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Author Information

I am a New York-based writer, travel lover, and author of The Drive North and Destination Paranormal. I have several other books in the works, including fiction.

Changing the Way I’m Blogging

header-copy-copy3I’m changing the way I’m blogging. Why? Because this is no longer what I initially wanted it to be. It’s drifted. Changed. And now it’s becoming more of a chore than an enjoyment. This isn’t anyone else’s fault other than my own, yet it’s due to the pressure of a lot of external factors that I have bent to. So now it’s time to pull up my big boy pants and put things back in order. But, before I do, I feel I needed to lay a few things out there and explain what the deal is; there’s no point in being vague.

I initially began this blog as a way to document my travels. My expectation was that, many years from now, I could look back on my adventures and relive them through my words and photos. Initially, I wrote about my travels in personal notebooks. It was a completely self-serving endeavor. There’s nothing wrong with that, either. It was essentially a diary. But at a point I wanted to both include photos and share my adventures in the hopes of inspiring others to travel, so I moved my notebooks to a website.

Enter things like Facebook, Twitter, and TBEX…

So many external influences clouded my vision. This was no longer about posting personal experiences. Instead, it was all about numbers. How many followers can I get? How many retweets? Did I SEO (Search Engine Optimization) something just right so I can get a bunch of clicks? Numbers, numbers, numbers!!! If I had better numbers, more followers, then I would get things for it; sponsorships, free trips, travel gear, and all kinds of other things would follow.

I guess, to be perfectly honest, it boiled down to greed. At least from a point of view. The impetus at the time, though, was that maybe I could become a professional travel blogger. There are others out there, so why not me? The thought got into my head from a variety of sources. But it’s not me. It’s not what I really want to do, since it’s turned from something that was fun into a business. Business and work can be fun, no doubt about it, but lost in all of those numbers, lost in the business, is the fun part. Lost is the quality. And that needs to change.

I’ve slipped. This isn’t what what I intended. The personalness (is that a word?) of it all is lost. My stories are oftentimes in the second or third person, and there’s nothing personal about that. I’m simply posting stories, throwing up what content I can in order to continue to drive traffic and build numbers. Why? Because it’s all about content. The more content the better the numbers. At least that’s what I was taught, on a very base level, at the TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange) conferences I attended. Well, no longer. It’s time to take it back. It’s mine, after all, and it’s time that I once again make it what I like and am proud of.

So, how to do this?

I know it sounds cheesy and cliche, but I’m going back to the basics. Immediately. I’m going back to what made me enjoy blogging in the first place, and that’s talking about my travels in a more personal nature. For instance, right now I’m showing my father around London. We traveled here to see our Vikings play the Steelers at Wembley Stadium. (We beat the Steelers, by the way, 34-27.) And so, as I go back to what I initially envisioned for this blog, I’ll write about things like that, the more personal side of my trips. The parts that really get me smiling. No longer will it be lists like “Free things to do in London,” something which can be heavily SEO’d. That’s really all about the numbers, and it’s oftentimes vague and without any real value. And yes, that really is an indictment on all of travel blogging.

There are too many lists out there. Some are most certainly useful, but by and large it’s too much crap. And the more I see of it the more I become frustrated by the whole idea of it, most particularly in my own writing. That frustration is what opened my eyes and drove me to realize that what I’m doing is not what I like. Others can still do it. Fine. They have their own sites and are free to do as they like. Far be it from me to tell anyone otherwise. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it. I’m over those things. There’s no emotion, no feeling, and nothing good out of it for me. And since I’m certainly not going to continue adding to the mess, I’m moving on…

Does this mean I’ll stop using things like Facebook, Twitter, and TBEX?

No. I like Facebook and Twitter. They’re both great ways to connect with a lot of fun people. I’ve even met a bunch in person, and am grateful for those experiences. Most have been fantastic. But, for a number of reasons I won’t get into here, I swore off TBEX quite some time ago. I have no further interest working with them in any manner. Anything else will all be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. What’s the criteria? It needs to be fun. That’s it. Fun. If it’s not fun for me, I’m moving on down the road.

So what should you expect?

As I said, more personal stories. Better quality. I’m moving away from the cookie-cutter style posts that I see so many other places and going back to the first person stories I initially intended. So I can make these improvements, so I can improve the quality, I’m changing my posting schedule. I had been posting Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but that will change to Tuesday and Friday. This twice-a-week schedule will allow me more time to write, which means better stories. No lists or other garbage.

Tuesday will be a personal story about my travels. Friday is intended for photos. Generally speaking, I’ll follow the #FriFotos theme-of-the-week on Twitter, but will occasionally change it up if I don’t like what’s selected. After all, it’s my site so I reserve the right to do so. Other stories are occasionally possible, but oftentimes unlikely. Why? Because I’m not willing to sacrifice quality. Not any longer.

Do you have a comment? A question? A thought about my changes? Then please leave ’em. I’m always happy to hear your thoughts.


6 Comments on “Changing the Way I’m Blogging”

  1. Becky October 1, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    Congratulations on making a difficult but fulfilling change! Best of luck to you as you move forward.

    • Jason's Travels October 1, 2013 at 11:02 am #

      Thanks so much, Becky. I appreciate the encouraging words!

  2. Nicole October 1, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    Perfect. Because that is precisely what I want to read about. Glad you are going back to what makes you happy!

  3. Gray Cargill (@SoloFriendly) October 1, 2013 at 11:52 am #

    You have no idea, Jason, how many times I have written this exact same post in my head…but just haven’t actually typed it up and published it. I am so with you. I mean, I actually don’t mind writing list posts once in awhile (because I like to experiment with different styles of articles, and they can be fun and useful for people, depending on the topic). But the grind of blogging, the focus on stats and traffic and SEO and the “business of blogging” exhausts me. More importantly, I’ve noticed in recent months that travel is not always fun for me any more–because it’s not just a vacation from my day job any more, it’s also WORK. It’s impacting my health and my relationships and my ability to have downtime and just have FUN in my life. I’m seriously getting very close to writing an emancipation post of my own. Seeing yours just helps me to realize it wouldn’t be the end of the world if I did.

    • Jason's Travels October 1, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

      You make a lot of good additional points, Gray. I wanted to say a lot of the things you did, too, but just couldn’t figure out a way to squeeze it all in. So thanks for putting it out there! Good luck!

  4. Traveling Ted (@travelingted) October 5, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    I feel the same way about getting back to more personal posts and writing more stories. I think that you can do this and still be a successful blogger. Wandering Earl is a good example. In the end, you have to please yourself. I have been reading your posts for awhile, and I think you have stayed pretty consistent, but I may have missed the posts where you feel you have strayed from your original reason for blogging. Anyways, whatever you decide to write about, I will read. Sorry to hear you won’t make a TBEX. You should come sometime and party with me and skip the seminars.

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