How to Start a Travel Blog & Make Money in 2020


‘What do you actually do?’ is the most common question I get when I tell people I’m a travel blogger. As surprising as it sounds travel blogging can be an actual job and it became mine in 2015. Unfortunately, you can’t just ‘get this job’ overnight. Whether you want to blog professionally or privately here’s a mini-guide on how to start a travel blog. You’ll also find out what to consider when you start, as some things are irreversible.

Why Do You Want to Become a Travel Blogger?

Why do you want to blog is the most important question and you should answer – before you even start considering getting a website. After seeing all my pretty photos online which make me look like I’m not working at all. I know, a lot of you think that you want my job. Travel blogging isn’t easy. I often work for hours and hours without any break. Anyway… here’s my guide on how can you start a travel blog.

How to Start a Blog in 2020?

The first thing you need to realize is that it’s still NOT TOO LATE TO START your own blog. But, I’m going to be completely honest and say that covid has ruined travel blogging and you might be better off starting a food blog these days.

The good news is that all my tips apply to different niches, so whether it’s a lifestyle blog, food blog, travel blog, or even something very niche like raising chickens or all about flooring, you’ll be good to start!

While there are many bloggers and influencers on the market, there is only a handful of them who are worth recommending and doing their job professionally. I personally saw some bloggers rising out of nowhere and beating the already established people in terms of traffic, audience engagement and beautiful photos. As long as you’re determined and willing to work hard, you could be the next blogging star!

If you ever want to take your blogging adventures to the next level – make money, change a design, anything, you shouldn’t start your blog on WordPress. A few years ago one could slowly transition into a professional blogger and learn as they go. But in 2019, the only way to ‘make it’ in the blogging world is starting the right way from the start.

Office of the day
Office of the day? Not really, but I often need to reply to emails immediately.

Find a Good Blog Name

Finding a great name for your blog might be a challenge, so take your time. It’s VERY important. This is how you’re going to recognized, remembered and it cannot be changed later. Your blog should be telling your readers what is it all about.

I wanted to write about my journey throughout the whole world and that’s how Anna Everywhere came to life. It’s a name easy to remember, and you can always assume from its name that it’s a travel blog and that it’s about me. Here are a few things you should consider when choosing a name:

  • Don’t limit yourself! Don’t try to create a name that describes your current travel route like “Anna in Africa” as it might limit you later on. What if you decide to move to Asia later? Names as ‘Twenty-Something Travel” might sound great at first, but are you going to be in your twenties forever? Another example was ‘The Hungry Partier’ who realized that his name wasn’t getting him many sponsors and he eventually grew out of partying.


  • Think internationally! I’d also avoid names that might not be clear to everyone. If you’re planning on writing in English your audience is going to be international, not just Australian or American. For instance, I know a blog called ‘Peanuts or Pretzels’. That name might be clear to Americans as it refers to a complimentary snack choice on major American airlines, but a lot of foreigners have no idea about it. When people ask what’s their blog name people usually respond ‘something with peanuts’, which probably isn’t how you want to be remembered and referred to.


  • Be original! As great as Nomadic X, Adventurous X or Wandering X may sound at first, if you do a quick Google search you’ll realize that there are way too many blogs named like that. Your blog won’t stand out and as a result, you’ll have less chance to succeed in the industry. Same goes for ‘Blonde’, ‘Brunette’, “Ginger’ or other names referring to your hair color. Take a look at a list of best travel blogs created by Matt to give you an idea of what kind of blog names are being used already.

Set up Your Social Media Channels

At least half of the blogging success nowadays is your social media channels. After you’ve chosen a name for your blog and checked if the domain name is available (more about it below), you should go ahead and secure your social media handles.

In my case, it wasn’t easy as Anna is a popular name and social media handles ‘annaeverywhere’ were already taken.

