Travel and Leisure


How to start a travel blog? is a common question. There is no ideal recipe to start the adventure of the travel blog (or in any other field). Rather than giving you my advice that would lead you to believe. That I have known the magic formula for 10 years. (I leave that to professional experts and bloggers specializing in blogging). I prefer to share my experiences. These stages of the history of my site and these tests are misadventures. Taught me and served as lessons to try to last. Maybe they will be useful to you?!

So many bloggers start and give up after a few weeks or months, when they see how energy-intensive, constraining, complex, and demanding the activity is. Too many have not wondered, like me at the beginning, how to launch a US travel blogger so as not to expose themselves to too many setbacks. Only a handful emerge and become models, references, and influential authors.


Many professional bloggers sharing their experiences have one thing in common: they set off for fun, on an adventure, with the desire to share their travels. Over time, they realized that blogging had become their passion and was by no means limited to reacting to content on a blog. As much at least as the theme that had motivated them to write. It was about a hobby. Bloggers were amateurs and derived their pride and legitimacy from it before this activity became more and more commercial and professionalization raised the level of requirements to succeed.

Added to this is the main constraint in my opinion: constantly adapting and implementing the changes expected by Google. Support and keep up to date enough to be well informed. To date, Google dominates the world, and only its goodwill guarantees to emerge, survive, and last on the web. It imposes its criteria, changes its algorithms and its rules constantly, and plays too essential a role in the success, beyond all skills specific to the blogger. For example, I suffered a mishap in May 2018 after implementing a poorly coded newsletter form by Sendinblue and I saw all my pages deindexed and lost 95% of my traffic in a few hours. It took days after the fix to find its way back to indexing. I would not have found the solution quickly,

The essential steps to creating a travel blog easily (in theory)

Properly measuring the obligations entailed by blogging should help you avoid the main compromising errors for a monetizable travel blog project that will have combined the famous EAT dear to Google, authority, expertise, and trust for visitors and/or clients.

I will summarize them with these keys of the Strategy whose boxes are checked one by one to lead to the birth of a blog: note that I did not put an N for the name because often the domain name chosen corresponds to the name itself if there is no obligation

On the practical and technical aspects without which there will not be the second phase:

P for Platform; choosing the platform that will propel your blog

S  for  Server to host your site; this corresponds to the land where you will build. In other words, reliability is essential to avoid any risk of flooding or destruction that would jeopardize your building.

D as Domain as the domain name, namely the address where your site can be found; this is the “administrative” address without which visitors would not access your house

A for Architecture inducing themes and organization; roughly the plan to fit out your house and the framework to allow the building to be optimal for its referencing

In the analogy of the house, this is not only assimilated to the decoration, and beyond that to all the finishes and the elements that make the house livable and comfortable. A bad theme can sabotage all the work and hurt SEO.

On the aspect of construction and dissemination:

C as Content reflecting knowledge, experiences to build an environment of trust and interaction

I for Identity or Image; a term that I do not always endorse but which brings together the style of writing, the angles for treating the subjects, the personality that you want to highlight as a blogger

R for SEO to make your content appear in search engine results

V for Visibility to strengthen the presence on social networks

E for Expertise to create content that leads to recognition and possible influence

In the end, you may conclude with M for Brand in the sense that you will have built a brand image that combines authority, expertise, and trust in the eyes of visitors, customers, and search engines. And M will probably rhyme with monetization.

Learn to manage several trades in one

Ten years ago, I started my adventure on IDEOZ without really knowing where I wanted to go, or what I wanted to do on a blog, or where it would take me. People still ask me: but what is your business model basically? I made choices and assumed them or suffered them, going through some basic questions that I regretted not having asked myself before. But having never been structured in my mode of operation nor organized in my capacity for work, I evolved a little randomly, following the moment and therefore instinct. My intuitions in other areas turned out to be good. Why not to create and develop a blog? I didn’t know anything about coding, or servers, or SEO, and I had no idea there was a way to write for the web.

Is the blogosphere ruling the internet in 2019? Blogging in the field of travel blog or any other field is experiencing its heyday. 10 years ago, this medium of expression began to become more democratic thanks to platforms allowing you to start a blog with turnkey tools. In a few years, the blog has dethroned virtual communities and forums and has developed concomitantly with social networks. The two are often associated, even for many inseparables.


