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How to Start a Travel Blog in 2024

So you're here because you're ready to start your own travel blog, but need some guidance on how to get started.

Hi, my name is Jordan and I've been travel blogging since November of 2018.

I'm going to share the exact steps I would take in 2024 if I had to start my travel blog all over again.

I recorded a quick message for you below:

 

Most of us travel bloggers are creative by nature, but I'm going to show you the science side of things in order to creat a successful travel blog that...

  • Captivates your audience
  • Gets found on Google
  • Pays for itself month after month

This is my 8-Step Blueprint For Starting A Travel Blog:

1. How To Choose a Travel Blog Niche that resonates with your audience and reflects your passion for travel.

Jump to Step 1

2. How To Choose Your Travel Blog Name that has an available domain name and social channels.

Jump to Step 2

3. How To Choose The Best Travel Blog Platform that can pay for itself even if you're not selling anything.

Jump to Step 3

4. How To Design Your Travel Blog without being a website designer.

Jump to Step 4

5. How To Create Engaging Content that your audience will love and want to come back for more.

Jump to Step 5

6. How to Rank Your Travel Blog on Google using SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Jump to Step 6

7. How to Monetize Your Travel Blog so you have multiple streams of income.

Jump to Step 7

8. How to Continuously Improve and Grow Your Travel Blog year after year.

Jump to Step 8

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1. How To Choose a Travel Blog Niche That Resonates With Your Audience and Reflects Your Passion For Travel.

 

Your niche is the specific focus or theme that sets your travel blog apart from countless others.

In my case I chose travel adventures that are outside. I specifically don't feature the food I eat on my travels, museums I visit on my travels, or even places to shop on my trips. My audience knows that what I'm going to share is an outdoor adventure. That is my travel niche.

When you establish a unique perspective that resonates with your audience, you will begin to grow a following of like-minded people who are excited for your content.

Identify Your Passion

Your enthusiasm for travel will propel your blog forward.

It’s the spark that ignites your creativity and inspires you to share your experiences and insights with the world.

Identifying your passion helps you choose a niche that you’ll be excited about exploring, filming, and writing about.

Whether it’s adventure travel, luxury travel, or budget travel, your passion will shine through in your blog posts, making your content more engaging and authentic.

So, think about what you love the most about travel and how you can weave that passion into your travel blog. 

Research And Choose Your Travel Niche

After pinpointing your enthusiasm, start investigating various travel niches.

This will help you find a unique angle for your blog that sets it apart from the competition.

It’s not enough to just be another travel blog; to be successful, you need to offer something different, something that your audience can’t find anywhere else.

When I did this, I saw a lot of travel adventure videos, but they typically didn't include a guide. It was usually just a highlight video. That's when I decided that I would do a combination of highlights blended with instructions, pricing, maps, and helpful tips. I'm mixing education and entertainment in my blog posts.

Here are some ideas of different travel blog niches:

  • Adventure Travel
  • Solo Travel
  • Budget Travel
  • Luxury Travel
  • Food/Culinary Travel
  • RV/Van Life Travel
  • Fashion/Clothing Travel
  • Travel Gear Reviews
  • Family Travel
  • Digital Nomad Travel
  • Festivals and Events Travel
  • Train Travel
  • Theme Parks Travel
  • Cruises Travel

This list can go on and on. Any reason you like to travel could be a niche.

So explore different aspects of your travel and consider how you can bring a fresh perspective to your chosen niche.

Jump Back to the 8 Steps >>

2. How To Choose Your Travel Blog Name that has an available Domain Name and Social Channels

Now that you've chosen your niche, it's time to start on your blog's name.

Your blog’s name serves as the initial impression for your potential audience.

Your blog name will need to have an available domain name and social media channels.

Luckily, there are tools that can help you figure out if that perfect name is available. (more on this below)

As you decide on your blog’s name, exercise creativity and originality. Try to come up with a name that’s catchy, easy to remember, and easy to spell.

Remember, your blog’s name will be your brand, so choose a name that you’ll be proud to share with the world.

Should you create a Business Brand or a Personal Brand for your Travel Blog?

This will be an important question to answer, but it really depends on your long-term goals.

Let's define the differences between a business brand and a personal brand first:

  • A business brand is built around an identity that does not use your personal name.
  • A personal brand is built around your personality and name. 

Now that we understand the difference, let's talk about your long-term goals.

Answer these two questions first:

  1. Do you want to build a travel brand to sell for a profit in the future? (If yes, go with a Business Brand)
  2. Do you want to create a travel brand tied to you as the personality that creates a lifestyle income that allows you to live life on your own terms? (If yes, go with a Personal Brand)

With my brand I decided I wanted to go with a personal brand.

That's why I went with Jordan Outside.

My long-term goal was to create a lifestyle business that would provide me with the income to help the people around me and travel the world on my own terms.

I've never had any ambitions of building this up to a big brand that I could sell for millions down the road.

I plan on having Jordan Outside for the rest of my life as I plan to travel for the rest of my life.

There is no right or wrong on this. It just depends what you're trying to accomplish.

Create a List of Blog Name Ideas

Now it's time to start coming up with ideas for the name of your blog.

The reason you're going to need a list is because finding the right name with the available domain name and social media handles can be challenging.

The .com domain extension is the best choice. If you get a different extension like a .net or .co you run the chance that when people here your blog name, they will search for the .com version of it.

The other challenge will be to keep it short enough that it works for social media handles too. I recommend trying to keep it between 10 to 15 characters. I recommend this because if you want your username to be the same across all social channels, the lowest allowed is 15 characters. If you can get less, even better.

For example my social handle is 13 characters @jordanoutside.

