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ADV PreppingInsider Tips: Starting a Successful Adventure Motorcycle Blog

Insider Tips: Starting a Successful Adventure Motorcycle Blog

 Dreaming of riding the world and starting an ADV Travel Blog? Here’s how!

Published on 02.28.2018

According to reports, there are over 350 million blogs on the planet and the number continues to grow. With millions of active bloggers worldwide, it’s clear that blogs are an amazing tool to create content, share your experiences and attract your “tribe”. It can also be a way to earn an income, gain sponsors or get intriguing job offers.

Even though adventure motorcycle blogs make up just a tiny fraction of the blogs out there, it’s becoming harder and harder to stand out as their numbers increase every year. So what should you do if you’re planning to go on a long motorcycle journey and want to start a successful Adventure Motorcycle Blog of your own? Is it even worth it? We talked to a few prominent bloggers in the ADV space to find out what’s the best approach.

The Rolling Hobo

Jussi Hyttinen Adventure Motorcycle blog
I do what I can by writing honest illustrated stories of days on the trail, in the hope of someone getting inspired enough to dream and go ride. – Jussi Hyttinen

Jussi Hyttinen, better known as the Rolling Hobo, has been blogging for eight years now. His blog, therollinghobo.com, gets between 6,000-10,000 unique visitors a month depending on content publication. Jussi focuses on what he calls “adventure enduro” – riding lightly packed enduro bikes off the road and off the grid, often through places where few dare to venture.


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Jussi’s reason for blogging is giving back. “I feel truly grateful to the people who chose to share their knowledge and expertise. Without them, I would have never left home. Having received so much, this is my small contribution to giving back to the adventure community,” Jussi says. “Most of my content consumption is need based, so I don’t follow blogs for entertainment. Instead, when I have a particular project in mind, I will gather all information I can on the region online and contact riders who are experienced in it,” Jussi explains.

According to the Rolling Hobo, the key ingredient in a successful Adventure Motorcycle Blog is authenticity and sharing good, reliable information. “I do my best to share what little knowledge I have on trails, bikes, equipment, interpersonal challenges, and so on,” he says.

Jussi Hyttinen Adventure Motorcycle blog

Jussi’s Top Adventure Motorcycle Blog Tips

• Make it personal. Tell us how you experienced it, in your words. Invite us into your world and induce us into caring about what happens in it next.

• Avoid unemotional, chronological reports and the word “then.”

• Take many photos with variety in subject matter, composition and focal length, but publish them with a critical eye, making sure each one supports the story. If you carry a selfie stick, ignore everything I just said!

• First-hand information on routes, road and weather conditions, food, fuel, spare parts, etc. are always appreciated. Judging by traffic and comments on my blog, people are interested in routes and their severity and especially, about selecting equipment and building expedition bikes.

• No one is a good cinematographer, photographer or writer from day one. It is a skill which is started at amateur level and improved by practice. So pick your poison and stick to it! Don’t be afraid to publish, as the community is generally friendly and will encourage you. Having said that, toxic comments aside, criticism creates opportunity to improve. You win, or you learn.

PikiPiki Overland

Michnus Olivier Adventure Motorcycle blog
Blogging is fun and a way to document your travels or adventure riding antics, but fair warning, it takes work and time! – Michnus Olivier

Michnus and Elsebie Olivier, a veteran nomad couple, have also been blogging for eight years and their blog now gets 8,000-9,000 unique visits per month on average. According to Michnus, pikipikioverland.com has not only been a great resume in media relationships but it also helps to make friends around the world – or smooth things over with border officials.

“Going into Israel, the customs officers took me into a separate booth and had a load of questions on why we were in Sudan. I tried to explain and eventually as she had a computer I told her to look up PikiPikiOverland, and showed her it was our travel blog and why we had to go through Sudan. Boom! Passport stamped,” remembers Michnus.

According to him, the blog has also helped the couple to be vetted by Airbnb hosts, got them multiple invitations to stay with local people, and has been a great online visiting card.

Michnus Olivier and Elsebie Adventure Motorcycle blogs

Michnus’ Top Adventure Motorcycle Blog Tips

• Decide why you want a blog: purely for yourself and family, or do you want it to generate income eventually? There is a fine balance required in doing a blog for both as it entails different types of blogging styles and content.

• Choose a simple, effective, clean platform and theme that loads fast and is mobile-friendly. 85% of our visitors are visiting our site via their phones.

• Avoid clutter on your pages. Flashing banners and such will distract visitors from your content!

• Great content is key. Be a unique storyteller and use quality photos and/or videos to bring your message across. Never use photos, videos or content without permission of the owner. Give credits where due, and tag contributors’ websites.

• People are not interested in product spam and clickbait headlines: they will only visit your blog if they get value out of it. It helps to write engaging articles and reviews that will encourage people to interact and share your blog. Share valuable information without expecting something back!

