This week I am celebrating three years since my site went live! It has all blown by so fast, however I have learnt so much along the way and want to pass on some of it to you, as well as offering my readers a chance to win something to celebrate during the new year.

 

Competition

Enter the competition below to be in with a chance of winning £100 of Amazon Vouchers. One lucky person will be chosen in a month’s time and will be sent the online voucher via email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

My Best Moments

While reminiscing of the days when I was staring at the WordPress homepage wondering how the hell I build a blog, it is hard not to think of so many memorable and touching moments I have experienced. I had put in my five best moments so far:

1) Travelling Across South America

A couple of months before jumping on a plane, I was stuck in a job where I was working around 10 hours a day. My stress levels were through the roof and I was hating life. While this can just become our lives, Spaghetti Traveller was my way out, as I told myself I didn’t need to live like this. So I handed in my notice and bought a ticket to Peru that day. I headed out there and had some of the most amazing moments of my life, meeting people I will never forget and still in contact with now.

2) Recognition

I’m sure every blogger goes through these moments (except the huge ones) where you start to question the point of it all. When I spend my weekend writing content, designing and editing images, learning video editing and building my social accounts, I wonder why I’m doing it all for free with no end return. I have always written the content to be helpful to people wanting to travel somewhere, however it can be a very draining experience at times, which is why recognition from firms or award ceremonies are always appreciated. Thomson Holidays just highlighted me as the travel blogger to watch in 2016, Easyjet highlighted me as their blogger of the month a while back, while I’m currently nominated for the UK blog awards.

3) USA Road Trip

Still the best trip of my life, I had a road trip from San Francsico to Miami, stopping everwhere along the way and this all started the travel bug, which I’ve never been able to shake off since. Of the top 10 moments of my life, around 50% were on this trip!

4) Conferences

Following on from reading hundreds of other travel blogs, it is amazing to attend conferences, blogger meetups and events and beginning to recognise the people around you. While most people have grown up to celebrities in magazines and many young kids now have their YouTube heroes, I have looked up to other bloggers which have achieved such great results. Therefore, getting drunk with these people is an amazing experience!

5)Bucket List

My most successful page on my site since its release is my personal bucket list. I found there were a huge amount of people looking for a simple list, however there didn’t seem to be a great resource for this. I therefore made one up and within a short period of time it started ranking on Google all over the world. At its peak, it was number one for all the related terms in the UK, USA and Australia!

 

Building Your Own Blog

So many people ask me about creating their own blog, however it never becomes anything more than a dream. Everything will remain a dream unless you take the leap and dive straight in. Write down your goals, what you want to achieve and how you are going to get there. You can do all the preparation in the world but if you don’t just jump in then you will always be waiting.

Every day you delay it, you are pushing yourself further away from achieving your dream. I have therefore given my five tips for new starters:

1) Find A Name

Choosing a name for your site is getting harder and harder as so many domain names have been bought. I would recommend loading up a site such as GoDaddy and inputting site name ideas to see if they are available. Don’t EVER consider anything other than the extension for your country or .com. So I have Spaghettitraveller.com and .co.uk bought out. Some people buy stuff like .co, not realising this is for a particular country (Columbia), meaning they might struggle to rank in the UK and will randomly be getting traffic in Columbia.

2) Social Accounts

It isn’t just the domain name, you also need to make sure you can get the social accounts. Once you have this, you need to start building out the social accounts (you might want to consider investing in some bots just to speed the initial process up a bit).

3) Create The Content

There will come a point when you just can’t be bothered to write a blog post and the issue you may face is that as you leave it one weekend, you then leave it the next weekend and then it becomes a task you keep saying “tomorrow I will write something”. To protect against this, I always recommend getting a chunk of content done beforehand, so you can focus on the other tasks, such as coding, creating and editing images and videos, building your social accounts and general work on the site.

4) Google Analytics & Search Console

These are free tools by Google which are absolutely essential. They will help you to recognise where you are gaining traffic from, whether you have any issues with the site, schema markup, HTML improvements, XML sitemap submission, localised & international targeting, demographics data etc.

5) Link Building

Be careful if you read about this topic, as you don’t want to adopt any ‘old school’ methods. Whether guest posting on other blogs in your niche, putting yourself forward as a case study or an expert opinion for large publications or creating a great piece of content which has the potential to go viral, there are many tricks which will work in 2016.

