Hacks

Make your own travel blog at PHP 2500

own travel blog

Making your own travel blog is the best way to keep the memories while helping other travelers. Let’s make it cheap and easy for you to know how to make one, step-by-step.

You’ve got amazing stories and magazine-worthy pictures, but what do you do with them? Creating your own travel blog might be the answer!

Your Facebook friends are not the only ones willing to read about your escapades. Every trip gives you an opportunity to share information and inspiration with your fellow travelers. Why not give everyone access to them thru travel blogging?

Once you have read the Things to Know Before Travel Blogging, you’re now ready to take the nitty-gritty of the next steps: how to make your own travel blog. This post will walk you through getting domains, web hosts, blog platforms, and beautifying your future travel blog the easy and cheap way.

Let’s start!

 

Step 1: Registering a Domain Name and Hosting Plan

So you’re seriously considering getting your own .com as a travel blogger. How do you know if you want to commit to paying domain name fees, or maybe just want a fling with the travel blogging world?

Use free blogs when… you’re not sure if you can commit. This is to test out your commitment to blogging and your niche. Countless times I’ve seen people purchase their domain and host only to realize they don’t have the commitment to keep up the blog. Personally, it took me 7 years of blogging and nearly 3 years of travel blogging to buy my domain. So, don’t rush!

Buy a domain when… you’re ready to commit to travel blogging. Doing so means you’ll be paying an annual fee, but for a good cause. You will simply look more professional and authoritative in the travel industry. It improves your chance to earn with your blog because you own the tools you use.

How to buy a domain name. You can use popular platforms to buy domain names. However, I recommend getting hosting to avail of them cheaply and bundled with other good stuff. With followyouroad, I bought my domain first only to realize I can’t even use it without my own host. Now I had to buy the two separately and it cost me more. So a tip for you would be: go for bundled!

 

Getting a Hosting Plan

Getting a hosting plan is a way to fully enjoy your own travel blog. There are thousands of website development services out there. These services cost between PHP 5,000-PHP 20,000. I know, I’ve considered getting one! But with a little resourcefulness, you can DIY your web development. Here’s how I made my own travel blog using Siteground!

Why Siteground?

#1 No web dev background required. One of the things I am proudest of is that I DIY’d my WordPress development. I had no tech background whatsoever, except 8 years of experience in various platforms. Siteground is very beginner-friendly that even the most confusing steps become easy. When in doubt, you can always ask, which brings me to the next benefit.

#2 Awesome chat service. Unlike other hosting services, Siteground helps out their clients with a 24/7 chat service. This really helped me when I was transferring both my domain from GoDaddy and hosting from WordPress to Siteground. Two of which are very tedious jobs that Google search on how-tos could never accomplish.

You get to chat with real people who are nice enough to answer your queries — even those not 100% related to selling their product. This is really their best advantage and selling point.

#3 Auto-domain renewal. After a year with Siteground, they asked permission to automatically renew my domain. That means I no longer had to go through the hoops of providing my credit card details to repurchase followyouroad for another year. It also secures my own travel blog’s name, so other people won’t buy it off.

#4 Affordable hosting fees. Best of all, you don’t have to break the bank. Siteground comes with beginner and professional packages that can suit your needs. The StartUp plan is only at $3.95/month. If you get them as your host, your domain registration is free for the first year!

 

Wait! Are you prepared for the next steps? Make sure you’ve read my previous post, Things to Know Before Travel Blogging

 

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To move forward with Siteground, follow the link and do the steps below.

  • Choose a StartUp plan. Being a newbie travel blogger, choose the cheapest hosting plan version of Siteground at $3.95 (below PHP 200).
  • Choose a domain name. Name your own travel blog! Tips on naming your travel blog are in my previous post.
  • Pay for the domain name. Enter your personal and payment information. Untick everything under the paid “Extra Services” Ideally, you should have a credit card or Paypal account for these to make transactions easier.

