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Blogging Questionnaire With VickyFlipFlop 2014 vs 2020

Back in 2014 I answered a questionnaire about blogging for… someone. I can’t remember who it was, but, I found my answers in my ‘drafts’ folder on the back end of the blog. I thought it’d be interesting (maybe just for me) to look through what I said back then, over 5 years ago, vs what I’d answer today. 

[And when I say today, I mean March 2nd 2020, before… well… y’know… the end of the world]

Beginners guide to travel blogging

The past five years have been pretty crazy with lots of adventures, a changing travel blogging industry, and movement in my personal life too. Readers from my blog have left me, moving onto life beyond travel, while I’ve gained more who maybe weren’t with me from the start, but have gotten to know me through my consistent posting over the years. 

I thought this would be a good opportunity to introduce myself to them, and to see what’s changed in the last five years. 

Blogging questionnaire with myself 2014 vs 2020

If you want to know the deep depths of how blogging changed from late conception to two years ago, check out my blog post on exactly that. 

Travel blogging for beginners

What do you actually do every day?

December 2014 //

I try to seek out fresh and exciting adventures in new destinations, alongside the stalwart attractions that every tourist likes to visit when they arrive somewhere. When I’m not out and about exploring the world and its festivals I write for my blog, develop my eBooks, write for my various clients, interact on my social media channels, answer emails and pitch ideas to people and companies I’d like to work with.

Israel Or Kaplan

March 2020 // 

I spend most days in my house – my own home that I bought by myself. I used to go out to coffee shops and work, but that got expensive. I should start again though as I do get cabin fever from staying in all day. I try to go to the gym, and swim and do some home yoga. I do worry I’ve become lazy.

I spend my days updating the 900 old blog posts on this site, writing new blog posts, I answer emails and write for my freelance clients. I also make more videos now, and after six years of intense travel I have a lot of videos, photographs and adventures to work through. 

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Travel themed office

Can you describe an average day, in diary form…

December 2014 //

The one thing I can guarantee about being a travel blogger is that no two days are the same! It depends where you are, who you meet, who you’re with, the Wi-Fi connection, your own projects and then those you’re collaborating with other people on. There’s definitely no average day.

March 2020 // 

I wake up at 7:30, when my boyfriend gets up for work. I get up about 8. I’m usually at my computer for 8:30am and will work through whatever needs doing. I try to dedicate a day to a different area of my business – eg. video, new posts or social media. That way I can have more of a focus, rather than flitting between the many different facets.

I may take a long lunch break, and go for a walk or a swim. Ben’s home around 5ish and we will chat, and then I usually work a bit longer while he decompresses from his commute and day. Dinner is around 7, and then we will either spend the evening chilling at home, generally, or I will do some more work. 

blogging questionnaire

Are you connected to work on evenings / weekends too?

December 2014 //

Yes. When you’re a travel blogger there’s no such thing as regular working hours. I might not do any work all day and then keep going well into the night. This suits me perfectly as I can roll with the inspiration and creativity when it arrives, and take some time out when it goes again.

March 2020 // 

Yes, in fact, I’d give the same answer as in 2020 

What was the path to getting to this point in your career?

December 2014 //

It was a long one filled with hard work and the initiative to create my own opportunities and go for them. I always enjoyed writing and studied a Communications and Journalism degree. In the summers I went to work at camp in America on the radio station and met some amazing people who really inspired me to travel.

When I finished university I did camp again and then went to Australia for a few weeks. Again, fuelling my desire to travel. When I got back I studied an NCTJ Magazine Journalism Postgraduate Diploma at Harlow College. I did a few work experience placements along the way and after a lot of interviews around the UK I finally landed a job as a sub editor and writer on a magazine in Manchester when I finished.

Sadly it went under six months later, but this gave me another opportunity to try and get into London with a little more experience under my belt. I got a job as a sub editor and writer again, this time in a customer publishing house.

Two years later I was made redundant in the recession.

