FROM SIMON’S JAMJAR TO ADVENTURE BAGGING

You may be wondering what has happened to Simon’s JamJar, and why many of you have been redirected to this site. The short and simple answer is Simons’s Jam Jar has rebranded!

I first started blogging back in 2006. That’s over 10 years ago. David Beckham was still England’s golden boy, and Leona Lewis grabbed the Christmas number one with ‘A Moment Like This”. Feels like a lifetime ago, right?!

Back in 2006, I was 24. Simon’s JamJar was born on a whim, based on the items I could see in my ex-girlfriends sisters kitchen. There was no salience behind the name. Yes, it was unique to me, but it didn’t really mean anything.

Simon’s JamJar never started as a travel blog. It was designed as an SEO test bed. Just me, writing content to see what I could make rank on Google. As such, most of the posts from 2006 to 2012 are not travel related. They are just my random thoughts and bits of SEO content.

Then, in mid-2012, I gave the blog a new lease of life. With a 6 month round the world trip coming up, I decided to give it a new lick of paint and update it so I could use the blog as a platform to tell my travel stories when I was on the road. In fitting with the name, a little blog to hold stories that could fit into a jam jar. It was primarily designed to keep friends and family updated with my progress across South America, New Zealand, Australia and China, and it performed its job admirably.

When I returned to the UK, two things happened: 1) I missed travelling SO MUCH. To quash this wanderlust, I joined Traverse, a group of likeminded travel bloggers based in and around London. That allowed me to share my stories, and listen to others tell their travel tales. 2) I realised a lot of people were reading my travel stories and connecting with me on social media based on what I’d written on the blog.

And so Simon’s JamJar turned into my travel blogging brand.

As my content built up, and the brand became more widely recognised, I would receive emails saying things like “we’d love to work with Simon’s JamJar!“, which made me incredibly proud that all the hard work I’d put into travel storytelling was being noticed by travel brands.

But – being a marketing man – something didn’t quite feel right.

When I went to travel blogging events, people would ask me what my blog was called. “Simon’s JamJar”, I would say. But every time I said that, I felt like following up with: “I know, weird name right? It’s not really an adventure travel blog name, but it is quirky and personal to me 🙂“.

Over the last 6 years, that feeling has gradually got worse and worse. I’m now at the stage where I have completely outgrown my own brand. Simon’s JamJar is still mine, but it isn’t really me.

It doesn’t represent adventure travel. Or new experiences. Or reaching new heights. Or achieving new skills.

It was also built on the Blogger platform, which – as I’m sure many of you know – is great a free blogging platform, but it is incredibly prohibitive in terms of showcasing creativity and interactivity of content.

And so, a few months ago, I decided it was time to retire Simon’s JamJar, and rebrand.

All the content from Simon’s JamJar can be found on this new blog, so nothing is lost. It was simply time for a new name. A new, personal brand wrapper for my travel stories.

ENTER ADVENTURE BAGGING

My main aims when it comes to blogging is to inspire people to experience new things, and visit places they wouldn’t have thought of visiting beforehand.

I wanted to do this through stories, both written and in image and video form, and if those stories helped change perceptions of certain countries or cultural topics a long the way, even better.

Last year I created almost as many videos for YouTube as I did blog posts. And a lot of you preferred to engage with me on YouTube above the blog, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. As such, I felt the way in which I was telling stories had shifted more towards video. So whilst the blogger platform was restrictive, I can now use WordPress to showcase my videos on this blog, to aid and enhance the written stories.

My style of writing and vlogging will remain the same…the stories will simply be under a new name 🙂

So why did I call it Adventure Bagging? Well, as you’ll see on the About page, most of my stories over the last few years revolved around adventure travel – safari’s in Africa, European road trips and city breaks, conquering the Inca Trail, and taking on UK hiking challenges. As such, adventure had to be at the heart.

The ‘Bagging’ part has several connotations. Bagging relates to hill or fell bagging (conquering mountains and achieving new things). It also relates to an old Lancashire word, ‘baggin’, which means food. Being from Preston in Lancashire, it made sense to give a nod to my upbringing, as well as cover the topic of food, which this blog also covers.

The logo was designed by me. The blog design was created by me (from a template). Adventure Bagging is a unique blog name, that covers what the blog does, as well as being personal to me.

So whilst I’ve dropped ‘Simon’ from the name, I now have a travel blogging brand I’m very proud of, and I hope you’ll like it too 🙂

Let me know what you think!

Simon