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How to Start a Travel Blog in 2024: 7 Beginner Steps

How to Start a Travel Blog in 2024: 7 Beginner Steps

Olly Gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, full-time traveler for 6 years. I visit every place I write about & share real tips, photos, & advice from my trips.

Congratulations, you’ve found the most complete & honest guide on how to start a travel blog in 2024.

After graduating with a business degree and working in an office for a grand total of 10 months, I knew quickly that a regular 9-5 lifestyle wasn’t for me.

Since then, I’ve been traveling for the past six years full time, living as a digital nomad and travel blogging has been my passion and primary income for the past four years. I started with no blogging experience and I’ve learned everything I know from free resources just like this one.

Haylea and olly blogging on laptops in a van
Travel blogging funds our nomadic lifestyle - traveling in our van in Tasmania

7 Quick Steps to Starting a Travel Blog

This is a rather long blog post with plenty of golden nuggets of information, mostly sourced from my own mistakes when I kicked off my travel blogging journey.

However, if you're in a rush, here are the 7 steps to setting up a self-hosted WordPress blog. This is the cheapest option, has the most SEO benefits, and offers the most flexibility & control.

Olly gaspar 1

2024 Blogging Toolkit

These are the tools and resources that I use on my travel blog. They help you kick off your blog in the right way.

  1. A domain name from Namecheap
  2. Managed WordPress Hosting by BigScoots
  3. Theme: Trellis (premium) or Kadence (free)
  4. Best SEO tool: RankIQ
  5. WordPress Plugins: RankMath SEO

First: Should You Start a Travel Blog in 2024?

If you ask most people why they'd want to start a travel blog, 9 times out of 10, they'll tell you that they want to fund their full-time travels.

It's the ideal lifestyle for so many and offers a world of opportunities and most of all, freedom.

While setting up a travel blog is quite easy if you do it right, building a sustainable travel blogging career takes a lot of work. And, after the recent AI changes and shady Google algorithm changes, the future of blogging is uncertain.

In fact, there are loads of other ways to make money on the road. My partner Haylea and I traveled full-time for two years making money off our laptop by working remote jobs before I even hit publish on We Seek Travel.

What I'm trying to say is that if earning money while traveling is the only goal and you don't have a passion for creating or writing, then you have a high chance of failing. That's because doing this right takes a lot of time, energy, and passion for little to no initial reward.

Disclaimer: This guide will also go more in-depth than others you'll find online because I want to help you get things right from day one. Starting a travel blog in 2024 is different than it was just six years ago when I started. To be successful, you'll want the latest tools and best practices.

Beach in sabah, borneo

Tip: Bookmark These Links

Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money from travel blogging and earns me more than display ads. Here are my top-earning partners that you can sign up for once your blog is up and running.

  • SafetyWing - affordable insurance for nomads
  • ShareASale - tonnes of great affiliate programs in one place
  • TravelPayouts - earn on referrals from programs like Booking.com, GetYourGuide, and RentalCars in one place
  • Stay22 - a great network to monetize travel intent for accommodation

Step 1: Pick a Travel Blog Name & Register It On All Social Media Platforms

As you might guess, picking a travel blog name is the first step in starting a travel blog. This can be a bit stressful since once you've picked one, you're stuck with it. However, the name of your travel blog isn't really that important.

  • You don't need to have "travel" in your name but you can if you wish.
  • Choose something that you want to represent your brand and that you feel represents your readers' interests.
  • A general rule of thumb is to pick something recognizable, simple, and relevant.
  • Pick something that means something to you. Of course, you'll need to check if the name isn't taken.

So, the first step is to...

Check if the domain name is available on NameCheap and on all social platforms. The domain registrar you choose doesn't really matter, that's why I use NameCheap for this blog and others as they offer the cheapest website domains.

Once you've got it, go ahead and register your social media accounts on the major platforms including:

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Youtube
  • Pinterest

If you think social media will be a big part of your marketing strategy, I'd go ahead and register it on absolutely everything– it doesn't take much time and you might be glad you did in the future.

We seek travel instagram

I like to share my travel photography on Instagram but don't really enjoy marketing my personality, which is kind of essential if you want to be successful on these platforms.

Luckily for me, platforms like Instagram and TikTok don't drive that much traffic to your travel blog, since they are designed to keep users engaged with their apps.

