2. Choose a Meaningful Travel Blog Name
Choosing a blog name is the first hurdle you must overcome when starting a blog. You want something catchy that people will remember (and can pronounce), but you also want it to reflect your personal journey. As you contemplate a name keep these tips in mind:
- Keep it short and sweet.
- Avoid non-traditional spellings, or words that are hard to type and spell.
- Choose a unique name that won’t be confused with another site.
- Consider putting your own name into the blog name as a statement about who maintains the site and letting readers know it’s about your personal perspectives.
- Think long term and choose a name that can grow with you. If you plan to spend one year traveling on the west coast and then decide that you want to spend another year traveling in the east, using the name West Coast Blogger is probably not the best idea. Re-naming a blog is an expensive hassle that you don’t want to deal with.
- Avoid hyphens and numbers. Those are the hardest site names to remember.
- Take note of what your name looks like as an URL when it’s all squished together as one word.
3. Free Versus Paid
You don’t have to be technical wizard, or spend a lot of money to start a travel blog – I promise! There are several companies that make it nearly effortless to set up a blog. The main options are a free blog service, or a self-hosted blog. Here’s the low down on both.
A free site is ideal if you simply want to update your family and friends on your travels, or if you want to give blogging a try before committing any money.
The two most popular and user friendly free blog platforms are WordPress and Blogger. These sites give you a blog address (URL) that contains the company’s name (such as travelswithtiffany.wordpress.com) and allow you to choose a simple template design for your blog. You can get this type of blog up and running in a matter of hours.
A self-hosted blog is where you buy the domain name from a company such as namecheap.com and store the content via a hosting service. You can still use WordPress or Blogger for templates and management, but you won’t have the name of the company in your URL, and you will have much more control over the look and feel of the site.
If you are serious about turning your travel blog into a brand or business, self-hosted is the way to go. The cost is minimal to start, with domain names costing $10-15 a year, and hosting service starting at less than $10 a month (this cost will increase as you get more traffic).
There is a bit more technical know how involved in setting up a paid blog, and with more design options it will take longer to set up. But if you want your blog to grow beyond your friends and family, self-hosted is the best choice.