I need to start off this week’s blog with an apology to my first subscribers. Sorry for the email blast last week! I didn’t mean for you to get 3 notices to your inbox about my new Euro Travel Coach blog post. I’m trying to figure out all this technology but it’s not exactly one of my strengths, yet. I’m working on it, though! All I really want to do is to be a travel consultant and help people create exciting custom trip itineraries to Europe. Getting to do what I want means a steep learning curve in the beginning as I figure out lots of new technology.
You know, our family did not get cell phones until 2009. I was not on Facebook until 2010. We haven't exactly been quick to get on the technology bandwagon. I entered the world of social media with great trepidation solely with the intent of recruiting students for my first study abroad program to Canada. I knew that I needed to reach students to let them know about the opportunity and I thought Facebook would be a good place to do that. One of Greg’s computer savvy music students had to help me get started with a Facebook account so that I could try to attract interest in studying abroad. But with The Travel Coach I have now entered a whole new world of challenges with technology. I have to master the technology in order to do what I want to do which is to build trip itineraries to Italy, France and Ireland and offer travel consulting services.
Challenge #1 – Build the Euro Travel Coach website
I’m using Squarespace and they are really good, but that first day of trying to build my new website was a doozy. Learning about templates and page design and injecting code is not exactly my idea of a good time. And Greg had to deal with me throughout that process....yikes! It took me all weekend but I did slowly start figuring things out.
Challenge #2 – SEO
What is that, you ask? Why it’s Search Engine Optimization, of course! It’s trying to get on the first page of a Google or Bing search so that people can find you. All I really want to do is offer travel planning services and help people plan trips to Europe. In order for them to know about the trip consulting services I provide, they have to find me when they search the internet. SEO has to do with keywords and meta descriptions and other things I had never heard of a month ago. I also need to get backlinks. If anyone out there has a website or a blog and you’d be willing to put https://www.eurotravelcoach in your site, I’ll be glad to return the favor! It will help my SEO and yours!
Challenge #3 – Social Media
Have you found us on Facebook and Instagram? Did you notice our “new position” on LinkedIn? I opened a Twitter account and still need to send out my first tweet. There is SO MUCH to learn in order to get noticed and gain followers. I was not the popular kid in high school and here I am trying to hang with the cool crowd of Italy trip planners, France travel consultants and Ireland trip itinerary experts. We have a lot to learn about social media if we’re going to get noticed!
Challenge #4 – Travel Blogging
I love to walk in the mornings and listen to podcasts. Last year I listened to This American Life and News in Slow French. This year I find myself listening to Travel Blog Breakthrough and the Lazy Ass Stoner (he helps with SEO, really!....I can't make this stuff up!). I have also been following other travel blogs like this one: Everything-Everywhere. I would not have been interested in any of this a year ago. Now I am engrossed as I see The Travel Coach website and this blog as keys to our new adventures as we plan to live abroad starting next year.
Challenge #5 – MailChimp
This is what I messed up last week. It is a pretty slick subscription service if you can figure it out. We’ll see how it goes this week. Every day is a new day and I just keep learning more and more about how we can make our business the best it can be!
So there you have it my friends. These are my lamentations about technology. And I didn’t even mention Google Analytics! That’s another ball of wax. But it's all good! I am driven to figure this all out so that people will find me on Google and find out more about the travel planning services we offer to Italy, France, Ireland and the rest of Europe. I know I can give people a fantastic service. I love planning trips and am so excited to be able to help other people travel. It’s my passion and I’m thrilled to get to offer it to others – if I can just manage to figure out the technology!!