In fact, you might be surprised to find out that Pinterest and more recently Flipboard is generally the most effective platform for bloggers. The second is Facebook. This is because Pinterest isn't really a social platform– it's a visual search engine designed to help people find relevant content.

Remember, travel bloggers don't have to be social media influencers.

We seek travel blog pinterst

Step 2. Get a Domain Name For Your New Travel Blog

Alright, you've decided on the direction for your blog, you've narrowed down a name for it, and you've registered all of your social accounts. Let's start creating your new travel blog! The first step is registering your domain name.

  • A domain name is the URL in your browser. For example www.weseektravel.com.
  • You have to pay for this, but it's fairly affordable, usually about $7-$15 per year. I recommend using NameCheap because they usually have the cheapest rates and everything is beginner-friendly.

I started off using Bluehost because they offered a free domain name. But, I ended up migrating my domain name to NameCheap in the second year because the rates were just way cheaper for the same service.

This will be a recurring theme in this guide starting a travel blog– learn from my mistakes.

Anyways, go ahead and sign up on NameCheap, pay the fee, and, congratulations, you've got your travel blog domain name!

Don't be fooled: You'll see Bluehost and Hostinger recommended by many bloggers but that's because they have the best conversion rates for their affiliate links. Truth is, I've had terrible experiences with them. I'm only recommending the tools that I actually use here, no matter if I could get paid more for recommending others.

Name cheap dns screenshot

About The Fabled "Self-Hosted WordPress Blog"

This is the part of this guide where I tell you that what you want to do is create a WordPress.org blog, not a WordPress.com blog.

You'll want to avoid the dozens of other alternatives like Squarespace, Wix, and other branded site builders as well.

What? - Don't worry, it's simple.

A self-hosted WordPress blog is the holy grail of blogging. It's easy to use, fast (if done right), cheaper, offers more flexibility and control, and has the best structure for SEO.

There's a reason why 40% of the internet is built on this platform.

Screenshot from wordpress. Org
You won't need to visit wordpress. Org or wordpress. Com– your hosting will set up the right wordpress site for you (below)

Step 3: Set Up Your Hosting

Don't worry it's not as complicated or scary as it sounds. Think of building a travel blog like building a house.

The first step is to find your address. Well, you've already got that now, it's your domain name.

Next, visualize your brand new empty block of land at that address. This is your hosting (also referred to as your server) and is where your website will be built.

Quick Answer: I use and recommend BigScoots. After jumping around from host to host over the years, I've finally found the right one. Their Managed WordPress Hosting is a little pricier than the big companies. But, their support is excellent and I can finally leave all the technical stuff to the experts while I focus on writing travel blogs.

Types of Web Hosting For Travel Bloggers

Hosting providers run servers, where all of your data is stored and delivered to the internet, accessible via your specific domain name (in our metaphor above, that's your address).

The thing is, all hosting servers aren't built equally. So if you want to be successful, don't do what I did at first and rush out to buy the cheapest possible hosting.

Why?– In short, fast blogs show up more on Google than slower ones and you don't want your site to go down all the time– that's bad for users and your blog's income.

Hosting a travel blog with siteground
Typical shared Managed WordPress Hosting prices - Siteground

The success of a travel blog relies heavily on receiving organic traffic from search engines like Google. And, since Google is trying to build a faster internet, it will rank websites that are faster thanks to its Core Web Vital signals.

Pick a reputable hosting provider with high up-time (99%+), so that your blog is always available to readers.

There are 4 types of web hosting.

  • Shared Hosting: Best for small travel blogs and websites with low traffic. Cheapest option ($2.50 - $15 per month). Recommended providers: Siteground, A2 Hosting.
  • Managed WordPress Hosting: Best option for new bloggers. Easiest to set up, affordable ($5 - $40 per month). Recommended providers: Siteground, BigScoots.
  • Cloud Hosting: Ideal for growing blogs. Faster than shared hosting, easy to scale, can run multiple websites. Price range: $10 - $1000 per month. Recommended provider: Cloudways.
  • Dedicated Hosting: Exclusive physical server for your website. Best performance and control. Very expensive (usually $100+ per month), overkill for most travel blogs.

Tip: If you're just starting out as a travel blogger, I recommend either shared managed WordPress hosting with Siteground for $4.99 a month. Or, if you're serious about your travel blogging journey, then the BigScoots Real Managed Hosting plan is a bit pricier but hands-down a better experience.

