Travel blogs have exploded onto the scene, disrupting the travel industry by providing a new way for hotels and other travel brands to engage directly with loyal and targeted audiences. Solo adventure travel? There’s a blog for that. Inter-generational family travel? There’s a blog for that, too.
There are unique travel blogs for just about every niche you can imagine. Best of all, as a travel blogger you hold the keys to the audience you build with your own voice.
One thing I’ve learned over the last 5 years is that being a successful travel blogger is hard work. But it can be totally worth it if you (a) love to travel, (b) love sharing your ideas and knowledge to help others, and (c) desire the freedom to make your own decisions and be your own boss.
I wrote this article to help people who want to start a new travel blog.
In this article, I make it crystal clear just how important it is at the very beginning to pick a good travel blog name that enables faster growth and future success.
Of course I also give insightful tips and strategic advice for identifying a good name to match your specific travel blog niche.
So if you’ve decided that you want to get in on the action and start your own travel blog, the very first step you have to do is figure out your niche in the travel industry and then pick a unique travel blog name that reflects your niche and personality.
As an example, here is a short list of lucrative travel blog niches off the top of my head:
- Adventure Travel
- Family Travel
- Couple Travel
- Solo Travel
- Disney Tourism
- Food Tourism
- RV Travel
- Road Trips
- Cruise Travel
- Pet Travel
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How to come up with a Blog Name?
So when it comes to finding the best name for your travel blog, the most important thing is to make sure the domain name (URL) you want is actually available. Your platform, after all, is going to be a website and you want people to be able to find it easily. Your domain name must match your brand (blog) name.
Luckily, it is free and super easy to check if a domain name is available.
For example, in 2012 I first registered this website (HotMamaTravel) on HostGator, a company that made it easy for a beginner like me to register my domain. It was also an affordable choice for hosting my new website.
Checking to see if a domain is available is as simple as going to HostGator and typing in the name you want. As an example, my first name is Amanda so I wanted to check if the domain “amandatravels.com” was available (this is not necessarily a great name, but just an example):
What is great is that it does not cost very much to register a domain name (about $10-15 per year), as long as nobody owns that domain already. However if somebody already owns the domain that you want, it can often cost thousands of dollars to acquire the legal rights to that domain.
Unfortunately, that was the case for my first choice “amandatravels.com”, as HostGator showed that this domain was already taken:
Bummer, right!? No, not really. It is totally fine if the first name you think of is unavailable. Honestly, it is to be expected and happens all the time.
Just remember, there are so many creative travel blog names out there to choose from that you will eventually find the perfect travel domain name. I recommend being open-minded and brainstorming a bunch of different ideas (we have tools to help you do that below) and checking each one until you find a domain that is available.
Since we often travel with kids and my niche is family travel, I next decided to find out if “amandatravelswithkids.com” was available. Fortunately, it was!
While this travel blog name is descriptive – it describes who (my name) and what (that I travel with kids) – for various reasons that I explain in more detail below, it is probably not an ideal brand name for a new travel blog.
The purpose here was to show you just how easy and affordable the process can be for identifying domain URLs linked to unique travel blog names.
Travel Blog Name Ideas + Strategy
I talk a lot with other travel bloggers. We are kind of like an online family. When you start travel blogging, you soon discover how important it is to network and build relationships with other bloggers through conferences, guest blogs, phone chats and DM’s.
One thing we’ve discussed is how important it is to choose a good name for your travel blog (and what we would change if we could go back in time!)
It is crucial to get this right because once you choose a blog name and decide to invest in building a brand around it, there is no turning back.
Here are some of the highlights I learned from those conversations:
1. A common strategy is to pair your name with a niche descriptor
Everyone has their own niche in the travel blog industry. If you aren’t acutely aware of what your particular niche is, then honestly, you are not likely to have much success. You don’t necessarily want to choose a niche that is too broad (and competitive), but you also don’t want to box yourself in to a niche that is too specific to support long-term growth.
One of the tried-and-true strategies for creating a travel blog name is to pair your name with an exciting word that uniquely describes your niche. Here are some of my favorite examples:
- Wandering Earl
- Adventurous Kate
- Explore with Erin
- Nomadic Matt
- Backpacking Matt
- Dan Flying Solo
- 2 Travel Dads
- Jet Set Family
One of the most successful travel blogs in the world that uses this strategy is Nomadic Matt:
Just from this name alone, visitors immediately expect to learn about how to travel the world cheaply – and that is exactly what Matt has built his business around. He even parlayed his travel blog success into a New York Times Bestselling book “How to travel the world on $50 a day“.