While ten years ago, we knocked on the door of a webmaster to help us create a site, today, we find a host of professions, specialists and we have the impression of being even more lost. You may need a web designer (architecture and design designer), a coder, an integrator. We discover that we then need a SEO to give the blog the best chance of attracting search engines and positioning on the first page of its results and ideally in the top three for its articles on this or that. topic.

How to create a travel blog without resorting to professionals or investing in training requires a lot of self-taught curiosity. Good SEO practices are usually enough to get started. Still need to know what SEO is?! I notice it knowingly. I only discovered it 4 or 5 years after launching IDEOZ, even though I have been on the internet for over 23 years/. For some developers, it is even the basis when we have badly configured a site and wish to make it evolve.

In conclusion, it is essential to take the measure of your blog project even if it remains amateur. Beyond the cost, which can remain moderate for a long time, it is necessary to imagine the work of acquiring skills and the effort of patience and perseverance to accept that your blog can remain little or no visible for a long time, because this quest becomes more and more difficult.


How far away is that time of recklessness or invisibility, when I edited my first site 20 years ago because I dreamed of developing a community site. An acquaintance had suggested that I choose a name, buy a domain name and hosting for €1 per month and come what may… He had suggested that I install a platform that was probably unknown to most players. today and I just had to write what I wanted and make it interesting to potential visitors.

Professionalization not necessarily being an objective when you start, you too often forget to ask yourself essential questions beforehand… When I talk about professionalization, I’m not necessarily talking about the use of your blog as part of your work or transformation of his blog into a working tool. This is a personal point of view, but I am convinced that today, given the evolution of the Internet and the constraints imposed by engines like Google, any approach, even out of passion, to share on a blog requires having a professional approach and requirement. Of course, you don’t need to become a professional blogger, nor to acquire all the hats to be the best blogger possible, but you must be aware of all the strategic moments when each choice can have negative consequences or cause problems.

As I mentioned in my journey as a professional travel blogger in the field of travel, I had never imagined making my site my job and so I hadn’t taken the necessary time to ask myself and lay out all the issues, the goals, the objectives of IDEOZ… I could have redone a “perfect” site when I was led to find in IDEOZ then amateur blog an alternative to get out of professional wandering and unemployment. I have been surfing the web for 10 years a bit blindly and do not recommend it unless I like travel blog that is always uncertain and precarious… These choices are part of my personality and way of working, I like to work at instinct, and I prefer the mental representation and online application to the work of making drafts and reworking them until the ideal result is achieved.

To know how to build a project from a reflection on several levels:

Define your personal and professional objectives in relation to the blog and ask yourself about the means to invest to achieve them: this will lead to questions about the shared or dedicated server? the designation of the scalable platform or a closed system where the monetization may not be possible. This amounts to questioning the deep motivations that make us want to write on the internet; who are we targeting? Why tell them? how to reach these people? When a blog becomes a profession or is restrictive, the initial pleasure withers and gives way to obligations and the passion is put to the test.

choose the platform that will allow the best evolution over time thanks to an active and united community and many tools.

Select the essential plugins to meet your first needs and avoid multiplying them to avoid conflicts… And at this stage, it is prudent to take the time to go around the travel blogs on blogging that address the essential plugins by checking their update, the ratings received and the comments of the users

Build the architecture; this step is crucial to guarantee referencing and we never suspect it before wondering why the engines do not reference our pages?

Thinking about an editorial line and promoting content has never seemed essential to me. In any case, less than architecture. In 10 years, the content of my site has evolved a lot, whether in terms of content or in-depth study. At one time, the articles had to be as complete as possible because Google referenced only one article per site on a theme. From now on, it is recommended to write one article per request to be as close as possible to the intention of the visitor and to allow him to easily find a clear answer.

This element can evolve and requires already having a clear vision of its objectives. But preparing in advance a set of articles reflecting the themes and style of content proves to be an effective practice rather than a haphazard or too spirited activity. If they are ready to be published regularly after the blog is online, you will promote engine visits and attract visitors better.

force you from the outset to apply good practices for SEO (very well detailed on the Notuxedo blog) which implies having read to understand what it is all about before launching to better prepare for its start

Knowing how to anticipate so as not to limit yourself to your initial ambitions

Monetization is rarely the reason for launching a site. It occurs when a site is installed, referenced, attracts traffic and therefore the attention of brands. It must therefore be distinguished from all basic reflection. But it can quickly become an objective, since today, we see blogs of 6 months or 1 year, generating income… Ten years ago, after a year, we barely hoped to start finding regular traffic…

By this I mean that it is always better to have given yourself the means to go far in your project than to consider that you are just starting out and choose to limit your prospects. Even if at the moment T you never intend to professionalize or monetize your blog, a rigorous and strategic approach will allow you to launch a blog in the best possible conditions to develop your project on solid foundations.

