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How to Build a Travel Website (And Make Money)

How to Build a Travel Website (And Make Money)

Want to create a travel website? Here is a step-by-step guide to help you build a travel website to start journaling your travel experiences and make money along the way.

A travel website can be a great means to travel hacking. You will naturally build relationships with people around the globe within the travel industry and without.

Having your own travel website is like a journal. You can put your experiences on paper and for the whole world to see.

We already do most of this through social media with our friend groups, so why not put it into a website and make a few bucks along the way.

Who knows? You might even get some free travel or dinners along the way.

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Millennials love to travel. You likely already have thousands of photos on your computer and tons of memories in your mind.

So, let me show you how to build a travel website that will help you memorialize your travel experiences and make some money along the way.

What is a travel website?

Booking a Flight on an iPad

First, let’s get to basics. What does a travel website really do?

A travel site can really entail a few things, which would include:

  1. Provide content (newsletter, blog or hybrid of both)
  2. Create a Software as a Service (SaaS)
  3. Provide travel products through an e-commerce website
  4. Service-based website to help land clients (like consulting, a travel agency or digital marketing for hotels)

An online travel website really seeks one goal. Helping other people find answers. Booking helps people book their travel plans through airfare, hotels, and more.

Meanwhile, a travel blog like Via Travelers or Nomadic Matt, helps people find answers about cities before they start their journey.

This is what travel and tourism websites used to do, but then blogging came along and people could provide their first-hand perspectives.

If you help people, you will find success. If you’ve traveled the world, you will indeed have some perspective of the pain points associated with traveling.

Try to solve that answer and you will find success.

Different Types of Travel Websites

There are a variety of different types of travel websites available, including:

  • Inbound and outbound tours: offered by travel agents, these tours help visitors plan their trip before they go.
  • Tourism: A tourism website helps tourists find things to do and places to see while they are on vacation specific to a particular location.
  • Travel booking site: these websites help you find a place to stay while you are on vacation.
  • Travel agency website: A travel agency simply provides services to their target audience which includes being a travel planner, working with tour operators, and providing booking advice and deals.
  • Activity websites: these websites help you find things to do while you are on vacation.
  • Vacation package websites: these websites help you find a package deal for your vacation.

Each of these platforms has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to do your research before choosing one. Inbound tours are great for people who want to have a pre-planned trip, but they can be restrictive if you want to explore on your own.

Outbound tours are perfect for people who want to be free to explore, but they can be expensive if you are not careful. Accommodation websites are great for finding a place to stay, but they may not have as many options as some of the other types of websites. Transportation websites can be very helpful in getting around, but they may not always have the best deals.

Activity websites can be a lot of fun, but they may not have as much information as some of the other types of websites.

Meanwhile, vacation package websites can be a great way to save money, but they may not have as many options as some of the other types of websites.

It is important to do your research before choosing a travel site. Each website has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to find the website that is best for you.

Pros and Cons of Building a Travel Website

There are some pros and cons to building a website in the travel niche.

First, let’s hit on some of the pros.

Pros of Building a Travel Website

  • You unlock travel opportunities, which could result in discounted or free travel
  • Unlimited income potential, you simply don’t know where it could possibly take you
  • Opportunity to network with other travel enthusiasts
  • If you really love travel, building a website is doing something you love… You’ll never have to “work” a day in your life

Cons of Building a Travel Website

  • This could result in lost time for little gain
  • You could lose a little bit of money if it doesn’t all work out

At the end of the day, building a travel website has much more to gain than to lose.

Essential Tools for Online Travel Websites

If you want your travel business to succeed, you need the right tools to succeed.

First, you’ll need a domain and web hosting.

  • Domain name – This will be the address of your website (ex. www.example.com). You can purchase a domain name from a variety of places, such as Godaddy, Google Domains, or NameCheap.
  • Web Hosting – This is where your website’s files will be stored. You can purchase web hosting from a variety of places, such as Godaddy, Bluehost, or WP Engine.

Next, you’ll need some software to help you build your website.

  • WordPress – WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) that you can use to create your website.
  • Wix – Wix is a cloud-based platform that allows you to create websites without having to learn coding.
  • Weebly – Weebly is another cloud-based platform that allows you to create websites without having to learn coding.

