I'm thinking about starting a travel blog

Discussion in 'Community Center' started by tommy2tone, Jun 24, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. tommy2tone

    tommy2tone Active Member

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    Are there any blogging platforms that I should think about? Blogger, for example? Ir should I register my own domain and use WordPress. My tech skills are pretty limited.

    Is there any travel blogging communities that I could tap into for networking, idea exchange, learning what works, what doesn't?

    Anyone on here have a blog?
     
  2. TravelByPoints

    TravelByPoints Silver Member

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    tommy2tone, if you have a good domain name you would like to have and is available, you might want to get that. There are always promos out there for getting a domain name. Sometimes, namecheap will have domain names for a few dollars to start you off. Most hosting companies also offer domain names for sale.


    Once you register your domain name, you need to find a reliable hosting company. We use dreamhost for now, but it went through several severe hiccups in the past few months, which almost made us switch to hostgator.

    Once you decide on the host, you can then install wordpress. Most popular hosting companies support wordpress, which itself is quite self-explanatory and easy to use. You don't have to be a tech expert to use wordpress. There is also a lot of online support/info for wordpress users.

    I am sure if you are thinking about starting your own blog, you already know quite a few veterans in this space. Don't be afraid to reach out to them via this forum or privately. They are all generous and very helpful.

    That said, you could also try to see if BoardingArea would be willing to take you on as a new blogger. BoardingArea and MilePoint have the same ownership. I don't have any first-hand experience with BoardingArea, but it hosts some of the most successful and longest-running travel bloggers and offers you instant exposure to an existing audience.

    All the best to your blogging adventure, and congratulations!
     
  3. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Generally speaking BoardingArea doesn't take on new writers without any content. Produce some content and show a bit of consistency and that might be an option.

    As for the other bits, a name and a host are part of the challenge but they are the smaller part. Actually producing quality content on a consistent basis is the hardest part by far.

    Regarding communities to tap in to, look at Travel Blog Exchange. I didn't get a ton of value form it but there are some interesting bits in there.

    I can set you up with a site on a reliable host - I use them for some of my sites, too - at a reasonable rate if you want. I can even do the initial WordPress load on to the site if that helps.
     
  4. TravelByPoints

    TravelByPoints Silver Member

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    Seth, you are probably the techie-est travel blogger out there! Which hosting companies do you recommend? My wife and I signed up for our domain names through last year's USAir Grand Slam Promo, and decided to give blogging a go a few months ago. Thank you for sharing your wisdom!
     
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  5. Flyiboy

    Flyiboy Active Member

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    Thanks for some tips
     
  6. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I can recommend a few options, depending on exactly what you're looking for.

    There are a number of rather generic options out there. Companies like GoDaddy or 1and1 would fall into that category. I don't particularly like godaddy for a few reasons but I can understand why people keep using them: they're dirt cheap.

    For the past three years I had nearly universally great experiences with Brinkster. I hosted my travel tools site (www.wandr.me) there and their support was very good as was their service. I ran into issues with them related to the pricing of database systems which didn't scale up well for me (the fare data I have consumes multiple gigabytes, something you won't experience with most normal blog sites) but I really did like their service.

    Since that wasn't going to work I've switched over to using JodoHost. A big part of that is because I know one of the more senior folks there and they're willing to work with me to make sure that there was a plan option which met my needs. It also turns out that I am now a reseller of their services. For folks looking to have a turnkey wordpress site set up I can offer that to anyone interested at what I believe is a reasonable rate. If you've already got a site up and running I can also help migrate it over.
     
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  7. TravelByPoints

    TravelByPoints Silver Member

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    Thanks, Seth, for the quick reply! If dreamhost becomes unstable again, we will be sure to ask you for help.
     
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  8. ranman1973

    ranman1973 Silver Member

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    Where were you guys when I needed you 3 years ago? I learned all of this through the school of hard knocks. The process described by the original reply, TravelByPoints, is pretty much the process I followed.

    Find a good domain name, register it.
    Find a hosting company that has WordPress at the push of a button (fantastico)
    Buy a book or 2 on WordPress. You don't need to be uber techie, but there are some tricky bits you'll have to learn.
    Write great content.

    Sounds like you're off to a good start. On here doing research and asking for help from peeps who've gone through it before. That's where I failed and it could have been sooo much easier for me if I had asked for help and knew where to ask.

    Oh, and I use hostgator. Have for 3 years and find them quite reliable.

    Happy to help in any way I can.
     
  9. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    I use wordpress.com for chair-in-the-sky.com. Other than buying a domain and choosing a theme, I haven't really customized it yet, but I was waiting until I had more content up. :)
     
  10. anabolism
    Original Member

    anabolism Gold Member

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    fFirst time I encountered them I assumed they were a scam (based only on appearance), so I was shocked that several well-respected true geeks (RFC authors) used them. I tried them because they are so cheap, and have continued to use them, but I hate doing do, for a variety of reasons.
     
  11. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Of these, I'd say step 4 is the only one that really matters.

    The first three are "nice to have" bits, but the real key IMO is frequent and consistent production of quality product. Miss that and the other stuff doesn't matter too much.
     
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  12. wrxmom

    wrxmom Gold Member

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    Loved the "Divided by a common language" post. :)
     
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  13. ranman1973

    ranman1973 Silver Member

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    I don't use godaddy. I find their sales tactics a little too "in your face". i'll pay the extra $6 per year and go with someone else for no other reason than that. But, I have to say I LOVE HOSTGATOR. Yes, they're that awesome they are worthy of all caps :) By the way, my blog is www.hoteldealsrevealed.com/blog/ I'm fairly sporadic with my posts.
     
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  14. Scottrick
    Original Member

    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I agree with Seth that GoDaddy is cheap, but it's about as scummy as a used car salesman. I use them because it was simple and I wanted cheap. I can tolerate the spam every week. They also have an option that makes it easy to operate a WordPress site (which is what I recommend). The one thing I can say in their favor is that I haven't seen their servers fail yet.

    Also, the consistent content is a challenge. It's something I have had trouble with and am working on. Blogging is a lot more work than some people think.
     
  15. skyvan

    skyvan Gold Member

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    Arvixe (Arvixe.com) is great. I've been using them since they started and service has always been top notch. The complete opposite of scummy, friendly and personable.
     
  16. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Member

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    Definitely worth having a travel blog if you've got the time. Plus you can sell links to travel, hotel and flight companies trying to rank in Google :D
     
  17. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    You can do those things. But expecting to make much money doing so is rather delusional IMO. Certainly expecting to make a lot of money doing it is a bad idea.
     
  18. Sedosi

    Sedosi Gold Member

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    100% agree.

    Very few bloggers make meaningful money blogging. You do it becasue you like to do it period. If you do make any money at all that's a bonus. Ditto on the content as well.

    Some content keys:
    1. Have a unique perspective. It doesn't have to be ground-breaking, but make it personal.
    2. For the love of the blogging Gods try to stay away from excessive blockquoting. Especially blockquoting with no value-add.
    3. If you don't have anything to say, don't blog about it.
    4. Don't write for your audience (seriously) write for you. If you're blogging about things that interest you, then your blog will be all the much more interesting for it.

    Oh, and have fun. You don't have to take a picture of every meal after all.
     
  19. ranman1973

    ranman1973 Silver Member

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    Looks like a great blog! Did some poking around and like it.
     

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