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Success as a Travel Blogger

Success as a Travel Blogger

Over the weekend I went to Girona, Spain to give the closing keynote at TBEX, a gathering of travel bloggers. After missing the only flight out of the Seychelles on the night I was supposed to travel, I almost didn’t make it.

I had to regroup and reroute the whole trip as quickly as possible, and ended up flying through the night the next day and then the morning of the day after that.

Fortunately, I made it just in time. I wasn’t able to sightsee in Girona itself, but it was fun to catch up with old friends and speak to an engaging group of enthusiastic people.

The topic of my talk was on success, specifically how people can expand their platform in an authentic way. Here are a few points I touched on.

***

I. Introduction

I became a traveler more than ten years ago, when I first arrived in Sierra Leone. I remember landing on the shores of Freetown on board a hospital ship that had sailed from the Canary Islands. Over the next few months, and then the next few years, I began to love seeing and experiencing the world.

Every day was an adventure, and as I traveled more, I began to love the process of travel. I enjoyed the challenge of getting to difficult places, and the more I explored, the more enthralled I was.

A few years later I moved back to the U.S., but I kept traveling. I wanted to share my journeys with other people, so like many others have done, I started a blog. There was a long process of trial and error, and when I started I had no aspirations of turning it into a business, but within a year I found I could earn a good living through it.

I don’t think of myself as a travel writer; I think of myself as a writer who travels. When I read travel writers who produce in-depth destination content, I appreciate what they do… and then I go back to focusing on what I do well.

II. Story of Success

Most people with a blog or website want to have more readers who appreciate their work. How can you find them?

Success in travel writing or building an online platform doesn’t come from anything technical or tactical. People often ask which things have been the most important in creating success as a blogger, and they are usually referring to tactics: which email provider to use, how to incorporate RSS, and so on.

These things are largely irrelevant to success.

Real success comes through strategic intention, and through building something over time. I have three suggestions, and I hope that at least one of them will be helpful to you.

*Do something interesting.

I hear from a lot of people who want to “get noticed.” They write in to ask, “How can I become more known?” Whenever I hear this question, I’m reminded of something that John Mayer said in a talk at the Berklee College of Music. As best as I recall, the quote was:

“The world doesn’t need more mediocre musicians who are really good at Twitter.”

His point was that musicians should focus on honing their craft instead of working on getting followers or mastering social media. I’d say something similar: the world doesn’t need more mediocre bloggers or writers who are really good at Twitter. What the world does need is storytellers. We need people to challenge us. We need people to explain how travel can be a force for good.

As you venture beyond your comfort zone, what do you see and experience? How were you changed? How is the world changing? In some ways the world is increasingly integrated, but at the same time there are still a lot of people who lack clean water or can’t send their kids to kindergarten.

What is that like, and are there ways you’ve seen that one group can help the other group? Tell us.

In other words, start with something to say.

*Self-discovery is overrated!

A lot of blogs begin with the premise of so-and-so finding their way in the world and being inspired to travel. That’s not a bad start—but it’s just a start. What comes next? What’s the message? The minutia of our lives is not nearly as fascinating as we might think, so be specific and put forth a real opinion.

Don’t tell a story that isn’t yours. You have to remember that we live in a world of skepticism, so our task is to be authentic and congruous. There are blogs about making money online from people who have never made money online. There are blogs about being “location independent” from people who live in their parents’ basement.

Lastly, don’t write with your colleagues in mind; write with your readers in mind. If you want to be a travel blogger, your audience is not other travel bloggers. Your audience is people at home (wherever “home” is) who travel through you.

Your goal is to inform and inspire them. Tell them the why of your adventures—go deeper. How has travel really changed you? As you engage with the world, what do you learn and how are you impacted?

*Don’t forget to care.

Care about your work, and care about the people who support it.

Success will not happen by accident. Think of your blog as a real commitment, not a hobby. Have a schedule. Define specific outcomes that you hope to achieve. Set goals. Write and build projects with the end in mind. Focus on deliverables, not the time it takes to complete them.

Just as you write with your readers in mind, care about them. Treat people like they’re important, because they are. Show kindness. Be accessible and transparent.

Community is a powerful thing. The best decision I ever made was to start meeting my readers in person. It changed the entire trajectory of my work.

III. You’re in the right place!

It’s easy to overlook how much the world has changed because of connectivity and connection. We have a world of possibilities, and it’s never been easier to create your own space in it.

When I haven’t been getting stranded in the Seychelles or flying to Spain, I’ve been touring North America to talk with readers about small business. Over the past two years, I’ve heard from more and more people who have embraced creative self-employment, whether through online writing or something else.

I really believe that this revolution of independence is just beginning. The possibilities are endless and expanding. When I was getting started 14 years ago, I didn’t know anyone else who worked for themselves. My family didn’t understand what I did, and my friends thought I was an online gambler.

