If you're here, you probably are a miles and points aficionado. You love to travel. The best part is that you probably have learned the key to cheaper travel through miles and points.
Now you’re looking for a way to share your incredible travel stories along with tips and tricks thanks to your addiction to miles and points. A great way to do this is by starting a blog.
Plus, starting a blog and dedicating your expertise on it can be a great way to make extra money. Not to mention, it’s fun!
If you’ve ever thought about starting a travel blog, give yourself 10 minutes and you will be on your way to having your own.
This quick guide will show you how to start a travel blog. Just follow these simple steps down in the next few sections.
Disclaimer: Some of the links below include affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you purchase products through those links. I have used all of the products mentioned below and recommend them because they are useful and services that have not let me down.
A Quick Guide to How To Start A Travel Blog
The Four Quick Steps to Being a Miles & Points Blogger:
- Create a Domain Name and Hosting
- Installing WordPress
- Customize You Blog and Make it Yours!
- Start Posting!
Domain Name & Hosting
Coming up with a domain name and a host is one of the easiest, yet difficult parts. What do you want to call you website? Whatever you choose to be your website name will also be the name of your domain.
For instance my domain name is welltraveledmile.com and my blog is Well Traveled Mile. Granted I went through a lot of names from a list I come up with, and many of my first picks were already taken. If your first pick for a domain name you want is already taken, don’t be discouraged if you have to go back to the drawing board.
To get started quickly, brainstorm as many different ideas as possible---then narrow it down to the top 5. Hey, even ask some friends and family what they think works.
Next, take your ideas over to Bluehost and check to see the domain names are available. An easy way to find out if it is available is by entering your domain name ideas in the ‘New Domain’ search box at Bluehost.
Once you have your domain name locked-in all you need to do is choose a hosting plan. To start the entry level with Bluehost is more than enough, so go with the ‘Starter Plan’. You can always upgrade later.
If you pay for hosting upfront rather than monthly you will get a discount, and you can always cancel at any time to get a full refund for the unused portion.
Now you just need to register your domain name with a website hosting service. Basically your domain name is just the address for your website and the hosting is what keeps it up and running. I’ve used Bluehost from the start because they have some of the best rates for just launching a blog. If your blog grows and you receive a huge amount of monthly traffic you can always upgrade your hosting plan.
If you choose to host with them, you will also get your domain name for free. Here is what the sign-up screen looks like through Bluehost. You have the option for several packages, here’s what I recommend:
Starter 36 Month Price - Choosing the longest hosting subscription will get you the best rate. Plus, you can cancel at anytime and you will get a full refund of however months you have left in the subscription.
Domain Whois Privacy - This hides your information (personal address and phone number) from being publicly displayed online. Not only is a good idea but it only costs $9.99 per year.
Now that your domain name and hosting is setup through Bluehost, the next step is to install WordPress. WordPress is the most popular blogging platform---and is super powerful and easy to use.
I use WordPress on welltraveledmile.com and wouldn’t consider using anything else. It’s also what almost all major blogs use. What’s great about WordPress is that you don’t need to know any HTML coding unless you want to do special customizations.
To set up WordPress, follow these easy steps:
1. First login to Bluehost.
2. Scroll down to the ‘Website Builders’ section on the first page. Click on “WordPress” to install.
3. A new window will open up, just click the option to “Install”.
4. On the next page select your domain for the WordPress installation. Click “Check Domain” again. The next page will show you the installation settings.
5. Here you can see your WordPress account information by clicking “Show advanced options.” Be sure to make note of the admin username and temporary WordPress password so you can log in later. After the first time you log in you can change the default password.
Click “Install Now”. On the next page the WordPress installation will start and it should take only a minute. Make sure not to close the page until you get “Installation Complete.”.If you happen to get a ““Oops! Directory exists! Are you sure you want to overwrite its contents,” select “Directory exists! I understand that continuing will overwrite files.”
Once the installation is complete, WordPress is then installed and set on your Bluehost server.
Check your email that you registered your new WordPress account with for your new account information and the link to log in through Bluehost.
That will show you how to login to your WordPress dashboard!
You’ll see a login screen like the one below---just enter your Username and Password. This is where you need to access from now on to write articles and customize your theme.
Customize Your Blog!
Congrats! Now you have your own miles and points blog! Easy right?
You’re almost set free to share your travel tricks and tips, but first you can customize your new blog to look the way you want.
First things first, choose a WordPress theme. There are thousands available and so many free ones to choose, but my advice would be to go with a well established and reviewed theme. This way you won’t run into problems down the road when you want to make changes or need support.
Here are some great options:
Free WordPress themes - Tons of free WordPress theme options to choose from.
Theme Forest - This is a great site with many theme options. I have used the Jarida Theme theme since the start and still find it to be a great theme.
Genesis Framework – Another top reviewed framework that many top performing blogs use. StudioPress Themes also offers many great premium themes.
Elegant Themes – Another theme designer is Elegant Themes, which offer a ton of options that look lean and functional. Again, these are premium themes, but are lower priced compared to the top paid themes.
Thesis Theme – Another top premium theme that is highly recommended.
These options above are just the start when it comes to customizing your blog. In this post I won't dive into more advanced tricks, so I'll point you to this helpful guide with more in-depth strategies for launching a blog.
Now you officially have a miles and points blog! So feel free to start posting and sharing some of the best ways to travel for less.
Be sure to follow Well Traveled Mile to receive my upcoming posts about how to make money from a miles and points blog. I'll share the best ways that I've found and some mistakes I've made along the way.