This post is all about my experience and the reality of blogging whilst travelling. I soon realised that blogging whilst travelling isn’t as glamorous as people often make out… It’s hard work, and often the last thing we want to do after a long day. We see the success of people that are full time travel bloggers and often assume it comes easy, whereas having a successful blog which generates even a small income takes ALOT of hard work and time.
A lot of people will begin travel blogging with that excitement we all get and you never think for a second there will be any problem in keeping your blog going. But once you’re actually travelling, often you’d much rather be having a beer with your fellow travellers than be blogging alone somewhere, to an audience that may or may not be listening. So this post is all about what the reality of blogging on the road is like, how to make sure you keep blogging, and finally the rewards you’ll gain from doing so.
Why blogging while travelling can be hard
The novelty wears off and it becomes a bit boring
You may get bored of blogging once the initial excitement and novelty wears off, especially if you’re not a seasoned blogger. This is probably the biggest reason people stop, it’s all very exciting at the start when all those people love that you’re off travelling. Before you leave, blogging is something to occupy you in those times away from the ‘soon to be forgotten’ day job. You think, this will be great, if I start now I’ll be one of those permanent travel bloggers you read about. But when you’re tired after travelling for hours in the heat, hungover from too many jäger bombs with those Aussies you met at the bar last night, and just want to go to bed, you’ll soon leave blogging behind.
FOMO or ‘fear of missing out’, for any non millennials amongst you, means we often prioritise other things over blogging whilst we’re on the road. I’ve briefly touched on this, but often when you’re actually living and experiencing things, the last thing you want to do is spend a couple of hours writing a blog post about it. You want to go and experience the next incredible thing, and don’t want to miss out on anything whilst you’re there, and understandably so. There’s that BBQ at the hostel, or that local night market you wanted to try, or your newly found travel friends downstairs you want to hang out with, there will often be things you’d rather be doing than blogging.
Lack of results
You can also get a bit disheartened that everyone isn’t as raving about the fact that you spent Monday morning on a beach with a beer in hand as you are. Sometimes you’ll spend hours crafting a massive journal style post with the perfect pictures, telling people all about the interesting and awesome things you’ve been doing, only for the only people to like or view your post to be your mum and your best mate… It sounds harsh but sometimes this will be the case and it’s hard to keep motivated when this happens.
How to make sure you keep blogging
Blog in your downtime
This has been a big learning for me, and even one I use all the time in my day to day non-travel life. Those times where you’re stuck waiting for a bus, or at the doctors, or someone puts something terrible on the TV. Why not blog? By this I don’t mean write a detailed blog post and upload it, I mean brainstorm ideas for posts, or maybe start writing a draft of a post you want to do in the future. You’ll be amazed how much you can get done on a 30 minute train.
When you’re travelling, airports and flights make ideal downtime and time to blog. Often you’ll be stuck in an airport or on a plane, struggling to find some variety of entertainment, and this time is perfect for blogging! I know very successful bloggers that swear by blogging about each part of their trip, once it’s over in the airport or on the plane. Other times to blog can be those quiet few moments you get every now and then in an evening, or if you’re an early bird, blog over a morning coffee before the day’s activities. Even tying in blogging before or after skype calls to home if that works, as you’ll be with internet taking time out from travel anyway. There are lots of ways to squeeze blogging into your travel routine, so try and find a way that works for you and stick to it.
Take inspiration from the people who ARE reading your blog
It can be tough starting a blog. People often forget that it’s a pretty scary thing, you’re putting yourself out there, spending lots of time writing things that you have no guarantee people will enjoy or want to read. It can get tough when you’re so excited about all you’ve been seeing and doing, and only a few other people seem to think so from your blog posts. So look at the positives, look at those people who are actually taking time out of their days to read your blog posts and get enjoyment from them. Personally my blog posts were a great way to let my family know what I was up to, and even if it was just them, I know the great enjoyment it gave them to be able to follow my trip along as it happened with pictures etc to see the different places I’d been.
Make short notes of what you did and when, and do the proper post later
Sometimes you just won’t want to blog. This is fine, and will definitely happen. But to keep up a blog you’ll have to force yourself to do at least do something. Even if you don’t want to write a whole post, my advice is take 5 minutes to just note down what you did in that day, or that week, so that at a later time when you have a bit more time, you can use that as notes to make a full post and won’t forget some of your experiences. Often we get put off blogging as we’ve missed a couple of weeks and feel like there’s no way to catch up. If you make short notes as you go along, you can make sure that you’ve got down the highlights and what you want to share, so you can write a proper post at a later date.
The rewards of sticking at it
You’ll have a personal account of your trip to look back on
This is a selfish reason, but also probably the main reason to write a travel blog, and that’s you. In the world of social media, and sharing things for internet points, sometimes it’s nice to just do things for you. Inevitably as time goes on, you’ll forget certain parts of your trip and experiences etc. It’s amazing to be able to go back through all that you saw and did, and nostalgically reminisce on the incredible time you had. I can’t stress enough how great it is to be able to have a full account of a travel trip that you’ll be able to look back on for years to come.
You’ll learn and grow as a blogger
I started my blog because I was travelling and I wanted to share my experiences with people back home. I blogged a fair amount during my trip, and the people reading it, rather than increasing, decreased as time went on. This might sound like it’s a sad tale. But actually I realised and learned what I had been doing well, and what I had been doing not so well with my blog. Essentially all I was doing when I started was writing a diary (not that well formatted), of what I did and when, basically it was all, me, me, me.
I don’t regret doing this, because as I’ve said above I’m so glad I have an account of all I did and saw. However, I learnt how to develop a writing style, and also that I should be providing more value in my content to readers. I now think whenever I post, ‘how can this be useful to people’, and it’s helped my blogging massively. There’s often no better way to learn how to do something, than just throw yourself in and actually learn by doing.
You’ll have lots of great content to use as a springboard for future posts
Following on from above, I still have all of my journal posts from my trip, and if you’re so inclined you can see them all in my blog archives here (they’ll be the ones often just named country names). You’ll see the difference between what I was posting then from my phone on the road, and now. But these accounts are so useful for me to reference and look back on, I can see which parts of my trip I didn’t cover in enough detail. Or which places and experiences I can give some useful insight on. I am currently, and will continue to, post more detailed posts on places I’ve been and travel tips from my experiences, such as my recent post ‘5 of my favourite things to see and do in downtown Vancouver‘
So overall, I hope from this post you’ve gained some tips and advice that will keep you blogging even when the times get tough. It’s SO worth it, and you’ll be so happy you did it. Think of it like learning an instrument, the practice can be a bit dull sometimes, and it takes a lot of hard work to get results, but if you stick at it, you’ll have something great you can be proud of yourself for.
Have you got any tips for keeping motivation to blog whilst travelling? I’d love to hear them below…
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