I started this blog exactly one year ago with my very first post, Upcoming Trip to Las Vegas this New Years Weekend. I was picked up by First2Board in February and started documenting my trips which a majority of them are mileage run vacations. Why did I start my blog to begin with? Well, because people were interested in my extravagant trips regarding what I did, what I ate, and what I saw. I didn’t want to start posting old trip reports, so I began the new year with my very first multi-installment trip report about Mexico City. It was definitely not as in depth as I would have liked, but my trip reports started to evolve and are now even longer! I am still in progress of completing my massive Western European Mileage Run Vacation trip report which has approximately 35 parts. When someone asks me “If I have ever been to so and so city/country?”, I can point someone out to my trip reports. I hope my readers can find my trip reports useful since that’s the ultimate goal of my blog. My goal is to travel to a lot of unpopular destinations and write massive trip reports on them. And yes, I am tired of Western Europe so don’t expect many trip reports about Western Europe next year and the year after.
Over the course of the past 12 months, I’ve seen a lot of bloggers drop in and out. Some have fallen flat off the face of the earth. In mid-November, I had a writer’s block and didn’t blog for a whole week. I was really thinking about quitting. It’s really hard to keep readers entertained and earlier this year I wrote why travel blogging is not easy.
In my opinion, these topics make up a majority of content on the blogosphere:
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A majority of my content are trip reports with the occasional blog posts regarding American Airlines and Starwood which are my primary loyalty programs. I’ve stopped doing away with filler posts like News Stories and Unrelated Travel Stories. Instead, I like tweeting them to my followers and whatever else is interesting out there that is travel related.
So what are the pitfalls and dangers of travel blogging?
Writing because you have to – From my week long break and almost 3 posts in a span of two weeks, I found that it’s okay to not write every day. If you have great content, your followers will still read you.
Building a following – If you don’t have a following on Facebook or Twitter, it’s tough to get the word out. Everyone starts from 1 follower on Twitter and 1 like on Facebook.
SEO – Search Engine Optimization is pretty important as you will get a lot of referrals from Google. You can build new readers and I mostly build my posts around SEO. There is a saying that if your posts are of high quality, the SEO will come later.
Relationship building – Going to FTU, Chicago Seminars, Mega-DO’s, and mini-DO’s really do help get the word out about your blog. Everyone’s started from the bottom and you just have to work your way up. Yes, going to these events might be a chore, but look at it as a networking opportunity
Quality Posts – Yes, there are posts that will get more view than others. You have to figure out if you’re keeping your readers entertained with quality posts or filler posts. Your readers aren’t stupid and will know if you are writing garbage or copy & pasting filler news from the internet.
Haters – There’s a saying that if you’re getting a lot of hate, then you’ve made it as a travel blogger.
Reader Questions and Comments – Responding to every reader comment. If you don’t respond to your readers, they might stop reading your blog. I fall into this category and hope to respond to my comments. I currently respond to all my tweets. I am really lacking in responding to blog comments and e-mails. I’ll try to work on that next year.
Freebies – Are you travel blogging because you want an airline to comp your trip or a hotel to comp your room? If you are, then you are blogging for the wrong reasons.