Now, it’s more and more common. There’s never been a better time to do this—to travel the world and share stories about those experiences, even crafting a business around it if you want to.

That’s where I think you’ll find your own unconventional success.

***

***

I returned home to Portland late last night after another long day of flying. Since I combined the Seychelles + Spain trip with several $100 Startup events in the U.S., the itinerary over the past 16 days has been somewhat intense:

PDX-MSP-ORD-OMA-ORD-LGA-xJFK-AUH-SEZ-AUH-xDXB-BCN-JFK-SFO-PDX

After all that, I’m happy to be home for two weeks before the next adventures: attempting to run the Chicago Marathon and then heading to Australia.

But first, back to work on other projects.

Question: Are you working on a blog or other project? What are your goals?

Feel free to share with other readers in the comments.

###

Image: Gary Arndt

81 Comments

  • My goal is to help people by having them acknowledge what they already know. They write to me, I read between the lines and tell them what really, they are telling me.

    I’d love to have more ‘reader stories’ on my site, as another one of my goals is to share stories of people who can relate more directly to specific letters that come in. (I’ve got a lot of mistakes of my own to fall back on when giving advice, but sometimes, another point of view would be really helpful!).

  • Chase says:

    I’m making my way through college without incurring any debt. And I’m vocal about the fact that my generation thinks they have to have to take on debt to get an education. I want to be the voice that says no to debt.

  • Christina says:

    It’s good to remember to focus on the most important element of all: putting out great content. I’m writing a language-learning blog, as well as offering an online Spanish course and my services as a Spanish tutor. Welcome back to the U.S., and good luck in the Chicago marathon!

  • So much YES Chris! I love the line, “I don’t think of myself as a travel writer; I think of myself as a writer who travels.” In my case, I don’t think of myself as a life/business coach, I think of myself as a freedom-fighter. It’s who I am. It permeates everything in my life. My goal is to help others open their own door and give themselves permission to live courageously. To recognize that THERE IS NO BOX. That freedom is creating what you want for yourself and devising your own rules along the way.

  • Sharkman says:

    The mission of our blog is to help people live a more adventurous life. The world is crying out for it. We are simply sharing what we have done with others that want to do it as well.

  • Yep, I am working on a blog. Two, in fact. One is about travel (packyourba.gs), simply so I can document what I’ve done, share any tidbits that might be helpful to others and, hopefully, inspire someone to take a trip they’ve been wanting to take. The other is about my life with my dog (thezoeexperiment.com). My main goal with that one is to share information about making homemade dog food – cost, time, etc. I also relaunched my business website with the goal of taking it full time next spring. I would eventually like to combine travel with work (although I don’t know exactly what I want that to look like just yet).

  • I immediately sent this to a friend of mine who is a travel blogger, hehe – I think the John Mayer quote sums it up perfectly. Being in NYC, she’s always telling me how there’s this constant wave of 20-somethings wanting to break out of careers they’re unhappy with and (quite simply put) “be a writer”, as if it were some alternative lifestyle. Travel blogging has a certain glamorous overtone to it, and people seem to get drawn to that. But it’s work, just like making a name for yourself in any other profession. Cheers!

  • Hi Chris – what a trip you’ve just had. Time for some well earned sleep for you I think :0)

    The things that most hit home for me in what you wrote today are:

    1. Be interesting and tell stories that teach,
    2. Understand your readers – their hopes, dreams, conundrums and desires and write for them and their world; and finally
    3. Show that you really care – connect personally with your readers and aim to meet them face to face whenever you travel

    The blogs I read that I love the most, are the ones that have all these 3 elements. They are places that feel real, that make me think and make me feel like I matter.

    Thanks for the reminder Chris

    Looking forward to meeting you in Melbourne Australia soon.

  • Ruksana says:

    I just started a new travel website to share my experiences on travel. These are just places I have been to, and enjoyed. No other motive here but to just show that travel can be so much joy, and if that helps someone else take to travelling or even share their stories and inspire me then that’s all I want :) Still have to get a lot of content on there, just published it like two weeks ago, and now trying to get my pictures and such together. Thanks!

  • Michaela says:

    I think the two takeaways for me are these questions, “How has travel really changed you? As you engage with the world, what do you learn and how are you impacted?” The ability to share my adventure with friends and family and explain that it doesn’t take loads of money to bicycle tour across Japan. It takes desire, preserverance, and a willingness to tell the world that you will not be defined by the narrow structures that we “imagine” exist.

  • I’ve started a new microbusiness with the help and encouragement of The $100 Startup, even kicking it off in Minneapolis with Chris’ book tour stop. My biggest hurdle (apart from time, since I work a full time job **which I love by the way**), has been defining the next mesurable or the next few months of direction. The paragraph in this post about “Don’t forget to care” is what I personally need to focus on. I care, but too often silently instead of shouting it out.

