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How To Start a Hiking Blog in 7 Steps (Without Breaking The Bank)

Turn your passion for hiking into an income generating blog. Find out how to start a hiking blog below.

How to Start a Hiking Blog and Make Money

If you are a keen hiker and want to create a blog to share your love of hiking (and even make some extra money doing it), this is the article for you.


Just before we jump into the details of step 1, first I want to quickly tell you why you should even listen to what I have to say.

Who I Am & Why I’m Qualified to Help You Make Your Hiking Blog

Well, not only am I an amateur hiker who loves the outdoors, but I have also been building websites and marketing them for well over a decade.

Day-to-day I help countless clients, some of the biggest brands in the world, improve their online presence via creative marketing campaigns.

I have also created, grown and sold multiple blogs and online projects now.

Screenshot of the sellers dashboard from a recent blog sale.
Screenshot of the sellers dashboard for a recent blog sale.

Put simply, I know exactly what it takes to earn great money online by writing about your passions.

With that out the way, let’s move on to the actual steps you will need to take to create your very own hiking blog.

7 Steps to a Money Making Hiking Blog – Right to Your Inbox

Start a Money Making Blog in 7 Days


Plan Your Hiking Blog

Now that you know I’m qualified to help, let’s get started planning your hiking blog.

As they say, failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.

Benjamin Franklin

So, you will need to have a solid strategy in place and clear plan to follow in order to make, manage and grow a successful hiking and/or backpacking blog.

The first thing you need to do, is pick a niche.

Pick a Niche

I can already hear many of you saying:

What do you mean? I thought the niche was hiking!?

Well, it is.

You can absolutely start a general hiking blog and cover all of the topics about backpacking and hiking.

But if this is your first blog, you will see results much faster by narrowing your focus.

Hiking Blog Niche Ideas

Here are a few niches ideas for you to chose from within the main topic of hiking:

  • Hiking Trails
  • Backpacking
  • Fitness/Training For Hikers
  • Hiking Gear Guides & Reviews
  • Day Hikes
  • Long Distance Hiking
  • Trekking
  • Mountaineering
  • Camping
  • Navigating

I have no doubt that the more experienced hikers will be able to come up with countless other niche ideas.


Remember, you can always pick a narrower focus early on and expand on it later.

Need more details? We have published a whole other article on picking a niche for your blog.

Find Competitors & Examples

Starting a Hiking Blog by Doing Competitor Analysis and Research - a screenshot from SEMrush.
Screenshot from SEMrush

Starting your hiking blog is going to be a whole lot easier if you have places to find inspiration.

And you will be surprised by how much information is out there that will help you when it comes to starting your own hikers blog.

The best place to start is on Google and SEMrush.

First, do a very simple search on Google for ‘hiking blogs’.

Finding hiking blog competitors - search on Google for 'hiking blogs'.

If you decided to narrow your niche down, then search for whatever your niche is and add ‘blogs’ afterwards.

Copy the URLs of the websites showing up on the first couple of pages for this keyword.

Next, sign up for an account on SEMrush and search each one in the tool.

Finding hiking blog competitors using SEMrush. A screenshot of their domain overview.

Take a look at what keywords they are ranking for, who their competitors are and the vast amounts of other information available with the tool.

You don’t need to do anything with this information yet, and try not to get overwhelmed by the amount of information available. For now we’re just getting inspiration.

The next steps will ensure that we get the most out of the information available here without getting lost in it.

Start a Hiking Blog in 7 Steps (Without Breaking The Bank)

Creating your hiking blog - a screenshot from WordPress.org, a great platform/software to create your first blog.
Screenshot from WordPress.org

With a solid plan in place, we will now start actually creating the hiking blog.

1. Pick a Domain Name for Your Hiking Blog

Screenshot from the register a new domain name page on the Bluehost website.
Screenshot from Bluehost register a new domain name page.

A domain name is the address that people type in to their browser to access your website.

Some find it helpful to think of your website as a house and your domain name as the address.

The perfect domain will be relatively short, easy to remember and hint as to what your website is about.

So for your hiking blog you will want to include the word “hiking” or some related word(s) in the domain name.

You will quickly find that the shortest, most general domain names like Hiking.com or hikingblog.com have been taken already.

