This article is the first in a six-part series about how to start a travel blog. You’ll find other parts of this series here:
- Part 2 for How to Start a Travel Blog – Social Media
- Part 3 for How to Start a Travel Blog – The Email Newsletter
- Part 4 for How to Start a Travel Blog – Monetizing Your Blog
- Part 5 for How to Start a Travel Blog – Using Webcasts to Grow Your Audience
- Part 6 for How to Start a Travel Blog – Becoming an Expert Source
I get asked all the time about how the DIWYY came to be. And, in all honesty, the answer from my perspective is “trial by errror.”
I didn’t come into this with any savvy marketing or business skills (luckily, I had DIWYY co-founder, Jerri Stephenson, for that!) but I have learned so much in the year and half we have been around.
To help aid those who are trying to start a travel blog or website, I will be doing several posts on topics such as monetizing your site, using social media, newsletters and more to help guide you. I am also happy to answer reader questions in future posts…just send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, let’s get started…
Find Your Brand
First, you need an idea and an angle, preferably something that makes you unique in order to attract an audience. With DIWYY, we are looking to appeal to young women eager to travel. For other sites, it may be a specific country or region or perhaps a type of travel like teaching in South Korea. For others, it may be a documentation of their journey traveling the world or studying abroad in Spain. Whatever it is, identify it and then move along to the next step.
Develop Your Brand
The next action is starting to develop your brand. If you have a catchy name or tagline in mind, try it out with friends, family and even strangers for their honest reactions. Jerri and I were fortunate enough to have our name dropped into our laps. After our study abroad trip to Australia, we would often meet-up in various parts of the country and when we met people and they asked where we met, we’d explain our fascination with travel. That usually led to the response of “I wish I would have done it when I was your age.” We turned that phrase into “Do It While You’re Young” and our brand was born. Having a story about your name, whether it be inspired by a place or a story, is a great item to include in your press kit which you’ll create further down the road.
Purchase a Domain
Once you have locked in a name, it is time to buy a domain. Sites like hostgator.com allow you to quickly and easily buy a domain and hosting so you can get started. To start in the building of your website or blog, we recommend a platform like WordPress or Blogger. DIWYY uses WordPress and I like the functionality and the ability to customize and add widgets. With blogger, you have a much simpler interface which is fine if you are sticking to just blog posts and photos. But, if you’re looking for a more interactive user experience and more space for logos and ads, WordPress is probably a better bet.
Both sites offer basic templates and color customization but you can easily transform a WordPress site into something very professional looking for almost nothing. You have the option of hiring a designer to create something unique for you or searching the web for templates. Do a Google search for “free WordPress templates” or “WordPress templates”. For no more than $50, you can find something pretty nice to use on your site.
Create Your Brand’s Identity
While you are establishing your site, consider creating some sort of logo. It can be a basic, all-text version to something a little fancier. If you’re not savvy with Adobe products but want to try creating something yourself, I recommend LogoMaker which lets you play around with various fonts, designs and colors to create your unique branding. You can use their tool to create a few drafts for no charge before settling on the final design which runs about $50. Once you have purchased your design, you can download it in various formats and start creating logo merchandise. The other, more expensive avenue, is working with a graphic designer.
To continue your branding, be sure to check out moo.com too to make awesome yet inexpensive business cards. Check out our earlier post on creating a travel business card.
If you have additional questions about this part of creating a travel website or blog, please post a comment here. Look for our next post coming soon on how to use social media to promote your website.
Written by DIWYY co-founder, Kristina Wegscheider.