Hi Fellow Travelers & bloggers, this is our second interview, in our newly introduced interview series. This time we had an opportunity to do an exclusive interview with Elizabeth, from Digital Travel Guru. A blog which ensures its reader to give 360 travel experience, with an exclusive travel guide and travel resources.
Can you tell little about yourself and your background?
Hello, I am Elizabeth and I Launched Digital Travel Guru at the end of 2016. I work as a psychiatry in London, UK, which I’ve been doing for approx 20 years. I began traveling as a child with my parents and continued to do so in my adult years. I was born and raised in London (but I also lived abroad in my early years), and I am of mixed origin, (Indian and English) hence I have always traveled back and forth between Asia and UK whilst growing up. I LOVE exploring new places and learning about the cultures the history of places and sampling the usual delicious food along the way.
I launched Digital Travel Guru to share my wanderlust adventures, of exploring the globe, and also to give travel inspiration to others. Since launching we now have a following of approx 22,000 across all our sites which I am very happy about.
I have always had a passion for writing and used to write for International Music Magazine called (Knowledge Magazine), I have also written and contributed to numerous academic articles in the nursing and medical field of psychiatry.
I was encouraged to start a blog by friends, family and work colleagues as often I would assist them in planning their trips, itineraries and giving them recommendations. I have traveled to approx 40 countries to date. My passions are art, history, exploring ancient sites and temples, photography. I also love fashion, reading, and music. I am totally addicted to coffee and fresh coconuts!!
I plan later in the year to move to Asia and pursue some different ventures such as managing a school that my parents have built-in India, also I will be starting a small boutique type hotel and launching my own Asian themed online Boutique / Clothing / Jewellery brand amongst one to two other ventures that I am still planning.
Digital Travel Guru aims to cover all aspects of planning your trips and also to share experiences about different places around the world, we aim to bring you the full 360 travel experience through the following types of content, videos, photography, travel and country guides, travel articles, travel resources featuring our readers travel stories, and travel blogger interviews.
Share top mistakes you’ve learned from your journey as a blogger?
I am happy to say I have not made too many huge mistakes, luckily! But I do know many people who have. I would have to say at the start, I should have researched more on website themes and how I wanted my site to be set up and should have looked at more professional sites to see how they were set up. I have wasted a bit of money & time since starting having to change my theme and also wasted some money on getting people to do bits on my site that maybe I could have done myself or maybe more experienced people to do. My biggest piece of advice would be to research all aspects of starting a blog and running one before you start, especially if you want it to be professional as opposed to a hobby.
What is your first ever travel memory?
Seeing the monkeys when I visited India as a child, and wanting one as a pet and crying that my parents would not get me one to keep lol and when my parents were not watching I sneaked outside taking all the fruit and food I could find and leaving it outside for the monkeys to eat LOL. I still love monkeys lol they are my favorite creatures as well as sloths.
Where’s the best place you’ve woken up?
Oh gosh, such a tough question there are so many. I’ll have to cheat and tell you 2 places, I really cannot make up my mind on this.
Seychelles: Waking up to the most incredible views of the ocean, and hearing the soft waves and seeing the beautiful palm tree lined beach whilst having a wonderful breakfast and fresh coffee served facing this stunning view was just awesome, and having the sea nearly coming up to near my villa was just gorgeous.
Bali: Waking up to the lush jungle views and rice fields, at sunrise was truly memorable and spectacular, as well as seeing local farmers in the distance tending to their crops and watching them starting their day and hearing the local traditional Balinese music from surrounding houses.
Other favorite destinations have been (India on a luxury house boat in Kerala) on the backwaters, In Maldives when I stayed in the water villa above the sea, not forgetting Thailand (in Koh Samui in a beautiful villa in the mountains with views over the sea and Big Buddha).
What’s your happiest travel memory?
My favorite travel memories are always the ones where I have traveled with my family, to various places around the globe and with my friends. Great times were spent in India, Thailand, Bali, Africa, America and Europe, it is too difficult to choose a specific one as there has been so many. I love tropical beach places and I am always happy and content with the beach and sea nearby, a few palm trees and nice cocktail too lol!!
