Last month I celebrated something special… Endless Distance’s third blogging birthday! Well, I didn’t much celebrate, rather than let it quietly pass in wonderment that yes, I have actually been blogging for three entire years.
It was a humid May in central Ohio when I started my blog – I was graduating from a tiny, idealistic liberal arts college on a hill, and felt like I was plummeting into the “real world.” Since then, this blog has seen me through a stressful summer of visa applications, a move to England, a Master’s degree, months of longterm travel throughout Europe, and… my current life. Back where I started, in Midwestern USA, getting ready for the next adventure.
And what is the next adventure? If there is one thing I’ve gotten out of blogging these past three years, it’s that my life is what I make it. I don’t need to live in foreign countries, or constantly travel (although that’s nice too 🙂 ) to have a meaningful life. There is opportunity for adventure in every day, and it is my responsibility to invest in the adventurous life I dream of. A blog post isn’t naturally good because it’s about a cool place, rather it’s good because of how authentically you write it. I think life is the same way!
Endless Distances has certainly changed over the years, from something only my Grandma read, to the more professional endeavor that it is today. I’ve had so many opportunities through this little space, that I never dreamed of when I started. From ziplining through the Alps, to press trips in Michigan, to being hosted at the world-famous Stratford Theater Festival…and so much more.
My top blogging tips after 3 years of blogging
I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was eight years old and our third grade teacher posed the question. But I never thought it would happen because of a little website I made myself. I am finally at the point where I feel like I know enough about blogging, freelancing, and travel writing to share some of my expertise with you all. So I will end this whimsical little post with 5 tips to bloggers:
- Write in your own authentic voice. The internet has enough top 10 lists to last a (few billion) lifetimes. What you can offer lies in your uniqueness.
- With that said, top 10 lists have their place. A good SEO-optimized top 10 list or city guide will bring the readers in. However it is your authentic voice that will make them stay.
- Jot notes as you travel. There is no way you will remember the names of all the restaurants, sights, hotels, and more when you get home. Be poetic. Be real. Forget about grammar. Write something that will bring you back to that moment, and then use it in your blog post.
- Interact with other bloggers. I became so much more invested in my own blog when I invested in other bloggers! Comment, follow, and regularly check up on your favorite bloggers. I love the Wanderful Wednesday linkup and Bloglovin for this. This will give you ideas for your own posts, and form a community.
- Create a contact page & reach out to companies you love. This one is two-fold, and is for anyone who feels ready to professionalize their blog. You do not need a huge following to do this (trust me!)… it is the age of the micro-influencer. Your first step is to create a very visible contact page. After I did this last year, I immediately started receiving so many emails! Next, reach out to the companies/destinations you want to work with. They do not magically know you love them/are visiting them… it is your responsibility in many cases to do the ground work. I have had great partnerships with brands who I reached out to myself. This doesn’t make you less of a blogger!
Here’s to many more years of Endless Distances!