– Guest Editorial by Lorenzo Gonzalez – I started blogging on January 3rd 2010 as part of my New Year’s resolutions. I had decided that I wanted to improve my writing and was searching for a place to share my thoughts. For the first two years I wrote on a blogspot.com account and later graduated to host my own blog at Belizeadventure.ca.
Today I’ll share a few lessons I’ve learned since I started blogging with the hope that more people in the Belize tourism industry write about Belize and work together to generate a bigger buzz that will benefit everyone.
1. You don’t need to be an excellent writer to get started
Don’t let anyone tell you that your writing isn’t good enough for you to blog. However, I’m not saying that you will write as if you’re sending text messages with pals who can finish your sentences. I remember after a year of blogging I went back to my first posts and had a good laugh at all the mistakes I made; writing constantly improved my writing significantly.
2. Unapologetically, do your own thing
My experience in blogging hasn’t been all good, at first people would laugh at me because blogging wasn’t a common thing in Belize and supposedly I was trying too hard to be “different”. A similar thing happened to me because I went backpacking in Central America, friends would call me a “white boy”. However, I’m glad I pulled through all the criticism and now have a very popular travel blog that receives tons of hits every month.
3. Build on your strong points
So you’re good at creative writing, good for you, keep at it and continue getting better. I suck at creative writing so I keep my posts short and sweet. I know my audience is looking for basic articles that are helpful and informative, such as tips on backpacking Belize – where readers are just looking to save money on food, tours and accommodation.
4. Read, read, read to stay ahead
In 2011, the term Glamping was new to the world, now imagine in Belize, no one had heard about it. I read an article explaining the new “glamorous camping” trend and as a marketer, I immediately thought I could tie it together with Chaa Creek’s camp casitas. After writing the article, we immediately got requests from people wanting to experience it and other popular websites have continued to write follow up articles on it.
5. Helping each other out is crucial
One thing I hate about Belize is the “small town mentality” of businesses not wanting to help each other out. In the blogging world we do link exchanges to make each other’s websites rank higher. I’m not narrow minded and only exchange links with sites that have higher page rank, I make sure to think ahead. Do the math, if your site is a PR4 and you link to a PR3, by helping that site become a PR4, you can possibly become a PR5. So think long term and create a bigger buzz for Belize and the money will come.
Bonus tip: Text only posts are boring, as humans we are visual creatures and want to be entertained. Add some nice pictures and for goodness sakes make your articles interesting.