Do you want to start a travel blog but have no idea where to start? You’ve heard of this “making passive income from your laptop” concept but are overwhelmed with the amount of information out there? Before I quit my job, I knew I wanted to pursue blogging as one of my passive income ventures, and a full week later on July 18th, The Wanderlover was born and it’s one of the best decisions I made in my life.
“Create a vision that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning”
I realized what took me so long to get started was all the information out there was so dispersed. Which is why I created this step-by-step tutorial to show you exactly how to start one the correct way from the beginning so you don’t make the same mistakes I made!
I originally started this blog for free on blogspot, but because I had to stick to their somewhat limited features, I couldn’t customize my blog the way I wanted to, such as having a travel shop or affiliate links, and had to start over from scratch on my new hosting provider (it wasn’t worth it to go through the migration process). Basically, if you want to eventually monetize your blog, having a self-hosted blog is a must.
There are so many reasons and benefits to starting your own self-hosted blog:
- Write about anything you want, and the content is all yours. When you blog on WordPress or Blogspot, those platforms actually own your blog, and can take it down anytime!
- You can connect with other influencers and bloggers, share your content across multiple platforms, and build an audience
- Gain a following on social media, brand yourself, enter the digital influencer circle
- Make money from home in whatever subject your blog is about
- Network with brands/hotels/tour groups and build your own business!
This post contains affiliate links. To learn more, click here.
What is the difference between free hosting and self-hosted?
With free hosting, the content you publish is not actually yours, and your capabilities are limited to what wordpress.com or blogspot.com pre-defines for you. There will be numerous customizations and plug-ins simply not available for you to use, and you have no code access.
With self-hosting, you have complete control over customization, content, functionality, and anything else out there. You have an unlimited database of plug-ins and themes at your disposal, and you can transform your website into a beautiful work of art that you will be able to monetize.
WordPress.COM vs. WordPress.ORG
WordPress.com is free. WordPress.org is self-hosted. However, if you just start a blog on WordPress.org, you don’t get access to 24/7 hour support or have your own domain or email. Once this confusion was cleared up for me, I started my self-hosted wordpress.org website on the most recommended hosting service Bluehost and I will walk you through how you can too.
- Recommended by WordPress since 2005
- 24/7 support – I’ve called in multiple times past midnight
- FREE Domain name (thewanderlover.com instead of thewanderlover.blogspot.com)
- Easy 1-Click WordPress.org installation
- Email (email@example.com)
- $30-Day Money Back Guarantee (which I obviously will not be using)
This blog honestly would not be where it is today without the help and capabilities of Bluehost, and it was so easy to set up. It’s only $3.95/month, and I’ll show you step by step how you can create your own custom blog in less than 15 minutes. These are the exact steps I took not too long ago, so if you have any issues along the way, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Go to Bluehost and click “Get Started Now”
- Bluehost offers three options for hosting plans. When you use this link to sign up, you can get 50% off your hosting plan! I recommend the basic plan, as that’s what I use now and have zero complaints.
- Create your domain name here, or if you already have one, enter it on the right.
- Now all you have to do is enter in account and payment information. 50% off only applies to when you pay for multiple years upfront, so I selected the Basic 36-month price option. Uncheck all the extra option boxes for now – you can always add them later if you need them.
- Create a password for your account and your blog software will be automatically installed. Click “Log Into WordPress” to be taken to your blog. (You will also get an email with your blog log-in details)
And there you have it – for less than a beer in Manhattan you can start your own website!
Go to http://www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin (replace yourdomain with your actual domain name). If you don’t know your log-in info, refer to your email.
Posts – You will have a default post created, but feel free to edit/delete it. This is where all your blog posts will show up and populate your feed.
Media – This is where all your pictures, videos, documents, and files can be uploaded and stored so you can add them into your posts.
Pages – Pages can be navigation tabs on your blog. Create a page for “About Me” or “Contact” to get yourself started!
Comments – When someone comments on your post, they will show up here! You can approve and reply to them here as well.
Plugins – These are apps you can add to your blog, ranging from Backup, Maps, e-mail lists, and literally anything you can think of!
Change Your Appearance
To change the look of your blog, there are thousands of themes to choose from. If you want even more options, head over to ThemeForest to purchase your own from just $2. It’s a good investment if you plan to monetize your blog, and you’re more likely to find a theme you absolutely love.
From there, you can customize and add pretty much anything you want!
Write Your First Post!
Now for the most exciting part, writing your own post! It can literally be anything, starting with a simple introduction for yourself! Once you’re done writing, hit “Publish” on the right side of the screen and watch it go live!
In less than 15 minutes, it’s possible for you to set up your own website and start building your own personal brand.I wish you all nothing but success and profitability in this new world.
If this post helped you, please share!
Do you have any questions about setting up your blog? Comment below or send me a personal email, I’m always happy to help!