Starting your WordPress travel blog can be extremely easy and extremely cheap at the same time. Actually, I am going to teach you today how to start an amazing travel blog for less than $100 as an initial investment! And no, I haven’t missed any extra zeros!
That’s an extremely low investment, considering the fact that you can end up making thousands of dollars per month with your blog, like so many others are doing. Just imagine how cool it will be to say, in the near future, that you’re financing your travels with the income generated by your blog and you only started with less than $100 invested!
$100 is insanely low. It will provide you a blog for three years. This means that your actual costs will be around $3 or less than a Grande White Chocolate Mocha at Starbucks. Per Month. For your own, WordPress-powered travel blog!
So click here to start your cheap WordPress travel blog right now, then use my complete guide below to breeze through the entire process.
Just read on to find out how to start your own travel blog for cheap! It’s extremely easy, anybody can do it even without any technical knowledge! And I’ll take you through all the steps below to make sure you miss nothing important and are up for a great start with a minimal investment.
1. Choose your domain name
Having a good, catchy name for your blog is extremely important. Try to keep it as short as possible and easy to remember. It will be your domain name that will create your blogging brand, so you want to make sure that it’s up there in terms of quality.
Normally, registering a domain for your blog would cost around $15 per year, but getting it through Bluehost gives you the domain for free for the first year if you get a year-long hosting package. And that’s what you need to get, since it offers the best possible price, as we’ll see below!
Pro tip: Try to keep your domain as related to the travel niche as possible. Amysmusings.com is not a great name for a travel blog, while something like WanderingAmy.com or anything related to the travel niche is.
2. Get hosting for your blog
The company that hosts your travel blog is the most important element of the equation. If the hosting company sucks, your website will most likely struggle with slow loading times (and you know how much you hate blogs that take aeons to load!), constant interruptions and other problems that will keep visitors away.
Fortunately, you can sign up for Bluehost which is one of the most popular hosts all over the world and also one of the most recommended out there. They’re hosting over 2 million websites and you rarely – if ever – hear their customers complaining about their services.
They are reliable, they provide great service and are extremely easy to use – so easy, in fact, that even somebody with absolutely no technical skills can set up and launch their WordPress travel blog in just a few clicks. That’s how I did it (because, yes, I knew almost nothing about running blogs when I launched my business) and that’s how most people start.
And the best part is that they’re extremely cheap. They are currently running a promo that you should hurry to take advantage of, giving you their amazing hosting services for just $2.95/month. Very cool!
And that’s all you have to pay, because you also get your own domain FOR FREE, as I already told you above! Now that’s what I mean when I say that you can keep your initial investment to a minimum!
I’ve been with Bluehost for years now and only once had to contact their support team for a minor problem that was resolved in less than an hour. With other hosting companies that I worked, I had to exchange several (if not more emails) to fix broken stuff… but Bluehost just runs smoothly and nicely without any need for extra intervention from the outside.
I am extremely satisfied with them and use their services for hosting my money-making websites and I can wholeheartedly recommend them to anybody looking to get into blogging – and get serious about it!
So if you haven’t done so already, click here to sign up with Bluehost and let’s get this started!
First, click the green Get Started button (or navigate in the top menu to Hosting -> Shared Hosting)
Next, select the Basic package. That’s all you will need for your blog. Also, when you’ll want to upgrade – when your blog will start getting tens of thousands of visitors – you can easily do so:
Now it’s time to use the great domain name you found for your blog. Simply type it in the box to the left, as seen below:
Then fill up the required details. When you get to the package information, I recommend you to sign up for the 36 month package. This means that you’ll get hosting for THREE years, for just $2.95 per month. That’s an insanely amazing deal! This also means that you’ll have to pay around $106 for the package, which is not “under $100”. You can keep it under $100 by choosing the 24 month package, but the three year deal gives you the best price per month. Your choice!
(Note: if you want to, you can get the extra goodies like the Privacy Protection, which means that your real name won’t be shown in the Whois information of the domain. They are optional and your blog will run smoothly with or without them.)
Congratulations! You now have your domain name and hosting account. You’re not ready to start blogging!
I highly recommend to go for this discounted price, but you can choose whatever time period you want. However, I strongly suggest against going for the month-to-month pay rates, since you will pay too much. Why pay a fortune for something that would cost you $2.95 per month?
