One of our favorite ways to earn a full-time income as a digital nomad while traveling the world is by creating a travel blog. Travel blogs are not only a great way to share your stories and connect with like-minded people, but they can also be highly lucrative.
- Why Start a Travel Blog?
- Building Your Website
- Step 3. Install WordPress
- Step 4: Choosing Your Theme
- Step 5: Install Elementor & Elementor Pro
- Step 6: Design Your Main Website Page
- Step 7: Design Your Blog Page
- Step 8: Design Your Blog “Single Post” Pages
- Step 9: Start Blogging
- How to Set Up Your Travel Blog
Some advantages of creating a successful travel blog include complimentary food and accommodations while traveling, free activities and excursions, and a steady stream of passive income, which is every digital nomad’s dream.
However, one area that traveling nomads seem to struggle in, is building a clean and optimized blog. This post is to be used as a foundational blueprint for anyone interested in becoming a travel blogger. We unpack how you can set up your travel blog so you can start earning passive income while traveling the world.
Why Start a Travel Blog?
You may be wondering why you should start a travel blog. Travel blogs are a fantastic way to:
- Keep your friends and family updated on your whereabouts
- Share your travel stories with like-minded individuals
- Offer valuable advice and tips to others who want to travel the world
- Create a passive income stream
- Land-free accommodation while traveling
- Get free meals, activities, and excursions
- Work remotely as a freelancer, entrepreneur, or digital nomad
If any of the above sounds appealing to you, starting a travel blog may be a great way to earn an income while living the digital nomad lifestyle.
Building Your Website
If you are new to blogging, then the first thing you need to do is set up your website.
You can use a content management system (CMS) like WordPress or Squarespace to create and manage your website easily.
There are six main steps to building your travel blogging website structure.
Step 1. Picking a name
You first need to decide what you want to name your website.
Your domain name should be easy to remember, short, and relevant to the niche you will be writing about.
Here are some things to consider when deciding on a name:
- Can the name last?
You want to pick a name that doe not limit you to writing about one specific trip or travel destination. Your name should be able to grow with you as your blog expands. You also want to ensure you do not date your blog by adding a year or something in the name that will become irrelevant with time. For example, “The twenty-year-old backpacker.”
- Pick a name that describes what you do.
We are digital nomads, and we use AI to build our businesses. Thus, The AI Nomad.
You want a name representing who you are and the kind of content your blog will have.
- Keep it short and straightforward.
Picking a short and sweet name will make it easier for people to remember when trying to find your site. Aim for three to five words.
Step 2: Choose Your Hosting and Purchase Your Domain
The second thing you have to do when building your travel blog is to purchase a hosting plan and domain name.
Hosting is basically where your website “lives” on the internet. A domain name is your blog’s URL (e.g., theainomad.com).
Domain names can be purchased through hosting providers or registrars such as GoDaddy, Namecheap, or Google Domains.
Hosting plans can be purchased through companies such as GoDaddy, WP Engine, and Bluehost.
When choosing a hosting provider, there are a few things you should take into consideration:
Size of your website: If you are starting, you will most likely have a small website. As your site grows, you will need to upgrade your hosting plan to accommodate the increase in traffic and data storage.
Type of website you have: If you plan on having a simple blog or static website, you can get away with using shared hosting. This is the most basic and affordable type of hosting. If you plan on having a more complex website with e-commerce or membership features, you will need to use VPS hosting or dedicated hosting. These hosting plans are more expensive but offer more features and resources.
Location of your target audience: If most of your website’s visitors are in the same country as you, then you should choose a hosting provider with servers in that country. For example, if you are living in Thailand and want to target Thai visitors, then you would like to choose a hosting provider with servers in Thailand.
My recommendation: I use the GoDaddy Cpanel for my hosting options. This is because it allows me to integrate with WordPress seamlessly, and I can have unlimited domains in my hosting plan. I also purchase my domains from GoDaddy to keep things simple.
The hosting plan that I use is called the Ultimate Hosting and costs around $11/month.
If you are building one single site, you may want to purchase a single WordPress hosting. That can be done at this link.
Here, I will walk you through the set up process for anyone who decided to use Godaddy for the hosting and domain, and are using a CPanel account for the hosting process.
Step 3. Install WordPress
The next thing you will want to do is set up your website. This means you have to connect your domain to your hosting and then install WordPress.
Here is how I do it:
Step 1 – Connect your hosting and your domain.
1. log in to your GoDaddy account.
2. Go to “My Products.”
3. Scroll down and select your hosting. Either “Managed WordPress” or “Web Hosting.”
4. Go to CPanel Admin.
5. Select Addon Domains.
6. Type in your domain name and click “add domain.”
Step 2 – Installing WordPress
1. Go back to your CPanel dashboard
2. Scroll down until you see featured applications
3. Select “WordPress.”
4. Select “Install This Application.”
5. Select your domain from the dropdown list and click install
Step 3 – Logging into your WordPress website dashboard
Next, you will need to know how to access and edit your website. This is done by logging into the WordPress dashboard.