Step 2: Setting up a WordPress Blog

Congratulations, you already have a .com and a host! Now, to set up the blog itself, Siteground makes installation easy and free. You can check your email for the confirmation, log-in using the given username and password, and access the cPanel.

Why WordPress blog? Admittedly, there are a lot of platforms out there. I’ve tried most of them (Blogspot, LiveJournal, Tumbler, etc.), and the world would agree with me that WordPress is the best platform. The dashboard is easy to navigate and understand, the themes look professional, and you have more options in terms of functionality.

While logged in to your Siteground account, go to My Accounts > Go to cPanelAutoInstallers > Softaculous. Select WordPress. Now you can input your purchased domain, and edit your site settings. Afterward, hit Install!

Step 3: Personalizing your own travel blog

Congratulations, you already have your own travel blog! Now head over to the Dashboard via yourdomain.com/wp-admin. This is where your creativity will be put to use. Customizing your blog means you choose the theme, fonts, imagines, and colors!

As I mentioned in Things to Know Before Travel Blogging, it helps that you have blog pegs already, so that you already have an idea on how your travel blog will look.

Install a theme. Your blog comes with a limited number of free themes to choose from. But if you’re fussy about how your own travel blog should look, then I recommend purchasing a theme (like I did, ain’t it neat?). Simply research themes until you find what you like. But make sure that your chosen theme is:

  • Responsive. This means the layout adjusts the layout across all devices so that it looks great on PC, tablet, and mobile.
  • Browser Compatible. Make sure your theme looks great across all browsers, and not perfect on Google Chrome and lousy on Internet Explorer.
  • Social sharing enabled. Choose themes that have the basic Facebook, Twitter and G+ sharing buttons. But if not, you can always install a corresponding social sharing plug-in.

To install them, go to Appearance > Themes > Add new theme. My theme cost me $49, but there are many cheap alternatives at $30 and below.

Upload header image. Your theme usually has a recommended header size. Create your own header preferably with the name of your blog or logo. I recommend not overthinking this, and just sticking to a font that you like. You can always change this later. Go to Appearance > Customize.

Choose widgets. Widgets are tools that appear on your sidebar, and sometimes your header and footer. Go to Appearance > Widgets. Some basic widgets you can add are Search, Facebook Like box, Instagram feed, popular posts, archives, and more. It really depends on your taste!

Link your social media accounts. You probably already have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and G+. These platforms will help you promote your blog. Let the world know it exists! Go to Settings > Sharing.

Once You Get the Hang of It…

Here is your not-so-immediate travel blogging to-do list. You can save doing these later when you’ve gained momentum in blogging. But keep them in mind because they’re hella important!

Choose plug-ins. Plug-ins are simply the extra tools that you can use to power up your blog. Think of them as smartphone apps that work in various ways. Some plug-ins allow you to monitor spam, prevent viewers from copying your photos and provide email subscription options. Do research on which ones you like!

Create menus. Menus are simply the drop-down tabs that you have near the header. It takes some brainstorming or wireframing. Start running through the portfolio of your travel photos, stories, and itineraries. Then, think about how you are going to organize them into the menus. Make sure your readers will intuitively know where to find what they’re looking for.

Set up your pages. Identify the pages that you wanted to include in your own travel blog. Some examples of these are About Me and Contact. You can choose to add more. This will help readers get more ideas on who you are and how to reach you.

 

Step 4: Start Blogging!

Congratulations, you now have your own travel blog!

Try to create a variety of articles, such as narratives, travel guides, reviews, top 10s, and galleries. Read my previous post for more content ideas. As a tip, don’t be too much of a perfectionist in the beginning. You’ll learn things along the way. Meanwhile, here is a sample breakdown of expenses.

Other services’ minimum rates My experience
Domain $10 $3.98 (Siteground)
Hosting $35
Themes $0-$20 (Free – Purchased) $49 (this can be cheaper)
TOTAL $65 $52.98

$52.98 x PHP 47 = PHP 2,490.06.

