A Guide to Starting Your Own Aviation or Travel Blog

A Guide to Starting Your Own Aviation or Travel Blog

This article will provide you with the steps you need to take in order to start your own aviation or travel (or any other, for that matter) blog. While not completely related to aviation, I have been asked this question a couple of times, and I thought it might be a useful read for those of you that are considering sharing your aviation photos or stories with others through your own website for one reason or another.

Disclosure: The post below contains affiliate links for which I may receive compensation. That said, I only recommend and provide affiliate links to products that I personally use, and all of the opinions expressed in this post are my own.

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The Two Parts of Running a Blog

There are basically two sides to starting and running a blog – the technical side and the content side.

How to Start a Blog

Back-end: what it looks like when a post is in making.
How to Start a Blog

Front-end: what it looks like once the post is published.

The former is, of course, the “meat” of the blog and will highly depend on your preferences. You have to decide what you want to write about and what you want to focus on. Whether it is news from your local airport or reports from your trips.

The technical side is, for many, the “necessary evil” that has to be taken care of to present the content. To me, both the content part and the technical part are enjoyable, and that’s why I decided to write this post explaining how to get a blog started – from the technical point of view.

While there are multiple ways to do a blog, the below covers the “self-hosted” way – where your blog will have its own domain (e.g. mynewaviationblog.com instead of mynewaviationblog.blogspot.com).

How to Start Your Blog

Step 1: Decide on a Suitable Domain Name

Before you setup your blog, you need to think about a name for it and a relevant domain name – the website’s address. Of course, the domain name you come up with needs to be available.

To check availability of domains, you can use the Bluehost (KNAviation.net’s web hosting provider) tool below. Just type in the domain name (e.g. “mynewaviationblog”), select the extension (e.g. “.com”), and click “check availability.”


If the domain is available, it also allows you to purchase the domain with hosting right away, but more about that in step 2. If not available, it suggests other, similar, domain names that are available.

How to Start a Blog

If domain is available: you will be sent to the purchase screen.
How to Start a Blog

If domain is not available: you will be suggested some alternatives.

Step 2: Get a domain and hosting

Once you have the name and the domain decided, it is time to actually purchase the domain and also a webhosting to go with it.

There are plenty of webhosting providers. Personally, I use and suggest Bluehost which offers a “basic” package for less than 5 dollars a month. It comes with a free domain and 50GB of space – more than enough to start with. Their responsive and helpful live chat support team is a plus as well.

How to Start a Blog

Step 2 – 1: Go to Bluehost’s website and select “get started now.”
How to Start a Blog

Step 2 – 2: Select your preferred plan. When starting out, Bluehost’s “basic” plan should be more than enough.
How to Start a Blog

Step 2 – 3: Type in the domain name (web address) you came up with and click “next.”
How to Start a Blog

Step 2 – 4: Fill in some basic information about you.
How to Start a Blog

Step 2 – 5: Uncheck the options you do not need. In the beginning, I suggest you take none of the options. The only one to consider is the “domain privacy protection” if you do not want your name, address, etc. to be publicly associated with the domain.
How to Start a Blog

Step 2 – 6: Fill in your payment information, agree to Bluehost’s terms, and click “submit” to purchase the domain and hosting plan.

Step 3: Install WordPress

Once you have your domain and your hosting, it is time to install a blogging platform. The “de facto” standard is WordPress. Nowadays, many hosting providers including Bluehost offer a one-click installation which simplifies the process a lot.

How to Start a Blog

Step 3 – 1: Once you finish your purchase, go to Bluehost’s website and log-in using the previously registered information.
How to Start a Blog

Step 3 – 2: Scroll down a bit, and select “one-click install” from the “website” section.
How to Start a Blog

Step 3 – 3: Select WordPress.
How to Start a Blog

Step 3 – 4: You will be given some paid options, but there is absolutely no need to use those. Just click the green “install” button.
How to Start a Blog

Step 3 – 5: You can leave the domain the way it is. I suggest you uncheck both of the optional add-ons offered as they are not free and you do not really need them in the beginning. Finally, click on “check domain.”
How to Start a Blog

Step 3 – 6: Check “show advanced options,” and fill in your blog title, admin username, email address, and password. Keep the “automatically create a new database…” option checked.” Agree to the terms and conditions, and click “install now.”

Step 4: Select Your Theme

With WordPress up and running, it is time to choose a theme – the look – of your blog. While there are many paid themes out there, there are equally as many free themes. To start with, I suggest you choose one of the free themes available in the WordPress theme library.

Just as a sidenote, the theme I use here at KN Aviation – Pinboard – is a free one as well.

How to Start a Blog

Step 4 – 1: Go to “yournewdomain.com/wp-admin” and log into your WordPress account.
How to Start a Blog

Step 4 – 2: From the menu, choose the “Themes” item in the “Appearance” section.
How to Start a Blog

Step 4 – 3: Find a theme you like, place your cursor over it, and click “Install.”
How to Start a Blog

Step 3 – 6: Go back to the main “Themes” screen, and activate the new theme.

Step 5: Start Posting Your Blog Posts

The final step – and perhaps the most difficult one, but definitely the most fun – is to post your first, second, third, … post. What you post will solely depend on the focus of your blog, and it could be anything ranging from your daily spotting reports to the world’s latest first class product reviews.

How to Start a Blog

Step 5: Click “Add New” in the “Posts” section of the menu, type in the title of your post, add in the main text and images as you like, and click “Publish.” …and your first post is out!

Recap

This post covers the very basics of starting a blog – from the technical side. As explained above, first you will have to decide on your blog’s name and domain (web address). Then you need to check if your selected domain is available, and finally you will have to buy the domain as well as a hosting package.

There are plenty of hosting providers. The one I suggest and use is Bluehost.

Once you have your domain and hosting, you will need to set up your content management system – generally WordPress.

With all that done, you can start blogging.

Of course, depending on your aims and needs, you might want to customize your theme, create basic pages such as “About Me,” and install some basic WordPress plug-ins, but that is for a separate topic.

If you have any questions related to starting your blog, do not hesitate to leave a comment below or shoot me an email at [email protected].

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