  • What is my technical autonomy?
  • How to become independent if I start from scratch and what budget to plan?
  • Do I prefer to be independent in the development of my project or is that indifferent to me? Am I ready to pay to blog and if so, what budget do I want to allocate for the launch?

Independence requires integrating the obligations in relation to the creation and installation of the server, the management of the host and the domain, the establishment of the blog structure (platform) and the various tools. This means that you will have to get your hands dirty at all technical levels and therefore learn, read, listen to videos, possibly train yourself on your own or by investing. This awareness does not fail to frighten many bloggers who give up immediately because they believe that it is too complicated. However, once their site has taken shape from other choices and they want to develop it, they realize the limits and often must start from scratch.

Which platform to choose to be able to develop your travel blog?

I’m not going to list all the existing solutions but tell you about my choice.

I opted for WordPress (in .org) and not WordPress.com on the advice of a friend (my only adviser for a long time), Philippe, who was an expert and whom I trusted. We wondered about platforms like Joolma, Drupal, and their constraints for a beginner like me. Not all newbie bloggers know such people. WordPress.com is often the gateway. But we quickly find ourselves blocked in the possibility of adding or modifying plugins, themes, monetization solutions. Hence the importance of carefully checking which WordPress you have downloaded.

Beyond content management, getting to grips with the tool and the possibility of finding competent people to intervene in the event of a problem make it necessary to ask the question of technical expertise and costs. WordPress is often the simplest and most practical when you don’t know much about technique and don’t want to train.

There is something for all tastes, desires, and ambitions. It is an ultra-known platform offering almost unlimited development possibilities. Reference to date, with a large active and dynamic community all over the world (including French-speaking) to provide information and alert in the event of problems, it is possible to learn quite quickly thanks to the help of these connoisseurs. Do not hesitate to ask questions on specialized forums or Facebook groups bringing together bloggers who tell their experiences and share their advice.

These investments were related to my technical incapacities and recommendations to improve performance. There are free alternatives, but I preferred to test paid tools that were unanimous to see if they would help me progress further. Not always.

Which theme to choose for a good presentation and efficiency?

The dressing of the blog is anything but the detail and does not only include criteria of color or appearance tastes. I neglected this aspect too much without suspecting everything that went with the theme, and I wasted time.

A theme is not only a question of presentation but also a set of codes that make it possible to operate the machine, organize the contents, and ideally lead to a visual in accordance with one’s wishes. You must check the relevance of the coding so consult the opinions of other users to make sure that the theme will not penalize the development of the blog. You will find later my experience in relation to the issue of the theme.

I had never measured to what extent the theme was not limited to a presentation. Even today, I realize that I may have acted carelessly in buying themes, because I liked them visually, and did not assume that they would eventually affect the whole structure of my site… By analogy, I thought that a theme came down to repainting a facade to renovate the external vision of the house and its walls inside and make them more attractive. I did not imagine that this could correspond to the total overhaul of the building and even sometimes to the destruction of the building to rebuild one that the Google engines could no longer find as relevant.

After paying the price of a random choice, I realize the importance of getting a lot of information, which also requires a significant amount of available time that I didn’t necessarily have, especially if I remained a neophyte in terms of technical learning. How to check that a theme is well-coded? Many creators boast about their creations. User feedback can shed light on the insight and responsiveness of after-sales service and the length of engagement. I had acquired the license of 3 themes which a priori were very purchased, and very well rated on the Themeforest platform.

Even if I had understood that she had pros and cons, it seemed to me like a false debate. It wasn’t perfect and considering the price I didn’t expect it to be, but it might help me out. I suspected that a custom theme was much better because you could code it as you wanted. Except that I didn’t know how to code, didn’t want to train myself in this way, and didn’t have the means to hire a web designer and an integrator.

