Business

A Little Question… Should You Start a Travel Blog Before Your Trip?

laptop typingYou’re heading out on your round the world trip and you want to document all of your travels. The big question crops up, should you start a travel blog to record stories and photos? Originally this post tended to recommend enjoying travels and not starting a full blog. In spring 2016, however, I updated it to reflect the change in global internet access, new social media options, and the massive travel blogging community.

If you’re already developing your site and want tips on the resources I use to develop this site, check out:

I often field the travel blogging question and it’s hard to answer, mostly because blogging from the road is not roses, cake, and flowers. It takes a lot of work to keep any business or website running while you are traveling. And a full travel blog (with photos, stories, and videos) may not actually serve you best on your trip. Consider your goals and objectives for your trip, and consider the travel compromises you’re willing to make for the blog.

And know upfront that the bloggers selling you courses on “making money blogging” are a bit disingenuous—making money from a single blog in 2015 is very hard. A blog telling travel stories is not a business model, it’s something meant for family and friends. If you are looking to create an online business, there are heaps of people outside the travel space with much stronger advice on the subject. I share more thoughts on that here.

Let’s say you are looking to share your big journey—because it’s going to be awesome and naturally you want your friends to see your adventures—you have a lot of options.

These options are listed from least to most time intensive:

(Side-note: Again, if you are looking only to build a business and make money from your travel blog, you have to go with option five. Self-hosted is the only professional option. Go here for more on all of that).

  1. Pick a Social Media Platform and Rock It: Share photos and mini stories via your favorite social media platform—preferably the one you already use to share with friends and family. That could be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, or something else you happen to love. Each of these is magical in their own way, but all are pretty low-key, and they come with built-in sharing mechanisms. I am partial to Instagram right now, and usually spend the most time updating this platform from the road. Blog posts are too labor intensive for active travel now, so I have slowed down on that. Social media is a fantastic option for sharing a long-term or round the world trip in a fun, engaging way without being high maintenance.
  2. Share Photo Albums and Write Emails: FlickrPicasa, and SmugMug are top options if photo sharing is your preference but you’re not willing to stop your trip to write out longer stories and thoughts. Facebook is also aces and there’s a good chance your friends and family are already there.
  3. Free Blogging Sites: Top two options here are Blogger and WordPress. These sites offer incredibly easy interfaces and are entirely free. You have your own URL and you can send this to friends and family members.
  4. Travel Blogging Sites: These sites are also free, but the blogging interface is specifically designed for travelers; it’s easy to map locations and visually show your journey. Best choices: TravellersPoint, TravelBlog, and WorldNomads.
  5. Self-Hosted WordPress site: A powerful and customizable blogging platform—you purchase the domain name and hosting package and have supreme control over the look and feel of your site. Use either BlueHost for affordable/budget hosting or MediaTemple once the site is larger. This is such a popular option that I created a primer, step-by-step guide for starting a travel blog.

Which option should you choose?

How you share your trip depends on your travel goals; consider these viewpoints and what they mean for starting your own travel blog:

I’m Soul Searching & This Trip is For Me

Goal: You want to share your best photos and maybe a few thoughts from the road, but decided against working from the road. You’ll have a tablet, perhaps, but your goal is to focus on the experience and you don’t want the obligation that comes from regularly updating a site.

Wandering the Parks in Ambleside

Meditating in a park in Ambleside in the Lake District in England

Consider: It’s virtually impossible to run a full travel blog without carrying a laptop with you. Plus, it definitely takes time out of your trip. Consider options (1) and (2). An Instagram or Facebook page has my highest recommendation. Instagram enables you to share mini-thoughts, accompanied by a photo or video with the hassle of designing a full site. Couple Instagram with one of the photo sharing sites (SmugMug), or use your personal Facebook page, and the occasional email and you’ll have the control to share as much/little as you want without feeling guilty if you get caught up in your travels.

With Facebook the images are hosted right there on the site and your family automatically get updated via a platform they likely already use. Consider your personal profile versus a Facebook Pages. Though the Pages app is slick and simple—and I use it regularly and with ease from all over the world—Pages themselves are restricted in reach. Facebook’s algorithm does not allow all the people who have liked your page to see your posts without a paid “boost.” This sucks if you don’t have a marketing budget and you really just want friends to see your stories and photos.

My Stories are Endless, But My Travel Time is Not

Goal: You want to tap your creativity and share stories with family and friends, but at the end of the day,  this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip. You’re bringing a laptop, you’ll sort photos and share stories, but if you skip a week or two, well, it’s not the end of the world. You’re committed to keeping the site going, but it’s not the focus of your trip. Plus, you might not be very “techie” oriented, so you don’t want the headache of configuring HMTL in between rock climbing and scuba diving.

