A Blog About Blogging: Life as a Travel Blogger
I’m Megan, and I’m an addict.
We’ve been in Florida for 5 weeks now, and I can pretty safely say that we’re finally settled in. Mike found work pretty quickly at the Lighthouse Restaurant, and I have been focusing my full time efforts on my travel blog – thanks for reading! (I can’t get one of those “paying jobs” for the next 3 months until my US permanent residency processes.)
Having made the transition from a private to public blog only two months ago, I’ve been quite surprised with the reality of being a full time blogger, and just how much work goes into maintaining and working towards establishing a successful blog.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m having an absolute blast discovering the different facets of being a blogger, however it really is a full time task – even more than – and some have said I have become addicted to blogging.
They saying goes that when you’re traveling you’re not blogging, and when you’re blogging you’re not traveling (anyone who says otherwise is generally lying to you!!) For the last three weeks I’ve spent roughly 12 hours per day, 5 days a week in front of the computer. (I need to give myself 2 days to explore Florida!) I’ve spent hours teaching myself about social media strategy, coding, fixing coding, fine tuning my writing skills, brain storming topics, editing photos and video blogs, reading other travel blogs, and networking within the industry. And then there’s the creating content part!!
I didn’t know how to use twitter until a month ago, however there have been days where I’ve sat on twitter for 8 hours straight, building an audience, making sure people know my name, networking, and trying to establish a strong following. In two weeks I’ve managed to convince 400+ people to follow me which I’m really excited about!!
A month ago I was only on Facebook. Now you can also find me on Twitter,YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr and Google +. I know a few people are raising their eyebrows and shaking their heads at my long term goal to make this a career, but I guarantee I will prove you wrong (you heard it here first!). What I’ve found amusing is that I’m hearing so much about how much of a pity it is that I can’t use my law degree in America. Which it is, but I also have a Journalism degree. And honestly, it’s not really a pity – if you had the opportunity to be a lawyer or a travel journalist which would you choose? (The correct answer by the way is the latter!)
That being said I have been overwhelmed by the amount of support from a lot of friends and family, and am so incredibly appreciative to those who have been giving me so much valuable advice.
It’s not an easy task establishing a successful blog, but I’m loving every second of it. I’m completely dedicated to making this a long term travel blog which hopefully 3 years down the road can support itself. I may dream big, but you have to dream big to be big!
Obviously it’s a lot of work at the moment – as with any project – because I’m just getting started, but I’m getting a great sense of accomplishment out of the work that I’m putting in. It’s hugely exciting that two months ago I was writing pretty much for mum and dad, and now I have people from all over the world leaving comments.
I also feel like I’ve made some pretty amazing friends. You would think I would be lonely, stuck in the house each day in a completely new country where I know no one (and where everyone in my gated community is 85 years or older!), but I’ve been getting to know some amazing travel bloggers who are at the same stage in life as me, and trying to achieve the same things. Even though we’re “online friends” I still feel like I’m now part of a very close knit community of people.
So, wanting to know if I was alone in my recent addiction to the blog, I posed the question to other travel bloggers, some just starting out like me, and others more established with quite a large following.
We highly recommend Sharon Gourlay’s “How to Make Money From Blogging” – She details strategies for monetization and the exact methods she uses to make an annual $150,000 income.
“How much of your time do you spend traveling as opposed to working on your blog?”
Nicole and Michael from Suitcase Stories
“I was completely aware that once I started a blog it was going to take over my life! However, I am a traveler first and a blogger second and I will always put the travel first. How can I be a good blogger if I don’t have any good stories to tell because all I did was sit in front of a computer screen?
So I have two schedules for blogging. I have one schedule for when I am house-sitting (which means I am not out every day sightseeing) and the other schedule is for when we are between sits and we utilize that time to fit in a lot of sightseeing. My house sitting schedule is 12 – 16 hours per day working on the blog. I take one day a week ‘off’ to go out somewhere. My ‘on the road’ schedule is 4 – 5 hours a day, usually at night after we have finished exploring wherever we are. I was a business owner before I became a digital nomad so I’m used to long hours!”
Erin from “The World Wanderer”
“At the moment, I’ve been spending more time working on my blog, and less time traveling, as I’m saving up for the next few trips. Then, while I am traveling, I tend to spend less time on the blog, as I am busy enjoying the destination. I guess in the end, it all balances out!”
Hannah & Adam from “Getting Stamped”
“Well we leave for our Round The World trip in 63 days so we haven’t started traveling yet. We are, however, working 50+ hour work weeks AND doing website work of probably 20-30 hours each every week! We hope to only spend 15 hours each on the website once we are on the road.”
Shaun and Erica from “Over Yonderlust Travel Blog”
“We try and only spend a couple of hours a day on it – usually in the morning. That leaves our afternoons free for traveling and some pretty awesome adventures!”
