The Travel Blogging Update 9

I haven’t done one of these update posts since September 2011, so I thought it would be a nice time to update you guys on everything that’s been going on recently in the world of Runaway Jane.

Recent Travels, Press Trips, and Future Ventures

Last year was a big year for me where travel was concerned. I visited 17 countries in total, spent most of the year on the road, and took my first steps into life as a digital nomad. After 10 months on the road, I was pleased to come home in December just in time for Christmas! I have been back home in Scotland ever since…. but not for long!

I was offered a lot of press trips at the start of the year. As it happened, the few that I was considering fell through, so I decided instead to create my own. It started with a small, week long trip down to London in January. I reviewed the Megabus Sleeper Bed Service there and back which allowed me a unique chance to experience a bed on a bus! My accommodation was also provided by Roomorama. In the past I’ve also reviewed services such as the 30 day Inter Rail pass and Haggis Adventures, so it was nice to add to this at the beginning of the year and experience London at the same time.

The most exciting trip to have been organised in this time however is my trip to Morocco. I’ll be flying out on 1st March with BMI to Marrakech. I’ll be staying at Equity Point hostel for 2 nights, followed by an 8 day tour of Marrakech & the Sahara Desert with the folks at Busabout. By arranging my own press trip to Morocco I’ve been able to pick the companies that I really want to work with most, and who’s products & services are most appealing to me as a traveller first, and as a blogger writing about travel companies 2nd. I think overall this is going to result in better content and coverage here on RunawayJane.com for you. I’d much rather write about places and companies I have a strong interest in, and when you have a passion for what you do it always shows through in the content I feel. That’s not to say I wouldn’t ever accept a pitch by a travel company for a press trip in the future if it felt right, but I must admit it feels nice to be able to tailor make a press trip for myself with some companies that I’ve wanted to work with for a while.

Guest Posting & Mentions

I’ve written some guest posts in recent months. These include my post for Pro Blogger – How to keep track of your accounts as a remote blogger, my post for Travelllll.com – How to pitch for free accommodation and transport, and my guest post for Hostels.com – 5 things to do for free in Berlin.

My post on what makes a good hostel dorm room was also mentioned as being the best post of the week by Social Media Guru Kash from BudgetTraveller.org.

Book Release

I released a new ebook in recent months titled How To Travel The World For Free (Using Your Blog). I’m glad to say sales have been going quite well so far. Last year I managed to travel to 17 different countries, often receiving my main travel expenses such as accommodation and transport for free. This book gives you an insight into how I did it, and covers the key skills you’ll need to know to be able to do it too. If you’re interested in finding out more, you can go my books page. The book costs $7 USD, and can be downloaded immediately after payment.

Video Blogging

One of the most enjoyable strings I’ve been able to add to my bow recently is video blogging. Or as the cool kids say – vlogging. I had avoided doing vlogs for quite a while. When you consider I’ve been blogging for 2 years and only just started vlogging 5 weeks ago, it shows you how long it took me! I guess like most people I found it a little bit intimidating at first, and I was a bit under confident at stepping in front of the camera. However, after finally getting over that and just getting out there and doing it, I can’t believe how much FUN I’m having!

So far the response to my videos has been quite good from people who’ve viewed them. Most people find them pretty funny which is nice. I doubt I’ll go viral anytime soon, as I think the key to being a successful youtuber is probably like being a successful blogger – it takes time and a lot of work, but I really feel this could be a great avenue for me to explore as a blogger talking about travel.

I’m posting vlogs once a week at the moment, and plan to stick to that for the foreseeable future. It’s great to be able to add another method of communication from me to anyone who reads this blog, but more importantly I just want to try entertain people with it. Hopefully you will subscribe to my channel – RunawayJaneBlog!

Meeting Other Bloggers & Travel Industry Professionals

This year I’m placing a big focus on blogger meet ups, tweet ups, and industry networking. I’ve already had a bloggers meet up at the start of the year in Edinburgh where I met people like Kash from BudgetTraveller.org, Jools Stone, and Cole from FourJandals amongst others.

I’m an organiser at this years #EdinTravTweetUp sponsored by Travelllll.com, being held at the Apex Waterloo Hotel in Edinburgh on the 29th Feb. There’s already a lot of people from the industry coming along, so if you are in Edinburgh on the 29th please feel free to come along, meet us all, and have some free drinks & nibbles!

So that’s what’s been happening recently in the world of Runaway Jane!

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