Traveling is a way for me to relax, stop, and take a break from my daily work routine. On the other hand, blogging is a hobby since I’m fond of writing and sharing my travel experiences. And to be recognized by a group of bloggers as one of the emerging influential blogs for the year was really a great honor. In time for my first blog anniversary which I celebrated a couple of weeks ago, my travel blog was included in this year’s list of Emerging Influential Blogs for 2013 by the Digital Filipino Club.
On its 7th year, the awarding ceremony happened last September 21, 2013 at the SMX Convention Center. The recognition ceremony was part of the Digital Influencers Marketing Summit 2013. The voting process started last July wherein participants (bloggers) on the writing project picked their personal choices. They picked 5 to 10 emerging influential blogs created anytime from July 2012 to present and has no less than 20 blog posts.
Other blogs included in this year’s list are: A Letter Writer (aletterwriter.com), Wazzup Pilipinas (wazzuppilipinas.com). Others are Online Jobs Lifestyle (onlinejobslifestyle.com), FilipiKnow (filipiknow.net), Business What Ifs? (businesswhatifs.com), Travel Blog PH (travel.blog-ph.com), TereSay (teresay.com), Sarap Pinoy (sarap-pinoy.com), San Josenyong Gala (sanjosenyonggala.blogspot.com), and Saranghae Korea (saranghaekorea.com).
As what I’ve said, I don’t consider myself as influential, the readers and followers of my blog can only attest to that. Meanwhile, a webinar was held and I was invited by Janette Toral, the person behind the annual award, to share some stories about my blog. Here’s the flow of my talk:
HOW MY BLOG STARTED
My blog started September of 2012 after my visit to Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. Maybe I have one of the weirdest reasons of starting a blog. A week after my trip to Puerto Princesa, I had measles. I was house-arrested for about a week and I was so bored that led me to create blog posts for the pictures I got from my travel. My blog then was iKwento.tumblr.com. From there, I started to roam around the city, visit museums, attend different activities, search and try new restaurants and everything that I wanted to blog.
Since the concept of the blog was leading to somewhat exploring, I decided to change iKwento to rjdexplorer when I got my domain. From there, rjdexplorer.com was born.
WHO INFLUENCED ME
Before I had my travel to Palawan last year, I was hooked with this web series PHL 360. It is a web series featuring 8 travel bloggers: Chyng of chyngreyes.com, Hannah of flaircandy.com, Dong of escapeislands.com, Rob of thetravellingdork, Monette and Ron of fliptravels.com, Robert Alejandro of The Sketching Backpacker, and Chichi of wearesolesisters.com, who braved to explore the corners of our archipelago. The travel series encouraged me to explore what our country offers, and I considered it as one of the reasons that influenced me to travel.
Last week of the 2012, I embarked a 4-days-3-nights solo trip to Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur which was my first solo travel. When I came home and opened my blog, I found a comment from James Betia, the person behind journeyingjames.com on one of my Palawan posts. He then encouraged me to join the Pinoy Travel Bloggers community.
STEPS TAKEN TO BUILD INFLUENCE
First thing I did is to write and create good and quality contents. Online readers, traveling on a certain place/destination on my case since mine is a travel blog, search for itineraries to help them with their trips, and I was glad that I receive comments and even emails from my readers thanking me for providing them a detailed itinerary for the places I’ve been to.
Second was creating social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest etc. for your blog. This will start you to build a community and utilizing these networks to connect with your followers. It is also a good idea to join online groups for your blog to be noticed by others and for you to attract more readers, and especially, traffic. When I started my blog, page views were only coming from friends and families I require to visit my site. Now, I’m not saying that I do have a lot of traffic but compared to the previous months, I can say that my blog is really performing well.
Last thing, you need to know your readers: their activity and what do they need.
I promise to continue posting and sharing my travel experiences online. Join me as I set foot on all the provinces in the Philippines. Another one is to create a personal blog so I can also feature not only travel and food but also events, book and movie reviews, and other things of my interest.
Lastly, I would like to thank all the people who spend time visiting and reading the contents of my blog. This award would not be possible without you and also to all fellow bloggers who believed and voted for the site, more power to you!