Starting Our Travel Blog with these 5 Not Very Simple Steps

We earlier shared our top five reasons for starting travel blogging. That was but the very beginning of our journey. We were at a stage of thinking how to get started. For instance, what were the gears or skillsets we needed? We researched and read other travel blogs for tips and inspiration.

We started our travel blog with these 5 not very simple steps! We wanted to document this to help us reflect in the future. We can then work out a list of things we wish we had done differently. 

1. Determining our website domain and social media usernames 

At the onset, we knew our strategy was to go beyond blogging to sharing content on a few other social media platforms, such as Instagram or YouTube. We needed to identify ourselves with a name available on all platforms. Some advice from other travel bloggers was to avoid tying yourself to an age “20s or 30s” or a country or a specific niche. This would narrow down the type of content we can post.

We brainstormed a couple – “MarcoandClara”, “Marqingtravels”, “ThehappyWongs”, “Wongexplores”, and “OurTravelAtlas”. We figured “Wong” sounded like “Wrong” and did not want to be associated with “W(R)ong explorers”. “MarcoandClara” was also taken on Instagram. After rounds of trial and error, we settled with “MarcoClaraTravels”, a combination of our names and the niche we want to pursue. We hope that it is a name that is direct and easy to remember.  

2. Creating email and social media accounts

We read that a dedicated email account would increase our travel blog’s credibility. We also foresee our blog having a mailing list, and having a dedicated email would help with the coordination work in the future. Another plus point is that we would also be able to keep these accounts separate from our private social accounts, enhancing security.

After creating our email account, the next step was to sign up for our social media accounts. We were clear from the start that we wanted to extend our reach across all social media platforms, if possible. We came across brands which had to add terms like “official” or an underscore or numeric numbers because their original handle was taken by someone else. To avoid that scenario, we created various accounts to “reserve” our username. Here are the links to our Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube.

3. Setting up our WordPress website 

As we did not have any prior website creation skills, setting up the website was most challenging. We put in a lot of time to research and came across many extremely helpful travel blog posts with tips to guide us through the process. Here are some travel blog posts which we found useful:

From our research, we unveiled a totally new world. First, we learnt the need to find a website builder. We chose “WordPress.com” because it was free, popular (powering over 40% of websites on the net), and had very flexible functions via its plug-ins. Subsequently, we identified our web host, SiteGround, which is who we pay rent to house our website on the Internet. Lastly, we secured our domain address “marcoclaratravels.com” through our site host.

While using WordPress.com has a lot of benefits, the learning curve was very steep. For a total beginner, the dashboard was very daunting, and we were not sure which plug-ins or themes to use. To get familiar, we signed up on a Udemy Course to master WordPress. Best decision ever!

As for our web host platform, SiteGround, our experience has been great thus far. Starting out, there were many technical issues we ran into. SiteGround’s customer service has been excellent, providing almost immediate assistance to our queries. If you wish to sign up, feel free to use our referral link.

4. Picking up necessary content creation skills

We have been watching many YouTube videos, Instagram reels and TikToks, and know that the bar for travel content is very high. But we know, everyone starts somewhere.

First, we purchased our Adobe Creative Cloud subscription to get access to the various Adobe tools – Lightroom, and Premiere Pro.

Second, we started a new catalogue system to save the images and videos we took from our past travels.

Third, we learnt from the amazing tips shared by the travel community created on social media. Once we start to put our skills into real practice, expose ourselves to expert content, we are sure our skills can only get better.

5. Saving up for travel plans and gear  

Travelling costs money. We have to see how to get the most value with every cent we spend.

First, we started to pay closer attention to travel promotions and try to travel during the non-peak seasons. When travelling, if it was just both of us travelling, we would choose basic accommodation as opposed to luxury hotels. This is because we would be spending most of our time outdoors. But if we were to travel with our parents, of course, the way we spend would differ. We would be more motivated to spend more on accommodation, to give our parents the most comfortable travel experience.

Second, we started to save up on our daily expenses, so we could indulge ourselves on our gears. These gear include our attire (e.g. hiking jackets, boots), backpacks etc. To create good content, we also had to invest in cameras, drones, gimbals etc. There is also the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription fee that we had to pay to edit our photos and videos.

Lastly, we continued to remind ourselves that the experiences we gain from our travel would be priceless. Money can be earned,

Here are the 5 not very simple steps we took to get started on travel blogging! Comment below to share with us your thoughts, and if any of these reasons resonate with you.

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