How To Manage Your Blog While Traveling

travel writers can manage their travel blog from the road
8 February 2010 Post Author:
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Many people that travel for extended periods of time often consider making a travel blog to share their experiences with friends and family. 

Some also dream of having their blog take off and become popular.

 

If you are one of the few that has made the decision to keep a travel blog with hopes of developing a following on the Internet, you may be wondering how you will find the time to post regularly and keep people interested in returning day in and day out. 
  
It may seem like a daunting task to enjoy your experience, see the sites and juggle your blog, but with a little organization and commitment, you can have the adventure of your life while keeping your readers satisfied and wanting more.

Here are some tips to help you travel the world and keep your travel blog alive and well.

Decide how often you want to post.

Readers expect consistency. You don’t need to post an article daily to keep people coming back to your blog, but you do need to have a system the they will come to understand.  If you post regularly for a few weeks and then disappear for several days or weeks, you will confuse your readers and possibly lose some of them when you do show up again. It is better to make a schedule and stick to it.

Your readers aren’t going to be upset that they are reading about your experience from one place while you are actually in another.

Schedule Posts.

Internet connections can be scarce while traveling and then when you do manage to find one, it could be agonizingly slow.  To ensure that you don’t run into problems, schedule posts ahead of time.  Your readers aren’t going to be upset that they are reading about your experience from one place while you are actually in another.  They won’t even know.

Having posts scheduled several days in advance will give you a safety net for the times when you cannot make it to an Internet for a while.

Self Promotion.

Nobody is going to read a post if they don’t know about it.  You have to work hard to promote your blog and there are ways to automatically attract readers to new posts.

  • Post to Facebook – Facebook is a huge market and chances are you already have many friends in your personal account.  Start up a network blog on Facebook.  Your websites RSS feed will be automatically posted on your network blog and in turn you can link your network blog to your personal Facebook page.  Each new post will now show up automatically in your friends news feeds.
  • Su.pr – this is an excellent tool that allows you to schedule tweets to Twitter.  Once you have scheduled your post, view it and copy the URL.  Paste it into su.pr and schedule it to be tweeted for any time and day that you choose.  Su.pr offers the added bonus of giving readers the opportunity to Stumble your post easily to StumbleUpon.com  Now your post has just been submitted to two popular social networking sites at the same time.

Write posts ahead of time

A laptop is highly recommended for people that are serious about running a travel blog. Each night you can write an article about the events of the day and save it as a Word Document.  Before you even go to the Internet, you can have your photos organized, your headings and synopses pre-written and even have all of your tags typed out and ready to go.  When you go to the Internet café, all you have to do is copy and paste everything into the appropriate places on your website and upload the photos that you put into an organized folder.

Support your fellow Bloggers

It is important to keep your network strong.  While your friends will understand if you don’t stop by for a while to say hello on their blogs, it is still paramount to stay visible and give back to others. Make a plan to visit one or two websites every time you sit down at the Internet.  You will gain inspiration from other people and feel connected to the community that you are a part of.  The travel blog community is a great group of people and the friends that you make will have valuable insight and advice for your travels too.

Leave a comment and give them a Stumble, Digg or a Tweet. People will be reminded that you are still around.  If you find that you have some time on your hands, visit more sites and leave more comments.  Don’t assume that people will pay attention just because you are traveling. It is important to stay connected to your community.

Interesting Content

Internet readers like to scan posts.  Don’t make your post a long and boring account of every detail of your day.  Your articles should focus on interesting facts, sites, events or personal stories. Keep the content straight and to the point. Use headings and photographs to grab their attention. Offer valuable information such as what bus to catch to a certain temple or how much a person can expect to pay for a local hotel.  People want useful information intertwined with great story telling.

Keep a Journal

You can’t always have your computer with you and you never know when inspiration will strike.  You may be on a bus or train, in a desert or on a mountain when an idea pops into your head.  A travel journal is a necessity for any writer.  Besides being useful for those times when you can’t get to the computer, you can use your journal to write down information, such as names of people you met, costs of items, entrance fees and the locations of the places you visit.  All the facts that you need will be at your fingertips when you go to write your post later.

Enjoy your Travels

It is easy for a Blogger to spend hours on the computer browsing and networking.  In the end, people will come back to your site because they love your zest for travel. Don’t spend all of your time staring at the screen. Get out and meet people, see the sites and enjoy the experience. 

That is where you will find your story and that is where you will find your inspiration.

~Deb

Do you maintain a blog WHILE traveling? Share your advice!

39 Responses to “How To Manage Your Blog While Traveling”

  1. ayngelina
    Twitter: ayngelina
    says:

    Love this post and the tip on su.pr. I haven’t quite figured out stumble upon yet as I hate the tool bar that appears over web sites and I’m not sure how to remove it.
    .-= ayngelina´s last blog post: The 8 Weeks and Counting List =-.

