When I retired from the administrative and financial fields, I was at loose ends. From an early age, I was a writer, so combining travel and writing was a natural fit.
In 2014, I went to the Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop, during which I attended Paula Pant’s breakout session on blogging. It clicked! After returning home, I decided to start blogging and set up a travel blog to launch my new blogging career.
Using information from the Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop, I started crafting and posting articles and guest posting on fellow bloggers’ websites. Alongside blogging, I pursued freelance travel writing. Marketing and finding publications to write for was difficult for me, and in late 2015, I chose to put freelancing aside to focus solely on blogging.
In June of 2016, the freelancing bug bit me again. I returned to the Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop that September, and that’s where the juxtaposition of blogging and travel writing finally connected in my head.
Marketing was made simple with the steps outlined by Noreen Kompanik. Query letters no longer petrified me. I learned where and how to research for stories and publications. Using these same tactics, I began to post regularly on my blog. And, using what I learned from the social media breakout session with Kristi Dosh, I marketed these stories and blog posts on social media.
One of my fellow bloggers shared on Facebook in late September 2016 that “anyone can be a travel generalist, but not everyone can be a specialist.” I was empowered! Taking this information, I redesigned and re-branded my blog. I am no longer a travel blogging generalist. Instead, I am a travel blogging specialist.
My specialties are Florida travel and travel in the surrounding Southern states, as well as travel in the Bahamas and travel by boat. In today’s blogging environment, it’s crucial to find a niche and become a specialist in that niche. I’m finding that blogging and travel writing go together and complement each other.
Marketing yourself is important as a blogger. Without marketing, you’re just another travel blog lost in a sea of travel blogs. For me, each blog post follows a simple system. After creating a post, I create my social pins. Then the post goes live. I “market” the post on all social channels – Facebook (both my personal and business), Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+. I also set up a marketing plan for the post using Co-Schedule.
Success does not come overnight. It takes time and perseverance. Because of my blogging and travel writing, I have 20+ bylines, both digital and print, and my blogging and writing are beginning to open doors I never imagined. In Canada, I was the guest of Québec City Tourism. I’ve also been to Florida; Branson, Mo; Jamaica; St. Simons Island, Ga; and Seattle, Wash.