Here it is, folks- a blog about blogging! I wrote one a few months back as I was just getting started and I figured it would be appropriate to write another as we start a new year!
It seems like a lot of people wrote blog posts yesterday reflecting on their past year. While 2013 was truly incredible, I’m more excited about what’s to come! I’ve been working on my travel blog for about 4 months now, so I still feel like I’m just getting started. After much encouragement from friends and family to chronicle our travels, and with the help of my tech-savvy husband, I got my web site up and running in September. The goal of my site is to not just showcase where we’ve been, but to help future travelers plan their best trip to various destinations! I’m most proud of the destination guides I am starting to compile that give readers (printable) quick access to information such as activities, places to eat, and money saving tips.
A few weeks after the web site went live, we took two back-to-back trips (one week in Scottsdale, Arizona followed by a week in Granby, Colorado). For the first time, I started to reach out to visitor’s bureaus and companies to inquire about “media discounts” for various activities in return for publicity through blogs and social media postings. I was amazed at the responses! Here I was, a no-name, just-starting-out travel blogger and every single company I reached out to either gave me complimentary or half-off admission/tours. Keep in mind, it’s not completely free as there is a lot of work involved once I get home. I have to give a lot of my time to create blog posts and keep up my end of the bargain (making sure that we what we did is well advertised on a variety of social media outlets). It’s actually quite a bit of work. But it’s totally worth it to be able to experience a plethora of activities that we may have otherwise not been able to do and to share these experiences with our readers.
It was an honor and a surprise when Carmen, from Carmen’s Travel Tips, nominated me for my first blogger award, the Very Inspirational Blogger Award! I’ve been working hard for the past 4 months getting my blog up and running and filled with interesting content, and I was honestly starting to wonder if anyone ever even read my blog! So, not only am I inspired by the work of other travel bloggers, I am now inspired to keep doing what I’m doing, knowing that others are interested in reading what I have to say about our travel adventures!
Here are the rules for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award: Display the award logo on your blog, link back to the person who nominated you, state 7 things about yourself, nominate 15 bloggers, and notify these bloggers of the nomination and the rules
So, here are 7 facts about me…
1) My name (Toccara) comes from an Avon perfume. It was not on the market for long, as it’s not the most pleasant smelling perfume, but it makes for a unique name and a conversation starter!
2) I married the guy I said I was going to grow up and marry when I was 3 years old! I had a crush on a cute boy in my pre-school class and little did I know our paths would keep crossing in life, eventually leading us down the aisle on New Year’s Eve 2010! (See more about our story on my About Me page)
3) I am currently working full time as a high school counselor. I love the work I do helping my students navigate the craziness and emotions that come with being a teenager and helping them plan for the next phase in their lives. (Also, working for the school system has its perks: I get a lot of time off throughout the year, which lets me travel!)
4) I love to travel, but HATE packing! I figure I’ll get a system down one of these days. I just have a hard time narrowing down what to bring. I worry too much about having everything I’d need for every occasion and every weather situation!
5) I lived in Florida for the first 25 years of my life, and then decided I wanted a change, so I moved to southern California. Obviously, I’m a fan of warm weather!
6) I have a terrible fear of lizards. This fear has prevented me from visiting many beautiful, tropical locations such as Aruba and Mexico!
7) Cheese is pretty much up there as my all-time favorite food! Give me some cheese and wine, and I’m a happy girl!
Listed below are some of the blogs that I have enjoyed reading over the past few months. Some are blogs that inspired me to start my own, so they’re not new to the blogging scene (and it wouldn’t surprise me if they’ve been recognized as an “inspiring blogger” in the past). Others on my list are newbies like me just getting starting with sharing their adventures with their followers! I’m nominating the following blogs for the “Very Inspiring Blogger Award“:
Thanks for being an inspiration!
Continuing to Grow
As I look ahead to the new year, I have aspirations about more travel adventures and continuing to grow my visibility on the web. I was excited when I hit 100 followers on Twitter on November 4. I could have never imagined that I’d be hitting 1,000 followers less than 2 months later! I’m almost to 100 likes on Facebook and just reached over 100 followers on Instagram. More people are following my travel-inspired boards on Pinterest and I’m still trying to figure out Google+! It’s fun, exciting, and sometimes very confusing, but I’m learning new things every day! I’m networking by joining travel blog groups and communities on the web and am (virtually) meeting people like me, with a passion for travel, all over the world. I know it can only get better from here, so I’m excited to see what 2014 brings!