Why I decided to create a travel blog
I originally took redundancy to go travelling but three months into my travels I found a lump and discovered that I had breast cancer I had to put a hold on all the amazing travel plans I had to start treatment to fight this horrible disease.
Cancer is a horrible disease and really changes your outlook on life. After treatment and surgery I built up my strength and went on a couple of European Cruises. I then decided to go out of my comfort zone of just travelling within Europe and arranged a trip to China and Thailand.
It was during my visit to Bangkok when I was on a food tour and I met a couple of girls that said they were travel bloggers. At this time, I didn’t have a clue what a travel blogger was I wasn’t even that clued up about social media only Facebook. I didn’t get Twitter hashtag this hashtag that or Instagram I thought why would people want to see pictures of the other people’s pictures.
Anyway, it turned out there was a travel blogging conference called TBEX in town and these girls were attending that and they’ve been given this tour complimentary in exchange for writing about their experience or taking pictures whilst on the tour.
I still thought this was a bit strange, why would people listen to normal people opinions but in a way, this has been happening for quite a few years already with TripAdvisor.
One girl was from New York and she explained that she posted pictures on Instagram and got invited to hotels all over the world for free just to post a picture. The other girl was from the UK and lived in Vietnam working as an English teaching during her breaks she was travelling Southeast Asia and writing about her adventures.
I thought this was kind of cool, I was already sharing my experiences with people back home on Facebook so maybe I could set up an actual blog. I had done a facebook blog during my cancer treatment so I was used to sharing. Later that night I Googled TBEX and it sounded really interesting, when I got back home I started to research what a travel blogger did and I guess that is how I then became a travel blogger.
A few months later there was a TBEX conference in Europe so I bought a domain and started building my website. I went on a cruise and got some more content and then I applied to attend TBEX in Stockholm.
Learning about Twitter and Instagram was the easy part the hard part was building a following. It took time but finally people starting reading what I was posting and started commenting and this felt really good, as though what I was doing was worthwhile. It is all about story telling, by posting something personal and interesting people started reading my blog.
It all sounded really easy but I was in for a shock I didn’t realise how much work was actually involved. I thought yeah, I just go on this trip post a few articles but now realise there is so much more involved. It took me well over a year to get my website looking and working how I wanted it, to learn about algorithms for Twitter and Instagram and Facebook, it is important what you’re posting and what time in order to get the right target audience.
To be honest when I am actually on a trip I want to enjoy the trip for the trip itself I don’t want to be forever thinking about what I’m going to write and then spoiling the trip that I’m actually on. In the past couple of years I have learnt how to make notes quickly so it doesn’t spoil my trip and it means now I have so much content ready to be published. I was so into travelling that I was booking back to back trips and I then didn’t have the time to post the contents but I am not focusing on doing this. If I was to start my blog from scratch I would make sure I had at least 20 articles published as this may have helped my following grow quicker. I would also recommend if you are starting a blog to keep up to date with your content as people do keep saying when are you going to post about xyz as they are waiting to read about the trip. It is also best to do it all whilst it is fresh in your mind and you still have the emotions of that trip to get true feeling into your stories.
So that’s how I became a travel blogger I was on holiday, met a couple of travel bloggers, thought it sounded good and I decided to do it for myself.
I won’t lie it has been an amazing few years, it is hard work but it is starting to payoff and I absolutely love what I do.
I could have got to the stage I am at now a lot sooner but as I said when I am travelling I want to enjoy the moment not be sat editing and writing articles and as I went from trip to trip it meant I wasn’t posting the content I was creating. I have changed my strategy now and I hope to post after each trip before I go on another but if I get invited on a trip when I should be writing my content I doubt I will have the strength to turn it down.
As I started travelling and explaining to people what I did they were intrigued they too didn’t understand what a travel blogger was and I loved explaining and now some of these people I have met are my most engaged followers which I love
I think travel blogging is becoming more popular as print magazines are getting less readership and more people are turning to online. It is the magical google that sends traffic to my website so I had to learn about SEO so that google knew what I was writing about. As more and more people are turning to blogging I think it is important to find a niche, mine originally being travelling after cancer with limitations as I was still weak from treatment but now I have secondary cancer it is travelling with cancer. I want to get the message out there that it is still doable to go travelling if you have an illness or a disability you might have to do things slightly different but don’t let anything stop you living your dreams as you never know what’s around the corner.
Are you a travel blogger or are you thinking about becoming a travel blogger I would love to hear your stories so get in contact with me.