The first thing I love about blogging is hovering over the “+ New” icon on the top bar of my website, after logging in to edit. A gray, understated drop-down menu reveals the possibilities: New Post, New Media, New Page, New Book. The world is mine.
I nearly always select “Add New Post,” then savor the excitement and anxiety of “Enter title here.” It’s as exciting as a smooth, empty journal page used to be (I have stacks of travel and research journals on my shelves, but haven’t added to them in years). Especially now, with my shiny new WordPress platform. I updated www.JoshuaBerman.net in late 2015, merging my blog, “The Tranquilo Traveler,” with my static website. Since I did this, blogging has taken on an entirely new scope.
My blog is now less a stream of the shareable travel-related tidbits that cross my path (that’s what Facebook and Twitter are for), and more a way to archive, organize and display articles I’ve published in other outlets. My theme — SimpleMag from ThemeForest — makes my website my blog and my blog my website. Articles from The Denver Post flow to one page, Nicaragua-related posts to another, gear reviews to another, and so on.
At times, blogging can now be more administrative than creative, but not always. Sometimes, that white screen comes up and still screams for photos and stories from my last trip. Sometimes I oblige it, and instead of re-publishing another polished piece, I throw something raw and incomplete online, a quick photo gallery edit with just enough captions to tell the skeleton of the story. Maybe I’ll get back to it and flesh out the text. Maybe not.
Sometimes, just knowing that space is there, that the empty storyboard is at my fingertips, is what I love most about blogging.
Here are three blogging tips for enjoying your blog, too:
1. Don’t sweat the content too much
Like I said, sometimes I quickly throw up a barely edited post, just to get it on there. I check it for spelling and grammar, and then go back later to see if there’s anything that needs to be changed. This way, I get it done, instead of convincing myself that I have to have a certain amount of time to make it perfect – which almost always results in my not getting it done.
2. Look at other blogs that you like to see what yours needs
Consider things like, what is the ratio of copy to photos? How often are they posting? How is the content arranged? Don’t reinvent the wheel – if you enjoy a blog, chances are others do, too, and you can adapt their style and format to create your own unique brand.
3. Think about options other than travel
If you haven’t been anywhere in a while, look at things like gear reviews, trends, and helpful tips – how to pack for a months-long trip, or the best sites for planning – to keep the content fresh, which will help attract more readers.
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can fund your travels and make an extra income with photography, travel writing, blogging, and more in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel. Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Five Fun Ways To Get Paid To Travel: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]