The other day while talking to my daughter (20), I asked her if she read any blogs. Her tepid response was a sing-songy “not reaaaallllly.” Not really. Yep, not really. Over the course of my internet lifetime things sure have changed. Traditional hobbyist bloggers are dinosaurs.
Remember when Facebook was new and “fun”? Its smoldering carcass is an echo chamber for shit politics and I don’t even know what. Useless garbage.
It’s been that way for years but now it feels like it’s on its last swirl circling the drain. I give it a cursory glance each day and more often than not find myself thinking, oh, who cares? about the majority of the crap the algorithm thinks I want to see.
Instagram isn’t too far behind on the apathy scale. Scroll, habit-scroll, habit-scroll. Most of the time I don’t want to participate. I don’t want to share. I don’t want to care. Maybe I’ve just reached my saturation point, I dunno.
So much of the Instagram experience feels phony – where bodies are displayed as a commodity under the guise of talking about van life, or motorcycles, or travel, that I just… blah. I super don’t care about anyone else’s boobs. Like, at all. If I want to see relatable or inspiring photos of women traveling, having the images served up with what?-no!-its-totally-not-intentional cleavage is such a turn off.
We’re never moving beyond the need to sexualize and titillate for relevance, are we? It works. Every. Fucking. Time.
In some way I feel like I’ve allowed myself to be numbed out, and my thinkin’ muscle to get weak. All I do is cram more of this useless nonsense into the spaces where curiosity should be toiling away. I’m slowly smothering my imagination with a walrus-lost-his-bucket meme’d pillow.
And I hate myself for continuing to participate in something that doesn’t bring me joy. Because social media definitely doesn’t do that. But, because blogs are typically passive, if I don’t leverage social media to remind people that I exist the chances are pretty good that I’ll miss out on reach opportunities. At least that’s the excuse I tell myself. I’m a whining hypocrite.
Maybe I need to reevaluate for the eleventy millionth time why I write these posts. Would it truly matter if no one read them? Is the real key to it all that the satisfaction and purpose is solely in the doing? And once the word baby flies away to the world at large, my job is over. If a post was not read by someone would I still get what I came for?
Or maybe the pendulum needs to swing wildly in the opposite direction – I should post cleavage shots next to my motorcycle and STFU. Because Likes = Love. Or something.
Don’t mind me. I’ll just be over here petting my brontosaurus.
A motorcycle blog is a great way to share your passion for two wheels with the world. Maybe you’ve been kicking the idea around but don’t know how to start. Well? It’s as easy as riding a bike.
Plus! Motorcycle bloggers are the sexiest bloggers of all of the writing niches. It’s science. (Don’t look it up, just take my word for it.)
How to Start a Motorcycle Blog
Step One: Ride a Motorcycle
Are you ready for some earth-shattering wisdom on the road to becoming a motorcycle blogger?
Riding a motorcycle or at least being interested in motorcycles is step one.
I know! Crazy, right?!
Step Two: Write and share photos of your motorcycle experience
So, you’ve made it passed the first hurdle. Congratulations! Now it’s time for you to put your motorcycle experiences on the page.
Now, maybe you’re not a rider yet. That’s okay. How about documenting your journey towards learning to ride?
Or, maybe you never want to actually ride and you just like snapping photos of motorcycles parked or seen around your city. Great! People love looking at photos.
Maybe you’re a commuter, or you spend all of your free time riding, or you’re an industry insider who has a unique insight. I dunno! Your motorcycle experience is unique to you! Tell the world about it.
Step Three: Enjoy fame and fortune
Chances are the only thing you’re going to get from blogging about the motorcycle experience is connecting with other riders who read your posts, comments from your mom (who will always think you’re a superstar), and a passion project for yourself.
Sound discouraging? Surprisingly, it isn’t. As a long-time unpaid blogger, I can say that there is joy simply in the doing.
Of course the three steps I’ve outlined are tongue-in-cheek, but they’re not that far off. The rules are: there really aren’t many rules. Makes posts that relate to motorcycles. Have a good time doing it. That’s it.
You know, I have been at this blogging-thing for a pretty long time. I started writing about my rides back in 1998 on a Hometown AOL page. At the time, the word “blog” didn’t even exist but the core idea did.