Types of web hosting for travel blogs
Bigsoots blog hosting pricing
BigScoots pricing - I use the Starter Tier even though this blog generates more than 250,000 visits– this is just an estimate

Alright, now we're really getting the ball rolling on starting this new travel blog. You've got yourself an address (domain name) and your empty plot of land (hosting) is ready. Let's link them together.

What you want to do is go to NameCheap (or your domain registrar if you chose another one) and go to DNS settings. This is found in your Account Dashboard area under your Domain List tab on the left. Click "manage" on your domain name.

Scroll down to "NameServers" and select Namecheap Basic DNS. Now, your hosting plan will have provided you with the nameservers to use here. Otherwise, you'll find it in your dashboard section when you log into your hosting plan.

Enter the nameservers provided by your hosting plan and click save.

Basically, this has told everyone visiting "yourtravelblog.com" to load the data on your web hosting server. This process can take a few hours to complete, so just be patient after making the changes.

Nameservers dropdown
Link your domain name to your new host with Nameservers (step-by-step above)

Don't Forget to Enable Your SSL Certificate (If Necessary)

What you will also want to do is install a free SSL certificate for your domain name. If you're using Managed WordPress hosting, this will be done for you.

Don't know what this is? Right now, look up on your browser next to the URL on this page. See that little lock symbol? That means that this website is secure and authorized with an SSL certificate (this means the website has "https://" in front of the URL, instead of "http://").

But, don't worry too much about what this means if this is getting a bit technical for you, just make sure you install one. These days, most Managed WordPress hosting services like BigScoots will do this automatically.

But, if you opted for the shared plans or Cloud servers you'll need to google their guides on how to install your certificate.

Ssl certificate infographic
Source: Securi

Step 4: Install a WordPress Theme and Plugins

We're now halfway through this guide on how to start a travel blog and you've already got your blog live on the internet. Your host would have installed WordPress for you– make sure this is done first.

Now, go check it out, if you've done it right, check by typing in your domain name in your internet browser.

Your new travel blog should pop up as a generic WordPress website, ready for you to customize and start publishing content on.

Wordpress blank page screenshot

The next step is choosing a theme. Think of this as the facade of your house. This will dictate how your blog looks and feels.

Screenshot of we seek travel blog homepage
I now use the Trellis Theme with a custom child theme built by Ralph Cope

Tip: Picking a Premium Theme (Personalized Travel Blog Layout)

When I started my travel blog I made the mistake of just choosing a cheap theme that I thought looked great.

Unfortunately, I had to change my entire website layout after I'd already published 300 blog posts because my theme wasn't being updated and was getting slower and slower.

If you're serious about travel blogging, I typically don't recommend a free theme. Trust me on this, it's a much better idea to buy a quality premium theme and not look back.

High-quality premium WordPress themes usually cost between $40 to $250 for a once-off-payment or yearly subscription.

If you really want to keep costs down, then the only free theme that I'd recommend anybody to use is Kadence. While I don't use this, I have used it on other blogs and it is possible to get fast and responsive layouts if you stick to the very basic blocks.

Otherwise, the fastest and best paid WordPress themes for blogs are:

  • GeneratePress
  • Kadence - with Kadence blocks plugin (use Gutenberg, not Elementor)
  • Trellis (best for Mediavine publishers) - this is what I use now, although I paid a developer to customize it and make it 100% unique (not necessary when starting out).
Kadence theme example

A good quality theme will be lightweight and offer basic customization options to make your travel blog unique. My strategy is to avoid picking a theme with all the bells and whistles and instead keep things as simple as possible to focus on my content.

Install Your New Blog Theme

When you purchase a theme, you'll get a download link with a .zip folder. Every good theme will have a detailed guide on how to install it but generally, it's quite easy.

Here's how you do it.

Log into your WordPress dashboard, which is usually found under "yourtravelblog.com/wp-admin/". Here is where you manage your WordPress blog, write blog posts, install plugins, and do everything you need to do that impacts the front-end side of your site (what visitors see).

On the left panel, go to Appearance > Themes.

Once here, click Add New and upload the .zip file that came with your theme purchase.

All good themes will also come with a child theme. Basically, this allows you to make custom changes to your layout that aren't affected by theme updates.

After you upload your theme, upload the child.zip folder as well, then activate your child theme.

Uploading a theme when starting a travel blog
Screenshots from when I was using the Astra Theme - I don't recommend this any more due to several issues I had with CLS

Next, Customize Your Theme

Next, it's a good idea to install a Starter Template for your theme.

