Today TraveLinkSites.com has been put in a mighty fine mood by interviewing a good friend of ours Chris Stevens, from the fun and inspirational travel blog Backpacker Banter.
Chris is one of the nicest bloggers out there, fact. Helping to run a few other sites, working as a surf instructor and travelling all over South America (and soon Asia), he’s also one of the busiest. Make sure you check out what he has to say about getting started in the world of travel blogging.
1. Hey Chris! Could you briefly introduce yourself, your site and your why you wanted to write a travel blog?
I’m Chris, a surfer and photographer from Devon, England and I blog over at BackpackerBanter.com - I started travel blogging to keep my friends and family informed, I then got involved with STA Travel and it kind of spiralled and got more professional!
2. Who were/are your major influences when decided to create your own blog?
I did it off my own back really, it was kind of an online extension of my photography and writing (I studied Documentary Photography at uni)
3. How tricky was it to design your site? What did you find most easy? Most challenging?
Well I’ve gone through 3 major designs! The first was pretty basic via iWeb on my Mac, the second was a bit more interactive via wordpress and then when it took off more I went self hosted via wordpress. My current design was pretty easy – I went with a template from WooThemes.com and my little bro is a graphic designer so the logo is his work! Being in the creative industry meant I knew what I wanted everything to look like from the off!
4. The wide world of SEO, what does it mean to you? And how do you go about it?
Oh jesus I hate that stuff! It’s the bane of my life and I’m so glad I’m friendly with Dan from AdventureWithDan.com because he’s a whizz at that stuff – I still have no real idea what I’m doing in that field though!hahaha!
5. What time of day do you find best to write? Do you have any particular styles of getting your ideas down? Do you have a notepad or is everything digital?
I have ideas all day long so my iphone notepad is full of titles. Writing wise though (when it’s not a rushed night before published job!) I find plane journeys/trains/buses/chilling in a hammock is my most productive time – which is handy as I spend alot of time in those situations as a traveller!
6. Have you tried video blogging? What are your opinions of any video blogs you have seen?
My site is now part sponsored by GoPro so I’m working on getting more video on the site (currently editing up the Galapagos footage I took), but it wont be the major part of the site. I’m not really sure how much I like full video blogs – I like pictures and being able to skim read things.
7. What are your thoughts on Travel Podcasting?
Pretty much the same as video blogs – personally I dont pay attention to any. Especially when I’m on the road and internet connections are slow!
8. How do you build your audience?
I tweet heaps over at @bckpackerbanter and try to chat to other bloggers. To be honest though I shamelessly plug my blog everywhere I go – I plaster laptops with stickers and hand out business cards to backpackers I meet. I know other bloggers head to meet ups and what not – but I’m too busy partying, travelling and surfing to schedule any of that stuff in!hahaha!
9. Tell us about your most popular post.
“A Massive Change in Plans” is my top post – it’s the post I announced my spontaneous change of direction – I quit my job (it was at STA Travel and pretty amazing!), finished with my girlfriend and took a job as a surf instructor in Ecuador – that I flew out to 4 weeks later I think it was one of the first post that I just though f*ck it and put all my thoughts and feelings out there. I guess it also showcased how chaotic and spontaneous the blog was going to be because I have a habit of making rash decisions to chase the surf!
10.And lastly, what would be your top 3 tips to a new blogger starting out?
Travel and enjoy yourself as the priority – if you don’t your blog will be rubbish.
Be prepared to put in heaps of work with little reward for a looooooong time!
Be cheeky enough to ask for freebies/discounts – whats the worse they can say?! No?! well you’ve lost nothing!
Have a blog you want to rave about? Want to be interviewed by TraveLinkSites? Contact us