The road trip of a blog, and seeking expert advice
We know that we've been gone for a bit, working on some exciting projects we look forward to sharing with you in the coming weeks and months. But our weekly blog is back, led off with contributing writer Stacey Ebert reflecting on how she began her summer.
I recently returned from a two-month journey to three countries on two continents (including a four-week road trip across the United States). The preparation, coordination, facilitation, and execution took days and included hovering over maps, time spent with Mr. Google® and websites and, of course, a stack of tourism guides. There were eight flights, an Australian Outback adventure tour, and a Niagara Falls picture stop. And of course the road trip itself involved 10,000 plus miles, 17 states, 7 major cities, 5 national parks, 2 people, and 1 car, not to mention all the magic in between.
There had to be places to stay, meals figured out along with those extremely important car snacks, time for work, time for fun and spontaneity, time for adventure, time for friends and family, time to explore, time for laundry, any other planning needs and a bit of time for rest.
The journey – and the planning both before and along the way – got me thinking about the similarities between road tripping and blogging. First, there’s finding the time necessary to work on these projects amidst your everyday life, jobs and activities. Second, there’s the meticulous research and planning necessary. Next there’s the delivery and timed execution out into the world. And finally, there’s acting on what you said you’d do in the first place amidst the editing, altering, and fluid nature of both life and travel. Both can be exciting, invigorating, and memorable, but first you must handle the minutiae that come along with the ride.
What is great about both is just as I talked to National Park rangers when I wanted trail advice, companies such as Present Tense can be a guide to blogging. Finding experts, even direct assistance such as a tour guide or a ghostwriter, can be a real life-saver when you need to cut time from the planning and add more to the experience. The experts helped me take the headaches out of travel planning, let us do the same for your business writing.
Plan ahead and use your resources. Think about your mission and your message. Some travelers look for comfort and luxury while others tend towards backpacker plans. Some prepare months in advance while others take last minute flights. A ghostwriter operates as your travel agent, gate agent, tour guide and driver along your journey. What are you looking to accomplish with your white papers, blogs, or e-books? We can help you reach your destination happily and safely. Helping you find your voice is the same process as finding your most enjoyable trip plan.
Bring your ideas to fruition. Think you know what you want but are not sure how to make it happen? Are you the armchair traveler who dreams of that major cross-country road trip but can’t figure out how to get it on your calendar or take that time off from work? I’ve always managed to make some kind of travel happen, but those longer journeys with various ins and outs only began to work when I made travel a major priority. Ghostwriters are similar, being by your side the entire time when you’re ready to add blogging to your chief priority list. Share your big dreams so someone else can share the legwork.
Take the time to make it your own. No two visits to a national park are the same. My Dad visited Montana’s Glacier National Park a few years ago in the middle of July. On his visit there was no snow, all the roads were fully open and limited water tumbled over mountainous cliffs. We hit the park this year in early June for a whole different vista. We were met with some closed roads, seasonal staff beginning to make their way to the park, snow capped mountains and endless waterfalls as the sun continued to melt snowfall in a beautiful array of sound and spray. No two travel memories of road tripping ever quite match up making your experience your own. Blogs are a piece of your bigger message, a part of your journey but something that is truly your own. While they can be time consuming, they can help you towards selling a book or helping define and reach your market. Ghostwriters assist with getting you there, marking the trail.
There’s a time and a place for local reviews. If you’ve been down the path before and want another option, perhaps you’re in the market for advice from a friend or someone’s college roommate. But, when you want tried and true knowledge, you head to the professionals. On your road trip you no longer stop at local gas stations but head for those mega truck stops to which the road masters gravitate (I highly recommend the world’s largest on I -80 in Iowa). Those known travel book gurus, the state tourism boards or those trusted park rangers who have more trail stories than you can ever imagine are the ones to which you reach out. Writing a blog is the same way: at first you may be able to use someone in your marketing department now and then, but sooner or later you’ll find that someone devoted only to your blog can help in ways you could not have previously imagined.
Travel safely, and like the ever-available and ever-helpful park rangers, we at Present Tense are ready and waiting to help you log your journey.
Guest blogger Stacey Ebert is a former educator and event planner. She is currently making her way around the world as a travel blogger and freelance writer, with articles in Rolf Potts Vagabonding and Wandering Educator and published in American Camping Association Camping, tourism sites, Elephant Journal and more. Follow Stacey's adventures on The Gift of Travel.