All themes are highly customizable but it's difficult to start customizing without any inspiration. A Starter Template has pre-populated content, sample articles, and pages that are already tweaked for the theme you have purchased.

Installing these will depend on which theme you choose, but every good theme will have a detailed walkthrough on how to activate a starter template.

Once you've chosen a layout you like, let's start customizing your new travel blog!

Again, on your WordPress Dashboard (available at yoursite.com/wp-admin/), go to Appearance > Customize.

Start going through the options and make some site-wide changes like colors, fonts, image sizes, etc.

Customizing a theme for a travel blog

A general rule of thumb is to go easy on the customization and keep things simple to avoid increasing load times.

Here are some tips that I've learned through trial and error to make your travel blog as fast and user-friendly as possible:

  • Choose your brand colors and stick with them throughout your website. Choose high-contrast colors, for example, black or dark grey text on a white background. This makes it easier to read and won't give you problems with Google later down the track. I recommend checking the contrast ratios with the WebAIM tool.
  • Choose two font types only, one for your body and one for your text. Every single font on your website has to be loaded manually every time someone visits your website, increasing page load time. Choose fonts that are large and easy to read. Alternatively, skip custom fonts altogether to make things even faster by using "inherit" if your theme permits. This loads the default font on the user's device and is the fastest solution.
  • Prioritize mobile-view. All quality WordPress themes are "responsive". This means that all the content you create will automatically be shown and scaled to the device the reader is using (i.e. mobile, desktop, or tablet). However, when you're customizing your travel blog layout, try to prioritize mobile view, since around 75% of visitors will be using a phone to read your travel blog.

    Do this by clicking the little mobile icon on the bottom of the Customize screen. Try to make changes that look good on mobile and also work well on the desktop and tablet views. You can also check what your page will look like on mobile by using Chrome Dev Tools
Screenshot showing how to access responsive design mode on chrome dev tools

Install WordPress Plugins

When you're happy with your layout, the next step in starting a travel blog is installing plugins. You can do this

These are simple little apps that install on your WordPress travel blog. They can help you accomplish anything from preventing spam comments, optimizing your site speed, or adding useful features like relevant posts or customized content in your blog posts.

However, before you start installing everything, be warned.

A general rule of thumb when it comes to plugins is to keep it simple.

Yes, it's a recurring theme in this beginner travel blog guide but trust me, I've learned from my mistakes. The more plugins you install, the more problems you're likely to encounter with conflicts and slowing down your website. Only install what you think is necessary.

Not sure what you need? Here are some necessary plugins that I believe every travel blog should install when starting out.

  • RankMath or Yoast SEO - helps you optimize your blog posts for search engines. Should be used as a rough guide. Remember to write helpful, human-first content.
  • A caching/optimization plugin - that make your travel blog faster. I used to use WPRocket but now use BigScoot's plugin and Perfmatters. If you don't know what you're doing ask your host to help with this.
  • Image optimization plugin - compresses your images to make websites faster. I don't use this as I only upload already optimized photos using custom settings in Adobe Lightroom to save server space. But, it'll be useful for those who don't know what they're doing. A good one often recommended in the Mediavine Publisher's Facebook Group is ShortPixel.

Tip: Avoid using "Page Builders" like Elementor. WordPress has a native page builder named Gutenberg, which is much faster and more reliable. If you see a theme that requires a custom page builder, avoid it.

Wordpress add new plugins page
Install plugins directly from your WordPress Dashboard (look for Plugins > Add New on the side panel).

That's it. That's all you'll really need to start an awesome travel blog. Most of these plugins are free besides WPRocket, but you can use free caching alternatives like W3 Total Cache or the free caching plugin that comes with your host if they offer it.

Once you get the ball rolling and start requiring premium features, you can upgrade the plugins you love. But, when you first start off travel blogging, the free plugins will suffice.

Step 5. Start Writing Blog Posts

Don't worry, most of the technical stuff is out of the way and we're now on the way to the fun part- writing and publishing travel blogs!

I admit, this blog post might seem a little more complicated than the other beginner guides out there but I'm leaving nothing out so that you can start a successful blog, not just launch one!

The next step is to start creating awesome content. I bet you've already got some great blog post ideas and travel stories to tell. Head over to your WordPress dashboard again and on the left side, click Posts, then Add New.

