Volunteering Abroad? How to write a blog.

Everybody is an expert these days about blogs.  In one morning, you can learn:

I am NOT an expert.  But, I do like to read blogs.  I think they *can* provide great content while showcasing the writer’s personality.  Blogging is also a tremendous tool when volunteering or traveling abroad.

Nobody wants to receive an incoherent mass email that you threw together in 7 minutes at the internet café.  Blogging gives much more purpose and style to keeping in touch.  And this way, people can monitor your adventure when they have time. 

Most travelers aren’t writers.  Many have never blogged before.  I found myself creating a blog for the first time before my trip last fall and at first, it’s a bit overwhelming.  I learned a lot when I blogged about volunteering abroad in Asia for five months so I thought I’d offer a few tips about blogging for the novice.

  1. Which service do I use?
    Two great platforms are Blogger and WordPress.  They are both easy to use and simple to share!
  2. Is anyone reading this?
    On WordPress, you can see daily stats about your blog traffic.  I made a joke yesterday that 10 people were reading my blog.  That wasn’t a guess.  However, yesterday became my busiest day thus far with 52 views.  Exciting!
  3. Is my content interesting?
    This is a tough one.  Hopefully, you have a few candid friends or family members.  My brother, Dan, keeps it real.  He is an expert blogger and used to blog about sports for WEEI in Boston.  He tells me when my content is dull or informative and when my style is boring or entertaining.  You need a Dan.
  4. How often should I blog?
    Once a week when you are abroad is realistic.  It is great for your audience if you can be consistent so they know when to read.  I always tried to blog over the weekend since my audience liked to read on Monday morning.  My audience isn’t much for work.
  5. What do people think about what I’m saying?
    When you blog, you are putting yourself out there.  You might be offending someone unintentionally.   Try to remember that ANYONE could read your blog when you write it.  If you find out that you have offended post publishing, apologize.  I recently wrote a blog for women traveling solo on the Traveldudes site.  The blog was about Nepali men constantly asking me if I was married.  The blog was written for travelers but several Nepali men read the blog and were very offended.  Of course, I apologized profusely.  But it reminded me that with blogging, there is no target audience.

One thought on “Volunteering Abroad? How to write a blog.

  1. Any blog that cites me is keeping it real, in my opinion.

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