Why do we write a Travel Blog?

Does that seem like a silly question that has an obvious answer?  We write it just to record our travels surely? Well that is part of the answer but there is a lot more to it than that.

We don’t spend a huge amount of time working on our blog but then again we don’t just rush and throw it together with no thought either. It requires a fair amount of consideration and planning with each post probably taking between 2 and 3 hours of work to produce. So it’s not like a real 9-5 job of course but still needs a lot of effort and time.

We try and organise ourselves so that we each write a post a week which obviously equates to a new JWalking article appearing every 3 to 4 days on average. Normally those posts are based around what we have been doing and where we have visited as the focus of our blog is travel, but occasionally we do blogging-advice posts or other slightly different ones.

Why did we start blogging?

When our little JWalking adventure began 4 and a bit years ago we decided to start a blog for three main reasons. The first and foremost and by far the most important was;

  1. Keeping in touch with family and friends
    Leaving our old lives meant that we wouldn’t be seeing our old friends, family, and especially our three sons anywhere as much as we were used to so we thought it would be a wonderful way of sharing our travels and adventures with all of them. If friends of ours had gone travelling we would have loved to keep up with their adventures and followed them as they went.
  2. Technical hobby
    Having been a web designer for more years than I care to remember I wanted to ‘keep my hand in’ on the technical web-design side and have a hobby that I could spend time on as we travelled.
  3. Recording our travels
    The obvious reason, our personal diary of everywhere we had visited and the people we had met along the way. We knew how easy it would be to forget those little stories and special moments unless they were recorded somehow.

So with these three weighty reasons behind us we launched our blog in June 2015 and haven’t looked back. It’s changed a bit with the years and I think has become a bit more professional looking but in essence it’s still just ‘our blog‘.

Who is our blog aimed at now?

Interesting question. Our audience has changed dramatically since we began when it was comprised of people that we had known before we left like work colleagues, friends and family. Now in our fifth year those ex-colleagues have almost disappeared and to our disappointment a lot of friends and family no longer support us online. It’s been a longtime and everyone has their own lives so I guess it is understandable but we do find it sad.

The majority of our audience now is people we have met during our travels and other travel bloggers. Having the support of people we have met in Airbnbs and via housesitting and Helpx has been absolutely fantastic. The online community has also been a real surprise and we have been delighted to have connected with so many wonderful people from all over the world.

What do we get out of blogging?

Those reasons are still as valid today as they were when we first jetted out of London in 2015 except that we would amend the ‘Keeping in touch with friends and family‘ to ‘Keeping in touch with travelling friends and acquaintances‘. It is still our hobby too and a great way for me to keep involved in the technical world.

Primarily though it is our online diary which is becoming more and more important as we spend more time travelling and get to more and more places with more experiences. There is no way we could remember all of the little stories and moments without our little blog to remind us and it’s a great way of presenting the photos that we’ve taken as well.

We are both very aware of how we write however, and go to great lengths not to make it a ‘Look at us‘ type of blog. Well I hope we do, you will have to let us know if it comes across like that. The last thing we ever want is to force our way of life on others or be seen as showing off, we would absolutely hate that.

Why do we write a travel blog?

We write our blog for ourselves and for you. As a hobby and a record for us but probably more importantly to keep connected to all of you reading this and continuing to support us in our nomadic, slightly off-grid lives. Every like, comment, and contact makes it all completely worthwhile. So thank you unreservedly for the continued support.

70 comments

  1. What a excellent post Jonno, beautifully crafted. I started my own blog in August 2015 so just slightly later and it was, and still is primarily to record my travels to look back on in the future. I’m writing this on a train as this is so often the case. Marion

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s great to connect with so many people online isn’t it and they do become friends, but also sad to lose the support of old friends and especially family. We like to think that we would have been more supportive if it had been the other way around but everyone is different and they all have busy lives.

      Like

  2. I actually got a tear in my eye at the end of your post when you thanked all of your readers unreservedly for every acknowledging like and comment you receive. You whole post completely resonated with me, from the discontinued online support of passed friends and family, to the day to day diary. There have been many times we’ve disagreed on a date, and the blog has sorted out the truth. Absolutely great post Jonno, a post that fits perfectly with so many of the blogging fellowship. Thank you whole heartedly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah thanks Chris, such a lovely thing to say. We often check back on past dates via the blog and are always looking to see what we did ‘three years ago today’. Still makes me sad to think of the family and friends that have lost interest in keeping in touch over the years but lives moves on doesn’t it? Nothing stays the same.

