Ruminations on Travel Blogging
‘Write a travel blog’ they said! ‘Share your experiences with loads of people’ they said. Actually, I started travel blogging back in 2005, right at the very end of the year before I left in early 2006 on my trip. Actually, nobody told me to, I just thought it would be a way to keep in touch with people and let them know where I was and what I was doing.
The net in West Africa was tedious. Putting photos up took time and sometimes I lost what I had written. But I’d made a start even though I had neglected to tell people I had survived malaria and returned home to Australia for far too long. To be honest, I didn’t think anyone was following my adventures. It was a mistake.
From the mistakes of blogging, I learnt. However, it’s only been in the last couple of years that I have managed to keep up the blogging when not on the road. This January, I made the move to WordPress from Blogger. It’s been a good move I think, although I worry that I left a few followers in the move (despite giving fair warning and posting links).
I’ve started taking it more seriously this year. Like, proper seriously. The move to WordPress was prompted by wanting to share my ebooks with dedicated pages (mental note: that needs updating!) with blog readers, and to have their own special section. I had tried to build a page at webs.com but that didn’t really have the flexibility.
Now, my blogging is so serious I plan ahead and write a few days in advance, having posts ready to go when I need them. For instance, this article was written on Sunday evening! Recently I’m devoting different days to things. For example, Thursday is about train journeys at the moment (I have a quite a few left in my arsenal), Friday is now going to be about ‘gateway’ countries until the podcast returns, Saturday presently is about teaching in Japan and Sunday shines a spotlight at a city or town I found memorable.
Monday to Wednesday, well, the plan is to just post once in those days, but it’s twice most weeks because at the moment I am brimming with ideas (and sometimes, like in this post, I have thoughts I want to express). BUT let me tell you the best thing about blogging for me lately – I have connected with so many bloggers from different parts of the globe. It’s brilliant – thanks to all of you for being supportive with likes, reads and comments. I have discovered a whole travel blogging community and it’s a great support.
Also, for the first time since I started blogging, since about March, I have become obsessed with all the stats, especially the page views. It’s good and bad. When I have a quiet day, I feel a bit down to be honest. And some of my biggest days have been days when I didn’t post a thing.
Tell me fellow travel bloggers, do you have a post that still tops the daily views even though it was written a long time ago? My review of KLIA2 – found HERE (why not, it gets multiple clicks every day anyway, and some people who comment leave their own review!) has consistently been getting hits. It was great initially, giving me my best day EVER and all, but now when I see it on the top of the list, I’m like talking to my computer saying ‘you know, I have other, far more interesting posts out there!’
I’m lucky. I realise I have a lot of things I can blog about, because I didn’t blog about them before, or in much detail. I hope to be moving to a domain name soon, so that’s going to mean some kind of move I guess (there’s a certain worry that comes with moving your blog). Don’t worry, I’ll be giving everyone a heads up.
Serious blogging to me means – writing and planning in advance. Using as many photos as I can find (and in some cases I get so frustrated when I haven’t taken enough or the right photos in a place I am writing about) and a word to the wise, it means photo-shopping many photos before putting them up. Cropping them and enhancing the colour a little. Also, resizing because Word Press only gives me a limited amount of space. I have learnt to use Photoshop for more things though, which is great. My old camera had a touch of mould on the lens which in some photos produced a smear on the picture. I’ve learnt how to basically get rid of that! Which is nice because it drove me INSANE. Well, moreso than I already was!
And of course, writing improves over time and with practice. I HOPE! So there’s another benefit of travel blogging. BUT the best thing is without a doubt, the connections we make. Next time I can take a trip, my blogs will be far more thorough too than my previous posts on the road. Of course, that’s going to require more time, which can be harder to find on the road. Actually, travel blogging now takes up a lot of time for me. I also tweet regularly to bring people to the blog and my ebooks and also I use Google +, tumbler, Facebook and Stumbleupon. It’s like a part-time job!
So travel bloggers – what do love about travel blogging, and what do you hate?