So try combining multiple words, or making yours more unique in some way until you find one available to register that you’re happy with.

Tips on Selecting a Domain Name

  • Keep it Short
  • Make it Memorable
  • Add Relevancy (Include a Word Related to Your Industry)
  • Avoid Using Hyphens, Numbers & Special Characters

Spend an hour or two selecting your domain name.

While your domain can be changed later, this wouldn’t be ideal. So it warrants spending some time selecting the right one.


Once you have a domain name in mind and you’ve checked that it is available (by searching it on a domain registration site like Bluehost), you should register it.

This will only cost between $5 and $20 (depending on who you use to register it).

Spend a good amount of time on this step since you don’t want to have to change your domain later on once you’ve already built up a following and some online reputation.

An hour or two is a good amount of time to spend on this step.

Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed though.

Pick a name and proceed to the next step.

Changing domain name later on isn’t ideal, but it is possible.

And taking action with a domain name you might want to change later is far better than taking no action at all.

2. Select Your Hiking Blog Hosting

Select your hiking blog hosting - screenshot from the hosting provider Bluehost.
Screenshot from a hosting provider we would recommend, Bluehost.

Free Vs Paid Blog Hosting

Now, the long and short of it is that you absolutely can build a hiking blog for free.

Although this is not what you should do.

These days hosting a blog can cost as little as $2 per month.

So, for less than a single cup of coffee each month you can ensure that your blog will be more scalable, customizable and profitable.

Who wouldn’t go for that?

Outside of the monthly hosting and a few bucks per year for a custom domain name, you can spend as much or as little as you like.

If you are serious about growing your hiking blog and at some point want to make money from it, go with a paid setup from day one.

Changing over from a free option to a paid one later is almost always more stressful, expensive and confusing.

Time is money and you don’t want to waste countless hours later on just to save a couple of dollars today.

Free Blog Hosting Options

  • WordPress
  • Blogger
  • Wix
  • Weebly
  • Medium
  • Tumblr

These are some great free options, but they have their limitations.


Paid Blog Hosting Options

These are some great paid hosting options. For beginners, I’d recommend going with Bluehost.


3. Install WordPress

Install WordPress on your hiking blog, screenshot from Softaculous WordPress installer page.
Screenshot from Softaculous WordPress installation page.

There are plenty of content management systems (CMS) you can use to setup and manage your hiking blog, but for beginners WordPress is by far the best option.

Once installed, WordPress is easy to use, customizable and scalable.

Also, thanks to services like Softaculous or Bluerock (or the similar software that comes with most hosting accounts these days), you don’t have to be a technical wizard to get it installed.

If this is one of your first blogs, I recommend going with Bluehost to host your website and using their Bluerock tool which allows you to setup your blog within minutes with just a click of a button.

4. Find a Hiking Blog Theme

Picking a theme for your hiking blog - screenshot from Themeforest, a marketplace to find and buy WordPress themes.
Screenshot from Themeforest, a marketplace to find and buy WordPress themes.

After installing WordPress you will see the default theme when you visit your domain name.

In most cases you will want to find a more bespoke theme that matches the style you are looking for.

First, browse some of the other free themes available for WordPress. You will find some great free options there.

Screenshot from the WordPress free themes page.
Screenshot from the WordPress free themes page.

If you find a free option that you’re happy with, great you can go with that and move on to the next step.

Many people however find that none of the free themes fit the look and feel that they are after.

In such cases I recommend you head over to Themeforest and browse their huge selection of paid themes.

Most cost around $40 and you will notice that some are much more specific to your particular niche or industry.

People change their blog theme all the time, so don’t spend too long stressing about this step.

Pick one you like and move straight on to the next step.

5. Personalise Your Hiking Blog

Screenshot from the WordPress Customization panel, where you can personalize your hiking blog.
Screenshot from the WordPress Customization panel.

Personalization is key to help your blog stand out and to ensure that readers remember it.

Thankfully WordPress makes it incredibly easy to customize your hiking blog.

Once your theme is installed, simply head over to the ‘Customize’ panel and start tweaking the blog to your taste and style.

Start with your logo then work backwards from there (picking fonts and colors that compliment it).

Also, remember how important images are in the overall look and feel of your content.

