When it comes to running a travel blog there is more to it than just writing great content and clicking publish. To become a successful publisher, the behind the scenes work is just as important as what you write.
In Addition to showing how to start a travel blog, here at Travel Bloggers Guide I keep track of the best tools for running a website (be that travel blogging or any other niche).
This resource page lists the best tools available for running a travel blog. I have listed free and paid options, so you can pick which is best for your needs and budget. I am also an affiliate with some services listed.
How to start a travel blog
If you have just arrived on this page and don’t have a travel blog, then visit this starter guide first.
Domain and hosting services
Bluehost – Cheap domain and hosting packages from one of the worlds largest hosting sites. I use it for travelbloggersguide.com.
Namecheap.com – Cheap hosting and my preferred site for registering new domains on the cheap.
HostGator.com – Another cheap hosting and domain option. It’s owned by the same company that owns Bluehost so it comes down to branding preference.
Google Adsense – The biggest of the contextual ad networks. Adsense are pioneers of contextual advertising.
Mediavine have emerged to become a popular choice for contextual advertising on travel blogs. They have a higher payout than Adsense and the ads are reasonably relevant. You will need 10,000 page views a month to apply.
Affiliate Future (USA/UK/EU)
Awin (UK, Ireland, USA)
Rakuten Affiliate NetworkShareasale (Worldwide)
Trade Doubler (UK/EU)
Independent Affiliate Programs
Email List Management
A common refrain I hear from those who run a successful blog is that they wish they had started a mailing list as soon as they started blogging. Mailing lists are a good way of keeping you audience engaged, especially for those don’t rely on RSS or social media sites to know when your latest posts are out.
Aweber – One of the original email marketing services. Aweber is popular with web marketers and is a good option if want to segment your list into different groups or run autoresponders (a series of emails you that are sent automatically).
Mailerlite – Get started with your list building at Mailerlite where your first 1000 subscribers are free.
Mail Chimp – A good option for small sites as you can have up to 2000 subscribers for free.
TinyLetter – A simple newsletter service brought to you by Mail Chimp. This is like a stripped down version of Mail Chimp and you can have up to 5000 subscribers for free.
Zenfolio – Upload and host unlimited photos to your account. You can also host photos on your domain, like I do at photos.nomadicnotes.com. There are different packages available, depending on if you want to add a shop to your site.
SmugMug – Another photo hosting site that is highly recommended by travel bloggers. You can also host on your own domain/subdomain.
Google Photos – Back up unlimited photos and videos for free, up to 16MP and 1080p HD. There is also a paid version to store your original large files.
PicMonkey – Online photo editing, collage making, and graphic design.
If you are looking to level up your travel photography skills then check out this course by award-winning photographer, Gary Arndt.
Personally I think that it’s better to use your own photos, but there are instances where a stock photo comes in handy. There are sites now that offer quality photos for free, including:
Fiverr – There are so many odd jobs that need to be done on a website, so check out Fiverr for jobs like graphics and design, writing, and marketing. Jobs start from $5.
Canva – An incredibly simple web-based platform that makes designing graphics simple. Useful for social media graphics and making text banners for your site.
WordPress – The official site for WordPress. Your host should download WordPress direct to your domain but if you want to download it manually or read up on the latest updates then this is the site.
Free WordPress Themes
WordPress Theme Directory – The official depository of free WordPress themes – thousands to choose from.
Premium WordPress Themes
Dynamik Website Builder – This is the theme I use on nomadicnotes.com. It’s a theme with hundreds of design options and relatively easy to use. It’s SEO friendly so there is no need for additional SEO plugins.
StudioPress – One of my favourite premium themes. StudioPress runs on the Genesis framework and has a good selection of professional looking user friendly themes, such as the Magazine theme that this site uses.
Thesis Theme – A popular theme for its customization abilities, but you will need coding/design skills to make it look like something other than the out-of-the-box Thesis theme.
WooThemes – WooThemes is a popular premium WordPress theme. If you are just starting out in the premium theme market have a look at some of their free themes.
Social Media Services
Knowem – Check for the use of your brand, product, personal name or username instantly on over 500 popular and emerging social media websites. Grab your name and secure your brand before someone else does.
moo.com – Create beautiful business cards for your blog.