View of downtown Denver from the Imagine Peace Paint-In 2008To be honest, I’m not looking forward to 2009 at the moment. It begins with my husband’s surgery in Louisiana, which will be good for him in the long run but scares me in the short run, and I can’t really see beyond that.

I love writing about Denver, but so far I’ve made $5 off it. I want to keep doing it, but I have to find a way to earn money while exploring Denver. So far this blog has been a money sink instead of a cash cow.

I was talking to my husband about it last week, and he pointed out that bloggers are not my natural audience. He said I should be trying to reach people on TripAdvisor and other such sites, the places where people go for information when they want to visit Denver or move there.

I think his point was insightful; it’s just that I haven’t heard anyone talking about how to build backlinks from sites such as TripAdvisor.

Plus, I like talking to other bloggers. I’ve enjoyed the conversations taking place on this blog that lead me into other people’s lives.

So here’s my plan for 2009:

1. In January, I’ll be writing about my husband’s surgery in Baton Rouge for superior canal dehiscence syndrome and his recovery.

2. Starting in February, I’ll resume writing about Denver, focusing on Denver neighborhoods. I like taking on one chunk of the city at a time, and visits to my blog went up the last time I did that.

3. I’ll follow Caroline Middlebrook’s strategy for building backlinks. (So far, though, I haven’t noticed a link from my first Squidoo lens showing up in my WordPress stats.)

4. I’ll give myself until August to increase traffic and develop more of a presence.

5. I won’t assume, as I have in the past, that lack of immediate success means I’ve failed. I’ll keep adjusting my strategy depending on what I’ve learned.

6. I’ll develop travel articles based on research for my blog, and I’ll market those to magazines and websites. I would try to sell them to newspapers, but they’re hosed right now. When things settle down in newspaperland, I’ll try them again.

7. My biggest goal for this year is to make enough money from the blog to spend a month in another city and write about that. In other words, I see “Living the Mile-High Life” as a brand that could morph into “Living the Kansas City Life” or even “Living the Mumbai Life.”

8. My ultimate goal is to write travelogues that convey what it’s like to walk around Denver or San Diego or Paris for the first time, that tell the traveler what immersion will feel like. Not so much a travel guide as a Feel Guide.

If you’ve got any advice for me, I would very much appreciate it. I’m not all that new to blogging, but I’ve never tried to turn a blog into an income. Here are some possible questions to answer:

How can I make my site appeal to a wider audience?

How do I get more readers for a travel blog?

Are other bloggers my audience, or people who want to learn more about Denver? How much do those audiences overlap?

Leave A Comment

  1. Simon January 3, 2009 at 3:34 pm - Reply

    Hi Beth – I just dropped by to wish you a Happy New Year and thanks for visiting my blog! I hope your husband’s surgery goes well.

    I’m not sure I can help with attracting more readers. If I knew the answer… I’d have more readers! But one thing you ask is “How do I get more readers for a travel blog?” An answer which comes to mind is to develop your photographic skills. Have you seen New York Nitty Gritty?
    OK, so that is specifically a photo blog, but eye-catching photos *could* be used to attract more readers to a general blog about the city. Just a thought…

  2. Beth January 3, 2009 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    Thanks, Simon, for the good wishes. I do plan to develop my photography skills with my new camera. I’m looking forward to wandering around and taking more pictures.

    Though I’ve noticed that WordPress 2.7 doesn’t allow you to click on pictures anymore. Whatever size you make them in the post is the size they are, which is kind of strange. I liked being able to add thumbnails and let readers expand them if they wanted.

  3. BernardL January 4, 2009 at 7:46 am - Reply

    I agree with Simon, the photography is a key element. I hope your husband’s surgery passes without any complication.

  4. Beth Partin January 4, 2009 at 8:59 am - Reply

    Yeah, Bernard, I wonder if I could find a widget that would include them in the sidebar. Or, better yet, have them in the header. I like the photos there now, but they have nothing to do with Denver.

  5. Catherine January 4, 2009 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    have you tried submitting things to Yellow Scene? It’s a print publication for our parts, so you’d have to have something about the north metro burbs, but it might increase your exposure. Or maybe submit to westword? Again, it may not pay $$ but might increase traffic.

    As for an excursion for us, since I’ve backed you in a corner 🙂 no kids please. I want to see “your” Denver. Mine is all zoos and museums and hey hey. I want to experience an adult Denver.

    Good luck on the surgery. Please eat good food in Baton Rouge. I LOVE the South for its food. I’ve been to Baton Rouge, more a fan of NOLA. Ooh! if you get too cabin-feverish hit the gulf coast with your camera. Well, don’t *hit* it – go there. I don’t remember how far the drive is, but it’s doable. Ooh! And Oak Alley. “Located on the Mississippi River between the historic Louisiana cities of New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Oak Alley Plantation has been called the “Grande Dame of the Great River Road”.” But only if Tom’s feeling up to it!

  6. Beth Partin January 4, 2009 at 4:14 pm - Reply


    I hope we’ll be able to eat lots of Cajun and Southern food in Louisiana, but it just depends on how much driving he can take without feeling sick. I’ll probably be able to get out myself some.

    I’ve noticed Yellow Scene around. I do need to submit some stuff to the very local publications. Westword has expressed an interest in having me blog for them, but I think I need to pester them to get an assignment.

  7. Saint January 5, 2009 at 9:55 am - Reply

    Let me know how the travelzines work out. I’d like to hit that market once I head off for Peace Corps.

  8. Saint January 5, 2009 at 9:56 am - Reply

    Oh, and great pic!

  9. Beth January 5, 2009 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    Saint, glad you liked the pic. You’re going to Peace Corps?

  10. Saint January 6, 2009 at 11:03 am - Reply

    Yup. Leave in May. Not sure which exact country yet, but I know it will either be in Eastern Europe or Central Asia. I’m shooting for a Russian speaking state, since I already know the language decently enough.

  11. Beth January 8, 2009 at 9:36 am - Reply

    Saint, that’s really cool. I hope you’ll be able to keep us updated Stateside.