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Is it still worth starting a travel blog in 2020?
March 2019. It is estimated that there are nearly as many blogs operating in cyberspace as there are people walking on the planet. That’s pretty insane right? It means that these days, every man and his dog now has his personal little electric mouthpiece.
So naturally, you may well ask yourself whether the world really needs anymore blogs because surely there are already far too many? Well maybe but maybe not. I mean, do you think that the world has too many people in it? Should we stop reproducing, procreating and making more humans? Because for me, there is as room for as many blogs in the world as there are voices in it.
So yes, if you are thinking of starting a blog then you totally should do go for it – use your voice!
Not convinced? Read on.
Will Hatton initially started the prototype version of The Broke Backpacker in 2012 purely as way to keep his family and friends (Ok friend) updated on his adventures around the world. When he did, there were already load of similar, amateur blogs around founded by enthusiastic students and budget backpackers updating their friends about their capers across South East Asia. So why would anybody ever have bothered with Will’s little blog?
He then re-launched it in 2014 as a more professional affair with the intend to make a bit of pocket money out of it. At the time, there were already loads of semi-pro and very pro professional blogs around making rather a lot of pocket money. So again, why would anybody bother with Wills now medium sized blog?
Flashforward 5 more years to 2019 and The Broke Backpacker is now amongst the biggest travel blogs in the world with over 1 million visitors a month. If Will had thought to himself in 2012, “there are too many blogs already. I won’t bother” then none of this would be happening now.
If we rose above the sea of over-saturation, then so you can you.
The Best Way To Document Your Travels
Even in 2020, starting a travel blog is still without a doubt, the absolute best way to keep your friends updated about where you are, and to tell the world all about about your awesome adventures..
You may feel that Travel Blogs are redundant in 2020. Afterall, with with a plethora of Social Media to choose from, what’s the point putting effort into to starting a blog when you can simply upload your pictures to Instagram or share a status on Facebook?
Firstly, if you use Social Media, then remember that THEY OWN YOUR CONTENT. Yes, they own your pictures and your observations. This means that they can do pretty much what they want with it, including deleting it completely without any warning whatsoever. This has happened to quite a few people I know who have had Instagram accounts permanently deleted with no warning with very little reason.
All those pictures are now destroyed. All those moments are lost forever like tears in rain.
Furthermore, Instagram is becoming increasingly dominated by slick professional players using the medium purely to try to sell you crap. (I give you Fyre Festival everybody…)
Therefore, unless you are a pro-photographer using an expensive lens to shoot a hot girl on a stunning caribbean beach, then it’s going to be hard to get a look in. Also bear in mind that the average Instagram user has the attention span of a goldfish and the reading age of a chimpanzee so whatever heartfelt, inspired, poignant musings you write to accompany your images are not going to get read.
As for Facebook, well it’s beyond a joke now to be frank. The average feed is crowded with adverts, you only see 5% of your friends status uploads and only 5% of your friends see yours. Moreover though, in recent years Facebook has unequivocally proven that it is evil by spying on you, selling your data, interfering in democratic elections and enabling all kinds of extremism. Therefore i would step as far away from Facebook as you possibly can.
It is now easier than ever to start a blog
Still reading? You’ve gotten this far. So maybe you do want to start a blog but feel it’s all a bit too technical for you? I once thought that way too.
When me and Will started blogging, it was hardly rocket science even back then. Neither of us had any web design or programming experience. We bought simply “out of the box” websites which require very basic customising to get them up and running in no time. These days though, with the fast advancement of technology it is even easier than ever before and there are now all manner of awesome build your own website resources available for very reasonable prices. There is also a ton of online, how to, style tutorials available so you have no excuse!
There are different types of options available, ranging from website builders to your classic CMS, and you can easily find something that will suit your price point. Plus, you can find resources everywhere with “how to” style tutorials, so you have no excuses!
Also bear in mind that you don’t have to be a great writer to start a blog. Many blogs these days predominantly feature pictures, videos and even podcasts. A blog can be a 3d, multimedia experience perfectly placed to bring to your life your 5d multi sensory adventures.
Golden Rules of Starting a Blog
Is this a hobby or a job?
The first thing you should get straight in your mind is whether you want your blog to be a hobby and a medium of expression or whether you want to make money. Deciding this from Day 1 is vital because everything else follows. For example, if you want to make money then you need to think very hard about a sensible name whereas if its a hobby, you can name if after yourself or give it a ridiculous & whimsical name (*note. If you do name it after yourself you risk a future employer one day finding it. This may not be ideal if, like me, you document hallucinogenic experiences at Goan Trance Parties).
2. Buy A Domain and pay for hosting
It is essential to buy a domain and buy some hosting. Choosing a domain that suits your business is important, so make sure to spend some time on that before you commit. If you end up having your blog hosted by WordPress or something, it essentially becomes a sub-domain of a big umbrella domain. This will impact people’s ability to find your blog and will guarantee that you never make any money from it.
It’s like living your whole life in your parents garage.
3. Speak From The Heart
When you get your blog started, it is essential to come from an honest place, speak from the heart and find your voice. Even if you are not the best writer, your sincerity will shine through and you will connect with people.
If the blog does end up coming a bit more professional, you may find yourself having to write for a market rather than for your souls nourishment. Even then though, you can still be as true to yourself as possible – for example, in this post I used 1 expletiivie and called Facebook unequivocally evil.
Freeborn Aiden. Senior Editor, resident travel insurance expert and 2nd longest-serving member of team Broke Backpacker. Can’t resist a colourful shirt, ideally one with no buttons. Rampant Psytrance addict and seriel cat fancier. Aiden recently realised that his entire reality is little more than a badly written 90’s sitcom.