How to Start a Travel Blog Or Website: A Beginner's Basics
January 6, 2020
How we got the Idea to Start a Travel Blog
We saw the Rocky Mountains and stepped in Breckenridge snow. Slept under the stars at Moab and touched the biggest trees in the world at Sequoia National Park. For the first time, we experienced the freedom of what it felt like to live a life on the road. We connected with Escape Campervans and rented out a van that had a bed, a kitchen, and a eye catching paint job (check out the pictures below!). We traveled to places unfamiliar, but still felt like home with each other as company. About a year ago, Johan came to the US (for the first time as he grew up in South Africa) as we took a road trip to across the American west.
A few months before the road trip, we met in Taichung, Taiwan. Yes, Taiwan. We were both English teachers and had some dreams of eventually turing our attention to other things. When we first met, I had already booked my plane ticket back to Chicago and had intended to start building some roots there. We both didn’t know what the future held for us.
A time zone apart, some planning, and a few plane rides later we finally met at Denver airport ready for our next adventure. Johan and I soon discovered that we loved spending time on the road. It brought us a freedom unlike any other. So, of course, the questions rose, “How can we do this full time? How can we make money and sustain a life this way? Is this possible? Wait…maybe this is possible…”
Johan was a professional photographer and I had a background in writing. With our combination we decided to give it a try and start a travel blog. No Map Nomads brings you the beauty of a life of travel, personally curated by us.
But, How can you Make Money off a Blog?
We live in a time where you can video chat with someone across an ocean, order groceries from the internet or make a blog about…well…anything. Creating a blog is a great way to make passive income, or if all things fall into place, a blog could become your main source of income. We have learned, and continue to learn, just how to start, maintain, and make money off of blogging.
But, How can you make money off a blog?
- Google AdWords
- You have 100,000 ad impressions (views)
- You have a CTR (click through rate) of 1 percent, which is standard.
- 1 percent of 100,000 = 1000.
- If the CPC of the ad is $0.01, you make $10.
- If the CPC of the ad is $1.00, you make $1,000.
- Affiliate Marketing
- In the case of travel blogging, you can become an affiliate of a selected company via an affiliate network or directly from the e-commerce business,. You make money from being an affiliate by placing a link, button or banner within a blog post that will lead the readers to that affiliate products or services.
- Have a favorite brand? Have some staple items in your travels? Contact them and give them your pitch. Start with what you have to offer them. Tell them about your blog and brand and how you envision you can work together.
- Freelance Writing
- Contact restaurants, hotels, businesses and write reviews,
- Contribute to other blogs or websites.
- Sell photography
- Create an E-book
Some Quick Tips to Know Before Starting Your Blog
- It takes time to get your blog gaining views and engagement…could be 6 months to 2 years. Be patient and stick with it.
- Watch youtube, read articles and learn everything you can. Even if you don’t think you’ll need to know now, you may need it later.
- Start engaging with the online community you want to be apart ofPost comments, ask questions, go to meet-ups. This is a way to build your audience even before you publish your blog.
- Write, write, write. As much as you can, even if you think you will never use it (because you might in the future)
- Make short term and long term goals for yourself. Get some post it notes, or a whiteboard to remind you of your everyday goals.
- As yourself why you want to start a blog, and remind yourself of this when the initial excitement begins to fade.
- If you are using your phone as a camera, download the Lightroom app on phone. It can help you take your photos to the next level.
The First Steps: How to Start Your Blog
- Get a hosting platform, such as Bluehost. The Bluehost platform gives your website a base to work off of.
- Register a website and a domain. Take a look at WordPress (a bit more involved when creating and tweeking), Wix (more expensive but user friendly) or Squarespace (pre-made beautiful templates and very user friendly)
- Create content! We suggest about 5-10 posts to get started. Ideally between 600-1500 words plus photos of your blogs content
- Get active on social networking platforms like Instagram, Youtube, and Facebook. We suggest you focus on Youtube and Instagram.
- SEO (search engine optimisation). This is a big thing. The best way to start is to download the YOAST plugin on your WordPress site. There is a lot of online learning you can do. Use the internet to your advantage people.
Feel free to contact us and ask us questions about Taiwan or blogging. We are glad to help fellow travelers.