Freezing cold and crossing the border

There’s a story behind this one…I swear ;-)

Consider: Top choices here are definitely (3) and (4); consider one of the free blogging sites. If this is truly a once-in-a-lifetime trip, you don’t need the added expense of a domain name and obligation to try to keep it running. Plus, if you purchase a domain name and hosting, your site is only going to run for as long as you continue paying that expense. If you think you might keep the site going occasionally once you’re back, then WordPress is the best choice—this site allows you to easily export all of your content and comments onto a self-hosted website if you ever make that choice. The travel specific blog sites (TravellersPoint, etc) are ideal for a single trip and very easy interfaces—the learning curve is low and your blog will be up and running in no time.

Send Me a Fruit Basket, I’m Want a Blog!

Goal: You’re bringing a laptop and you’ve likely got some techie skills (or you’re willing to learn!). You’re in this for the long-haul and plan to extend the site beyond just a single RTW trip. You likely even dream of monetizing your blog and perhaps buying yourself a few beers along the way. In addition to your personal stories, you plan on sharing tips and reviews and you’ll spend some time before your travels (and in downtime) socially networking with the community (via Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat, Facebook, etc). You want the community aspect of blogging and the creativity that comes from creating a site exactly how you envision it.

Consider: You will be spending time on this blog and you will make sacrifices to get a post written, formatted and uploaded. Although the Internet is ubiquitous, you could very well spend half a day sitting in a cramped internet café uploading photos at dialup speeds for your next blog entry. You’re also carrying your laptop, which is an added liability. You will spend days and evenings away from the sights and smells of new cultures so that you can update your blog; most full-time travel bloggers thoroughly embrace this trade-off because they truly love what they are doing. Also consider that there are very few successful bloggers making a living from their blogs. Though it’s possible, you’ll need to run this blog like a business and come up with some solid business plans and unique selling points.


If you’re still sold on travel blogging, then let me be the first to welcome you to the community! You’ll need a self-hosted WordPress blog (a how-to guide to all of that here); WordPress is the standard in the blogging industry. WordPress sites are highly customizable and much of the software is free. You only need mild techie skills to set up a basic site (and you can pay someone if you want a specific design).

Final Thoughts on Starting Your Own Travel Blog

There are so many sides to this question, and you’re the only one who can decide if a full travel blog is right for you. The vast majority of RTW trippers abandon their blogs partway through their trips when they discover the time commitment involved in keeping the site updated—this doesn’t have to happen! There are a lot of choices out there; accurately assess your travel goals and decide which blogging options most closely align.

But all of this is not to scare you away, because travel blogging is a lot of fun, and I can’t imagine my RTW trip without it. I loved seeing experiences through the lens of how I could share this with others, and it made the time spent doing the more mundane tasks so very worth it to be a part of such a large international community.

Helpful Tips & Resources on the Business of Blogging

  • Resources for Working Online: A handy page geared towards digital nomads, travel bloggers, and freelancers. In the page, I delve into starting a travel site, finding freelance work, and more. If making money as you travel is the goal, you might be better served by building up your online skills and working on other endeavors — you will likely make far more money leveraging a skillset than the hours it takes to build a successful blog.
  • How to Start a Travel Blog in Five Easy Steps: A post with valuable and easy to understand tips (and steps) on how to start a travel blog, including the ins and outs of self-hosting, making your site pretty, and building a community.
  • Content Machine: Use Content Marketing to Build a 7-figure Business with Zero Advertising: While this business model is not going to work for everyone, Dan makes some excellent points about content creation and marketing.
  • Four Hour Work Week: No doubt you’ve seen it for years, but if you haven’t read it yet, you should. Some of Tim Ferris’ viewpoints are very counter to how I live my life, but I will give him this: his book changed my perception about what is possible in building an online business. It’s still a primer read for a reason, it’s worth having that knowledge and perspective in your head as you move forward.

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  • rachelcotterill

    I like the way you've rounded this up, I'm sure it would be really helpful to any “maybe” blogger. Personally, I have a blog which is just “my blog” but that happens to involve a lot of travel, because a lot of my noteworthy activities come under that heading. But I agree that you need to be committed to keeping it going – if that's what you want to achieve.

  • I think it depends on what you want out of the blog. There are many hurdles along the way even after the trip – #1 being, what do you write about afterward?

  • The Field Office

    Don't forget Everlater It has a great interface and connects to Flickr, Facebook, etc.

    They also have an iPhone app, which is also helpful for note taking if you want to write about things in greater detail later.

  • I like the way you set this up. Its important for people to consider what they hope to gain by blogging. In the past I've set up blogger blogs for trips I've taken, primarily to keep in touch with the people back home. It was pretty easy and useful. Obviously this time around I'm taking the long haul approach- I started my blog a full year before i plan to leave on my trip! It's been a very different experience- very rewarding, but very time consuming, not something I'd recommend unless you are truly crazy about blogging.

