google and Yahoo!) For more detail on that, take a look at my book on how to create a successful blog.

Quality over Quantity – When a new reader arrives on your blog you want them to be amazed at what great content you are offering them and showing how it will benefit them. Each time you write a new post consider if it offers your reader something, appeals to the right audience, and is unique in your own voice, style of photography, and layout. Most of all, be original!



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    June 29, 2016 at 6:42 am

    I’m loving your site! The pictures are so much fun and GREAT tips!!! Thanks for sharing all of your amazing adventures!

    June 29, 2016 at 3:05 am

    “if you love something enough you will be prepared to do it for free until your work is good enough to warrant payment” — I loved that part! I feel that a lot of people lately start blogging because they think it’s easy money, but it’s not. You should blog because you love writing about a topic, and if it turns out that it makes money, great! But I’ve read about so many people frustrated because after two months they are not making as much money as they expected :/
    That being said, thank you for sharing all these tips!

    June 29, 2016 at 2:00 am

    Hey Brooke! My name is Grace and I am a new travel blogger. I’ve been working on my website design for a few weeks now and I feel like I finally have the blog the way I want to look like. I’ve been more focused on writing travel posts while trying to finish high school early. Did I mention that I’m fifteen? Anyway, I researched and tried to get the menu to look like yours (the travel tab) but I seem to consistently mess up my blog instead. If it’s possible, could you give me a tip or two that you used? I always comment this but you’re truly an amazing inspiration and I would have never even started a travel blog and discovered what I love to do if it weren’t for you! Thank you again and have a wonderful day!

    June 28, 2016 at 5:02 am


    I really appreciate the fact you included Google adsense. My boyfriend and I’s travel blog has been going for about a year now and we have debated so many ways on how we can try and start making even a little bit of money off of it as we see our visitors grow. We had talked about using Google for a while now but you re-iterating that fact I think just sealed the deal! Thanks so much!

    June 28, 2016 at 3:20 am

    Also a newbie travel blogger checking in here to say thanks for the advice. I’ve got 3 posts up, 2 scheduled, lots of drafts and am just getting started in doing all the legwork in reaching readers! So far I think it’s a lot of fun, and still a great hobby if I never make it past the ‘2 viewers have seen your latest post today’ part.

    Arielle Marynn
    June 23, 2016 at 1:20 am

    I’d love to read more posts about how you monetized your blog! I’m surprised to see you prefer google Adsense but I will look more into that now! Thanks for the advice 🙂

      Anne @
      June 24, 2016 at 8:25 pm

      I second Arielle’s request! I’m interested in finding out about monetization options that are unique to the travel niche. Maybe in a separate post? 😉

    Big Head Basketball
    June 21, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    Hi Brooke.
    Great post as usual! I’m in the beginning stages of setting up my own travel blog and I’ve found this so useful. I just wanted to comment to say thank you and I love your website.
    All the best
    Namastegypsy x

    Big Head Football
    June 21, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    Great post! I really appreciate you sharing this advice to us newbie bloggers

    Braelyn Holbrook
    June 20, 2016 at 11:34 am

    Hi Brooke, I am so intrigued by your blog! Since I have come across this page about a week ago, I have been coming back to it reading about you, where you’ve been, what you’ve learned, and many many of your articles, at least a few times a day! I am all about travel, although my family all thinks I am crazy for wanting to do it for the rest of my life. I am currently planning my first trip and I could not be more excited to be pursuing my dreams. I would love to start my own travel blog and work on it full time (hence the reason I am reading this post) and be making some money from it but I think It might have to wait until I, you know, actually go somewhere other than home! I just wanted to leave a comment and say hi, and that you are very much the inspiration you have hoped you would be.
    Braelyn, an inspired reader

    Laura Gibson
    June 16, 2016 at 5:19 am


    This is great and so helpful. I have started my travel blog and social media page. I am really enjoying it and am getting some lovely responses from Instagram but how to get blog followers is beyond me. Thank you for this. x

    June 13, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    Hi Brooke, thank you for your tipps. I’m trying to implement them.
    You mentioned I have
    I once read that there’s a difference concerning the widgets. Can you say sth about this?

    Love, Sabrina

    • Brooke Saward
      June 15, 2016 at 7:25 am

      Hi Sabrina 🙂 Check out the link I wrote in previous comments for a detailed description of the difference between the two – it will make it so much easier to understand! xx

    June 13, 2016 at 5:37 am

    Love it! Thank you.

