Hey globetrotter! If you are looking to share some of your adventures online, then you’ve probably heard of TravelPod before. This community site has been around since 1997 and has even appeared in publications such as National Geographic and USA today. But is it the best blogging platform for travel at current times? I tested the site and the result was kind of disappointing.
UPDATE – We just received news that TravelPod will be closing their platform permanently on 19th June 2017. The administration has provided a detailed back up guideline on how to save your blogs/photos so that they can be imported to a new blogging site. They recommend using WordPress and I think that’s a good idea.
If you need any help transferring to WordPress platform, just leave a comment below OR send me a message via the contact form and I am more than happy to assist.
How Do You Use It
Before I get into the details, let me briefly explain how this works. After creating a user account, you’ll be directed to a dashboard that looks something like this.
The primary feature is the blog editor, your user profile and a travel map. For every blog, you can upload pictures/videos and share them on Facebook, Twitter or via email. They also provide other tools such as comments and stats to help you with visitor engagement.
- Similar to Blogger by Google, setting up this platform doesn’t require any technical skills since all the features are built-in and ready to go.
- Considering that it is a cost-free platform, TravelPod is very generous to allow uploads of unlimited photos/videos and blog publishing. With this, you don’t have to worry about hosting maintenance.
- There’s a nice feature called Support My Travels, whereby you can embed a PayPal function to request for donations from your readers. After all, some funding are always great while you are on the road.
Well, that’s about the only three good things that I have to say.
Now, here is why I think that this platform is a huge letdown.
- The blog that you create has no search optimization features. Meaning, it has very little chance to be indexed by Google. Hence, your blog will only be visible to the people that you share with on your social networks or personal contacts.
- While it’s nice to have an in-house statistics, nothing beats connecting your website to Google Analytics, which can give you more comprehensive data about your visitors. Obviously, this feature is also not available within Travelpod.
- Your blog is not mobile responsive. In other words, your family and friends will have a hard time reading from their mobile devices.
- I have nothing against asking for donations, but if you are really serious about building your travel funds, you need a more solid monetization technique in place. Donations are uncertain and you can’t expect much from it either.
- Have you ever wondered how TravelPod pay for hosting while you blog for free? Well, it’s through online advertisement which means, you can expect to see third party ads on your blog. Now, not many people would like this (ads can be very annoying) so you can choose to pay $39.95/year to disable all forms of ads. Essentially, this fee will cover your hosting, but that’s it. You are not getting additional features that can make your blog better or more visible online. That’s something to really think about.
So, Is TravelPod Worthy of Your Time
Overall, this platform looks like it’s only meant for personal sharing purposes and since it’s not easily found by Google, I doubt you can use it for any form of online monetization. If that’s what you want, then it’s fine.
But I won’t be surprised if this site sunsets in a few more years for being search-engine unfriendly. Plus, I hardly see anyone who’s active in the community site. Maybe they are no longer maintaining it, who knows?
The Blogging Platform That I Would Recommend…
Hands down, it would have to be WordPress because that’s what every blogger is using right now.
- WordPress has thousands of free themes to make each travel blog unique from one another.
- There’s a special plugin called All in One SEO that can optimize your site for Google search.
- It allows you to monetize without any limitations. I mean, if you are going to be blogging frequently, you may as well earn from it, right?
Here are some popular ways that you can consider making money from your travel blog;
- Affiliate programs (such as Amazon Associate and Lonely Planet) – promote physical products that you’ve personally used for your own travel experience (backpack, travel guidebooks, etc.) and earn from sales commissions.
- Selling digital products (eBooks, online courses, photo etc.) – sell your own travel book/how-to guide and keep most of the profit yourself.
- Create videos on YouTube – create a YouTube channel, showcase your adventures on the road and recommend products (physical or digital) to your viewers.
- Online advertising – my least favorite method, but still doable when you have a lot of traffic coming to your site.
Can you see how much more you can achieve by using WordPress? Before long, you’ll not only be blogging, but also running a full time online business while traveling around the world. How cool is that?
How to Get Started
I am guessing that you probably have a lot of ideas going through your mind right now. Great! If you are interested to turn your passion into profit, then join me at my recommended online training platform to learn how you can get started for free. I hope to connect with you soon.
Have any thoughts or questions? Please leave them in the comment below and I’ll get back to you the soonest.
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