• Learn a little bit about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and use social media to drive traffic to your blog but don’t spam every Facebook page and group with your articles. Email subscribers is still an effective way to communicate with your audience and good to grow it over time. Use sites like Mailchimp to deliver your email to subscribers.

• Think about evergreen content: articles that are relevant year after year and that are valuable and high quality with little or no upkeep. They generate much of the continued organic traffic to a blog.

• Write like you talk and be yourself, show your personality. Keep the writing style casual and stick to a max of 1,500-2,000 words or do photo essays if you struggle with writing.

• Talk to your target audience and be part of the community your blog is directed at.

The Adventures of Lone Star

Joseph Savant Adventure Motorcycle blogs

Photographer and adventure rider Joseph Savant has been on the road for sixteen months now, making his way from North America to Tierra del Fuego. Joseph’s advrider.com blog has over 165,000 views, and his personal blog, josephsavant.com which was started to keep friends and family in the loop, is starting to take off, too.

“My blog was always intended as a diary of my personal experiences, something I could look back on and remember one day. I found that my friends really enjoyed the posts and gave me feedback which makes the effort worthwhile. It was never intended to be a major hub or advertising-based blog, just a personal record,” Joseph notes.

Joseph Savant Adventure Motorcycle blogger

Joseph’s Top Adventure Motorcycle Blog Tips

• People like reading something they can relate to easily. You might be in an exotic locale they may never go to, but they can relate to swallowing a bug, whether it’s in Peoria, Illinois or the deserts of Peru.

• Good photos are important, since the world has become a far more visual place.

• People who read my ride reports and blog really enjoy the focus on human interaction and the small details of life.

• If you are just getting started with photos, I suggest a Mirrorless system, as they are half the size of a DSLR with similar image results. As your skills improve, invest in the best quality lenses to improve color and low light performance. I also suggest telephoto lens(es) to capture people without intimidating them.

• Another suggestion is to be sure and utilize the photography “rule of thirds” when composing and importantly, get in very close when photographing people.

• Look for interesting light and compositions as you walk the streets to take your photos to a better level.

• Lastly, if you prefer a pocket travel camera, spend the money of the higher-grade versions which have larger sensors and better built-in zooms.

Robyn’s Moto Quest

Robyn Kocienski Adventure Motorcycle blogger
Robyn’s adventure motorcycle blog helped her get the job of her dreams. © Jim Kohl Photography

What if your blog doesn’t have amazing numbers and engagement, but leads to fantastic opportunities? Success can be defined in many different ways.

Robyn Kocienski, and adventure rider, tour leader and, as she calls herself, a “Motorcycle Vacation Addiction Enabler” at MotoQuest, started her blog in the interest of becoming a better writer and storyteller. “The first entry is some terrible poetry that I needed to barf into cyberspace, but it also exposed my greater intentions, and it’s something that three years later, I still refer to when I feel I’m off-track. It’s a mission statement, if you will,” she explains.

On rokotogo.com, Robyn documented her travels with words and photos as a way to curate her own reality, so she could immerse herself in it later – the same way some people have photo albums or scrap books. “As I met people along the way, they were interested in following along with my travels, some saying they would like to live vicariously through me,” Robyn recalls.

Eventually, her blog led her to being offered a position at MotoQuest, an Alaska-based motorcycle tour company. Robyn met the management team of MotoQuest through a friend. “They and their marketing team eventually saw my blog…and the rest is history,” she says. Currently, she works as a rental agent, bike washer, public speaker and a women’s Alaska tour guide, but is also hoping to become part of the MotoQuest’s marketing team and is already blogging for the company.

Robyn Kocienski Adventure Motorcycle blogger

“I don’t care how many unique visitors and how many hits my personal blog gets – it landed me my dream job in the motorcycle travel industry. To me, that’s success!”.

Robyn’s Top Adventure Motorcycle Blog Tip

• Save the receipts, they can be tax deductible. Seriously, every dollar you spend on the technology, website hosting, gear, gas, document your mileage, it could be tax deductible. And when you’re planning to live on the skint, every dollar counts.

So what’s the verdict if you’re planning to launch an Adventure Motorcycle Blog? There is no one magic formula that you can follow – but being authentic, passionate, and offering a different view into the world are your keys to success!
 

Photo credits: Pikipiki Overland | The Rolling Hobo | Joseph Savant | Robyn Kocienski | Jim Kohl Photography

Author: Egle Gerulaityte

Riding around the world extra slowly and not taking it too seriously, Egle is always on the lookout for interesting stories. Editor of the Women ADV Riders magazine, she focuses on ordinary people doing extraordinary things and hopes to bring travel inspiration to all two-wheeled maniacs out there.

Author: Egle Gerulaityte
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