One of the most important aspects of running a travel blog is being able to travel. This can be a difficult task. While many travelers start up a travel blog at the beginning of their first around the world trip, many fail or lose interest part way through their travels.
Running a successful travel blog takes a full time commitment and this can really cut into your quality time seeing the world.
How can a person travel and enjoy their time exploring the earth while running a successful travel blog?
It is much easier to keep up to date with everything when you are at home in the comforts of your living room, but on the road any situation can pop up. You may be in the middle of the jungle for several days or climbing a mountain without Internet access. Many countries have terrible and slow connections and you may find that you cannot upload photos or even get into your site.
You have to be prepared for any situation and you never want to have a blog that hasn’t been updated for long periods of time.
We have developed a system that not only allows us to travel, but to go on multiday adventures without even looking at the Internet while still managing to post content 7 days a week. While things are easier when we are not travelling, we have our greatest increase in traffic and interest when we are out exploring the world. So our goal is to be on the road as much as we can each year.
Here are the ways that we manage to stay on top of social media, post content regularly and manage to contribute to other blogs through guest posts and interviews regularly.
1. Schedule Posts
Before leaving on a trip, we have two weeks of blog posts already scheduled. We stay two weeks ahead on our blog at all times. This gives us a cushion if we find ourselves in a situation where we can’t get to an Internet. Even though we are not in the location that we are writing about at the time, nobody knows it. Only our core group of friends and fellow bloggers know the truth about where we are, but they are not the audience we are writing for. We write for people searching for information on a location or people that are interested in our adventures and don’t know us personally. They still get the story, just two weeks later than when we were there.
2. Schedule Social Bookmarking Sites
It is extremely important not to fall out of the loop of social networks. We receive a lot of our traffic from twitter, facebook and StumbleUpon. We learned early in our travels that if we didn’t tweet and share other people’s content, they would forget about us. We use a combination of Hootesuite and su.pr to schedule tweets. Bloggers that we know who put out good solid content regularly are tweeted automatically from Hootesuite using their RSS/Atom application. In doing so, we can instantly share their content and not even be online.
Su.pr is another great way to spread out our tweets and to post on facebook. We will spend a day scheduling people’s content to be tweeted and shared at different times throughout the week. This allows us to add a human element to our scheduled tweets. Autotweeting doesn’t allow any personality, but when scheduling tweets with your own little comments it allows you to engage with your audience.
We also use su.pr because it gives people an easy option to submit our posts to StumbleUpon. It must work because we receive a lot of traffic from StumbleUpon.
Use Facebook Effectively – Start a fan page and use networked blogs to syndicate your content on facebook. It will automatically pull your feed from your blog and post your content onto facebook as soon as it is published. This lets your fans instantly know when your new post is up. You can also schedule facebook status updates through Hootesuite.
We host our photos on SmugMug and Flickr. This allows us to mass upload photos to be used on the website. SmugMug houses our more professional travel photos while Flickr hosts our snapshots. Both types of photos are just as important to further the story of a post. These sites are useful because it is quick and easy to upload several photos at once rather than inserting one photo at a time to the blog. All we have to do once we write the article is to link the photos to the post where we want them. This saves valuable time online.
4. Write posts ahead of time
There is a lot of down time when traveling. You can spend hours on a bus or sitting in an airport. Use that time to do work. Pre write your post on your laptop and sort and choose your photos for uploading. When you have an Internet connection all you have to do is copy and paste your content into the site. And when it comes to your photos, all you have to do is upload the album that you have already made.
I even pre write my tags and the excerpt for my post so that I don’t waste time having to think about anything at the Internet. The less time I have to spend online, the more time I have to enjoy my travels.
5. Keep a Journal
When you are out on a tour jot down some notes. This will help you write a post faster than trying to remember details or having to look up information. I brainstorm ideas all the time in my journal and keep it close by for quick reference.
6. Buy an iPhone or Blackberry
We always carry an iPhone to answer emails. Advertisers contact us daily and we would hate to miss out on a business opportunity because we can’t get on the Internet. We buy a SIM card and data plan in each country as soon as we enter. Our iPhone has become one of our most important items because its an excellent way to stay connected. We can send out tweets and facebook updates and moderate comments on our blog all while stuck in transit.
7. Enjoy your travels
We travel hard and then we work hard. We will go for several days at a time unplugged but nobody knows it. By doing all the legwork, we stay connected and have posts coming out regularly while we are off enjoying the adventure of a lifetime. Once we are finished our adventure, we then settle in for a couple of days to catch up on our work and write our next round of posts.
Take advantage of the many times that you will be stuck waiting for boats, trains, planes and buses to get your work done. There is nothing else to do in a waiting area but wait; you might as well do your blogging so that you don’t have to work when you arrive at your destination.
We like to immerse ourselves in our travels. We aren’t a type of traveler that sits in one place for months on end. We take part in adventures; we go on treks and move around a lot. The last thing we want to do is spend too much time on the Internet.