We’re social animals, albeit in varying degrees. People seek like-minded individuals to whom we can relate. At our core, we want to be inspired and share common experiences.
And so, here you are, reading this motorcycle blog over 20 years after its first incarnation. I don’t make any claims about being a blogging “expert.” I’ve just learned a few things along the way that I’m passing along.
What is your blogging goal?
Okay, let’s get started! ::cracks knuckles::
When you begin your blogging journey, understanding what you want out of the process is important. Be honest with yourself.
Do you want to make money?
Do you want to write reviews and get free stuff?
Do you want to help people?
Do you want to be a part of a community?
Do you simply like to write and want to share your story?
Maybe you want all of these things, or… none of these things.
Knowing the why may help you to zero in on the how.
For example, if your main goal is to find a way to monetize blogging about motorcycles, your approach to writing, setting up your blog and marketing it will be in contrast to simply writing for your own pleasure.
Both avenues will be work, but one will be more like a job.
What does blogging success mean to you?
Measuring success when you are writing a blog isn’t one-size fits all. This goes back to the why of writing your blog.
If you are writing with the hope of making money or getting free gear and products to review – success might be something like a dollar amount, or being paid to contribute to other online motorcycle publications.
If earning some level of income isn’t your focus, success might mean x number of shares on a post, a million pageviews, or thousands of comments.
Sometimes, just getting positive feedback from one person will make your day.
Maybe for you, the ability to craft a post, or take some lovely photographs is it’s own reward. The success and pride is simply in the doing.
There is no right answer beyond what’s right for you.
How do you go viral or become popular?
Honestly? I haven’t the slightest idea how virality works. I’ve long since given up trying to understand what makes people like and share posts.
Often the posts I am most proud of don’t get any feedback. You have to learn to be okay with this reality.
There have been many times that I’ve read Top X Motorcycle Blogger posts, only to read the same blog names over and over again. And more often than not, I don’t find at least half of the blogs on the list very engaging.
What that tells me is that I am likely out of step with what most people find interesting or popular. Or, perhaps such posts and articles are nothing more than clickbait designed to make the people who are included share the post.
I’m guessing here – relatability or being helpful is likely the key to sharing.
Does it cost anything to run a motorcycle blog?
Yes. No. Maybe.
You have a lot of options with regard to spending on the nuts and bolts of creating a blog. The best part? You don’t have to spend any money to get started if you don’t want to.
Getting started: Pick a blog platform
If you don’t plan on purchasing your own domain name, and you don’t need your own hosting company, you can run your blog on a free service like WordPress.com.
Using WordPress is easy-peasy and highly flexible. There are eleventy-million different free plug-ins and themes to help you customize your blog. And they also offer a free phone app so that you can post on-the-go.
If you aren’t a technical person and you just want a place to log in and post, you can’t go wrong with WordPress. It’s simple and will grow with you.
Blog-related things that can cost money (but aren’t necessary):
How do you know when you’ve made it as a motorcycle blogger?
Do you have a motorcycle-related blog post published on the internet that people can read? Well, guess what? You made it! You are now a motorcycle blogger.
This kind of goes back to what you think success is. What does “making it” mean to you? Is it earning money from your blog, being on best motorcycle blog lists, getting lots of pageviews? Or is it when your friends say they loved your latest post when you meet for coffee?
Someone once stopped me at a traffic light in Virginia and told me they read my blog. I live in New York. That felt amazing and was my own personal “I made it” feeling.
It’s motorcycle blog but what should I write about?
Everything and anything!
Motorcycles are such a rich and engaging experience and touch so many parts of people’s lives the topics to write about are endless!
Commuting, travel, industry news, top 10 lists, other riders, racing, opinion pieces, picks, pans, rumors, lifestyle, gear, curated Instagram posts, daily rider experience – fuhgeddaboudit!
Remember, this is your blog. Do whatever the hell you want. For every rule you read, you’ll find someone who broke it and went on to succeed.
There is only one you and your view of the world is unique. Share it!
Do you actually have to write anything to be blogger?
Nope, you don’t.
Maybe your blog would be made up of motorcycle images, or reblogged industry news, or motorcycle memes. As long as you’re weaving the thread of motorcycles somewhere in there, you have tons of options.
