With twenty-plus years at the helm of a motorcycle blog, you’d think at this point that I would have full confidence in what actually makes up a good personal motorcycle blog. But the truth is, I don’t.
Or, maybe I do.
I don’t know.
Because even as I write this, I think that writing a motorcycle blog all comes down to the author’s personal motorcycle experience. And then I quickly find counterpoints to that thought.
A rider’s motorcycle experience – boy, talk about something that is variable, huh? Not only is my experience different than anyone else’s, it can differ greatly from my own prior experiences year to year.
A motorcycle blog, at least in the way that I write one, seems to be something akin to time-marking. It is the story of a life written in small fragments and captured in snapshots. A life that is explored by way of the motorcycle.
In so many ways, throughout my ongoing story the motorcycle itself is it just a supporting actor for the protagonist. At times, the motorcycle is a visual metaphor or a stand-in. What else could it be when the story is the journey of the self?
When you stop for a moment to consider how much your life can change from one year to the next, you can see why it may be hard to define what a motorcycle blog is, or how to write a good one.
Maybe other bloggers don’t go through these types of internal conversations about their own blogs? Some authors write impersonally about motorcycle events or product reviews and that’s it. The vibe or concept never changes and they are satisfied and confident in their direction. The expectation from their readers is that they will get “x” and that’s what the author delivers every time.
The thought has occurred to me that when there is a commercial element or the exchange of goods or money, that might help to limit the focus of what a motorcycle blog delivers.
But when you are just writing about yourself, in all of your different iterations over the years – who knows what might pop up next? You may gain and lose readers as their interest in your interests waxes and wanes.
And in the end, what do the answers to any of these questions I have for myself about writing a motorcycle blog matter? Would the answers prompt me to change direction, shift my focus, write a whole separate blog? After all this time the answer is likely, “no.”
With twenty-plus years in, I am an old dog. Though there have been dalliances with social media, video, meet-ups, and hangouts over the years – I don’t have any new tricks. Year over year I come back to the same old formula: riding around, snapping photos of the world as I see it, and posting it on my blog. I guess it’s what I do.
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.
My path toward motorcycle blogging started long before I even rode a motorcycle.
The Analog Social Media Influencer
As a young teenager it wasn’t uncommon for me to carry a camera around. I would take snapshots of my life daily life in the hallways of school, at friends houses, or wherever we were hanging out. I fondly recall having a pink Le Clic disc-film camera which I thought was so cool.
When my friends would come over and hang out in my room, we’d listen to music, talk and they’d flip through the pages of my tattered, sticker-covered photo album. It was almost like a ritual.
Social media was analog in those days but the core of it was the same. Take a picture, share it with friends and they commented on it.
A Moto Blogger’s Camera Evolution
When I started riding motorcycles that snapshot tradition carried on; first with a 35mm point and shoot, then with digital cameras in various forms from pocket cameras to a big DSLR.
Each type of digital camera had it’s strengths from physical size to picture quality.
When traveling by motorcycle the average blogger has to take into consideration the care and feeding required by their camera equipment. For example, I loved the quality of the output from my DSLR camera, but managing its size and “worrying” about it became too much of a hurdle for me.
As the years went by and technology progressed, my iPhone took over camera duty. The convenience and quality of the output from the native camera became the perfect fit for me.
And taking pics during my rides became as ubiquitous as putting gas in the bike.
See, Snap, Go
It’s important to note that I don’t profess to be particularly skilled at taking photographs. I have exactly zero training or special knowledge. What I do when taking photographs is simply snap what I like and hope that other people think it looks as nice in the little square as I did when I saw it. That’s good enough for me. I am not a photographer. I am a blogger who take pictures.
There is pleasure in this simple picture-taking process. It isn’t work which I make for myself. It is a relief to not get bogged down in the details. It’s: see, snap, go.
Of course this is the most simplified version of reality. When we take photos with the slightest consideration that someone else might see them, there is a little some’m extra that makes its way into the process. Because when we take photos and share them we’re doing more than just seeing for ourselves, aren’t we? It is more than just a simple time marking.
Motorcycle Blogging and the Photograph
Since I started blogging about my motorcycle experiences, photos have been an integral part of the storytelling process. And if the old adage is true that a picture is worth a thousand words, perhaps the photos do a better job of presenting the story than my words.
Maybe the photographs tell their own story. One of the reader’s making.
What makes readers connect with a blogger?
What is the magic that makes readers connect with a blogger?
That link often comes when the people who write stories hold up a mirror for us. When we can see ourselves in their words, they become more meaningful.
Some bloggers can succinctly articulate a truth that we struggle with. They can breathe life into nebulous thoughts that have been but wisps of smoke in our own minds.
What happens when a blogger has no words?
As a blogger when you don’t know what to write, a photograph can do the talking. A picture can become a punctuation mark or 1,000 words that finish telling a story. Or that same image can be the whole story.
With a photograph, a bridge to nostalgia can be built. The image transports the viewer to a place they recall.
And there is also the awakening of wonder about something they’ve never seen.
A photo’s story isn’t necessarily fixed. With no words to guide the reader, the narrative is their own.
The life and times of a blogger
Motorcycle blogging for me is more than just stats and figures about mileage and horsepower. At its center, it is the story of a life lived.
It can be hard to articulate its importance to me without sounding trite. With over 20 years invested in this medium, being able to tell my story has become part of my personality fabric.
Writing this blog isn’t a job for me, but it isn’t something casual in the sense that I can take it or leave it, either. It is an enduring passion project that goes through ebbs and flows like any relationship might.
At any given time, there may be hundreds of unpublished drafts in my blog post folder. Some entries are merely a sentence or a single photograph.
