This week’s questions to the backpackers come from Simon Petersen at Man vs World, a new travel blog featuring weird and wonderful travel adventures backpacking primarily through Europe and South East Asia as well as useful travel advice – more often than not – learned the hard way.
His questions are all centered on travel blogging, so read on for some top tips and advice from the experts.
Facebook: Man vs. World
Let’s start with an easy one. What’s the secret to creating a successful travel blog?
Beverley: I don’t think there’s any big secret but one absolute must is to be yourself; be who you are online who you are offline and vice versa. People follow people!
Poi: Having a good back story would help, as much as people want to follow travel adventures they also want an interesting lead character. Someone asked a while ago what would you do differently if you could start over? Being a recovered heroin addict turned travel addict would be a pretty interesting back story haha (if you ignore the years of hell before of course but you get the idea)
Dan: I agree with Beverley, don’t be somebody else, just be yourself…. and try not to annoy people.
Chris: There is no secret – apart from hard work, heaps of time and a lot of networking… along with a good dose of luck too I guess!
What’s the best single piece of advice you would give a fledgling travel blogger?
Beverley : Jusy keep going, it gets better!
Poi: Don’t start something you don’t enjoy, if you hate writing informational posts don’t promise them, if you don’t enjoy writing them then I guarantee no one will enjoy reading them
Dan: Keep it simple. Doing too much too soon will probably wear you out and you’ll get fed up of blogging before you know it.
Chris: Be prepared to lose A LOT of free time!
There’s a lot of great travel blogs out there. How do I get mine noticed?
Beverley: Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing with their travel blog, concentrate on yours and be unique.
Poi: Write a post slagging one of the big boys off, be prepared for a fight though (this is terrible advice).
Dan: If you’re writing genuine stories and enjoying it then people will like your blog and start sharing it naturally. Failing that, create another blog with 6 other people and hope for the best.
Gemma: I don’t have my own travel blog but because of my work I regularly read other blogs. I’d say the best ones out there are those that incorporate an element of humour- mention both the good and the bad experiences and really show the person behind the blog. Also, reading itineraries (then we did this, then we did that) is pretty boring for a reader- make sure you bring the palce alive.
Chris: Network, network, network – guest post, tweet, go to meet ups…pretty much do everything I’m too lazy to sort out for myself! hahaha!
The word on the street is that most bloggers give up in the first six months. Did you ever feel like giving up?
Beverley: I’ve never wanted to give up, the reason I blog is because I love writing & I’d never want to not have a platform where I can get my writing out there and show people that you can travel the world if you really want to.
Poi: Did I? Don’t you mean do I? I always feel like giving up haha. I just like sharing things from our travels and unlike many bloggers I have no desire to be a writer or make blogging a full time job so while I’m enjoying it that’s great and I’ll probably always do it but it frustrates me often.
Dan: So many times I thought “yeah, I’m getting nowhere, I’m going to close this mother fcuker down tomorrow” but then a few minutes later I’ll find some reason to start enjoying it again. I just remind myself I’m not in it for the money, page rank or any of that crap people stress so much over – I enjoy it.
Chris: Nah – to start off I blogged because I wanted to keep my friends and family in touch with my travels. Don’t expect to start living off it straight away so simply make sure you’re enjoying it – else you might as well work in an office!
What do you get from blogging – besides fame and fortune? Have you ever gotten any free perks?
Beverley: If your aim is to get fame, fortune and free perks from travel blogging then you might be a little disappointed! It takes a long time and hard work to get to where the top travel bloggers are now. I’ve gotten a few free perks in the past (and some coming up in the future hopefully!) but it’s not the main reason I got into blogging 🙂
Poi: we’ve had a few things 😉 you’re gonna have to be patient though or have a very good pitch.
Dan: You mean we can get free stuff?! Ah man I’m missing out!
Chris: I’ve managed to blag quite a few things – festival passes, accommodation, free tours, discounts, travel kit… and even a pimping new travel hammock… sometimes you’ve just gotta be cheeky enough to ask.
How do you guys find the time to blog while travelling? It mustn’t be easy!
Beverley: It can be hard when you’re constantly moving about! I’ve been travelling really slowly, working a little bit along the way, and that definitely makes it easier 🙂
Poi: Not really an easy answer to this one but if you enjoy it and want it to work then you will make time.
Dan: I agree with Poi here. It’s a lot easier if you have your own laptop or something similar with you while travelling.
Chris: You have to make the time. Plane journeys, train rides and hangovers are my most productive periods though!
Any other advice you’d give? or any questions you’d like to ask?