While so many of us are now grounded, plenty of adventure riders out there are either catching up on their content or finally finding the time to start a blog or a Youtube channel of their own. Some of these projects won’t survive, but a lot may become the next binge-worthy series regardless of what form they make take – a ride report, a vlog, or an Instagram page. Consistency and quality here is key, as with everything else in life. However, for those who are just starting out, simply getting their bearings in terms of equipment and platforms can be a minefield.
If you’re thinking of finally sitting down to start blogging on the road for when we can all begin traveling again, here’s a very simple set up that can work.
If you’re about to start a blog or a vlog, you will need a laptop. For those of us who are simply focusing on phone-oriented platforms like Instagram, a smartphone is more than enough. However, if you plan to edit videos or create a blog, a laptop is a must – but it doesn’t have to be the most expensive, state-of-the-art computer. Personally, I use a Lenovo Thinkpad with added memory making it a 12GB RAM, and that’s plenty for my simple blogging and video editing needs.
It doesn’t have to be this exact make and model, but here is what you should look for in a laptop that will work for online content and withstand all the challenges of living on your motorcycle:
- Solid state drive. SSDs are faster, lighter, and a lot more durable than the older hard disk drives.
- Plenty of memory. More RAM=more speed, which is especially important if you plan to edit videos
- A rugged, durable case to keep your laptop protected when you’re traveling.
Blogging Platforms and Editing Software
Now that you’ve got your laptop set up, it’s time to pick out a blogging platform and some basic editing tools. When it comes to platforms, it really depends on what your goal is. If you’re planning to publish a Ride Report right here on ADV Rider, all you need is an account and a thread – you can get that up and running within minutes. For those who are just starting out, an ADV Rider Ride Report space is perfect as it’s so simple and easy to use, and you can easily interact with your readers via comments and messages.
If you want to have your own website and blog, however, you’ll need to invest a little more time and resources. For me, WordPress has been the simplest solution so far. Dead easy to set up even if you aren’t knowledgeable in IT or website design, relatively cheap with BlueHost hosting, and easy to customize and manage, WordPress is an ideal platform for blogging on the road.
When it comes to editing, Grammarly is one of the best editing software options out there. The basic version is free and offers some simple and easy editing, whereas the paid version is more sophisticated and can help those who aspire to write a lot and write well.
For video, if you’re just starting out and the big editing programs like Adobe Premier seem a bit too intimidating, there are a few simpler video editors out there. If you don’t want to download and install anything, online video editors like Kapwing can be a great solution. If you want to experiment a little more, Movavi is a reasonably priced and very simple to use – no complex tutorials necessary, just download, install, and start putting videos together. For short, one-minute Instagram video clips, phone apps like InShot are invaluable as you can cut and create your video in five minutes using your phone.
Direction and Focus
Once you’ve set up your blog, ADV Rider thread, or created a Youtube channel, it’s time to get to work. The type of content you want to create, the story, the message – all of that is very individual and depends on your goals, your personality, and your own personal preferences. There are, however, a few key points that will be equally important regardless of what you post:
- Make a decision about what and when you’ll be posting, then stick to it. It doesn’t matter whether it’ll be once a week or twice a month – what matters is that you make a promise to your readers or subscribers, then deliver on it. Be consistent, and you’ll be rewarded.
- Zooming in. Detailed hourly accounts of what you ate and where you stopped for fuel are going to get old real quick; instead, zoom in on specific events, people, encounters, or experiences that really stand out, that make a difference, shift your perspective, or teach you something, and draw your readers or subscribers in.
- Deliver value. Some travelers choose to focus on their motorcycles, gear, or ingenious roadside fixes and hacks; others prefer to talk about their own personal experiences or perceptions; others still may choose to simply entertain. Whatever it is that you’re most interested in, deliver value, whether it’s useful, practical information, inspiration, or fun. After all, you want to keep your audience engaged – so make sure you’re giving them something unique and worth following.
What’s your favorite way of telling stories online? Let me know in the comments below.