Travel Blogging for Teachers and Educators

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
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Sometimes two things don’t look as if they go together. On the surface, teaching and travelling don’t seem to be the closest of companions. To teach traditionally, you need to stay with students long enough for them to learn from you. To travel, you need to move from place to place. Not very compatible, right? But fresh ideas, inspirations, and genius come from putting together disparate ideas to make something new. 

Travel Blogging for Teachers and Educators

So if your passions are education and travel, don’t despair. There are ways of making this work. But like any good lesson, let’s start with the basics. You want to create a travel blog. That’s your dream. We’ll start there and slowly move into how that works with teaching.

Create a Name

There’s a first step to every journey and for this one, let’s make it your blog’s name. You need an evocative, memorable name (that’s easy to spell and say out loud). There’s a long list of ‘travel oriented’ words that are well (over) used for blog names. See if you can avoid a cliche name and come up with something uniquely your own. Once you have, check to see if it already taken as a website domain name. Keep trying until you find one that works and you can get the .com for. There are other extensions (i.e., .org, .net, etc.), but the one you want to have is .com. People will assume it and you don’t want your visitors to go to someone else’s site.

Choose a Focus

If you’ve chosen a good name, you still have some room to choose what your focus will be. This is another reason not to tie yourself down to a name that describes exactly what you will be doing. “Discount travel” or “hostel a day” doesn’t give you much chance to expand into luxury hotel reviews. Don’t limit yourself. But when you start, you do want to pick some sort of focus, whether it is saving money on travel, only visiting sites with locally brewed beer, or teaching at schools with exceptional art programs. Plan to stick to that focus for a time, until you build up an audience. Dive deep and explore the topic as much as you can.

Travel Blogging for Teachers and Educators

Pick a Host

Find a good hosting service. Which ones are good and which are only marginal changes over time, so do some research on which ones are recommended now. Look for affordability, great customer service, security, reliability, and support for WordPress. Yes, don’t spend too much time deciding which blog platform you will use. WordPress has the majority of the market already and you will have many more options for support if you go with them. Besides, they really are a powerhouse and deserve to be number one. Unless you are pretty technical or have some particular attachment to another platform, WordPress should be your default choice.

Design a Site

Once you’ve done the basic setup with your host and got WordPress installed, you’ve got a bit of work to do to get your site looking the way you want. Choosing a template, picking plug-ins, and designing a logo are all important, but we’re going to skip over those and let you research this yourself. There are dozens (hundreds) of step by step guides which will get you through this part. Let’s move on to something less technical.

Make a Schedule

Your readers, once you have them, will want to read more of your work. Set a schedule when it will appear so they know when to come back for it. Stick to your schedule. A missed post can lose you readers. Set yourself a deadline and work to meet it. Consistency is key.

Travel Blogging for Teachers and Educators

Get a Camera

Whether it is taking pictures of the exotic locales you travel to or the exciting students you’re working with, fuzzy, out of focus pictures just don’t make the grade. Invest a little in a decent camera. You won’t need top of the line (unless you are a wizard photographer already) but get something reliable that takes good pictures. And most of all, learn how to take good photos.

Travel Blogging for Teachers and Educators

Write a Story

Now comes the tough part. Write some blog posts. Talk about your focus, why your travel to the location you are in fits it, what it has to do with teaching. Tell an interesting story. Give some tips and tell why you did or didn’t use them. Get people interested. Provide them something of value. And...

Travel Blogging for Teachers and Educators

Find a Voice

One of the most important things you’ll need to hold an audience is a unique voice. You need to be yourself in such a way that people can identify with you. Make them laugh, or cry, or shout, but do it in a way that only you can do. They can read a travelogue or guide by some anonymous author, or they can read about where you went and what you did. You are more interesting. Let them see you. Let them get to know you.

Travel Blogging for Teachers and Educators

Teach a Course

As you travel, you can take short term teaching jobs, or longer-term ones that give you a hub for shorter journeys. If taking your teaching job on the road isn’t your style, you can work the school year and travel over the summer. Your blog can focus on planning and preparation during the time at home. Show off your research about your destination or talk about a class project you organized related to your trip. If education is part of your travel, make sure your audience knows it.

Travel the World

Now that you have a plan, you can map out your destinations, and figure out what bigger, more exciting place you’ll visit next. You’ve started to live your dream - now dream big. The world is your oyster, but without the hard shell trapping you inside. Break out and circle the globe. Teach, and learn, and grow. This is your chance. Grab it with both hands.

Travel Blogging for Teachers and Educators

 

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