Vagabondish Is Evolving

Blogging is hard. Really. If you’ve ever read the daily work flows of professional bloggers like Darren Rowse, you’ll know it ain’t a picnic. I subscribe to and read several hundred RSS feeds every day and keeping pace with that daily torrent of reviewing, processing and writing about that information could easily be a full time job for several people.

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But I absolutely love it. Vagabondish has always been a labor of love – no ads to speak of, beholden to no one but myself. I write about long term travel simply because I enjoy and am passionate about it. But lately I’ve been hashing out a few ways to evolve this blog, with specific issues and goals in mind:

  • I wish I had 72 hours in a day to write more, to say more. My current overflow of WordPress blog drafts – all 108 of them – are a testament to that. I need a Mini-me. Or perhaps several of them: a gaggle of passionate vagabonds like me writing just as passionately about travel news, the travel industry, gear reviews, etc.
  • Since day one, I’ve always wanted to custom design this blog. As a web designer for the better part of a decade, it’s ironic that the one site to which I devote the vast majority of my time is the only site of mine that wasn’t designed by me.
  • A wise man once said – and I’m paraphrasing – that, “If you find a job you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” Which is why I’m exploring new possibilities to monetize this blog. I’m not talking the standard Travel+Leisure,, et. al. method of advertising where the content accounts for 10% of the screen real estate. I’m not looking to make a mint; but rather a small pittance of AdSense and affiliate revenue that will hopefully contribute to my long term travel plans.

Towards the above goals, I’ve decided to evolve Vagabondish into a blogging collaborative – a sort of travelzine. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be rolling out the new design and working with a cast of traveling characters who are just as psychotically infatuated with travel as I am.

Irish Drinking BuddyThis Irish bloke’s ecstatic about the new Vagabondish. His wife – not so much.

I’m excited to say that RSS subscriptions have doubled in the past month and traffic has more than tripled in the past few months. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that a bevy of new content, new reviews, and fresh faces will help grow this blog into a real kick ass travel resource for the bloggers and readers of this great travel community.

Thanks to everyone who regularly reads Vagabondish as part of their daily dose of travel deliciousness!

Founding Editor
  1. Right on, Mike! Can’t wait to see what you got coming out. Good luck! Me, I just dropped advertising from my blog because the pennies I was taking in from AdSense wasn’t worth the crap look it added. I’ve been using it now as my personal space to talk about the things I love in the world (media, adventure, music, film, etc.), and hope that it will act as a calling card for other paying gigs (and it has!).

    Good luck. We’ll be readin’!

  2. I’m looking forward to seeing what Vagabondish evolves into. Yours is one of a few travel blogs that succeed in keeping me interested day after day. Keep up the good work, and I hope you manage to earn a bit of $$ off the blog:)

  3. Hey Mike –

    Good luck with the new direction. A few weeks ago, I hit a wall after I had delusions of instant grandeur by starting a few new blogs 2 months before I am to leave the country. I realized I was getting too caught up in the money-making aspect of blogging, and decided to chill out. :)

    I’ve learned so much in the past 8 months, it’s amazing. At the same time, my social life was that of a cloistered hobbit.

  4. Thanks to everybody for the kind words. I know advertising can be a bit of a four-letter word when it’s mentioned in the same breath with “purist” (non-monetized) blogs, but rest assured that this won’t become just another spammy, garbage blog of content for content’s sake.

    Dave: I think the “cloistered hobbit” comparison is something to which I can relate =P. I keep telling myself that it’s a “front-loaded project” – it’ll take quite a bit to get everything off the ground at first, but once I get the ball rolling I should be able to relax a little bit. At least enough to squeeze in a trip around the world anyway. And how much time can that possibly take?

  5. I’m guessing that was a rhetorical question! I would agree that it does get easier to keep a blog running once it’s captured a core audience.

  6. You are definitely on the right track, especially if you’re paying attention to Darren. We’ve learned so much from him.

    Your site is already so fabulous, can’t wait to see the new direction it takes.

  7. Mike I love the new look and can’t wait to see what you’ve got in store for us. So far, so good! Once I hit the road and have more time (I too am a cloistered hobbit – nice term Dave!) I’d love to write up some stuff for the site.

    I’ve also got some big plans for but have yet to actually do anything. The site is already making me a bit of money so I’m apprehensive about making changes but I would like to turn it into something more interactive and something to be proud of rather than the graveyard for old travel articles and hostel reviews that it is now.

    Anyways best of luck with it!

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