Well, these thoughts have been going around in my head for some time now. I’ve finally decided to write it out for many reasons. First, I’m completing 4 months in the vast ocean of travel blogging this month and have survived so far! It actually makes me happy – happy for following my dream of traveling more and writing about it; Happy for sharing the stories with fellow bloggers and people out there, who have just started following me in small numbers. (I’m extremely thankful to you readers!)
Secondly, the thoughts have become bottled up. So, I’ve made up my mind to vent out by writing, because writing is a stress buster for me. Thirdly, being an introvert, I’m not very comfortable in sharing my thoughts or whatever goes on in my little head. So, to ease it a bit, I’m writing this to connect with many travel bloggers, especially the new ones in the town like me. I’ve seen many of them doing really well and these bloggers inspire me to dream big and continue to instill hope in me!
I’m not sure about what I need to confess and what I shouldn’t. But, I’m just being honest here. So, here I reveal to you the confessions of a newbie travel blogger.
1. 24 Hours in a day seem to be too less
Travel Blogging is a LOT of Hard work. I know you all already know this. Well, the reason I’m writing is I’ve realized the fact that travel blogging requires a lot of work. I’d read about how much one has to work on building a blog which is not only very good but sustains over the years. I’ve heard it from the top travel bloggers about working for long hours and whoa! how true are their words!
I wake up wishing to be determined, to make the most out of the 24 hours we all get – trying to squeeze all work down my throat – writing blog, working, networking, learning the process, trying to get hold of the things which goes out of my hands. Well, I could go on and on. But, these days it has become a habit to secretly wish for more than 24 hours. I’m in the process of trying to find a balance to accommodate all the things which matter to me and hope to figure out a way soon.
2. Writing a post and writing an amazing content are both different
I’ve learnt that the thumb rule of building a good blog is to keep writing regularly, although the frequency varies from blogger to blogger.But what I’ve also learnt most importantly is the content of the post is what sets apart one post from the other. So, writing and writing engaging content are not the same.I’ve posts which brought in a high amount of traffic to my site and I’ve posts which didn’t do that well.
Of all the other factors which decide the success of a post is ultimately how well you’ve written.So, rather than shooting out low quality of content too frequently, it is worth writing a post which most people love to read.
*Lesson learnt – content will always be the queen (or king!)*
3. Constant comparison with other travel bloggers is very bad
I used to read the work of many top travel bloggers consistently, even before starting mine for the fact that I love traveling. I still continue to read their posts without missing now (In fact, I read others work more than before), but having stepped onto the same path as theirs, I sometimes get intimidated by their success. The fear of falling off creeps in sometimes and despite trying my best to remain sane, I tend to get lost in the comparison which happens in my mind.
My saner self knows that it’s silly, stupid and impractical to draw a comparison between a baby just born and a genius 6-year-old – but the irrational part of my brain supersedes the wiser one and I feel let down by my progress as a blogger. I end up few days going to bed how much I suck at all this and I’d almost reached the verge of quitting one night because I felt totally worthless. Then I just shut my laptop and slept, to wake up the next morning a little better.
I’ve made peace with myself now. I’ve accepted that the only comparison which I need to make is with myself and each day I need to get clear on what I want to achieve and not succumb to how popular or how well the others are performing.
*Lesson learnt – Reading others blog and looking up to extremely good travel bloggers is meant only for more inspiration and not to compare or degrade me. I need to learn from their lessons, derive hope from them and pick up their skills and not sleep with dissatisfaction*
4. Disappointments are regular on the day of a newbie travel blogger
Disappoints are a part of life. No, wait, I’m not trying to sound philosophical here. We don’t always get what we want instantly or sometimes we may not get at all. The disappointments might vary from person to person on what she/he wants. It is mostly a downhill journey in the beginning days of a blogger. Now, I’m not generalizing anything here and you are free to disagree. What I mean is, as a newbie travel blogger, we do not get the results we usually aspire instantly at least.
