Work from Home Diary 11: My Thoughts on TWG Turning 7 Years Old Today

Good morning everyone, I hope you had a great weekend.  I started sharing my thoughts regarding working from home in a series of Work from Home Diary posts.  Feel free to share your work from home feelings in the comments section below.  For today’s update, I wanted to let you know that Travel with Grant (the blog) turned 7 years old today!  Wow, I can’t believe it’s been 7 years since I started blogging in May 2013.  Back then, I talked about Award Wallet, ITA Matrix, Credit Karma / Credit Sesame, using BA Avios to fly to Hawaii, converting Hawaiian Airlines miles to Hilton points, $500 Visa Gift Cards at Office Depot, and much more.

I thought about sharing my 7 favorite blog posts or top 7 most read blog posts, but thought I would share my thoughts on blogging and my continued goals as a blogger.  Back when I started my blog, I was a ferocious reader of Frequent Miler (still am), Million Miles Secrets, The Points Guy, Frugal Travel Guy, Mile Value, and Travel Blogger Buzz (love you George).  These were blogs that I looked up to and admired for their content and entertainment.  I’m not a full time blogger (and never have been), but the dream of working on a secluded beach with a laptop on my lap and big floppy hat on my head always made me smile.

It took me a while to find my own voice, but I settled on 3 key rules that I promised to myself that I would follow everyday:

  1. Be the first to write about something
  2. Be the best to write about something
  3. Write what I would want to read

If I was the 10th / 50th / 100th person to write about something, why would anyone read my blog post?  If my blog post was not better than any other blog post on the topic, why would anyone read my blog post?  Lastly, If I wasn’t interested / passionate about a particular topic, would anyone else be interested in that topic (and would I be enthusiastic enough to write a post about something I didn’t care about)?  Those 3 key rules gave me the freedom to write about whatever I wanted, not what all the other travel bloggers were writing about on any given day.

What I learned early on was that not every blog post was going to be popular, either in the short term (day of post) or the long term (months or years later).  In fact, there are many blog posts that I wrote years ago that very few people read, but now get lots of traffic from Google every day.  The funny thing about blogging is that you can spend hours writing a single blog post (ex: trip report, airline review, hotel review, etc.) that you think everyone will love, only for that post to only receive a handful of views and comments.  On the other hand, some blog posts that I wrote in 20-30 minutes that I figured would not be interesting / popular with readers turned into some of my most popular posts.  You never really know what is going to happen until you hit the publish button.

Another key rule that I have lived by during the last 7 years is to respond to every comment, email, Twitter tweet/DM, Facebook message, etc.  If someone takes the time to send me a comment, I promised that I would make the time to read and respond to every single comment.  Even if the comment was asked several times before, I would give them a genuine response and not say “read the post” or “I answered the question earlier.”  I feel like that is the right thing to do and it takes just about the same amount of time to provide a genuine response that it does to say “read the post” or “I answered the question earlier.”

I also wanted to mention the importance of staying connected with other bloggers and readers.  I love going to Frequent Travel University, Chicago Seminars, and local travel meetups.  Nothing compares to talking to others face-to-face and it is such a great feeling to talk to people that have the same miles / points / travel obsessions that you have.  When I cannot be face-to-face with others, I love reading blog posts from fellow bloggers, following other bloggers on Twitter (the really funny comments happen on Twitter, not in the blog comments), and listening to their voices on podcasts.  The miles/points community is very entertaining and I learn something new every single day.  I’m so glad I stumbled onto this community shortly after graduating college (with a solid credit score and plenty of sign up bonuses to go around).

Grant and Ray @ Chicago Seminars (October 2014)

Last but not least, I wanted to say a big thank you to my readers.  Thank you for reading what I write, thank you for commenting and asking questions, and thank you for correcting me when I am wrong.  If no one read or commented on my blog posts, I would have stopped writing years ago.  Your curiosity and excitement keep me going day after day, and year after year.

If you have any questions about blogging, please leave a comment below.  Have a great day everyone!

P.S. Stay tuned later this week for some good blog posts about retention offers and statement credits.

20 thoughts on “Work from Home Diary 11: My Thoughts on TWG Turning 7 Years Old Today

  1. TravelBloggerBuzz

    7 years in the miles & points blog world is an eternity! Hall of Fame material for sure, glad you are still blogging and keeping it real.

    I haven’t seen Ray lately, is the old cat still around?

    See you some time…without a mask on we hope lol.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Thanks George! How old is TBB (the blog)? I haven’t seen or heard from Ray in a while, but if he is reading, he will comment here. Hopefully I will see you soon too :)

      Reply
  2. Brant

    I’m not sure when I started reading TWG, but it’s been at least 6 years ago. It was vicariously satisfying in many ways because I wished that travel hacking had been a thing when I was a young guy. The opportunities to travel the world at such a low cost and share that knowledge with others who only dreamed before must surely be so gratifying. I’m so grateful to you and the other fine bloggers who educated me so that I could fulfill some lifelong desires in the last few years, especially now, as travel starts to make historical changes. Thank you for your honest, insightful and thoughtful approach.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Hi Brant, thank you for the heartfelt comment. I have enjoyed talking to you on the blog and on FB. You ask questions that I didn’t think of and make me think about things that never crossed my mind – so thank you for those thoughtful conversations. I can’t image what my life would be like without the travel hacking community. I met my wife because of it, so I am eternally grateful for miles & points.

      I have definitely traveled to places I would not have travelled to, travelled in style that I assumed was out of reach, and stayed at amazing properties that I saw on movies and tv shows. Life is amazing and I can’t wait to get out an explore the world :)

      Reply
  3. Christian

    Congratulations. I do like the original angle you present on things. I know sometimes I’ll see literally half a dozen Boarding Area posts that all address the exact same subject and having some variety is great.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Yes, I’ve noticed that many times too. I like to add some variety to the topics I write about. Thanks for reading :)

      Reply
  4. Craig at Middle Age Miles

    Great article, Grant. Congrats on hitting the 7-year mark! That’s a truly impressive commitment. As you know, I really enjoy the voice you provide in this community, and the fact that you only write about what’s truly interesting to you certainly shines through. I look forward to actually meeting you in person some day! ~Craig

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Thanks Craig, I’ll let you know the next time I’m in Dallas or at a Norte Dame game. You let me know the next time you’re in the Bay Area. We should definitely meet up :)

      Reply
  5. Pingback: Covid-19 Futures, Banks Pump Money to Airlines and Hotels, Retirement Contributions, Tech Adoption - TravelBloggerBuzz

  6. Pingback: Work from Home Diary 12: Eating in Restaurants & Sunburns at the Beach (SoCal Update)

  7. CF

    Congratulations on a big milestone. I think I’ve been reading your blog from the beginning. Certainly long before that BA/Match deal that apparently changed your life :) I appreciate the positive outlook that always comes through in your writing. Even when the world is falling apart (whether a global pandemic or something comparatively trivial like a devaluation) the tone in your writing refreshing. It’s what made your WFH diary posts enjoyable – you guys always made the best of the situation and never complained (at least on the blog).

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Hi CF, thanks for the great compliment. I’m very thankful that you have been a long time reader and enjoyed my Working from Home Diary posts (I don’t think many other readers enjoyed those posts since the page views and comments are low on those posts).

      The Boarding Area / Match.com deal changed my life and I’m approaching my 1 year wedding anniversary later this month. I hope you and your family are doing well during this situation.

      Stay safe and have a great day :)

      Reply

Got something to say?