To do this, you need to go to yourdomainname.com/wp-admin
For example, if my domain name were theainomad.com, I would go to theainomad.com/wp-admin to log in.
Once you are on the login page, you must enter your username and password. If you can’t remember your password, click the “Forgot Password” link.
After you have logged in, you will be taken to the WordPress dashboard, where you can manage all aspects of your website.
If this is not working for you, you may have to log in through your CPanel.
If this is the case, here is how you do that:
1. Go to your Cpanel
2. Scroll down until you see applications and then click “View More.”
3. Select the link that has “wp-admin/” at the end of the domain
This will take you into the main WordPress dashboard. Now it is time to start building.
Step 4: Choosing Your Theme
First, you need to choose a theme. A theme is a pre-designed template that you can use to change the look and feel of your website. There are thousands of free and premium themes available, so take some time to browse through them and find one you like.
To install a new theme, over “Appearance” in the left-hand menu of the dashboard and select “Themes.”
The theme I highly recommend if you follow this strategy is “Hello Elementor.” This is built specifically for the page builder we will go over in the next step.
Step 5: Install Elementor & Elementor Pro
After you have your theme set up and installed, it is time to build your blog design. The way that we are going to do this is by using a page builder called Elementor.
Elementor is a WordPress plugin that allows you to create custom designs for your blog without having to code anything. It is user-friendly and easy to use, even without design experience.
There is both a free version and a premium version of Elementor. For this guide, we will use the premium version to give you access to more features and templates.
1. To install Elementor, head to “Plugins” in the left-hand menu of your WordPress dashboard and select “Add New.”
2. In the search bar, type in “Elementor” and install and activate the plugin.
3. Once you have installed and activated Elementor, a new menu item in the left-hand menu of your dashboard is called “Elementor.”
4. Click on this to be taken to the main Elementor dashboard. From here, you can create new pages or edit existing pages.
Follow the same steps to install Elementor Pro but you will need to purchase it first then insert the license key in your Elementor account.
Step 6: Design Your Main Website Page
Now that you have Elementor installed on your website, it is time to start designing your main website page.
The first thing you need to do is add a new page. To do this, head over to “Pages” in the left-hand menu of your dashboard and select “Add New.”
Give your page a title, and click on the “Edit with Elementor” button. This will take you into the Elementor editor, where you can start designing your page.
Pro Tip: Build your page using the “Elementor Canvas” layout for the most flexibility. To set this up, scroll to the bottom left hand side and select the gear icon. Click on page layout, then select Elementor Canvas.
For this guide, we will use one of the pre-designed templates that come with Elementor Pro. To find these templates, click on the “Templates” tab in the top left corner of the screen and then select “Saved Templates.”
From here, you can choose either one of the pre-designed templates or start from scratch.
If you want to use one of the pre-designed templates, click on “add a template” and select a design that you like.
You can then edit and customize this template to suit your needs.
There are many tutorials online for how you can edit your Elementor template. Overtime this becomes very easy, but it may be challenging at first.
Once you are happy with your design, click on the “Publish” button in the bottom left corner of the screen.
Step 7: Design Your Blog Page
The next page you will want to build is your blog page!
This is the page that will display all of your blog posts. To create this page, follow the same steps as you did for your main website page.
The only difference is that you will want to choose a different template. For your blog page, I recommend using the “Blog” template. This template comes with Elementor Pro and can be found in the “Saved Templates” section.
Again, once you are happy with your design, click on the “Publish” button in the top right corner of the screen.
Step 8: Design Your Blog “Single Post” Pages
The eighth step to setting up your travel blog is to design each of your single blog pages by creating a template. You want to do this, so your blog design remains consistent and on-brand throughout your posts.
To create a template for your single blog post pages, head to “Templates” in the left-hand menu of your dashboard and select “Add New.”
Give your template a name (I like to call mine “Single Blog Post”), and then click on the “Edit with Elementor” button.
From here, you can start designing your template. For this, we will be using the “Single Post” template with Element Pro.
To find this template, click on the “Templates” tab in the top left corner of the screen and then select “Saved Templates.” From here, click on the “Insert” button.
This will add the template to your page. You can then edit and customize this template to suit your needs. Once you are happy with your design, click on the “Publish” button in the top right corner of the screen.
You have now successfully designed a template for your single blog post pages!
Step 9: Start Blogging
And that’s it! You are now ready to start blogging and sharing your travel adventures with the world.
To add a new blog post, head to “Posts” in the left-hand menu of your dashboard and select “Add New.”
I recommend writing the blog on Nomadly’s writing doc, and then you copy and paste the article into your new post.
It is important to note that when you are writing your posts, you DO NOT want to click “Edit with Elementor.”
Instead, copy and paste your content into the new post, as shown below.
How to Set Up Your Travel Blog
Now that you have set up your travel blog, it is time to start writing high-quality content that your audience will love to read!
Make sure to check back with us, as we will be releasing lots of content on how you can monetize your blog, tips and tricks for growing your travel blog, and much more!
But for now, check out this blog on the best ways to earn money as a content creator to get you started as a freelancer or a digital nomad.