October saw some big changes to this site. For one, it got a complete make over. Do you like it? But there have also been some serious marketing and refinement going on as well.
I’ve spent most of October discovering all the other travel bloggers’ sites. I paid attention to what worked for them, what looks good and what doesn’t work for them. The common denominator of all these sites is: adding a face to a name and plenty of “white space.”
I realized that the sites I enjoyed reading the most and trusted the most were the ones that displayed pictures of the authors, added personal anecdotes to their writing and showed us the human side of travel (instead of the bland corporate face we see from adverts). So I decided to open up and share more about myself, examples: my Halloween posts.
I wrestled with the idea for a while, it’s a really scary thought to put yourself out there for the world to see: adding pictures of yourself, sharing intimate details, even just giving out your real name. I realized, though, that it needed to be done. If I am serious about running this site and making it successful, I need to put a little skin on the line. (Is that even the correct expression?)
Along with that revelation came the complete redesign of my site to work in more of these elements. I liked the old look but it was really cluttered and hard to navigate. I opted to open the wallet and purchase the Genesis framework.
The Genesis framework is awesome! Is it much, much easier to use than my last (free) theme. Everything is conveniently placed into one file, so when you want to change things like header background color or the padding of the posts, it’s all in one spot. There are even a few free themes to use with it (you do need to buy the Genesis underpinnings) that are functionally efficient and visually appealing. Do you like the new site?
Building Traffic to the Site
I began to seek out other traveling sites both in New England and abroad and there are a TON out there, more than I ever realized. There are some really great sites out there that make a living off of travel blogging and writing. It was really inspiring to see so many people out there doing it.
I’ve begun following them, commenting on their posts and doing twitter shout outs. It’s been refreshing to interact with the pulse of the traveling blog world. I plan on doing a mashup post of all the best bloggers I’ve found out there, there’s a lot of information and interesting stuff on those interwebs. Stay tuned!
All the interaction has brought me an uptick in traffic which I am very pleased with. For those of you following me now, don’t get jealous, I still love you and nothing will change that haha.
Which brings me to my next revelation: more posts! The top blogger sites are creating new content like a frenzied drug addict who’s lost their last bag of crack. I’ve decided to put a lot more effort and you’ll start seeing a lot more content from me. Follow me, leave comments, offer suggestions – I really want this to become something more interactive, something that people really enjoy coming back to.
That’s it for now, until next month…