I’m sure you know it: travel blogging can help you get paid to travel the world.
So, how to start a travel blog?
Starting a travel blog is not as hard as it might look like. Just follow this easy guide and you will create your travel blog in less than 30 minutes from now.
I’ll show you the best way to start a travel blog without needing any programming skills. We will use an automated process that doesn’t require for you to know HTML, CSS, PHP, or others.
How to Start a Travel Blog
Here are the two parts that we’ll cover in this guide:
- Part 1: Choose a Blog Name & Where to Get It From
- Part 2: The Express Guide on How to Start a Blog & Start Blogging
If you have figured out your blog name, just go to the the second part, the express guide on how to create a travel blog in 5 minutes (clicking will scroll the page).
By the way, if you get stuck while setting up your blog, just contact me and I’ll help you out.
Congrats on setting your mind to building the blog!
You just took the first step to becoming a travel blogger.
This second step is about picking a domain name (the name of the blog).
Choose a domain name for your travel blog
For example, istartblogging.com is the domain name for this blog.
You want your domain name to be: Smart, Brandable, Unique, and Simple.
You’re not decided on a domain name?
Take your time when picking it out.
You should try not to use hyphens or numbers. Also, try to avoid overused terms like nomadic, or adventurous.
Don’t pick something that’s too long to write down or too short to make sense. Blog names like www.travelingaroundtheworldblog.com or www.trvworld.org would fall into the latter category.
Go for something smart like www.IAmAileen.com, it’s light and memorable enough to brand it.
Where to get the domain and hosting from?
The hosting is a an online storage for all the files of your blog. The hosting delivers the blog to the user when he types in your domain name.
First things first, I’d always suggest that you get your hosting and domain from the same company as this tends to save you a lot of time and money.
In my experience of building and managing blogs, I’ve dealt with quite a few hosting companies and I can’t say that it’s been a pleasure. I’ve used a dozen hostings but the thing is, I wasn’t really satisfied with their services.
Choosing a bad host will doom your blog, choosing a good host is a blessing.
This is a very important decision to make. Picking the wrong hosting will frustrate your readers with slow page loading times and you may find odd server crashes every now and then. On top of that, if you add a non-professional customer support, you will understand how important is to pick the right hosting company.
There are many web hosts to choose from. One of the most reliable hosting and the one that I am using for my blogs is iPage Hosting. Their services are quite cheap compared to others and they provide good quality hosting. Customer support is another great advantage and what you should be really excited about is their ONE Click WordPress Installation feature – this is the automated process that I was presenting you at top of this page. You’ll just have to click a few buttons here and there and that’s it – your blog is ready to use! No need for you to know HTML, CSS, PHP, or others.
Naturally, if you want to give other hosting companies a shot, you can do it and try to install your blog manually. Now, what you have to keep in mind (it will save you a lot of headaches later on) is to make sure they offer unlimited disk space and unlimited bandwidth.
The Express Guide on How to Start a Blog
There’s no doubt that the self-hosted WordPress is the best solution for starting a blog.
Basically, there’s two ways you can install WordPress on your own domain: as an Automated Process with ONE Click WordPress Installation feature from iPage hosting (recommended), or manually (not recommended). The result is the same.
Setup Your Blog the Smart and Easy Way with iPage Hosting
In less than 5 minutes from now, you will have your blog ready on your domain.
Why have I chosen iPage for this tutorial?
- you can get both the domain and hosting from them (and at a great price!)
- they have the ONE Click WordPress Installation feature
- they have services focused on bloggers (since 2002)
Now here’s the best part, I’ve contacted the people from iPage and I’ve managed to get a great deal for all the IStartBlogging.com readers. If you visit the iPage website using one of the links from this guide, you will get a FREE domain to go with your hosting plan! Just click the link and the free domain option will be applied automatically.
First go to www.ipage.com and follow these screenshots to get the best (and the cheapest – $1.99/month) hosting package for a starting blogger:
So, this is the first thing you’ll see when you go to iPage. Click on the “Sign Up Now” button to proceed.
Here, you’ll have to pick the domain name you want and see if it’s available. You already bought a domain? No worries! Just check the “I plan to use a domain I already own” box.
Fill in your personal information such as name, address, and your credit card details. You should enter the correct information to complete the transaction. This will also help customer support contact you and give you some help if you ever need it.
For a starting blogger, the Essential Hosting package is more than you’ll ever need and it’s just $1.99 per month. This means $23.88 / year.
You can leave “Domain Privacy” ticked if you don’t want your name to be connected to your domain but un-ticking this option will save you $10.
iPage has a good security system so the Website Essentials are actually not that essential. If you’ll ever need it, they’ll help you out with manual backups.
