This isn't one of my regular posts. It's been about 6 months since I started this blog, and I decided it's time to write something about myself. And how much I suck.
Before I started blogging,
I read tons of other travel blogs and all the common rules you have to follow to become a successful travel blogger. So let me share here what some of those famous and successful travel bloggers recommended to become a supa dupa pro blogger and how I failed in almost everything. Here we go...
( Note: All these tips are not in any particular order - you have to figure out the correct position for yourself, OK? )
#1 PUBLISH A NEW BLOG POST AS OFTEN AS
... at least twice a week, or even better: on a daily basis.
Daily?? Twice a week? Wtf!? I'm looking at other travel blogs and I'm devastated. How the heck are they able to publish a blog post every day? I've only published 6 blog posts so far. 6 posts in 6 months!!
I need to write more! About... everything! Why I didn't write about my morning coffee or about the guy at Starbucks who wrote my name wrong on that coffee cup?! My name is not Vibrina. Maybe someone would have been interested in that story...
To tell you the truth: I won't do it. I apologize, but I will never ever be able to write blog posts on a daily basis. Never. Because I'm such a lazy bum. I love to sleep until noon and the time I start to work effectively is mostly around sunset. I'd rather lay in the sun, watch the sunset (after I finished my breakfast) and drink Pina Coladas. I admit it, I really don't like to write blog posts. (But I love it, when it's done if that makes everything better!)
Let's see how far I'll come in the world of Travel Bloggers. *
#2 GIVE YOUR POSTS A PERSONAL
Show that you're a real person, so your readers can identify with you.
Oh, damn, I'm getting a headache. I have no idea why it's so hard for me to write more personally and tell people more about myself. I know, this is a blog, not the fucking News Channel.
I looked at all my previous posts and realized that most of my articles are actually not very personal. To be more accurate: None of them are.
So what do they mean "Give your posts a personal touch"?
Should I write about my breakfast, lunch and dinner and include some photos? Really? Is that what my readers want to know?
Should I post more photos of myself, probably in a Bikini? I thought about it, it's always nice to see in a few years how good I once looked like. But I assume I would attract too many perverts to my blog. So.. no!!
Should I write more about my love life?
I am sorry, I can't get too much into the details, I know my aunt is reading my blog. Jeez, and probably my former coworkers. And my dad! I can picture him, how he uses Google Translate to understand what I write. And translators suck! Errrr! No sorry... there is no way we can discuss about that.
#3 LEARN SEO AND DO KEYWORD
... and check your Klout Score, your Page Rank and Google Analytics!
Oh gosh, now I'm really getting a headache!! What the heck does SEO mean? Screw Everyone Over? Almost. Hold on, my friend Google tells me it means Search Engine Optimization. Aha. Not that I'm much wiser now, but OK. And why the hell do I have to learn that? Or do Keyword Research? Check out my Klout Score? I don't wanna do any of these, I just want to post photos of that gorgeous beach and write about how cheap the beer is... (and use "beach" and "beer" as Keywords?!).
However, becoming a blogger is not just about blogging. Speaking for myself, it's actually 5% about blogging. The rest of the time I answer emails. I don't wanna complain, it's always a delight to read that there are people who like what I write. I try to answer all of of my emails. Then, of course, I have to check my Facebook, first my personal one, then my Just One Way Ticket Page. And oops, another 5 hours gone. Maybe I can read some other blogs to get Inspiration. And boom, I'm lost in other blogs for the next 3 hours. At midnight I think maybe I could start learning SEO. Or wait, it's late, don't be silly. I could also watch a movie or sleep instead. Yep, thats basically my daily routine.
( Note: I feel terrible by reading this. Tomorrow I'll get up at 7 AM and work effectively! Promise! )
#4 CHOOSE WORDPRESS AS YOUR
...because all serious travel bloggers are using Wordpress!
What? Nope. No. Why? If 95% of all bloggers use Wordpress, it basically means that 95% of all pages kinda look similar (You're allowed to disagree, that's just my opinion). I always like to do things differently than others.
Believe it or not, this page is not made with Wordpress, it's Jimdo, a fabulous Web Hosting Service, founded in Germany (so you can be sure, it's good quality, haha).
I'm amazed how well my blog posts rank on Google. If you google "Travel Philippines" or "Tokyo Facts" my blog shows up on page 1. I don't know much about SEO, but I know that Jimdo pages generally rank very high. After only 3 months of blogging I reached a Page Rank of 4 which is amazing. I truly believe that Jimdo works better for my blog than Wordpress.
You can try Jimdo for free here and upgrade it any time later if you like it. Upgrading means getting your own Domain and Email address (5 EUR/month for a Pro Version). I can't recommend Jimdo often enough, I just love their Interface and all the pretty templates they offer, it's so easy to build a website with them!
( Note: Nope, they are not going to pay me for making this statement here. I really love them! )
#5 COMMENT ON OTHER BLOG POSTS (LIKE
... so other people and travel bloggers will notice you...
"In the beginning I commented on other blogs, I wrote about 50 - 100 comments a day" says A., another travel blogger which name I will not say here. Just that it's a lovely lady with a fabulous blog. (She probably recognize herself here right now... so... Hello-ho!! :)
But back to the subject, 50 - 100 comments a day? Seriously? It seems that her day has more than 24 hours. I can already tell you, I probably don't have time for this. Commenting on 50 - 100 blogs a day basically means she also reads 50 - 100 posts a day. How the hell does she do that? I'm really jealous now, she must be such a speed reader! I already spent an hour today replying to all the comments on my own blog, so please don't comment on this article!!
#6 WRITE GUEST POSTS FOR OTHER
Get more readers, more traffic and a bigger audience!
