A fellow blogger recently asked me what I thought were the most important things to do in order to build a successful travel blog. I’ll be answering that question later on the week here, but it got me thinking about what is ‘success’ for a travel blog?
I’d like to know from you – other travel bloggers and readers alike – how you do define a successful travel blog?
Personally, I define ‘success’ in several ways. A successful travel blog connects a wide audience of travelers with interesting stories, pictures, and advice to eventually create a small community of people who love travel. My goal is to have content that other travelers can related to and find useful in their travels. I hope that I occasionally write posts that help even the most seasoned travelers to travel smarter.
It’s a difficult question to answer with many facets, I’m looking forward to your definitions and thoughts in the comments below.
Like you said, there are many ways to define success. I have a very selfish definition because my travel blog is structured that way – an extension of my personal journal. It is about my travels, my pics, my observations, my perspectives. And if a visitor can still find a thing or two to take away, that is success for me. 🙂
So is the end goal readership or content – or just getting your personal journal out there for anyone to read?
btw, I think the community you’ve fostered on your blog is great and a success all its own.
A blog means many things to each blogger. Some want to monetize theirs while other use a blog as a personal journal. I enjoy writing and I’m just happy if a few people like yourself give comments.
To me, a successful blog communicates the author’s passion for say, travel, while bringing relevant, interesting info and stories for the readers. To me, the end goal is both readership and content (though tough to balance).
Thanks for your perspective. It’s such an open-ended question with many answers I didn’t think I could sum it with only my thoughts.
Comments are probably one of my top 2 favorite things about any blog (this one included!)
Well said – I like the blend of relevant and interesting. I also think that readership comes hand in hand with good content. (With some marketing/promoting help of course.)
I was on Blogger for a while and wrote about a few travel adventures, but doing just a one person journal takes as much effort as any other site, and it seems like the big travel blogs, ya know, the gadlings, roadjunkys, and jaunteds, just suck the air out of the room and take all the traffic and attention. I mean, I prefer single traveler journals like this or some others, like nomad4ever and teacherontwowheels, &c., but if you want to get noticed or to start actually making it as a blogger, it’s tough, very, very tough.
I don’t know what the answer is, maybe making a bigger themed project site if the goal is to make a living, kinda like what I guess expatrockstar is doing, and then use a personal site to promote yourself and your posts to the established blogs.
In my opinion, only publishing by yourself on your own domain is never going to result in a site that would be something you could do for a living, if that’s what you mean by success. There are some bloggers writing for the big sites who, so I’ve heard, clear like 50k a year, which goes a long way when you’re telecommuting from a beach cabin in Roatán.
The other reason I didn’t like writing for my own domain was, I mean, professional writing is about compromise. Not everyone can be like a Gonzo superstar, like say a Matt Taibbi. When you’re trying to make a living you learn pretty quick that the kind of stuff you thought was funny or cool when you posted it yourself, advertiser supported media wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole. That’s why personal blogging was kind of a waste for me. I should have been working on queries and pitch letters, where you have produce marketable copy, not rants or narcissistic garbage. Ya know?
That’s probably not what you meant, cuz I take it you have IT skills so you aren’t trying to survive as a writer, but that’s what I’ve been thinking about, cuz nobody would hire me to do IT so I’ve got to write.
So your primary goal is to monetize and make money?
“In my opinion, only publishing by yourself on your own domain is never going to result in a site that would be something you could do for a living, if that’s what you mean by success.”
I was looking for your definition!
Ya I guess. I mean, good writing takes time and effort. Only blockheads write for free, like Samuel Johnson said, right? So maybe some of the travel sites having gone dark you mentioned is due to the fact that over the long term you have to get paid to do hard work. And if you don’t work hard, then the writing isn’t any good. So it’s not sustainable, at least not for me. Maybe for others it works, but you have to have the mindset of Ok, this post is just a list of five flash drives that work in Antarctica or whatever.
I’m not convinced that only blockheads write for free. Many people have personal blogs, just write for themselves or their families. Plus if people only wrote for money there wouldn’t be sites like Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, etc.
I do however, agree that good writing can be hard work (although some things just flow so easily and eloquently!)
Do you currently have a travel blog?
Hey, found another [F]ox(insert word) digging travel!
My trip was abbreviated, but even so, I think a successful travel blog inspires people to travel, or at a bare minimum, consider traveling. And it will brings back memories of travel to those who’ve already made the leap.
All this will be reflected in the comments, via email, or casually mentioned at the local pub!
Great name and nice to have found you. I think that good travel blogs take people away for a moment and get their mind on the topic.
I can’t wait to look through your blog and be inspired myself!
In my opinion how you define a successful travel blog is by whether it is obtaining the goals in which the blogger set.
For example, I think a successful travel blog not only inspires but also helps with my own travels. So in this case I find foxnomad.com to be a very successful blog. However if Anil set out with the intention of making money by running this website, and it wasn’t bringing in a dime then it is not successful.
Ok, back to how *I* define a successful blog. I think this is a successful blog because I love the design, I love the articles and it inspires me. I really enjoy reading it and could spend hours on this site alone. I also think NomadicMatt.com is successful because he has monetized it and his other sites and is bringing in a decent income to fund his travels which is what ultimately I would like to do.
Now I just have to make my site as interesting as this one and make as much money as Matt!
Fran, thank you very much for the kind words. My two primary goals for foxnomad are to be useful and to inspire people to see the world. That I’ve met that goals for you (and hopefully others) truly motivates me to keep writing and improving this site.
I agree with you – I think that success is measured in individual terms and it’s important for people who are serious about their blogs to set personal goals to work towards.
The strategies for the various blog successes vary so it helps to focus your energies to be successful, however you define it.