Up to Date Travel Tricks and Tips | By: Rachel Johnson

Objective

As someone who loves to travel, I wanted to create a blog that would provide current travel recommendations to those looking to plan their next adventure. When I recently planned my first trip abroad, I struggled to find updated recommendations for specific museums, restaurants, and attractions. Most blogs I read seemed inauthentic, perfectly curated, and sponsored. I created my blog, Up to Date Travel Tips and Tricks, to address that lack of practical information. Travel advice should feel personal and candid. I worked to create a space to share detailed travel advice from my real experiences. I also worked to create a social media presence to promote this resource and reach a larger audience.

Project Work Samples

Style Guide

I started this process by brainstorming logos, color themes, and font choices. I used Canva to create some design options. I added my final choices to the style guide that is pictured below. I used this style guide to create my blog and social media content. 

Style Guide

Web Design/Blog Creation

I originally planned to use Google’s Blogger site to create and host my blog. I knew it would be a fast way to make a website that would allow me to start writing content. However, it was not as customizable as I wished. I could not add my logo or change the color theme to fit my brand design. These limitations pushed me to revamp my website using a different content management platform. I switched from Blogger to the Wix website builder. I found Wix to be a great tool that allowed me to customize the design and appearance of my blog. Below you will find before and after images of my original blog using Blogger and my final product using Wix.

Blog Posts

I wrote a series of blog posts that provided travel tips and tricks for different destinations I have visited. My first blog post about tips for visiting Iceland is pictured below.

Instagram

I created an Instagram account to promote my blog posts. I would create a post each time I published a new article on my blog. I also experimented posting with Instagram Reels. I was able to reach over 1,600 viewers through my first Reel!

Linktree

Social media captions often direct viewers to a link in the creator’s bio. I wanted the link in my Instagram bio to be as functional as possible. Linktree allowed me to compile links to my blog, recent blog posts, and Instagram account all in one space. I created a Linktree profile and designed my link to be user-friendly and fit my style preferences.

Linktree

Challenges

I mentioned my struggles with Blogger. The site helped me quickly create my blog. However, I was not able to properly design and customize its appearance. I solved this problem by switching to Wix. 

I also had some challenges growing organically on Instagram. It was difficult to reach a large audience without boosting posts. I worked to solve this issue by engaging with different Instagram features and posting frequently. I mentioned my use of Instagram Reels. That feature helped me organically reach over 1,600 viewers. While new features like Reels help reach a larger audience, real growth on the platform takes time and consistency. 

Project Process

I started the process by creating my logos and general style guide. Then I created my blog with Blogger. After seeing the limitations of Blogger, I switched to Wix and revamped my web design to match the style guide. The Wix interface was incredibly user-friendly. I was able to design and customize my website without adding any additional HTML code.

I also created an Instagram account and a Linktree to help promote my blog posts. Then I started writing my blog posts with travel tips and advice from my own experiences. I would start by looking back at photos from my trips. Then I would work to remember specific restaurants and attractions I visited. I would find links to the websites of those attractions to include in my blog posts. Then I would do additional research on the culture of the area and start writing my blog posts.

After a blog post was published, I would promote it on my Instagram and my Instagram Story. I would also add the link to that specific post to my Linktree. I spent some additional time researching ways to optimize my blog posts and reach more viewers through Instagram. I found that Instagram Reels were a great way to organically reach people. I also found that including a few specific hashtags helped posts gain more traction.

Overview and Insights

Overall, I had an excellent experience creating this blog! I had the opportunity to relive some of my favorite travel experiences. I also had the chance to design a website. That allowed me to combine my digital analytic skills and my understanding of design principles. The process also involved some trial and error. I tried Blogger and transitioned to Wix. I originally chose a different color theme and rebranded it to provide greater contrast after chatting with a mentor of mine. 

One of the best experiences I had throughout this process was hearing that my blog helped people plan their next trip. A friend of mine told me she saved links to some of my Iceland recommendations so she could reference them in the future. That was the goal of this project! I wanted to help people access real advice instead of meticulously curated Instagram pictures. 

One of my biggest insights throughout this process was the need for feedback and collaboration. I chose a color theme that I liked, but the design of my blog improved greatly after I applied the advice of my mentor. A second set of eyes is crucial to the design process. In future projects, I will be sure to reach out for additional opinions on my designs! I also learned the value of consistency. Viewers want to have content they can reliably look forward to. I applied that lesson by posting on my blog and social media at least once a week. Consistency is a key component of growth on any platform!

Videos

Video Overview