Hi! So I decided to keep you guys up-to-date with what’s happening with our blog recently.
Last February, I realized that I wasn’t making most of our blog. It was never a secret that I’m addicted to it, but it had so far remained as a personal project (Hali and I’s “baby”, a passion project,) rather than a more structured website which I can use for practical purposes.
So from mid-February to March, I worked on it — optimizing old posts and writing new ones — and put more effort into our Facebook page. The result was that our FB followers doubled from 4.5k to almost 9k and our monthly traffic from 43k to 100k.
Anyway, you can read about that here.
1. Reaching the 100,000 pageviews mark
I know that this is a small number compared to a lot of bloggers, but I don’t want to undermine this achievement because I worked on it. Seriously, I’m amazed at what focus can do so much.
(If you’re wondering, most of our traffic comes from Google.)
2. Knowing the difference between casual and serious blogging
One of the things that struck me is how different it is to blog casually compared to blogging with a certain goal in mind. Before, I used to just tell stories of my trips and include a short travel guide, sometimes not even. I didn’t bother writing “complete” guides and held this belief that people should use google for other info not provided (ehem). I also skipped a lot of opportunities to write. (During my 1-year stay in Malaysia, I only wrote around 10 articles or less about the country.)
There are definitely some things I could’ve done better, but I’m not regretful. It just wasn’t the time for me to take blogging into another level then. I believe we’re always at the point with which we’re ready for.
When I started writing and re-writing articles, there was focus and deliberation — each article is written to generate traffic and rank. It made a whole lot of difference.
2. Creating more sponsored content
Hali and I hadn’t really worked with brands before, except for a few. Why? Well, because when we were still backpacking regularly, we used to do so in off-beaten locations where we would stay in tents or homestays, talk with local tour guides and so on. Also, we usually have enough budget and more.
I actually tried to create a collaboration in the past, for one of my trips. Embarrassingly, none of the resorts replied — except one who told me they don’t need partnerships with bloggers. So I just thought it wasn’t for us.
Last February, a fellow blogger told me about working with brands. Specifically, how sometimes the odds of getting a positive response are 1 to 50 (or 1 to 20), but if you keep sending proposals, eventually you’ll get that 1 business who sees the positive of working with you.
I worked on my pitch and sent proposals to various resorts near us, and so we were able to go on several comped trips which we loved.
3. Networking with other bloggers
One of the other thing that made a big difference for me is joining blogging communities. In the past, I didn’t really find any groups but nowadays they seem to be much more common. Networking with other bloggers is great because I get to meet like-minded people; talk about blogging, working with brands, tips and so on; and even be open to new opportunities by extended invites.
Anyway, say what you want about influencers (i.e., those without blogs but use FB or Instagram as platforms), but at least they are usually easy to approach and it’s one of the communities I belong with.
4. Knowing what I want to do, how much I can do it
So continuing, February and March were very busy months for us. I was able to collaborate with different resorts and restaurants. By the end of March, I was suffering from fatigue (and sickness).
I’m not in anyway complaining because we did see and stay at interesting places, such as a hot spring resort over a cliff, a bed and breakfast with outdoor jacuzzi and more. However, this is definitely a lesson for me since I learned that it’s important to pace myself with trips & invites.
I installed Adsense last February and found out how shockingly small the pay is. I’m not sure if it’s worth it, to be honest. If you know some tips, please let us know!
I’ll continue to regularly post content on the blog, although soon I’ll have to get a job so there’ll probably be less travels near Manila (but more long-term options since I’ll be getting an income). I’d also like to resume my international travels. Anyway, I don’t want to spoil too many things for you guys! 🙂 I just wanted to post a small win for a change.
Anyway, that’s it for now. Thanks everyone for continuing to support us throughout all these past 3 years! 🙂