I registered my blog domain in 2013 after meeting a few travel bloggers in Chiang Mai.
After not doing much with the site for the first few years, I decided to take blogging seriously in late 2015 while surrounded by bloggers in Chiang Mai.
After the initial excitement, the struggle was real. Turns out it’s not easy to write out content when:
– you have no direction & no goal
– are naturally inclined towards numbers rather than getting 26 letters in the right order
– keep trying lots of different things but don’t stay consistent with a strategy if there’s no instant success
The blogging community is awesome, as is the idea of blogs. I read a lot of them.
I just wasn’t passionate enough really care as much as a blogger should if I wanted to earn any real income from the blog.
After plodding along slowly with lots of why am I doing this moments I had a light bulb moment in early 2017.
Why don’t I combine the travel blog with my other big passion, sport!
This seems so simple now, but even after a couple of years, there was no link. Everyone says they write about adventure sports on their travels, but general sports experiences and travel together? Not so much.
I was confined by my thinking that my blog had to be some form of travel. Think: budget travel, solo travel, family travel.
Now that I’ve figured out my passion I’m so excited about where my blog can go.
1. Working Around A Purpose
My about page is always evolving, but I really like the ideas in this article about branding and working towards a purpose. Take a read of the article (trust me, it’s good), then complete the following exercise Mish mentions in the piece: Write “I believe…” and finish off the sentence.
I have five ‘I believe sentences’ on my about page now which show me I’m working towards a greater purpose. As a blogger, you need to be a little bit egotistical, but if you are like me and don’t like promoting yourself, remember back to your blogging purpose.
I used to play poker and the money was cool, but it didn’t mean enough to me. I want to do something meaningful long term (same deal when I was making spammy apps for the Google Play store).
2. My Creativity Has Started Flowing
I’m curious about a lot of things in sport. Are you?
Foodies, you might be excited to learn about the origins of pasta or will travel to Penang just for the food.
For me, I’ve started thinking about sport and things I want to know about.
I remember two tennis greats from Serbia mention they used to play tennis in empty swimming pools. I wonder what it’s like to learn to play tennis in a swimming pool?
Or in regards to Lithuania. Why are they so good at basketball? Both seem random to me, but I can sure have a lot of fun travelling to these questions to scratch my itch.
If you struggle with creativity, I really like James Altucher’s way of becoming an idea machine. I did this for a month and feel like it has had long lasting benefits.
3. Previous, Meh Destinations Become, ‘Oooo I Want To Go There’ Destinations
I don’t know much about Finland and haven’t worried making the country a priority at all.
But since discovering the sport Pesapallo during research for an article about unusual sports around the world I’m intrigued. They explain the sport as ‘vertical baseball’ and they host a Pesapallo World Cup each year. Guess when I want to visit Finland.
4. I Research Countries In A Different Way
I don’t do much research before arriving in a city. However, now I have been trying to find all sorts of sports events going on in the city I’m heading to next in advance.
As I sit here on the train typing this paragraph I’m off to a beach volleyball tournament in Latvia and a couple of weeks ago I went to the speedway in Poland. Both activities I likely wouldn’t have been doing if I hadn’t researched outside of top 10 things to do articles. Google can help you find everything!
Stadium tours as well, they don’t usually make a top 10 things to do list but you should look them up in big cities. They offer a different perspective on the culture of a city. The tour around Barcelona stadium helped me understand why football is massive in the city. Football helped the big influx of immigrants in the past have something in common with the locals.
James himself talks about the railway future across Southeast Asia. This helps him understand cities on a deeper level I bet.
5. Potential To Work With My Favourite Players, Teams & Companies
My favourite sports team is the Canterbury-Bulldogs who play in the Australia’s National Rugby League competition. In the future, I could approach the club (or they approach me thanks to a targeted media kit), and we could collaborate together. That would be awesome.
Or I could just buy the club.
6. Gives Me An Excuse To Go Play More Sport
Sometimes it can be hard to justify putting time aside to go play sports. I am still struggling to get into a running routine but since arriving in Riga, I’ve played Ultimate Frisbee weekly which I certainly wouldn’t have gone to do (it’s an hour walk to get there) if it wasn’t ‘for the blog’.
7. I Actually Understand The History Of The World More
This relates to #4 but my ability to retain history is abysmal. I’ve never known the dates of the World Wars for whatever reason. But now I’ll never forget that WWI began in 1914, because that was the year that Legia Warsaw, a Polish Football Club was founded by a solider. I learned this while taking a tour of their home stadium.
It’s so much easier to relate to history when you can associate dates with something you really like.
8. I’m Surrounding Myself With More Like Minded People
Meeting travel bloggers has been awesome, and I’ll meet many more in the future. But now I have an excuse to go to sports conferences too. These industry experts will no doubt have an interest in travel, but it won’t be their focus. Talking with different people about different ideas is always healthy.
9. The Future Of Blogging Is Exciting
The blog is still a bits and pieces blog as I wasn’t sure if I should start from scratch in this new niche. Eventually sports related content will make up 90+% of the content.
But, it sure is awesome knowing I’ve managed to combine my two passions. They could lead anywhere which is exciting.
If you’re struggling to figure out your ‘niche’, What I was doing wrong was assuming I had to choose one of the standard travel niches. Adventure travel? Solo travel? Budget travel?
Nope, jump to a higher level and think about your other interests Talking to my buddy Shandos, she had a similar epiphany and now writes about travelling with a dog.
Have fun blogging and don’t go selling your soul to everyone. That’s a whole new topic, but something I’m scared about the future of travel blogs as everyone aims to monetise ASAP.