  2. Dave and Deb
    Twitter: theplanetd
    says:

    Hi Ayngelina,
    We didn’t understand stumbleupon or su.pr at first either. However, now it has generated a lot of traffic to our site. The tool bar that appears over su.pr allows you to give it a thumbs up or stumble the post. To get rid of the tool bar, all you have to do is click on the x in the top right corner.
    We used to think stumbleupon was impossible and not doing anything for our blog, but now it is one of our biggest generators of traffic.
    Just keep on stumbling other peoples posts and put a few of your own in as well and soon you will see results.
    Hope this helps:)
    .-= Dave and Deb´s last blog post: Remebering the Tsunami, Sri Lanka =-.

  3. Shannon OD
    Twitter: ShannonRTW
    says:

    Great tips guys! It’s really hard to find this balance – now that I’m on the road again I am back to seeing just how important all of the pre-work of scheduling is – I still don’t use su.pr but perhaps I should give it a second look :-)
    .-= Shannon OD´s last blog post: A Little Cozy…Peat Fireplaces, Rugged Ireland, & Something Special =-.

    • Dave and Deb
      Twitter: theplanetd
      says:

      Hey Shannon, We have been using su.pr as well as hootsuite for our scheduling and auto tweets. Hootsuite can do it all as well as tweetlater etc. But I am still a fan of su.pr for the stumble button. It is amazing when a posts takes off in Stumbleupon how many hits you can get and keep on receiving.

  4. Abbie
    Twitter: abbiemood
    says:

    Great tips in this article – my biggest problem is organizing and scheduling. I’m trying to launch my writing career while being a full-time teacher, and I’m struggling a bit. But I’ve found it’s a learning process, so it’ll come :)

    • Dave and Deb
      Twitter: theplanetd
      says:

      We hear you Abbie. Organizing is difficult. We have a hard time staying on top of things. I can’t imagine being a full time teacher and launching a new career. Good luck!

  5. Great post! Writing ahead is a big help and it allows one to be “unplugged” a lot and really enjoy the travel.

    We’ve been blogging while traveling (& educating our child) since 2006 in 32 countries & 4 continents so far. I think the key for doing this long term is having a deep passion.

    There is a reason that most travel bloggers don’t travel that much and many that do start out blogging while traveling give up before the end of their trip. It is a unique challenge to blog & travel continuously for any length of time.

    We almost never use internet cafes because we tend to find them unsafe for people living a digital life (not to mention usually filled with cigarette smoke!). We prefer using free wifi with our own laptops and VPN.
    .-= soultravelers3´s last blog post: New York Times Q&A With Soultravelers3 on Frugal Traveler =-.

    • Dave and Deb
      Twitter: theplanetd
      says:

      You are right, we try to avoid internet cafés when doing our banking, but in places like India, Ethiopia, Sudan etc. it is difficult if not almost impossible to find wifi.
      Europe and South East Asia are much easier. We have never had a problem in our 10 years of travel at Internet Cafés, but the scams are getting more sophisticated, so you are right, you really have to be careful on public computers.
      We make sure to sign out of everything, clear the history and clear the cache before leaving.
      If anyone knows how to keep a blog running on the road, it is definitely SoulTravelers3, You have been amazing!

  6. AdventureRob
    Twitter: AdventureRob
    says:

    Good tips, I kinda figured them all out over time myself :-)

    Scheduling is the big one. I’ve not written anything for a few weeks now, yet I have my usual 3 posts a week all scheduled in to late March still, it’s great for those non-inspiring moments when the fingers won’t hit the keyboard. After March I am changing to 2 posts a week, see how it affects things.

    I still can’t manage keeping up with other peoples blogs though. My Google reader is always loaded with hours of reading, its all dated by the time I get round to it.
    .-= AdventureRob´s last blog post: The Great Ocean Road =-.

    • Dave and Deb
      Twitter: theplanetd
      says:

      Totally agree Rob. It is so hard to keep up with the Google reader. Shannon OD gave me the advice to not stress about it and try for at least one a week. I think that it is good to be out there supporting other blogs as much as possible, but sometimes it is next to impossible. So keeping it to a few is the key.

  7. The Travel Tart
    Twitter: thetraveltart
    says:

    I totally agree with everything here! Blogging from the road is a lot harder than people think, especially when things go wrong. I wrote a recent piece about Blogging From the Road after my recent month long trip to Indonesia.

    http://www.thetraveltart.com/travel-blogger-for-hire-pitfalls-on-travel-writing-from-the-road/

    If you can glean some extra knowledge from this, I’ll be happy!

