Eco News From a Small Thai Island
I'm loving this course and learning so much from it and everyone in the community. I had a blog a few years ago about my life as an expat living on Koh Lanta, in Thailand, but I had absolutely no idea how to blog well or that you could make money from it. I didn't even think to research how to write a good blog. It was more like a very public journal of my life here. Fast forward five years and I'm now a member of WA, learning how to set up a blog in a more strategic way and hopefully make some money from it!
My new blog is still about life on Koh Lanta but not my personal life (as honestly, it's really not that interesting!). Instead, it's about the eco-friendly projects and initiatives that are taking place here. Koh Lanta is a small, relatively undeveloped island that has been increasing in popularity over the last decade or so, and developing more and more. Each year, there are more resorts and business being built, and we have a new bridge, which makes it easier to access the island from the mainland. This is making some people worried that the island could become overdeveloped and the beautiful natural environment and wildlife destroyed. There are though more and more people becoming aware of the damage we are all causing by being in this small paradise, and trying to be more eco-conscious on a personal and business level. So, I thought it would be good to have a website highlighting all of the different eco-friendly things the people and businesses on Koh Lanta are doing.
The main success I've had so far is that a couple of people shared one of my blog posts. I wrote about two guesthouses here that have some great eco-friendly policies, such as not using straws, not putting plastic bottles of waters in their guests' rooms etc, and both businesses shared my blog post on their Facebook pages, and one of the guesthouse owners also shared it on a local Facebook group we have on Koh Lanta, which has over 7,000 members. So, my site had a lot more visitors for a couple of days (still under 100 mind you, so not exactly loads but better than the usual number, which seems to be generally under ten)!
I've got a list of posts which I plan to write over the next three months, along with going through the course. I really love having the structure of the course to keep me on track because I do struggle with staying focused, and it also really pushes me to get those blog posts written! I have gone off track from the course a couple of times, mainly playing around with the layout of my site and adding plug ins, and also setting up a Twitter account, but then I remember I've got a course to get on with!
Six months down the road, I'm hoping that I'm driving some good, steady traffic to my site and can start to see a glimmer of hope that I could actually earn some money from it.
So, on with the course! My reasoning right now is that, even if I don't make any money from my site, it has a purpose greater than simply making money for me. I'm aiming to raise awareness about the damage tourism can do to beautiful places, how the very thing that draws people to a place can end up being destroyed because of the visitors and people trying to make money from them. However, with awareness and conscious action, we can limit that damage and have a more positive impact on the environment alongside a successful tourist industry.