Whether you’d like to blog about your travels for keeping family up to date, or to earn money through a
blog to fund more travelling, knowing how to fund travel is a crucial step.
Lets first look at how to create a travel blog.
Blogging For Fun or Earnings
Not everybody can create a travel blog successfully, although if it’s only to keep family and friends
informed of your journey, this is much simpler than trying to generate an income.
The reason for this, is that you can let your friends and relatives know your website domain address through email or social media, they can then check what you are up to.
On the other hand, if you want to know how to fund travel through a blog, you need to generate traffic and visitors to your website, which takes a lot more work. Let’s check out two alternatives.
The 6 Step Process on How To Fund Travel Through a Blog- For Family & Friends
Blogging for fun can be a great way to keep people back at home informed of what you are up to, unfortunately this wasn’t really achievable in the 90’s when I was travelling, but things have progressed immensely and now anyone can do this quite easily. Building a travel blog is not as hard as you may think.
1. Hosting WordPress Domain – Setup
This is one of the more simple websites to set up. Probably the simplest website platform you can use is known as WordPress. It’s the most commonly used website platform due to it’s ease of use and very simple interface. You will find it easy to navigate once you get into it.
Now before you get into WordPress, this is what you are going to need: A domain and host.
I’m sure most people know what this is but if you don’t, read this article titled What is a domain and host. This link will also show you how to set up your WordPress website through your hosting provider.
If you’d like a much easier and cheaper solution to getting a website organized, I’d recommend joining Wealthy Affiliate (WA).
Basically it’s a resource for teaching people how to start a website and monetize it using affiliate marketing. You can join for free and have 2 free websites with hosting. No need to become a premium member. I’ll mention them a bit more when talking about funding your travels.
Before you begin using WordPress, it’s a good idea to install a few plugins to make it run a bit smoother and safer. Nobody wants their website hacked.
You will notice when WordPress is installed, a plugin called Akismet is already in the list. You will need to activate this. When you click on Akismet>Settings, you will find a link to get an API code. You will need to register for this. Don’t worry, it’s free.
The focus of this plugin is to eliminate spam comments. The installed free version will be fine for your blog.
I have a list of my 6 essential plugins here. (This is a Link to WA so you may need to register)
You can create your travel blog quite simply, without installing other plugins, but there are a few plugins that will enhance your website and make it more enjoyable to your readers. There are plenty around so just do a search for those at your leisure and find the best ones for you.
You will need to have an idea of how your blog site will look. Do you want a static front page, meaning that it will always look the same. Or, would you like all your new articles posted on the front page as they are published. This can all be changed under the Reader section of Settings.
As you are only doing this for yourself and a few friends/relatives, you won’t have to bother about changing permalinks, SEO settings or sitemaps. However, if you did decide at a later date to try and monetize your website, changing the permalink structure to ‘by name‘ would be advantageous now.
In the General Settings area, you may want to give your site a title & tagline. Also fill in your domain URL details and an email address. The other settings are self explanatory, time zone, date format etc.
4. Posts & Pages
This sounds fairly self explanatory also, but you should know the difference between a page and a post, and when to use them.
Posts are your articles. So you may be travelling around and have a stay in Nice, France. You write a blog about Nice and publish it. The post will appear on your ‘My Journey’ page, along with other posts you’ve written.
5. Menus & Categories
I’ll first cover Categories here, as this is relevant to the posts above. With all the posts you will be writing, they could all get a bit mixed up on your blog roll. This is where Categories come in.
Let’s say you are travelling through Africa. You decide to visit 15 out of Africa’s 54 countries. In each of these countries you visit 5-6 different places. We’ll use Egypt as an example. Doesn’t it make sense to have a Category called Africa, then a Sub category called Egypt. You can then add your Egypt articles under that Sub Category. Then have another Sub Category of Africa called Kenya, this will house all your Kenyan posts, very like standard folders on your computer.
You can set up you pages to show all Categories or just some. You can set up a widget in the sidebar with each category for easy navigation. A travel blog is the perfect use for categories.
Now your Menus are fairly easy also. You can basically set up a page per menu, for instance, you want your menu to read like this.
‘Home’ – ‘My Journey’ – ‘About me’.
Of course you can add any other topics you like but for this explanation, we’ll just use the 3 above. Go to Appearance>Menus. Give your Menu a name such as Main Menu. (It’s possible to have multiple menus). All your published pages will appear on the left, you can just drag and drop them into your new main menu, then move them up and down to suit your location.
6. Images & Content
The bread and butter of your website! When in a post, write your heart out. I’m sure your friends would love to read as much as possible about your travels, also the more you write the easier it becomes! Above the content writing area are some general text tools, which can be used to change font, colour, justification etc. Another great plugin to use is called ‘Tiny MCE Advanced‘, this will give you additional tools for this area.
