New Vagabond Journey Travel Blog


New Vagabond Journey Travel Blog
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Hello and welcome to the new Song of the Open Road/ Vagabond Journey travel blog. This venture on the internet is about trying new things, discovering the best ways for doing what I wish, and realizing when I have come up against a dead end. I have previously used Blogger to publish this blog, but I feel that I have come to the point where I want to make my site completely by hand. The Blogger system and template has served me very well for many years, but it seems as if using it for the long term may be digging myself into a large hole.

To begin with, I am currently receiving around 350 daily visitors between Song of the Open Road and Traveler This is really good and I am happy with my progress. The RSS feeds from Blogger seem to land pages immediately into the Google index, but it does not seem as if these pages have a very strong sticking power. The pages go up one day and I receive traffic from them, but by the end of the week the traffic they generate is nearly non-existent.

I am beginning to get the feeling that I am burying my posts deeper and deeper into the blog. So deep, in fact, that I do not know if they could ever come up to breathe again. I have blogged around 370 times on Song of the Open Road alone, and I believe that the grand bulk of these posts are not deep linked enough to do them justice. I think that the Blogger system is really good for getting information out and into the internet quickly, but I do not think that the individual posts have much lasting power.

I have to admit it, I have reasons for writing my website that dips into making money. I put a lot of time into my websites, often times six to eight hours a day - everyday - and I would  someday like to be able to generate the $10 that I need a day to travel off of this labor. I just want to be able to make enough money to allow me to keep putting as much energy as I am into Vagabond I believe that this is possible, but I also believe that for this to happen I need to begin making more hand pages and to gradually leave the Blogger system.

I have only just begun my journey into the land of website construction, but it seems to me that the world of SEO is finicky. Google is perpetually trying to make the internet a better place for finding quality information. Part of this venture is about axing spammers and made-for-Adsense sites. It seems as if pages made from within a blogging (Blogger, Wordpress, etc . . .) system are highly discounted when it comes to page rankings and coming up in organic searches after the initial RSS feeds have long since faded. But if these actions were not taken, I think we would soon find ourselves up to our ears in gimmick blogs and other non-genuine sites mass-produced with content management systems. I think this is ultimately good.

But at the same time I feel that the genuine small-time publisher is getting caught up in the way. This is me. I work hard on my blog, I do not want its pages, and my hard work, discredited because I use a blogging system. When I first began putting a lot of energy into Song of the Open Road last May, my technical knowledge was absolutely nil. If it were not for Blogger I would not have been able to publish on the internet. Blogging systems, and easy to use web site making programs are good, as they make the internet accessible to a far larger sect of the population. But, due to their ease of use, they also make the internet open to abuses. In the effort to curb abuse, I think the common feller who relies on these systems to publish is also being curbed along with the rabble.

I do not know where the line can be. I still do not know much about this. I could be wrong.    

But at this point, I am assuming that the blog is on the way out as a way of obtaining organic search visitors. In the words of a friend, the blog will probably go the same way as the forum. "Do you remember when the forum use to be big?" questioned my friend. I awknowledged this fact. "Now how often to you find forums?" I shrugged. "You don't." These are only my opinions based upon the advice of a very knowledgeable friend, as well as my own observations of the traffic patterns on my blogs.

I do not know if this information is correct, but I am going to try this new way of writing a travelogue as an experiment none the less.

So think of the new Vagabond Journey blog as a trial of sorts, it will be constantly changing, being broken, being repaired, and I hope being made a little better each day. This is only a trial run, I may very well return to Song of the Open Road on Blogger very soon. I just want to try this. 

If you have any thoughts on this matter, please leave a comment below. I will surely appreciate any help I can get.

Wade from Vagabond Journey
San Pedro, Guatemala
April 12, 2007

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Comment from Motorcycle Bob-

Interesting dilema.   I have struggled with the same thing.   For me, I do not write/travel as much as you and I do not try to make money on the web so my basic site is fine.   I really don't like the layout of most blogs, but read them anyway for the great stories.

One hassle with the menu system as you have it is the difficulty of getting comments.   Sometimes comments are the best part.   Being able to comment can keep interests up.

Probably the best compromise I have seen is:

Which allows a standard blog type setup, but a standard menu based on dates.

One caution I could give, for what it is worth: Putting your e-mail address in a web page rather than a link to it or just a picture of it makes for a lot of spam.

Bob L