Why your blog is named “Digital Travel Guru,” idea behind it?
Great question!! We took a really long time to come up with a name to fit what our blog would be about, eventually, 200 names later we choose Digital Travel Guru after a long two-month elimination process. Here is a little about what each segment means.
DIGITAL: Everything these days are shared online, we felt using the word digital represents the digital world, our network, our social media sites, our following, how we share our content, our online community so we selected the word digital to represent this
TRAVEL: We share information about everything related to places around the globe and traveling.
GURU: The word Guru represents the sharing of knowledge and information, which is the aim of our site.
What are your upcoming travel plans?
I have just come back from Bali, where I was for a month. At the end of last year and this year in the year, I was in Thailand and India. I plan to head back to Asia later this year and fit in a few other trips to Morocco, Dubai, China, Zanzibar and a few other places around Asia, depending on time constraints.
I have so many places on my bucket list I need to plan for: places such as Costa Rica, Belize, Madagascar, Fiji, Hawaii, and Peru are all topping the list at the moment.
How do you keep yourself updated on the latest trends about travel blogging? Which are the top travel-based sites and blogs you love reading?
I keep up to date by reading, talking to fellow bloggers, and researching.
Some travel/food bloggers I enjoy reading and watching are:
Which travel destination you find overrated?
I haven’t visited many places that I have not liked to be honest, as when I travel to destinations, I try and find the positives of the place rather than dwell on any negatives. However, I did visit Sharm El Sheik in Egypt, which was a last minute trip out of the UK, and to be honest, I could not to warm to the place and constantly felt like something was missing. I love history and culture and found this place lacked it, and most buildings were built no earlier 1980, it was more of a holiday resort type place which is not really for me. The sea, scenery, and views of the neighboring island were nice, but sadly not much else.
In your view, which are the most important skills one should have or acquire for success in travel blogging?
Many people don’t realize the amount of time it takes to maintain a blog and don’t realize all the behind scenes work. Here are some of the skills I feel are needed for success in travel blogging:
Patience: You need to have patience when starting a blog, success and things like views and follows don’t just happen quickly, it takes time and a lot of work to grow your audience.
Research: Keep up to date with trends and changes by reading articles and joining groups and subscribing to websites that share social media updates.
Writing Skills: Ensure you use good grammar and spell-check your content. There are also so many styles of writing to make posts creative. Read other blogger posts and see to get inspiration.
Reciprocation: Ensure you don’t only rely on threads and engagement groups to reciprocate with others If someone leaves you a comment or shares any of your work do the same back. Or if you are scrolling on twitter or are on Facebook or Instagram, make a comment, or give a like or share. Build up relationships with other bloggers and viewers.
Learning: Blogging, in my opinion, is a never ending learning process, there is always something new to learn. Keep up to date by reading articles/researching and talking to others.
Engagement: It is very important to engage with your readers or followers on your social media sites, ask questions, answer and reply back to comments.
Experimenting: Try out different ideas on your blog. For example, I tried interviewing bloggers for my site and it is now a very popular feature on the site. You could try posting different types of content to see what is popular.
Organisation: To run a successful blog you need to stay organized and on top of things. There is a lot to maintain. The way I do it has a schedule each day of the things I need to do.
Time Management: It is very easy when you start a blog for it to take over everything you do, ensure you plan what you need to do each day or each week, so work on your blog is consistent, but you still have time and fun doing things you enjoy away from the blogging world.
Please share 3-5 tips about travel blogging for aspiring travel bloggers?
- Write good content and research on content to write.
- Share good and reliable information that can help your readers.
- Network and engage with fellow bloggers and your readers.
- Post content regularly.
- Ensure your website is running well and easy to navigate, with social share buttons are easy to find subscribe button.
- Learn some SEO and keyword research.
- Use good quality photos.
- Collaborate with others.
- Try and be unique and creative when putting posts together.
- Utilise social media networks.
If you are doing a blog that is professional or you aim to earn an income from it ensure you think about branding, and consistency across your website and social media sites.
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