Seriously, I'm already having a hard time, getting my own posts together, where would I find time to write guest posts? Besides, if I write a nice article, I dont wanna have it anywhere other than my own blog. I'm simply too egoistic in this case. That's for turbo bloggers who come up with a new post every day, not for me, sadly.
But since we're talking about guest blogging, I hereby wanna offer other bloggers the opportunity to send me guest posts and publish them on my page. But please write something interesting. Or funny. Or both. Not possible? Then you better come up with some amazing photos!
As long as you drive traffic to my blog, we remain friends.
But don't be too extraordinary, I need my readers to stay on my blog, you understand?
( Note: Maybe I was a bit rude here, so just forget it, write whatever you want and send it to me! )
( Another note: OMG!! Guest Blogging is dangerous? I read something about that Guest Posts can effect your blog negatively in terms of Google Rank. Awesome, another thing I have to learn about it now. Grrrrr. )
#7 MONETIZE YOUR
Become your own boss and never get back to a boring 9-5 job!
Yes, or let's say it in other words: Start monetizing your blog and work your ass off only 27 hours a day. OK, I'm exaggerating a little bit. But monetizing a blog is hard work. Extremely hard work.
Speaking of myself, I'm failing so far in monetizing my blog. It's not that I didn't try hard enough, but yes, I didn't try hard enough. Plus, I'm not the brightest. And, in case you forgot, I'm a lazy bum. Now you know.
OK, but how do other travel bloggers make money? Good question. A quite common way is writing an Ebook and selling it. I'm sorry to release a secret here, but most of these Ebooks are more or less about the same subject.
I decided for myself that I don't wanna write another Ebook with the title
"How to have a super happy life and travel around the world forever on only 5 dollars a day unless you go to Starbucks then it probably won't last"
because I don't wanna sell myself. And also, because I'm too lazy for it. No seriously, all my content will be free. Forever. Promise *.
* The Author keeps the right to change her opinion at any time.
#8 CHOOSE A SHORT AND EASY
Damn it! Too late!!!
For you as well? I should have mentioned that earlier in this post. Sorry. Hehehe.
#9 PAY FOR A PROFESSIONAL
Because beautiful Design is beau... ti... ful.
I agree, some people should really do that. REALLY.
But on the other side, some of the most successful travel bloggers have ... How can I say this without insulting anyone? OK, screw that, I'll just say it:
Some of the most successful bloggers have the worst websites
(in terms of design of course, the content is fantastic!!)
I would like to post some example links here, but I'm afraid they wouldn't appreciate the fact that I'm sharing their pages here. So no example links.
Just for the record, in both cases I'm not speaking for myself.
Conclusion: A great design doesn't guarantee success. So save your bucks. Or hire me to design your Blog!
... And have profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Google plus, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit...
A few years ago (or maybe 100) being social meant to meet friends, talk with them and have a good time. Honestly, I have no idea how this has happened, but nowadays being social means having dozens of Social Media accounts and posting every 3 minutes with stuff that probably 87% of your followers don't give a damn about. I have Facebook, which eats a lot of my time. My Twitter, ergh, I try to ignore it mostly. No need to add me there *. Google Plus? LinkedIn? Reddit? I'm sorry, I don't have time for that. I suck at Social Media. Not my cup of tea.
( But you can still add me on Facebook :). Every now and then I might say something. I won't post pictures of my breakfast, lunch and dinner though. )
* Forget what I said, add me!!
# Summa Summarum
(means "in total" in case you thought I fell asleep on my keyboard while typing that)
Honestly, I'm the last person you should ask for advice in terms on how to become a successful travel blogger, because I have no plan. I just started this and as I showed here, I failed in nearly every point.
Besides, if I follow all these rules, where is the time for traveling? I just came back from a 2 month trip to the Philippines and I wrote zero blog posts in that time. Yep, I said it. Zero. Because I was busy enjoying my travels.
So why am I blogging at all?
Because I love to share my experiences (and I'm tired to tell friends and strangers over and over again, how I climbed an abandoned skyscraper in Bangkok, how cool Tokyo is or why you should travel to the Philippines. I can just say: You can read it on my blog. Ha! How cool is that?)
Eventually there is a part of me who actually loves blogging. So I won't give up yet. But I will only write, whenever I have time and something (interesting hopefully) to say. Cheers!
Nonetheless, there are extraordinary Travel Bloggers, who are doing an absolutely fantastic job and who have inspired me in a great way. Follow them and learn from them, because they are awesome!!
(Alternatively, if you don't have the time to check out each of them, head directly over to my Stuff I Love page where I recommend some ebooks about travel blogging and how to make money online. Maybe there is something interesting for you!)
Here is a list of 10 amazing Travel Bloggers, that I admire!
So, you're a Travel Blogger, too? Feel free to share in the comments below how you started your blog and what ways worked effectively to promote your blog. Or just tell me something else.
Thank you for reading.
* UPDATE OCTOBER 25, 2013 ( 5 MONTHS LATER)
My blog Just One Way Ticket is mentioned as number #16 in the list of the Top 50 Travel Blogs on the Internet... WHAT?! I assume I'm the first blogger who made it into the list with only 14 blog posts... That's hilarious! So, you see, no need to post every day, or twice a week. Once a month will do, lol!
( Almost 100,000 people visited my blog in the last 3 months - that's amazing! Thanks to you all for reading, sharing and liking my stuff! )
Thanks for the massive support!!!!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sabrina Iovino is the founder of JustOneWayTicket.com. She's half German, half Italian and has traveled to more than 50 countries around the globe. She feels weird to write about herself in the third person, so she'll switch now. Phew...much better! Let's restart:
Hi, I'm Sab! This is my blog and I write about the things I love. Mostly.
Thanks to my Editor Jessica Pepe from Ice Cream and Permafrost.
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