After you get done with that, just click “Check Out” and you’ve landed yourself a pretty fine deal on a domain name and hosting!
After you’ve chcked out, the account verification process starts. Your hosting approval can take up to 15 minutes. Only after that you will receive the login email.
Add the WordPress platform to your domain
Now, the first thing you’ll need to do is install the WordPress blogging platform. This section is designed to help you do just that!
Once you’re finished with the registration, you’ll get blog hosting login information in your email. First, you’ll have to set up your password, then you’ll be able to install WordPress on your own domain by using the Control Panel as shown below. The first step is creating a new username and password, then logging in.
After you’ve logged in, go to the Control Panel and start installing your blog:
Click on the WordPress icon from the list, and then you’ll go to a page where you can install it.
Here, you have two options, If you want to install your WordPress blog on your root domain (ablogexample.com) click on “Check Domain”. If you don’t want to install it on your root domain, (ablogexample.com/blog), you can just use the directory option.
When your install is complete, you will see this message on top of the page:
Now click on the View Credentials to see how you can login into your blog admin.
The cool thing about iPage is that it generates a very strong password for you, and you can see it after you finish the installation. You’ll also receive it in your e-mail account. This is how the email looks:
Congratulations! Your own travel blog is online and ready to use!
It wasn’t that hard, was it? Now just hop down to YourNewBlog.com/wp-admin to login to your WordPress dashboard and take a look at your own little spot on the Internet. This is where you login on your blog:
And this is how the blog admin dashboard looks:
Your blog will show by default a “Coming Soon” message. This is where you have to click to remove it:
This is how your blog will look moments after installing it:
By the way, if you ran into any trouble while installing your WordPress blog, you can just contact the iPage customer support and they’ll help you out via phone or chat.
Install WordPress Manually (not recommended)Click here to show the manually guide (it expands).
If you’re Internet savvy, I’m sure you’d like to take a look at this manual I set up for you. You’ll get through it in a jiffy! This setup tutorial can be used on any hosting you want that meets these requiremenets: PHP 5.2.4 or greater, MySQL 5.0 or greater and at least 0.5 GB of free disk space.
If the host you picked meets these requirements, you can go down to http://wordpress.org/download and download the latest stable release of WordPress.
You’ll have to be very careful and follow instructions to the letter, otherwise there’s a chance that the blog installation will fail or not function properly.
Once you’ve finished downloading WordPress, unzip the file to a new folder.
After you’ve unzipped the file into the new folder, go in it and look for a file named “wp-config-sample.php” and rename it as “wp-config.php”. Now open the file (you can just right click and open it with notepad) and change the following lines of code:
- define(‘DB_NAME’, ‘your database name here’);
- define(‘DB_USER’, ‘your username here’);
- define(‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘your password here’);
- define(‘DB_HOST’, ‘localhost’); – Usually, this doesn’t need to be changed, so you can leave it as it is.
Now, chances are, you don’t know your database name, username or password but no biggie, you can just call customer support from your hosting and ask for them. Once you’ve edited wp-config.php, save the file and we’ll move on.
The next step is connecting to your hosting FTP account. You’ll need a FTP client to do that (FileZilla or others). You’ll also need your username and password, and if you don’t have them, you can just get them from your hosting. If you want your blog to be accessible from your root domain (e.g., www.ablogexample.com), then you can just upload the files to the root directory. If you want to access it through a link like www.ablogexample.com/blog, then you’ll have to upload the files to a specific folder (e.g., “blog”, in this case). Keep in mind that you’ll need to have only one “index” file in your directory (index.php from WordPress) and other “index” files (.html, .htm) can ruin your installation process.
I know it sounds a bit complicated, but look on the bright side – we’re almost finished! The last step is opening your web browser and going to this URL: www.yourblogaddress.com/wp-admin/install.php
After you’ve done that, fill in the form with your username and password and then simply click on the “Install WordPress” button. That’s the last step to installing your WordPress blog!
I don’t know if you ever used WordPress before but if you haven’t, here’s some basical info. This is your typical WordPress blog dashboard:
Just remember, it’s not as complicated as it seems and soon enough, you’ll get the hang of it.
Here, you can find some excellent video tutorials on WordPress. If you want to learn more about all the WordPress quirks and features, you might find this very interesting. It covers all the basics, including customizing your blog, changing your theme, and more!
Check out some useful resources and articles for starting and growing your blog.
If you have any questions or ran into any problems while installing your own WordPress blog, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with me by twitter or email. I’ll get back to you as quick as possible.
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