    • ShannonOD

      I've never heard of this resource, so huge thanks for recommending it – I've
      bookmarked it. It's doubly great that there's an iPhone app, I look forward
      to looking into it. :-)

  • Great advice. I like how you broke it up by what people are trying to accomplish. Just went through the whole consideration myself.

  • Nomadic Chick

    Great post. It really does depend on your goals and travel personality. My ultimate goal is to vagablog – general lay about.

  • a great website to blog on from the road is: posterous.com – you dont have to log in anywhere, you just email your blog posts, pictures, videos, any media file really to the website and it automatically posts everything up! it also autoposts to facebook, twitter and other social networking websites. i found it incredible easy, fast and useful when traveling in Malaysia and Spain.

  • This is such a clear & straightforward way of answering the big question on every traveler's mind!

    Also, I'd agree with nithya that Posterous is an excellent way of doing a simple blog for the sake of keeping friends & family back home updated. A great micro-blogging service.

  • ShannonOD

    I like your blog – it's a great compromise between travel blog and something
    more lasting! It's tough if it's just a travel blog to make it more lasting
    past the trip! :-)

  • ShannonOD

    What a good point Anil, that really is perhaps the top question, what will
    you talk about after! That's likely a top reason many of these sites peter
    off after they get home :-)

    • ShannonOD

      Nice! I love the design of your site – very professional and I look forward
      to following your Oz travels :-)

  • ShannonOD

    Ok, perhaps I am the only person who hasn't heard of this! I'll have to
    check it out and add it to this post if it's that great :-) Thanks for
    recommending it – that's pretty sweet that it's linked to the social media
    sites :-)

  • ShannonOD

    Sweet – just discovering your site, I look forward to reading your
    vagablogging ;-)

  • ShannonOD

    Thanks Adam! I plan to add Posterous to this post as a resource – I've never
    really heard of it before…perhaps I'm the last person in the blogosphere
    to learn about this? :-)

  • rachelcotterill

    I like the way you've rounded this up, I'm sure it would be really helpful to any “maybe” blogger. Personally, I have a blog which is just “my blog” but that happens to involve a lot of travel, because a lot of my noteworthy activities come under that heading. But I agree that you need to be committed to keeping it going – if that's what you want to achieve.

    • ShannonOD

      I like your blog – it's a great compromise between travel blog and something
      more lasting! It's tough if it's just a travel blog to make it more lasting
      past the trip! :-)

  • Good thoughts here!

    We've been blogging our open ended family world tour since 2006 & I think unless one is doing slow travel, it's not worth the effort as it is a lot harder on the move than most realize. Keep in mind that there are millions of travel blogs and just managing the photos takes tons of work (not to mention videos, podcasts, articles for others, social media etc).

    6 months or a year is not that much time and a smart traveler is going to want to have LOTS of unplugged time to enjoy their surroundings. The realities on the road are VERY different than at home & internet connection can be horribly slow and/or expensive or non-existent (even in places where you'd never expect it like we had a heck of a time finding it in central London, yet managed easily in Morocco in the deep Sahara!).

    I agree too that posterous.com is the easiest way to do it (we're doing that with our child, etc) and we use Typepad which many top bloggers use (perfect for the geekless or those not willing to put the time into wordpress).

    We never expected our blog to become so popular, so it can happen out of the blue, but the reality is that most peter out because there is very little ROI for such great effort. 2 months into a trip or blog is a VERY different experience than 2 years or 4 years etc.

    Most popular travel blogger don't travel that much and /or have multiple authors or interns. It's a tough business that few make much money at and the competition is stiff because so many people want to write travel. Finding the right niche and having a unique story helps.

    A burning (& sustainable for the long haul) passion is probably the most important key.

  • Thanks for a great, very insightful post Shannon. I used TravelPod for my RTW trip to let family & friends know where I was. Very user-friendly. I only started my blog after I returned, then transferred the content over to my blog. TravelPod now allows you to make a book of your blog entries, complete with pictures. Thought that was a cool idea.

    Cheers,
    Keith

    • I hope to be part of that fruit basket group (although I would prefer just Bananas…and beer). I am still in the planning stages of my RTW and it will be awhile before I actually make that trip. Till then I'll be doing more on smaller short term trips. Why I started this now is because currently I can dedicate all the time it takes to create bonds with other travel bloggers and design/upgrade my website so when I do travel write while traveling I am not starting from scratch. Hopefully this pays off, but till I become the worlds most well known and coolest traveling monkey or some distantly remember poo flinger we won't know.

  • I think it depends on what you want out of the blog. There are many hurdles along the way even after the trip – #1 being, what do you write about afterward?

    • ShannonOD

      What a good point Anil, that really is perhaps the top question, what will
      you talk about after! That's likely a top reason many of these sites peter
      off after they get home :-)

  • Jerry

    Everlater has a great interface and connects to Flickr, Facebook, etc. They also have an iPhone app, which is also helpful for note taking if you want to write about things in greater detail later.

