Tuesday, January 6, 2015

11 TRIED AND TESTED APPROACHES FOR STARTING A TRAVEL BLOG

HAPPY NEW YEAR, BIYAHERAS! Here's to starting 2015 by sharing to all of you a few tips on how to start your own travel blog.

I started blogging when Live Journal and Tabulas were still in fashion. But I never really focused on a specific niche back then. But when I started traveling more, I decided to create a blog for most of my explorations. 


Setting up a blog is fairly easy, even if you’re not techy. There are plenty of platforms online that you can choose to use like Blogger, Wordpress or Tumblr --- as all of these offer user-friendly applications. But how does one start an online journal? Here are 11 tried-and-tested approaches for starting a travel blog (based on my experience).

START BY DEFINING YOUR PURPOSE

Before you decide to create a blog, make sure that you already have a purpose in mind. Choosing topics that you’ve had firsthand experience in can help you get started (write something that you know a lot about). 

DO A NAME STUDY FOR YOUR BLOG

It’s important that you establish a name for your blog because this will be your brand. I started writing about my trips after realizing that I wanted to share the ‘budget-conscious-wanderluster’ in me. Other than my love for sharing travel stories and photos, I also found fulfilment in disclosing all of the expenses that I’ve incurred in all of my trips. So when my cousin and I did a name study for my blog, we came up with a fitting name --- BUDGET BIYAHERA.

*TIP: Your choice of blogging platform will help check if the name that you want is still available online. 

LOOK INTO OTHER TRAVEL BLOGS FOR INSPIRATION

There are plenty of awesome travel blogs online that you can definitely find inspiration from. You can look into their style or tone of writing, and even check the design and layout of their blog/s. 

PICK A BLOGGING PLATFORM 

I started my travel blog using Wordpress. But I eventually migrated to Blogger, since I found the platform and its applications easier to navigate. And from there, I picked a theme, and then chose appropriate plugins for my site (i.e. widgets that will instantly connect you to other social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, etc.

*TIP: Start-up blogs can look into using Wordpress and Blogger, as both offer free versions, which you can eventually change into a .com domain for a minimal fee.

GIVE YOUR BLOG READERS A CONTINUOUS FEED OF CONTENT 

You’re likely to attract more readers to your blog if you provide them with original content continuously. If you can publish posts on a weekly basis then that’s great --- as this can also lessen your backlogs, especially if you’re always going on trips. Furthermore, putting in time and effort are musts when travel blogging. It would be a good strategy to write your stories as soon as you get back from your trip, so that everything’s still fresh in your mind. 

TAKE NOTES

It’s likely that you won’t be able to remember every bit of detail when you’re out traveling. So whenever I journey off, I always make sure that I take notes while on the road (i.e. I usually type on my smartphone my transportation, food and lodging costs, tour rates and details, etc.). This helps me in writing my blog posts more easily. 

As a Budget Biyahera, I make it a point to take notes so that I may be able share a rough estimate that one may need to budget for a certain destination and timeframe.

*If you’re not into scribbling details on paper, then try downloading a notes app on your smartphone, where you can just type your thoughts instantly.

TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES 

If you’re having a hard time writing down your experiences, or having a hard time describing what you feel about a specific destination, then your photographs might just help you. My photos never fail to help me when it comes to composing my content. 


SHARE YOUR POSTS ON OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA SITES TO GET TRAFFIC TO YOUR BLOG

My goal is for my blog readers not to find my posts as spam material. So I make it a point to only share my content through a select number of social media sites (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Stumbleupon and Google Plus). I usually get some traffic from these websites after sharing my posts. You can also do this if you’d like to gain immediate readership and interaction from people.

PRIME YOURSELF TO BE AN IT SPECIALIST

You may or may not have any background on running a website because I sure didn’t. But you will have to learn a few tech-stuff to know how to tweak certain plugins from your site. There are plenty of resources online that will help you trouble shoot, in case one of your browser extensions or add-ons stop working (i.e. your commenting system crashes or when one of your widgets fail to pop-out on the screen).

BE TRUE TO YOURSELF AND TO YOUR READERS 

At some point in your life, you will be able to experience several mishaps while on the road (i.e. getting duped by a local tour guide, getting robbed, etc.). You can write about these things by giving some pros and cons. But be wise about the words that you’ll be using on your article, while being truthful and objective. Your readers will be able to benefit from your experiences if things are written and explained well. 

BE A RESPONSIBLE TRAVELER

Travel blogs, or any niche blog can be good sources of information. But as citizens of the world, it also pays to be responsible individuals. Your travel stories may bring in more income for the people and places that you will promote and write about. But it’s also your duty not to disturb or destroy the natural environment and cultures that you decide to visit. It pays to know what you should do after the fun has ended, like cleaning up where you left off, making sure no persons or animals have been harmed, or no heritage sites have been ruined.

Explore & Be Free!
Mai
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