The year is still young, and it is not even half of January yet, therefore I still have some time to outline my main expectations from 2018 in terms of travel blogging. I've already rounded up the last year and wrote down a couple of goals in my latest 2017 post, but the more I think about what I want to improve in my travel blogging life, the more I feel like a special post will help me greatly to keep a fair track of my objectives, at least within the next 12 months time. Also, when you write down your goals, it creates a better motivation than when you just kept them on the back of your brain, without necessarily expressing them in clear words and sentences.
Here are my main goals as a travel blogger for the next 12 months.
- Improving the Pinterest visual content
I am on Pinterest for a long time already, and I keep creating travel boards, but I am definitely far behind creating beautiful pins with colourful background and great lettering. I've checked a couple of weeks ago how you actually do them and it is not so complicated, but as usual, I need to spend some full afternoon or late night learning all the basic steps and starting to outline my texts with an additional visual content.
- Better photography
I already recognized that my photography skills are couple of leaps behind my writing, but as I am taking the hard road of travel blogging, I cannot survive without some dramatic improvement. Although, once in a while I am a bit (too) proud of my photos, like in the case of this short gallery took at the Moabit Criminal Court open house, when I am looking back to some of my old pics, I cannot but notice that many of them are lacking focus, and the right perspective or are just lacking a decent symmetry. If time allows, I would definitely love to learn how to better use my camera, try other brands and eventually get some proper guidance from a professional photographer.
- (Re)Launching my YouTube channel
Keeping up with the aims of a better visual background of Ilana Travels, my YouTube channel and my video content in general was a gorgeous failure the last year(s). I always felt blocked when it comes to my video skills, as I assume I need a lot of time and technical skills and my live talking presence is hilarious anyway - couple of years back I had the idea of creating my own TV show focused on the art market but this was my one and only attempt of turning into a video presence - therefore, I still have a video I need to edit from a short trip to the Botanical Gardens in Berlin as early as 12 months ago. It was my idea to start my video come back with an easy video, and maybe one of those days I will really do it, because I should begin this too. Otherwise, in 12 months time I will still be here counting my blessings of doing so many things but not editing that video...
- Getting to know more travel bloggers and industry professionals
Meeting more like-minded people in a professional area which is becoming over-saturated might be not a very inspired idea for some, but the big majority of contacts I had with other travel bloggers were not only a great opportunity to be together with other wanderlust seekers, but offered a lot of inspiration and interesting personal experiences. In terms of writing, I am convinced that every author is unique and even if someone is trying somehow to 'steal' your idea, once turned into words, everything looks different - unless you do the copy/paste monkey business which enters into another legal category.
Therefore, I can't wait this year edition of the ITB - International Tourism Fair - in Berlin this March where hopefully I can meet other travel-minded people from all over the world.
I've started to learn about SEO and practising some of the lessons learned, but obviously I need a significant professional upgrade and more consistency. Time to start some professional audit and move fast forward to a higher professional level, including by taking some classes for better results.
- Pitch, pitch, pitch...
For a couple of years I haven't went beyond my blog for publishing articles because I wanted to focus more on my writing and travel and only after a certain basis was created to go further and start pitching publications for sharing my ideas to a broader audience. Hopefully, you will soon hear more from me coming to a big publication near you!
- German Writing Skills
As for now, I am seriously considering to open a blog only for forcing me to write in German at least twice the week. Although my understanding, talking and reading skills in this complicated but beautiful language are doing great, I am lacking yet the confidence of writing articles in German. As in the couse of video, I miss not only the confidence, but that original click which means that I will go forward with a plan, regardless of my fears. I only hope that 2018 will be also the year when writing in German is not just a plan, but a concrete accomplishment.
- Complete Website Makeover
I used Wordpress.com for my previous blog, and then switched to Blogger again because it works easier for me in terms of regular management and other daily writing issues. But from the very professional point of view, it is not the best move and I am fully aware how much I am missing every day because lacking all those great widgets and apps that will increase my audience and bring my blog to the attention of searching engines. As I am planning a general re-branding in the second half of the year, a complete website makeover is in the cards, but as for now, I am completely unaware of how things should really look like. Most probably, I will use some serious professional consulting support for being sure that I am moving in the right business direction.
That's all for now, folks! I am very excited about what this year can mean for my blog and my travel blogging career in general, and I am looking forward to get more experience and learn new skills and professional lessons.
What about you? What are your biggest struggles as a travel blogger? What do you plan to improve in the next 12 months?