Here is a list of username character count limits for social channels:

  • X (Twitter) allows 15 characters in your username/handle
  • TikTok allows 24 characters in your username/handle
  • Instagram allows 30 characters in your username/handle
  • YouTube allows 30 characters in your username/handle
  • Facebook allows 50 characters in your username/handle

Research and Secure Your Domain and Social Media Handles

You have a few choices when it comes to researching your domain name and social media handles.

Paid Service: You can go with a paid service like Squadhelp.com that helps you find the domain name along with a logo. You can use their AI to enter a description of what you want for a domain name and it will provide you with a list of available domain names. It also helps you research the trademark and provides audience feedback on your brand name.

Free Service: You can go with a free service like NameCheck.com. I used this to research JordanOutside. Although I use this to research, I don't purchase my domain name through them.

Once I find the domain name I want, I always purchase them through GoDaddy.com. The reason for this is that GoDaddy's system is the easiest I've found to connect to a Website, hosting platform, and your email. You can use any registrar, but my personal preference is GoDaddy.com.

Obviously, I already own JordanOutside.com, so I put together a tutorial on researching my name with a different spelling, JordenOutside. Watch the tutorial below.

Name Check Tutorial Video:

 

OK, so now we have researched and found the domain name that has the social media channels available.

The next step is buying your domain name. I use GoDaddy.com. Here's a tutorial on how to do this. In this video I am purchasing a misspelling of my domain name.

GoDaddy Domain Name Tutorial Video:

 

OK, so now you have purchased your domain name, but you're not quite ready to set up your social media profiles.

The reason is that you want to set up your social media profiles using your email address from your domain name.

Setting up your Business Email

In my case, I set up my business email using Google Workspace and connected it to my domain name on Kajabi. Here's a tutorial of how to get your domain name email set up.

I'm going to show you how to set up your business email account and free email aliases with a 14-day free trial of Google Workspace. Google Workspace is the business version of gmail.

Google Workspace is Google's business version of Gmail, which allows you to have email addresses with your domain name extension.

Not only do you get access to a business email account, you also get access to the Google Drive to store your videos and documents, your own Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Sheets and the entire suite of Google's services.

I'm an affiliate with the Google Workspace program. Clicking on these links lets Google know that I referred you. If you decide to purchase after your trial, I will make a small commission. This doesn't cost you anything extra and helps me keep the lights on. Thanks in advance.

Follow the instructions in the video below to get your Google Workspace Business Email account setup.

Google Workspace Domain Name Email Tutorial Video:

 

Ok, so now you should have purchased your domain name and set up your business email account.

The next step is to set up each one of your social profiles using your business email.

Because you set up your email with Google Workspace, you can set up your YouTube account from within your Google Workspace. All other social profiles will need to be set up on their respective platforms.

Once you've done that, you're ready to move to the next step. 

Designing a Logo for your Travel Blog

Now that you have your domain name secured, you will need to get a logo for your travel brand.

Watch this video on how I get my logos created:

 

A great looking logo can really help your travel brand stand out.

The 2 major factors to consider when you're getting a logo designed are:

1. Your logo design budget

2. Your logo design skills (Do you know how to use Adobe Illustrator?)

Because of these 2 factors, I'm going to share 3 resources that I personally use when I'm getting a logo created for a Website. I'll share the resource along with the expected budget and skills needed.


99Designs.com - $300 to $800 for a Logo

(This is a logo design contest where multiple graphic designers submit logo designs. You choose the winning design and only pay that designer)


GraphicRiver.net - $25 to $100 for a Logo Template

(you can have a graphic designer customize the words of the logo template)


Adobe Creative Cloud Pricing

(you need to know how to use Adobe Illustrator)


I have used all three of these services for logos and have been happy with the results from all three. 

As I promised in the video above, I'm including 6 videos that show the entire design process on 99 Designs. I recently got into e-bikes and built a Website about it. I wanted a logo and used 99 Designs to get my logo. Here are the videos:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Part 6:

If you decide to use Adobe Illustrator, I've provided a tutorial on how to resize your logo.

How To Resize Your Logo with Adobe Illustrator Tutorial Video:

 

In this lesson, I'm going to show you how to resize your logo using Adobe Illustrator. You will need your logo as a ".ai" file or ".eps" file to use in Illustrator.

Adobe Illustrator creates your logo as a vector file. This means you can make it as large as you want or as small as you want without losing any image quality.

Watch the video to learn how.

If you don't have Adobe Illustrator yet, you can get it with an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription:

Adobe Creative Cloud Pricing

Affiliate Disclosure: I only promote products and services that I personally use and find valuable. Clicking on the links above doesn't cost you anything extra. I'm an an affiliate with 99 Designs, Graphic River, and Adobe and receives a small commission if you end up purchasing any of these. If you find this training valuable, please use the links to show your support. Thanks!

Jump Back to the 8-Steps >>

3. How To Choose The Best Travel Blog Platform That Can Pay For Itself, Even If You're Not Selling Anything.

 

Welcome to Step 3 in setting up your travel blog.

You've got your domain name and business email set up, so now you're ready to get your actual travel blog set up.

This is where my strategy will be different than most articles you'll read on getting your travel blog set up.

This is where having a profitable travel blog comes first when choosing the right platform. 

The Problem: As a new travel blogger, you're creating exciting travel content, but in the beginning there's nothing to sell. So how do you have your travel blog pay for itself?

The Solution: You are going to be spending a lot of time building your website and travel blog, so find a platform that pays Lifetime Affiliate Commissions for referring new customers.

The Byproduct: As you drive traffic to your travel blog, you'll have a small percentage of people who will be interested in setting up their own travel blog too. If they can see the platform you use and sign up through your affiliate link, you'll get paid a monthly recurring commission as long as they are a paying customer.

