travel blog adviceThere are literally thousands of travel blogs on the Internet and they come in all different shapes and sizes. Travel Blog Advice will teach you what you need to know about travel blogging including why you should start a travel blog, the potential benefits of a travel blog, and the ways to set up a travel blog.

For those of you who’ve had a travel blog for some time you may be interested in reading more about these topics.

My name is Anil Polat and I’ve been travel blogging for over 3 years and some of my other blogs include foXnoMad, Tech Guide For Travel, and How To Travel With Pets. I don’t have all of the answers but would like to share what I’ve learned about travel blogging with you. I hope that you’ll add to the discussion and leave your own tips and advice in the comments section of each post.

{ 27 comments }

This post is kindly brought to you by Bupa Travel Insurance who make getting online quotes easy so you’re covered no matter where or how you travel. [What is this?]

macbook pro 15 inch keyboard

Some time has passed since I wrote my 13 recommended WordPress plugins for travel blogs and while I can still vouch for a few of those, in many cases it’s time for an update. WordPress itself has extended its functionality to incorporate what once required plugin support while savvy coders have expanded their plugins to encompass others. All of this means that some plugins aren’t useful or needed any more while in other cases it’s better to simply add a bit of code directly into your WordPress site itself.

  • All In One SEO Pack WordPress SEO – I perform extensive SEO testing on a number of WordPress websites and since I updated this list last, the results have strongly favored WordPress SEO. Although it’s prone to conflict with other plugins you may have running and not exactly intuitive to set up, putting some effort into a careful install plus brushing up on proper configuration can markedly improve your travel blog’s search engine visibility. (Download WordPress SEO)
  • good photo of Peregrine FalconGoogle XML Sitemaps – It’s now integrated into WordPress SEO plugin, killing two birds with one plugin stone.
  • Maintenance Mode – This plugin creates a nice little ‘Under Construction’ page for your site. It’s customizable, easy to use, and should only be activated as needed. (Download Maintenance Mode)
  • Spam Karma Akismet – Spam Karma is no longer updated but Akismet does a great job of replacing it. Bundled with every WordPress installation, if you’re not already using it, you can download Akismet here.
  • TinyMCE Advanced – Adds a number of icons to your post editing screen that were lost a many WordPress updates ago. It makes it easier to insert video, adjust pictures, and change font sizes. It’s worth mentioning however that TinyMCE Advanced tends to conflict with other plugins, when in doubt, it’s the one to check. (Download TinyMCE)
  • Whydowork Adsense – If you use Google’s Adsense to make some money with your travel blog, this plugin makes it easier to put ads – or any other code for that matter – within posts. You can even configure it to show ads X number of days after a post is published or in random spots. (Download Whydowork Adsense)
  • danish mailboxesWP-ContactForm Contact Form 7 – More stable than my previous recommendation, Contact Form 7 lets you create contact pages like this and place it anywhere on your travel blog. It also comes with a built-in spam filter plus additional formatting options. (Download Contact Form 7)
  • WP-DBManager – Although WordPress comes with a built in database backup utility, this plugin lets you create backups at intervals of your choice and can be configured to automatically optimize your database every month, although I would suggest activating this feature on an as-needed basis. (Download WP-DBManager)
  • Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) – Both Outbrain and nRelate do a better job of showing recommended posts beneath an article, although they’re not specifically sorted by relation to the topic at hand.
  • Yoast Breadcrumbs – Now integrated into WordPress SEO.
  • Sucuri Security – The service costs $89.99 per year for a single site which is a bargain considering that price includes security monitoring, protection, and clean up if required. The plugin helps integrate the Sucuri service into your WordPress installation. (Download Sucuri Security)

Generally, I try to be relatively consistent with the plugins I use across foXnoMad, Travel Blog Advice, and my other blogs, but these aren’t all of the ones I use. The others perform site-specific functions but try to remember when it comes to plugins, less is more. A cluttered installation of plugins on your WordPress back-end can slow or shutdown pages when conflicts inevitably occur.

Many travel blog dilemmas, like forcing external links to open in new tabs, using a trailing slash for site speed and improving SEO or enabling SSL for password security can be accomplished with a few lines of code in the right place.

What are some of your favorite and go-to WordPress plugins you would add to the list above? I look forward to hearing your recommendations, in the comments below.

{ 5 comments }

U.S. News And World Report Associate Editor Kira Zalan Is Taking Your Writing Questions Live Later Today

0 comments

Over on foXnoMad from 7pm-9pm US EST today, Thursday November 7th but you can leave your questions below or directly in the chat comments here right now. In addition to writing, she’ll also answer any questions you may have on pitching stories to publishers, coming up with a good story, and breaking into the writing [...]

More Travel Blog Advice -->

How To Open All External Links In New Tabs (Or Windows) Without A Plugin In WordPress

5 comments

Although there are both sides to the debate on whether you should or shouldn’t force all external links to open in new windows, if you decide to, don’t use a plugin to complete the job. With a few simple lines of code you can have links pointing to sites outside of your travel blog open [...]

More Travel Blog Advice -->

Travel Geek Security: Keeping Your Passwords Under Lock And Key While on The Road

1 comment

No security is absolute and there isn’t a single password perfect enough to protect you from every type of hack that exists now or will in the future. Unfortunately there’s no mystical password out there in the ether to that can secure all of your online accounts forever. One great password isn’t nearly enough. You [...]

More Travel Blog Advice -->

How To Work Promotions Into Your Travel Blog Without Turning It Into A Giant Ad

0 comments

A question I received from Dean in the comments of a previous post (oops, over a year ago – I’m late, don’t hate) was how to work with sponsors when they want to advertise their products or services through your travel blog. That’s a broad question but I’ll try my best to narrow down that [...]

More Travel Blog Advice -->

How To Ensure Your Blog Posts Have The Correct (Or Any) Thumbnail When Posting On Facebook

0 comments

One of the most frustrating things about posting a travel blog or other link to your Facebook fan page is when that social network can’t seem to place a thumbnail with your url. Without the tiny picture, your link looks like an ugly excerpt of floating text in the timelines of all your followers – [...]

More Travel Blog Advice -->

How To Share Your Travel Blog Posts On Facebook Without Ugly Links

5 comments

One way to share links from your travel blog is to click the “like” button on one of your recent posts – but that only shares the content on your personal Facebook profile. Albeit with a clean link and thumbnail, as well, as any comments or post title you want to add above it. One [...]

More Travel Blog Advice -->

Don’t Inadvertently Slow Down Your Site By Using Cloudflare’s Auto Minify Feature With Any Others

5 comments

One of the simplest ways you can speed up and secure your travel blog with a few clicks is by using Cloudflare. That service, which I use on foXnoMad and my other blogs, acts primarily as an invisible security barrier to your blog to protect it from spam and hacking. In addition, Cloudflare is a [...]

More Travel Blog Advice -->

Reverse Your Blog Monetizing Logic With A Simple Question: Why Should Anyone Give You Money?

6 comments

A question I often find in my inbox and see on travel blogging forums is, “how can I make money with my blog?” If a blog were a direct method of making money, everyone would have a blog. A blog is simply a medium; asking how to make money with it is like purchasing a [...]

More Travel Blog Advice -->