While I managed to get a facebook page Anna Everywhere & YouTube, a handle ‘annaeverywhere’ has already been taken on Twitter, Instagram. As a result, I had to add ‘_’, ‘-‘ and ‘.’ to my handles what isn’t an ideal solution, but I simply had no choice.

You won’t know everything about social media straight away. I recommend you to follow me and some other travel bloggers on social media and see what we’re all doing on each of our channels in order to learn.

Can I Start a Blog for Free?

Those of you who want to start a simple blog for friends and family can do it for free at That’s how I started my blog, but I honestly regret it. doesn’t give you many options when it comes to design, selling adds and the most important thing it doesn’t allow you to attach Google Analytics account that will be important to track your visitors and send your stats to potential sponsors later.

Once your blog grows you’ll understand that the more visitors you have and the more collaborations you’ll get, the more money you’ll spend on the blog. For instance, because of my high traffic, my husband and I pay $300ish monthly for hosting alone.

Set up Your Hosting Platform

There are many different platforms that can host your website. What exactly is a host? A host can be compared to a small base where your website content will be stored.

For new bloggers, I recommend hosting your blog on Bluehost as it’s cheap ($3.95 a month), safe and easy to set up. How to set it all up?

  • Step 1: Go to BLUEHOST.
  • Step 2: Click on Get Started website and pick a plan.

You can read my Bluehost Step By Step Tutorial on how to start your WordPress blog with Bluehost with screenshots to help you along the way. Check it out here.

Why Should You Install

WordPress.ORG is often confused with wordpress.COM, but as similar as they can look it’s a totally different thing. WordPress.ORG is a program that runs on self-hosting websites and you’ll need it on your website. The panel is the same as on a free with possibilities to add more widgets, plugins etc. Don’t feel overwhelmed by this – you’ll learn in the process. After you install WordPress you can log in to your website through the dashboard. Voila!

I won’t lie to you, there are alternatives to WordPress, but certain themes and plugins will only work on WordPress. If for some reason you don’t want to work with WordPress, there’s also Joomla (pros: multilingual) or Blogger.

Choose the Right Theme to Design Your Blog

Once your blog is finally live, it won’t look good right away until you redesign it. You can hire a designer/developer on Upwork who can install everything on your blog quickly if you’re too scared to do it yourself. Don’t worry about your theme too much, as you can change it many times during your blogging career, I changed mine 4 times in 4 years until I was finally happy with it.

For beginners, I highly beautiful themes from 17th Avenue. They’re cheap and easy to use. Also, you can always send their team of developers an email if you’re struggling with something. If you like simplicity that’s the right design for you, but there are way more available online.

After a disaster with Pipdig themes I redesigned and I’m currently on Generate Press with plenty of custom tweaks. My new lifestyle blog is using Trawell theme by Meks and it’s been wonderful. 

Install Plugins

You’re going to need some plugins on your website. What are plugins? They are third-party additional apps that make your website look cooler. You can search for them in the plugin section of your WordPress panel or simply google them. I struggled to find the right plugins, so here’s what I recommend:

  • Akismet – This plugin will protect you from spam. Yes, you really need it even if you’re just starting out.
  • Really Simple Share – Do you want your articles to be shared on social media? Of course, you do!
  • Broken Link Checker – It’s an easy way to see if some of the links on your blog aren’t working anymore. Your readers don’t want to click on a link that leads nowhere.
  • Redirection – A very important plugin if you plan on changing URLs and all of us change URLs once in a while.
  • Resize After Upload – You don’t want your images to be huge, because your website will take forever to load. You can set up dimensions of your images in this plugin.
  • Thank Me Later – When your readers comment on your post they’ll receive a thank you message along with some links to your social media channels. It’s a great way to gain more followers.
  • Yoast SEO – Easy plugin to improve your SEO. While it won’t make your articles rank high by itself, it’ll teach you some things about writing for SEO purposes.
You don’t need that many plugins as I have to start your blog. You can add many plugins later on.

Voila! Start writing!