If you aren’t confident in your writing voice yet, that’s okay! You’re not being graded. Be yourself and share your unique point of view.
Do you have to share photos on a motorcycle blog?
Do blogs with engaging images enjoy more pageviews and interactions? Probably. Internet readers are generally skimmers. So, the old adage about a picture being worth 1,000 words likely rings true.
So while it isn’t a requirement, you will likely find that posts with photos perform better.
Stuck? Pay homage to the motorcycle blogs you like to read
Think about the motorcycle blogs that you like to read. What makes them special to you?
They say great writers read a lot, and great artists steal. Pay homage to the people that inspire you with their blogging if you’re having trouble finding your footing at first.
You will evolve if you keep at it.
Will I be extra sexy If I write a motorcycle blog?
How to Write a Motorcycle Blog – In Conclusion
So, while there are a lot of words on this page, the process is pretty simple.
Create a blog account somewhere
Write a post about motorcycles
Add a motorcycle photo or two
Tell your friends
Welcome to the motorcycle blogging neighborhood!
My Favorite Motorcycle Blogs
Finishing this post up without providing examples of great motorcycle blogs would be a shame.
My two favorite motorcycle blogs continually inspire me with their heart, introspection, experiences and photography. These two gents continually knock my socks off.
It’s been a few months now since I set off on a road trip through the Virginias. In the time that has passed, I’ve struggled to put together posts to talk about what I saw. And that isn’t because I didn’t see anything worth writing about. It’s something different that I wrestle with episodically.
As my mindset fluctuates, the way that I approach writing about my time does too. But, I find that I’m often stuck in the same old pattern of trying to write about life in the “old way.” My robotic response is to work linearly on a timeline in medium-sized chunks. But, thoughts don’t always happen that way, do they?
For a while, I was especially rigid about timing. If I’d ridden somewhere 2 months ago and didn’t write about it then? Well, it was too late. There was some imaginary freshness calendar that had to be adhered to otherwise I wasn’t allowed to write about it. Isn’t that strange that I could be so particular about something like that? I’ve gotten over that, mostly.
What I’m learning is that trying to make my thoughts fit into a predefined size or shape is a recipe for disaster. Instead of an easy-to-follow formula that allows me to just plug in the pictures and words, I end up with a cramp. The result? Nothing.
My thoughts are scattered like dandelion seeds and are constantly floating away from me. Why can’t I share them here in that way? Little idea whisps that sail on a current – their barbs getting stuck on the people that want to read them. That’s how things like Instagram work. Everything is shared in snack-sized bites.
Why do I resign myself to thinking that I have to make blog posts lengthy? Why do I feel the pressure to write about my time in a particular way, as if there is some correct method to blogging? Why do I censor sharing my interests because I think other people are sick of reading about them? Why would I care if someone else thinks I post too much or too little? Why can’t a picture be worth a thousand words when I do it here? So many rules. But why?
We each develop a personal process to produce the things that matter to us. I feel that when I doodle in my sketchbook, too. When I deviate from my natural process, things feel off. To the viewer, the end result probably doesn’t look any different but I know something isn’t right. But how does the process grow when you’re so busy following the old rules?
I’ve always maintained that I write my blog first and foremost for myself. It is my system of record for thoughts and feelings about moving through the world on a motorcycle. But that must be a lie I tell myself. There is a nagging undercurrent of the need to please others or fitting into preconceived notions about what they want from me. Approaching this blog from the outside in is when things go wrong. You’d think I’d have fully understood and embraced that by now. I mean, I know that so why does the need for a reminder keep bubbling up to the surface?
It’s funny when I meet people who initially “know” me from my blog. I can’t say why, but I find it embarrassing when they talk to me about it or say that the like reading it. It’s almost as if these posts exist somewhere outside of me, in some foreign land that I only know peripherally. I mean, part of the reason that I like to write things down is that I am so abysmal at conveying my thoughts through conversation. So, when someone talks to me about something I wrote, though I’m grateful they appreciate it, I often feel like I’m on the spot.
This quirk might be something akin to my weird relationship with vanity. For lack of a better word, it seems sinful to be proud of the things I do. It is rare that I will volunteer to someone I meet that I keep a blog. Is that strange? I mean, it’s not like it’s a secret or anything. But, the idea that I might have to explain what it’s about? No, thank you.