Don’t overthink it. The best option for me has been WordPress and I wouldn’t ever consider using anything else.

And finally, you’ll need some tools to help you market your website.

  • Google Analytics – Google Analytics is a free web analytics service that allows you to track the traffic to your website.
  • Google AdWords – Google AdWords is a pay-per-click advertising service offered by Google.
  • Jasper.aiJasper is an AI-driven content software that helps you write content in a matter of minutes. That fastest blog post I ever created was in 4 minutes in 22 seconds. You can also use this AI-content tool to write social media posts, email newsletters, product descriptions and so much more. Jasper will help you take your content marketing strategy to the next level without having an army of writers. Try Jasper now and level up your content strategy.
  • Surfer SEO – SEO is the highest ROI in terms of marketing. Period. No matter what travel business you operate in, you need to have a major presence in search engines. You can use Surfer SEO to optimize your content, monitor your competitors, audit your pages, and so much more. Try Surfer SEO for free to see how you can start dominating search results.
  • LinkedIn Ads – LinkedIn Ads is a pay-per-click advertising service offered by LinkedIn.

Now that you know the essential tools for travel sites, let’s take a look at how to create your website.

How to Create a Travel Website (That Actually Makes Money)

Let’s get into the steps that will help you actually create your first travel website or blog.

Step 1: Choose a Niche (Start with a Defined Niche Then Work Broad)

In order to build your website, you need to know your direction and vision. If you can become an authority on a sub-topic of travel, you can then use that to build outwards on the general topic of travel.

Start defined and build an audience or users. If you are looking for untapped niches, you can look into the latest Google Trends to brainstorm.

Some ideas of sub-niches within travel include:

  1. Dog-friendly travel
  2. Sustainable and eco-friendly travel
  3. Budget-friendly travel
  4. International travel
  5. Solo travel
  6. Travel agency business

By creating a travel website you can even target specific regions that are booming for tourism like Dubai or cities that have experienced economic booms.

This is a great way to play on the rise of consumer demands.

See Related: Top Travel Agency Blogs

Step 2: Figure Out What You Are Selling

For me, I just wanted something simple with my travel website. A simple travel blogger method would be easy and wouldn’t require me to know a ton of programming. I knew that I loved creating content through high-quality photography, email marketing, and written content.

My business model as a travel blogger is solely to create excellent content that inspires people’s inner travel bug.

As I started out, I was able to use display advertising with Ezoic and affiliate partner relationships with flight and hotel booking websites. It’s a simple concept but requires a lot of content and persistence.

However, if you choose to operate a travel booking website or a travel agency website, your approach could be completely different to attract potential customers. For example, you may not need to create as much content as a travel blogger. But, you may need to focus more on lead generation.

So, figure out what you are selling and then work backward in terms of your digital marketing efforts to get people to that sale event. That’s much easier to do.

Step 3: Choose a Platform

Woman Booking Flights on Her Smartphone

Okay, now with some technical stuff. I’m going to keep it simple.

Here is a straightforward thought process for how you should think about what technology you should build your website on:

  1. Content = WordPress
  2. E-Commerce = Shopify
  3. SaaS = HTML/PHP
  4. Service = WordPress

There is really no debate about where you should build your website if you want to build content. It’s WordPress.

Don’t even think about any other option. Consider using StudioPress or Thrive Themes to create an intuitive design without the hassle or need to know to code.

For SaaS websites, focus on external developers.

Your product is software. Not the content.

Step 4: Find Hosting

Like a platform, I’d say keep it simple. Don’t overthink your options. I’ll break it down.

Hosting should be straightforward unless you are creating software. If you are creating a SaaS product, you need robust server speeds. You’ll likely have a ton of data and content being loaded in real-time.

For blogging and service, it’s pretty simple. Go the WordPress route and sign up with Bluehost for hosting that costs only $3.95/month when you use our link (that’s 55% off the normal price).

There’s even better news… You will get a free domain name along the way. So, in a few clicks, you can create a travel website in no time and be on your way to building a business online.

See Related: Proven Digital Marketing Tips for Travel Agents

Step 5: Create Content

Hands Typing While Inputting Code Onto a Macbook

No matter what route you take, you should start creating content immediately. If you are a SaaS product, how are you going to sell your software?