  • Alexis says:

    I like what you said about caring. It’s refreshing to come face to face with a complete stranger who is familiar with my work. The people who have read my work are straightforward with what they think of it, and I’m grateful for that. If they don’t like it, at least I can say that I tried my best, and then create something better next time.

    I’d also go a step further and include something right from your book (which I got for free in the mail for some reason, no complaints there): Make that first sale! That first sale is critical to building self-esteem, and it serves as a reminder that success as a blogger/writer/artist is possible.

  • Turner says:

    My goal is to create a sounding board and resource to help people find work overseas. From interesting odd jobs to more entrepreneurial hustle ones, the world is full of opportunity. Not everyone want to be location independent or work on a computer full time. But there are still cool fun ways to make money overseas and I want to showcase those experiences – bs free.

    Turner

    Ps good talk

  • I agree with you. I just started a new business training entrepreneurs and artists to ignite their creative ideas. Rather than just focusing on marketing, I help them make deeper connections with their work and values, which leads to more confidence and success. I am reading a great book, “Emotional Chaos to Clarity” by Phillip Moffitt, which is helping me do the same.

    My personal goal is to eventually blog/write about this subject and traveling. Heading to Morocco on Friday. Your article is helpful. Thanks!

  • I have been writing a blog for over 5 years. My passion is peace and personal realization. I believe all that is broken in the world is caused by the ego-mind (politics, environment, Wall Street etc). The goal of my writing is to raise consciousness and expand compassion in the world. The open heart and the expanded mind both override the ego’s dominance.

    I am very grateful to you Chris because I think of you as doing similar work. Maybe not in the same words but you also invite a higher level of realization in those who read your writings.

    Peace to all and may our inner light shine brightly out into the world.

    Joseph

  • I’m very excited for my next project! I’m moving to Santa Teresa, Costa Rica to manage my friend’s vacation rental. So, my goal is to get a lot of my friends to come visit and show them a wonderful time. I just discovered AirBnB too, so I’m really looking forward to sharing this great house with others, and meeting cool people from around the world.
    I’ll start a blog once I get there to promote the whole town. My goal with that is to get to know the other small business owners in town and make them look good so more people choose to visit Santa Teresa. I used this model when I moved to Maui a few years back and it is a great way to make friends in a new place, and really learn what is going on there. I get so excited when I begin a new chapter in life in a new place and it tends to rub off in my writing. When I’m very curious about a new place, and eager to meet new people, it all falls in place and it is easy to get involved in things that are happening there.

  • Jess Davies says:

    Your view on blogging is an interesting one and while I am one of those “20-somethings who want to become writers” as Dana has described, I am very aware of the work and commitment required to actually make it happen. The posts that I write that get the best feedback are always those that push the boundaries of the average travel blog and that expose how I really felt and how it truly impacted me. That said, there is also a huge response to stories that capture basic human interests – my goal is to encourage others to take the leap and to get out and see the world.

  • Willow says:

    Great advice, Chris! I’m a food blogger, and what you say applies to so many areas. Start with something to say, be interesting, be genuine… this just helps to remind me why I do what I do. To be myself, and to share what I have to offer with the world – not to copy other’s who are better than me, or repeat history.

  • Amir West says:

    Another excellent entry. Thank you for sharing!

    I am an IT Manager in my 9-5 and have my own business as a professional photographer.

    I actually made the decision a few months ago to fire my bosses and travel the world indefinitely, funding my activities through a variety of online businesses, including a travel blog featuring roughly equal parts of my words and my photography and a site dedicated to helping people THRIVE in their lives through positive reinforcement and great information on the core topics of fitness & wellness, wealth building and promoting a positive mental state.

    My goals are:

    1. To enrich my own experiences in life while (and through) assisting others to do the same.
    2. To live a more autonomous life while still matching or exceeding the 6 figure salary that I am leaving behind.
    3. To enjoy the ride and new challenges inherent in each of the two previously stated goals.
    4. To continue to be happy – and make it as contagious as possible!

  • Christy says:

    I wish we could have been there to hear your speech. Thanks for sharing it on your site! I have never really thought about how much of an impact meeting your readers would make. I often find myself saying we are too busy, but maybe it’s something we need to make time for.

  • Love this article! Thanks for sharing! I am working on a website and blog that gives people the tools they need to get healthier through a raw food diet. My goal is to empower people to take their health into their own hand and letting them know they can do it. If this ex junk foodaholic can do it, so can anyone else. I have recipes, articles, blog posts, product reviews, restaurant reviews, and will eventually write a book or two or three. It’s all a process and I want to share it all.