Note that you’re going to pay $3.98 to Siteground monthly to keep your domain and other services. That means in one year, you’re going to pay $47.76 or PHP 2,244.72 in one year. The theme will only have to be paid once.

Make sure you follow some blogging best practices to increase your readership and make the most out of your travel blog. Tune in next week for my blog on maintaining and growing your travel blog.

 

Questions?

Should you have any question, feel free to comment below or tweet me. I’ll answer the best way I can. You can also log-on to Siteground and talk to their in-house technicians. I promise, they’re friendly and they won’t drive you crazy!

 

If you sign up on Siteground using any of the links I used in the blog, I will earn an affiliate fee. Thank you in advance!

 

  • Inspired? Read about more travel Hacks
  • Subscribe to get notified of my next post, Maintaining and Growing Your Travel Blog
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21 Comments

  • Reply
    Berlin | Momi Berlin
    March 29, 2017 at 8:27 PM

    This is quite a comorehensive read. You not only put the step to step on how to start a travel blog but also the tried and tested partners you’ve beem using. I have heard so much about siteground. I havent tried them but would love too. Perhaps on my next renewal.

    • Reply
      Sam Coronado
      March 31, 2017 at 7:42 AM

      They’re awesome. The chat service is just a breakthrough.

  • Reply
    Bernadette Angelie Pangilinan
    November 21, 2016 at 5:44 PM

    I’ve been into travelling lately and I’ve been posting my travel posts on my beauty blog. I just don’t want to maintain two blogs. Haha! But I’ve been thinking lately if having two separate blogs would be beneficial? Help please!

    • Reply
      Sam Coronado
      November 24, 2016 at 11:02 PM

      For me, I’d rather have just one “main” blog. The other blog would be different, for example, would be a Linkedin blog instead of a website on its own. It’s really hard because the two might suffer!

  • Reply
    Liana
    November 20, 2016 at 7:20 PM

    Those are really amazing tips and I’ve could have use those when I embark on this journey tho! I’ve really appreciated every tips regarding the web hosting. I currently working with OVH and I’m really disappointed with them! Do you how we can transfer to it? It’s such a great article, and you need to be responsible and be aware of every consequences it’s going to take when you’re making this decision and embarking in such a heavy road! You need to be sooo ready to do it and consistent with your post! x

  • Reply
    Nya
    November 20, 2016 at 6:13 PM

    This is such a useful post to anyone who’s wanting to starting a blog and doesn’t know where to start. Years ago, when I had my first self-hosted WordPress blog, not all hosting providers offered auto-installers (thankfully, now most do, I’m with host-gator and it’s really easy and quick too). So back then, me being not as tech-savy as I am now, it was a nightmare to get it installed and up and running haha. By the way I love how your blog looks, super clean and breathable:)

  • Reply
    Mimi
    November 8, 2016 at 2:08 PM

    These are really helpful resources, especially for those people who aspire to be travel bloggers! I have heard of Siteground but unfortunately, I didn’t settle for that host. How is it so far? Are there a lot of downtime?

  • Reply
    Stargazer
    November 7, 2016 at 1:36 PM

    I have hear a lot for Siteground. And this is providing a lot of details in setting up a blog. I have always wanted to Siteground to host my blog, but I have to make sure that I am ready to commit especially to renew my payment. Maintaining a blog is definitely a hard work.

  • Reply
    Vyjay Rao
    November 5, 2016 at 3:42 PM

    These are really some useful pointers to anyone looking to embark on the blogging voyage. We too had started with a free WordPress account initially to share our travel experiences. However as we grew we moved on to our own domain. You are right based on ones’ committment one can decide on whether to stick to a free blogging site or go for ones own domain.

  • Reply
    Thelittlelai: Beyond limits
    November 4, 2016 at 10:12 PM

    Wow, this is very helpful to those aspiring bloggers who would love to start their own blog, but they don’t know what to do. I as well love WordPress cause it is very users friendly and I just love how you elucidate everything about blogging and I concur with those points of yours. I’ll certainly share this with my aspiring friends!

