2014 Review: Hitch-Hikers Handbook’s year of travel blogging

Visits by country in 2014 (2)

We very rarely talk about the backstage of blogging as most of our readers are regular hitchhikers, budget travellers and travel photographers but 2014 was a busy year for us in terms of travel blogging and promoting our forthcoming trip “The Long Way Home a.k.a. the Hitchhiking Cultural Relay”, so we thought we would share with you our biggest accomplishments as travel bloggers in the past year. And if you feel like starting your own travel blog, don’t hesitate to ask us any questions you might have.

Our 2014 travel blogging milestones

1. Making our first semi-professional travel video

It was hard work, I can tell you. The filming took us several days in different locations around Barcelona. Then we spent nearly a month trying to learn video editing and put the whole thing together. The effect is not entirely satisfying, especially in terms of sound, but as our first official video it’s not bad effort, eh?

2. Changing our theme

A ‘theme’ is the blog’s skin and it’s the first thing people pay attention to when they visit your site. We constantly try to improve not only the blog’s content but also the way it looks. We hope you’re happy with how the information is displayed and you can access all the pages easily. This is how HHH looked before:

Our blog - Oct 20143. Promoting our Long Way Home trip in media across different countries.

Getting media coverage is one of the most important stages of promoting any event. Even if it doesn’t directly translate into having more visitors to your site, it means reaching out to new audiences and spreading your name. And it’s the way to go if you are thinking of getting your trip sponsored. Plus, seeing your face in a newspaper is a great feeling :)

News Shopper publication

So far we have managed to find two honorary patrons (UNESCO Initiatives Centre and Katowice Miasto Ogrodów) and 11 wonderful media partners (including National Geographic Traveler). Take a look at all the media publications so far.

4. Getting our trip sponsored!

When we started Hitch-Hikers Handbook we heard that finding sponsors is not easy and we can certainly confirm that, but it’s much easier than we had thought. If you have an interesting idea for your travel project, people who like and follow your blog, and you can craft professional sounding emails, you’re half-way there. Add weeks of committed work and you will get there sooner than you think.

So far we have four fabulous sponsors confirmed (Joe Brown, Gap Year Travel Store, Icepeak, Spideroak and eBuyer)  and more pending. I guess you are curious what steps you need to follow to get some quality travel gear for free, but do not worry, we will soon publish a complete guide to trip sponsorship.

5. Our blog has been visited by more people than ever before

In 2014 Hitch-Hikers Handbook has been visited by people from 193 countries, the most frequent being from the US, Spain, UK, Poland and Canada but also from such far flung places as Trinidad and Tobago, Greenland, Laos, Uzbekistan, Palestine and Angola among others.

The map below shows our coverage around the world (the darker the colour, the more the views).

Visits by country in 2014 (2)

Funniest search engine terms in 2014

Here’s my favourite part of the past year’s summary: showing you what some people typed in Google and other search engines before landing on our blog. I guess some of these people must have been thoroughly disappointed!

Looking at some of there phrases makes me wonder how the hell search engines work, but two conclusions do spring to mind:
1) there is a big hitchhiking fetish going on out there
2) if you want your blog to get popular, use the phrase “sexy massage prostitute cows tbilisi” in every blog post. Success guaranteed!

Your standard sex-themed ones:

The sex themed ones

The weird sense of geography ones:

The weird sense of geography ones

The WTF ones (why would anyone type these things into the Internet???):

The WTF ones

And if you are a travel blogger too, what have been your biggest accomplishments during the past year?

 

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