3. Install WordPress to your blog via Bluehost
This is an extremely simple process. All you have to do is to log into your newly created account on Bluehost, then click on Hosting –> Website in the top bar, then click the “Install now” link near the WordPress logo:
Grant access to Mojo Marketplace, then simply select your newly registered domain from the dropdown menu, then click Next. It’s extremely important to leave the Directory area to the right blank.
Now, you’re being taken to the Advanced options. Simply follow the on-screen information and choose the username and password for your WordPress travel blog. Make sure to leave the “Automatically create a new database for this installation” option checked.
Click the “Install Now” button and that’s it! You have successfully created and launched your WordPress blog! In just a few minutes, you will receive your login information with details on how to log in to your newly created blog.
Although this is everything you need to do right now, I have even more valuable tips and tricks for you in order to start your blog on the right foot. Check them out below:
4. Install vital plugins & services you need (all free!)
I know you can’t wait to jump in and create your first post (and then many, many more), but there are a few things you might want to do before that, like installing plugins and services you will need to better run and understand your blog. Here’s the list of recommended stuff:
Sitemaps help search engines like Google find your content and index it easily. You can’t have a blog without a sitemap, at least not one that’s successful. So install and activate the XML Sitemap & Google News feeds plugin for free detailed here. (Easiest way to find all these plugins is to go to Plugins – Add New and simply search the text I’ve written in Italic)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is something you’ll have to consider eventually. There’s a lot to learn about SEO, but for starters, we’ll need a plugin that does a lot of stuff for us for free. With a good SEO plugin, your content will be better seen by Google and it will rank better in the search results. My recommended free plugin is the All in One SEO Pack. (details)
A caching plugin helps your blog load faster when somebody visits it. This is extremely helpful because it keeps users on your site and reduces bandwidth requirements from your host. A must have for all blogs and I normally use WP Super Cache. (details here)
Social Sharing Plugin
If your WordPress theme (see step #5 below) doesn’t come with integrating social sharing buttons to make it easier for people to share your articles on social websites like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and so on, you will need a Social Sharing Plugin. I’m using Sassy Social Share on this blog and I am extremely satisfied with it. (details here)
Sign up for Google Services
Google is the biggest search engine in the world and most blogs get over 90% of their search engine traffic from Google. There are two services they offer for free which will help you better understand how your website works and also help Google index your website better. Make sure you sign up and install them on your blog (via free plugins or do some research on your own – it’s still very easy):
Google Webmaster Tools (aka Search Console): You MUST have your website here to make your life easier on Google. This is where you will submit your sitemap, to make sure that Google knows about it. You can see here what keywords are driving traffic to your website, you can set up specific countries you want to target with your content and find out a lot of extremely important information.
Google Analytics: This is a complete and complex tool that helps you understand how your visitors behave on your website. It also helps track the actual numbers, what articles on your website are visited, where do your visitors come from and even their age and other information. One of the most complex analytics tools out there – and it’s free!
5. Install a WordPress theme
You can install your WordPress theme before installing the plugins or after: it doesn’t really matter.
A good looking theme is vital for making your blog even better. A blog that looks good keeps visitors engaged and helps you build a reputation. And fortunately WordPress has a ton of free themes available for you. Simply navigate, from your WordPress sidebar, to Appearance – Themes, then hit the Add New button.
There, you can start looking for the perfect theme for your blog. You can search based on keywords, features, popularity… there are hundreds, if not thousands, of free themes available out there that will make your blog look great. Find the perfect one for you.
Eventually, you will want to switch to using a paid theme. These Premium themes come with better design, help with SEO even more and offer a ton more customization options. You could go and get one from the start if you have the extra money to spend, or you can leave it for later. It might be a better idea to start with a Premium Theme, but it’s your choice to make!
No matter what option you choose, the best place to search for new Themes is Theme Forest. That’s where I am getting all my WordPress themes and they are amazing. You have great developers working on Theme Forest and insanely beautiful themes.
You can search by yourself through their directory, or if you like the current theme I am using, you can check it out here.
These are all the steps you need to take in order to launch your own travel blog for cheap. Many of the big blogs out there that you follow today have started by following a similar route. You don’t have to invest a fortune from start: it’s better to try and keep your costs to a minimum at first and only start spending more when you learn the ropes and can actually put those money to good use.
If you choose Bluehost as your hosting company, not only that you get an extremely cheap hosting contract for your website, but also a stable and fast one. And as your blog grows, you can easily upgrade the hosting options – if that’s even necessary. But it will probably take some time before you get there and have to even consider upgrading.
I hope you found my guide on starting a travel blog for less than $100 useful. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions in the comment section below or contact me via the contact page if you need any help.