Welcome to the first installment of Developing A Successful Travel Blog (DSTB), a new weekly series dedicated to helping you make the most of your travel blogging experience.
Before jumping into the wonderful world of travel writing, it is important to think about (and later write down) what you hope to achieve by creating your blog. Only then can you seek out the appropriate advice and information in an as efficient a manner as possible. Like the universe, the internet is constantly expanding, and there is only so much us travelers can absorb, especially once we hit the road.
Perhaps the most important consideration to take into account when getting started is time. Specifically, you should decide how much time and effort you are willing to invest in your blog while traveling. Spending an hour or two (or five) a day at home on the computer is fairly normal activity these days, while carving out that time when you are relegated to a slow internet connection amongst the foothills of the Himalaya in Nepal may seem less appealing.
Below are a few common approaches toward travel blogging. Take a few minutes to think about which one fits your situation and ambitions and then write down the goal (on paper or in an e-mail to yourself) for your blog. Be as simple or grandiose as you see fit.
Quick and Easy – Minimal time and effort to set up and maintain with no monetary investment required. This option is appealing to travelers who may be going on a short trip and are solely interested in a way to keep family and friends posted on their whereabouts and adventures. This person is not typically interested in making money from the blog.
In the Middle – Moderate time dedicated to developing and writing for the blog with a willingness to spend a little money to help ensure it stands out from the rest. From my experience, if you are thinking this way, then you have far less competition than you might imagine. This person wants to attract readers beyond people he/she already knows while leaving the door open to potentially earning money from the site in the future. This option tends to appeal to long term travelers as they are already investing a lot of time into planning, saving, and traveling.
Fully Committed – Driven by a strong sense of personal determination (or sheer excitement), this person sees his/her blog as an integral part of the travel experience, and is ready to spend the necessary time and money to develop it into one of the best on the web. Typically, this person has a head start on the other travelers by way of previous IT, web design, or blogging experience, however those who currently associate themselves with “In the Middle” may find it a short leap to take their blog to the next level once it begins to establish an audience.