Travel blog add new post page
The native Gutenberg Editor in WordPress is very easy to use

WordPress uses the new Gutenberg block editor by default. This is easy to use as you can just add headings, images, and text into your post with the click of a button– no coding required!

On the right side of your screen, you'll see the settings tab. Here you can customize each block or change settings for your post. You'll want to add things like a featured image, a category, and tags.

Understanding Categories & Tags

Categories and tags are a WordPress tool that helps viewers navigate to similar content across your website.

I use a simple category layout on my travel blog with destinations by country. I also have some other categories like "Hiking" to group types of posts.

It's totally up to you how you'd like to structure your navigation but try to keep it simple, organized, and relevant to your content. Remember, Google likes structure.

Having a hundred different tags isn't going to help you with SEO. In fact, Google doesn't like "thin content". Try to focus on generating as much content around a topic or destination as possible. However, there's no cheating Google, the only strategy that works is creating content that is a great experience for human readers.

Wallaman falls waterfall girringun national park

Step 6: Publish Your First Blog Post & Start Sharing

Once you've got a few great posts that you want to get out there, hit publish and start sharing them. Hit up all your social platforms and let everyone know that you've just started a travel blog!

Congratulations, you've done it, you're now a travel blogger.

Tip: Once you get the ball rolling, you can track your success by setting up Google Analytics. This is a way to monitor traffic across your travel blog and specific blog posts. This is a free service that tracks page views across the web, including from social media channels and Google searches.

Seychelles accommodation
Keep working at it and soon you'll be paid to visit exotic destinations around the world.

Step 7: Optimize Your Blog For Humans

85% of my traffic comes directly from Google for people searching for keywords that I aim to rank for. 6% comes from Pinterest and the rest is direct traffic from people who use my blog as a direct resource.

This is not irregular. In order for people to find your new travel blog, you will need to show up on Google.

In order to do this, you want to optimize your articles for human readers. What?

This practice is called search engine optimization (SEO). And many people try to "manipulate" the search result. The paradox here is that in order to rank on Google, you have to optimize your posts to be as helpful as possible and written for humans, not search engines.

For travel bloggers, this should be easy and come naturally as you should only be writing travel guides and blogs to places and experiences that you've personally visited and know well.

Travel blogger working in the mountains

Essential SEO Tools for Travel Bloggers

Learning about SEO takes time. But, there are some very useful tools and resources that you'll want to use to help speed up the process and get you ranking on the first page of Google.

When starting a travel blog, I highly recommend the following:

  • Keyword Research Tools: If you're serious about blogging, I highly recommend paying for RankIQ as this includes thousands of hand-picked keywords sorted by rank difficulty and time to the first page. I don't want to say that this is the secret to my success, but it has certainly played a huge role in it since I started using it in 2021. Otherwise, there are some tools that you can use to find keywords yourself
  • SEO Plugin: Yoast SEO - a WordPress plugin that makes sure your articles are optimized for the selected target keyphrase you chose in the keyword research stage.
  • SEMRush or Ahrefs - premium SEO and keyword research tools that cost a lot more than the others. Very good tools but many will be too complex for beginner bloggers and are very pricey.
  • Ubersuggest - decent and has a free option (limited)
  • Keysearch - a better option but costs around $13 per month

So, which tools do I actually need?
If you're serious about starting a successful travel blog, then I recommend:

This will set you up with a professional blogging framework for under $250 in total upfront costs (less than $100 if you choose the Kadence theme, although Trellis is worth it).

Kinsta has the most comprehensive guide I've ever found.

Tip: Use a CDN

A quick and free speed boost you can use after you've got your travel blog started is to use a CDN.

Using a CDN like Cloudflare (free) can dramatically increase your website speed and in my opinion, is essential for a successful travel blog in 2024.

Basically, a CDN, or content delivery network, will reduce delays in loading time by reducing the physical distance between your server and your readers.

Cloudflare cdn infographic
How Cloudflare Works - Source

You can set this up in a few clicks when first launching your travel blog, or once it's already live.

It works on top of all of your other optimizations and therefore it is very easy to set up and can be done after you've customized your theme.

Tips for PageSpeed & Hosting

A great tip is to choose a server location (during the signup process) that is close to where you think the majority of your readers will be located.

For example, if you are going to publish a lot of travel content about South East Asia, choose a server location in Singapore. If you're going to blog about travel in the USA, choose a server in Ohio. This makes loading time for your readers much faster by reducing latency.