    • ShannonOD

      I've never heard of this resource, so huge thanks for recommending it – I've
      bookmarked it. It's doubly great that there's an iPhone app, I look forward
      to looking into it. :-)

  • I like the way you set this up. Its important for people to consider what they hope to gain by blogging. In the past I've set up blogger blogs for trips I've taken, primarily to keep in touch with the people back home. It was pretty easy and useful. Obviously this time around I'm taking the long haul approach- I started my blog a full year before i plan to leave on my trip! It's been a very different experience- very rewarding, but very time consuming, not something I'd recommend unless you are truly crazy about blogging.

    • ShannonOD

      I love that your blog is starting this far back – I spent a lot of my time
      on the road joining the travel community, and it was a lot more difficult –
      I envy that you're documenting the ramp-up and saving process! :-)

  • Great advice. I like how you broke it up by what people are trying to accomplish. Just went through the whole consideration myself.

    • ShannonOD

      Nice! I love the design of your site – very professional and I look forward
      to following your Oz travels :-)

  • Nomadic Chick

    Great post. It really does depend on your goals and travel personality. My ultimate goal is to vagablog – general lay about.

    • ShannonOD

      Sweet – just discovering your site, I look forward to reading your
      vagablogging ;-)

  • a great website to blog on from the road is: posterous.com – you dont have to log in anywhere, you just email your blog posts, pictures, videos, any media file really to the website and it automatically posts everything up! it also autoposts to facebook, twitter and other social networking websites. i found it incredible easy, fast and useful when traveling in Malaysia and Spain.

    • ShannonOD

      Ok, perhaps I am the only person who hasn't heard of this! I'll have to
      check it out and add it to this post if it's that great :-) Thanks for
      recommending it – that's pretty sweet that it's linked to the social media
      sites :-)

  • This is such a clear & straightforward way of answering the big question on every traveler's mind!

    Also, I'd agree with nithya that Posterous is an excellent way of doing a simple blog for the sake of keeping friends & family back home updated. A great micro-blogging service.

    • ShannonOD

      Thanks Adam! I plan to add Posterous to this post as a resource – I've never
      really heard of it before…perhaps I'm the last person in the blogosphere
      to learn about this? :-)

  • Good thoughts here!

    We've been blogging our open ended family world tour since 2006 & I think unless one is doing slow travel, it's not worth the effort as it is a lot harder on the move than most realize. Keep in mind that there are millions of travel blogs and just managing the photos takes tons of work (not to mention videos, podcasts, articles for others, social media etc).

    6 months or a year is not that much time and a smart traveler is going to want to have LOTS of unplugged time to enjoy their surroundings. The realities on the road are VERY different than at home & internet connection can be horribly slow and/or expensive or non-existent (even in places where you'd never expect it like we had a heck of a time finding it in central London, yet managed easily in Morocco in the deep Sahara!).

    I agree too that posterous.com is the easiest way to do it (we're doing that with our child, etc) and we use Typepad which many top bloggers use (perfect for the geekless or those not willing to put the time into wordpress).

    We never expected our blog to become so popular, so it can happen out of the blue, but the reality is that most peter out because there is very little ROI for such great effort. 2 months into a trip or blog is a VERY different experience than 2 years or 4 years etc.

    Most popular travel blogger don't travel that much and /or have multiple authors or interns. It's a tough business that few make much money at and the competition is stiff because so many people want to write travel. Finding the right niche and having a unique story helps.

    A burning (& sustainable for the long haul) passion is probably the most important key.

    • ShannonOD

      Thanks for weighing in, your travels have definitely set the bar for
      long-term family travel! I just love keeping up with your trip and watching
      how it has evolved into something sustainable and enjoyable for everyone in
      the family.

      You make a really good point though, about a full blog being a long-term
      investment with passion as a key. Six month RTW trips are so short, and if
      that's the whole plan then what do you blog about after! Would be an awful
      lot of work to set up a site that was only going to be abandoned less than a
      year later unless you are truly passionate about travel blogging!

      Oh, and now with a third vote for posterous – it's definitely making it into
      the actual blog post!

  • Thanks for a great, very insightful post Shannon. I used TravelPod for my RTW trip to let family & friends know where I was. Very user-friendly. I only started my blog after I returned, then transferred the content over to my blog. TravelPod now allows you to make a book of your blog entries, complete with pictures. Thought that was a cool idea.

    Cheers,
    Keith

    • ShannonOD

      The book is a great idea! That's one of my main tasks now that I'm back, to
      assemble photos and stories into those printable books – the fact that it
      helps you automate that is pretty sweet. I'll look into it and add it to the
      resources :-) Thanks Keith!

