Tuesday 29 June 2021

It's been over 5 years now since I started writing on Tea With Gi. I remember I started because I was doing a semester abroad in Florida and wanted to keep my friends and family updated with what I was up to. I then soon branched out from that and started writing lifestyle posts, and then writing travel guides. I've had a lot of great opportunities come from my blog and I definitely didn't expect to have any success with it when I started writing (I thought I'd only have 10 readers!). If you're looking at starting a blog, these are some of my tips. 

1. Make it look as professional as possible.

I've never purchased a blog 'theme' but spent ages toggling with the blogging template, adding html's and widgets to customize it and make it mine. I'd also recommend buying a blog domain, as brands are more likely to want to work with you if you seem established and don't have wordpress/blogger etc. in your webpage link.

2. Try not to limit your self.

Finding a niche is great, but the blogging world is pretty saturated as it is. The key is to writing about stuff you're actually passionate about and not just because it's what everyone is doing. I used to do beauty posts when I first started my blog but found it's not really what I enjoyed writing about, so I stopped doing it!

3. Make sure you make every post 'SEO friendly'

SEO stands for 'Search Engine Optimization' and there are a number of ways you can make this happen. One way is making sure you use keywords that are relevant to the post and what people might be searching for. If your post is on 'Gibraltar travel tips' make sure you're using keywords such as 'things to do in Gibraltar' within your blog post. Make sure you also add text to your images and put in a post description! I wrote a whole blog post about improving your blog SEO here.

4. Social media is essential for growing.

I luckily had a few thousand followers on my main twitter account before I started my blog, so it was great to have a platform there to promote my blog in the first place. I now have a Twitter and Instagram account dedicated to my blog (teawithgi) and twitter is a great way to follow other bloggers, interact with them and promote your stuff. I definitely recommend scheduling tweets to promote your posts, just don't make your feed seem like spam! Comment on other blogs, interact with your audience on Instagram and stay relatable!

5. Collaborate with people in the industry!

One of the best ways to improve SEO and your page visibility is by improving your back-links. This means having other people and websites linking back to your website. The higher their Domain Authority, the better it will affect your ranking. You could always reach out to publications you enjoy and ask if you can post a guest post on their website. 

The key for growing your blog and social media presence is to be consistent, and keep working at it. Aqueous recently published a post on ranking factors of a website which will be a useful read for things to take into consideration. I hope you guys have found this post useful! 



Monday 21 June 2021

I must say, dressing appropriately for the weather isn't my forte. I remember last year when we did the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in NZ all I had on was a vest and a Primark jumper, not the best when you're in minus numbers at the top! If there's one item of clothing I'll be packing on my next excursion, it's the Gamma jacket. It's a durable, lightweight, insulated jacket that doesn’t compromise function or fashion. It comes in black meaning you can wear it with pretty much anything. It's infused with graphene which is the strongest and thinnest material on Earth - impressive! As a backpacker you know how important it is to pack light, but also pack smart. Here are 5 adventures to make sure you pack your Gamma jacket for. 

1. Tongariro, Taupo (New Zealand)

I did this day trek in January, meaning that it was still summer in NZ but we were also at a higher altitude, so naturally it was going to be cold (and windy!). It's known for being one of the best hikes in New Zealand, and i'd say a difficulty of 3/5. It will take you an average of 4-5 hours to complete and for me the hardest part was coming down the volcano because of the terrain. If you studied geography GCSE, you'll be familiar with the red crater, blue lake and hot springs on the route! 

tongariro alpine crossing

2. Mount Batur, Bali (Indonesia)

Bali is quite a humid city, with occasional rainfall. This is a sunrise trek that starts at 2am so you might feel a bit chillier, so bring your jacket! I'd say this was a 2.5/5 in terms of difficulty, mostly because you have to navigate in the dark with a torch so you don't trip on a rock. You'll arrive at the top just in time for sunrise, and you'll be served eggs and toast! 

mount batur

3. Sapa, Vietnam 

We actually had to buy new shoes and a raincoat when we arrived to Sa Pa because we didn't pack adequately. Sapa is a small mountain town to the northwest of Hanoi, and a lot of people choose to stay 1 or 2 nights here. Here you'll find local tribes, rice paddies and forest treks. You'll be taken by a guide and stay in a Home Stay, so you really get a taste of the local culture. 

sapa, vietnam

4. The Inca Trail, Peru

This is one that I still haven't ticked off my bucket list, but I will one day! The Inca Trail is usually done over several days, which means that you want to make sure you've packed light, but also have everything you need. Here you can experience a lot of different weather depending when you go, which is why this jacket is great. It offers temperature control and is windproof. 

inca trail

5. Druk Path Trek, Bhutan 

This one is a little bit longer, so you want to come prepared! The Druk Path trek is the most popular one in the country. It takes 6 days and passes through a variety of different landscapes, including forests, ridges and lakes. You'll also come across ancient monuments and villages. This one is fairly easy as the distance between rest camps is fairly short, and the altitude isn't too high. 

Whether you're travelling for 2 weeks or 2 months, no one wants to be carrying around a heavy suitcase with unnecessary stuff (I think we're all probably guilty of overpacking). Even if you're travelling through SE Asia and expect everywhere to be hot and sunny, it usually won't so it's best to be prepared! 

WearGraphine is currently crowdfunding for the gamma all climate jacket and any support would be great. Whether you're looking for a jacket for skiing, hiking or walking to work in the British weather - it's the jacket you need! 

gamma graphene jacket

gamma graphene jacket

gamma graphene jacket


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