The Road to Creating “the” BLOG

I have been a traveler for as long as I can remember, and even had the superb benefit of traveling as part of my career. While traveling, I have always regularly posted attractive photos on my Facebook newsfeed for my friends. I am now looking forward to hosting a regular travel blog and have been researching how exactly to do this.

The definition of a travel blogger is  “someone who travels around the world, collecting material for writing about their travel experiences, while also deriving income from a variety of on-line and off-line sources”. Afterall, 73% of travelers go online to research their vacations nowadays!

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If you are writing a travel blog and, for that fact any blog, the writer must have a good understanding of their target audience and a thorough understanding of their particular niche.  The blogger must make themselves the actual brand and position themselves accordingly. A logo is an important part of this. Logos have better recall value compared to names.

The first step regarding your social media sites would be to analyze the various sites and decide which ones will work best for motivating followers to link up to your blog.

As a travel blogger, you will want to showcase photos that will appeal to people that are in the planning stages of their trip. The next stage that travelers will go through will be the purchasing stage, when at that point, the blogger can promote offers, deals and necessary items that they will need on their trip. And the third stage would be the actual traveling stage. This is the point that the travel blogger should share their personal awesome photographs of the destination. This could be presented in video form, a podcast, or a detailed journal-like account of the trip.

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Always remember to inject your fabulous personality into your posts and blogs and also be authentic. This will help you connect with your followers. And…a dose of humour never hurts!

Once the travel blogger is ready to start posting on social media, they must be extremely diligent in posting regularly, while being engaging and unique and, ultimately, standing out from the rest. Social media is meant to inspire a conversation and to be social, which means responding with comments and likes, while sharing other people’s content as well.

If done properly, you should have followers on your social media sites which, in turn, will give you a motivated audience for your blog. Mission accomplished!

Have you started your blog yet?

Tips on how to start your first Blog #travelbloggers

Check out some great information on how to get your Blog together

Why Does Everyone Look So Hot…while I’m not?

Girls are so hard on themselves and I should know because I am (was) one. When I was a young teen girl, I didn’t need much to make myself feel inadequate. TV commercials, billboard ads and attractive classmates added to the, already insecure, feelings that I had at the time.

Nowadays, social media has added a lethal, never ending injection of stunning photos for young teen girls (some boys) to compare themselves to. While Instagram gives teens an opportunity to fit into a large social network while engaging with friends and followers, it also has a dark side to it.

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Instagram is mainly a photo sharing application, based on appearance-focused posts. Often these fine-tuned photos posted on celebrity Instagram sites have been taken by professional photographers and regularly have been manipulated to remove eye bags, wrinkles, reshape body parts and more. Non-celebrity posts are now following suit as well.

This can lead teen girls into depression and unhappiness, which tragically, at times, ends in suicide. According to research, approximately 1/3 of teen girls said that when they felt terrible about their bodies, Instagram made it even worse. Other risk factors such as eating disorders, appearance anxiety and dissatisfaction, a drive for thinness, self-harm, lower self-esteem, and an increased desire for cosmetic surgery are also common.

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Posting selfies has been known to worsen moods, while actually making the person feel less attractive, even if allowed to retake and retouch the selfie.

In September of this year, a Facebook whistleblower (Facebook owns Instagram) revealed research to The Wall Street Journal suggesting that, as thought, Instagram use negatively impacted teen girl’s body images. Facebook’s Director of Safety is currently under scrutiny, while the whistleblower herself is speaking to Congress in the USA about these issues.

There is no doubt that Instagram has many benefits for the user, however being aware of the risks puts you in the driver’s seat.

Does Instagram make you feel badly about your appearance?

Please leave your comments.

Here are the dangers of Instagram for teenage girls

Don’t be tricked by Instagram girls!

ARE YOU ADDICTED?…and I’ll Bet You Don’t Know To What!

Having not grown up with computers, smart phones, social media, and the like, I find that in order to become more knowledgeable with this technology, I must purposefully join social media sites that I might not normally be drawn to. This enables me to follow along and become familiar with what these particular sites have to offer and, if they would be a good fit for my new travel and lifestyle blog.