You need helpful content and pages that will explain your tool.

Content is king. It’s how people understand and react to products. With blogging, you should think of ways you can target low competition keywords to generate consistent organic traffic through SEO.

Here are some tips for creating content that helped me scale a few sites to 200,000+ monthly pageviews:

  1. Create long-form content that is evergreen in nature
  2. Mention and collaborate with other bloggers and influencers
  3. Aways be optimizing your site for internal links and structure
  4. Focus on the outreach… If you mention someone in content, make sure they know about it
  5. Use free traffic sources to grow your brand and readership

How do you write content for a travel website?

To write effective content for a travel website, you’ll need to think about what your audience wants to know. Descriptive text, interesting photos and hints/tips for travelers will help keep people coming back. Remember to make your site readable and easy to navigate, and to polish your text so it’s error-free.

See Related: Best Travel Agency Blog Ideas

Step 6: Find Help & Scale

You can’t do it all on your own. It would be crazy to think that you can. It’s also highly unrealistic.

The best way to build a business is by finding smarter people to build it for you. It sounds intense and a bit aggressive but it’s true.

Entrepreneurs aren’t always the smartest people in the room. They are the ones that know how to get the job done.

I’d suggest reaching out to other people to help you write content for your website. You can use platforms like Upwork or Freelancer.com to find writers and hire them instantly.

Alternatively, try using free job boards like Indeed to get local talent.

For social media, you can outsource people to help manage accounts like Pinterest and Tailwind.

Tailwind is an app that helps you schedule your Pinterest pins.

See Related: How to Become a Home-Based Travel Agent

Step 7: Monetize & Improve

I like taking the strategy of knowing what/how you are going to monetize right off the bat, but not being fully optimized for it when you do it.

This allows you to make refined tweaks and improvements as you go.

For example, if you know what you want to monetize your site by monetizing your userbase. Well, build content all-around how you will drive email conversions.

That is your one and only goal for the foreseeable future.

Once you have a significant scale with emails, you can flip on a switch of premium content or a freemium SaaS product.

Start at the lowest end of the funnel and work your way backward. Check out how to use Pinterest in the tourism industry.

How do I promote my travel website?

There are a number of ways to promote your travel website, including online and offline marketing techniques. Online marketing techniques include using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to encourage visitors to go to your own travel company website, as well as optimizing your website for search engines so that it appears higher in relevant search results.

Offline marketing techniques include distributing flyers and brochures in local businesses and tourist information out online and offline marketing opportunities to help promote your travel website.

Utilize social media platforms, local business partnerships, and search engine optimization to reach more travelers and increase traffic and sales.

See Related: Why Is Everyone Obsessed with Travel?

Final Thoughts: How to Build a Travel Website

Building a travel website can be a great side hustle and means to create extra income for something you love to do.

Do you already document most of your travel journey through social media? Why not make relationships and money along the way?

Building a travel website can be a journey and not a defined strategy from the start. It’s a hobby that you can tinker with and learn.

Once you find something that works, hit it hard and scale. You’ll end up building a sustainable business and finding a new passion. You’ll end up traveling and making money along the way.

What questions do you have about building a travel website? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love help.

FAQ

How do I create a travel website?

To create a travel website, you need to first select the platform you want to use. You can use WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace. You will then need to find a hosting provider and set up your website. Once your website is set up, you will need to create content and market your website. You can also reach out to others for help in order to scale your website. Finally, you can monetize your website and improve it over time.

How much does it cost to make a travel website?

The cost of a basic site starts at around $3,000, but it depends on the features you want and your industry. When you want to build an online travel booking website to book flights, tour packages, or travel tickets online it will cost you anywhere from $3,000 to $200,000.

How do travel websites make money?

There are a few ways that travel websites make money. One way is through affiliate marketing. This is when the website links to products or services and gets paid a commission when someone buys something from the link. Another way is through advertising. Websites make money by displaying ads on their pages.

Revenue can also be generated through memberships and subscriptions. Some websites charge a fee for people to access their content or services. Others offer monthly or yearly memberships that give people access to exclusive content or discounts.

There are many ways for travel sites to make money. By understanding how these businesses work, you can create a website that is successful too.

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