    Cheers
    Anthony
    .-= The Travel Tart´s last blog post: Lonely Planet Travellers Pulse. Join and Win A Calendar! =-.

    • Dave and Deb
      Twitter: theplanetd
      says:

      Anthony, I remember that post of yours, it was an excellent article showing how tough things can be. When things go wrong technically at home, you can take the time to fix it. On the road, it is so hard! You did an amazing job in Indonesia though. That is a country without a lot of Internet connections (unless you count the well trodden tourist route which you weren’t on:-)
      .-= Dave and Deb´s last blog post: Remebering the Tsunami, Sri Lanka =-.

  8. Johnny Vagabond
    Twitter: johnnyvagabond
    says:

    Really helpful post! As I get closer to leaving on my RTW trip (3 weeks left — eek!), I’ve been thinking more and more about the mechanics of keeping a site going while on the move. Lots of good info here — thanks!
    .-= Johnny Vagabond´s last blog post: Vagabond Travel Tip #2 — Never Trust a Monkey =-.

    • Dave and Deb
      Twitter: theplanetd
      says:

      Ooh, congrats on your round the world trip! Three weeks, that is exciting. It can be a challenge. Dave and I have set some pretty high goals of posting daily, submitting to newspapers, trying to keep the guest posts up and keeping ourselves present in the community. You don’t have to post as regularly or make it so overwhelming as we have. Just stay organized and keep to your schedule and you will be fine. Good luck and looking forward to reading all about your travels RTW!
      .-= Dave and Deb´s last blog post: Remebering the Tsunami, Sri Lanka =-.

  9. Jennifer @ Approach Guides
    Twitter: Approach Guides
    says:

    Excellent (and highly relevant) tips – we are going to incorporate these immediately. We have been on the road for two weeks and have a new-found respect for all that you have been doing to keep your blog current and maintain your visibility on social networking sites during your trip to India. THANKS for sharing your secrets!

    • Dave and Deb
      Twitter: theplanetd
      says:

      We felt the same way when we started traveling, people make it look so effortless. I have to admit, the social networking has been the biggest challenge. But we can only do what we can with slow connections. Sri Lanka has been far easier than India. Wifi in our room has helped us to reconnect and catch up. We have even managed a few guest posts and articles outside of theplanetd which is a big bonus. But we are back to India in a couple of weeks and we will fall of the planet again I am sure:) Have a great travel!
      .-= Dave and Deb´s last blog post: Travel Blogging as a Couple =-.

  10. Trisha Miller
    Twitter: TravelWriting
    says:

    Well DaveAndDeb, you’ve finally got me off my butt about using su.pr – I’m going to dig in and give it a go…..the whole Stumbleupon thing has been so confusing for me since they changed it that I’ve been ignoring it, but it’s time I put some focus back on it.

    Thanks for such excellent advice!

  11. Everywhereist
    Twitter: everywhereist
    says:

    Wow – fantastic advice – thanks! I’m often trying to blog while traveling (and I definitely have experienced blogging about one trip while I’m already in the middle of another one). True, things DO get hectic, and your advice (esp. the tips about consistency and planning posts ahead of time) is super helpful. I’d also advise having a few “emergency posts” – articles that can be posted any time you’re in a jam, can’t get to a computer, or just experiencing writer’s block – in the pipeline in case you need them.

  12. Dave and Deb
    Twitter: theplanetd
    says:

    Hi Trisha…Stumbleupon has been good to us. And I think that su.pr has something to do with it. We don’t get to stumble our own posts very often, but we see a lot of traffic from there meaning that someone is stumbling for us. I think making it easier for people to give a quick thumbs up helps especially if people are already checking it out from twitter, then they can click a quick button if they feel like it.
    We have had a few posts take off and they still receive a lot of traffic, I think once something gets into the Stumbleupon mix, it just keeps on making the rounds.
    Our next thing is to try to figure out digg. We have only had 1 post take off on digg and it was huge. We want to corner that market one day soon.

  13. Amy @ The Q Family
    Twitter: TheQFamily
    says:

    Dave & Deb, great tips as usual! :) I have to start using a journal for my next trip. I tend to rely so much on my photos to remind me of the trip. So far it has been good because most of our trips are in America which I can easily find out more information about them. But when we go to Thailand, it can be a challenge.
    .-= Amy @ The Q Family´s last blog post: Flying With Kids – Things to Know Before You Board That Flight =-.

  14. ciki
    Twitter: Agentcikay
    says:

    loved the article and thank u for the tips. Yes I normally write a few posts in advance and just keep them as drafts for a later date. I upload my photos to flicker but keep them as “private” until I publish the related post. Then i change the photos to “for public”. This works great and keep everything new and exciting for my readers/followers, both on Flickr as well as FB and finally the blog. I love Supr! cannot live without it:)

  15. Most blogging hosts or software have a drafts and post later facility. I find it easier to spend a few days writing up a batch of stories and then quickly type them all up and put them on delay posting, that way you manage to keep posting consistently even if you are stumbling your way through a rainforest.