 

Remember if you ever want to learn more about digital marketing, you can head over to my other blog ‘Hoop Marketing’. I’m also happy to answer any questions you may have if you’re considering setting up your own site.

Written by | tombourlet

Tom Bourlet is the creator of Spaghetti Traveller and has been addicted to travelling ever since taking a roadtrip across the USA.

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123 Comments

  1. maci234

    January 10, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    to try and not worry so much about everything

  2. Angela McLean

    January 10, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    To learn to kayak

  3. John Frost

    January 10, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    To get fit for my cross channel row in the middle of the year

  4. Stephanie Llewellyn

    January 10, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    to get fitter

  5. jane templeman

    January 10, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    to stop self neglecting

  6. David Williams

    January 10, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    My New Year’s resolution was not to make any New Year’s resolutions, so avoiding failure early in the year!

  7. Martina Pichova

    January 10, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    to cut down on sugar and to be more patient with my kids

  8. Claire Woods

    January 10, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    to get fitter.

  9. Tania Atfield

    January 10, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    To exercise more often and start running again

  10. jennhaden3

    January 10, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    I want to learn to de-stress more x

  11. geow480

    January 10, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    NOT TO MAKE ANY. STILL HAVE NOT BROKEN IT YET

  12. charlie

    January 10, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    To not make any resolutions that i know for a fact i wont stick to, lol

  13. Nancy Bradford

    January 10, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    My New Years resolution is to lose weight and get fit.

  14. Sarah S

    January 10, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    My New Years resolution is to cook more!

  15. Glenda Hanks

    January 10, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    to juice more

  16. Beverley

    January 10, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    Make someone smile every day!

  17. Tracey Peach

    January 10, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    To Try & Chill Out More 🙂

  18. lindsey stuart

    January 10, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    I am going to finally get on with my driving lessons, I am now 30 and really must get on with it 🙂 I WILL be driving by this time next year 🙂

  19. Jo m Welsh

    January 10, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    To try more new foods

  20. Vincent

    January 10, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    Work hard and pas these bloody exams!

  21. Gavin Davies

    January 10, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    My resolution is to get fit enough to cycle some new mountains in The Swiss Alps on my road bike!

  22. Gwyn

    January 10, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    My resolution is to use my meditation room more.

  23. Pete Cleasby

    January 10, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    my New Year resolution is to make the most of whatever opportunities come my way

  24. Denfor Hopkins

    January 10, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    To do more cycling

  25. Amy Fidler

    January 10, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    Mine to grow more of my own veg,and to get on my bike more,to get about x

  26. Kirsty Fox

    January 10, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    To get my house decorated and looking how I want it, instead of keep putting it off.

  27. Suzanne Drummond

    January 10, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    to continue to loose weight my goal is 5 stone i have 24lb to go x

  28. Claire

    January 10, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    Pass my driving test

  29. Dylan Calderon

    January 10, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    mine is to try harder than I’ve ever done in college

  30. Angie McDonald

    January 10, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    My New Years Resolution is to try new things! I’m looking for a new job & taking my driving lessons as the minute but I’m also diong new things like trying new foods, watching films I wouldn’t have otherwise seen and i’m looking for a new house too!

  31. Keith Hunt

    January 10, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    To spend more time in Iceland this year.

  32. Samantha Loughlin

    January 10, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    To look after my physical and emotional wellbeing take time out for me more xx

  33. Jo Hutchinson

    January 10, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    To become a little fitter and eat more healthily.

  34. Fred_Baron

    January 10, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    Eat less, walk more!

  35. williamgould

    January 10, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    I want to continue eating healthily, and to do more exercise than I did last year, which shouldn’t be that difficult!

  36. JudeVFR400

    January 11, 2016 at 2:13 am

    Use the treadmill every other day to maintain mobility. And go to the dentist.

  37. Chloe Ellis

    January 11, 2016 at 2:21 am

    Do more exercise!

  38. Mel Chambers

    January 11, 2016 at 7:45 am

    My resolution is to say a resounding YES when I get the chance to try something new. So far I’ve agreed to taking part in an archaeological dig, doing a parachute jump and visiting a firing range to shoot a gun for the first time.

  39. Ruth Harwood

    January 11, 2016 at 8:05 am

    My NY resolution is to start yoga classes and to keep them up at least once a week throughout the year x

  40. Darrell

    January 11, 2016 at 8:19 am

    I have a few resolutions: 1) To love the meddling old bat, Sheila that is my Mother-in-Law and not to insult her every day. 2) To not use the car for small journeys – I’ll bike or walk 3) To make another parachute jump. I raised over £1200 for charity last time (Sheila is growing a moustache for charity ha ha) . (oh well perhaps I’ll succeed in resolution number 1 NEXT year!)