So now you know why I chose Kajabi for my travel blog platform.

You can test out the Kajabi platform for FREE in two different ways:

1. You can try out the Kajabi KickStarter Plan for 14-days free and then only pay $69 per month. There are no long-term contracts. Everything is month to month.

2. You can try out the Kajabi Growth Plan for 30-days free and then pay $199 per month. There are no long-term contracts. Everything is month to month.

Note: As mentioned in the video above, I am an affiliate with Kajabi. When you click on the links above it will let Kajabi know that I referred you. This doesn't cost you anything extra. If you end up paying for a Kajabi Plan I will make a small recurring commission. As mentioned, this is one of the ways I help pay for my travel blog every month, so I you end up going with Kajabi I want to thank you in advance. If not, now worries. Just make sure you find a platform that can pay you lifetime affiliate commissions

Find a Blog/Website Platform with Lifetime Affiliate Commissions.

Referrals are a very powerful way for these blogging platforms to get new customers. That's why many blogging platforms offer an affiliate program. This is a program where they provide you with your own unique link that you can use to refer people to their platform. That unique link lets them know that you referred that person and if they become a paying customer, you will get paid a commission.

Some platforms don't have an affiliate program. Some have an affiliate program, but only pay you once for the referral. The best kind of affiliate program will pay you a customer lifetime commission. That means that you get paid every month that the customer you referred stays an active paying customer. 

That's where my strategy of having a travel blog that can pay for itself even if you're not selling anything comes from.

By signing up with a blogging platform that pays customer lifetime affiliate commissions this can allow you to build up a recurring monthly commission payment that can pay your monthly platform fee.

This is how it works for me.

My travel blog is built on the Kajabi platform. Kajabi pays me a monthly commission for the people I've referred who signed up through my partner link and are current paying customers. They pay me once a month on the 25th to my Paypal account. I have the Paypal debt card, which I use to pay my Kajabi subscription. So Kajabi pays me my commission, which is typically more than my monthly fee (that is profit) and then I use that same account to pay my monthly Kajabi subscription. This allows me to have my blog pay for itself. Of course, when I first started out I didn't have any affiliate/partner link signups, but as I promoted Kajabi I started to slowly grow my affiliate signups. It's now been years since I've had to pay the monthly fee out of my own pocket. I pay it directly from my monthly commissions.

How my Kajabi Travel Blog Pays for itself

I could have done the same thing with Ontraport as they have customer lifetime commissions, but they only pay 25%. That's one of the reasons why I went with Kajabi over Ontraport.

Here's a screenshot of my Kajabi Partner Program dashboard. You can see that this month I'm getting paid $280.26. My monthly payment for my Kajabi platform is $149. That means I will be getting a profit of $131.26. You can also see that I've made $15,144.73 lifetime earnings. I'm going to show you other ways to monetize your travel blog later, but this is a great way to have your blog pay for itself before you have anything to sell like a product or service.

Kajabi Affiliate commissions

As I was saying before, I could have done the same thing with Ontraport. Here's a screenshot of my affiliate dashboard. They pay monthly lifetime commissions too, but they are at a 25% payout and they don't include unlimited high quality video hosting which is really important for a travel blog. I've made a total of $35,686 from Ontraport just for referring them with my unique affiliate link.

Ontraport Affiliate commissions

Just because I use Kajabi doesn't mean you have to. If you find a platform that pays lifetime recurring affiliate commissions that you really like, go for it.

Here's a breakdown on the affiliate programs for the most popular platforms that travel bloggers are using and how much they pay for their affiliate commissions:


Wordpress - No affiliate program

Wordpress.org needs a hosting company.

I used WP Engine when I was hosting my Travel Blog on Wordpress.

Affiliate Commission: $35 - $200 Per Sale.

(This is a one-time commission)

- You don't need an active account to be an affiliate.

- WP Engine hosts their affiliate program on ShareASale.com. I am an affiliate with WP Engine. If you click on the link above and end up signing up for a paid account I will make a small commission. This doesn't cost you anything extra.

WP Engine Affiliate Payout Amount

Kajabi - Kajabi uses the term "Partner Program" for their affiliate program. 

Affiliate Commission: As a Kajabi Partner, you will receive a 30% lifetime commission for any new referral that stays active past their trial period.

- You need an active account to be an affiliate.

- Kajabi runs their own affiliate program in-house.

- Kajabi normally only gives you a 14-day free trial from their homepage, but they give their partners/affiliates the ability to give a 30-Day free trial.

Note: I am an affiliate/partner with Kajabi. If you click on the link above and end up signing up for a paid subscription, Kajabi will pay me a commission. This doesn't cost you anything extra. Thanks in advance.

Resources:

https://partners.kajabi.com/

https://help.kajabi.com/hc/en-us/articles/4405323925019-Kajabi-Partner-Program-FAQ


Squarespace - I have built on the Squarespace platform and am a fan, but because they don't pay lifetime commissions I haven't built on their platform since I discovered this way to have my blog pay for itself.

Affiliate Commission: As an affiliate partner, you’re eligible to earn payouts for every website or commerce subscription that you drive from a first-time Squarespace customer. They pay a one-time payout of $100 to $200 depending on the plan. $200 for the ecommerce plan. 

(This is a one-time commission)

- You need an active account to be an affiliate.

Squarespace uses Impact.com to run their affiliate program for them.

Resources:

https://www.squarespace.com/affiliates 

Here's a screenshot from the Impact affiliate portal on the commission structure:

Squarespace Affiliate Payout Amount

Wix - Wix is a solid platform, but I haven't used them because of their affiliate payout structure. 

Affiliate Commission: As an affiliate partner, you’re eligible to $100 per sale. 

