As I wrote in my previous post, blogger.com is a great beginner friendly, FREE blogging platform offered by no other than Google itself. Even though this blogging platform has its own limitations, it also has many advantages :
- many free gadgets ( plug-ins ) and themes
- multiple blog accessibility ( you can create and manage as many blogs as possible and access all of them from one dashboard )
- its very SEO friendly ( after all, Google loves its blogs ! )
- Google gives you unlimited bandwidth ( so you won’t have to worry about “high traffic” especially when you’re just getting started )
- have no worries or fear about the security of your blog; Blogger.com blogs are secured as far as your Google account is secured.
- monetize your blog from the start with Google AdSense, third party ads and banners, affiliate links
One of the biggest “concerns” many “professional bloggers” have is that because your blog is hosted on Google’s server, it can be deleted by Google any time. From my personal experience, if you use blogger.com with the compliance of Google’s rules, you’ll be fine ( and yes, I did have a few blogs deleted by Google for not following the rules ).
Personally, I believe that Blogger is a great platform for beginners to use ! But as I mentioned in my video, you would need to spend some time and effort to make your blog look professional.
Till recently, I thought my blog looked decent, before I came across “Just Chasing Rabbits” blog.
It’s run by fellow travel bloggers Jennifer and Mark, and it’s also hosted on blogger.com
When I came across their blog I was blown away by how great looking, clean and easy to navigate their blog was ! Don’t get me wrong, it took Jennifer ( who has a degree in Studio Art, and is passionate about design and photography ) time, effort, and some knowledge of HTML and CSS to make the blog look nice.
But it all paid off ! In less than 2 years, their blog received numerous blogging awards, and their work was featured in many travel related online publications.
I’m not surprised ! They have lot’s of great engaging content, beautiful high resolution pictures, they’re very active on social media, and in travel blogging community.
To learn more about their blog, I had a quick chat with Jennifer :
– How did you get into (travel) blogging ?
I obtained BA degree in studio art, and I worked in the field of photography for about 6 years. During this time, I married Mark, who turned out to be my most perfect travel companion! Our love of travel combined with my love of photography and design led to our travel blog! Because we love sharing our stories to inspire others to get out and see the world, and because we always have cameras in-hand on our travels, we thought a blog would be the perfect way to share our stories and tips with the world!
– Who are your readers/customers ?
Most of our readers are couples without children (or with adult children) looking for unique and unusual travel destinations and tips.
– How does your blog solve their problems ?
Though we don’t have children, we approach travel with positive attitudes and eyes full of wonder, much like a child would. We are always looking for unique adventures, interesting people, and unusual sites. Our blog posts are written in a very conversational manner, sharing our experiences and information so that others may have more meaningful travels.
– How is your blog different from ( hundreds of ) other travel blogs out there ?
We have tried to make our blog reflect who we are. We are not partiers, so we won’t be writing about the best clubs or the craziest bars. We aren’t hardcore adventurers, so we’re not looking for the next mountain to climb or bridge to bungee off of. We are interested in the history, stories, and people of each location we visit. This leads to unique, authentic experiences and great travel stories!
– How do you make money with your blog ?
Because blogging has been a labor of love and a learning experience for us, we are building our following before attempting to monetize. Saying “no” to advertisers and potential income can be just as important as saying yes. We want to stay true to ourselves and honest with our readers through any ads, sponsored posts, etc.
– What would you recommend/say to people who want to start their own travel blog ?
Blogging is definitely a lesson in patience. And perseverance. You have to do it because you love it. If it’s a true passion, it will show through the posts, blog design, and correspondence with others. Then, true opportunities to grow will begin to come your way!
But as you can see from the interview, even if you have a professionally looking blog, great content, if your blog is popular on social media, and receives awards…it won’t guarantee to make you money.
Just like for Jennifer, for many travel bloggers their blogs are a labor of love. More that that, many bloggers feel it’s wrong to monetize/commercialize their blogs. Others simply don’t know how to do it, and where to start.
This is where you’ll have to decide for yourself whether you want to do this whole “blogging thing” as a hobby, or you want to take it seriously, and create a business based on your love and passion.
If you choose the first, it will literally cost you nothing to get started, and you might even make some money out of it. My very first year I made over $100 just with a couple AdSense banners… and I didn’t even have a domain name, and wrote just 1-2 posts a month.
But if you want to start a profitable business, get ready to spend a lot of time and effort to learn about this not easy, but very rewarding business.