Celebrating 2000+ followers with my favourite blog tools

As of this past week, I’ve Bean Travelling now proudly boasts over 2000 followers from WordPress, social media, and email! In keeping with my tradition, this milestone will be marked with a blog post about blogging. This time around, I thought I’d share with you my favourite tools that I’ve used to grow my corner of the internet.

Best social media platform: Twitter

The bulk of this blog’s growth has come from social media, particularly Twitter. Since I started my account over there, I have accumulated over 1700 followers from the Travel Twitter community. I’ve enjoyed joining in on many popular weekly themed chats, including #ThankfulThursdayEveryday, #FlashbackFridayz, and #Top4Theme, which brings us travel lovers together to share photos and 280-character stories from our worldly adventures. This platform has also been a source of inspiration for blog posts, including one of my favourites, the #AlphabetAdventures challenge.

Best graphic design platform: Canva

I started using Pinterest to promote this blog toward the end of 2019 and have been steadfastly adding Pin links to the bottom of my posts. Canva is a free online graphic design interface that has been perfect for creating all those pretty Pins. It offers hundreds of templates, including a repository of graphics and fonts, for Pinterest and most other popular social media platforms. I’ve used it to design a few header images too. Available via browser and iOS app, it’s very user friendly and straightforward to figure out. Pinning and designing Pins is actually a surprisingly relaxing activity, while helping me extend my blog’s reach at the same time.

Best blog aggregator: Bloglovin’

I’ve known about Bloglovin’ for awhile, but only just recently activated my account. It is effectively an RSS aggregator that allows users to read, organize, and discover blogs. WordPress Reader is still my primary source for finding and following other blogs, and it’s also a huge source of traffic for me, but Bloglovin’ has better search functionality and is a means for getting out of the WordPress bubble. There are literally thousands of other travel and food blogs out there, many of which are in fact self-hosted, bringing me to my next topic…

Best WordPress.com plan: Premium

Only about a year into starting this blogging journey did I do some more research and learn about WordPress.org versus WordPress.com, as well as the intricacies of self-hosting versus using a packaged website builder. It seems that a self-hosted blog offers more growth potential and security, but I have opted to stick with WordPress.com for its ease of use. In terms of the various WordPress plans, the Premium option has been adequate for me. At $10 per month, it offers enough extra features (ad-free, audio/video posting, Google Analytics capability) without completely breaking the bank. I especially like having access to the Premium layouts which are definitely a step up from the generic ones that come with the Free plan, and there are some customization capabilities too. The other benefit of sticking with WordPress.com is having access to WordPress Reader, which allows me to stay engaged with the blogging community here.

To monetize or not to monetize?

The monetization opportunities with the Premium plan are limited to the WordAds program, which I tried for a split second but discontinued because I simply did not like the look of ads on my website. As for other avenues of monetization, I also looked into affiliate programs with Amazon and Booking.com, but ultimately decided to forego these options given my mediocre site traffic. Monetizing a blog takes a lot of effort and, in my situation, is not particularly worthwhile to pursue. For now, I’ll be sticking with my day job and focusing on this blog as something I do just for fun!

19 responses to “Celebrating 2000+ followers with my favourite blog tools”

  1. Some great info there thanks for sharing and congrats on the 2000

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for dropping by and being part of the 2000!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow congratulations!! I love Canva and I’m on the Premium Plan too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Canva sure is a great resource for the blog 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. congrats on 2000 followers. I have been plugging away for years and only have 600 or so so you must be doing something right!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations!! This is very helpful and thanks for sharing!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you found it helpful! Thanks for reading 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Congrats on 2000! I’m with you on monetizing. It all just seems like so much work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed, and travel blogging doesn’t seem like a very lucrative endeavour these days anyway. 🤷🏻‍♀️

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for the tips. Interesting my tweeter account wasn’t alive at all, i just closed it yesterday. But traffic coming from pinterest and flipboard.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The key for me was joining the travel chats. My Twitter engagement increased a lot once I started doing that!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I should admit that i wasn’t active enough there.


  7. And congratulations with 2000+ followers.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. SimonsSaysTravel Avatar

    Very good advice. I was going to quit my blog but decided it was really just for fun. It keeps my mind active

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.