I started blogging in 2007 with a simple intention. I just want a platform where I can write and share my thoughts and ideas with others. During that time, however, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are not even in the mainstream and YouTube is merely just a video streaming platform and content creation is not even a thing yet. Despite the many limitations we had back then, blogging has become an effective outlet for many aspiring writers. I, myself initially treated my blog as a personal diary but as years passed by, my focus, my niche, and my way of writing eventually changed.
A Rough Start
I think it is safe to say that I managed to evolve as a blogger. From a clueless writer, I was able to learn things that are simply beyond my self-expectations. I never would have imagined myself learning stuff like search engine optimization and do all sorts of marketing campaigns just to make my site more visible online. Considering that I started blogging too early, it was truly a rough start for me. I have limited platforms to promote my content and it literally took me years to get a decent amount of readership for my blog.
Thanks to the ever-supportive blogging community, I was able to find new friends that share the same passion and interests. I remember how blog hopping became part of our daily routine. We are interacting with each other on a personal level and that’s exactly what most modern bloggers are missing today. While I do appreciate the growth and the drastic change in how people blog nowadays, it feels like we’re losing the real essence of blogging. Most blogs today are being utilized as a marketing platform and it seems like they only exist to promote brands and businesses. Bloggers today are merely producing content just to get revenue. It is indeed disappointing but hey, we have to embrace these changes. After all, it indicates how companies see blogs as effective platforms to promote their brands. It means that they see blogs as a profitable platform!
Finding My Niche
One thing I learned on how to become an effective blogger is to find your niche. Discover topics and ideas that will catch the best of your interest. What exactly are you passionate about? It is important to find the right niche for your blog because this will define you as a blogger and it will provide your blog its own identity. In my case, it took me years to finally settle on a specific niche. I discover that I am more comfortable writing my travel journey and experiences and I also noticed how it made my blog more profitable as well.
It didn’t just give my blog its own structure but it also motivates me to travel more and discover places that are beyond my expectations. After finding the right niche for my blog, it made me more passionate to write more and to grow my audience. It melts my heart whenever people approach me or leave comments stating how much my articles helped them in their school works or how it helped them discover new places to visit. It just inspires me to keep writing!
After finding my niche, the next challenge for me is to expand my readership. Unlike before when I was just starting, we now have social media platforms to promote our blogs. It is easy to drive more traffic if you have a Facebook Page, Instagram, and Twitter to share your content. Knowing that people are always engaged on their mobile phones and everyone has their own Facebook account, bloggers are now utilizing these social media platforms to expand their readership. I also find it relatively easier to find your target audience if you have active social media accounts. Of course, SEO remains an effective trick to make your website more visible.
Blogging As Industry
Blogging today is more than just a tool to publish your articles. The impact of blogs is truly overwhelming and people now see them as reliable sources of information. The companies, on the other hand, see blogs as a growing industry. It is an effective platform to promote their brands and businesses. This is where blogger and business collaborations come to play. Brands are now approaching bloggers to promote their products. In return, bloggers are either compensated with cash, tokens or given opportunities to try the products themselves.
One of my personal growth as a blogger is to be able to use my blog to earn revenue. I may not be earning a lot but I am truly proud of what I have achieved with my blog. I have done various collaborations with brands and direct advertisers. I also managed to earn revenue from ad placements and various affiliate programs. Generally, there are so many areas to explore and there are so many ways you can try to monetize your blogs. Just make sure though that you keep your blog’s integrity and try your best to stick to your niche.
The Rise of Vlogging, Content Creators, and Influencers
The way people share their content is also rapidly evolving. We were now introduced to the world of vlogging where people create videos and establish their own YouTube channel for content. As algorithms on search engines and social media change to favor video content, vloggers and the so-called content creators started to emerge. Especially during the pandemic where most people were forced to stay at home, people started to find outlets to entertain themselves. Vloggers are also known as content creators as they try to create appealing and awe-inspiring content for their viewers. I also started venturing to vlogging but haven’t totally master this field yet.
Influencers, on the other hand, are content creators who managed to build a large audience and successfully expand their online presence through their unique videos and content. Just like blogs, vlogs are also used as a form of marketing. There are so-called Influencer marketing campaigns where brands are approaching and collaborating with influencers to endorse their products.
I might be a seasoned blogger but I never consider myself an influencer. I do not have enough “reach” on social media to inspire or influence my followers. Although, I’m still glad that some people were able to recognize my online presence and thank me for the information my blog has shared.
Travel Blogging Amidst Pandemic
2020 was a tough year for everyone. The pandemic made a huge impact on content creators especially travel bloggers like me. Due to all the travel restrictions, I had to cancel all my travel plans and had to think of ways to keep my blog updated. This pandemic, however, also gave me the opportunity to explore nearby local places that are absolutely worth visiting. I also discovered the fun of motorcycle traveling and how it became a practical option to travel during the pandemic.
The pandemic apparently brought a drastic change in how people create digital content. With lockdowns and strict health protocols that must be observed all the time, creators and influencers are now using their platforms to spread awareness towards Covid19. Most of them are using their influence to encourage their followers to get a vaccine. The pandemic only proved that there are still things beyond our control and we’re lucky to have these hardworking influencers who exert efforts to deliver entertaining and quality content while we all embrace this new normal lifestyle.
As a blogger for more than a decade, I can say that I really have grown a lot. Blogging has become my ultimate passion and I can’t see myself quitting anytime soon. I am still learning and I am still fascinated to see how much blogging can go.