MY FIRST BLOG REPORT
I really like the blogging life report by mytanfeet.com. It is great to see how fast they achieve their goals and they always give other bloggers good advices and tips.
Today I start my own blogging report for our travel blog with BoB. We have been on the road for exactly one year but that doesn't mean we take blogging serious since then. We started our 'old' blog in August 2013 with the intention to show our families and friends what we do and where we travel to. We didn't think about making money with it or how many page views we would get etc. I think that's how a lot of you out there started as well and I think there is nothing wrong about it.
Anyway, all that changed after reading Sabrina's great blog justonewayticket.com in December 2013. She has the same internet provider and her blog looked soooo amazing and so much better than ours :) (Unfortunately I don't have a picture of our old layout).
That was the pivotal moment when Liane and I realized that we have to change something to make our blog a little bit "nicer" and more attractive.
Since then we have worked on our blog design every day to make it look better and to improve it step by step. Finally in May 2014 we said "okay, now we take it serious" and from then on we have tried to write blog posts with information and tips for other travelers. We started to be more active in social media and concentrated even more on our layout. To be honest, that was probably a little bit too much at one time. Working on a blog takes time. I am sure you agree on that. We counted our working hours of June and reached a total of 449 hours. In July it was a little bit less. Good for us that we volunteer in a hotel and don't travel right now, otherwise that would not be possible.
In comparison to many other travel blogger newbies our first goal is not to make money with our blog as soon as possible. Of course it would be great to earn money with it in the future, but to be honest, if I worked 6 months in Germany, I would have enough money to travel for some months. So I think at the moment it is better not to focus exclusively on the blog.
I have, of course, BIG plans but I am 31
and I am not a dreamer. I know that it needs hard work to set up a good travel blog.
The competition out there is just unbelievable. It seems like every day at least 3 to 5 new travel blogs appear. And you know what? Most of them are GREAT but it is impossible to compare yourself with other blogs all the time, that makes you crazy. We try to concentrate on our goals and as long as it is fun to blog, we will do it!
Like everybody else, we have our dreams... we want to make BoB popular and sell BoB golf balls in the future or something like that :). We will see. I will give you more ideas in the next BLOG REPORTS.
Also, we will more concentrate on our 3 main reader groups. Travelers (makes sense, right :), golfers and bloggers.
It seems like the travel blogger community is huge. I mean really HUGE. Much bigger than we expected and the best thing about it? We learn from all of you every day!
If there is one tip I want to give to all of the Newbies out there, it is to inform yourself before becoming a professional travel blogger! There are thousands of geat articles you MUST read before starting your blog. Here is one I just read a few days ago and I think it is a good start with great links!
- HOW TO BECOME A PROFESSIONAL TRAVEL BLOGGER by Finding the Universe
Moreover, it would be great to meet other travel bloggers on our journey. So let's stay in contact and hopefully we will meet on an EBTX, on a fair, or somewhere in a hostel one day :).
Regarding to the statistics I want to point out that we have not concentrated on getting a lot of traffic on our blog yet. Why? Because we weren't ready yet. There was so much to do with our layout and we don't have that much time every day to do everything. (Sure you know that problem.)
But enough talk, here are the statistics of May, June, and July. As I said before we started serious blogging in May 2014.
Google page rank
SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR FIRST DONATORS!!!
LAST MONTH(S) ACHIEVEMENTS
I am repeating myself but the last 3 months we fully concentrated on the layout of our webpage. Looking back I think it might would have been clever to hire someone to built a great website right from the beginnig but now we are pretty happy with our layout and we learned a lot about building a website, html and css. (Anyway we will probably change to WP in the future, but not this year)
Besides, we wrote a few posts, of course, and started with some "soft" marketing.
Hostelworld.com featured our The Galápagos Islands: 10 Things to Look Forward To and did an interview with us about our Amazon river cargo boat ride in Peru. It was a good experience and we hope to have a chance to repeat that in the future.
Also one of the biggest German golf online magazines, Golf Post, featured a photo story with BoB and we are very proud of it. Due to that photo story other German magazines have shown their interest in BoB and in working with us. We will "use" BoB (he doesn't like it when I talk about him like that) to promote our blog in the future more often.
We also integrated a newsletter in July. We chose AWEBER after reading a few posts about AWEBER and MAILCHIMP. As you probably know AWEBER costs at least 19 dollar a month in comparison to MAILCHIMP which is for free. We weren't sure if we really should spent money for a newsletter. But hey, we don't smoke, we don't drink and to be honest 19 dollar a month is maybe 1 or 2 nights in a hostel for the 3 of us. I am sure we will have the blog for the rest of our lives, right? So why not choose the professional way from the beginning :).
I will write a post in the future with detailed information on AWEBER and why every blogger should use it as their email newsletter program. For now please check their website here:
But, even if we have a newsletter now, it doesn't mean that people love to sign up. At the beginning we had nothing to offer in exchange. That changed 5 days ago :). When you sign up for the newsletter you get our travel survival kit for free. We were thinking about an eBook but we always try to be a bit different and the travel kit fits more to us. If you want the kit, click here! :)
PS: If you send us a picture how you play with something from the kit, we will post it together with your webpage on facebook!
GOALS FOR AUGUST
The layout of our blog is now set up (almost) and from now on we can concentrate on promoting BoB and post more often. Our aim in August is to see Machu Picchu :). Seriously, we are still travelers and for us it will be always more important to have a great time traveling than sitting 8 hours in front of the computer (We had that the last 10 years, that's enough :).
But as you know every blogger MUST have an aim. We want to reach 4,000 page impressions in August and grow our facebook community to 650. Regarding social media I want to say one more thing. From now on we will concentrate on 3 social media plattforms: facebook, twitter and pinterest as we think these sites are most useful to bring traffic to our site. We will still have google+, instagram and youtube but we have to focus. We will see if that works out for us.
Besides we want to post a new post every week. That sounds soooo easy, but for us that's the most challenging part. Don't get me wrong, we love blogging but it is hard for us to write in english. We need at least twice the time for a post than other bloggers. But okay we wanted it, now we have to deal with it :).
That's it for now
NOW WE NEED YOUR HELP
You are the experts! Please share your thoughts and leave a comment.
- Are we on the right path?
- Is the layout okay?
- Should we change our plans?
There are so many great bloggers out there and we really want to learn more from you guys.
If you want to write us a private message you can do it .
Thank you so much for reading and safe travels!