Many of the web’s most popular travel blogs started from a simple desire to share impressions from lengthy vacations or round-the-world trips.
Building your own travel blog may sound complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re considering putting one together before you leave, here are 4 simple tips you need to know when starting a travel blog:
Travel Blog | Getting Started Tips For Travel Bloggers
1. How technical are you? Many casual bloggers start out with WordPress (http://wordpress.org) or Blogger (www.blogger.com) accounts, which let you start an account on their platform for free. These types of blogs allow you to choose a simple template that they host, meaning that your travel blog web address (URL) will contain the company’s name in it (such as yourname.blogger.com). You can get this type of blog up and running in a matter of hours.
If you have grander plans for your blog, then you’ll want to self-host, meaning that you’ll need to choose a server to host all your content. You’ll also need to buy your domain name (your web address) through a service such as GoDaddy.com (www.godaddy.com). Putting it all together takes some time — and in my case, some technical assistance — but if you want your blog to grow beyond your friends and family, it’s the best choice.
“Setting up WordPress was challenging, but in the grand scheme of things, it only took an afternoon,” says Alex Berger, who started VirtualWayfarer (http://virtualwayfarer.com) in 2007 to document his post-graduate European travels. “Anyone with an afternoon to invest should be able to get a functional site up.”
2. How much do you want to spend? It’s free to set up a blog hosted by Blogger or WordPress. A blog with your own URL (such as my blog, www.caroundtheworld.com) costs a little more. Registering a domain with GoDaddy runs about $12 to $20 a year, and a hosting package is about $7 or so per month.
Now comes the fun part: Making your blog look good. WordPress has many free themes available that are easy to use. If you want more customization, be prepared to pay for a premium theme; you can get a nice one for $35 to $100. When I started my travel blog, I also hired a designer since I planned to use Chris Around The World as a professional site. You won’t need a web designer for a casual vacation blog.
3. How much time do you have? Blogging can become very time-consuming if you let it. Berger, who traveled solo for two months through Europe, wrote his posts when he was at an Internet café checking e-mail and Facebook. “The online time filled downtime I had and gave me a chance to relax a bit without feeling like I had to be out wandering the city,” Berger says.
4. How much do you want to say? If a full-fledged blog sounds like too much work (and it can be), then a Tumblr (www.tumblr.com) account may be a better alternative. A cross between Twitter and a blog, Tumblr is a free service that lets you create an account where you can share photos, videos, posts, and more.
“Tumblr has a great, simple, and easy-to-use setup,” says Katrina Stovold, who now blogs at TourAbsurd (www.tourabsurd.com). “If you are a first-time blogger, it’s a really nice way to start out.”