(This is a one-time commission)

- You don't need an active account to be an affiliate.

- Active Affiliates must earn a minimum of $300 (USD) per month to get paid. All earnings and ongoing conversions will remain in your Affiliate Account until you meet $300 (USD). Once your account reaches this balance, you will receive an email around the 15th business day of the month with details on how to get paid.

-  In order to get paid, you must send us them an invoice.

Resources:

https://www.wix.com/about/affiliates/faq 


HubSpot - I have built on HubSpot and love their platform, but because they don't pay lifetime commissions I won't build on their platform for my travel blog. They are a step up from most as they pay 30% commissions, but only for the 1st year. It's all about being able to pay for your travel blog even if you don't sell anything on your blog.

Affiliate Commission: 30% recurring commission for up to one year.

(Has multiple commissions, but only for 1 year. So if you refer a new customer and they stay on longer than 1 year, you don't get paid past their year mark.)

- You do need an active account to be an affiliate.

Resources: https://www.hubspot.com/partners/affiliates.


Ontraport - Ontraport uses the term "Partner Program" for their affiliate program. 

Affiliate Commission: As an Ontraport Customer Partner, you will receive a 25% lifetime commission for any new referral that stays active past their trial period.

- You need an active account to be an affiliate.

- Ontraport runs their own affiliate program in-house.

- Ontraport offers a 14-Day free trial.

- Ontraport integrates with your Wordpress Website.

Note: I am an affiliate with Ontraport and if you click on the link above and end up becoming a paying customer, Ontraport will pay me a commission. This doesn't cost you anything extra.

Resources:

https://ontraport.com/partners/

How to promote and get affiliate signups so you can have your travel blog pay for itself.

So now that you've chosen your travel blog platform that has lifetime affiliate commissions, it's time to start promoting your affiliate link so you can get some signups.

I personally use Kajabi and this is how I got my affiliate/partner link signups.

If you haven't already, get your free 30-day trial of Kajabi. (Yes, that's my affiliate link. Thanks in advance if you decide to become a customer :)

The first way that you can get affiliate signups is to make sure there is a link in the footer of your Website. Kajabi does this automatically with your affiliate link. If someone visits your travel blog and loves it and wants to create their own, they might click on that link and sign up.

The second thing I did was build out my travel blog. It's important to get to know the platform and all of the available features.

Once I had built my Jordan Outside Website/Travel Blog, I was ready to record my first review of the Kajabi platform and put it on YouTube. In the description on YouTube I included my 30-Day free trial link.

Here are some of the reviews I did on the Kajabi Platform. These reviews got me enough affiliate/partner link signups to cover the cost of my monthly subscription to Kajabi.

Video Poster Image
Video Poster Image

The third thing I did was to build out a free course on how to build a travel lifestyle business using Kajabi. This course breaks everything down step-by-step and has my affiliate link for the 30-day free trial. 

The fourth thing I did was build out a Kajabi Review page. This is a comprehensive review that allows me to get Kajabi signups through my partner/affiliate link.

These four steps have allowed me to have my travel blog pay for itself from these affiliate lifetime commissions. Not everyone stays signed up forever, but I continue to get new people who sign up through my link to backfill so I have enough money to cover my subsciption.

There are no guarantees that this will work for you, but I'm just sharing what worked for me.

You might find a different way to promote your affiliate link that works way better than my way. Get creative, but most of all get started.

How much does Kajabi cost and is it worth it?

So you are probably wondering how much Kajabi actually costs and if it is worth it.

This is a natural question as when you first start this strategy and don't have any affiliate/partner signups, you will be paying for this service out of your own pocket.

I've recorded a video for you breaking it down.

 
Free 30-Day Trial of Kajabi

Is Kajabi worth the cost? This is somewhat of a trick question because the cost of something is just a number. A number has no real meaning until we have assigned a perceived value to it. The better question would be "What is the value of Kajabi?"

  1. Will Kajabi save you time? Time is the only resource you can't replace. Kajabi will save you time because all of the tools are in one place and all work together. No more wasting time logging into different platforms, configuring APIs so each software can send data to each other, and fixing broken plugins when a new version of Wordpress comes out. Not only am I saving time with Kajabi, but the peace of mind that it gives me that my tech stack will work day in and day out is priceless.
  2. Does it simplify your business? The easier your business is to run, the more likely you are to succeed. This is definitely the case with Kajabi. Learning how to navigate a platform takes some time, but with Kajabi I only have to learn one platform. Before Kajabi I was using Wordpress for my Website, WP Engine for my hosting, Vimeo for my videos, Member Mouse for my membership site plugin, Aweber for email marketing, Zapier for API integrations, Click Funnels for my marketing funnels, and the list goes on and on with the different plugins I was using. That's at least 7 different software platforms that I had to learn and try to get to work together. Now my business is simple with just one platform, Kajabi!
  3. Will it scale with your business? You need a platform that can grow with you so you don't have to start all over as you reach new levels of success. This is another part that I love about Kajabi. When I started on the Kajabi platform they didn't have 1-on-1 coaching or podcasts, but now they have rolled out those features and the price stayed the same. Kajabi is constantly improving their platform, but keeping their pricing at the same price. They also improved their Website builder and made it lighter so my Website runs faster. Again, no price increase, but an improved platform. I know that as I grow my business, Kajabi will be able to scale with my business. The best part is that they are always improving the platform and adding new features. This is what you want from your technology platform.

Next, let's compare pricing. The price tag of $149 per month might seem high until you see how much it would cost to get everything Kajabi offers as separate tools. Once you see this price breakdown, you'll see that the $149 per month is a great deal! The monthly prices below are average prices for similar competing software services.