6. Carry Out Keyword Research

You need to do keyword research for your hiking blog before you start posting content. This is a screenshot from SEMrush, a great keyword research tool.
Screenshot from SEMrush, a great tool for keyword research.

You are almost ready to start posting content on your blog.

Before you do that though you will need to carry out some initial keyword research.

Head over to SEMrush, which is a great keyword research tool.

You can sign up for a free trial, and I’d strongly recommend selecting one of their paid plans after that since the tool is so useful.

First you can try their Keyword Magic tool.

Put in some hiking related words and start finding out how many people per month are searching for them in your target location.

Then grab some of those competitors we found in step 1, and put them into the tool.

You will be able to see which keywords they are generating the most traffic from.

7. Publish Your First Hiking Blog Post

Publish your first hiking blog post. This is a sceenshot from the 'Create New Post' page in the WordPress admin area.
Screenshot from the create post page in the WordPress admin area.

Now that you know what keywords you want to target and have some topics in mind, it is time to get writing.

I have added some details below on how to optimize your blog posts for SEO (so they rank in Google), but for now you only need to worry about writing a great piece of content.

The end goal is for people looking for information about your topic/niche to be able to find the answers to any questions they might have on your blog.

Tips on Writing & Publishing Blog Content

  • Use Clear Headings to Establish Content Structure
  • Add Links to Relevant Resources (On & Off Your Blog)
  • Answer Common Questions People Might Have About The Topic
  • Break Up Text Heavy Pieces With Relevant Images
  • If Possible, Make Video Versions of Your Content

It will take some time for you to find your particular tone of voice and writing style. Remember, practise makes perfect!


Marketing Your Hiking Blog

Screenshot from SEMrush, a leading online marketing tool.

After setting up your blog and posting your first few articles, you will probably be wondering how to get actual readers to it.

The sections below look at how to market your hiking or backpacking blog so you can start building a real loyal audience.

General Blog Marketing Tips

  • Pick One Marketing Method & Perfect it
  • Focus on Building a Lasting Reputation
  • Avoid Overly Aggressive Strategies That Could Damage Your Reputation
  • Time & Consistency is Everything
  • Even in Your Marketing Campaigns, Always Try To Do Something Unique & Different

So pick your preferred marketing strategy, and stick at it for at least 6 months.


SEO For Hiking Blogs

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for hiking blogs - screenshot from ahrefs, a respected SEO tool.
Screenshot from SEO tool ahrefs.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website so that it ranks higher in the organic search result.

When people talk about SEO, they are usually talking about ranking higher for relevant searches made on Google.

If you followed the keyword research step above, you will already be well on your way to ranking for some relevant yet reasonable competition keywords.

An example of a keyword relevant to hiking but which is lower competition (how to clean hiking backpack without washing machine).

Essentially you don’t want to try to rank for the huge keyword “hiking”, since so many other powerful and trusted websites are already targeting this same keyword.

In the early days of your hiking blog, you want to find relevant keywords which are searched between 10 and 1000 times per month, and create content to target them.

Odds are that there will be a lot less competition for these keywords, so you will see results much faster.

Now, there is much more to SEO than just finding low competition keywords and creating great content to target them.

SEO is not a subject to try and tackle in one article. But I have included a few quick tips below to help get you started.

Hiking Blog SEO Tips

  • Find Low Competition Relevant Keywords
  • Cover The Topics You Write About in Great Detail
  • Add Links Between Your Blog Posts Where Users Might Find Such Links Useful
  • Connect With Leaders in Your Industry & Try To Earn Links From Their Websites Back to Your Blog
  • Keep Up-to-Date on New Google Updates & Changes
  • Stay Away From Those Promising Overnight Rankings & Results
  • Make Sure That Your Blog Sticks Within Google’s Guidelines

SEO takes time, but once you’re ranking number 1 for some relevant keywords the traffic this will send to your blog is invaluable.


I recommend that once your hiking blog is setup, you come back to this site and explore our wide selection of SEO tips, tricks and tutorials.

Social Media Marketing For Hiking Blogs

Example of a successful hiking social media marketing profile (@weekend_hiker).
@weekend_hiker is a hiking Instagram account and a good example of hiking related social media marketing.

Social media marketing is another method you can use to grow your blog.

Whilst you are enjoying your hikes make sure you take some great photos and videos, which you can use to build a following on one/a few of the most popular social platforms.