  • I loved this post and I found it at just the right time. I’ve been blogging for almost 4 years and have been wondering if I’m losing relevance. I’ve been uninspired lately too. You brought up some cool and key points that I had to ask myself.

  • Hi Chris, great article. In January 2013, three women (who’ve never actually met!) will drive an auto-rickshaw 3,500KM across India to raise money for Frank Water, a clean water charity working in rural India and Africa. It’s gonna be one hell of an adventure and we’ll be writing about it at our newly launched blog. We’re learning that travel blogging really can be a force for good, to raise awareness whilst having awesome adventures. We hope you’ll come along for the journey of a lifetime! Sarah (Sarah Somewhere), Kim (So Many Places) and Hannah (Furtherbound)

  • “Self-discovery is overrated” – I’m going to frame that saying and hang it above my computer.
    Also, “The world doesn’t need more mediocre musicians who are really good at Twitter.” I will need to remember that next time I am frustrated that more people aren’t reading my genius blog. ;)

  • Karen says:

    I do have a brand new blog: Surfing Chaos – Hacks & tips for surviving San Diego disasters and public emergencies. Content is the easy part..fighting through the design and peculiarities (i.e. insanity) of WordPress are the hard parts.

    My goal is to bust through the lack-of-awareness & general apathy towards disaster prep..using the weapons of biting sarcasm and straight-shooting. :-)

  • My goal is to be regular in my blogposts every week for 1 year. I have been writing consistently for the last couple of months and hope to do this for the next 10 months as well. This blog is a means to an end of becoming a better writer. Through this blog I want to hone my writing skills and develop myself as a writer.

  • Teresa Green says:

    I’m not a travel writer (or a writer who travels much, even), so my blog has a different focus. I encourage people. When someone is facing trouble, or recovering from a crisis, or just looking at life differently for the first time, it can be discouraging. I’ve felt like I’m starting over several times in life, and my blog shares things to help others in the same boat. Life should be fun and upbeat and full of hope-that’s what I’m sharing.

  • I have had a travel blog for a number of years featuring the niche market of independently owned fabric and quilt shops. While I don’t consider myself a writer I have enjoyed the process. I am getting ready to go back on the road after a hiatus of a couple years. I am very excited and have new ideas to bring my followers! Previously personal favorite is the “notes from the road” posts. I started adding this to the more formal viewing of each shop I visited, because followers prompted me by saying things like, “we want to know what your eating, and about the crazy guy at the gas station”. So I listened to my readers and it’s been the most fun for me too!

  • Yongjue Tan says:

    I’m planning to travel around the world to
    collect stories about Happiness, and record the stories on the blog I’m gonna create. I hope these stories will inspire people to count their blessings and see Happiness in their lives. Happiness is actually all around us, it’s just that people nowadays are too busy to notice that.

  • Caitlin says:

    I have a blog, which is mostly written as memoirs about my personal life and the lessons that I’ve learned about happiness, love, relationships, etc. I used my experience to motivate and encourage others to both live life to the fullest and accept any shortcomings that they might feel about themselves. I am enjoying networking with other bloggers and building a community around my blog. I would like to eventually publish a newsletter and hold link ups on my site.

  • I’m so glad a Facebook friend led me to your website. Everything you talk about is relevant to what I’m trying to do over at my WordPress blog. This year I decided to recommit to writing every day, and creating the Daily Creative Writer blog was part of that process.

    This piece really hit home – as everyone above has already said, I think the questions you pose are powerful and really get at the heart of why we write (and why we travel).

    Thanks for putting this – and you’re whole website – out there for us “creatives” looking for guidance and inspiration.

  • Lisa DeLay says:

    I video interviewed Rolf Potts (a fairly well-known travel blogger who travels without baggage, seriously) and he mentioned the benefits of traveling alone to reach out to people better, really notice his surroundings, and work through pain that comes in the silence of our thoughts that we push out with tech, and noise, etc. Really interesting.

    I just flew back from Chicago (to PA) and traveled alone to the STORY Conference (billed as “fuel for the creative class” storychicago.com ). It was amazing, but I realized that the high of an event like that can lead to a low. Being creative is a journey that involves pain, and soul care (care of the whole person emotional, mental, spiritual etc) is really needed to do well by the artistic personality type. I get soul care from a mentor regularly, but not everyone rightly interprets their discontent.

    I want to change that.

    My main goal is to reach out and help people with this, and the other transitions that come with the calling and role of a Creative or communicative person.

  • Inspiring article! I have a blog which I first started in 2009 in preparation for my travels outside of the U.S.A. for the first time in my life. At first, it was just a way to document my travels so that I would have a record of my experiences in another country, as well as a way to share with family and friends who wanted to know how it was abroad. At first, I wasn’t sure if I would only travel for one year or more, although my goals included traveling to each continent (except Antarctica). However, I knew while I was away that year that I wanted to continue. Now, almost 3 years later, I realize that I have a craving to experience places and cultures I have not and the thought of going back to life as before in the U.S.A. without ever completing my goal is unfathomable to me, now.