How to evolve a site without being competent in code?

Theme builders, I discovered them with those associated with each of my themes. I remained sensitive to the visual appearance beyond the aspect related to highlighting pretty traveler photos (essential in the field of travel), because I had been assured that it was THE KEY to success in attracting visitors, even before the content that Internet users may not read if they are not captured by the setting, the environment, the appearance of the site. Is. I partly doubt it today, but we can’t ignore this aspect as I had done for 5 years when launching my site in 2009.

So, I activated a new Cheerup theme paid for $59 on the same platform and chose somewhat on the same principle as the initial one: go around all the themes and observe them for 5 seconds. Retain those on which I had a crush. Continue to view them 5 seconds after a first selection and keep only those where I wanted to stay, and which resembled what I considered to be a pleasant site and representative of the image I wanted to give of my site.

I had heard of fashionable themes that seemed to be unanimous, but I did not recognize myself in them. I was surely wrong not to orient myself towards these so-called light, flexible, very fast solutions.

Once my theme was activated, I saw all my pages shatter or disappear since the builders were different. I had understood this problem as early as 2018 when I asked a web developer what advice he gave me to improve the visuals of my guide pages and my landing pages. He replied that if I didn’t want to learn, I had to choose a builder and consider it as if it were my theme. There would be lots of role models to inspire me and help me get creative since I wasn’t. He installed Beaver for me so I could see how it worked, and I found the solution exciting and easy to pick up.

At the end of our collaboration, having no more updates for Beaver, the question arose as to whether I should continue with Beaver or test others that might be better or even more economical. It seemed reasonable to me as an investment: 59$ / year. Reported to the budget of a professional, it was excellent value for money.

Be careful, I know that manufacturers have their faults and I have experienced them a lot since I started using them. Without my realizing it, these pages had markup issues, empty tag errors that I spent hours fixing, after spending a year and a half not even imagine them.

I realize that for lack of mastery of this tool, which I found almost miraculous as it seemed easy to handle and with significant potential, I multiplied markup errors, and empty tags, the models used themselves erroneously or badly coded. It was almost not having to think to have a pretty page. It was still necessary to spend a lot of time going through each blog one by one to check that there were no errors that I did not already suspect existed, so the needed to correct them!

Since then, I’ve learned to solve everything I find, after hours of blind research, wondering if I could have avoided so many errors and how? Should I have trained on Elementor? Read and see all the videos and articles talking in detail about the technique of this tool? Impossible for me, because by spending so much time in contact with visitors and potential customers for my activity, I don’t have that time left to train myself.

Changes are permanent and it is difficult to form a lasting opinion. When I started my research for a theme, builders were not yet in the spotlight like today. It’s moving so fast that I always feel overwhelmed. Afterwards, I tell myself that the choice of Divi for life was not expensive as I initially thought, even if it remains a budget when we have not tested the tool for free to ensure that it agrees.

Which server should you consider hosting your site?

10 years ago, I started with a “shared” server. This meant that I shared the resources made available by a host for the various sites installed on this server. Its advantage? It is economical and practical. There is no server to manage. It is taken care of by the team of the site with which you subscribe to accommodation. Count a reasonable cost between 5 and 7.5 € / month excluding VAT …

I quickly saw my site grow thanks to frequent publications. I was not aware of what the increasing traffic represented and what this traffic consumed in terms of memory, resources, nor at what point the use of tools to improve my blog was going to consume even more of these resources. So, I quickly saw my site saturated, requests lead to blank pages or repeated phases of inaccessibility. At that time, I did not have the means to incur these costs and did not measure the obligations that would surely have facilitated the continuation of the adventure.

Rather than investing to optimize (a term that I don’t know yet), I just changed hosting and on the advice of my friend Philippe, creator of Open DSI, a company specializing in free and open office solutions. I found an alternative at still reasonable cost in VPS (virtual server) around 40€ per month.

I experienced setbacks on 02switch that I would like to develop to avoid any misunderstanding on my subject. For all kinds of sites, 02switch will be perfect. But this was unfortunately not the case for my site.

In November 2018 following persistent remarks on the need to change servers to try to improve. The functioning of my site which had been based for 6 years on a virtual server. So you start for an amount of 38€ per month, I took a tour of the offers available. The strategic members of the WP Search console group that I frequented diligently at the time. And whose instructions I believed, directed me towards a managed offer at 150€ HT beyond my means.

