Creating an Effective Travel Blog + Contest!

February 4, 2010 12 Comments »

Setting you up for Blogging Success

I recently realized that I have been without a ‘typical’ job now for longer than I’ve ever held a job at a particular company – 3 ½ years. My typical length at an employer was about 3 years before I would move on and up.

I’ve been traveling and  blogging now for 3 ½ years; this is surprising to me considering I started this blog with no plan other than to keep friends and family updated. I often fantasize about what I would do if I knew then what I know now about blogging. I think about how much bigger and better it would be, how it would be optimized for search engines, how I would have gained a huge following and had advertisers knocking at my door. Ah…but sometimes things just happen organically – at the speed they are meant to happen. So I’ve learned that there’s no use in thinking about what I would’ve done differntly if I had known I was going to run this blog for 3 ½ years instead of just 1 year.

In 3 1/2 years, the one thing I’m amazed at is how the Travel Blogging community had grown. Actually – grown really isn’t even a good word as in early 2006 when I started researching for my Around the World trip, there were no blogs and travel websites except for Bootsnall – nothing else really existed. Now if you go out and search on travel blogs or destinations – you are bombarded with stories of people’s travels and how-to’s …and of course my most hated stories that start with 10 best, 7 worst, 5 biggest, etc (ugh – I think we should ban number’s from travel writing).  So how do you make your blog and experiences stick out and be seen?

In the midst of all of the travel blog overload where everyone is trying to be heard, my good friend, David Lee of GoBackpacking, has started a new site called Travel Blog Success. The site includes a course and discussion forum about how to build a better travel website.

A description from the site:
Whether you’re looking to entertain your friends and family on a future trip, or develop a living wage from doing what you love, the resources on this site will help you get started on the road to travel blogging success.
The course consists of 12 weekly lessons. If you chose the premium membership, then you can work through them at your own pace. If you chose the monthly payments option, then you will receive access to a new lesson every 7 days (via e-mail).

If you are wondering why you should listen to Dave – then check this out:

– He earned over $10,000 from travel blogging in 2009, or about $850 per month. But….
– He earned over $1,300 per month in just the last 6 months (Aug 2009 to Jan 2010). A step further and…
– He earned $5,000 in just the last 3 months (Nov 2009 to Jan 2010).
– Go Backpacking will exceed 20,000 unique visits and 45,000 page views in January 2010.
– Both his travel blogs, Go Backpacking and Medellin Living, are finalists in the 2010 Weblog Awards (

Ummm….yes…I’m turning green with envy right now…

Plus he’s a really good guy, super helpful, and passionate about travel.  I kinda wish I could hate him…but that’s impossible!

I was actually a part of the Beta Testing for Dave’s project and was felt like I spent the whole time saying “Doh!” (said with the Homer Simpson inflection).  I had so wished there would have been something like this out there in 2006 when I started Ottsworld! It had fabulous information for the new blogger on how to get started. Because as with many things, blogging is about good design and planning upfront; then you can really set yourself up for success. Suffice it to say – I did no planning for Ottsworld!

The site is a ‘premium’ site so there is a small fee to join, but I personally think it’s worth it for the Discussion Forum alone where you’ll get to interact with some of the best travel bloggers out there today as well as newbie’s.

Now – here’s the really good news…

Take a career break!

Dave has agreed to let Briefcase to Backpack (my other site that I hope you know about by now!) be the first site to run a contest which gives one lucky person a premium membership to Travel Blog Success!

All you have to do is head over to Briefcase to Backpack, and sign up for the contest. Plus you get an extra entry if you tweet about it – read the instructions to learn more! And while you are there – you can check out our review of Travel Blog Success as well as other super career break articles and stories from ‘Briefcasers’ who became ‘Backpackers’!

Note: Briefcase to Backpack is an affiliate of Travel Blog Success and we earn a commission if you click through our site to purchase. We wouldn’t be an affiliate if we didn’t endorse this product, so we appreciate you supporting us too!

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