If You Want to Monetize a Blog, You’re Destined to Fail

One of the most popular questions we see in blogging groups is a simple one on the surface: how do I monetize my blog?

It shouldn't be a surprise why this question is popular, we all want to make money blogging. But at the end of the day it is the wrong question to ask.

The reason for this is because it is impossible to monetize a blog. There, I said it. Blogs don't make money. You cannot just publish content and magically make money on it.

There is a simple, yet fundamental shift in thinking that would-be bloggers need to realize, and it is that you do not monetize your website, you monetize your audience.

Read moreIf You Want to Monetize a Blog, You're Destined to Fail

Is the NATJA Conference Worth it For Travel Bloggers?

I'm not going to lie, I joined NATJA primarily because their 2019 conference was located within driving distance from me- not because of the organization, not because of any other member benefits, it was purely out of the convenience I have in getting to Syracuse (2019's host city).

My decision to do this came in 2018 when I quit my job to blog full-time. Around that time I made a conscious decision to start attending new conferences, because at a certain point if I want to grow I need to get outside of my comfort/knowledge zone to learn new topics and meet new people. (I like conferences like TBEX and Travelcon just fine, but I found myself only attending these for the networking opportunities- not the sessions.)

As such, I figured it was time to broaden my horizons when it came to conferences to see if I could get more out of the industry at large. The first was IMM in NYC, and now NATJA (the North American Travel Journalists Association) for their annual conference.

While I did not get anything at all out of the sessions (sadly), I have to say, it was a pretty nice trip all the same.

Read moreIs the NATJA Conference Worth it For Travel Bloggers?

Tips to Improve Page Speed Insights Scores with a GeneratePress Theme

If you're like me, you're probably obsessive about your site speed. It doesn't matter the service, I want to do whatever I can to get the best possible scores, load times, and ratings- even if some don't really matter in the grand scheme of things.

Out of all of the services that are out there, one that is the holy grail is Google's Page Speed Insights (PSI) as it is one of the few tools provided by the search giant that gives clues on how website owners can improve. (Plus non-Google tools like WebpageTest at GTMetrix to round out further analyses.)

Naturally, we latched on to it and made it our quest to top out in the highest category on our sites.

Unfortunately, our site on our old theme (Elegant Themes) only took us so far, and we knew it was time to upgrade. We switched to GeneratePress, made some customizations, and both our desktop and mobile scores jumped (with mobile scores in the high 80s and desktop flirting with 100 most days).

Today, I wanted to share the techniques I used to make this happen as it won't come out of the box.

Note: Before we begin it is worth pointing out that at the end of the day site speed is king. Google PSI scores are mainly a suggestion. Although we're in the weeds with it you can have a fast site without a high score, and no one is really certain if a high score provides an SEO benefit like a fast site. Our interest in this is purely because we can optimize it over a more practical reason. This could change in the future and we'll update accordingly.

Read moreTips to Improve Page Speed Insights Scores with a GeneratePress Theme

Our Test to Revive a Dead Instagram Account in a Few Simple Steps

One of the unfortunate side effects of being a travel blogger that only travels periodically is that I do not generate enough content to have a continual “live” feed from where I am in any given day.

Before going full-time at this site I used my library of photos from the past to compensate for this with various themed photo sets, but at times I slacked off in my posting schedule (and at one point only posted about three weeks out of an entire year). 

Over time this added up, and I concluded that my account was more or less dead in the water. I had to do something, and my test to revive it was born.

Read moreOur Test to Revive a Dead Instagram Account in a Few Simple Steps