  1. Website Builder and Hosting: $30/month | Included with Kajabi
  2. Unlimited Video Hosting: $99/month | Included with Kajabi
  3. Course Hosting Platform: $39/month | Included with Kajabi
  4. Landing Page Builder: $79/month | Included with Kajabi
  5. Email Marketing Software: $20/month | Included with Kajabi
  6. Marketing Funnel Builder: $97/month | Included with Kajabi
  7. Webinar Hosting Software: $20/month | Included with Kajabi
  8. API Automation (Zapier): $25/month | Included with Kajabi
  9. eCommerce: $49/month | Included with Kajabi
  10. CRM Platform: $79/month | Included with Kajabi
  11. Private Community Software: $28/month | Included with Kajabi
  12. Mobile App: $33/month | Included with Kajabi
  13. Podcast Hosting: $12/month | Included with Kajabi

Total Monthly Price Paid Separately: $610/month

Total Monthly Price With Kajabi: $149/month

That's a savings of $461/month by going with Kajabi!

So going back to the original question: "Is Kajabi Worth the Price?", I would have to say YES, it's definitely worth the price. Not only is it worth the price, but when you see how easy it is to use and how everything just flows together, the value is even higher.

If you're ready to test out Kajabi, you'll want to try out the extended trial for 30-days. This link below lets Kajabi know that I referred you. It doesn't cost you anything extra and if you end up paying for a subscription after your free trial, Kajabi will send me a small commission. Every little bit helps, so if you decide to try out the free trial, I want to thank you in advance. I only recommend products that I personally use and love. I hope you love it too!

Jump Back to the 8 Steps >>

4. How to design your Travel Blog without being a website designer.

Designing Your Travel Blog

After selecting your blogging platform and hosting provider, you can begin designing your travel blog.

This involves choosing a theme, customizing your blog’s layout, and optimizing your blog for mobile devices.

Luckily, most Website builders are drag and drop meaning you can build it without having to know how to code.

I use Kajabi and they provide multiple themes to choose from.

These themes are pre-built so you just replace the theme content with your own content. You can also add anything you want using the building blocks that Kajabi offers. This makes it so easy to have a great looking Website that you can create without paying for a web designer.

This is your chance to make your blog visually appealing and user-friendly, so take the time to get it right.

Your blog’s design should:

  • Reflect your niche and personality
  • Provide a positive user experience for your visitors
  • Be easy to navigate
  • Be visually appealing
  • Be functional on all devices

Remember, your blog’s design is one of the first things visitors will notice when they view your first blog posts, so it’s important to make a good first impression to create a successful blog.

Choose a Theme

Selecting a theme marks the initial step in designing your travel blog.

A theme determines the overall look and layout of your blog, so it’s important to choose one that aligns with your blog’s niche and branding.

There are many free and premium themes available, so take the time to explore different options and find a theme that suits your style and needs.

If you want to see how I designed Jordan Outside using Kajabi, you can sign up for my free course.

Customize Your Blog Layout

After selecting a theme, proceed to tailor your blog’s layout. This involves arranging your blog’s elements, such as:

  • headers
  • footers
  • sidebars
  • content areas

in a way that’s visually appealing and easy to navigate.

You can use drag-and-drop page builders to easily customize your layout, or you can tweak the theme’s code if you’re more technically inclined.

If you want to see how I designed Jordan Outside using Kajabi, you can sign up for my free course.

Optimize for Mobile Devices

Finally, optimizing your blog for mobile devices is imperative.

With more and more people accessing websites on their smartphones and tablets, it’s important to ensure your blog looks great and functions well on all devices.

Most modern themes are responsive, meaning they automatically adjust to fit different screen sizes.

However, it’s always a good idea to test your blog on various devices to ensure it provides a seamless user experience.

If you want to see how I designed Jordan Outside using Kajabi, you can sign up for my free course.

Jump Back to the 8 Steps >>

5. How to Create Engaging Content that your audience will love and want to come back for more.

Creating Engaging Content

Your content is the heart of your travel blog, the reason why people visit and keep coming back.

From captivating travel stories to helpful travel tips, your content should provide value to your readers and inspire them to explore the world.

Creating engaging content involves planning a content strategy, writing with personality, and incorporating multimedia elements like video and pictures.

Each piece of content you create should be well-researched, well-written, and well-presented to captivate your audience and keep them coming back for more.

Plan Your Content Strategy

Developing a content strategy involves determining the types of content you’ll produce, the publishing frequency, and the promotion methods.

Having a clear content strategy can help you stay organized, maintain a consistent publishing schedule, and ensure your content aligns with your blog’s niche and your audience’s interests.

It helps you stay focused, ensures consistency in your content, and helps you meet your blogging goals.

For us, we plan our content around our trips. We plan to hit as many cool destinations as possible to film while we are there. Then, when we get back, we edit the videos and publish each blog post. That will typically add 15 to 30 blog posts from each trip. Our travel blog started out small, but now we have over 300 pages on our blog.

Create with Personality

Creating with personality entails:

  • Expressing your distinct voice in your content
  • Being authentic
  • Sharing your personal experiences and perspectives
  • Connecting with your readers on a deeper level.

By creating with personality, you can make your content more engaging, relatable, and memorable, which can help build a loyal audience for your blog post. This will translate through writing, your photos, and your videos.

For us, we don't always want to be in front of the camera, but I add a voiceover to each video to add my personality to each video.

Use AI to Speed Up Your Writing

When it comes to writing a travel blog post, you definitely want it to have your own voice, but sometimes you just need a way to write better, faster, and smarter.

That's where AI tools can help you. You can generate topic ideas and detailed outlines or generate an article from scratch using the AI Writer.

