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.
Here at Travel Bloggers Guide I keep track of the best tools and resources for running a travel blog. This includes sites about travel blogging, free courses, ebooks, and membership sites. I have listed free and paid options, so you can pick which is best for your needs and budget.
The information sites and courses listed are not an editorial endorsement. This is presented as a resource only. Disclosure: I am also an affiliate with some products and services listed.
How to start a travel blog
If you have just arrived on this page and don’t have a travel blog, then read my guide on how to start a travel blog.
Domain and hosting services
Bluehost – Cheap domain and hosting packages from one of the worlds largest hosting sites. I use them for hosting travelbloggersguide.com.
Namecheap.com – A budget hosting site and includes cheap domain registration.
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.
WPX Hosting offers managed WordPress hosting, also known as premium hosting. Once your site starts getting serious traffic then I recommend transferring over to such a host. WPX Hosting will move your site for you so that makes it an east decision. I use them for hosting Nomadic Notes.
Name Silo – if you are just looking to buy a domain then Name Silo offer the cheapest domain registrations.
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 Advertising (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 your 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.
Email Octopus – offers up to 2,500 subscribers for free, letting you build up a substantional list before having to subscribe.
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.
Snappa – Create graphics online for social media, ads, and blogs – even if you’re not a graphic designer.
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 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.
Travel Blogging Sites
Let’s Be Travel Bloggers – Travel blogger Emily Luxton offers help and advice for running a successful travel blog.
Travel Blog Advice – Anil of foxnomad.com fame writes articles here on all things travel blogging.
Travel Blogger 101 – A guide to travel blogging by Kerwin McKenzie that covers how to set up a blog, marketing, and writing tips.
The Life Of A Travel Blogger – A fun Tumblr site by an anonymous travel blogger featuring lots of insider jokes about the world of travel blogging.
My Blogging Journey – by Heather Cowper from Heather on her travels.
Next Level Travel Blogging – Luke Marlin from Anti Travel Guides covers topics such as travel blog SEO, domain authority, backlinking, digital marketing, and keyword ranking.
Travel Blogger Interviews – Interviewing travel bloggers of the world.
Make Money Travel Blogging – Hasn’t been updated for ages – just leaving here for the public record.
Travel Blogging Books
Travel Blogging Courses
Great Escape Publishing – Offers online courses in travel writing, photography, blogging, and travel videos.
The Travel Boot Camp – An intensive training program designed to give you skills to turn travel into income.
Super Star Blogging – This travel blogging course by Nomadic Matt covers the business of blogging, travel writing, and travel photography. In 2018 Super Star Blogging acquired Travel Blog Success and merged the online course and community.
Travel Blogger 101 – A free course on how to create a travel blogging business in 21 days.
Travel Blog Prosperity – A membership community where you’ll learn step-by-step strategies for growing your traffic, email subscribers, income, in a private community of fellow travel bloggers.
Travel Blog Conferences
TBEX – The TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange) conference began as informal gathering of travel bloggers in Chicago in 2009 and it has grown from there to become the largest travel blog conference. TBEX was acquired by BlogWorld & New Media Expo in 2012 and there are conferences held in North America, Europe, and Asia.
TravelCon – A travel conference for the business of travel media.
Travel Blogging Conferences – An up-to-date conference list is kept at the PTBA site.
Travel Blog Forums and Communities
Matador Creators’ Community – A forum and marketplace for travel writers, editors, photographers, and filmmakers.
r/travelblogging – The subreddit for the business of travel blogging.
Travel Bloggers on Facebook – A closed group for travel bloggers to discus all thing travel blogging related.
Global Bloggers Network – A secret Facebook group for travel bloggers. If you want to join email me your details and I will nominate you.
Travel Blog Associations
Professional Travel Bloggers Association – The PTBA is an association where eligible travel bloggers can join and interact with travel industry and PR contacts. It aims to legitimize travel blogging as a business and facilitate business relationships within the industry.
Blogger Bridge – A website that helps connect companies with relevant bloggers, writers, podcasters, videographers and other content creators.
Travel Blog Podcasts
Break Into Travel Writing – Alexa Meisler presents interviews with top travel writers, travel photographers, travel bloggers, travel podcasters, travel filmmakers and travel PR reps.
Travel Blog Breakthrough – Will Tang from Going Awesome Places podcasts about the business of travel blogging and features lots of useful information on the blog as well.
The Profitable Travel Blogger Podcast – A podcast for bloggers with big dreams sharing strategies that can help you turn your blog into a full-time, location-independent business.
PitchTravelWrite.com – Learn how to sell your travel writing starting with a successful sales pitch all the way through writing articles that editors want to buy.
The Jet-setting Copywriter – Kevin Casey funds his overseas adventures through freelance writing and shows how to get well-paid writing gigs.
Travel Writers Exchange – A community of travel writers, bloggers, and journalists.
Travel Writing 2.0 – A blog and book by Tim Leffel on earning money as a travel writer in the new media landscape.
Top Travel Blog Lists
Top Travel Blogs – The Everything Everywhere list of over 1000 travel blogs ranked using popular SEO metrics and domain age.
Travel blogs & websites – João Leitão from Nomad Revelations has categorized thousands of sites and ranked them in groups.
Top 100 Travel Blogs – List compiled by Nomadic Samuel using Alexa, DA, PA and SEMRush.
Top 50 Travel Blogs – List by The Expeditioner ranked by Google Analytics stats as sent in by bloggers.
The Top One Hundred Indy Travel Sites – List of travel blogs compiled by brendansadventures.com ranked using a combination of Alexa scare and Brendan’s personal ranking. No there is no date indicating when the list was last updated.
Travel Blog Directories
Travel Blog Directory – I keep a directory of travel blogs here. Visit the directory page if you would like your travel blog to be added.
Work With Brands
Bloggers Required – A free service that facilitates the connection between bloggers and brands.