EXPERT ADVICE

Blogger on Board

With the right kind of tech support, anyone can be a travel writer.

By David LaHuta, Tuesday, Oct 21, 2008, 12:00 AM

Colleen Nylund, blogging at a Seattle café

1. Find a host "Blogger.com is a free host with a straightforward interface and a variety of templates. When you post an entry, a link to the item is created and then archived chronologically." —Juliana Broste, travelingjules.blogspot.com

2. Stay Connected "Because I blog on the road from my RV, I subscribe to BroadbandAccess, a service that allows me to access the Internet from anywhere in the Verizon Wireless network by plugging a wireless device into my computer's USB port. The service costs me $60 a month, plus $30 for the device and software." —Patty Lonsbary, glotours.blogspot.com

3. Prepare in advance "With the WordPress blogging software—free at wordpress.com—you can write your entries in advance and set a date for them to be posted. That way there's fresh material on your blog even if you won't be able to write for a while." —Alena Kerins, followalena.com

4. Arrange for help "Before going overseas, contact your computer's manufacturer and ask for the technical-support number in the country you're visiting. [For example, Apple lists all of its numbers at apple.com/support/contact/phone_contacts.html.] Getting help on the road is then just a phone call away." —Colleen Nylund, functionoftime.blogspot.com

5. Set a schedule "Consistent posting is key to boosting readership of your blog—if you only post new entries sporadically, or fall off for weeks at a time, people will stop reading. I set myself a deadline to post a blog entry every Monday before I go to bed." —Sean Whiting, linkopinglivin.blogspot.com

6. Shrink photos "If you reduce the size of your photos with a program like Microsoft Office Picture Manager or iPhoto, you can upload them more quickly and they won't use up as much memory on your site. Uploading videos to YouTube also saves you memory." —Bob Dashman, happyflier.com

7. Attract readers "To drive traffic to your site, leave remarks on other blogs and include a link to yours. And set up an account at sitemeter.com to track your visitor numbers." —Anne Ditmeyer, pretavoyager.blogspot.com

8. Keep in touch "I always attempt to respond to everybody who leaves a comment on my blog, even if I just drop them an e-mail to thank them for visiting the site. Connecting with your readers encourages them to keep reading and posting comments. That's really what you want as a blogger—lots of comments!" —Jody Halsted, blog.havekidwilltravel.com