I managed to find freelance work on LinkedIn with a train travel company and that led to my boyfriend and I travelling round Europe doing Workaway until the money ran out. When I returned I worked as a freelance sub editor at a few top level magazines but didn’t enjoy it.

The lightbulb moment was when I got a job as a Content Editor at hostelbookers.com – it all started from there. Part of my job was to work on blogger outreach and I got to know all the travel bloggers of the time. I actually set vickyflipfloptravels.com up as a way to practise what I was doing at work.

I loved it. I started to go to networking events in London and met a lot of great travel bloggers who are now my friends.

I was invited to apply for the role of Content and Social Media Manager at gapyear.com, thanks to my work pursuits, the network I’d built up and my budding blog. During the 18 months I worked there my blog grew and so did the freelance and travel opportunities. I decided to take the plunge and go for the freelance way of life.

Alongside both my full time jobs I worked diligently on my blog to build it up, and to cultivate some freelance clients, before deciding to go it alone.

March 2020 // 

Gosh, that is a fantastic succinct answer 2014 Vicky, well done. I need to remember that’s there for if anyone ever asks me. 

So, yeah, that. 

After that I travelled for a few years, as a digital nomad, before deciding it was all too much and coming back to England. I had banked some money that was burning a hole in my pocket, so decided to buy a house on the south coast in Portsmouth. 

Since then I’ve met my boyfriend and made a life here. I still travel a lot, although not so much the past six weeks. I’ve done a lot of press trips lately and so I’m planning more independent adventures over the next few weeks. 

Southsea Promenade

What are the key skills of being a travel blogger?

December 2014 //

Efficiency, writing, communication, PR, technical know how, creativity, organisation, willingness to learn, commercial awareness and an eye for design.

March 2020 // 

I agree with all the above, but I’d also add ‘networking’. I look around and see the bloggers who started when I did but are way more successful, and their skill is in the partnerships they’ve made and taken on. Also, commitment. Having an idea but sticking with it long enough to see it through is also a great attribute. Rather than just flitting from one idea to the next. 

And, video. I feel the bloggers who stand out to me now are the ones who are making relatable, interesting videos, of the places they’re visiting. 


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Do you struggle to “authenticate” yourself to PRs, travel boards etc?

December 2014 //

PRs and travel boards have very different approaches and there is no one way to work together or one attitude. If they’re switched on they’ll want to work with bloggers and if they don’t, they will be in time. You can measure all your statistics using tools like Google Analytics so if it’s stats they want it’s stats they can have!

March 2020 // 

Same. Sometimes I look at who PR companies work with and I wonder what exactly they were going for with that collaboration, but then I’ve suffered massively with imposter syndrome over the last few years too. It can be really hard to have confidence in yourself in this industry when you’re looking at how well your peers are doing, all the time. 

Where have you gone so far… are trips paid for or covered by you?

December 2014 //

I’ve probably said no to 90% of the trips I’m offered. Either they don’t suit or I can’t make it thanks to my own travels. Press trips are actually quite a lot of work; they’re not just a free holiday. You need to make sure you provide value to the host and work with their goals as well. Some companies can expect quite a lot in return so you can’t just go saying yes to anything.

I like to arrange my own travels, where I want to go and the way I like them, and then pitch to get certain parts sponsored with companies of my choice. I might get an activity for free, or some accommodation, in return for exposure on my blog.

March 2020 // 

Absolutely agree with what I’ve said above. In 2014/15 I went on some awesome independent adventures and had a brilliant time. 

In 2017 I went press trip crazy. I was getting offered to go here, there and everywhere, and as I didn’t have a home base, it was basically free food and accommodation in incredible locations. This helped me save for my house, but it didn’t really give me an experience in the country that I would’ve had myself. 

I’m more selective in the press trips I do now, and 90% of the time, I will be paid. It’s just so much work now with all the live social media, the blog posts and photography, and the video. 

Shiga things to do

What parts of the job are most fun?

December 2014 //

Definitely the travelling and writing. I also really enjoy learning about the technical side, to a certain extent!

