When you start a blog what you definitely want and appreciate is Advice for New Travel Bloggers. What better way to do this, than to have the guts to go to the top and ask for help.
A huge thank you to Dave and Deb of ThePlanetD for agreeing to be interviewed by me. As a newcomer to this field, it is always helpful and indeed encouraging to learn from very well respected travel writers.
ThePlanetd – advice for new travel bloggers.
- 1 ThePlanetd – advice for new travel bloggers.
- 2 What was your initial motivation to travel?
- 3 When did you decide to create a travel blog?
- 4 Was it difficult starting this up?
- 5 Is it difficult to maintain?
- 6 How important is social media for you in promoting your site and /or keeping in contact with your followers?
- 7 How important is guest blogging?
- 8 What Advice for New Travel Bloggers can you offer?
- 9 About ThePlanetd
I think that their responses to the questions that I posed are both insightful and honest. Dave and Debs’ advice on having a game plan and sticking to it with conviction, particularly resonates with us and we are also passionate about our travels and about sharing not only our experiences but any advice that we can offer to others. It is a steep learning curve and one that undoubtedly sees us making mistakes, but also achieving some success – ergo this interview and the opportunity to submit a guest post which we did, and we hope you like it. Cappadocia, Turkey – Escher at his best
What was your initial motivation to travel?
Ours started with a trip to Thailand. We had been working hard on our careers in the film business and in January 2000, we made a last minute decision to go to Thailand for 5 weeks. It changed our lives. In Canada we spent most of our time working and on weekends, we didn’t do much except run errands, and maybe go to a dinner and a movie.
Thailand opened up a life of adventure, we tried things that we’d never tried before like Rock Climbing and Sea Kayaking. We went hiking in the jungle and were exposed to a new culture. After those five weeks, we were inspired to change our lives at home so we joined a rock climbing gym, took up mountain biking and scuba diving and thus began our life of adventure and love of travel.
When did you decide to create a travel blog?
It was in 2008 after taking winters off to travel. (luckily we had careers that afforded us a flexible schedule) We had been searching for ways for years to make travel our life and we brainstormed many ideas like running cycling tours, becoming dive masters or even opening a bar. But it was when we saw the Tour d’Afrique, the World’s longest cycling race that we knew what we wanted to do.
Having a film and tv background, we decided that we were pitch a travel show about a couple who takes on adventures around the world. Our trip to Africa was going to be our cv and demo reel for the show. Long story short, that didn’t pan out, but we had to start a travel blog for the Tour d’Afrique so we decided to keep it going and raise our profile and brand so that maybe one day we’d be well known as travel experts and we could leverage that into a TV show.
It turns out that because we had so many years of travel and a lot of experience to draw from, our travel blog took off. Our story resonated with people and soon, the blog started to become such a huge part of our life, that the TV show didn’t seem to matter anymore. We love blogging.
Was it difficult starting this up?
We did a lot of research and because we had the blog already set up for nearly a year because of the Tour d’Afrique, before we started actually blogging so things fell into place. We read books like Nomadic Matt’s How to Start a Travel Blog and scoured sites like Pro Blogger and just learned and absorbed as much as we could. We read as much as we could about everything. We made mistakes but learned a lot too.
After Africa, we went back to our jobs in the movie business for one more year so that we could build our brand and our readership and save enough money to sustain us as we pursued our dreams. By the time we left in 2009 for Asia, we had a very clear vision of where we wanted to be and how we wanted to do it. So for us, it wasn’t as difficult as you would buy cialis in los angeles think to start things up. If you have a good plan, it helps.
Is it difficult to maintain?
We have found that if you love what you do, it’s not so difficult. We love to travel, we love writing and photography and video. The demands are getting greater because of sponsorship and partnerships, but we don’t take on more than we can handle.
The biggest problem we have is finding balance between our travels and our work. We feel that we are constantly on. Something as simple as enjoying a meal ends up being interrupted to take a photograph. We’ve had to make a conscious effort to turn off and enjoy the moment, otherwise we’ll burn out and we definitely don’t want that to happen.
Social media is just as important as the travel blog. It’s the best way to get new readers to your blog and to gain online influence and credibility. We believe in networking as much as possible. It’s just like networking in a business environment, but now you can do it virtually from your home. We are very social people in real life, so it is natural that we are social online too.
We advise to work hard on your social media efforts. It’s your way of promoting yourself and getting your name out there.
How important is guest blogging?
Guest blogging is very important. It’s a way to gain exposure on larger sites and they can drive traffic to your site.
When we first started we wrote for anyone that would have us and it helped us tremendously. We saw an increase in traffic and we gained new followers. When we had an article on a website that receives a lot of traffic, we saw a dramatic increase in numbers and a lot of it was sustainable. When people clicked through from that article, they did so because they were interested, if they liked what they saw, they would come back. We still think that guest blogging is important. The Internet is social and it’s important to keep active in your community. The more threads you can have out their to entice people to come to your blog, the better. We say, get as many eyes on your blog as possible.
Many established travel bloggers accept guest posts and places like Matador and BootsnAll are amazing places to write. Go for it, do some guest blogging. We accept guest articles as well.
What Advice for New Travel Bloggers can you offer?
Have a plan and treat it like a business. You wouldn’t open a restaurant without a plan, so why would you start a travel blog without a plan. There are more and more travel blogs starting up each day and competition is fierce, Have a clear voice, know what you want to write about. What are you offering your readers to keep them coming back week after week.
When we had an article on a website that received a lot of traffic, we saw a dramatic increase in numbers and a lot of it was sustainable. When people clicked through from that article, they did so because they were interested, if they liked what they saw, they would come back. We still think that guest blogging is important. The Internet is social and it’s important to keep active in your community. The more threads you can have out their to entice people to come to your blog, the better. We say, get as many eyes on your blog as possible.
Dave and Deb are a writer/photographer team who live by the motto “adventure is for everyone” Married for 15 years, they’ve visited over 80 countries on 7 continents. They aim to inspire people to follow their dreams and push their boundaries. Currently they are 2013 American Express Ambassadors, Expedia ViewFinders and HouseTrip diplomats. They’ve successfully turned their love of adventure and travel into a full time career at their travel blog, ThePlanetD. They have appeared on TV as regular travel experts, been featured in major travel publications Geographic and have spoken around the world about pursuing your passion. Follow their journeys on Twitter and join the conversation on Facebook.
Paula-Thank you for the above advice..Really helpful and I plan to implement them soon.
Nice interview, and I confirm the importance of guest blogging! And Dave and Deb gave us the biggest visibility so far
Thank you; it was very generous of them to give me an interview being as we are so new. Thanks from Paula and Gordon
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Great interview of some awesome travel bloggers! I like your idea of a mentor. It’s so hard knowing there is so much that I don’t know and not knowing where to learn.
Thank you. I agree totally, this is a very steep learning curve and there is still so much that I don’t know. However, like you I am enjoying this process a lot.
One of the challenges I see is finding a good balance between enjoying my travel time and the time required to write a respectable blog. Any comments or insight?
Travelling is the most important thing for us and then trying to share our experiences second. I read a good piece of advice – write your post as if you writing it “to” someone. I also think that we have our own styles, and that they change the more we learn. At the end of the day, I love travel and I love writing and this combination works well for me. Looking forward to read more of yours as I am liking them 🙂
Great interview. The Planet D is definitely a leading travel blog and these guys are always worth listening to.
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Good post, nice of them to give their feedback – as a beginner sometimes you don’t know where to start so direction and tips always a great help.
totally agree about the feedback. Sometimes I think a mentor would be awesome as there is so much to learn. But.. I still love it. Thanks, from Paula