This isn't as crucial these days since you can use CDNs like Cloudflare to make sure your blog posts are always served closest to your readers (more info in Step 7).

Both of my recommended providers are quite easy to set up. Simply follow the steps and if you run into any trouble, hit up their support. There are also many instructional videos for beginners to help install and optimize WordPress (find the posts from your host) so the process is quite straightforward.

How to Defining Your Blog's Audience (Target Audience)

If you don't know who you're writing for, you're off on the wrong step.

Defining your target audience helps you narrow down what you are going to be writing about. I know that a lot of bloggers don't like to refer to this as choosing a "niche" because they're afraid of making their readers feel like customers.

But, the fact is if you are starting a generic travel blog, you are offering a product to an already saturated market, whether you like it or not.

If you really want to become a successful blogger, ie. make money from your blog, then it's best to get clued into strategizing early. Unfortunately, that means thinking like a business owner– even if you don't like to think of your blog as one yet.

Hiker at a sunrise view
My style of travel is based on adventure, hiking, and diving deep into a destination. Therefore, I knew from day one that I was going to write travel guides for an adventure-focused group of readers.

So, how do I define my travel blog audience?

What you're looking for is a way that makes your content stand out from the crowd. Generic audiences are incredibly competitive so it's best to focus on what you are good at and more importantly, what you know and enjoy writing about.

Get out your pen and paper, and write down the answers to these questions.

  • How do I travel?
  • What do I enjoy writing about?
  • What makes my style of travel content different?
  • Is there an audience that is interested in this?
  • What can my content offer my readers?
  • Are there already other travel bloggers offering the same thing? - If so, can I do it better?

The answers to these questions will form the basis of your humble travel blog beginnings.

Therefore, this process should be part of the first step in starting a travel blog, alongside picking your name.

Remember, don't try to find readers for your content, write for your readers. You can do this by writing about things that you know you'd want to read yourself.

Kawasan falls top view

Do Travel Bloggers Really Make Money?

The first thing people usually ask me when I tell them that I'm a "travel blogger" is, "Do really you make money writing travel blogs?"

The short answer is yes. In fact, as of 2024, the median income for full-time travel bloggers is $5,000 USD per month. The long answer is that it takes a lot of time and work to start seeing your first dollar come through.

In a nutshell, blogging in general is a way to build yourself a passive income.

This means you will put in the work today for free to earn while you sleep (or travel) in the future. What's great about this for travelers is that we can go off-grid for a month and still earn money through the work we have put in a year or even a decade before.

For example, I spent a month ticking off my bucket list goal of completing a mountaineering course in India while my blog made me a living wage. And, I didn't even have to touch my laptop the entire time!

The tough part about this is that you might spend hundreds of hours working while you don't start making money after several months (or years) down the track.

Recent statistics show that 81% of all blogs created never earned their first $100. Furthermore, only 5% of all bloggers earn a full-time salary from blogging. These statistics account for all blogs. Travel blogs are among the most saturated on the internet. Therefore standing out in the crowd is even more difficult.

But, that's not to say it's impossible.

Three passes trek itinerary and guide

I'm among several travel bloggers who make a passive wage from doing what I love, and running this blog is now my full-time job. I think it's safe to say that starting this blog was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

However, to get to this stage I dedicated several hundred hours of blog post writing, blog theme customizing, page speed optimizing, and social sharing– all before I saw my first passive dollar roll in.

I did this because I was passionate about what I was creating and, if I could be paid for it, that would be a bonus, not a priority.

Truthfully, I was out there traveling and taking photos years before I even considered starting a travel blog. Below is a shot of Haylea and me hitchhiking in Sri Lanka. Even though we don't live off $35 USD per day anymore, we still mostly stick to raw, shoestring travel as a preference.

I know it's a cliche. But, the universe rewards passion and dedication. If you believe in something and you are prepared to put in the hard work, you will be rewarded.

Hitch hiking to pettigala rock sri lanka

How to Make a Living From a Travel Blog

Remember when I said that you won't start making money straight away?

Well, it's true. In saying that, if you plan to make a living from your blog as I do, there are a few things you can focus on from day one to set you up for monetization.

There are many different ways to make a living from travel blogging. The top three are:

  • Joining an affiliate program
  • Display advertising
  • Indirect income

Below I'll go into a bit more detail on each of these so that you can implement these strategies on your own travel blog.