  • I hope to be part of that fruit basket group (although I would prefer just Bananas…and beer). I am still in the planning stages of my RTW and it will be awhile before I actually make that trip. Till then I'll be doing more on smaller short term trips. Why I started this now is because currently I can dedicate all the time it takes to create bonds with other travel bloggers and design/upgrade my website so when I do travel write while traveling I am not starting from scratch. Hopefully this pays off, but till I become the worlds most well known and coolest traveling monkey or some distantly remember poo flinger we won't know.

    • ShannonOD

      I'll make sure that your fruit basket is sans the apples and doubled up on
      the bananas :)

      It's a really solid plan to start your travel blog now, while you're
      planning and able to network and really build up as a part of the travel
      community before you leave. I look forward to seeing this monkey of yours
      travel around the world :-) Perhaps you can make him an internet sensation
      a la Dancing Matt! :-)

  • ShannonOD

    Thanks for weighing in, your travels have definitely set the bar for
    long-term family travel! I just love keeping up with your trip and watching
    how it has evolved into something sustainable and enjoyable for everyone in
    the family.

    You make a really good point though, about a full blog being a long-term
    investment with passion as a key. Six month RTW trips are so short, and if
    that's the whole plan then what do you blog about after! Would be an awful
    lot of work to set up a site that was only going to be abandoned less than a
    year later unless you are truly passionate about travel blogging!

    Oh, and now with a third vote for posterous – it's definitely making it into
    the actual blog post!

    • I haven't travelled since I've become an avid blogger (before July), so I'm interested to see how my next travel experience will work with the blog. Thanks for the tips!

  • ShannonOD

    The book is a great idea! That's one of my main tasks now that I'm back, to
    assemble photos and stories into those printable books – the fact that it
    helps you automate that is pretty sweet. I'll look into it and add it to the
    resources :-) Thanks Keith!

    • ShannonOD

      I'll make sure that your fruit basket is sans the apples and doubled up on
      the bananas :)

      It's a really solid plan to start your travel blog now, while you're
      planning and able to network and really build up as a part of the travel
      community before you leave. I look forward to seeing this monkey of yours
      travel around the world :-) Perhaps you can make him an internet sensation
      a la Dancing Matt! :-)

  • I agree with some of the other comments about how it depends on personality, and perhaps organization. Personally, I like to just have the whole experience and take tons of photos, but I need the time to let it sink in. I usually really enjoy reliving everything again as I write about it much later.

  • I haven't travelled since I've become an avid blogger (before July), so I'm interested to see how my next travel experience will work with the blog. Thanks for the tips!

    • ShannonOD

      You're most welcome, queuing up posts is probably the best way to avoid
      stress, so that you have some ready if you can't get to internet :-)

  • Comprehensive advice for beginners!

    Much has been said so far so I'll just add that finding the right balance between enjoying the trip and blogging the trip is very important, something I was very conscious of during my last trip. No matter how passionate you are about travel, there are times when it feels like a 'job' and that takes some of the enjoyment out of it.

  • I agree with some of the other comments about how it depends on personality, and perhaps organization. Personally, I like to just have the whole experience and take tons of photos, but I need the time to let it sink in. I usually really enjoy reliving everything again as I write about it much later.

    • ShannonOD

      Good point Mary! I let myself stress me out so much for part of my travels
      becuase I wasn't able to post with the most up-to-date stories, but now I
      have definitely taken a more long-term approach to it :-) I too like to dig
      out neat experiences from my memory and recount them on the blog.

  • Comprehensive advice for beginners!

    Much has been said so far so I'll just add that finding the right balance between enjoying the trip and blogging the trip is very important, something I was very conscious of during my last trip. No matter how passionate you are about travel, there are times when it feels like a 'job' and that takes some of the enjoyment out of it.

    • ShannonOD

      Very well said, I always had to bring myself into check and make the conscious choice to step away from my site worries and instead enjoy the experience! That being said, I still need to work on balance on my next travels, I haven't fully conquered it :-)

  • For those wanting to create a lasting online presence but who don't want their travels to be controlled by their blog should consider injecting short 'travel breaks' into their journey.

    Whenever I am traveling I always schedule a 3-7 day stay in one place every few weeks in order to dedicated time to my blog. This way, I am not trying to do two things at once and don't miss out on any part of the travel experience. I've found this to be the only solution that allows me to maintain my blog and my sanity when on the road.

  • ShannonOD

    You're most welcome, queuing up posts is probably the best way to avoid
    stress, so that you have some ready if you can't get to internet :-)

  • ShannonOD

    Good point Mary! I let myself stress me out so much for part of my travels
    becuase I wasn't able to post with the most up-to-date stories, but now I
    have definitely taken a more long-term approach to it :-) I too like to dig
    out neat experiences from my memory and recount them on the blog.