The tool that I use to do this is the SE Ranking Content Marketing AI Writer. This tool provides content ideas, generates outlines, and creates drafts based on the criteria you set. This tool streamlines the writing process and save you time and effort by leveraging AI.

I already use the SE Ranking platform for my SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and this addon is only an extra $29 per month. 

Content Marketing with SE Ranking

Note: I am an affiliate with SE Ranking. It doesn't cost you anything extra, but if you click on my links to SE Ranking it will let them know that I referred you and if you end up becoming a customer, I will receive a small commission. I only refer products and services that I use myself and love. If you do use my link, I want to thank you in advance as it help a lot.

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6. How to Rank Your Travel Blog on Google using SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

 

Traveling opens up new worlds, connects us with different cultures, and creates memories that last a lifetime.

But if you're a travel blogger, you know the adventure doesn't stop there.

Sharing your experiences and inspiring others to explore is another passion, and getting your blog seen by the right audience is crucial.

That's where SEO (Search Engine Optimization) comes in.

SEO is the art and science of getting your website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).

In the travel blogging world, this means appearing at the top of Google when someone searches for destinations, things to do, or travel tips.

But with millions of travel blogs out there, how do you make your voice heard?

On-Page SEO

Each page on your travel blog website can rank for a different keyword phrase.

Each page should be carefully crafted with this in mind to build a solid online presence.

What is On-Page SEO?

On-page SEO refers to the practice of optimizing your website's individual pages to improve their ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Each page on your website can be ranked for a keyword phrase and you want to send a clear signal to Google (or other search engines) why that page should rank when someone does a search for that keyword phrase.

Think of it as organizational buckets. If Google uses buckets to organize its search results, you want your webpage to be organized into the correct bucket. This is what on-page SEO is all about.

Why is On-Page SEO Important?

The benefits of good on-page SEO are numerous:

  • Increased website traffic: Higher rankings in SERPs mean more eyes on your website, which translates to more potential customers or clients.
  • Improved brand awareness: By optimizing for relevant keywords, you ensure your website shows up for searches related to your niche, boosting brand recognition.
  • Enhanced user experience: A well-optimized website with clear content and easy navigation keeps users engaged and coming back for more.
  • Stronger online authority: Search engines favor websites that provide valuable and relevant information. Consistent on-page SEO efforts establish your website as a trusted source in your field.
  • Cost-effective marketing: Unlike paid advertising, on-page SEO is an organic way to attract visitors, making it a budget-friendly long-term strategy.

Key Elements of On-Page SEO

Several factors contribute to successful on-page SEO:

  • Keyword research and optimization: Identify relevant keywords people are searching for and strategically incorporate them into your content, meta descriptions, and title tags.
  • High-quality content: Create informative, engaging, and valuable content that caters to your target audience's needs and search intent.
  • Technical SEO: Ensure your website is mobile-friendly, has fast loading times, and uses a clean and structured code.
  • Internal linking: Connect your pages with relevant internal links to help users navigate your website and improve search engine crawlability.
  • Image optimization: Use descriptive filenames and alt tags for your images to improve search engine visibility. 

Understanding H1, H2, and H3 Tags: Your On-Page SEO Structure and Hierarchy

These heading tags aren't just for styling your content; they play a crucial role in both user experience and SEO. The "H" stands for heading. These are like the title and chapters of a book. Let me explain how they work in more detail:

Structure and Hierarchy for each page on your website:

  • H1: This is the most important heading, your page's main title. It should accurately reflect the topic and include your primary keyword. Use only one H1 tag per page.
  • H2: Subheadings that break down your H1 topic into different sections. Include relevant keywords here as well, but aim for more specific variations.
  • H3: Even further subheadings, providing additional detail and organization within an H2 section. You can use more focused keywords here, even long-tail phrases.

SEO benefits:

  • Clarity for Search Engines: Heading tags tell search engines how your content is structured and what's important. This helps them understand your page's relevance to specific searches.
  • Improved User Experience: Headings make your content scannable and easier to navigate. Users can quickly grasp the main points and find the information they need.
  • Keyword Targeting: Strategic use of keywords in headings strengthens your on-page optimization and boosts your ranking for relevant searches.

Tips for Effective Heading Tags:

  • Keep it concise and descriptive: Each heading should accurately reflect the content it introduces.
  • Use natural language: Avoid keyword stuffing; focus on readability and user-friendliness.
  • Maintain a logical hierarchy: Nest your headings properly, starting with broader topics in H1 and moving to more specific details with H2 and H3.
  • Optimize for both mobile and desktop: Ensure your headings are readable and well-spaced on all devices.

By mastering the art of H1, H2, and H3 tags, you can significantly enhance your on-page SEO and provide a valuable experience for your users.

Remember, these headings are your roadmap, guiding both search engines and visitors through your content.

Remember, on-page SEO is not a one-time fix.

It's an ongoing process that requires constant monitoring and adaptation.

Regularly analyze your website's performance, track your keyword rankings, and adjust your strategies accordingly.

By staying up-to-date with the latest SEO trends and best practices, you can ensure your website remains visible and relevant in the ever-changing digital landscape.

Investing in on-page SEO is an investment in your online success.

By following these tips and making it a priority, you can lay the foundation for a strong and sustainable online presence.

Additional Tips for On-Page SEO Success:

  • Use a variety of content formats, such as blog posts, infographics, and videos, to keep your audience engaged.
  • Promote your content on social media and other channels to drive traffic to your website.
  • Build backlinks from other high-quality websites to your own to improve your website's authority.
  • Stay updated on the latest SEO algorithms and guidelines to ensure your website remains compliant.

By following these tips and making on-page SEO a central part of your digital marketing strategy, you can watch your website climb the SERPs (search engine results pages) and achieve your travel blogging goals.

