I'd always wanted to be a writer. My dad had told me I'd make a great writer. But I'd never found that 'thing' that would get me off my butt and started on creating a page. Not until our holiday to Bali back in 2005.
I loved Bali. It was one of the best holiday's I've had. And yes, I'd found my muse. Travel was the theme I needed to get my writing off the ground.
But now the problem wasn't 'what' to write about. Rather it was 'how' to get my writing out there. And it was through working out the 'how' of getting this done that my travel writing career was born.
When I first had the idea of writing about my travels I got all excited. I planned out my table of contents, outlined the structure, and got typing. It was great. You see I'd always imagined I'd start by writing a book. But about half way through it dawned on me that all this writing was all fine and good, but how was I going to get it out for public consumption? If I was just writing a journal for me then no problem, but my reason for getting started was to share what I'd learned on my travels.
Back then I was a nobody in the writing world. No experience. No credentials. No portfolio. So how does someone without tons of money to spend on courses or publishing houses go from there to a successful travel writing career?
I was still writing at this stage but had lost a little of the spark that had got me started. That question of how I was going to get my writing shared with anyone else was slowly turning into writers block. Until one day when I was just noodling around on the web.
I was bumbling around the internet in my usual fashion. You know how it goes. You look for one thing, see a catchy headline, get side-tracked, and before you know it an hour has slipped by and you're no further forward than you were 60 minutes ago. But on this particular venture into search engine territory I happened upon a program called Site Build It! or SBI for short.
I was already considering the idea of publishing my writing on the web but was a complete novice to anything internet-based. My use of computers at that point was limited to email, searching for things online, and writing Word documents. That was it. So, although I liked the idea of writing for the web, the concept of how to build a travel website was still pie in the sky as far as I was concerned.
And then I ran into SBI for the first time. They seemed to be saying that I didn't need to be a computer whizz or internet queen to build a travel website. That all I needed to do was learn their process through their Action Guide and then get on with writing. Hmmmm. My curiosity was piqued so I started digging deeper.
As I continued to read, this idea that I could learn by following the SBI Action Guide kept on being re-inforced. And it seemed as though I didn't need to learn coding or any of the other tech stuff that had, until now, left me feeling that the whole website thing was a non-starter for me. Perhaps this SBI stuff really could work.
Well 3 years on I have 2 websites. One is well established (TokyoTopia) and one is getting out of the starting blocks (TryUruguay). And I have ideas for so many more! It's like the flood gates have opened and I can get creative doing what I love. The most beautiful part of this process? I can earn money while I'm doing it.
If you build a travel website with SBI, or any theme of website for that matter, you're not just taught how to construct the site. You're also taught how to turn your online project into a business.
It doesn't happen overnight. And yes it takes hard work. In my own case, it's taken those first 2 years for me to really get my head around how to generate income out of doing something that I love. But the point is, if you stick at it, you get there. Yes you'll have crappy days when you think it's all a huge waste of time. And yes you'll have days where you get frustrated and think you're never going to get there. But keep at it and you do. My sites, along with all those built by other SBIers, are the proof in the pudding :)
If you've read all this and you're sat there thinking this might be something you'd like to try, all I can say is take the time to check it out. Dig as deeply as you need to into the background of the company and quality of tools available through SBI. Take a look at the kinds of topics other people have written about. After all, you don't have to build a travel website if travel isn't your thing. The choice of website topics is endless so pick a theme that motivates you.
And finally, ask as many questions as you need to until you're satisfied that SBI is the right partner for you.
What's the best thing about SBI for me? It gave me the means to make real my dreams of a writing career. I reckon it doesn't get much better than that.
Now it's over to you... Will you build a travel website? Or will you choose a different theme?