I have been actively participating on Facebook for over ten years. I post very regularly about my adventures traveling, but also use the platform to express my views on politics, global warming, and other sensitive topics. Facebook also keeps me very connected to friends and family across the country. I feel that I benefit greatly from utilizing Facebook.

I have been aware at times, that, especially in the winter and during Covid lockdowns, I seemed to be spending more time on Facebook, however, I did not feel addicted to it.

And then came TicTok! When I first downloaded the app, I started perusing it just before bed. I became quickly addicted to the reels of videos. I couldn’t believe how fast it happened, and I found myself laying in my bed, scrolling through video after video for hours and, ultimately, I couldn’t fall asleep. I was astounded at the power this social media application had over me!

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TicTok began in 2016 and, for a few years, lay flat. However, in the last few years, TicTok has gained more users quicker than any other social media platform ever has. As a matter of fact, TicTok is projected to have more than 1.5 billion users in the next twelve months. This growth is unprecedented and very surprising, seeing that there is such a crowded social media market.

With some research, I soon realized why I was becoming extremely addicted to TicTok, and so very quickly. Their algorithm matching is so superior to the other social media sites, providing the user with incredibly specific videos that are matched to their interests.

TicTok senses when you quickly scroll past a video compared to when you spend time watching it. They also track likes, shares, and saves that you make through hashtags and engagements. Once you engage with a certain genre of video, you will see similar videos on a regular basis.

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Basically, we are drugging ourselves because watching these videos puts our brains into a dopamine state, that essentially hypnotizes us. It affects the pleasure/reward center of our brains, which keeps us scrolling through videos. It is called random reinforcement, which means “sometimes you win and sometimes you lose”. You will view a great video that you like alot, but the next one may not be as interesting to you, but it doesn’t matter. You quickly scroll past it. In fact, these platforms are designed to work like slot machines. This leads to a loss of attention span in heavy users within other aspects of their lives.

In summary, I felt that I had not gained much after my TicTok sessions and felt that I had lost a lot of time. I was also stunned as I was learning about how quickly one can become addicted to TicTok in particular.

Do you feel addicted to any of your social media sites? I would love to hear your comments.

Do you have an addiction to TicTok?

Find out what happens to your brain when you scroll through TikTok videos!

SOCIAL MEDIA – Vital Life-line for Seniors

These past nineteen months have been extremely challenging for everyone. It seems that the effects of this world pandemic have touched every single age group. At the beginning of Covid back in March 2020, long-term health care facilities in Canada were struggling with mass outbreaks and huge staffing shortages. It certainly was a wake-up call for our government. Finally, long-term health care for our growing elderly population, is now topping the list of immediate calls for action.

Seniors, whether they were locked in their long-term care rooms or stuck in private residences during the pandemic, used social media as an outlet to communicate with family and friends. According to Pew Research, 59% of adults aged 65 and older are online and 46% of those adults are using social media. Seniors are the fastest growing demographic utilizing social media in the past years.

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I am 61 years old myself and have been engaging on Facebook for well over ten years now. Social media has kept me connected over the years, but especially since Covid essentially ended our ways of socially connecting.

Because of my transient career and the number of cities that I have lived in, Facebook has been a lifeline to my friends and family over the years. I am an avid traveler and have always posted during my trips around the world. I try to post interesting content, with beautiful photos in order that I can share my adventures with my friends. I usually receive many likes and favourable comments on these posts.

Facebook has inspired me to delve into starting a travel and lifestyle blog, hence the signing up for this course. What kinds of opportunities has social media given to the seniors in your lives?

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The benefits of seniors engaging on social media are:

  • Social, mental and physical benefits
  • Assists in starting a business
  • Keeps families and friends connected socially (video chats, picture sharing, etc)
  • Gives families a tool to monitor their elderly loved ones (taking meds, eating properly, going to doctor’s appointments, etc)
  • Community engagement and a sense of belonging
  • Online shopping when a senior is unable to leave the home

The disadvantages of seniors engaging on social media are:

  • Internet addictions
  • Fraud/scams
  • Privacy
  • Harassment and Bullying

Will you try to encourage seniors in your life to give social media a try?


Do you have a senior in your life that needs to be introduced to social media?

Social media for seniors – benefits and disadvantages What do you think? #seniors