  • ShannonOD

    I agree Earl, I don't think I could have survived on the road if I hadn't
    paused for several days or a week at a time to catch up on everything from
    the blog to emails and chats with my family. Breaks are definitely key to
    staying in the experience while still keeping up a website :-)

    Longer breaks are also great because they combat travel fatigue – I know
    that for me, by the end of my RTW I was really incredibly tired of packing
    up and moving on every 2-3 days! I started staying in places longer so that
    I could explore and soak up more of the local culture!

  • ShannonOD

    Very well said, I always had to bring myself into check and make the conscious choice to step away from my site worries and instead enjoy the experience! That being said, I still need to work on balance on my next travels, I haven't fully conquered it :-)

    • Proud2BaDeamer

      This post definitely comes to me with perfect timing! I have just recently started a blog, that I'm hoping will develop into a full-fledged travel blog with lots of adventure stories, pics and videos. While managing your own blog is very time consuming and difficulty at times, I find what is harder is actually finding a good following and people to read your blog.

      It takes a lot of time to network on-line and with other bloggers, and eventually get some traffic on your own personal blog. That is what has been the hardest for me. Any advice on getting more followers or people interested in your blog? It is competitive out there, and I never realized how many people were like me. Ready to drop their lives, travel, and write a blog about it!

      Anyway, I really appreciate your advice on starting/managing a travel blog. I will definitely be using this as a resource for myself, and hopefully one day I can make my site a little more functional/professional. I agree with the last part that you wrote the most. ” I loved seeing experiences through the lens of how I could share this with others…”. This is exactly how my mind works. While I am thrilled to see the things I've seen, and experience all the amazing things while traveling, what I'm thinking the entire time is how great this is going to be to share with the world.

  • jonah

    This is great stuff. At theplaneteyetraveler.com we are always looking for new writers and can help new writers get started. If any of you are looking to join an active community out there feel free to join the planeteye traveler

    • Actually, the easiest way, and what I see most people do on the road, is just to upload photos and updates to Facebook. That is where most people's friends and family already are. No need to deal with all the stuff you have to with blogging.

  • ShannonOD

    Thanks Jonah! I've appreciated the resources on this site myself so it's
    definitely worth checking out :-)

    • Excellent advice. We are on the road as we speak, and it is definitely a full time job keeping up with the travel blog. We schedule posts ahead of time to give ourselves a break. It is about the travel after all, but the blog is what allows us to keep traveling. So it is a chore to find the balance. I am loving it though. We are really glad that we worked on our blog before leaving for our trip. We learned so much before we left that we can get our work done much quicker than when we first started.
      You really have to love writing and photography which both Dave and I do so it doesn't feel like work. The biggest problem that we have especially in India is finding Wifi. I think Europe and South East Asia is much easier. But we always manage to find at least some Internet.

  • jonah

    This is great stuff. At theplaneteyetraveler.com we are always looking for new writers and can help new writers get started. If any of you are looking to join an active community out there feel free to join the planeteye traveler

  • For those wanting to create a lasting online presence but who don't want their travels to be controlled by their blog should consider injecting short 'travel breaks' into their journey.

    Whenever I am traveling I always schedule a 3-7 day stay in one place every few weeks in order to dedicated time to my blog. This way, I am not trying to do two things at once and don't miss out on any part of the travel experience. I've found this to be the only solution that allows me to maintain my blog and my sanity when on the road.

    • ShannonOD

      I agree Earl, I don't think I could have survived on the road if I hadn't
      paused for several days or a week at a time to catch up on everything from
      the blog to emails and chats with my family. Breaks are definitely key to
      staying in the experience while still keeping up a website :-)

      Longer breaks are also great because they combat travel fatigue – I know
      that for me, by the end of my RTW I was really incredibly tired of packing
      up and moving on every 2-3 days! I started staying in places longer so that
      I could explore and soak up more of the local culture!

  • ShannonOD

    Thanks Jonah! I've appreciated the resources on this site myself so it's
    definitely worth checking out :-)

  • Excellent advice. We are on the road as we speak, and it is definitely a full time job keeping up with the travel blog. We schedule posts ahead of time to give ourselves a break. It is about the travel after all, but the blog is what allows us to keep traveling. So it is a chore to find the balance. I am loving it though. We are really glad that we worked on our blog before leaving for our trip. We learned so much before we left that we can get our work done much quicker than when we first started.
    You really have to love writing and photography which both Dave and I do so it doesn't feel like work. The biggest problem that we have especially in India is finding Wifi. I think Europe and South East Asia is much easier. But we always manage to find at least some Internet.

    • ShannonOD

      The scheduling of posts is pretty key! I actually didn't know you could do
      that for the first few months I had the blog, and it was so frustrating to
      try to stay regular. It got much easier though once I figured out the
      blogging – you guys did so well to establish so much before you even left
      :-) I second the theory that SEA will prove easier than India for you!