Amy from Everything-Everywhere
(Amy is the General and Community Manager for Everything Everywhere and blogger at Everything-Everywhere Family Travel)
“The majority of my time, I’m at home. My husband is a pilot so he travels a lot, so I am homeschooling and taking care of my two children (4 and 6) and working on the business side of Everything-Everywhere. It is a large blog, so it takes quite a bit of time monthly to run smoothly.
I usually write in spurts. I will spend a few hours in a block writing and take care of two weeks or a month of content at a time. Having it queued up helps me to have flexibility to do the other things that need to be done without worry. It also allows me to add additional things that pop up in my mind a couple of days after I’ve written the post.
Most of the time I have a trip a month. They varies in length from 3 days to a week. In that week, we travel as a family. But because I’m traveling with my kids I can only do minimal work. I can pretty much only carry the business side of things and keep up with email. If I travel too much, I get behind and it makes catching up unpleasant. Also, because we don’t have a “nomadic lifestyle” I catch a lot of flak from my husband and children if I spend too long on the laptop trying to catch up on email during business hours. Having a mifi device has helped, so I can catch up on things in the car – but sometimes that is problematic.
Even getting in minimal travel can be hard at sometimes of the year. Right now, it is spring! I want to get out and explore! But it is also baseball season, so I am spending time at home while my kids play sports and working to organize the summer business side of the blog. Averaged out, I definitely spend more time working on the blog and blog activities than I do traveling.”
Jack & Jill from “Jack and Jill Travel the World”
“Traveling will always be our first priority. I usually write on our off days (off days = rest days, errand days, non activity days), do social media while waiting for buses/food to come, etc. So I guess an hour or two during travel days and up to 4 on off days!”
Charli from “Wanderlusters”
“Our website Wanderlusters went live a few days before NYE 2012 and the past four months have pasted by in a bit of a blur. We had no idea just how much time you can spend ‘blogging’. It’s very easy to get lost in what you’re doing whether it be coding, editing photographs or writing articles, and don’t get me started on social media! I had no idea how to tweet before mid January this year! Blogging is a serious undertaking and to make it a success you need to dedicate countless hours to sitting in front of your laptop, writing, networking, reading other blogs and sharing your content.
We’ve only just scratched the surface in the last four months and have a lot of hard graft to come.”
Ashley from “Traveling Ashley”
“Even though I leave for a month long trip in two weeks, I have found that the blog is a lot of work. Planning for trips is also part of my blog so I have to make sure that I keep a written account of all the sites I used and how I formulated my travel plans so I can write about it. Also, when I’m traveling I try to make sure that I keep track of all the places I ate, things I did and tips I find out in each country so I can write about it when I get home. I definitely spend more time working on the blog than I do traveling because the blog encompasses so much more than the actual trip.”
Karisa from “My Hot Pink Passport”
“Because I live in Thailand I spend at least one day per week “traveling” in Thailand, visiting temples, museums and neighborhoods in Bangkok. During Thai public holidays or long weekends I’m able to get out of Bangkok and visit islands and other cities. About every 3 months I’m able to leave Thailand and travel to another country in Southeast Asia. I’m actually on my way to Laos right now! (And I’m VERY excited!)
During a regular work week I work on my blog for at least 1 hour after work and keep up with social media during my break hours. I have a 40 hour a week teaching job, currently, but my location (Thailand) makes every day feel like an adventure.”
Agness and Cez from “eTramping”
“We blog from time to time when we feel like blogging, maybe 2-3 hours a day, but it’s hard to say really. We work full-time in China, so we can blog only part-time. There is no pressure with time, we blog whenever we feel like doing so. Right now, we travel a lot, every weekend (short trips) and every two weeks (longer journeys). When we are on the road, we don’t spend that much time blogging as we want to enjoy sightseeing and interacting with people.”
Meagan from “Life Outside of Texas”
“This year, on top of living in Korea, I have at least 1 international trip planned each month! I spend so much of my time on adventures that I haven’t been able to blog about it all! I try to dedicate time during the week to my blog, but sometimes it’s hard to balance “work” and play!”
Jess from “A Passion and a Passport”
“As a very rough estimate, I spend about 1-2 hours daily (at the very very least) working on my blog (writing posts, editing photos, engaging in social media, making layout changes, etc). Unfortunately, I only travel a few weeks out of the year. Of course I wish I could travel more, but at this point in my career, it is just not possible EXTREME WANDERLUST though! As a new blogger, I am currently writing content about past trips and experiences. Hope to get up to date soon! Writing about the Greek Islands next!”
Justin from True Nomads
“In my case it has been hard to balance the two, because I am always traveling. I always stop to work when and wherever I run out of money, and this gives me a chance to catch up and scheduled post ahead for the next trip, so I don’t have to worry.”
Are you a travel blogger? How much time do you spend blogging as opposed to traveling?