Say hello to Lauren. She is another Cape Town blogger and we are happy to have her interview. Learn more about her and her Blog “www.thetravelmanuel.com“.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am a Capetonian girl with an insatiable love of travel, writing and photography. The fact that some people spending their lives getting to do just that for money blows my mind and inspires me to one day do the same.
For now, I’m totally blessed to live in beautiful Cape Town and get to marry my dream guy at the end of this year.
How you first got involved in with blogging?
I was teaching English in Seoul, South Korea. I had just graduated and it was the first time I had lived in another country. Everyday brought such an array of bombarding new experiences in the ways of culture, food and smells that I had to start documenting it all. Each time I took the bus I would grab any piece of paper and start scribbling stories down. This is when I knew that storytelling through words and photography is something I could never stop doing.
What do you find most challenging about blogging about your topic?
Having a travel job and not being able to travel. I’ve had a 9-5 job in Cape Town for two years, so there’s only so many leave days you can take. Luckily I’ve been able to explore beautiful parts of South Africa.
Tell me about some of the people you’ve met while working on your blog?
This is the beauty of travelling. The very people you encounter in your exploration adds colour to your story. Some of my greatest trips involved making lifelong friends from all around the globe. Meeting my travel blogging hero, Nellie from WildJunket, was a highlight, as she inspires tremendously. Nat geo’s digital Nomad, Andrew, had such great advice about writing and patience whilst pursuing your dream.
How would (someone) describe your blogging style?
Not sure, but hopefully funny, witty and madly entertaining.
What do you do when you aren’t working on your blog?
My job as a digital producer in the radio industry keeps me busy. Outside of that I dance, surf when it’s warm and go coffee shop hopping with my fiancé.
What networking do you do that you feel helps your blogging business?
I try link up with travel bloggers from around the world. Twitter is great for that. I learn from them and actively share my content.
How do you keep coming up with material/content for your blog?
Because I only started my blog a few years after I began travelling, I am still catching up on countries which I visited. I try to explore new parts of my own city too where there’s never a lack of beautiful things to capture.
Where do you go for news and information online?
What’s your strategy with your blog in general?
At the moment, it would be to write, punt it on social media and get affiliate links going. Keep conversations with people going around travel.
What would you prioritize? Content? SEO? Traffic? Readers?
At the moment, a mix of content and traffic.
What’s the best thing a blogger can give to his readers?
Compelling reading and great visuals they really want to see.
What has been your strategy for creating visibility to yourself and your blog?
Social media mainly and writing for other online publications.
What was the most challenging moment in your blog content development process and why?
When I got hacked and wasn’t sure if I had lost everything or not.
Everyone has a favorite/least favorite post. Name yours and why?
My favourite blogs are the ones on Buenos Aires, my favourite city. Every time I write about it, I get to relive my trip a little. Don’t think I have a least favourite.
What is the ultimate Goal for a blogger in your opinion?
For travel bloggers, I think the goal would be to be able to sustain your travels and lifestyle through money earned from your writing and blog.
Which one plugin would you suggest all bloggers to have?
Facebook or Twitter.
Name some of the bloggers whom you look up to and why?
There are so many but Nellie Huang was the first one to inspire me. She went from a fulltime job to building one of the biggest travel blogs which now has its own print magazine and digital mag. Best thing is, she’s completely humble about her talent and very encouraging.
If someone was interested in blogging, what would be a few things you would suggest?
Just start. Don’t wait until you have more web skills or you have a web developer. The best way to learn is by signing up with WordPress and plodding along and trying out new plugins.
Firstly concentrate on content before you start directing people to your blog. Once you get them there, you have to have something to wow them and keep them coming back.
A big thank you from Cape Town Active to Lauren for this interview. Please check out her blog at http://thetravelmanuel.com/. Like her Facebook page ‘The Travel Manuel’ and follow Lauren on twitter @thetravelmanuel
If you want to participate, please visit our Cape Town Blogger Interview page at http://cape-town-active.com/cape-town-blogger-interview/