Hiking Blog Social Media Marketing Tips

  • Add a Link to Your Hiking Blog in The Bios on All The Social Platforms You Use
  • Post Content on Your Social Channels Regularly
  • Connect & Collaborate With Others in Your Industry
  • Provide Unique Information, Content & Updates on Your Social Profiles That Followers Couldn’t Find Elsewhere

For best results, pick one social platform and keep at it until you have developed a decent following. Only then should you start on another platform.


You can find social media marketing tips, tricks and tutorials elsewhere on our website.

Content Marketing For Hiking Blogs

Your first hiking blog post - screenshot from the WordPress admin areas 'Create New Post' page.

Content marketing ties in directly with SEO.

Consistently publishing unique, useful content about your niche will not only help you rank higher in Google, but also makes it more likely that others will share and talk about your blog.

The key to content marketing is being unqiue.

People don’t share and talk about content that they can find anywhere, so make your content great and then make people aware it exists.

Hiking Blog Content Marketing Tips

  • Post New Content Consistently
  • Make Your Content Unique, Useful & Easy To Share
  • Share Your Content With Others in Your Industry
  • Keep Content Up-to-Date & Relevant

Don’t make the mistake of thinking if you build (or write) it that they will come. Once you have published new content, make others in your industry aware that it exists.


You can find content marketing tips, tricks and tutorials on our website.

Email Marketing For Hiking Blogs

Email marketing for hiking blogs - screenshot from the homepage of Mailchimp, a popular email marketing software.
Screenshot from Mailchimp, a popular email marketing software/tool.

Once you have people regularly reading your hiking blog, email marketing can be what you need to take it to the next level.

When someone visits your blog once they will hopefully find it useful, but even still they might not remember to come back if they have another hiking/backpacking related question later.

By collecting their email address, and sending more useful and interesting content to their inbox, you are reminding them that you are the go-to resource in your niche and building a stronger relationship with them.

Email marketing is when you start to build a real brand and a real business.

Hiking Blog Email Marketing Tips

  • Give People a Reason To Sign Up To Your Email List
  • Send Your Email List Interesting & Useful New Content Regularly
  • Make Your Privacy Policy Clear – Tell People Why You Need Their Email & What You Will Do With It
  • Test Your Email Sequences To Find The Content That Your Subscribers Find The Most Interesting & Helpful

Most people start email marketing way too late. Once your hiking blog is generating some regular readers, create a reason for them to sign up to your email list (like an interesting free course).


We intend to publish email marketing tips, tricks and tutorials in the future so check back soon.

Paid Advertising For Hiking Blogs

Paid advertising for your hiking blog - screenshot from Google Ads.
Screenshot from Google Ads.

I wouldn’t recommend paid advertising, sometimes known as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, if this is your first blog.

But for those who have successfully grown their blog via other marketing channels, or who have experience with paid ads, they can be a viable way to grow a new website or blog.

Really you need to know how to make money from your blog readers before you dabble with paid ads.

So if you have something of value that you know you could sell to some of your readers, then paid advertising might be for you.

Hiking Blog Paid Advertising Tips

  • Have Something of Value to Sell Your Blog Readers
  • Make Your Paid Ads Stand Out
  • Ensure You Are Targeting The Right People
  • Run Tests on All Your Ads to Maximise Performance

If this is your first blog, don’t waste your money on ads. You will need to do other work before this becomes a viable form of marketing for you.


Find PPC tips, tricks and tutorials on our site.

Monetizing Your Hiking Blog

Screenshot from the affiliate page on the REI website.

Congratulations on setting up your hiking blog!

Now that you have started marketing it, and are getting some regular readers, you may want to consider monetizing it.

For those unfamiliar with the term ‘monetization’, essentially this mean to make money from your blog.

There are a few ways to do this, and I’ll list some initial options below.

Hiking Blog Monetization Methods

  • Link to Hiking Courses/Products Using Affiliate Links
  • Create Your Own Hiking Clothing or Gear Brand With Print-on-Demand/Dropshipping
  • Publish Your Own Hiking Course(s)
  • Use Display Ads on Your Blog
  • Take on Blog Sponsors
  • Sell Hiking Holiday Packages (Where You Guide Beginners Round The Best Trails)

There are countless ways that you can convert your blog readers into paying customers.

