Currently travelling in Latin America, on a journey that has lasted almost a year, Ayngelina set off with the intention of finding out more about herself and her life.
Nearly a year of travelling later, she has made the decision to lead a location independent lifestyle. On her blog she shares her stories of travel, her hopes and fears, and some wonderful photography.
Today she talks about her aspirations for her site, who she turns to when she needs advice, and her number one tip for increasing site traffic. On with the interview!
Tell us a little bit about Ayngelina, and your site, Bacon is Magic.
Almost a year ago I had a great job, boyfriend, friends and apartment but I felt like something was missing so I decided to travel for a year to find inspiration. I’ve been writing about my experiences as I travel through Latin America. Although it is a travel blog the locations are really just the background for my journey to find something more meaningful.
It’s also evolved a bit as I’ve decided to make this an indefinite experience and try to become location independent.
It started off purely for friends and family as a way to document the trip. I had no idea others would be interested in the site.
How do you define success in terms of your travel blog?
Ultimately I want to be happy with the content I produce. I could drive more traffic and make more money by doing generic top 10 lists but I would rather have a smaller group of dedicated readers who have the same interests.
What aspirations do you have for your travel blog?
Well two things:
- Increase the revenue so that it can sustain my travels
- Branch out from travel as I´m now also writing about my own quest for location independence and creating a life on my terms.
How would you describe your level of technical know-how, and how has this helped or hindered your site?
I didn’t know much when I started and chose a really bad template. Fortunately I met The Aussie Nomad really early on and he has taught me everything I know.
Do you follow any metrics in terms of traffic analysis / site ranking, and how important do you think these are?
That’s a tough question. Sure everyone loves to see an increase in traffic and ranking but ultimately I can’t base my value on numbers. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t check them every day.
What would be your number one tip for increasing site traffic?
The best tip I learned for quality traffic was from Andi Perullo of My Beautiful Adventures, which was to email commenters your response. A lot of people don’t come back to a post to read your response. Because she took the time to personally respond I felt compelled to follow her adventures and now I consider her a great blogger friend.
What have you found to be the hardest thing about running a travel blog, and how do you overcome this?
Time management. It’s easy to get into a habit of being online all day but my best work comes when I unplug. Recently I took a digital sabbatical and it really helped my ideation.
Where do you turn for help when you need advice on your travel blog?
I have a solid group of people who are so supportive but there are three people who have supported me from the early days: Chris from The Aussie Nomad has taught me so much about the technical end, I talk to Michael of Go See Write daily about blogging and Mike from Fevered Mutterings is an inspiring writer and great friend.
What sort of time commitment do you put in to your travel blog on a weekly basis?
I have this lofty dream about only working an hour a day but it ends up being 2-3 times that much. I spend as much time on social media and promoting the blog as I do writing.
If there was one thing you wish you could have known before you started writing your blog, what would it have been?
Start it as early as possible so you can learn the technical aspects and find your voice before you go. I wish I had started it a year before I departed.
Monetizing is tough and I don’t think you really get a good grasp of it until nearly a year of blogging. Text links are the easiest form of income but now that I´m a bit more established I want to explore other means.
How do you go about promoting your travel blog?
As I mentioned above social media consumes half my working time. Twitter is great for networking with other bloggers, Facebook is great for ¨real people¨and most recently I’ve started guest posting to reach new readers.
How do you see travel blogging developing over the next few years?
I already see it starting to diversify, some are great at general travel tips, others at luxury or eco travel. Although I’m technically a travel blog I focus more on finding inspiration through travel to change your life.
And finally, what key advice would you give to people running, or thinking about setting up, their own travel blog?
Start early and learn the ins and outs before you go and for goodness sake, do not use blogger.
For more travel blogging tips from the experts, have a look at the rest of the series. To keep up to date with upcoming posts you can subscribe to the RSS feed or join in on the site’s Facebook page. In the meantime, if you have any questions or thoughts on this post or the series thus far, the comments box awaits!