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What Blogging Has Taught Me

 I started blogging several years ago. It started out as a hobby where I talked about my own trips. These were personal adventures with friends and on my own. I documented my first few trips out of the country as a solo traveler. 

The Wandering Juan

I didn’t know then that it would provide me with opportunities for career and personal growth.

My blog has opened many opportunities for me. I started out as doing my own thing. I traveled to places I wanted to visit, wrote about them, and helped my readers to achieve their own travel goals. I have also grown as a writer. I became more detail oriented and conscious of information that my readers would find useful. 

The Wandering Juan

I’ve also learned lessons about online marketing, affiliate marketing, influencer marketing, keywords, and search engine optimization. Blogging has led to opportunities to work with different bloggers, institutions and agencies in the travel industry. I got invited to domestic and international trips to promote those places. I’ve learned about the policies and practices of different countries when it comes to promoting their countries or provinces. 

I was also able to get some of my work published in various websites, magazines and newspapers. I was no longer limited to writing for my blog. I was humbled by the experiences and opportunities for personal and career growth provided by what started as just a hobby and passion project. There’s still so much to learn because of the changing interests and landscape of online marketing. There are more platforms now compared to when I started blogging years ago. 

I don’t just take any project or work with companies who want to promote on my blog. I make sure they are reputable brands that I value and would recommend to my readers wholeheartedly. However, most of my posts are personal. I’d still like to visit a place without thinking of marketing or whatnot. I’d like to experience a place, not just take pictures or document, but also learn about the culture, history, food, and people. 

Lessons I've Learned Which Can Help Others

  • Provide useful information. It’s nice to express yourself on your blog, but you’ll reach a wider audience when you provide them with information they need. In my case, I write a travel blog, so I post details about budget, where to stay, attractions, directions and other similar pieces of information.

  • Be authentic. One of the problems of bloggers and influencers is they become inauthentic when they mention a sponsor too many times or post too many sponsored posts. Your readers may lose interest if your blog is full of recommendations for products or services. Authenticity has become an important characteristic for bloggers and influencers alike.

  • Establish a tone. The tone you use for your blog showcases your personality. This will show a funny, witty, exciting, or fun-loving side of you. These traits may attract new readers or keep your visitors coming back for more.

  • Have a portfolio ready. If you’re trying to make a pitch, you have to show them the reasons a company should choose you. Provide a list or kit of your previous collaborations, links to published work and others that may help you land a project. It’s similar to applying for a job. 

  • Focus on your niche. This approach allows you to become an expert and a reliable source. Create content such as articles, videos, podcasts and others related to your niche. Doing so also increases your website’s ranking on search engines.

  • Use different platforms. Your blog is the anchor, but you should also use other platforms to reach a wider audience. Some visitors prefer videos over text or images. Varied content also keeps your target audience engaged. Make sure to link to and mention your other accounts to direct traffic to them.

Blogging is fun and can provide you with opportunities. You just have to persevere and stick to your goals. It takes time and effort to see the fruits of your labor. However, don’t blog or use social media for the sole purpose of making money. Do it because you want to and keep an open mind. One of my mottos is if you get something, cool, if you don’t, it’s still cool at least you had fun and learned something from it.

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