2007 saw a trip to the Baltics and a return to West Africa, finally completing the plan of making it from Dhaka to Dakar. Connections were generally better, although blogging or even checking emails in Mali was a big challenge. Still, in the other places I could upload a few photos and write about what I was doing.
In 2008 I went to Central Australia and Darwin, and yet when I looked at my blog there is not a single post from that entire year. There’s something that needs to be written on in a bit of detail! It seems strange to me looking at the blog because I was sure I posted a little on it. Then I don’t post again until August the 24th, 2009 as I prepared to head to Ethiopia, Dubai and Jordan. Very strange on my part.
After THAT trip, well, I didn’t post at all in 2010! I’m not sure what was going on. I guess I didn’t feel the need whilst at home to post, but today it’s quite different. Five years later I find that I am able to post far more easily whilst I am at home. I have more resources at hand, I can think about what I want to blog about and review, and indeed reminisce.
So what has happened personally for me is that the blog has moved from something I used to keep as a diary – which it turns out is great to have since my actual diaries are all gone thanks to a water logged garage, to something I do as a serious hobby now. In 2011 I had another big ten month trip where I was able to blog more frequently.
In 2012 I moved to Japan and that also gave me plenty of scope to continue blogging, and with less distractions I guess than home in Australia, I was able to build it up over two years. I made the decision to publish my ebooks as well (available through Amazon and Lulu! Plug plug plug!) and so I felt the need for a blog that contained permanent links to them. In January 2014 I started blogging here at Word Press.
And then I started researching how to build an audience. I had a few pointers from the amazing Cez from etramping.com – most of which I am yet to put into action. I started the podcast too, to try and diversify my output into three categories – blogging, ebooks and podcasts. However, the podcast once home became one thing too many to keep going with work and other interests. It’s on the shelf and if I can I want to take it off again and do some more in the second half of the year, but it’s a lot of work for little reward. Again, though, these things take time to build.
So I am still to get my own address which I’m told will bring a larger audience and offers of advertising. I like the idea of making a few bucks off the blog, yet I’ve seen a few blogs that appear to be drowning in adverts so am a little wary of that. I intended to have an address 12 months ago but never moved on the plan.
The ebooks, which I had time in Japan to work on, have also become a side project that I simply have not been able to move on this year, or indeed since I returned to Australia May last year. I have the opening page to Short Journeys: Myanmar, and a little more on Short Journeys: Jordan but not sure when I will get the chance to work on either. You can only do so much, right? Keeping the blog going and publicising it (through facebook, Google + and Twitter) takes up enough time as it is! But, I now check stats regularly. I was regularly getting over 1000 views in a month, but recently I slacked off on the publicity and that has fallen to around 700. June, so far is looking like being much better though. Connecting via other travel bloggers has also been a big important step in attracting people to the blog. I should add though that I spend hours a week reading other blogs and commenting. Every day I wake to a whole bunch of new posts in my email to check out. As you can see, it’s a challenge. Which I love by the way!
So, that’s my travel blogging story. What’s yours?
Oh. And nearly forgot – May the Journey Never End!