There are a few exceptional people to this – who are more skillful or lucky. Being a regular girl who started blogging, I’ve felt depressed a few times already. I was disheartened last week when I just got a surprising last-minute invite for a FAM trip. I’d turn down the offer for the lack of leaves.This would’ve been my first FAM trip. It is not every day that a FAM trip comes knocking at your door (for a newbie blogger).
I feel disappointed when I receive the mail from Google Analytics on few days, which highlights the drop in my blog’s traffic. It almost drives me to tears. I feel less motivated when my posts don’t perform as I expect. I feel low when things don’t turn out well on social media.
*Lesson learnt – What is it then which makes me hang on? Accepting that some things happen the way they are supposed to happen and I don’t have control over all the things in life*
5. Networking and connecting matters a lot – But it’s easier said than done
As anyone into blogging would know that connecting with other bloggers is an indispensable aspect of blogging. While it is easier for the top bloggers to be visible and have more loyal followers in large numbers, getting there is an arduous journey for us newbies. Because, it is not just one job – to be active on the social media platforms, to make time to read and comment meaningfully on other blogs, to respond to emails and questions, to plan your travel AND write a good post regularly. It definitely feels overwhelming to me at times and I’m still struggling to get the hang of it.
Plus, these tasks tend to become more difficult for an introvert (like me). I feel awkward to start a small conversation, even online (which I’m slowly overcoming). People will most certainly not like your page/posts or follow on twitter or comment all the time – which leaves you devastated at times.
6. Sleepless nights and bad days can get absolutely frustrating sometimes
On some days, I feel as if all my efforts are going down the drain when I glance at the report of my blog. I’m unclear and direction-less sometimes, about the future. I wake up panicking at midnight when I think of my under performing blog and suddenly feel the instant urge to give up. I feel annoyed and frustrated when people around me remain careless or indifferent to what I write.
7. Blogging while on the road is a totally different story
I’ve now realized that writing while traveling is not an easy task. I’m not saying its impossible but is surely difficult. The need to keep updating your blog and notify your readers by being online, the struggle to find a working internet connection is a tough job. Obviously, my pet peeve is now slow internet connection!
8. Purpose defines your journey as a travel blogger
Most of the travel bloggers have succeeded and are among the best because of one single thing. They’re doing what they love the most – constantly. They have a vision about their blog as well as most things related to travel blogging, which is what has led them to be a professional travel blogger in all aspects. So, I’ve learnt that I need to find my purpose of my journey which I’ve taken up. I’m almost clear on this one now and I’m glad.
9. Travel Blogging is itself a great teacher
I’ve learnt so many things which I wouldn’t most certainly have learnt, if not for travel blogging. It has given a huge blow to my ego, expanded my horizon of viewing things in life. It always keeps me grounded and being a blogger, I’ve met some beautiful people and engaged in real conversations. I’ve witnessed people defying all odds to fulfill their dream. Travel blogging has made me humble but more confident and opened up opportunities which wouldn’t have otherwise been possible.
10. Patience and Perseverance are the biggest lessons by this teacher
The two biggest lessons taught by travel blogging are patience and perseverance. I’m basically a very impatient person and it has been extremely tough to remain patient when things are not going the way I’d expect. But I’m getting better at it. I’m more accepting now, both of people and the results of the efforts. I’m learning to be calm in times of distress.
So, is it the only side of travel blogging? what am I going to do?
No, the journey of becoming a travel blogger is neither filled with thorns nor is it a bed of roses. It’s a good mix of both. And, success is a relative term in travel blogging.
I’m pursuing my dreams and working very hard on turning them into reality, slowly. I’m following my passion and listening to my heart. I’m doing what I love the most. There are many hurdles in my way. But, I still need to keep doing things to finally see the results, as good things don’t happen overnight!
What’s YOUR take on this? How’s your journey of being a travel blogger been? Do you agree or disagree with me? I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts. Comment right away!
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