18 October 2008

My blogging journey

It's nearly a year since I started blogging after an amazing trip to Ecuador last October re-awakened my long held love of travel and I started looking for ways to share my travel experiences.

In the real world (as opposed to the parallel internet universe) I am a project manager, working on contracts of 3-9 months. Recently some down time between contracts has given me the opportunity to think about where I want to go with this travel writing/blogging thing. A chance encounter with some excellent videos from Yaro Starak on becomeablogger.com has made me think that I ought to put a bit more effort into professionalising my blog and perhaps recoup some financial rewards from my efforts.

Although I already have a good day job, I've alternated in the past between steady employment and running my own business. I could see myself in the future as a portfolio worker with one steady income stream and other projects building up to become the income streams of the future. Ten years from now I'd like to be writing this from a cool ecolodge or sunny hotel terrace rather than my kitchen table with the dishwasher humming in the background.

In order to achieve this goal I plan to explore how my blog can become an income stream for me over time. The first steps I believe are to;

  • Move from my Blogger format to a professional looking website at heatheronhertravels.com

  • Invest some time and energy in building up my readership

  • Introduce advertising to my website

If your first reaction is No No please no Google ads!, then that was my starting point too. But most serious bloggers who don't try out this route are making money in other ways such as showcasing their work as a writer or promoting their guest house.

It all sounds so straightforward but after an hour spent puzzling over Wordpress themes I realise it will be a steep learning curve and take lots of hard work. I'm not setting any timescales, as if I get a 9 to 5 contract next week the project will probably grind to a temporary halt.

In the longer term, I'm hoping that having a successful travel blog will give me opportunities to explore my love of travel in ways I haven't even thought of yet.

If you've made this blogging journey before me, I'd really appreciate your help and tips. If you've found some great resources and articles, or even written them yourself, please let me know through the comments or by e-mail. And if you have any do's and don'ts that were learned the hard way, I'd love to hear them. Thanks a million!

P.S. Don't worry, I'll continue to post as often as I can about my travels and adventures wherever I go.

Blogging resources I've found so far

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1 comment:

Monna said...

Hi Heather!
I really like that you just put your goal out there! I'm definitely not the expert on upgrading ones blog as I am still happy with blogger - it does all the things this (mostly) weekend blogger needs. I know that Nomadic Matt is a whiz kid with this stuff... you should e-mail him. I would also recommend that you leave a twitter message about this... asking for help and resources. Have you joined the Travel Bloggers Forum over at Nerd's Eye View... there's another potential source of information!
You will probably not be surprised to hear that I also intend, one day, to be sitting under an orange tree in the courtyard of our B&B drinking coffee after all of our guests have headed out for the day. It's a delicious and decadent dream... and why not?
Good luck, Heather!