    June 13, 2016 at 1:45 am

    Hi Brooke,

    We have read this post with lots of enthusiasm and recognize a lot in what you write (especially the part that you learn from your mistakes). Thank you for sharing your tips, we really like your way of writing.

    • Brooke Saward
      June 15, 2016 at 7:29 am

      Thanks for your comment – really appreciate the support! 🙂

    June 12, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    Such great tips, thank you Brooke! I’m currently setting up my own blog about travel and life in Cape Town (a long-awaited work-in-progress) so this post is perfectly timed 😀

    June 11, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    Really great tips! 😀

    Nerissa Rahadian
    June 11, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I’m in the middle of building the audiences and I think it’s really the hardest part. But your post has always keep me going, thank you Brooke x

    June 11, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Thanks for another great post Brooke! I launched my site in April and it’s great to get some affirmation I’m on the right track and an idea or two ✌

    June 11, 2016 at 7:38 am

    Hi, this post was exactly what I needed to read. So far I have been very worried about where I want my blog to go and how to make it all work. But now I am realising that I have enough to just blog and enjoy it and when the time is right I can think about monetizing it. Also I loved this post it is incredibly well written, informative and straight to the point. Thanks so much,

    June 11, 2016 at 6:43 am

    Hey Brooke! Thanks for the tips. I’ve already taken the step towards moving platforms and site hosting. I find Siteground to be cheap at $3.95 per month for starters like me. Can’t wait to re-build my blog and start developing my content with a new theme!

    Madi | Restless Worker
    June 11, 2016 at 6:06 am

    I totally agree with your point! making money from a blog is NOT a get rich quick program. I have been blogging for just over a year now and am only JUST starting to see some money trickle in. I’ve been lucky enough to get some sponsored stays along the way as well but it hasn’t come without lots and lots of hard work and dedication!

    June 11, 2016 at 4:48 am

    Great post , Brooke!
    My boyfriend and I have been playing with the idea of a travelblog for a while now.
    At our last trip, we took the time to really talk it through and decided to just go for it.
    We are writing in dutch (our native tongue) about everything you can do on a day off, so travel, city trips but also creative stuff at home.

    Your tips to make it work are very welcome, thank you!

    Sara De Monbrun
    June 11, 2016 at 3:39 am

    This was very reassuring as a new-ish blogger! Love following along! Thanks so much!

    June 11, 2016 at 3:28 am

    Great tips! I started my own travel blog a couple months ago–just for fun, without any plans to monetize it for now. I think at this stage trying to figure out what content my readers want to read is the hardest part! Thanks for being such a huge inspiration 🙂

    June 11, 2016 at 2:19 am

    Brilliant advice – just what I needed

    Dani x

    June 11, 2016 at 2:16 am

    I love these tips. I just do a weekly travel section of my blog, but I’d love to start collaborating with travel brands for it. I think I need to build it up a little bit more first though.

    June 11, 2016 at 1:49 am

    Hi Brooke,

    Loved this post, I’m new to the world of blogging and these tips were totally helpful! I really resonated with the tip about writing quality, not quantity.

    Thank you! <3


    June 11, 2016 at 12:15 am

    Thank you for sharing this story. Good on you. In the hope of progress
    Great Post!!! I like It
    I’ll bookmark this website!
    Thanks for the information…. really great article. keep posting this kind of stuff.
    Great Tips. I am very happy to read your article. You are a very good content writer.
    Thank you for posting such a great article…!

    JaMeka Ramnath
    June 11, 2016 at 12:12 am

    Hi Brooke! I love reading your posts! I have a blog but made one through Weebly and bought my own domain name. However the theme choices are not that great and now I really love the themes offered by Word Press. Is it possible to import a Word Press theme on to a different website host? I wish I had started with Word Press, so many bloggers use it.

    Rachel Reynolds
    June 10, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    Thanks for the tips! Will use them for my blog!

    June 10, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    Great content. I love knowing I’m on the right track! Thanks, Brooke!

    Victoria Kirton
    June 10, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    Love this post! ^.^


    June 10, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    Hi Brooke,
    My family and i love to travel, a penny for your thoughts though, what do you think the viability is of a family orientated blog.
    We are a family of five and to travel we essentially look at five times the cost, therefore seems a little prohibitive.
    Essentially do you think it would be possible to make it work and further down the track be able to fund our travels/blog?
    Thanks for your consideration keep up those awesome photos.

    June 10, 2016 at 10:22 pm

    This post is so well timed for me since I’m just starting my own blog now! Thanks for the tips 🙂

    June 10, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    I think it’s important to mention to keep it simple. A busy website layout can be confusing and overwhelming; so, when it comes to your blog’s design… less is more!