Now, your family don’t just want to read what you have to say, they want to see where you’ve been and how you have changed!!! Above the text tools is a button labelled ‘Add Media’, simply click on this to add an image from your hard drive. Just one thing to make note of here, photos have often a very large digital size. Reduce the image size before uploading onto your website. Large photos will slow down your website making it less user friendly for both yourself and your readers.
Additional 5 Steps in How To Fund Travel – On The Move
OK, now things become a little more complicated. Basically the way you make money to keep you afloat whilst you are travelling is by affiliate marketing.
Now, you can’t fund your travels if you don’t have sales. You can’t have sales if you don’t have visitors. You can’t get visitor’s unless you rank in Google so you need to get your website out there, including social media. So where do you begin?
The decision to make money with an online blog, can be extremely rewarding, but the question ‘how to make money with an online blog’ is not as simple to answer. This information will certainly give you a great head start though.
Firstly I’d start off by saying, create your travel blog 6-12 months before leaving for your journey. You need time to build a great website that will rank, and to get content that people want to read. Here’s some more crucial steps needed to set up your profitable website.
As part of your settings, you are going to have to set up Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. If Google doesn’t know about your website, it can’t rank it. Once your website is linked to Google Analytics, you need to get the UA code. This needs to be entered into your website. You will also need to add a sitemap.xml file into Google Webmaster Tools.
You should also do the equivalent for other search engines, such as Bing & Yahoo.
For tutorials on all this information, I’d recommend you join Wealthy Affiliate for free. If you want to know more about them you can check out my recommendation page titled How To Make Extra Money At Home.
Another setting that you must make sure is activated on all your posts, is Discussion. Comments are a great way to improve rankings, so be sure to engage with anyone making comment about your articles. This can inevitably lead to further comments – also don’t forget to badger friends and family to comment.
You will need an SEO plugin and there are 2 that I could recommend, you will only need one of these. The first one I use is called ‘WordPress SEO by Yoast‘. A good alternative is ‘All in One SEO Pack‘. Either of these are great but you need to configure to maximise the potential of the website. There are great tutorials on YouTube on how to do this.
Another great plugin is ‘W3 Total Cache‘. This will quicken up your website. As a general rule these days, people will leave a website if it doesn’t load within 2 seconds. This plugin when configured, will provide the potential to speed up downloads and improve your website’s performance.
Comments are another a great way to help with your rankings, however SPAM comments are not useful, to combat these I would recommend ‘SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam‘.
As stated previously ranking is essential for making successful money making website. A good trick to gaining a higher ranking is to link between your articles. For instance, if I want to show you how to write a good article, I could send you to my article titled How to Improve Your Website Content Writing. This is an internal link within my website and Google likes this and will boost your ranking. External links are also extremely beneficial, so if you can get other people to link to your website that’s awesome.
This is a big one. Keywords are search terms that people are looking for on the internet. It will benefit you greatly if you know what phrases are searched for the most, and how much competition you are up against.
For instance, you may want people coming to a particular page of yours where you have brilliant photos of Hawaii. At the bottom of this page you are selling travel products through Amazon. You want to find a great search term that people are looking for with Hawaii in mind.
You need to use the search term in your title, your permalink and in the first paragraph of your content. It also gets listed in your meta description. The more places you use this keyword (without keyword stuffing), the higher you will get ranked for that word.
To help with keywords, Wealthy Affiliate have their own keyword tool, however, it’s only available for their premium members.
There is however another awesome keyword tool that is even better. It’s known as Jaaxy, you can find my review on this at What Is The Best Tool For Keyword Research. You can also get a free account with this to see how it works. Always good to try before you buy.
What are you doing all this for, Money!
To begin with I’d suggest you sign up to Amazon Associates. You can then begin to add their affiliate links and banners to your website. This is done fairly easily.
You find a product that you want to sell, or a category of items such as travel bags. You then grab a code from Amazon and paste the code into your website. It could be in a sidebar or within a post/page.
The code they give you links back to their website, with your affiliate ID connected to it. This is how you receive a commission should you make a sale.
In finalising this article, I’d like to emphasise that it takes a fair amount of work to set up a website that will make you money on your travels, don’t be put off. There are many people doing it, and it is certainly achievable.
I’ve only touched the surface here and there is a lot more to learn.
I’m sure you’ll come across other travellers that are doing the same, you can get great advice from them also.
I would also recommend that you consider joining Wealthy Affiliate, as this can be done for free. You can set up a free website with hosting and get a free training course. You can then decide whether or not you’d like to upgrade to a premium membership. If not, you can use your free website for as long as you’d like.
Wealthy Affiliate offer the best website builder for affiliate marketers out there, and it’s yes, free.
If you want to get started immediately, just fill out the form below with a domain name that you’d like to use. If the domain name is not available, you will be notified, and you can choose a different one.
By the way, if you think this is too difficult for you (which I hope your not thinking that), and you really enjoy writing, you could always write for a travel blog that is somebody else’s. I’m sure they’d appreciate your efforts.
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Good travelling, and even better blogging!