That’s basically it! You can now start writing, starting from your ‘About’ page which will be the most viewed page of your blog. Don’t give up if your blog won’t have that many visitors straight away.

It takes months to develop an audience and you should focus on getting noticed first. Reach out to other travel bloggers and online magazines and ask to write a guest post or take part in collaborative articles on other blogs.

I cannot teach you everything about blogging in a single post, as it would be as long as a book. But, blogging courses can do it better than me.

My Recommendations for Online Courses:

  • Superstar Blogging – Why? It’s founded by Nomadic Matt – who whether you like or not, is the author of the most popular travel blog on the planet. Focuses on turning a blog into a business, optimizing SEO, doing the more advanced pitching. Superstar Blogging also bought the previously popular course called Travel Blog Success, so now you’ll have access to both!
  • Making Sense of Cents – Why? Because you could definitely learn from someone who makes over $150,000 per month only from affiliates alone.
  • Photo Muse Masterclass – Spot on photography course for beginners and intermediate people. My friend Kristin created this course that explains everything you need to know. I looked through the content, so can vouch for this course.

I also can recommend you joining a few Facebook groups in which you can ask questions and get some tips. To name a few groups: Under 1000 Club for beginners and Make Money Blogging for more advanced bloggers, but there are many more groups.

You can also attend travel blogging conferences such as TravelconTBEX, WTMTraverse or Women in Travel Summit to meet other bloggers and learn some tricks! You never know who you can meet and how it could help you in the future. My husband and I actually met at TBEX Florida 🙂

Networking at TBEX Florida in 2015
Networking at TBEX Florida in 2015

Learn More as You Go…

You shouldn’t worry about SEO when you start your blog, but you can start thinking about it already. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it basically refers to being easily found on in the google search. There are many ways to improve your SEO, but it’s a topic for another article.

If you want to learn how to improve your traffic you should check out this e-book. While I haven’t written it myself, it nicely explained everything.

Travel blogging isn’t as easy as it seems. You shouldn’t expect to see any large benefits from it for at least a year or two. Most of us full-time bloggers work over 30h a week while juggling press trips and brainstorming ideas for new projects. The most important thing is not to give up!

If you’re looking for ways to make money blogging and how to monetize a travel blog, check out my article on how to make money blogging.

Any questions? Troubles? Ask me below & good luck!

61 thoughts on “How to Start a Travel Blog & Make Money in 2020”

  1. Figuring out a new blog name is hard, especially when you want to have a name that is available as a domain name and social media handles.

    Will you be writing about how to get more visitors to your blog soon? It will be great if you can share your tactics, and how you allocate time between writing new blog posts and promoting them.

    I’m quite sure there are people out there who wants to start their own travel blog, so I’ll be sharing this with them on Twitter to help them get started. 🙂

    • Hi Wayne,
      I’m actually going to be speaking at Traverse conference in Cardiff about it. I’m considering putting my presentation online later 🙂

  2. Hi, Anna!

    Reading this post made me feel like starting my blog is more manageable than I originally thought. Although, I’m afraid my blog’s name is a bit too generic now. (“Veronica Blogs”)

    At this point, my blog is really about self-fulfillment and working on my writing skills so I’m not too worried. 🙂

  3. Awesome tips, Anna. I’m still new on Instagram although I’ve been blogging for over 4 years now. That’s one of these social media platforms I can’t get used to using and Snapchat, for sure :). Wish me good luck!

  4. Hi Anna, great article! I want to ask if you had an opinion on squarespace? I’m a travel photographer slash photographer and was about to go live on squarespace as it was so easy to set up and is great to highlight photography case studies. However, if I start blogging more (as I still travel so much!) I wasn’t sure if it would be a good platform for that. Cheers! And say hi when you’re in London in Feb!