    After getting emails, inquiries and comments from readers who have visited my blog, both known and unknown, I realize that I can help others to learn through my experiences, learn about other people, cultures, places and more. I get to do it as a teacher with my students wherever I am, but my blog expands my reach beyond the classroom and those close to me. So, I try to produce content with value.

  • Lori says:

    I subscribe to your emails for understanding in what makes a successful blog. This one clicked for me.

    What makes sense for me to promote??? That has been the question for years. I used to travel extensively and then I quit traveling entirely in 1999 in order to care for my parents and inherited livestock. Talk about landlocked! LOL! The minutia is all that some of us have. Being I quote, “that woman” in the county that all the old timers condemn as crazy because I feel as competent as they are to drive a tractor baling hay?, showing people the unexpected critters that I find in the chicken house?, and that what I have learned over the years of being stationary is that no matter where you go, there you are.

    I think glimpsing others’ lives either gives us the motivation to change what we are not happy with or say Thank you, God, for the situation we have!

    Curiosity is what we all have in common! Thank you for sharing! ~L

  • Great post, Chris, and very relevant advice. I’m happy to say I’m fairly well aligned with your 3 pieces of advice, so it’s really great to have some validation from someone that has been there. While my recent 11 flight legs in 7 airports wasn’t as insane as yours, I truly empathize…. as well as traveling with someone that is training for a marathon.

    Travel blogging probably seems like a dream job to most — and in many cases it is — but I’m going to try and educate my readers with advice that really matters: the amount of work BEFORE a trip that needs to be done, how seriously I am taking my reviews, and the effort not to ignore other commitments (like running) that are important in life. I can’t wait to share it with you.

    Jim

  • Magu Bee says:

    I’ve been keeping two blogs for over a year and a half but am now working on another project, a website which will allow me to reach out to more people and post my travel adventures embeded with certain life lessons I’ve gotten out of them. As you wisely put it, it shouldn’t be about us but about how our experiences may benefit others.

    What I have in mind is showing people that life can be and already is an adventure, we shouldn’t sleep walk it. Those stories we read about in the books and watch in the movies are ours to enact in real life, if only we find the courage to make that first step and start following what we truly wish for, what excites us. Also, I want to be doing it both in English (bigger audience) and Polish (def not enough of visible AONCers over here and not everyone speaks English well enough to find the international content).

    Hope to be able to join one of your events in the future!

  • Currently blogging as Yesman1989. I have had the site since 2010 as a personal reflectons blog. This year, I have decided to take it more seriously and creating more value to my readers. The tagline is: Find Purpose. Seek Sanook. Move Forward. I try to post at least once per week on those topics with personal anecdotes in between. Currently, preparing for my first overseas trip to Berlin, Germany where I hope to teach english and grow my online consulting business. Love the support from the AONC! Cheers, Bill

  • Jarek says:

    Hey Chris!
    Once again a great post! I am working on a blog on my own, although not a travel-related blog. I have only started few months ago and still looking for my own path, but the goals are clear to me – I want to add value and help others with leading life more meaningful. I think that one of the problems with blogging right now is that people are using not their own voice. They have heard that there can be money made online and are doing some mediocre job wishing for the best, forgetting about the content.

  • Soooooo true! By day I am a mild mannered manager supporting a car insurance renewals team. By night, a daring sci fi writer and blogger. Why? I need escapism, and I thought why not share it with other like minded people? After all, who doesn’t fantasize about being able to escape from it all aboard their own spaceship? (Or is that just me?) I am also currently working on my novel, which is tough but rewarding work, (not to mention probably the closest I’ll ever get to experiencing the miracle of childbirth) but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s also nice to have the blog to break things up a bit and gives me perspective.

    P.S., thanks for the gentle reminder about keeping up with your blog, mine has been a little dark since I got wrapped up in my first draft, but you just reminded me why I can’t let that happen. I’ll have a new one posted by weekend. Promise. :-)

  • Darlene says:

    Here’s a bit of coincidence and info for you Chris! The photo is taken in a small fortress town by the name of Besalu, that’s not far from Girona. I did a desktop wallpaper of an image I took on that very same bridge, from almost that exact same spot last month. Too funny!

