Four months ago, on February 1, I launched a unique online course and community called Travel Blog Success.
My goal was to provide the resources necessary for travelers and expats to build high-quality blogs for their adventures.
In some cases, I believed those blogs might even start to pay for their adventures, as they had for mine.
Christine was one of the first to join, and I recently caught up with her to learn more about her experience.
Travel Blog Success: How did you hear about Travel Blog Success?
Christine Amorose: I believe that it was a combination of Dave's Twitter updates and a review on the Twenty-Something Travel site.
TBS: Why did you join (ie. what did you hope to get out of the course and community)?
Christine: I had already decided to quit my job and move to France, and I knew that I wanted to blog.
When TBS launched, it just seemed like such serendipitous timing! I hoped to learn how to make a more professional blog, one that could eventually become a money-maker.
TBS: What was your experience level with blogging before joining TBS?
Christine: I did the typical “this is what I did today” name.wordpress.com blog when I was backpacking through Europe for five weeks last summer.
It was basically a quicker, easier way to update my family and friends as to what I was doing each day instead of sending individual emails or Facebook messages.
However, I was familiar with WordPress.org through my job in high-tech social media.
My background in journalism and social media had exposed me to a lot of different types of blogs, and I was reading travel blogs regularly.
TBS: How soon before leaving for Nice did you start going through the course? Was this enough time to go through the material and put it into practice?
Christine: I went through the course a few months before leaving for Nice, so I had plenty of time to go through all the materials.
I bought the whole course at once, so I took my time and read what interested me.
TBS: Which elements (course, blog, forum, audio interviews, social media group) of the community did you find most useful? Why?
Christine: I found the forums most useful. Even though I wasn't able to apply all of the advice, having people take the time to review and critique my site was amazing.
All your friends and family will say it looks great, but having people look at the site who didn't know me or anything about the blog was really valuable.
The outside point of view showed me what first-time users to my site were seeing, which is hard to come by when you're staring at the site for hours every day.
TBS: What was the best piece of blogging advice you read or received through TBS?
Christine: While I haven't put it into practice yet, the SEO and monetization advice convinced me to buy TBS.
I have a journalism degree, as well as experience in social media and web design, so the writing and design tips were just good reminders of things I already knew.
However, I'm clueless when it comes to creating ad space and improving SEO. While I haven't monetized my site yet–I'm focusing on building readership for the next few months–it's great to have all that information handy and to know what to look for.
TBS: Would you recommend TBS to friends?
Christine: Absolutely! I think it's especially helpful if you haven't had any experience with blogging before since it has a lot of helpful, basic information.
However, the forums are really the most valuable part for me. It's great to have a community of people who are passionate about travel and blogging available for questions, critiques or support.
TBS: Do you have any additional comments or feedback?
Christine: Nope! Money well spent :)
You can read about Christine's exciting life on the French Riviera at C'est Christine.