[BTW, Matt also has some very useful courses for travel bloggers that you can check out]
Ok, so to get you started with this strategy, here are some other travel-related words to play around with:
Wanderlust, Vagabond, Trek, Sailing, Cruising, Road Trip, Tread, Journey, Walkabout, Hike, Locomotion, Expedition, Wayfarer, Navigate, Ramble, Voyage, Touring, Trotting, Swinging (careful with this one), and Passage.
2. It’s OK to be playful and get creative with your travel blog name.
While it can be a nice personal touch, you don’t always have to use your personal name in a good travel blog name. In fact, there are some pretty good reasons why you wouldn’t want to use your name in your travel blog branding, especially if you might plan to sell your website one day when it grows really big.
Here are some successful playful blog names:
- The Everywhereist
- The Blonde Abroad
- Roads & Kingdoms
- California Through my Lens.
- Be My Travel Muse
- Goats on the Road
- Lonely Planet
It is important to point out that all of these creative blog names DO incorporate travel-related and often niche-related words such as “Lens” (photography niche), “Planet”/”Abroad” (global travel), “Road” (driving, trips), etc.
Also, you may want to avoid putting the name of a specific place in your travel blog name. The reason is that you never know how your travel interests or opportunities might change over time.
Let’s say your plan is to cover hot spots in Southern California because that’s where you live, so you name your blog “SoCal Trippin”. Well what if you need to re-locate for your job or a big hotel chain wants to sponsor a trip overseas? It will be difficult to gain credibility for non-SoCal related content in the eyes of both Google (for ranking purposes), and your readers.
Try not to box yourself in, just in case.
3. Do your “homework” before committing to a brand identity
Finally, there are some things you should definitely do before going “all-in” on a particular travel blog name and identity. Think of it as due diligence.
First, make sure your travel blog name makes sense to others and passes the “smell test”. Do this by talking to friends and family, especially those that resemble folks that you expect to be a part of your target audience (e.g. families, solo women, adventurers, etc). Would they click on a link with your domain name URL, and what would they expect the website to be about?
Also, do some homework to find out which other popular travel blogs already exist in your target niche and start following them. Even better, consider interacting with these other bloggers by sharing their content on social media and commenting on their blogs. I read every comment on my blog and social media, and I am certain this is true for a huge majority of bloggers.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask others for help. There is no sense in re-inventing the wheel. There are tons of shortcuts, tips, and hacks that I’ve learned over the years from other bloggers which helped me build success (and traffic) faster than if I had gone it alone.
By understanding who the big players are in your target travel blogging niche, you may also be able to identify a unique angle so you don’t compete directly with them for traffic. The earlier in the process you refine the strategy and target audience for your travel blog (and stick to it!), the better off you’ll be in the long run.
If your main goal is to monetize your travel blog, you may want to consider using “buying” keywords in your blog name (and URL). This includes words like “Bargain”, “Best”, “Budget”, “Build”, “Buy”, “Cheap”, “Deal”, “Discount”, “Easy”, “Free”, “Frugal”, “Guide”, “How”, “Luxury”, “New”, “Quick”, “Review”, “Sale”, “Secret”, “Simple”, “Solve”, “Treat”, and “Value”.
A name like “Adventure on a Budget”, for example, will instantly give your readers the impression that (a) they will learn about some adventurous places, and (b) that there will be a cheap price tag associated with these exciting activities. If you follow through on those two promises in your articles, your readers will trust your brand more and will be primed to make a purchase (due to the buying keyword).
This is obviously a good strategy for monetizing your travel blog. And these are precisely the kinds of things you need to be thinking about before committing blood, sweat, and tears to building your new successful website.
That’s a Wrap!
So my advice, in a nutshell, goes like this:
- Figure out what travel niche you want to blog about
- Do some research on blogs that are already successful in that niche
- Brainstorm several (5-10) different potential travel blog names
- Make sure to incorporate niche (and potentially buying) keywords
- Check to see if the matching domain (URL) is available on HostGator
- If it is not available, don’t fret, move on to the next one
- When you find a domain that’s available, buy it (should be just $10-20/year)
Finally, once you go through this process and lock up your domain and travel blog name, there are tons of excellent resources on the web to show you how to set up WordPress Site Hosting, do Search Engine Optimization so your site will rank well in Google (this is important!), create logos and branding material, and so much more!
A resource that really kick-started my own success was Sharon Gourlay’s site, Digital Nomad Wannabe. Honestly, I can’t recommend her course enough.
This may all sound overwhelming, but you can totally do it with some passion and dedication to your idea. Finally If you want more advice on which resources I found most helpful to grow this travel blog, let me know in the comments!
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