    Ursa (The Cheerful wanderer)
    June 10, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    Very well explained. This is definitely going to help someone, thanks for sharing.

    Anish Shah
    June 10, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    Hi Brooke,

    Thanks a lot for the tips.. these are really helpful.. specially the point about giving preference to quality over quantity. Looking forward to many more inspiring travel blogs from you.

    • Brooke Saward
      June 10, 2016 at 9:14 pm

      Thanks Anish 🙂 really appreciate it! xo

    June 10, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    Thank you for the quick answer! Now I think I understand, I will look into it! 😉 Thank you xx

    June 10, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    Hi Brooke, Hope you are having fun in New Zealand. I wanted to ask, I remember you wrote in one blog post that you made it as a ablogger after you offered your services to an American tour company. I read your book about blogging (would love to review it if that’s something you are ok with) but I didn’t find further info on that critical point. Is this something you may consider writing about? I am incredibly interested in finding out what was your “tipping point” and how long did it take you to get there. Love from the UK x

    • Brooke Saward
      June 10, 2016 at 9:16 pm

      Hi Cory! I’ll keep this in mind for future posts 🙂 To sum it up for you briefly, I was blogging without making any money online for at least a year. Instead I was funding my travels by working a part time job for 5 years whilst I studied college & university – saving every scrap of money I could for travels! Eventually this paid off down the line and the best quote I have read that sums it up concisely is “if you’re willing to do something for free and you’re passionate about it, eventually someone will pay you to keep doing it”… hope that helps! xx

    June 10, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    Brooke I have a question.. I already have a blog on wordpress. How do I get my own domain name, without ‘wordpress’ in it? I can pay for it on the website of wordpress, but why do I need dreamhost then?
    Thank you!
    A new blogger trying to get the blogging world

    • Brooke Saward
      June 10, 2016 at 5:09 pm

      Hi Sarah 🙂 Sounds as though you have a blog on, whereas this blog uses Here is a better way to understand the difference: The hosting you have is provided by wordpress(.COM) free of charge, hence why you have the wordpress. in the hyperlink. To change over you will need to create a blog on and then pay for a hosting provider + install a new theme there. That article will explain in much further detail! xx

    kate wilson
    June 10, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    Great post and great tips! I love reading travel blogs and you can get so much inspiration from pretty much anything x

    • Brooke Saward
      June 10, 2016 at 9:17 pm

      Thanks Kate! So long as I’m inspiring readers to visit new places – I’m satisfied! 🙂 🙂

    June 10, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    Hello Brooke! I am just starting out as a travel blogger and I just wanted to thank you for always being an inspiration. You write amazing content and a few posts about your career always helped me keep going even when I want to give up. Customizing WordPress does that to you I guess haha. Anyway, thank you for the post and hope you have a wonderful day!

    • Brooke Saward
      June 10, 2016 at 9:18 pm

      Thank you so so so very much for your kind words 🙂 xo

    the adventurer
    June 10, 2016 at 11:53 am

    What a great post! Not just for travel blogs but blogs in general =o) Thanks for sharing, it was really helpful =o)

    Kaili Willows
    June 10, 2016 at 10:24 am

    Great post! I really appreciate you sharing this advice to us newbie bloggers 🙂

    June 10, 2016 at 10:18 am

    Great post Brooke. I recently decided to give up my blog as I just wasn’t feeling connected to it anymore plus I had no clue what I was doing with all the “hard” stuff. I’m now reconsidering using it again and start a fresh or create a whole new blog.
    Just reading some of these your points on the subject has made it a little easier for me to understand certain parts of it.
    Thank you
    Krista x

    Rebecca Plotnick
    June 10, 2016 at 9:08 am

    Love this! I am about to launch a new blog and it was a great read to help me keep my focus. Thank you!

    harry hepden
    June 10, 2016 at 8:56 am

    Thanks for this blog post, It’s really helped me. I’ve been trying to set up my travel blog and the simple things like web design and logo design have taken me ages.

    June 10, 2016 at 8:09 am

    This is such a great post

    Erika Ravnsborg
    June 10, 2016 at 7:36 am

    Wonderful and well put. It’s good to have reminders and advice

    June 10, 2016 at 7:16 am

    Hi Brooke.

    Great post as usual! I’m in the beginning stages of setting up my own travel blog and I’ve found this so useful. I just wanted to comment to say thank you and I love your website.

    All the best
    Namastegypsy x