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"The greatest sight there is is the world - look at it!" - was how the German writer Kurt Tucholsky expressed himself about travelling. Michael Mantke also has a great passion for travelling. And that's not all, the Freiburg software architect decided to share his travel experiences and knowledge on his own blog. These are not only reports of journeys abroad with wife and son, but also of excursions and places in South Baden and the nearby Black Forest.

A contribution by Matthias Knobloch.

Travel impressions want to be captured and preserved, which is why Michael Mantke indulges in another passion: photography.

Black Forest

For example, the nature-loving landscape photographer gives tips on choosing the right lens or reviews various camera models. But this does not yet describe the full thematic range of Michael Mantke's blog "Explore the World". He also takes a stand on world affairs or writes about topics that concern him about blogging itself. In addition to writing, he enjoys designing, layouting and the technical side of the blog. But how did he even get the idea to set up his own blog?

In the beginning there was the joy of travelling

Michael Mantke's decision to use the Internet as a space for his travel reports has several reasons. On the one hand he can give space to his passions and live out his creativity. On the other hand, he wants to inspire other people to travel, to South Baden and to photograph. His wife and he have always loved to travel. However, they did not travel much when the family with son Lucas grew. As the son grew older, the desire to travel and the wanderlust grew again. The original idea of the blog was to show family and friends the photos and experiences of their travels. But that quickly became more than that: he wanted to inspire others to travel.

The readers should be gripped by travel fever

The visitors of his website should recognize how wonderful it is to go on a journey of discovery in the world and to get to know other countries, cultures and places. He would also like to introduce his "beautiful home South Baden" and help photography fans to take better photos. The blog is part of a big dream: "In 2024 we will go on a world tour! On my blog I will document every step of the preparation and of course the actual journey in detail."

The idea of preparing this trip around the world for the long term and turning it into something big was a central idea of the blog from the very beginning. The search for exciting cooperation partners also plays an important role. Michael Mantke's big goal: to one day be able to lead a financially independent life with his blog. But he also knows: "Until then it is still a long way, but to go this way gives me a lot of joy".

WordPress as the ideal solution

As a software architect at a medical technology company, Michael Mantke certainly has more IT skills than other travel bloggers and therefore manages the technical side of his blog himself. He uses the Content Management System (CMS) WordPress. "WordPress is the ideal web application for me.

It's quick to set up and set up." He appreciates the selection of countless plugins and the CMS's flexible platform with which he can customize his blog: "So I can realize my ideas in any layout I want." As plugins he uses Envira Gallery, WPRocket, Table Press and The SEO Framework.

He chose ThemeFusion's Avada as his theme. In addition, he appreciates WordPress's large community, whose many forums and websites offer tips and tricks.

Combining hobby, family and career

According to Michael Mantke it is not always easy to reconcile hobby, family and job. But since he travels with his family and goes on excursions together, it fits quite well. In addition, his son now also likes to photograph, so there are many overlaps. Nevertheless, his blog takes a lot of time. That's why he makes sure, for example, that he doesn't bring any work home with him so that he can devote the necessary attention to the blog - alongside his family.

Blogging is all about efficiency: "For example, I always write travel reports on the road before I go to bed in the evening. In addition, I now always have ten to 15 articles of different lengths in stock, which I could put online at any time to bridge periods in which I have less or no time for the blog. It was also important to find a good rhythm. I now usually publish my articles three to four days apart, rather than four to five articles a week as I used to."

He distributes his blog posts and photos via social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+ in order to make new articles more popular.

He uses Instagram and Pinterest to extend the reach of his photos. With his 'picture of the day' he reaches around 13,000 followers every day.

To monetize his blog, he uses sponsored articles, sponsored social media posts and travel cooperations or sells advertorials as part of his "Sponsor of the Month" section. However, there is little time for networking, conferences and discussing with fellow bloggers.

"Having fun blogging is all that matters. Anything that causes stress, I leave out. Anything that doesn't fit in here in time just doesn't."

Finding the right hosting partner

Michael Mantke's been relying on hosting IONOSfor over ten years. He set up and installed his WordPress page himself, only the web hosting package is hosted at IONOS. Even before his blog, "Explore the World," he was running IONOSseveral websites. There he particularly appreciates the quick and easy setup of the website and the high security of his data. His former provider had filed for bankruptcy. Michael Mantke was fortunately able to IONOSmove his site easily thanks to backups. Here he likes the price/performance ratio, the simple setup and administration of domains, high availability and backup options and a very well functioning support. The trouble-free setup process came later when he set up his blog.

The more he developed his blog, the more conscious and important topics such as performance and search engines became to him. "Whatever I want to implement technically IONOShas the right solutions." The performance and loading speed of his blog have improved considerably in recent months. Together with SSL encryption and HTTP/2, PHP7 and Content Delivery Network (1&1 CDN) based on it his blog gets important factors which reward him with an excellent SEO relevance.

Tips for other bloggers

For his blogger colleagues Michael Mantke still has the following advice for the choice of the hoster:

  • "Find a provider that's established and reliable. One that leaves you all options open. Which also offers packages and options for a strongly growing blog, e-shop, etc. and allows for further expansion at will."
  • "Think carefully about what you want to keep in your hands or how much help you need. Depending on this, the provider should offer you the perfect package."

If you want to get your own impression of Michael Mantke's blog, you can get inspired here:

Pictures: Michael Mantke, Twitter: @DeclarationThe world

This article was published on 24 Oct 2018 by sebastian.zientek as part of the topic WordPress ###ARTICLEINFO_SENTENCE_END###.