  • Chris: posting high-quality, thought-provoking content, regularly and consistently, are keys to having a great blog. It’s amazing that you do this every week. I met you at your book stop tour in Minneapolis, sponsored by Jason Kallsen/Minnesota Flavor. You seem to be a down-to-earth guy with tremendous wisdom. You connect with your readers because you “care about your work, and care about the people who support it.” I strive to infuse similar qualities in my own blog, which covers productivity, personal branding, prioritizing, etc. My goals are to:
    1. post every week
    2. have fun writing
    3. encourage meaningful reflection and creative action among readers

  • Darlene says:

    There are blogs about being “location independent” from people who live in their parents’ basement. – too true! AND in my business I see a lot of photography educational blogs and web sites from people who’ve never made a dollar as a photographer themselves (or writer, or artist, or fill in the industry). Everyone thinks they’re an expert because they have a camera (or whatever the relevant tool is).

    Yes I am working on a blog, I currently have one. My goals are to become less location dependent and have more passive income from products and less from one on one clients.

  • Nam Onrit says:

    When I had an idea to work something online. It was started from heading to book store for “How to make money online”.

    I didn’t follow their recommendations.

    At first my vague goal as digital monetized something but 1 year after blogging and traveling, my goal is clear.

    It’s about learning the world, people, places and intangible things through connectivity at home and real things outside the roof.

  • Kris says:

    This is a great piece, with lots of valuable content. I’ve recently launched my blog to help my audience with moving abroad for the very first time. This transition can be overwhelming and stressful, and I want to help my audience as best I can make their transition smoother. I spent almost 10 years living abroad, and have gained some incredible experience and adventures. I want to give back and help people live out their dreams of living in a foreign country.

  • Prime says:

    I’m a journalist who loves to travel and is now happily dispensing advice and inspirational stories to other solo female travelers via my blog. I’m also writing an e-book on how to have a career break in order to travel. Lots of work but it’s a full and fun life as I’m working towards something I care about.

  • For the longest time I wanted to be a travel blogger. I didn’t know exactly what that would look like or how/if I was going to ever be able to live off of it, but I knew I wanted to inspire people in some way to leave the familiar behind. I didn’t only wanna write about travel, but it’s definitely a major component of Living Life Wide!

    Your points in this post are great reminders for me to focus on my personal “why” and keep that at the front of my mind when I write.

    Thanks Chris!

  • Kyle says:

    I want to give people the inspiration and tools to be able to travel and see the world. We have so many limiting thoughts about how and what we are capable of doing and I want to not only be an example of what can be done to realize your dream but also let people know that money shouldn’t keep you from pursuing it. Exploration is essential, no matter how far.

  • I’ve been working on a (Spanish) public speaking blog for almost two years, but more seriously since the beginning of the year (and with a schedule, since July)… I believe doing this is a fantastic way to start helping others become better communicators (which is my ultimate goal) and develop my own personal brand in this industry. I’ve discovered your blog through others who (also) write about how to find and follow your passion and I must say, partly thanks to you all, I’m finding the inspiration and the right amount of leverage to actually take off.

    I know my wife would love to write about travelling; this is something we’ve discussed every time we’ve traveled together. How can I help her see what a fantastic habit (and potential career) this could be? What other resources, aside of your own blog, are there out there to help her make up her mind?

    Thanks and best regards from Mallorca, Spain.

  • Susanna says:

    For start, you were in my city and I can’t listen you :((((.

    I have many goals and projects but one of them is make a blog about my trips, maybe is not interesting for everybody but they are interesting for me, my family and my friends, and I hope someday for my son because I think will be a good form for he remember the ones that we have done together.

    In the last years I met some people that travel during a months and in many different forms but this is not in the hands to everybody. I have a normal job and I’m not rich but I travel, Sometimes alone, sometimes with my son and always in the most cheap form and always with many adventures, funny times, crazy things, meeting people and make new friends… great moments to remember and I not want forget.

    For this year we was in Czech Republic (Prague), Netherlands (Eindhoven and Maastricht), Ireland (two times–Cork, and south-East coast), Slovenia, Faroe Islands, Denmark (Billund), France (Normandy and Paris), England (London) and I planning go to Brussels, Switzerland and Finland, tis one is my goal and I would like start my blog with it because is a dream that I want to make come true with and for my son.

  • It’s always great to remember why we started our blog in the first place. To keep our friends & family from home up to date with our travels.

  • Kristine says:

    Nice article – you’re running the Chicago Marathon? I can’t imagine doing it (as I don’t like running), I’ll be at the finish line with sign since I live nearby. A few of my softball friends and my brother are running it. Good luck!

  • Chris Healy says:

    Thanks for sharing Chris. I’ve been keeping a blog for about eight months now during my trip around the world. I didn’t really start with specific goals other than a place where my friends and family could follow along in my adventures, and to keep a record, something to look back on.

    A lot has simply been the where I’ve been and what it’s been like, but the strongest aspect I think so far has been the “change” element. These have been the most successful posts.

    I have considered – and now considering further – the idea of expanding the blog to something more, something that will last beyond the current travels. Thanks for the advice.