    Great tips btw, self promotion is definitely the hardest thing to learn.
    .-= Smart Traveller ´s last blog post: Orlando’s Walt Disney World Resort – Epcot – Part 4 =-.

    • Dave and Deb
      Twitter: theplanetd
      says:

      Hey Smart Traveller. It is so true about posting in advance. I can’t tell you how much it has saved us when we have been offline for several days. Or when our computer breaks down. Yikes! Self promotion is a tough one. You really have to develop a presence everywhere on the Internet. When you are seen popping up on other blogs, facebook, stumbleupon etc. People start to recognize you as an authority and will keep coming back to see what you have to say.
      .-= Dave and Deb´s last blog post: Top 10 Things we Hate About Travel =-.

  16. Mauri Travel Blog
    Twitter: Madag
    says:

    Great tips, especially the su.pr service by stumbleupon, never heard about it before. I’ll definately use this article as a guide on my next trip.
    .-= Mauri Travel Blog´s last blog post: Mauritius Must see places =-.

  17. It is just the same thing. You can still work while you are travelling. You can have an update as long as you want.

  18. Christa Thompson
    Twitter: ChristaTravels
    says:

    I love you guys. Every time I read your tips it seriously makes me smile. They are totally helpful. Sometimes it’s things I’m already doing which makes me feel like I am on the right track…and everyone loves to be there :-)

    I travel a lot. I write every chance I get. I carry a little mini notebook in my camera bag and I make note of details that stand out, names, short interviews from tour guides and such. If you can’t post right away it’s important to recall the details to build into the story. I usually ask myself what am I seeing, smelling, hearing, feeling, tasting…

    When I get in for the night I try to edit my photos/organize them and such, and write up a draft. THEN I SLEEP ON IT…I always sleep on it.

    I get up super early (it’s a personal tradition of mine to experience dawn in every place that I travel to), I get my coffee, finish my piece and schedule it.

    Keeping it real and writing on paper is awesomely convenient and can be done anywhere.

    Thanks for this post :-) Happy travels!

    • Trisha Miller
      Twitter: TravelWriting
      says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Christa, we appreciate it! I totally agree with your philosophy to ‘sleep on it’ – so many times I’ll write something that (in the moment) I think is brilliant, then after a time away from it I’ll re-read it and say to myself “what was I thinking!”. Time (and distance) gives us a fresh perspective on nearly everything, often necessary when it comes to writing.

      And I envy your ability to get up early….that’s sooooo hard for me…I love the dawn (anywhere) and *being* up early, it’s the *getting* up early that I find so difficult!

      Happy travels yourself! :-)

      • Deb
        Twitter: theplanetd
        says:

        So true about sleepign on it. Last year we were cranking out the articles to keep up with our travels and I didn’t sleep on it and I definitely didn’t put out my best work. Now I’m back to giving a good second and third look before we hit publish. Much better. :-)

    • Deb
      Twitter: theplanetd
      says:

      It sounds like you have it totally under control Christa. So true, keeping it real and writing on paper is so important. I still write hand notes. I tried keeping notes on my iPhone, but I was too slow. Nothing like writing quick notes jolt my memory. All the best! Cheers

  19. Jasper Ribbers
    Twitter: travelingdutch
    says:

    Great info guys, I should really implement some of this as I always have trouble keeping the blog up-to-date when I have a busy travel schedule.

    Also agree with Christa, it’s amazing how the subconscious mind can solve problems for us when we’re asleep!

    Cheers,

    Jasper

    • deb
      Twitter: theplanetd
      says:

      Yes indeed. When I’m worried and stressed, I always say “let’s sleep on it and see how things are in the morning” The mind can work wonders when it’s relaxed.

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  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Anthony,Travel Tart!, Andy, Dave&Deb Travel Duo, Travis&Kathy Nel, Shannon O'Donnell and others. Shannon O'Donnell said: RT @TravelWriting: How To Manage Your Blog While Traveling – Many people that travel for extended periods of time o… http://ow.ly/16wJB0 [...]

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  3. [...] time consuming and at times confusing. We wrote an article at Travel Writers Exchange about How to Manage Your Blog While Traveling to give you an idea of how we do it. But we thought that we would share the things that we have had [...]

  4. [...] going to be difficult to keep up with our travel blog while traveling. We even wrote a post at the Travel Writers Exchange giving people advice on how to blog from the road.  Little did we know that coming home for a [...]

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