While many travel blogs start in a similar fashion—a pending trip, a new camera, or a desire to keep everyone up to date—the paths that bloggers take diverge greatly. Some will find relative success which will spur them on, while others will continue to make a considerable effort despite a lack of visible results.
Many realize that it’s rather an arduous task to establish and run a blog, but it’s a greater endeavor still to promote it and try to find a readership.
With so many factors affecting whether a blog will be successful, it’s important to be as cost-effective as possible when getting established. It’s pointless to spend hundreds, possibly even thousands, on a project that gets abandoned or doesn’t work.
With that in mind, there are several things worth scrimping on and some places where expenses should not be spared.
1. Web Hosting
As one of the very first costs that a travel blogger will incur, it can be very tempting to try and save money on hosting. This is not a good idea for a variety of reasons.
As all new bloggers will eventually realize, maintaining a successful website is to fight a constant uphill battle against low search engine rankings. SEO becomes a crucial aspect of any site and there many factors that attribute towards good SEO. Over 200 of them in fact.
It’s rumored that Google penalizes site owners who use cheap hosting as it’s a sign that it’s not a serious business venture. While that is a rumor, a known factor that significantly affects search engine ranking is downtime/uptime for the website. No cheap web hosting companies can guarantee good uptime percentages.
SSL certificates have recently become a very important issue for SEO. Different hosting providers will vary in what they charge for an SSL certificate, though some companies will offer them for free.
The bottom line: good web hosting is important for blogging and worth spending money on.
So be careful where you spend your money (and where you don’t) and build that blog you’ve always wanted on a budget.
2. Website Platform (CMS)
A content management system (CMS) is a software platform that allows the owner of a website to add and update content on a website without having to make any changes to the coding.
The world’s most popular CMS is WordPress. This popularity is proof of its functionality and ease of use. Many features necessary to run a travel blog, such as having an email signup form or a contact form, are available via the use of free WordPress plugins.
The very best feature of WordPress is that it’s completely free. It’s arguably the world’s best CMS, so it would be foolish to spend money on anything else when WordPress is available for free.
3. Website Design
Website design can be well worth the money for those who have transitioned to deriving an income from their blog.
But it can be very expensive to hire a good designer and just as expensive to hire a poor designer who doesn’t deliver quality results. There are very many cheap and free alternative options that can have a very professional look if the user takes the time and effort to customize the site properly.
If using WordPress, it’s also exceptionally easy to install free themes from within the WordPress Dashboard.
From here, there are also free plugins available that allow the user to drag and drop elements of their page to create a visually appealing, functional design with no coding and very little technical knowledge required.
There is, of course, much more involved in building a travel blog, but these are three expenses that should not be spared! All businesses require at least a little bit of capital, so it’s worth dropping a few extra pennies now so you don’t have to drop a lot more pennies down the line.