Some of my hard-learned observations and advice as a newbie travel blogger.
Here are some random musings about being a travel blogger and some even more advice you can use to get started and save time.
1. Don't listen to the naysayers that say you can't be successful travel blogging. Actually, don't listen to negative people about anything, ever. They will never have the answers, unless the answer is no. Negative people are Dementors.
2. You don't have do what everyone else does. Why not? Because you’re not everyone else.
3. You don’t have to use Wordpress to blog. So, don't. It sucks. Use Jimdo instead.
4. It's never too early to monetize. I started immediately and if I can do it, then anyone can. Really.
5. Affiliate marketing can be your friend if you choose companies and products targets toward your audience and your niche.
6. I'm sure all the courses and books out there are fantastic, but (shh!) I never read or took one! (I also learned the hard way.)
7. Grammar and spelling count. Always. You what doesn't count? Word count does not count. (Hah.) Dwell time counts.
8. Take advantage of the perks of travel blogging such as free food, hotels, activities, products and services. You'll end up putting in the work and providing a service equal to the value you receive so it's a win-win for all.
9. It's great to be your own boss, but it sucks to be the only employee. Develop a plan or schedule you can live with to manage your workload. And don't forget to take breaks and do some digital detoxes every now and then.
10. Expect to spend several hours a day doing the endless rounds on social media. Or, get social media helpers like Buffer, Crowdfire and Commun.it. They can help save time by scheduling updates for you and generating follow and unfollow reports.
11. Be prepared for people you follow to either not follow you back or follow you and then unfollow you. Like Dita Von Teese said, “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”
12. You won't be earning the bigtime travel blogger salaries like those 5-10k a month guys. Maybe you will later, who knows. I don't know you. Set a monthly goal of what you want to earn each month and work towards your goal. It's a lot of hard work. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll scream, and sometimes all at the same time. But you got to put in the work to reap the rewards.
13. Learn how the internet works. Really. I didn't know anything when I started and I still feel like I learn something new every day.
14. When your numbers get higher, people will come out of the woodwork with pitches for content, sponsored posts, links, ads, and other random things. Use discretion when choosing who to do business with. People. Be. Shady.
15. These people will also try to pitch you the lowest prices you've ever heard of, but you don't have to take them. You can negotiate. Or you can just say no. Set your own value and determine your own worth. Remember, you're the boss.
16. Don't get lost in your inbox. Write a few templates you can answer emails with to save time. Saving time is awesome.
17. Join all social media if you're not on it already. I literally wasn't on a single thing when I first started, and had to start all my accounts from scratch, making mistake after mistake along the way, too. Like the time I got kicked off Stumbleupon for not stumbling well enough, or the time Twitter decided to completely zero out my entire following. Goodtimes.
18. Use your Facebook profile to network. But, at the same time, take it with a grain of salt, because most poeple are using Facebook for actual fun, not work. Seriously, I don't want to see your kid photos, I don't want to play farmville, and don't poke me. Do I look like the Pillsbury Doughboy? Nevermind, don't answer that.
19. Join groups on Facebook to connect and share blog posts. This is pretty much how travel bloggers help each other, communicate, advertise collaborative posts and travel or work opportunities, etc. They're a pretty supportive bunch! Make friends!
20. Find your niche and get all the way up in there. I'm pretty niched out myself - being a female solo fulltime traveler, a housesitter, a vegan, a minimalist, and travel blogger. Hell if there's another one of those out there, get in touch because we should be friends, you unique snowflake you!