  5. Thanks for the awesome article Anna! Still trying to build traffic and the tips on WordPress plugins were really helpful 🙂

  6. Thank you for these blogging tips, Anna. I enjoyed reading your great blog with awesome posts. You are a well-traveled beautiful woman and thank you for giving us the opportunity to take a glimpse as well as providing us useful information about the places you’ve had been.

  7. Thanks for the tips. I love following you and Matt the ExpertVagabond on snapchat and other media. This will definitely help me advance my BucketList Project Blog. The “Thank Me Later” Plug In sounds like a great tool. Going to do that now. THANKS!

  8. Nice work! Well done! I used to blog a lot and had lots photos. I got tired of writing where I went, how I traveled and what I ate.

    Thanks for following one of my twitter accounts. I think I should start blogging for travel again. 🙂

  9. Dopiero zaczynamy, więc artykuł akurat pod nas 🙂 Dzięki A! Twój blog śledzimy już od jakiegoś czasu, jesteś mega motywacją! Będzie jakiś artykuł doradczy odnośnie kanału na youtube? 🙂

  10. “I am newbie and just as you said I am blogging through blogspot but now I feel that I should migrate to wordpress but I have got one confusion here, should I start with hosted) or hosted).
    I would also include that I am from non technical background, so what would you suggest?”

    • Definitely not with .com as then you cannot attach google analytics and change your theme. For non-technical people Bluehost is the best 🙂

  11. Anna!! I am thinking to start a blog and I will really take into account your tips!! Keep it up, you are doing great 😀

  12. Hi Anna, thank you for the “Thank Me Later ” plugin tip. I was not aware of this one until I’ve commented on one of your blog posts today. I am definitely going to implement it to my site as well. 🙂 Thanks again!

  13. “I’m in my last year of high school and your blog has definitely inspired me to chase my travelling dreams 🙂
    Was just wondering though, is a web blog essential/necessary in funding your travels or could your travels be funded from other things?
    What else could provide as a main resource for funding travel?”

  14. Hello Anna! Thank you for the tips, I’m starting my own travel blog and it can feel overwhelming sometimes. I’ll definitely be coming back to this post for a pick me up later lol

  15. Thanks for sharing the Blog. From very long I was in search of such a blog. I will share my travel blog very soon.

  16. Thank you for sharing these tips! You are a right, blogging is not easy, but it totally worth it first of all for your own personal growth and being able to share your experiences with many others.

  17. Making a professional blog is very complex, especially in the travel industry.
    This post is illuminated, but I think it takes a lot of budget to be able to visit new places, photograph in high quality and create posting engaging like this.

    However, nice guide you have clarified many doubts about it, since I wanted to open one too.
    thank you so much

  18. Great information has been shared by you on the traveling blog. Traveling is such a wonderful experience for me.

  19. This is an amazing blog. This is truly a very good travel blog, If you’re looking forward to starting a travel blog, this can be helpful for you with this article.

  20. Indeed being active on social media works as you started following us on Instagram and this is how we read your great blog!! Very interesting and inspiring article for us as we started our travel blog May and since July we have become full time professional travellers ??

  21. I just built my first webpress site, and i ended up using 4 of the 6 plugins you recommended, after reading your page. There are some really good tips on here, and i have no interest in a travel blog because im a dad…. and well, kabosh! But good tips generally for website builders too!

  22. Great job and nice work.. thanks for the sharing this tips with us it’s very informative post for us… please keep it up with a new post.

  23. Great article! I found some useful tips for myself. In my opinion choosing a domain name for a blog is one of the hardest. Being original is not so easy these days since every name under the sun is taken. Anyway great blog! Added to bookmarks.

  24. Thanks for sharing some useful tips, especially loved the idea of creating Youtube channel for the blog.

  25. Hi Anna, great tips there. I was late on reading your blog. I already have my blog created in Squarespace, do you have any inputs about Squarespace? I am a registered nurse practitioner that loves to travel and giving tips also to those interested to balance their life. Take care, Anna.