  • Me and my girlfriend have recently decided to get started on a web design business. Our goals are to, first and foremost, to become financially independent (she has a full-time job, I’m the one with more time on my hands). Aside from that, we’ll (hopefully) be able to help people do what they really want to do. Just as you do, Chris.

    I don’t comment on blog posts often, but I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for some of the insights you’ve put out on this site. Sometimes, I read something on here and I wonder why I never saw it before.

  • Chris, I was at TBEX Girona and was great that you did get to get there! And really enjoyed your talk. It resonated with the theme that had been discussed a lot about travel blogging and the need to focus on storytelling. However, while that is key for the sustainability and distinctiveness of a blog – I think that travel bloggers do need to do something else when writing to attract visitors from search. I blogged about that after your talk : http://www.tipsfortravellers.com/2012/09/travel-blogging-when-to-be-storyteller.html
    As regards projects, I have stepped off the crazy corporate world where I was all over the world for most of the year at meetings etc and my project now is to enjoy life, get the most out of it and make others happy and educate and share what I learnt so they can build on it. Sounds lofty and vague, but means chasing things as they come along and offer themselves too

  • My goals are to be able to travel and live a lcoation independant life doing what I love of graphic design and web design. Working with clients I will enjoy working with and longer term, having international clients I can have a reason to visit. Just to simply make the most out of this life we have been given. Thanks for the tips and great post.

  • adrienne says:

    I am working on a blog around crochet and the community of hookers that I so much love (hookers are what we crocheters call ourselves..lol)

    My goal with the blog is to connect crocheters together through the patterns we create so we can learn, share and grow from each other. I believe creativity saves lives and the same place we go to to create is the same place we pull from to overcome any type of hardship we have in our lives. I would like to create the type of environment were any crocheter can explore this.

  • Nina says:

    Hey Chris,
    I’m really glad you made it to TBEX and that you summed up your talk here again. It’s been very inspiring and made me think about lots of things and my goals in life.
    I think basically everyone’s goal is it, to do something that he/she is passionate about and preferably make a living out of it, wether its traveling, blogging or being a ballet dancer.
    Thanks again for the inspiration and I’m really looking forward to finally read your book!

    Cheers,
    Nina

  • Arman Assadi says:

    What an awesome post, Chris!

    Your three points are full of actionable advice. Really liked this post.

    I recently quit my job and launched a blog/online community just one week ago! It’s called “Why I Left Google” and our goal is to spread awareness of the Freedom Lifestyle.

    We help people quit their jobs, find their passions, and build businesses that contribute to the world through their unique talents. I’m beyond excited by the feedback we’re getting and this is only the beginning.

    You’ve been a huge inspiration, Chris. Thank you!

  • Therese says:

    Thanks Chris, again.

    I’m currently flip flopping about on the brink of my next major life change and find once again that your posts are great for helping me get/stay focus. I suspect procrastination is my default setting.

    For me the biggest learning from this post was your comment about “self awareness being overrated”, then I read through the comments to date. OMG it seemed like nearly 90% of responses included raising others awareness as an aim. I can’t help thinking if there are that many people out there with the answers to life’s conundrums (and with some embarrassment I include myself here), why is the world still in such mess?

    Anyway I do have a blog. It’s based on my experiences of Internet Dating at 60+. My aims are mainly to poke fun at myself and the medium by sharing the highs, lows and laughs and to hone my writing skills. And I’m more than happy to be guided by my readers.

    At present I’m still getting to grips with driving wordpress and cannot decide whether I really want to clutter up peoples lives further by connecting it into other social media.

  • I really appreciated the useful tips here. Thanks!

    My goal is to get the message out about our book (thanks for your contribution to it!) and to increase my blog readers.

    Hope we’ll be able to cross paths one day.

  • After reading this I feel like I need some work to get back on course. I’ll be bookmarking this and coming back to it while I work on an action plan. Bummed I’m missing you in Melbourne… I was *this* close to buying a ticket to Problogger but it sold out.

  • Beryl says:

    Just finished reading ‘The Art of Non-Conformity’ and passed it on to some young people I know who are feeling very unexcited about continuing in education. I am hoping that this might at least open up their minds to new possibilities of how they could lead their lives. Fingers crossed.

    Thanks again for your inspiration Chris.

  • When I started my sabbatical from IBM in June to live in Europe for 7 months, friends and family asked to “keep in touch!” So I started my blog to do exactly that.

    Similar to what you say, Chris, my goals are to inform and inspire, but also entertain. I want reading to be enjoyable. Almost as if you’re reading a book as it’s being written, chapter by chapter.

    People often say they live vicariously through me. I hope to inspire them to actually live and explore — NOT vicariously.