Look for the ways that you can offer the most value to them, and create something that you wish you had yourself when you first started hiking.


Overall you should pick the monetization method that fits with the level of work and amount you hope to generate.

Generally speaking, the more value you are personally offering the more you can earn.

So if you spend a lot of time setting up a unique hiking course, or a direct-to-consumer hiking clothing brand, plus all the customer service work that comes with these kinds of business models, you will earn more than if you simply link to affiliate offers.

The benefit of affiliate offers is that you can earn from your blog without needing to spend time on customer after care.

This will free up your time to focus on further developing and marketing your blog so you can earn more.

Wrapping Things Up

There you have it, the 7 steps you will need to follow when starting a hiking blog.

If you follow the steps and details listed above correctly, and have patience, I promise you will find success with your hiking blog.

However, building a popular hiking blog will require consistency, hard work and creativity.

Whenever possible keep things simple, and create great content that other hikers and/or backpackers will love.

Feel free to drop any questions you might have in the comments section.

Good luck with building your hiking blog.

Starting a Hiking Blog FAQs

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Hiking Blog?

Not much at all!

As mentioned above, there are free blog solutions that means you don’t have to pay anything to get your blog up and running.

However, if you want to one day make some money out of your blog then I would always go with a paid hosting option.

Even when paying to setup your blog, you will be able to get a great blog live for just a few bucks every month.

Domain names cost about $5 per year, and hosting can cost as little as $3 each month.

For your first blog, I recommend going with Bluehost for your domain name and hosting.

The Bluehost service has everything you need, is crazy easy to get setup and their introductory offer is one of the most competitively priced one going.

Can I Sell a Hiking Blog?

Absolutely!

If you create a hiking blog that is popular, and earns even a little bit of money, there are people out there willing to buy it.

Read some of the other content we have published about starting a blog where you will find more details on how to sell a successful blog.

How Long Does it Take To Start a Hiking Blog?

If you follow the steps above you could realistically have your blog up and running within a day.

I have done this but I was already well versed in setting these up.

If this is you first blog, I would recommend giving yourself a week or two to get things setup 100% correctly.

The most important thing though is starting. Taking that first step.

Don’t overthink it, and we are all learning as we go.

How Will I Make Money From My Hiking Blog?

When it comes to making money from your hiking blog you have a few options.

You can do anything from selling an online course, to using affiliate links every time you mention a good piece of hiking gear or clothing.

These days with turnkey platforms like Woocommerce and/or Shopify you can even set up your own hiking clothing line from your own home.

If you’re still new to all this, I would start by signing up to a platform like Amazon Associates and/or Google Adsense.

These platforms allow you to start making a small amount from your blog without requiring you to spend ages getting them up and running (which would distract you from growing your new blog).

You can always add additional monetization methods further down the line once you’re getting even more readers every month.

What Makes a Good Hiking Blog?

A good hiking blog will cover the topic of hiking in great detail and answer any questions that a reader might have about the activity. Many of the best hiking blogs will be published by an individual or group of individuals who have a lot of experience hiking.

Written by Kyle Garcia

Hi, I'm Kyle.

For the last 9 years I have been studying, researching and perfecting everything marketing related.

I specialise in SEO, and also have a lot of experience in PPC, digital PR and content marketing. At times I dabble in web development and design, but find it is usually best I leave this stuff to the real experts.

Over the years I have been fortunate enough to work closely with many household name brands, helping them see growth in the millions of $, and also managed to create and grow my own Amazon affiliate site before it was acquired in early 2022.

Now I'm sharing my learnings with the readers of this site.

2 Comments

  1. Wow, thanks for publishing this! This is really detailed, yet easy to follow

    I have been considering launching a hiking/walking blog for some time, but kept getting a little lost every time I tried to get the ball rolling. Think this will help me finally get one live.

    • Thanks for the kind words Harry (love the username by the way).

      Ah getting a little overwhelmed is common, especially if you haven’t ever set up your own blog before.

      I’d recommend signing up for our email list. We send 1 email a day, each one containing a single step that will ensure your hiking/walking blog is up-and-running in no time!

      Drop a comment here with any questions if you get stuck along the way. Best of luck.

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