I hope that in the months and years to come I’ll look back on this blog post and laugh. Not because of how it’s written but because Man vs World™ will be far more successful than it is right now.
I’m still relatively new to the world of travel blogging, having launched the website that you read now at the end of January 2012. What started as a hobby, a way to keep my writing up to scratch, soon became an obsession.
How do I blog? How can I get more hits? How can I increase my page rank? Should I sell in-text links? These are the types of questions that now keep me up at night.
Month on month I’ve seen nothing but growth, going from, say, ten hits a day when I was starting out (if I was lucky) to more than 300 in a day for my recent 30 nicest travellers to follow on Twitter blog post.
It’s nothing compared to the big boys, sure, and I rely on an awful lot of those hits coming from Twitter – but I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished.
And I even got my new job because of this blog, having demonstrated the kinds of skills worthy of a position as content editor for an online guide to New Zealand’s bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes.
You could say it’s all going swimmingly, except that it’s not. I want more.
I want more page hits, a higher Google page rank and, ideally, a little bit of money and a knighthood for my troubles.
I run at least two blog posts a week – but that’s the easy part. I’m a journalist, not a professional blogger; I can write but I wouldn’t know the first thing about building a successful travel blog.
How do I deal with companies trying to give me free guest posts? Should I accept companies trying to buy links from my site? Are in-text links worth the potential Google penalty? And if they are how much should I charge?
I suppose I should be flattered that I’m getting these offers now (I am). It must mean my blog is on an upward trajectory (it is).
But it doesn’t make my life any easier.
Funnily enough, what does make my life a little easier is the work of other travel bloggers.
I’ve covered some of my inspiration before, in my blog post about the most useful resources for new travel bloggers, but I’d like to shine the spotlight on a couple of travel bloggers who I’ve emailed directly for help in the past.
I like to think of these blogs as Man vs World’s big brothers. They are Packs and Bunks, The Road to Anywhere (we share the same WordPress theme!) and Wandering Earl (the nicest blogger out there despite the fact he won’t follow me back on Twitter!). There were others, too, but I want to wrap this post up.
I’m not saying new travel bloggers should start hounding these nice people; I’m simply highlighting the fact that you might be surprised how readily other travel bloggers will help you.
I haven’t cracked the winning formula to a top 100 travel blog yet. Hopefully in time I will.
In the meantime I’ve got to decide whether to risk compromising a blog post or two for a small payday.
It’s a long road to the top if you want to travel blog.