Also known as Personal Journey Blogs, Journey Blogs are public diaries.
They are a personal story, telling of the struggles and successes met on a journey from where the writer sets out to where the writer ultimately arrives.
All personal efforts to reach a goal are a form of travel, thus the term “personal journey blog”. A journey blog can also be a record of real traveling, a travel blog in the Travel Niche, with all the marvelous or ghastly things that happen along the way.
No two are exactly alike. You can find them in every interest sector you search on the ‘net.
A Journey Blog can:
- Be the story of one person, a couple, a group or team, a committee, a company. Doesn’t matter. A journey is a journey is a journey.
- Begin with
- a concept,
- a frustration,
- a plan,
- a determination,
- a search for something,
- a need for self-improvement,
- dropping pounds,
- the wish to share moments,
- fulfilling a dream,
- a passion to get a degree
- or anything, in fact. After all, it’s your story filled with your emotions and discoveries. Oh, and disappointments and successes.
- Be about any topic. You’ll find them in travel, finance, job seeking, history, archaeology, psychology, online money-making, parenting, movie-going, lifestyle, cooking, and on and on, clear to the bottom of the page.
- Build an income.
- Make you accountable
- Be updated daily, once a week, or once a month; any further out than that and your blog risks becoming a dead horse.
- Be shared and joined by as many interested people as you can find. Or who find you. Works both ways.
- Do anything. There’s really no limit to what you can do with a Journey Blog.
10 Points that define a successful journey blog
1. A specific goal
You’re HERE, you’re frustrated, you want to get THERE >> Frustration gone, happy dance.
2. Not sure where you’re going with all this, but you’ll find the way
You have an idea of how to get THERE, but some or most of your map is fuzzy.
You’re going to get THERE regardless of the challenges. There will be challenges. You accept them, you embrace them. You want to share them.
There is no journey without challenges.
4. The ability to share and be shared
The ability to share, even if you are shy or screamingly embarrassed to do so, is essential. No worries, you get used to it after a while and it becomes a no-brainer, even something to look forward to.
The next important part of sharing is that your content must be share-worthy.
What do I mean by that?
Well, you’re not the only one having the problem you’re sharing; there are plenty of others in the same boat , and – they have friends who are chewing away at the same problem, too.
They all want to see you get further along toward your goal so they can do it, too, and they will share your successes with their friends, who will share with their friends … it’s called going viral.
Which leads us to one of the most important, if not THE most important, elements in a successful journey blog.
Honesty shines in successful journey blogs.
Lay it on the line, tell it like it is. Describe the good times, the wins, and the bad times, no matter how unpleasant. Speak about how you feel, just don’t overdo it.
Forget fancy, forget formal. Don’t give your readers an essay. Readers can spot an attempt at fancy a mile away. Click! Out they go.
Just be yourself. That’s who they want to follow. Honesty gains respect, a false persona gains disgust. Think about it.
6. Spell and grammar check
Worried about your command of English? Pass on that. Sort of.
The only people who get their panties in a wad about improper grammar and spelling are grammarians and librarians.
On the other hand, you do not want your readers to misunderstand your words of wisdom or make it hard for your readers to grasp what you are telling them.
Make it easy for your readers to read your content.
Use Grammarly and Yoast SEO (a WordPress plug-in, found in Plug-Ins in your WordPress features menu). I pay attention to what my Yoast plug-in is telling me. If it says my sentence is awkward, I read the explanation and re-write. No fuss, no muss.
Push come to shove, outsource proofreading and editing. That means you hire someone to clean up your writing.
Nothing surpasses a well-written journey blog.
7. Proven Research
A successful journey blog writer does not jump to conclusions, or write without verifying the facts.
Successful journey blogs are rife with links to articles on other web sites, explanations, sources, links to other posts within the journey blog, whatever it takes to clearly show you have done your homework and aren’t just talking off the top of your head.
8. Helpful content
Successful journey blogs are anything but bland.
They are exciting to read – personal drama always is – they are educational, they are informative, and they are, above all, helpful.
Always keep in mind that your readers following you because you are addressing the same issues they are struggling with and they want to see how you are handling them.
That’s why readers follow a personal journey blogger – because they never know what’s going to happen next, most of the time they learn something new, and they get to see solutions they can apply to their own lives.
9. Easy on the eyes? Not necessarily
See, the thing about a successful journey blog is that it’s the author that people follow. Not the pretty layout, though an attractive layout does help good content.
But f’rinstance, take a look at BudgetsAreSexy.com – where personal finance nerds are cool by Jay Money.
Not exactly what one thinks of in terms of a modern blog layout, is it.
Yet, Jay’s personal journal blog is listed as the leader in the Personal Finance niche.
I used 3 sources to uncover the top personal journey blogs, here’s one https://www.wisebread.com/top-100-most-popular-personal-finance-blogs/topics/personal-journey. Though out of date, nothing much has changed for the listed blogs.
The dude is a down-to-earth fellow. He doesn’t pull any punches, he is extremely knowledgeable, and he’s a lot of fun to boot!
Doesn’t matter that his blog looks like something from the early 1980’s, it’s fun and chock full of solid, researched, tried and proofed wisdom.
A successful personal journey blog shows proof of the journey.
Take pictures, and lots of them.
Readers love images, so give them what they love. Before and after photos are especially valuable.
Before After This is where I was on Tuesday
(pick of check list)
It’s now Friday, and this is what I’ve accomplished
(pick of check list)
This is what happened when I went left instead of right
(pic of messed up blog page)
This is what “right” looks like
(pick of cool blog page)
This is what I could afford last week
(pic of Ramen noodles)
This is what I'm eating right now
(pic of steak on your plate - not a foodie site shot)
This is what I weighed Friday a week ago
(pic of your feet on scale with rose decal on one toe)
I've lost 3 lbs and am celebrating with new make-up
(pic of your feet on scale with rose decal on one toe including make-up artfully displayed on a towel.
Follow up with make-up affiliate link to store or brand)
To sum it up, a personal journey blog is composed of:
- Your goal,
- Your record of progress toward your goal (good, bad, ugly, proof),
- Your achievement of the goal, and
- Your record of the things you do once you’ve achieved your goal.
Let me know if this has been helpful in the comments below. Have questions? I love answering them.
You can ask in Comments or send me an email: annie(@)journeyniches.com