Off-Page SEO: Determines How High You Will Rank

What is Off-Page SEO?

Off-page SEO refers to techniques that influence a website's ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs) from factors outside of the website itself.

While on-page SEO focuses on optimizing the content and structure of your website, off-page SEO focuses on building your website's authority and credibility in the eyes of search engines.

This is done through a variety of techniques, including:

  • Link building: This is the most important factor in off-page SEO. When other websites link to your website, it tells search engines that your website is valuable and relevant. The more high-quality backlinks you have, the higher your website will rank in SERPs.
  • Social media promotion: Sharing your content on social media can help to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your website. Social media engagement can also be a signal to search engines that your website is valuable.
  • Guest blogging: Writing blog posts for other websites is a great way to get high-quality backlinks and reach a wider audience.
  • Public relations: Getting your website mentioned in the news or other media outlets can help to build brand awareness and improve your website's authority.

Why is Off-Page SEO Important?

Off-page SEO is important because it helps to build your website's authority and credibility.

This, in turn, can lead to higher rankings in SERPs, more website traffic, and more leads and sales.

Here are some of the benefits of off-page SEO:

  • Increased website traffic: When your website ranks higher in SERPs, you'll get more organic traffic from people searching for your keywords.
  • Improved brand awareness: Off-page SEO can help to raise your brand awareness and make your website more visible to potential customers.
  • More leads and sales: If you're generating more website traffic, you're likely to generate more leads and sales.
  • Better relationships with other businesses: Building backlinks and guest blogging can help you to build relationships with other businesses in your industry.

How to Get Started with Off-Page SEO

If you're new to off-page SEO, here are a few tips to get started:

  • Focus on creating high-quality content: The best way to get backlinks is to create content that people want to share.
  • Promote your content on social media: Share your content on social media and engage with your followers.
  • Reach out to other websites for guest blogging opportunities: Look for websites in your niche that accept guest posts.
  • Get involved in your community: Attend industry events and network with other professionals.
  • Broken Link Resurrection: Use tools like SE Ranking or Ahrefs to find broken links on websites relevant to your niche. Reach out to the website owners, offering your high-quality content as a valuable replacement. Bonus points for crafting personalized emails highlighting how your content improves their page.
  • Befriend the Media: Become a source for travel journalists and bloggers. Respond to HARO (Help a Reporter Out) queries with expert insights and relevant anecdotes. When your quotes get published, you'll receive a precious backlink and exposure to a wider audience.

Off-page SEO is an essential part of any successful SEO strategy.

By following the tips in this article, you can start to improve your website's ranking in SERPs and drive more traffic to your website.

I would also like to add that off-page SEO is an ongoing process.

It takes time and effort to build a strong off-page SEO profile.

However, the rewards can be significant.

If you're willing to put in the work, off-page SEO can help you to achieve your SEO goals.

The Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tools That We Use:

I use an all-in-one SEO Tool called SERanking.com. This tool allows me to have access to everything I need at a fraction of the cost of other tools. These are the tools within SERanking that I use on a daily basis:

SEO Keyword Rank Tracker: This keeps track of and checks my website's rank for my targeted keyword phrases. I want to know if the page I created ranks for the correct keyword phrase and I want to watch my progress in the rankings as I climb the ranks to the first page of results on Google and other search engines.

This is a screenshot of my Jordan Outside Keyword Rank Tracker in SE Ranking. I currently have 29 Keyword phrases that are ranked in the top 10 on Google.

Jordan Outside Rank Tracker Example

SEO Keyword Research Tool: I use this tool to find out how difficult it will be to rank for a specific keyword phrase.

For example, if I wanted to create a blog post about the "Best Beaches in Maui, Hawaii", I would want to see how difficult it will be to rank for that keyword phrase.

This is a screenshot of my Jordan Outside Keyword Research tool in SE Ranking for "Best Beaches in Maui Hawaii".

Jordan Outside Keyword Research Example

You can see that the keyword difficulty is a 53 out of 100. The search volume is 9,900 searches per month in the United States and the global search volume is 10,000 searches per month. You can see that it also gives keyword ideas along with search volume and difficulty. Below that is a list of the actual organic results for this current search.

I always click on the "View Detailed Report" to see the top 10 organic results with their Domain Trust, total backlinks, and how many referring domains. This will give me a good idea of how many referring domains I will need backlinks from and how authoritative the other sites are by looking at their domain trust score.

You can see that I rank #5 for "Best Beaches in Maui Hawaii. I have a domain trust of 33, 186 backlinks, and 100 referring domains. There are some of the top 10 search results that have a lot more, but are sites like Quora, Reddit, and Trip Advisor. The main thing that I look at first is how many referring domains do the top 2 spots have. Number 1 has 109 with a domain trust score of 90 and number 2 has 125 referring domains with a domain trust score of 59. Both of those have a higher domain trust score and higher referring domains than me. The only way I will be able to outrank them is to have high quality backlinks specifically about the best beaches in Maui. I would estimate that I would need at least 20 to 30 more backlinks from different referring domains to break into the #1 or #2 spot.

 

Jordan Outside Keyword Research Example

SEO Backlink Checker: I use to this tool to analyze both my own backlink profile and the profiles of my competitors to turn it into link building insights. I can see the referring domains and backlinks, the anchor text used, and the top linked pages. I can also see the domain trust and page trust scores for each backlink and referring domain.

I use this data to create a strategy to outrank my competitors.

This is a screenshot of my Jordan Outside Backlink Checker tool in SE Ranking.