Affiliate Marketing With Travel Blogging to Earn a Passive Income

Bloggers can partner with travel companies that they use themselves.

Join up for their affiliate programs and start recommending things like the accommodation you stay in and tours and experiences you go on.

If a visitor clicks one of those links and ends up booking or making an order, you'll get a small commission of the sale. It's a win-win because it also doesn't cost anything for the visitor, they pay the same as if they were going to visit the website directly.

Infographic how affiliate marketing works for travel blogging

It's really easy to set up but you'll want to have some good-quality content before you apply to become a partner.

My most successful affiliate partners are:

  • TravelPayouts - a dashboard with programs like Booking.com to GetYourGuide in one place
  • SafetyWing - the best-earning travel insurance affiliate
  • ShareaSale - tonnes of great travel brands available on one dashboard
  • Stay22 - a great way to monetize all accommodation providers with one platform

Remember, try to be as honest and helpful as possible, recommending only products or services that you use yourself. The currency of blogging is trust.

Display Advertising for a Passive Income

It took me roughly two years to start serving ads on my travel blog.

The thing is, nobody likes them.

However, serving ads in my content allows me to make a living and keeps me on the road. With that said, I honestly wouldn't bother serving ads until you have at least 25,000 monthly sessions. That's because you won't have enough traffic to get into a reputable ad management service like Ezoic, Mediavine, or Raptive (formerly AdThrive).

Instead, you'll be stuck with Adsense and some less-than-par alternatives. For me at least, the money you receive from these sources is not worth clogging your website with ads.

Mediavine website
Mediavine is the holy grail of display advertising companies and should be the goal of any travel blogger looking to make a full-time wage from their site.

Indirect Income From Travel Blogging

Some of the money you can make from a travel blog doesn't come directly from your blog. Instead, your blog can be used as advertising for your services.

For example, I have a Media Kit page where companies often reach out to me for photography services or to license content that I've created. This isn't passive income but it's also great to do paid jobs every now and then.

You'll also notice many other bloggers selling online courses and other digital products and using their travel blogs to promote them organically.

Infographic on how to start a travel blog

Good Luck With Your New Travel Blog!

If you decide that this is a lifestyle that you want to pursue, then go chase it with all you have!

If you have any questions that I didn't cover in this guide to starting a travel blog, leave a comment below or reach out to me personally. I'd love to help other people who are wanting to become travel bloggers or content creators!

Once you get going, check out this useful guide to my favorite remote work locations in the world!

Thanks for Reading

I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure traveler from Australia. I’ve spent the last six years traveling the world full-time, sharing my first-hand experiences & photography in over 700 travel guides on We Seek Travel. I visit every destination I write about to bring you unique travel itineraries, epic hiking routes, fun tour ideas, travel & photography gear ideas, & interesting places to stay.

I only make genuine, worthwhile recommendations based on my experience, expertise, & research. If you buy through my links, I may get a commission, supporting this website at no extra cost to you. Read my Publishing Ethics Statement.

Andrea

Sunday 5th of May 2024

Olly, this is the most comprehensive guide I've ever read about starting a travel blog and trust me I've read a lot! Thank you! You have inspired me!

Olly Gaspar

Monday 6th of May 2024

Hi Andrea, Thanks I'm glad that you enjoyed it and I'm stoked I have inspired you! If you have any questions feel free to reach out. I don't sell any courses or anything, just want to help out other's aspiring to start this lifestyle.

Andy T

Friday 9th of February 2024

Hey Olly, thanks for the rad tips. You're a very inspiring, highly motivated dude!

I like what your saying about social media (you don't have to market yourself).

Do you think it's worth being on Pinterest in 2024?

Andy T

Saturday 10th of February 2024

@Olly Gaspar,

Hey Olly, that makes a lot of sense. I'm focusing on SEO and content mainly and it's starting to work. I think I'll keep doing that for now.

Thanks!

Olly Gaspar

Saturday 10th of February 2024

Hey Andy, cheers for reaching out. I've now outsourced my Pinterest to an agency who is taking care of it for me. I think it's relevant in 2024 but when starting out it's difficult to focus on so many things! I suggest nailing it down to what you're good at.

Ju

Friday 13th of October 2023

How would you categorize visits to holy sites/churches or pilgrimage sites?

Olly Gaspar

Tuesday 17th of October 2023

I would start by checking relevant "semantic topics" by browsing Wikipedia entries. Try to align your travel blog niche with one of those.