By Lauren | August 24, 2015 | 0 Comment
In January 2015 I took hold of my travel blog and decided to go full force with it. I had my blog since 2009 but I hadn’t really put much time and effort into it. I would write on my blog (pretty terribly to be honest) about my summers I was spending as an ESL Camp Counsellor in Spain because with limited internet, and a lack of technology, it was too hard to send every family member an update of where I was and what I was doing. Other than those summers, my blog would sit there untouched until the following summer.
In March 2014 I started this blog, I was writing sometimes two times a week and although I loved the traction I was getting, I quickly got sick of writing about marketing and social media. I mean, I work in it, it’s something that comes easy to me to write about, but it was just not giving me the happiness that I knew travel writing would and did. So in November of 2014, on my trip to Southeast Asia I picked up my travel blog again. I started to focus on the details—actually writing down the places I ate, visited, how much things costed, how places made me feel, what I liked, what I didn’t like, and before I knew it people were actually reading my blog, and not just my family and friends.
When I came back from that trip I made it my New Year’s Resolution… but not like the ones you make and by the end of the year can’t even remember what it was—one that I would actually stick too. I revamped my website, and started focusing on putting out content twice a week. I attended conferences, focused on my social media, building connections and voila, now I’m here. In the last 6ish months I’ve learned a lot about travel blogging that has transferred forward into a lot of my writing and work. Here are just some of the lessons I’ve learned:
If you want to grow as a blogger and writer you are going to have to network like crazy. Your best friends will become other bloggers, and there’s a lot out there to learn from.
Don’t be afraid to try new things with your writing. If it doesn’t work, then don’t do it again, but at least you’ll know you tried. I’ve learned a lot about trying different forms of writing that I thought I’d never be able to do—some worked, and some didn’t, but in the end I’ve improved my writing and learned from it.
I’ve attended a few blogging conferences this year where pro bloggers told their “secrets” of the trade, and what I’ve realized is that although their secrets brought them to success, they may not work for everyone. Don’t be afraid to build your own path!
I love travel blogging because we’re all like one big family. We don’t look at each other as competitors, and we all are eager to learn from one another, and bounce ideas off one another.
Big bloggers may talk about how you need thousands of followers and readers to get anywhere with blogging and to start making money, and although that is true, small numbers shouldn’t be stopping you. There are ways to make money (although not a full income) through blogging whether you have 500 followers to 10,000 followers, you just need to build your brand, and create great content.
As a blogger you become a personality, and a brand. You’ll realize either people will know you by your name or face, but not your blog name, or vice versa – it really depends on how you market yourself. Realize you are a brand and advertise yourself as a brand, that’s when you will begin to be taken more seriously.
Overall my last 6 months have been a whirlwind. I’ve realized that if you want something bad enough, work your ass off to get it, eventually you’ll see results. It may take baby steps to get there but even when you feel like quitting, if you see your end result, you’ll be able to push through. Travel blogging has taught me a lot about myself and what I want out of life in only 6 months and I can’t wait to see what else it has to teach me.