  • Actually, the easiest way, and what I see most people do on the road, is just to upload photos and updates to Facebook. That is where most people's friends and family already are. No need to deal with all the stuff you have to with blogging.

    • ShannonOD

      Thanks Gary! You're right about Facebook – it's definitely my go-to place
      for updating friends…my only issue with FB is that the photo uploader is
      so wonky! I can't count the number of times it fizzled out on me after
      saying it was loading. :-) Good point though that it's a pretty viable
      alternative to any other site considering most everyone as a FB page :-)

  • ShannonOD

    The scheduling of posts is pretty key! I actually didn't know you could do
    that for the first few months I had the blog, and it was so frustrating to
    try to stay regular. It got much easier though once I figured out the
    blogging – you guys did so well to establish so much before you even left
    :-) I second the theory that SEA will prove easier than India for you!

  • ShannonOD

    Thanks Gary! You're right about Facebook – it's definitely my go-to place
    for updating friends…my only issue with FB is that the photo uploader is
    so wonky! I can't count the number of times it fizzled out on me after
    saying it was loading. :-) Good point though that it's a pretty viable
    alternative to any other site considering most everyone as a FB page :-)

  • ShannonOD

    Congrats on starting the new blog! Your problem is really one that faces all
    of us – how to network and join the community while still having a life
    (Twitter can be a huge time-suck!). The biggest way to expand your community
    is to continue commenting on other blogs, Twitter is also fantastic,
    StumpleUpon and many of the other popular social networking sites. Promotion
    is a whole other ball game from just writing up the stories!

    Guest blogging is another really viable option – this connects you with
    another blogger and exposes you to their following – the benefit for them is
    a well-written and engaging post written by you :-) Most travel bloggers
    are incredibly willing to accept guest posts. The more you do, the better
    your inbound links and followers will start coming your way.

    And my last tip – find a niche! I wish that I had a niche right off the bat
    – there are just too many general travel blogs out there, but the niche ones
    are fun to read and seem to find a foothold :-)

    Email me if you have any other questions or something I can help with! :-)

  • Proud2BaDeamer

    This post definitely comes to me with perfect timing! I have just recently started a blog, that I'm hoping will develop into a full-fledged travel blog with lots of adventure stories, pics and videos. While managing your own blog is very time consuming and difficulty at times, I find what is harder is actually finding a good following and people to read your blog.

    It takes a lot of time to network on-line and with other bloggers, and eventually get some traffic on your own personal blog. That is what has been the hardest for me. Any advice on getting more followers or people interested in your blog? It is competitive out there, and I never realized how many people were like me. Ready to drop their lives, travel, and write a blog about it!

    Anyway, I really appreciate your advice on starting/managing a travel blog. I will definitely be using this as a resource for myself, and hopefully one day I can make my site a little more functional/professional. I agree with the last part that you wrote the most. ” I loved seeing experiences through the lens of how I could share this with others…”. This is exactly how my mind works. While I am thrilled to see the things I've seen, and experience all the amazing things while traveling, what I'm thinking the entire time is how great this is going to be to share with the world.

    • ShannonOD

      Congrats on starting the new blog! Your problem is really one that faces all
      of us – how to network and join the community while still having a life
      (Twitter can be a huge time-suck!). The biggest way to expand your community
      is to continue commenting on other blogs, Twitter is also fantastic,
      StumpleUpon and many of the other popular social networking sites. Promotion
      is a whole other ball game from just writing up the stories!

      Guest blogging is another really viable option – this connects you with
      another blogger and exposes you to their following – the benefit for them is
      a well-written and engaging post written by you :-) Most travel bloggers
      are incredibly willing to accept guest posts. The more you do, the better
      your inbound links and followers will start coming your way.

      And my last tip – find a niche! I wish that I had a niche right off the bat
      – there are just too many general travel blogs out there, but the niche ones
      are fun to read and seem to find a foothold :-)

      Email me if you have any other questions or something I can help with! :-)

  • i started blogging when i got home although i wished that i did that before i left and while traveling, now the challenge is remembering all the details that i think would be great to write about….

    and i agree…

    blogging is so fun (of course it's also challenging)… it also became a way for me to meet (online that is) and chat with like minded people, like you and the rest of the travel bloggers in the blogosphere…

  • i started blogging when i got home although i wished that i did that before i left and while traveling, now the challenge is remembering all the details that i think would be great to write about….

    and i agree…

    blogging is so fun (of course it's also challenging)… it also became a way for me to meet (online that is) and chat with like minded people, like you and the rest of the travel bloggers in the blogosphere…

    • ShannonOD

      Completely agreed Flip – and as for taking a late start to starting the blog
      – better late than never as I am sure you will still be traveling and adding
      new stories :-)

  • ShannonOD

    Completely agreed Flip – and as for taking a late start to starting the blog
    – better late than never as I am sure you will still be traveling and adding
    new stories :-)

  • Monica

    This was an awesome read. Personally, I never thought about starting a travel blog until I came back from traveling. I was stuck in the office 10 hours a day. It was mentally draining and it took a lot of life out of me. I was miserable so I created my travel blog to keep me sane. I use it as a reminder to keep traveling because it's what I love to do. To me traveling is living and when I start to run out of places to write about, then I know it's time to get back on the road.