  41. Nicki Evans

    January 11, 2016 at 8:37 am

    My resolution is to eat more healthily.

  42. clairdownham

    January 11, 2016 at 11:51 am

    to eat more healthier and drink more water

  43. Kelandab

    January 11, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    To make more happy memories with my family – spending more quality time together & having fun

    Kelly Ellen Hirst

  44. Christine Caple

    January 11, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    To have a new kitchen!

  45. Angela Treadway

    January 11, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    To use my car less! X

  46. rena plumridge

    January 11, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    To get fitter

  47. Anthony G

    January 11, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    To get in better shape and to learn a language.

  48. Lesley Bambridge

    January 11, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    \Mine is to get out into the countryside more with the dog

  49. joanne ogden

    January 11, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    to eat healthier

  50. Melanie Sarah Slater

    January 11, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    To stop smoking for the greater good of me and my young family

  51. Char Keddy

    January 11, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    To travel the world more! xx

  52. Hannah Rowley

    January 11, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    To loose my baby weight

  53. Glyn Williams

    January 11, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    to take things more in my stride and to clear the garden of rammel 😀

  54. Laura Nice

    January 11, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    shape up for my wedding!

  55. dragonfly63

    January 12, 2016 at 10:13 am

    To stop procrastinating and also streamline my belongings and have a good clear out.

  56. Hon

    January 12, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    Exercise more and get fit!

  57. Christina Curtis

    January 12, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    …..mine is to worry less and smile more!

  58. jan

    January 12, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    To be a kinder person and to forgive and not hold grudges.

  59. Lorraine mabbitt

    January 12, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    Not to stress about the small things

  60. Alison

    January 12, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    To exercise every single day of 2016

  61. Ruth Robinson

    January 13, 2016 at 1:54 am

    to be more active and its going ok so far

  62. Justine Edwards

    January 13, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    New Years Resolution(s) 1) Cycle at least a Mile a day for the year 2) Put a Pound coin in the jar so at end of year i am £365 better off !

  63. Isabell Whitenstall

    January 13, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    I am going to walk 10.000 steps each day

  64. LUCY IRVING

    January 13, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    To lose weight, same as every year!

  65. Sara Goodman

    January 13, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    Eat less, walk more.
    Super giveaway, thank you 🙂 x

  66. Sarah M

    January 13, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    To be more health conscious!

  67. Janie1616

    January 14, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    To get the family to eat my healthy and to exercise more. Great prize, thank you xxxxxxx

  68. Emma Ellams

    January 14, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    To sort the house out so that we can move to a bigger place 🙂

  69. milli

    January 14, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    To improve my fitness

  70. Jules Smith Eley

    January 14, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    To work out more, make more amazing memories with the kids and just laugh and enjoy life more 🙂

  71. Joanne Welsh

    January 14, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    To keep working on overcoming my anxiety

  72. Kat Glynn

    January 15, 2016 at 4:14 am

    To do more fun outdoor activities as family! x

  73. ray

    January 15, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Quit smoking

  74. Kerry Atkinson

    January 16, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    To do at least one beyond the call of duty kind/helpful deed everyday for the feel good factor 🙂

  75. Kelly Hemmings

    January 18, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    I’ve joined a site called borrow my doggy… To get me out and about more

  76. ✰★ღ Kayleigh ✰★ღ

    January 19, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    Mine is to get my mum on a plane! She was 60 yesterday and has never been abroad!

  77. Steve Hearne

    January 20, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    I plan to exercise more and get fit!

  78. Rhia Drew

    January 21, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    My New Year Resolution, is to learn to drive, save up for a house deposit and spend more time with loved ones 🙂

  79. Michelle O'neill

    January 23, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    to stop worrying about little things and just enjoy life

  80. Christina Palmer

    January 24, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    To eat a healthier diet and get out into the outdoors more often and visit more places. In short to start living instead of vegetating

  81. Mary Chez

    January 24, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    To eat healthier and lose some weight

  82. Emma

    January 26, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    To cut down on the sweeties and start going swimming again.

  83. Sheena Widdowfield

    February 2, 2016 at 7:07 am

    To not be lazy and renovate my house!!

  84. Vicky Cole

    February 2, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    I haven’t got any New Year’s Resolutions I decided not to make any because I never keep them!

  85. Amandeep Sibia

    February 3, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Read more.

  86. Kimberley Ryan

    February 5, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    to spend more quality time as a family, doing things together

  87. Anthea Holloway

    February 6, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    Clear the clutter and live a healthier life.

  88. Julie Whittaker

    February 6, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    To get fitter not fatter!!!

  89. Magdalena Kobrzynska

    February 7, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    Become more confident and take some chances

  90. Jessica Slater

    February 7, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    To be healthier

  91. katie robertson

    February 8, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    To spend more time with my son

  92. Katie Kingsbury

    February 8, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Drink more water – I never get thirsty but know it’s important to keep hydrated. I downloaded an app to my phone as a reminder and it’s working really well so far.

  93. Martina Evans

    February 8, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    To wear more flat shoes and less heels!

  94. Layla

    February 8, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    I’d love to quit smoking.

  95. Nicola Dow

    February 8, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    To pass my driving test. Failed 4 times last year

  96. Matthew Fuller

    February 9, 2016 at 6:19 am

    Lose some weight..!

  97. sallycollingwood

    February 9, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    To get fit and healthy

  98. Phyllis Ellett

    February 9, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    Keep my weight for my daughters wedding this year.

  99. comperoo

    February 9, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    lose some weight for my 50th next year

  100. kim neville

    February 9, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    To tone up for holiday and reach for healthier snacks instead of chocolate the whole time

  101. Shannon Paddison

    February 9, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    to raise money for Alzheimer’s research, which my dad is currently battling! i will be holding a fundraiser in March as its his 50th birthday and we did not think he would make it this far 🙂

  102. Adrian Bold

    February 9, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    Sorry to be boring, but my only resolution (again) was to lose weight / get fit. I set myself a target of losing 2 stone this year – which I’m on target with so far!

  103. Martina Alban

    February 10, 2016 at 6:18 am

    I said I will start running again and so far so good , am love in it

  104. Katie Walker

    February 10, 2016 at 9:16 am

    I am undergoing therapy so I am going to work really hard at that

  105. GCforever

    February 10, 2016 at 11:12 am

    My New Year’s resolution is no more resolutions. Having said that, I want to start travelling again this year after a bit of a break.

  106. Victoria Dixon

    February 10, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    My New years resolutions is to stick to a healthy eating plan in order to lose the two stone that I desperately need to lose!

  107. Jade Hewlett

    February 10, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    My New Years resolution is to spend more time with family and eat healthier

  108. Amanda Gregory

    February 10, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    My new year’s resolution wa sto spend more quality time with hubby.

  109. Sheila Howes

    February 10, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    New Year’s resolution – eat healthier and walk more!

  110. Michael Bull

    February 10, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    To get down to my ideal weight

  111. Jennifer Rhymer

    February 10, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    o smile more and be happy. I’m doing well so far 🙂

  112. Vera Bahounkova

    February 10, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    To be more active

  113. Hayley

    February 10, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    walking at least 7 miles a day 🙂

  114. Victoria Prince

    February 10, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    I didn’t make any resolutions this year!

  115. Keeley Shaw

    February 10, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    I didn’t really make an resolutions, but I do aim to spend more quality time with my kids and do more things with them, as they don’t stay little for long.

  116. Sheri Darby

    February 10, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    To go for a walk every day

  117. Lynsey Buchanan

    February 10, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    My resolution for 2016 is to continue to be a non-smoker (I gave up 3 months ago but still have cravings).

  118. haxell

    February 10, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    I am trying to declutter parts of the house which unfortunately is increasing my stress levels – lowering my stress levels was my other resolution!

    Hazel Rea – @beachrambler

  119. Kathryn Casbolt

    February 10, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    To make someone smile every day 🙂

  120. Rebecca Moon

    February 10, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    I gave up smoking 33 days!

  121. Claire Thomson Little

    February 10, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    to get healthier! I gave up smoking at the end of last year but now it’s the fitness journey that’s beginning 🙂

  122. John Pring

    February 11, 2016 at 4:55 am

    In 2016, I’m going to Minimalise the House, Decorate it top to Bottom and Write a book!

  123. Sarah Rowland

    February 11, 2016 at 7:50 am

    2016 I am going to not worry about what’s been and what might have been and focus on what we have and enjoy it

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