I frequently get asked for tips on how to start a travel blog. So I have put together a comprehensive step-by-step guide with all the info you need when taking the big step of creating your own blog using Wordpress. And best of all, it can take less than 5 minutes.
I’ll be upfront about this – I’ve got over 15 years experience in web design and have a very extensive background in programming so I do not use Wordpress for TravelWithBender.com. I use a more customized solution. But you don’t need anything complex when starting out and Wordpress is the most popular blogging platform in the world. In fact around 19% of all websites on the web use it, and for a good reason. So I highly recommend it for folks who want to start their own blog.
This guide is designed for real people, so I avoided using confusing jargon and have included easy-to-follow screenshots so you know you’re on the right track. So let’s get started!
Setup Domain and Hosting (Domain is FREE when hosting your blog on Bluehost)
Your blog needs to live on a server somewhere so it can be accessed 24 hours a day (this is called "hosting"). So I recommend using Bluehost for hosting your blog. They include a free domain name with their hosting account and even provide exclusive offers for Wordpress users (the "domain" is your unique name for your website).
If you want to start now click this link to go to Bluehost, they have an awesome team of 24/7 support staff and rock solid infrastructure. Over 850,000 Wordpress blogs run on Bluehost, and the official Wordpress team only recommend 3 web hosting providers - Bluehost being #1. Enough said.
By clicking the link above you will help me earn commission for every hosting package purchased but it will not add any extra cost to you. And it will also make me smile :-)
Click the “get started now” button on the image below to avail this offer.
Upon clicking the banner you will start the process of creating your own blog!
The first stage will look like the screenshot below. This is where you will start picking your FREE domain name - there are many choices for domain name extensions. I suggest going with a “.com” address. In this example, I’ve used “awesomewebsite.com”. Once you choose an available domain name you’re up to the next step!
Now it’s time to put in your Account and Billing information. Please make sure that the information in the form is correct, as this will be used in case you need to prove ownership of the website/domain name.
You will also be presented with Account Plan optional extras. You don’t need any of these, but if you wanted to keep your contact details private when someone looks up your domain name, then I would suggest choosing the “Domain Whois Privacy” option so the public won’t be able to see your full name, address and email address, but its entirely up to you.
Once the credit card details have been entered it’s now time to setup the actual WordPress website.
Installing WordPress from Bluehost cPanel
Congratulations! You now purchased your own hosting space along with a domain name. But don’t go to your website yet as we still need to install WordPress on your hosting account. When you first login to your cPanel (web hosting control panel) you will see many icons and options. This is your dashboard for all available services for your website and this is also where you will find the icon to install WordPress just look under “Website Builders” and look for the “WordPress” icon.
This should open to a new window where you can see under “Blogs” the “WordPress” icon - now click it so you can start installing WordPress
It will bring you to the next screen to start the installation process. Click the green “Install” button.
The next step is placing the information about your WordPress website so you can install additional plugins and themes. I suggest you do not install anything extra at this point, and only check the box at the bottom of the form indicating that you have read the terms and conditions.
Let’s go ahead and click “Complete” to start installation and finalize the setting up process.
Getting to your website
Simply click on the blog address (your domain name, such as awesomewebsite.com). Your new blog should load in your web browser.
The default theme installed is a very plain theme but don’t worry as there are tons of themes available for use, both paid and free.
Log into WordPress
This is the time to start customizing your blog and giving it your own personal touch! While you’re still on your blog’s home page, scroll down the page, looking on the lower right-hand side and click on the "Login" link.
You should see the WordPress Login page like this:
Just put in your Username and Password that you should chose (or was assigned for you) during the installation process. Generally the username will be "admin" unless you changed it.
Once logged in you will see what’s called The Dashboard. This is the place where the content of the Wordpress blog is managed. This is how you will add everything that will be seen by your visitor on the front-end (public facing portion of the website).
Once you are here, use the search function to find a theme that suits your needs. There are tons to choose from.
Setting up the Look of your Blog!
This is where you will apply your personal touch on your blog by installing theme that you feel is best represents you. Don’t worry if you change your mind later, themes can be easily installed and removed.
To change your theme simply find “Appearances” in the left sidebar and then then click “Themes”. Up the top will be a tab called “Install Themes”.
Writing your first post!
Look for the “Post” section in the left part of the dashboard then you should click “Add New". This will take you go to the New Post Screen:
Here you will assign a Title for your new Blog post.
Of course after the title it’s now time to pour out all the creativity inside you and place it in the box under the title. Don't feel pressured to get it perfect, you can come back and edit your post later.
Once you’re done and everything is checked it is time to make that masterpiece available for all your readers. Just look for the “Publish” button on the right and click it. Presto... you're blog post is live! If you wanted instead to just preview on how the article looks like you can also do so by clicking “Preview”.
Wow! You’ve done it! In less than 5 minutes you’ve completed all the steps to create your own Wordpress blog and even wrote your first blog post. You are now well on your way to becoming a successful blogger.
The Next Steps
You can do a lot with your new blog and when you’re just starting out there is nothing more valuable than expert advice. So I recommend WP101 for comprehensive Wordpress training. They provide several video tutorials for free and more can be accessed for a small fee along with a members Q&A forum.
And if you really want to start making money on your travel blog why not join Travel Blog Success. With a money back guarantee you should be generating an income in no time. I also recommend this affiliate network.
Legendary travel writer Tim Leffel also has a course about travel writing that will get your creative juices flowing in no time.
Thank you for following my guide for creating your own Wordpress blog.
Now check out more of my Wordpress tips including the best free plugins to help you get the most out of your new blog.
Welcome to the world of blogging!