    • Travel01

      Just wanted to say that this is one of the best sites for travel. Keep up the good work!

  • ShannonOD

    I feel exactly the same way, you know that you've been stationary too long
    if you're out of stories! :-) Mine was born out of a want to stay in touch
    with family and friends and now has become a lot more, so I'm so glad that I
    made the leap and started one :-) I can imagine how 10 hours days for you
    would have just had you screaming for some sort of outlet like a blog! :-)

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  • Monica

    This was an awesome read. Personally, I never thought about starting a travel blog until I came back from traveling. I was stuck in the office 10 hours a day. It was mentally draining and it took a lot of life out of me. I was miserable so I created my travel blog to keep me sane. I use it as a reminder to keep traveling because it's what I love to do. To me traveling is living and when I start to run out of places to write about, then I know it's time to get back on the road.

    • ShannonOD

      I feel exactly the same way, you know that you've been stationary too long
      if you're out of stories! :-) Mine was born out of a want to stay in touch
      with family and friends and now has become a lot more, so I'm so glad that I
      made the leap and started one :-) I can imagine how 10 hours days for you
      would have just had you screaming for some sort of outlet like a blog! :-)

  • personally, it would be better for me to prepare the things I need for my blog so that I will just be posting all my experiences there…

  • Great post Shannon! I know I struggled with the decision as to whether or not I should start a travel blog. I've loved travel for a long time and spent many years trying to expand my interests, only to find myself back at travel.

    There are so many wonderful blogs out there, and the world of travel is ever evolving. I think it's important to find your passion and your voice. If you're not passionate about what you do, you will have very little success.

  • ShannonOD

    Like you said, I think that you have to have the passion to make a
    travel blog work…it's so much work to keep it good and going when
    your not traveling that it's important to have that underlying passion
    for sure! Glad that you decided to launch yours, it's fun reading :-)

  • Great post Shannon! I know I struggled with the decision as to whether or not I should start a travel blog. I've loved travel for a long time and spent many years trying to expand my interests, only to find myself back at travel.

    There are so many wonderful blogs out there, and the world of travel is ever evolving. I think it's important to find your passion and your voice. If you're not passionate about what you do, you will have very little success.

    • ShannonOD

      Like you said, I think that you have to have the passion to make a
      travel blog work…it's so much work to keep it good and going when
      your not traveling that it's important to have that underlying passion
      for sure! Glad that you decided to launch yours, it's fun reading :-)

  • Thank you for this post! I'm a junior at Washington State University, studying journalism, and aspiring to be a travel journalist. I know it's going to be hard, low pay, and not everything that it's glammed to be. But I am so passionate about traveling and writing, and have had so much fun doing it during my summer backpacking through Europe…I'm going to be volunteering in Ecuador this summer and hope to blog some more…These were great tips. I've decided, after reading this, that I am going to take my laptop. I will sacrifice some time of mingling to write a couple quick posts (I'm writing a travel abroad column for my newspaper, so I figure it kills two-birds-with-one-stone anyway.)

    Thanks for this post…awesome information!! :)

  • Thank you for this post! I'm a junior at Washington State University, studying journalism, and aspiring to be a travel journalist. I know it's going to be hard, low pay, and not everything that it's glammed to be. But I am so passionate about traveling and writing, and have had so much fun doing it during my summer backpacking through Europe…I'm going to be volunteering in Ecuador this summer and hope to blog some more…These were great tips. I've decided, after reading this, that I am going to take my laptop. I will sacrifice some time of mingling to write a couple quick posts (I'm writing a travel abroad column for my newspaper, so I figure it kills two-birds-with-one-stone anyway.)

    Thanks for this post…awesome information!! :)

    • ShannonOD

      You are most welcome Scott, glad that it helped you make some choices and
      have a clear picture of what your trip will be like writing and working from
      the road. I've got your email give me a couple days and I'll get right back
      to you with a full response, internet is pretty sketchy here right now :-)

  • ShannonOD

    You are most welcome Scott, glad that it helped you make some choices and
    have a clear picture of what your trip will be like writing and working from
    the road. I've got your email give me a couple days and I'll get right back
    to you with a full response, internet is pretty sketchy here right now :-)

  • Sato Travel

    thanks for sharing most helpful information for travel blog creating i am very impress dear
    great great work again i am saying that thank you so much
    Sato Travel

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