Suffice to say that in the low season, in addition to other costs, it was not playable to maintain my activity. Although I was assured that it would progress significantly thanks to an optimal server. I consulted groups and forums, asked for advice and the name 02witch came up constantly. But I didn’t think that a shared offer at $5 excluding VAT was possible coming from a virtual server. Nevertheless, faced with the insistence of several people. I raised the issue with the person in charge of my network, a friend, whose basic job it is.


When on various Facebook groups on blogging, I see the question “how to start a blog?” What is your advice? I refer to a few sources that I have found to be clear, reliable, solid, and objective. To answer the questions: where to start? there is nothing better! I would have liked to know them long before, it would have saved me some wandering, certainly instructive, but which prevented me from evolving in my IDEOZ project in a more constructive and structured way.

My blogging bible: Notuxedo: learn how to create a successful blog

Exploring the Notuxedo blog was very useful for me for a few years and convinced me to subscribe to the newsletter and follow the RSS feed so as not to miss an article. This is the only blog for which I made this effort. Some articles have triggered an awareness of the complexity of blogging and have confirmed intuitions that I could have, without knowing how to formulate them, insofar as I did not feel technically competent.

Here we have all the necessary subjects to start calmly and with solid foundations, ask the right questions, progress, and cross the course until monetization. I have yet to find a better blog on learning to blog and that’s why this is the only one I follow (all travel blogs). And I had started long before its author Marlène Viacin saved my site in August 2018 following a referencing misadventure in which I could have remained for a long time at the risk of seeing ten years of work disappear in a few hours. Thanks to her!

Technically master WordPress

There are resources accessible for free and very practical if you choose to embark on a travel blog. Or other by learning the basics… Logically the references are centered on learning WordPress. The most popular website construction platform in the world. world today travel blog, since more than 30% of sites are powered by this tool. This contributed at the time to facilitating my choice to be sure not to repeat the error. Made 20 years ago when creating my first site using a marginal collaborative platform that relied on passionate volunteers.

When I encountered serious problems with my previous site having completed the adventure. I could no longer find experts capable of saving my work travel blog. Because many of these geeks had gotten tired or turned to other media. With WordPress, you are sure to find many professionals around the world. And you should not hesitate to leave the sphere of French WordPress to discover French and English WordPress.

Wp pour dummies is rich in content and offers comparisons serious, and clear. And relevant tools to choose plugins, but not only.

Thanks to these resources, I was able to answer most of my questions. And I need to develop the environment of my site in a reasoned way. I discovered plugins travel blog, fortunately, free for the most part and already very complete. Others pay, with a subscription per month, per year, or for a permanent license. I noticed that over the years, the plugins were moving towards annual licenses. Therefore more expensive budgets at the base require renewal to continue to benefit from updates.

I invested in a caching plugin back when everyone was raving about WP Rocket for its performance. And reduced page load times.

WP Rocket cost me 39 $ / year. I could get close results with free or freemium cache plugins. And don’t consider that choice to be a decisive travel blog. Although I signed up for a 1-year offer from the start and renewed for 3 years to benefit from the updates. day. At a time when the 50% reduction invited me to maintain my choice.

The developer with whom I worked for 6 months and therefore I speak below. Referred me to page builders to compensate for my incompetence in coding. And creating web pages and to curb the problems related to my theme. It was about finding an intuitive and easy-to-use solution that allowed me to improve the presentation of my pages. Without having to change my theme, which required a lot of work.

To improve interactivity on my site, I installed a paid chat solution and adopted Zendesk (13€/month) travel blog. This investment has paid off as it has improved my rate of sales conversions. And the discovery of my partners’ services through the advice, I give visitors for free.

To make my referencing more efficient. I invested for a year in an original tool that allowed me to understand. What approach I should have in relation to the perception of content travel blogs. WP Search console was as useful to me as the advice of the team developing this tool… It was nice to have their points of view and recommendations. And their help when I did not understand what to do with the data obtained.


Do you want to confront yourself with the technique?

Know that from a certain level of development and if you want to professionalize. It is likely that the technical needs are more and more important… and expensive travel blog. The idea of ​​living from your activity is only realistic. If you acquire all the skills so as not to have to go through a developer. A network manager, an SEO specialist…

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