Top Backpacking Destinations Top 5 of 2010

2011 saw Top Backpacking Destinations grow a huge amount, both in content and design. I moved the site from Blogger to WordPress and absolutely love being on it – it was worth the hassle! There’s so much the platform allows you to do, and the sharing tools in particularly have been fantastic in allowing me to build the blog from something that was just a passing hobby this time last year to something that is now well read and, hopefully, has a few happy readers!

Below you can find the 5 most read posts from 2010 for your enjoyment, whether it’s first time around or revisiting one you’ve read before. Hopefully it will get your travelling juices flowing!

7 Reasons Why Voluntourism is the Best Way to Travel

Backpacking Quicksand – Antigua, Guatemala

Culture Shock That’s Worth It – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Beautiful Backpacking Off the Beaten Track – Kazbegi, Georgia

Backpacking Around Narnia – Patagonia, Argentina

What surprised me was that the two most read posts last year were also the two destinations that i gave the highest scores – guess that shows i made the right decision with my scoring!!!!

London, England – Backpacking Photo of the Week

The UK is an expensive place to visit for a backpacker but can be done on a budget if you look hard enough and prepare well. London in particular can be done on a budget as outside of the accommodation costs and expensive beer you can have a great time doing loads of free stuff! The city is brimming with free museums, beautiful parks and world-recognised icons. You could spend a week just walking around London without seeing everything so you can make the most of it without spending too many of those hard earned pennies!

The Houses of Parliament, home to Big Ben, are one of the city’s primary icons and are set beautifully on the river Thames. If you stroll down the riverbank at the right time you can even catch the sun setting behind them…

5 New Year’s Resolutions For Your Travel Blog

Now we’ve moved into a new year people are making resolutions left, right and centre so i thought i’d share a few ideas for what resolutions travel bloggers should be considering. However, these aren’t pieces of advice that should be thrown away after 3 days like 90% of the usual resolutions people are making – these are all things that you should be doing every day, week and month of 2011.

Please share your own blogging resolutions in the comments!

1. Keep the great content going!

The New Year is a common time for writers to feel down about their blogging efforts and their blog’s success and throw in the towel. DON’T! It takes a long time to build a successful travel blog and by continuing to produce great posts, tell fantastic stories and share stunning images you will continue to grow your following and move towards a super successful blog.

2. Make the most of wordpress plugins.

Most blogs these days are run on wordpress which is a fantastic platform for many reasons. One of these is the easy access to a huge range of plugins which bypass all the technical difficulties that you encounter when running a website. Some of my current favourites and recommendations are:

  • W3 Total Cache – A great one for helping your blog run faster and more efficiently and avoiding all the technical kerfuffles that would usually be required
  • All in One SEO – An essential to make the most of your site’s SEO capabilities. An easy way to optimise your site with title tags, meta descriptions and more of the techy razmatazz
  • Facebook Comments – Facebook is becoming an ever more influential marketing tool for travel blogs and this plugin allows you to integrate your blog’s comments into Facebook and encourage people even more to share your content and interact with the blog itself.

3. Make an Extra Effort with SEO

A lot of people view SEO with trepidation – should we be doing it or will it risk getting our site banned by Google? Done correctly, SEO is a hugely important tool in your blog’s marketing strategy and can help grow your readership massively. Use the tools and plugins like the ones mentioned above and read up on SEO strategies as they are essential to take your site from good to great. I’ll be sharing more SEO tips right here throughout 2011 to help you climb the search rankings!

4. Do More Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is an essential method of growing your site’s following for many reasons. For one, you are able to share your writing style with another blog’s readership and get some exposure in front of loads of potential readers. It is also fantastic for SEO purposes as in most cases you will get a link back to your site from powerful, relevant sites in your niche which all help develop your rankings in search engines. Approach people you interact with on social media channels and ask if you can write a post for them – and when you write it, make sure it’s some of your best work so everyone who reads it will check you out!

5. Continue to Embrace Social Media

Twitter and Facebook are now staples of most travel blogger’s day to day activities and this will only become more important in 2011. They are fantastic places to discover people in the industry, make friends with similar interests, share content and generally immerse yourself in the travel community. They are now also factors in search rankings so the more influential you become in social media the more likely you are to have top search rankings as well!

I’ll be doing my best to follow these resolutions and I think if I can keep just a few of them going then this blog will be heading in the right direction in 2011.

Let me know what you think in the comments and what your own resolutions are for 2011!