How to start your own travel blog & where ours began!

Thinking of starting a travel blog yourself, well why not have a go. Travel blogging for us has been a great way to document our adventures for friends, family and over time a whole bunch of followers too. Not only that but we have become friends with some awesome and inspiring people through blogging, discovered so many tip and tricks and also had a space to really reflect and discuss our experiences and that not even beginning to mention all the opportunities that have come our way because of blogging. It’s really not all that hard to start your own, here’s our advice!

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A bit about how we started blogging!

This blog started out life as quite a different from the one you see today. The Roaming Renegades in fact is only just coming up to being a year old this summer, but you might notice that our posts go back to 2012! Well that wizardry is because the blog evolved over a number of years before it became the focused travel blog it is today.

I started my MA in Design & Art Direction in September 2012 and shortly after that started blogging as a way of keeping track of my work and ideas. As they progressed I began to see that my MA was all about the idea of questioning normality, of exploring our world and breaking free from the constraints placed upon us. As a result I started to include our Urban Explorations, trips and travels as it all seemed to fit together.

I then realised I needed to separate my professional, art and graphic design work into it’s own dedicated blog so I could really focus on what had now become something I was really passionate about…Travel Blogging! That’s when the Roaming Renegades was born as a place to share all our amazing travels, experiences and adventures! I also still have my personal blog I use for my more abstract ponderings and art work!

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So here goes…

Love writing, have enthusiasm for blogging itself!
 One of the main reasons I wanted to blog was to keep a track of all our adventures, firstly that was for us and our families. Sure we were happy if others read it but first and foremost I enjoy writing, I always have ever since school. I kind of find it therapeutic to take all these thoughts, ideas and memories and put them down in writing. But hey, you also don’t need to be some award winning novelist to write, the beauty of blogging is that you make the rules for your blog, any one can do it!

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Write from the heart and for yourself first and foremost…the rest will follow/ develop!
If you love it then it’s not a chore, then you can look at working hard and getting yourself out there. To start a blog thinking solely about making money, getting free stuff or becoming famous is the wrong way around! Write about things that matter to you firstly, things that come from your heart, what you are passionate about. It’s quite often a labour of love!

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself at first to “be successful”, if you enjoy it, speak from the heart with passion, enthusiasm and humour the rest you will pick up, learn and develop into your own unique blog!

There are a lot of posts out there which set out what you should write about, what style, length of post, type of photos, social media and SEO…those are useful as a starting point sure, I know I have learnt a lot from researching and reading them. But there is no secret formula, sometimes the best blogs are the ones which are unique, personal and relatable. Do your research of course, but interpret those trips and tricks in your own way, your own style and find your own voice!

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You don’t need to travel full time

 One of the myths about travel blogging is that you have to travel full time. That’s not true at all and I think at first that was one of the things that stopped me from taking myself seriously at first. Sure there are many full time travellers out there blogging and that is something we hope to be doing from next year. But that’s not where travel blogging ends!


You can get a hell of a lot of blogging material out of a few trips a year! You can also explore your own country or city, look back on previous trips, reflect on the lessons travel has taught you or debate travelling and accommodation styles!

Not only that but many people around the world work hard in 9-5 jobs and also want to see the world. You could be inspiring millions to make the most of their time and money and show them they can see the world whist working…or, like us, you could inspire people to pack up, quit their jobs and live their dream! Travel comes in many shapes and forms, write about how you do it!

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Find your niche, your own angle and voice.

 Don’t try to be somebody else, be yourself! Of course, you have to consider what others would like the read and what they will get out of it, but don’t rush it. Write something you would want to read firstly, read a lot of other blogs too and allow yourself to develop as a writer and blogger.

Just write, be honest, truthful, humorous and yourself!

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Of course, you also need to set up a blog…what do you need to do that then?

A name!

This is the big one! This is all about bringing together your personality, what your blog is about and also giving yourself room to grow and develop! Once you have your identity changing names can be a lengthy and time consuming process. Do some research and test your ideas out with friends, family and other bloggers too!

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Buy the domain/s

Once you have your name you need to buy your website domain, this can seem like a daunting process but in reality it is pretty easy. We originally bought ours using Go Daddy, they were really great when we needed help setting everything up.

BUT, you will also need to be hosted (more on that in a moment) and BLUEHOST (the best in the business) also offer a FREE domain with hosting. So this way you get everything in one place and package.

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Get hosted!

Your first reaction is probably “what the hell does that even mean?” Well basically you are renting a place on the internet for your site to sit on.

Where do you get hosted? Well the best around and the one we personally recommend is BLUEHOST. Not only do they offer a great price for Hosting, Domain, Site building and Unlimited bandwidth but they give 24/7 support all for only $5.99 a month (at the moment they are $3.95 introductory offer with a 30 day money back guarantee, can’t say fairer that that!)


Start by clicking the Get Started Now button on the home page!

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Start a blog on wordpress!

Then it’s time to really get your blog started, head on over to WordPress, which is integrated for bluehost, and start building your blog! WordPress has loads of templates and widgets for when you are starting out and is also highly customisable for when you get a little more creative!

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Here’s some links to get you started!

We love blogging!

That’s why we do it! Work hard at it, build an audience, get involved in the blogging community by reading other blogs, commenting and engaging with bloggers and readers and also joining various Facebook groups too. Be patient too, hone your writing and photography skills and don’t be afraid to change things or mix it up. Most importantly you will never stop learning…embrace this!! Make something appealing but yet true to yourself, if you stay inspired then you have more chance of inspiring overs too! So what are you waiting for…go on and start blogging!

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How did you get into blogging and what are your tips, or are you considering starting a blog?

 

Nicola Hilditch-Short

Nic is one half of the Roaming Renegades, a passionate traveller, climber, adventurer, photographer and artist who has a B.A in Fine Art and M.A in Design & Art Direction.