      Like

      • I think the reason is most likely that when people stay in the spot for ever, they stay the same. When we travel around we change and grow in so many ways. I think some people just have difficulty relating to the changes.

        Liked by 1 person

        • You’re so right, perhaps our ever-changing lives also make them view their own lives as a bit staid and dull so they just avoid being interested, Sad though. We like to think that we would have been far more supportive if it had been the other way around.

          Liked by 2 people

  3. It may be mildly reassuring to know that over the years most bloggers find that the early followers drop away – even friends and family. They, after all, may have no real interest in what you write about, and follow at first through loyalty. We continually pick up new ones as the old ones drop away (or stop blogging themselves, which tends to mean they stop following, too), much the same as we follow new ones and stop following some of those we used to follow.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post Jonno! Loved it.
    We had few years of trial & error and finally a year ago we found the correct ingredients to develop a (hopefully) successful blog.

    As you mentioned, we started writing the blog for ourselves and for the loved ones we left in our home countries. But something else shapes our posts and style: friends help requests.

    We have been writing emails with tips about places we have visited for the past 5 years and decided to convert our knowledge in a genuine / real experience blog 🙂 They appreciate the effort!!

    We are still in the phase of loyalty followers, i.e. family and close friends eager to follow us in our adventure. Hope to meet new friends on the way but we would like to keep our old pals engaged 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s lovely that you still have engaged family and friends, let’s hope they all stay supportive and interested for a long time to come. Very interesting that you let friends requests help shape your blog. What a good idea.

      Like

  5. Nice post Jonno! I think you’ve summed blogging up in a nutshell. Personally, I’m so glad you decided to write a blog. I would never of got to read about the flight ✈️ from hell. As you know, it’s my all time favourite post😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • So lovely of you to say Liz. It’s so nice to connect with other travellers and make new friends, like you. Glad you liked that post. Perhaps I should republish it.

      Like

  6. A blog like this does make for an interesting record of your many trips, a sort of diary in a way that you’ll be able to look at in years to come. Do you blog from a tablet/phone/laptop as that must also be a consideration when travelling light?

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s exactly what we use it for, our JWalking diary. We do most of our work on laptops which we find easier than phones although the trade-off, as you mentioned, is that we have to carry them around.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Interesting post which I can relate to (reasons 1 and 3). When I first started I blogged each day when we were travelling so that my parents could see where we were. I certainly don’t do that now! Too difficult, and I don’t want to advertise to the world when we’re not at home. My mum still reads my posts though.

        I also wanted to record our travels as a diary to look back on, including writing some retrospective posts on holidays we’ve had in the past. That’s fallen by the wayside too, though there are still a couple of momentous trips from the 2000s that I’d like to add some day.

        What has completely changed is the community which I didn’t know existed for about 3 years. Once I fell into that it became a proper hobby, and like you I appreciate the interaction. It’s good to know that people enjoy reading what I write and might even be tempted to visit somewhere because of it (I believe it has happened!) Having said that, I don’t aspire to be an “influencer” and write things like “10 things to do in …”. It would be work then, not fun.

        Oops, i’ve almost written a post, not a comment!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. This is great 🙂 I get caught up in the numbers of blogging way too much, but at the end of the day it’s really just a hobby and even sometimes more for me than it is for my readers! I love reading about your travels! When you started did you ever think you’d be blogging for over 4 years?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I truly enjoyed reading the post and applaud your honesty. As others have said losing those early followers, including friends and family is not unusual. The key is having fun and I need to remind myself of that some days for sure. I wondered if you ever considered working with brands/companies as another income source?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much Sue. You just need to accept that not everyone is prepared to make the effort to stay in touch. Sad but times change. We’ve never considered working with anyone, wouldn’t know where to start to be honest. Would be great though.

      Like

  9. You both have a great knack of writing and sharing your adventures, so that we almost feel we are along for the ride with you. Blogging is a great way to capture some of those stories and memories. You do a great job and I love reading your posts. It’s always good to acknowledge our readers so thanks for the thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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