    LaiAriel

  • Reply
    Veeyah | The Indy Miss
    November 4, 2016 at 7:20 PM

    Hey there! Great guide for those who want to start a travel blog! 🙂 My hosting is at 1and1, and I pay an annual fee of $14.99. So far, it’s been a breeze. Maybe I should check out Siteground and try setting up another blog over there, haha. 🙂

  • Reply
    Mommy Queenelizabeth
    November 4, 2016 at 6:27 PM

    This is very informative. I hear a lot of good reviews about siteground but ive never checked it yet. I do have plans of checking the site many times but i always forgot. My domain host will expire next year and i still have like 10 months to enjoy it. Been using it for a year and so far im ok with it. Will have this in mind once i needed it!

  • Reply
    ROBERT LEE
    November 4, 2016 at 6:02 PM

    Great post and good recommendations. I have been around. Although I have never used Siteground for hosting, I know it is one of the better hosting companies around. Considering that I have had paid hosting accounts for twenty years already, I have a sense of how to choose a hosting company. Siteground… without using it personally, I can say go for it.

  • Reply
    mariaisquixotic
    November 4, 2016 at 5:25 PM

    You’re the 2nd person I’ve seen to mention Siteground. It’s really a necessity for bloggers to trust their hosts and their service providers. Their rate is really affordable and this could really help a lot!

  • Reply
    Sriparna
    November 4, 2016 at 3:26 PM

    Thank You for this helpful post Samantha:) I am actually looking for a cheaper domain and hosting package! My current 1 yr plan ends in May’17; and then I will definitely explore Siteground (from one of the links in this post for sure :))…

  • Reply
    Ana
    November 4, 2016 at 2:47 PM

    Great article! I think it contains almost all the questions that a beginner blogger wants to know. I have been fond of blogging but the problem was that of maintaining it. Finally, I decided to buy my own domain name and hosting. That means that I have to maintain my blog or else my money will be wasted. That is the motivation I give to myself in order not to neglect again my blog. I started with my latest blog this July and still continue to post articles at least once in a week. I am just new in blogging and still learning a lot of things. 🙂

  • Reply
    Marissa Abao
    November 4, 2016 at 12:44 PM

    I like WordPress too because they have a lot of free themes. I do have a background in Web Development but even if I do not have, I think I can manage customizing WordPress. There are many online resources which talk about how to use WordPress. I have discovered Squarespace just recently. It looks better than WordPress but they only offer 14-day trial so if someone does not have a budget yet, then this is not the best option.

    • Reply
      Sam Coronado
      November 4, 2016 at 7:08 PM

      Hi Marissa! Thanks for the insight. Have you tried Squarespace? Let me know what you think!

  • Reply
    Dominic Barrios
    November 3, 2016 at 6:08 PM

    Sam, I love how you wrote this article and it’s a long step by step process. The best part is it’s very detailed and helpful for a newbie in blogging. Although this is pretty good as it is, I think you could have made this as a series just so it adds content to your blog and page views. What do you think? At, least, the readers will be able to munch on your information at bite size pieces.

    Anyway, going back to your post., I haven’t heard of siteground before and I grew up with WordPress ever since I tried it. Didn’t plan on testing other platforms but I’m curious how big of a difference does siteground offer to bloggers.

  • Reply
    Bea De Guzman
    November 1, 2016 at 2:05 PM

    I should have seen this before!! I got my domain and hosting in a local company and I wanted to transfer next year because they keep crashing down. I heard a lot about Siteground and I hope they’ll help me next year when I transfer. I’m kinda scared I can lose the whole blog in the transfer. 🙁

    • Reply
      Sam Coronado
      November 2, 2016 at 8:01 PM

      Hi Bea!! Thanks for sharing your experiences… Can you tweet me or message me what local company that is? Just curious :p I think you’ll mostly lose the rankings. I was able to save comments and content. It’s tough, but then it was worth it. If you’re already using WordPress platform, it might be easier 🙂

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