March 2020 // 

Same! I spend too much time at home now, but it’s hard when you have a house and a boyfriend. I’m not as free as I once was. 

And most boring?

December 2014 //

Sorting out receipts for my accounts and going through emails from people trying to get me to promote their products for free.

March 2020 // 

I actually quite like doing receipts, is that weird? I get so many requests every day from people wanting me to work for free because they’d ‘appreciate it’. It’s honestly ridiculous. As if. 

Emails are definitely the most time consuming, and they’re not as interesting as they once were. I used to open my emails and they’d be full of interesting offers, but now that my standards have risen, and there are approximately 5 billion travel bloggers out there, they’re not so much. 

Shiga bath japan

What are the top perks? 

December 2014 //

For me, as a lifelong bargain hunter, it would be the freebies. I recently went to Saint Lucia for a week, which was incredible, and on my independent travels in Mexico I was invited to try flyboarding. It was one of the best feelings in the world.

March 2020 // 

Freebies? Ha! Nothing is free. 

Even if a trip or offer seems free, the amount of time it takes me to think about it / organise it / do it / write it up / film it / photograph it, means I’ve given more time for the item / experience, than someone who’d paid cash. 

The top perk now is being able to organise my own time. I can’t imagine going out at the same time each day to work, and then coming back when someone says I can. The commute is a killer, and all those office politics. Nuh uh. 

What would be a reasonable salary range to expect for someone entering your field?

What is the long term potential?

December 2014 //

This is very difficult to say. I know travel bloggers earning anything from zero to six figures. It’s incredibly hard to get up there to six figures though. If you’re really determined, don’t let that put you off but it’s good to have a reality check.

The ways that bloggers make money is always changing with current trends. Two years ago bloggers were making thousands selling links but Google banned it. Now bloggers take part in sponsorship deals, speaking engagements, run courses, charge to go on press trips, write eBooks or even bring out product ranges. If you’re really passionate, the sky is the limit. But no one should ever go into travel blogging for the love of money of the freebies; you’d be better off getting a regular job. Working as a travel blogger is definitely for the love of travel and writing and photographing it.

March 2020 // 

Yep, I agree with the above. 

I make more now than I ever did working in London, and more than I could working as a content editor, which is basically what I’d be skilled in. I think this is only because I’ve been doing it for so long though. 

You either need to be reeeeally talented, have some money behind you, or be super unique to really stand out these days. There’s definitely space for new bloggers, but you need to be unique, and I’d totally recommend having a niche too. 

Make travel cheaper

Is there anything else you think someone considering a career as a blogger should know… do you think it’s viable, full-time?

December 2014 //

You need to be really passionate, totally dedicated and willing to invest time and money in your learning and travel exposure before you can expect to make any cash back. Working as a blogger is definitely not just a case of setting up a WordPress and then bringing in advertising and getting invited on amazing trips. It takes hours and hours of graft, learning on the job, and constantly evolving to set up a good blog. And then keeping at it is even harder.


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If you want to be a travel blogger the best advice would be to get started now. Write at least five posts before you even start thinking about domain names and design and you’ll have something to work with when you do. This will also give you an idea of what you like writing about and whether you feel you have the dedication to keep it up.

Study other bloggers, keep writing, keep learning about blogging and then if you make enough money, great. If not, keep blogging alongside another job in your field of interest and see where it takes you. Having a blog can open other doors you might never even know existed.

March 2020 // 

Vicky in December 2014 was bang on!

More advice for blogging 

So She Travels: The Podcast

The VickyFlipFlop Story

The Reality of Travelling for Work

2 comments

  1. Even more relevant these days unfortunately:( Life has moved online and blogs are really soliloquies. A message in a bottle from my isolation to someone else’s:)

    1. Yeah the blogging industry has definitely changed. I feel like there are just so many these days that if you don’t have precise, niche and useful content then you won’t be found. Hard to just write about thoughts now if you want an audience. Seems to be alllll about the SEO really. Different world to 9 years ago!

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UK Solo Travel and Festival Blogger

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