We want to share with you in detail the exact steps we took with our blog, and where we made mistakes, so you can start your own blogging journey...with a little less pain and a lot more help!
We never really planned on starting a travel blog. We just loved driving around Florida discovering new beach destinations, restaurants, and people-watching. We moved to the state of Florida in 2017, giving up our careers to pursue our dreams. It was a risky move to give up everything and relocate. That's why it really never occurred to us to write about what we learned traveling in Florida until late 2020. That was when Bruno gave me a "real camera" for an anniversary present: a Canon. After that, the pickup truck arrived and we decided to document the beauty of each Florida beach we visited.
Why Did We Choose A Travel Blog?
Aren't there tons of Florida beach resources online already? Yes, but the biggest reason for us was our own negative experiences going to the beach. We just weren't smart about it. Originally from up north, we've been visiting Florida for over 30 years: often at the wrong time! We'd arrive when the water was cold, or there was a tropical storm, or even worse: Red Tide with no beach access. We just wanted sun and fun! Even after we moved here, we never really knew what to watch out for on a road trip to the beach. But as we traveled we learned about traffic, rest stops, weather, crowds, restaurants, and more. So that was our motivation for starting Truck That Beach: to help other beach visitors have the best experience possible and avoid the pitfalls of traveling in Florida. The lesson here is to blog about your passion, even if there's a lot of blogs already out there. Write content that's helpful to people. Be authentic and human! Nobody has the exact same experiences on their journey. There are plenty of pieces of pie for everyone.
Exact Steps To Start A Blog
Even though we've going on road trips to Florida beaches for over 5 years, on October 1, 2021, we took the first step and decided on a name for our blog. You probably already know the basics of getting a blog started:
Choose The Right Blog Hosting Platform
One of the most important decisions to make is what CMS you will use. There are many choices including:
Invest In The Right Branding For Your Blog
Start your blog off right by getting a professional logo created. If you can afford it, have branding guidelines created so you can consistently use the right colors and fonts for your blog. Keep in mind, however, that fancy fonts (including some Google fonts) can slow your site down. Readability and usability for your audience is a top priority. In addition, it's good to identify who your target audience is. Using Google Analytics categories as a guide, we asked ourselves these questions:
Blog SEO: Keyword Research And More
This step is very important. It actually is not a one-time step. It has to be repeated often in order to optimize your blog posts for search (SEO). When you write your blog posts, keep in mind what keywords might appeal to your audience. The best, easiest and cheapest way (it's free) is to search for your topic on Google. When the results appear, scroll down to the section called People also ask. Once you have taken note of those results, scroll down to the bottom of the page to find Related searches. We have revisited these results many times in our travel blog writing journey. More on this is coming in future posts.
Learn From Our Blogging Mistakes
You may have heard that blogging is time-consuming. This is very true. Whether you can write or not, take great photos, or are active on social media blogging is hard work! We learned early on that unless we established time limits on our blogging efforts, our relationship was going to be on the rocks. And we've been married 31 years! Don't lose sight of these principles:
Next Steps In Our Travel Blogging Journey
In upcoming posts, we will share all the steps we took, in chronological order to launch and grow our successful beach travel blog. Stay tuned for: