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 Β£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 nominatedΒ 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 otherΒ blog ‘Hoop Marketing’. I’m also happy to answer any questions you may have if you’re considering setting up your own site.

123 Comments

  1. maci234 January 10, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    to try and not worry so much about everything

    Reply
  2. Angela McLean January 10, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    To learn to kayak

    Reply
  3. John Frost January 10, 2016 at 6:48 pm

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

    Reply
  4. Stephanie Llewellyn January 10, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    to get fitter

    Reply
  5. jane templeman January 10, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    to stop self neglecting

    Reply
  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!

    Reply
  7. Martina Pichova January 10, 2016 at 7:05 pm

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

    Reply
  8. Claire Woods January 10, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    to get fitter.

    Reply
  9. Tania Atfield January 10, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    To exercise more often and start running again

    Reply
  10. jennhaden3 January 10, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    I want to learn to de-stress more x

    Reply
  11. geow480 January 10, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    NOT TO MAKE ANY. STILL HAVE NOT BROKEN IT YET

    Reply
  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

    Reply
  13. Nancy Bradford January 10, 2016 at 7:28 pm

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

    Reply
  14. Sarah S January 10, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    My New Years resolution is to cook more!

    Reply
  15. Glenda Hanks January 10, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    to juice more

    Reply
  16. Beverley January 10, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    Make someone smile every day!

    Reply
  17. Tracey Peach January 10, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    To Try & Chill Out More πŸ™‚

    Reply
  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 πŸ™‚ I WILL be driving by this time next year πŸ™‚

    Reply
  19. Jo m Welsh January 10, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    To try more new foods

    Reply
  20. Vincent January 10, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    Work hard and pas these bloody exams!

    Reply
  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!

    Reply
  22. Gwyn January 10, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    My resolution is to use my meditation room more.

    Reply
  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

    Reply
  24. Denfor Hopkins January 10, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    To do more cycling

    Reply
  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

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  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

    Reply
  28. Claire January 10, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    Pass my driving test

    Reply
  29. Dylan Calderon January 10, 2016 at 10:16 pm

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

    Reply
  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!

    Reply
  31. Keith Hunt January 10, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    To spend more time in Iceland this year.

    Reply
  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

    Reply
  33. Jo Hutchinson January 10, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    To become a little fitter and eat more healthily.

    Reply
  34. Fred_Baron January 10, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    Eat less, walk more!

    Reply
  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!

    Reply
  36. JudeVFR400 January 11, 2016 at 2:13 am

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

    Reply
  37. Chloe Ellis January 11, 2016 at 2:21 am

    Do more exercise!

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  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

    Reply
  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 Β£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!)

    Reply
  41. Nicki Evans January 11, 2016 at 8:37 am

    My resolution is to eat more healthily.

    Reply
  42. clairdownham January 11, 2016 at 11:51 am

    to eat more healthier and drink more water

    Reply
  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

    Reply
  44. Christine Caple January 11, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    To have a new kitchen!

    Reply
  45. Angela Treadway January 11, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    To use my car less! X

    Reply
  46. rena plumridge January 11, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    To get fitter

    Reply
  47. Anthony G January 11, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    To get in better shape and to learn a language.

    Reply
  48. Lesley Bambridge January 11, 2016 at 3:32 pm

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

    Reply
  49. joanne ogden January 11, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    to eat healthier

    Reply
  50. Melanie Sarah Slater January 11, 2016 at 5:16 pm

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

    Reply
  51. Char Keddy January 11, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    To travel the world more! xx

    Reply
  52. Hannah Rowley January 11, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    To loose my baby weight

    Reply
  53. Glyn Williams January 11, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    to take things more in my stride and to clear the garden of rammel πŸ˜€

    Reply
  54. Laura Nice January 11, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    shape up for my wedding!

    Reply
  55. dragonfly63 January 12, 2016 at 10:13 am

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

    Reply
  56. Hon January 12, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    Exercise more and get fit!

    Reply
  57. Christina Curtis January 12, 2016 at 2:16 pm

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

    Reply
  58. jan January 12, 2016 at 8:10 pm

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

    Reply
  59. Lorraine mabbitt January 12, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    Not to stress about the small things

    Reply
  60. Alison January 12, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    To exercise every single day of 2016

    Reply
  61. Ruth Robinson January 13, 2016 at 1:54 am

    to be more active and its going ok so far

    Reply
  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 Β£365 better off !

    Reply
  63. Isabell Whitenstall January 13, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    I am going to walk 10.000 steps each day

    Reply
  64. LUCY IRVING January 13, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    To lose weight, same as every year!

    Reply
  65. Sara Goodman January 13, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    Eat less, walk more.
    Super giveaway, thank you πŸ™‚ x

    Reply
  66. Sarah M January 13, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    To be more health conscious!

    Reply
  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

    Reply
  68. Emma Ellams January 14, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    To sort the house out so that we can move to a bigger place πŸ™‚

    Reply
  69. milli January 14, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    To improve my fitness

    Reply
  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 πŸ™‚

    Reply
  71. Joanne Welsh January 14, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    To keep working on overcoming my anxiety

    Reply
  72. Kat Glynn January 15, 2016 at 4:14 am

    To do more fun outdoor activities as family! x

    Reply
  73. ray January 15, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Quit smoking

    Reply
  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 πŸ™‚

    Reply
  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

    Reply
  76. βœ°β˜…αƒ¦ Kayleigh βœ°β˜…αƒ¦ 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!

    Reply
  77. Steve Hearne January 20, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    I plan to exercise more and get fit!

    Reply
  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 πŸ™‚

    Reply
  79. Michelle O'neill January 23, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    to stop worrying about little things and just enjoy life

    Reply
  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

    Reply
  81. Mary Chez January 24, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    To eat healthier and lose some weight

    Reply
  82. Emma January 26, 2016 at 7:09 pm

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

    Reply
  83. Sheena Widdowfield February 2, 2016 at 7:07 am

    To not be lazy and renovate my house!!

    Reply
  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!

    Reply
  85. Amandeep Sibia February 3, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Read more.

    Reply
  86. Kimberley Ryan February 5, 2016 at 8:44 pm

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

    Reply
  87. Anthea Holloway February 6, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    Clear the clutter and live a healthier life.

    Reply
  88. Julie Whittaker February 6, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    To get fitter not fatter!!!

    Reply
  89. Magdalena Kobrzynska February 7, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    Become more confident and take some chances

    Reply
  90. Jessica Slater February 7, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    To be healthier

    Reply
  91. katie robertson February 8, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    To spend more time with my son

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  93. Martina Evans February 8, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    To wear more flat shoes and less heels!

    Reply
  94. Layla February 8, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    I’d love to quit smoking.

    Reply
  95. Nicola Dow February 8, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    To pass my driving test. Failed 4 times last year

    Reply
  96. Matthew Fuller February 9, 2016 at 6:19 am

    Lose some weight..!

    Reply
  97. sallycollingwood February 9, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    To get fit and healthy

    Reply
  98. Phyllis Ellett February 9, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    Keep my weight for my daughters wedding this year.

    Reply
  99. comperoo February 9, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    lose some weight for my 50th next year

    Reply
  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

    Reply
  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 πŸ™‚

    Reply
  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!

    Reply
  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

    Reply
  104. Katie Walker February 10, 2016 at 9:16 am

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

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  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!

    Reply
  107. Jade Hewlett February 10, 2016 at 1:09 pm

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

    Reply
  108. Amanda Gregory February 10, 2016 at 1:19 pm

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

    Reply
  109. Sheila Howes February 10, 2016 at 3:19 pm

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

    Reply
  110. Michael Bull February 10, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    To get down to my ideal weight

    Reply
  111. Jennifer Rhymer February 10, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    o smile more and be happy. I’m doing well so far πŸ™‚

    Reply
  112. Vera Bahounkova February 10, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    To be more active

    Reply
  113. Hayley February 10, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    walking at least 7 miles a day πŸ™‚

    Reply
  114. Victoria Prince February 10, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    I didn’t make any resolutions this year!

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  116. Sheri Darby February 10, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    To go for a walk every day

    Reply
  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).

    Reply
  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

    Reply
  119. Kathryn Casbolt February 10, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    To make someone smile every day πŸ™‚

    Reply
  120. Rebecca Moon February 10, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    I gave up smoking 33 days!

    Reply
  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 πŸ™‚

    Reply
  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!

    Reply
  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

    Reply

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