Other entries are long-form posts which are doomed to languish because they were written solely as a way of clearing my mind.
And then there are periods of time in which I don’t commit ideas to “paper” at all.
Blogging – Words and Photographs
The same cycle I go through with writing blogs is true of the camera roll on my phone.
There are nearly 6,000 photos on my phone right now. Some you’ve seen here on the blog, some you haven’t. Some you will see later on down the road, some you won’t.
And like writing words, it is unusual for me to go long stretches without snapping a photo, even one that is solely for my own enjoyment.
When bloggers don’t blog
Blogging dry spells are puzzling to me. They highlight the fact that I do not fully understand myself or my motivations.
I have an abundant bank of past experiences, photographs, and thought fragments to pull from, but sometimes I just cannot find a way to weave all of the threads together into a post.
I’ve been a million places and seen a so many interesting things. What is it that keeps me from being able to stir in all of these ingredients and sharing them?
There is always a story to tell. Always. Even when that story is: I don’t have a story to tell. The why of that is its own story.
Overcoming blogging dry spells
Often when I am in something of a blogging drought and am struggling to find my way back to posting, it is a photograph that will kickstart my ability to write.
By simply describing the who, what, when, where of an image, a full blog post can be created.
Motorcycle Blogging Inspiration
When you’ve been blogging for a long period of time, it is normal to go through ups and downs with your creativity. Some days you just don’t “have it.”
Maybe it feels like you’ve written about the same old thing 100 times already, or that your ideas lately are, well,… boring. These feelings aren’t uncommon. But they need be nothing more than a temporary roadblock.
Recognize that you already have the one of the greatest tools to overcome the setback in your pocket right now.
If you’re feeling stuck, look to your camera roll and get back to basics. A single photograph can again prove its worth – a thousand words.
Last week, we had a great Zoom chat in which we talked about our motorcycle experiences, inspiration, travel, and just plain got to know one another better. Seeing people’s faces, their mannerisms and hearing their voices and accents adds a new layer to the connection you’ve made through words and static images. I loved it.
I loved it so much, I’d like to do it again. But, perhaps with a little more of a topical focus?
Moto Blogging Chat
How about tapping into other bloggers and content creators to talk about their process and experiences with blogging? I’m endlessly curious about how people go about documenting and sharing their two-wheeled lives.
So, if you’re bored and want to video chat, let’s do it!
Yeah, this is a little impromptu, but.. eh, what else are we doin’? 😉
Moto Blogging Zoom Chat Sunday – April 26, 2020 8:00PM EST
Zoom chat invites will be sent via email – this is where you come in:
If you want to join, let me know what email address I should send the invite to. I can use the one you are commenting with below or you can send me one to use through this form.
Also – if you have questions or topics or something you want to squeeze in beforehand – lemme know those, too!
And just like last time, I have no idea how this will go. Could be 5 people, could be just you and me. Either way, I’m good with that.
Am I a motorcycle blogger? Or a Long Island motorcycle blogger?
Is there a difference?
It may come as a surprise to people who don’t know me personally, but I can easily fall down the rabbit hole of data analysis. You’re looking at one of those nerdy weirdos who gets excited by it. Data is like a puzzle and that is candy for my brain.
You’re probably thinking, Okaaaay, and?
Well, recently I’ve taken a closer look at who actually reads this blog. What I uncovered surprised me.
Who reads this motorcycle blog?
United States: 80%
New York: 20%
65+ : 12%
So, are you a man 45 or older who lives in the New York Metro area?
Analytics – What surprised me
For starters, I wrongly assumed that more women would be interested in this blog. But if you factor in that only 19% of ridership in the United States is made up of women, maybe the gender split makes sense.
There has never been any evidence for me to support the notion of more women readers. I just made the assumption that people gravitate to others who are similar to themselves.
Maybe the similarity, in this case, is just being a rider.
I can get behind that.
Welcome to New York
When it comes to the location information, I am not at all surprised that most of my blog readers are in the United States.
And since I live in New York and do a lot of riding here, it does stand to reason that the state of New York has a large readership. They’re likely to see familiar sights or names of places.
When I ask myself, do I mention New York a lot? I don’t think I do. So, what lands New York blog readers here in such a high percentage? Is Google more apt to deliver localized results overall?
The state of New York has nearly triple the percentage of readers when compared to the next most popular state.
Long Island Motorcycle Blogger?
Taking the location information down to the next level, as you can see on the map above, there is a high concentration of activity around New York City and Long Island.
Does this mean that the things I write about are more Long Island-centric than anywhere else?
Are the Long Island readers people who know me personally? Or friends of friends?
WHO ARE YOU?! Say ‘hi,’ why don’t ya!
Long Island’s Best Motorcycle Blogger?
Am I somehow failing a “hometown” audience that I didn’t know I had?
Should I set my sights on becoming Long Island Best Motorcycle Blogger?
Because that would be a crown I wouldn’t mind wearing. It probably feels incredible to be that best at something.
Who is Long Island’s Best Motorcycle Blogger?
Why, Girlie Motorcycle Blog @ Fuzzygalore.com, of course!
Who is Long Island’s Best Motorcycle Blogger?
Why, Girlie Motorcycle Blog @ Fuzzygalore.com, of course!
What is the Best Long Island Motorcycle Blog?
Well, that would have to be Girlie Motorcycle Blog, my good man!
I don’t know about you, but I like it!
Motorcycle Blogger or Long Island Motorcycle Blogger?
So here I am, back to where I started: wondering what type of blogger I am and who the content speaks to.
Is my topical breadth general enough to just be a motorcycle blogger who appeals to people everywhere?