  • Benjamin says:

    Chris, You inspired me to get into blogging a few years back… and I will be grateful forever. Thank you.

    My blog helps Thoughtful People take adventures, make art, and be their True Self, so we can make the world better.

    I’m in the phase of blogging, where I have a decent audience (1500 email) and I want to grow my audience to 5000. Most importantly, I am working on a course teaching others how to make a living by taking meaningful adventures, as I have been able to do.

  • Anna says:

    Hi Chris,
    Thanks for helping to keep things in perspective. After all, the goal of blogging shouldn’t be to get rich and famous. It’s all about being a connection between the reader and the experience.

  • Chad Allen says:

    Thanks, Chris. Great advice here. I especially appreciated this bit: “Define specific outcomes that you hope to achieve. Set goals. Write and build projects with the end in mind. Focus on deliverables, not the time it takes to complete them.” It’s got me thinking, what’s my next deliverable? It’s also got me wondering: What’s my bold opinion? What is going to be my particular angle on this? What makes my perspective unique? Scratching it out as I go…

  • Christine says:

    Got this email the same day I finally published my travel to China blog, thanks!
    When studying Chinese I always believed I had to use it for something serious, like knowing the names of the politburo members, working with human rights or be a specialist in Chinese economy. But my real passion is travelling. I leave it to the other China hands to focus on the boring stuff, so that I can help travellers have a good time in China. And I want to create an alternative to all the negative China travel advice out there. Good to be prepared, but not with other people’s fears and dislikes!

  • Scott says:

    I started blogging in 2008; and quit because I was frustrated. I wish I would have seen your blog a few years back but that is neither here nor there.

    I spent the last 45 mins checking out your site, reading posts, and I think you have created yourself an amazing business, life, and calling. Great job Chris! I look forward to sticking around.

    -scott

  • stellamarina says:

    My son said that I should write a travel blog because I am always exploring new countries…..the cheap way….hostels, local transport, street food, etc even though I am an old retired woman traveling on my own. However I think there are a ton of travel blogs already. My other passion is tropical gardening so I decided to do a garden blog instead sharing practical gardening info for tropical gardeners. Hopefully it helps people be more self supporting in growing food. I can also throw in a few pictures and bits of garden info that I pick up on my travels. aloha

  • I love that. I too am a writer who travels. I think it’s much more interesting to follow someone’s personal journey rather than read about the “Top 5 things to do in Spain”….

  • Nate says:

    I’m travelling the world, with one camera and one lens, taking street photography, mixing it with the locals, and writing about my experiences. I’ve been to 37 countries so far, and I have a growing audience who appreciate that people everywhere, when it comes down to it, are indeed, people.

  • kle says:

    I liked this article, it really express my philosophy, even though at this stage i am not trying to achieve a specific goal with my blog (a travel blog for my RTW trip to come in a few months).
    My only goal for now is to express my feelings about this dream coming true after such a long planning. To just feel free to let my emotions go with the flow and whatever happens i will be happy with that!
    The one thing i care about, and you also mentioned it, is to be true and honest in what i write. This is my number one rule. And if i could inspire just 1 person to leave everything behind and travel, well…i would be a happy person!
    My Achievement is to be happy and complete in my life, trough sacrifice, and i like to share this with whoever want to listen :)
    I’m only a bit limited by the fact that english is not my native language (i’m italian) and express my feelings in another language is sometimes not easy, but i like challenges!
    Thanks again for your post!
    Cheers
    Clelia

  • Jade says:

    Thanks for your wonderful post, I agree, the world does not need more mediocre writers who are good at twitter, but when you’re starting I feel like you still need to learn all about social media and set a solid social media foundations, correct me if I’m wrong.
    My boyfriend and I are setting out an an adventure next year and we’re setting the foundations to our blog now. We’re doing it early so we can focus on traveling and writing, not so much on the ins and outs of web design coding, and confirming email accounts.

    I look forward to reading more from your you :)

  • シチズン 腕時計

  • Jeff B says:

    Travel is an interesting experience that if fully let loose can really leave one empty, lost, disconnected from family, and wondering where their place is in life. Yet, if never let loose, the mind becomes uber rigid, narrow minded, and international news is only a care if war is involved.

    Thus the challenge I ask of each of us travel / world living bloggers – How do we find a balanced approach to travel that is sustainable — even when we have kids, need to be around on the weekends, and find the consistent community of our family and friends? How do we keep ourselves engaged with the world, caring about the limited access to water and kindergarten, when we are putting our own kids through kindergarten and aren’t taking RTW trips? On the flip, how do we find interest in our local community’s well being and lower our lustful desires to always be somewhere else, flying around the globe?

    I push myself and others to forever be in pursuit of sustainable multinational living.

    Thanks, Chris, for forever firing up the juices on global experiences.

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