  26. Hi, Anna. I read your article, but I don’t quite understand how you begin to make money at the beginning. So you travel, and you have a blog where you write about your journeys. But what is it that brings you money at the end of the day? And how soon can you start making money before you spend everything on traveling and go broke?

    • Everyone’s journey is different. Most people launch their blogs and run it part-time while working and saving money, then start traveling and keep working on your blog on the road. Again, traveling while blogging full-time is way different from backpacking because you actually have to work, network, keep learning new things. It’s not that simple as just traveling and writing about it. You need to learn SEO, affiliate marketing, get noticed by brands, etc. I actually run week-long intense courses for new bloggers (, because it’s a LOT to learn.

      Making money from the blog won’t happen overnight. And there’s no single answer to when will it happen for you, but if you have the knowledge and know how to do things right it’s faster. Did you read this post on ways to make money?

      • I did not read any of your posts except this one, but I will definitely check them out right now. I haven’t heard of seo or affiliate marketing before, hoping to find answers in your posts.

        Thank you.

      • Hi, Anna. Would you be interested to have an article written for you on the topic of how to travel with a guitar? (based on experience of course).

        I followed your advice and now working on my blog about guitars. I though I’d ask you since you blog about traveling.

  27. we started our blog before we went on our one year trip around the world as a family. It was at beginning aimed for our friends and family all over the place to keep them informed about our adventures. Now the goal is to earn a bit of money with it. As you also you also mention in your blogs it´s a lot of work, time consuming, you have to learn a lot….but it is so much fun! My husband and I divide the work a bit, the writing and marketing. That helps a lot! While traveling there is not so much time for marketing and engaging with other people through social media. Soon our travel will come to an end and we can concentrate a bit more on our website. Thanks for sharing

  28. Thanks again Anna for yet another well written, clear and exciting read! Really enjoying your content – you are amazing at what you do! 🙂

  29. Thank you so much for this information. I’m still putting my blog together (and struggling) but I would not have got this far without your tips!

  30. Hi Anna,

    I am planning on starting a blog as soon as the quarantine ends (2021 most likely). I just have a few queries I wish to asks your advice on.

    I know you say start your blog and pair it with social media, but does it matter which order it comes? (If I start an Instagram first and then tell my followers, I am going to start a blog, does that make a huge difference?).

    Also, should I start travelling first or blogging as I travel? (I have already been to 12 countries in total but I feel like that is not enough. Should I wait until I visit a few more countries before I start blogging or should I start straight away and blog as I go to another place? As I do travel quite frequently already).

    How frequently exactly do bloggers who are just starting out need to spend on building their blogs? (posting contents, answering Qs, monitoring social media etc.? Like is it on a daily basis, or can you post a few times a week and that will be enough?)

    Thanks so much!!

    • Why wait until the quarantine ends? (unless you’re an essential worker now, then the answer is obvious). I’m asking because it takes time t set it up, build backlinks, rank in google, etc so it might be a perfect time 🙂
      Posting on a blog isn’t the same as working on a blog. Many post one blog post a month, but it doesn’t mean that back-end work isn’t done on the website. Updating older posts, working on linkbuilding, research, emails. If you start now and want to be successful I’d say at least 25h a week, but most of started by working 50h+ in the beginning when we went full time.

      You can definitely start a blog after Instagram. These days many Instagrammers start a blog. I’d suggest pairing your handles though, so check what’s available. It also depends on whether you focus on SEO or traffic just from social media (which can work, but can be dangerous when the algorithm changed or a channel gets irrelevant or deleted).

      You can start by writing about your home area, or a place you know well. Some of the most successful bloggers haven’t been to many countries, because it’s about quality over quantity. If you go somewhere for 3 days your articles you won’t have enough knowledge to write a detailed post about it. But if you spend a long time somewhere it will result in a better article.

  31. As soon as we can get back to normality, I will be doing a lot of work trips as a photographic tutor. After reading this I want to include blogging about my experiences as well!


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