Jordan Outside Backlink Checker Example

SEO Backlink Monitoring: This tool is priceless. After you have worked to get your high quality backlinks, you want to make sure that you don't lose them. Sometimes the page with your backlink goes down or gets unpublished. This tool allows me to enter all of my backlinks and then lets me know if it is not active and if it was changed from a Do Follow to a No Follow backlink.

I recently had 2 backlinks that the pages were down, so I reached out and let the websites know so they could fix it (Which they did). I also had one backlink that was switched to a no follow backlink. I reached out and they fixed it.

This is a screenshot of my Jordan Outside Backlink Monitor tool in SE Ranking.

Jordan Outside Backlink Monitor Example

Note: I am an affiliate with SE Ranking. It doesn't cost you anything extra, but if you click on my links to SE Ranking it will let them know that I referred you and if you end up becoming a customer, I will receive a small commission. I only refer products and services that I use myself and love. If you do use my link, I want to thank you in advance as it help a lot.

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7. How to monetize your Travel Blog so you can have multiple streams of income.

So, you’ve chosen a niche, crafted a memorable blog name, designed an attractive blog, created engaging content, and started promoting your blog.

The next step is to start monetizing your blog.

Blog monetization entails identifying ways to earn income from your content and audience. This could involve:

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Sponsored content
  • Your own courses
  • Selling products or services
  • Monetizing your YouTube Channel
  • A combination of these methods
  • Working with travel brands and tourism boards

Monetizing your blog extends beyond merely making money; it involves identifying ways to add value to your audience while earning revenue.

It involves finding a balance between creating great content and promoting products or services in a way that benefits your audience and supports your blogging efforts.

Research Monetization Options

Prior to monetizing your travel blog, it’s necessary to investigate various monetization options and select those that best align with your blog and your audience. This could involve:

  • Exploring different affiliate programs
  • Creating a YouTube Channel that you can monetize
  • Considering different types of sponsored content
  • Looking into display advertising networks
  • Brainstorming products or services you could sell

By researching different monetization options, you can find strategies that fit your blog’s niche, appeal to your audience, and have the potential to generate a significant income.

Implement Your Chosen Strategies

After determining your monetization strategies, proceed to put them into action. This involves:

  • Integrating affiliate links into your content
  • Setting up your YouTube Channel and work to getting 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours within a year to get monetized
  • Working with sponsors to create sponsored content
  • Setting up display ads on your blog
  • Creating and selling your own products or services

It’s important to implement your monetization strategies in a way that complements your content and provides value to your readers, without compromising the integrity of your blog.

Track Your Progress

As you begin to monetize your blog, it’s vital to monitor your progress and assess the effectiveness of your monetization strategies.

By keeping track of your earnings and analyzing your performance, you can identify areas for improvement, adjust your strategies as needed, and maximize your blog’s revenue potential.

Remember, monetizing a blog is a process that involves trial and error, patience, and continuous learning and improvement.

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8. How to continuously improve and grow your travel blog year after year.

Starting a travel blog is just the beginning of your blogging journey.

To truly succeed and thrive as a successful travel blogger, it’s important to continuously improve and grow your blog.

This involves staying committed to learning, evolving, and adapting to changes in the blogging landscape and the travel industry.

So, if you’re wondering how to start a travel blog, remember that perseverance and adaptability are key, and consider taking a travel blogging course to further enhance your skills.

Continuous improvement also involves analyzing your blog’s performance, identifying areas for improvement, and making data-driven decisions to optimize your content and strategies.

By staying committed to continuous improvement, you can ensure your blog remains relevant, engaging, and successful in the long run.

Keep Learning and Evolving

As a travel blogger, it’s important to stay curious and committed to learning. This involves:

  • Keeping up with the latest trends and best practices in travel blogging
  • Learning new skills and tools
  • Constantly seeking to improve your writing and content creation

It also involves being open to feedback from your subscribers, learning from your mistakes, and constantly seeking ways to enhance your blog and provide more value to your audience.

Analyze Your Performance

Examining your blog’s performance is fundamental in pinpointing what’s effective, what’s not, and where enhancement opportunities lie.

This involves tracking key performance indicators (KPIs), such as:

  • Traffic
  • Engagement
  • Conversion rates
  • Revenue

And using tools like Google Analytics to gather data and insights.

By analyzing your performance and making data-driven decisions, you can optimize your content and strategies, improve your blog’s performance, and accelerate your blog’s growth.

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Summary

Starting a travel blog is a journey filled with exciting discoveries, learning opportunities, and rewarding experiences.

From choosing your niche and crafting a memorable blog name, to creating engaging content and monetizing your blog, each step brings you closer to your goal of becoming a successful travel blogger.

With dedication, commitment, and a passion for travel, you can create a travel blog that not only shares your travel experiences with the world, but also provides value to your readers and earns you a sustainable income.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do travel bloggers make money?

Travel blogging can be a lucrative business: many bloggers make six and seven figure incomes every month, and even newbies can start making money after a few months of dedication.

How do I start a travel blog without traveling?

You don't need to take a trip to be a travel blogger; research the web and experience virtual journeys through photos, videos, interviews, and more! Create your own unique journey without leaving your home.

How do I choose the right niche for my travel blog?

Take the time to explore your passions for travel, research unique angles that suit your interests and target audience, and make sure to focus on what best aligns with both. This is how you can choose the right niche for your travel blog.

How important is a blog name?

A blog name is incredibly important, as it creates the first impression, captures readers' attention, and reflects the purpose and identity of your blog.

With that said, you can still get ranked on Google with a personal brand blog name. For example, you could use your own name and still get ranked as a travel blog. It just won't be as intuitive until your audience gets to know your personal brand.

How do I promote my travel blog?

Leverage social media, network with other travel bloggers, and optimize your content for SEO to promote your travel blog. Motivate your audience by crafting a persuasive narrative!

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