Travel Art Blog

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.


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