If you have a passion for a particular hobby, then you are most likely going to want to talk about it to like-minded people who you know, either online or offline.
Well, why don’t you take this one step further and open up your love for your hobby / past-time to a wider worldwide audience?
If for example, you are an avid hiker and are inspired to start a hiking blog of your very own, there are a few factors to keep in mind before releasing it to viewers online.
In our guide below, we will take you through the most basic steps in creating a hiking blog to share with the world.
1. Pick the Main Topic
While you could create a blog that includes your name, it will be easier for other hikers to find it by sticking to a particular subject.
You may also think that the only subject you can choose is hiking trails, but you could also explore popular themes such as fitness, backpacking, gear guides, day hikes, long distance hikes, trekking, etc.
The primary goal in choosing your focus is to try and find a topic that isn't already covered by hundreds of other blogs. To stand out, yours should be different from everyone else’s.
Copying other people’s blog ideas could lead to zero followers and complaints against your hiking blog. Instead, you should use it to tell your original hiking stories.
A lot of people make the mistake of starting a blog to make money when you should be doing it for the love of the subject you choose.
2. Links are Your Best Friend
Links are the very thing that can connect your viewers to your blog.
For example, you can link state parks or popular hiking trails in hopes of people clicking on the link to route back to and from your blog.
However, if your blog is featuring a trail that isn’t popular among hikers, you can like nearby hiking gear shops or hiking clubs to increase your leads.
3. Deciding on a Blogging Platform
Even though some of the best choices for a blogging platform are Squarespace.com or WordPress.com, there are plenty of options from which to choose.
For example, WordPress.com is free, but you'll be limited by the design layouts that are available, and it can be a bit complicated for a newbie.
You also can’t use your own domain name, whereas Squarespace.com costs $10 per month but has a friendlier interface, and you can get up and running in no time.
The best thing you can do is round up the best blogging platform contenders, write-up pros and cons for each one, and pick the one that best suits your style of blog.
4. Choosing Your Blog’s Theme
Once you have your platform, you can begin to design your blog.
On most blogging platforms, there are pre-made themes available for free or a small fee. Try to choose a simple theme that will showcase your writing and photos.
Or, if you are a skilled coder, you can also customize your theme. Just be sure to keep your colors and fonts consistent through your site.
5. Learn How To Code
Now, you don’t need to know every coding secret for your blog, but you should know how to embed images and create links.
If you want to change the design of your blog, you will need to master HTML or Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).
Even though there are a lot of great online resources to learn from, sometimes teaching yourself is the most effective approach.
Start every day by making minimal changes to your website using trial and error.
6. Go Hiking
Let’s not forget the most important step. You can’t start a hiking blog if you're not hiking!
Once you start your blog, it can be easy to forget why you wanted to begin in the first place: because you love hiking!
So get out there and enjoy the great outdoors. Be sure to take notes to help you write your blog posts later and take plenty of pictures, too.
Congratulation! Now that your blog is finally set up, you can start posting. However, it’s important to take into account that your posts should be centered around your theme and entertain your audience.
The last thing you want to do is post random content and ads that can discourage your followers.
Remember to plan out each post and spell check everything.
8. Market Your Blog
Once your blog is live and you've begun posting, you should start promoting it and your content. With so many websites online today, viewers rarely just happen across a web page.
To get your blog in front of the right audience, you need to learn how to market yourself and your blog. However, this doesn't mean sending out 30 tweets a day with links to your blog.
One way you can market your blog is by encouraging other bloggers to check out your website.
Post a link to other bloggers’ sites on your blog. This will draw them into your site. Then, use your unique content to keep them coming back.
You should also consider taking an online course or class in marketing to learn a few more tricks.
9. Stick With It
Your blog may not grow as quickly as you want it to. However, by remaining committed and continuing to post, you will become successful.
The important thing is not how many readers you have but rather that you enjoy what you are doing and are consistent about your posting. Keep working and don’t give up!
This post was written by a guest contributor. Please reference the author's byline in the post above for more information. If you would like to guest post on Go Backpacking, please read our submission guidelines. For information on advertising opportunities, go here.
Planning a trip? Go Backpacking recommends:
- G Adventures for small group tours.
- World Nomads for travel insurance.
- Hostelworld for booking hostels.
- Rail Europe for train passes.
Sunday 10th of September 2017
Great posts with actionable steps to take!
Saturday 9th of September 2017
I've been looking into starting my own hiking blog, mainly because of my extensive knowledge in the niche This is a great blog post that sums up exactly how to do that.