We don’t blog about blogging, but this is an exception. We’ve participated in past TBEX conferences and decided to make the trip over to Barcelona, Spain for the 2015 edition – primarily because we wanted to visit Barcelona. However, the conference gave us a lot to think about and we wanted to weigh in on the State of Travel Blogging in 2015.
Since launching this blog on January 2, 2008, we’ve seen a lot of changes in the last 7+ years. This year’s TBEX underscores for us how far our little industry has come. And how far it still has to go.
What Are the Takeaways from TBEX Europe 2015?
The focus on nomadic living is dead
When we first started blogging in 2008, we weren’t “real” bloggers. And the big bloggers all told us we weren’t real bloggers because we still had corporate jobs, we still had a house and cars and we hadn’t sold everything to live out of a backpack. We were told the only “real” bloggers were digital nomads. Well, at TBEX 2015, the digital nomads are settling down. Gary Arndt talked about his end game of blogging and how he is only going to travel a few months a year. He’s not alone. We counted at least a dozen big name bloggers all slowing down, finding the joys of real estate and re-evaluating what it means to be a blogger. We’ve always held that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to blogging. The only “right” way is your way. We’re thrilled that our peers are realizing this too.
Everybody is a luxury travel blogger
It seems that everyone is now a luxury travel blogger. People who were writing backpacking blogs about how get to get by for a few bucks a day are suddenly writing about luxury hotels. Many are doing it purely for financial reasons. Following the herd isn’t a business strategy. Be yourself. Be true to your audience.
If you don’t have an audience, you don’t have anything at all
At past TBEX conferences (including Ireland), there was a lot of discussion about the importance of SEO and writing for the “digital brain” at Google. But SEO will only get you so far. If you want to be a travel blogger for the long term and you want to monetize, you need an engaged audience. You need to offer them something of value, not just ranking number one in search results. Your success will be defined by your ability to build a community and attract an audience of followers.
To run a serious travel blog, it takes a lot of time and a lot of hard work
We made a lot of friends at TBEX in Toronto and many of them are no longer blogging. They decided to give up and throw in the towel. At this year’s TBEX, a thread through a number of presentations and discussions was how hard it is and how long it takes. Nobody is entitled to a travel blog. Nobody is going to hand success to you. Blogging still takes a lot of work and a lot of time. It’s about consistency and persistency.
TBEX Europe Recaps:
- The only “right” way to blog is your own way.
- Be Authentic. Don’t follow the herd. Speak to your audience. Be true to yourself.
- Your success will be defined by your ability to build a community and attract an audience of followers.
- Blogging still takes a lot of work and a lot of time. Nobody is going to hand success to you.