These are the travel blogger secrets I’ll let you in on. Use your knowledge wisely and let me know if you agree at the end…
I’ve been a full time travel blogger for a good 9 months now – and if that amount of time can turn a teeny tiny little sperm into a baby then I think it’s perfectly adequate to put me in a position to let you in on what this job is really like.
Travel blogger secrets
1. Professional travel blogging is really hard work. I’m at my laptop at least 40 hours a week, on average, plus time spent out exploring and doing things. It’s not a stick a blog post up here and there kind of thing. I can’t imagine how many hours someone who has a more popular blog than mine spends glued to their screen.
2. Social media is not as fun as it was when it was just for stalking your friends and random people you know who you actually don’t care about until there’s a deadline looming and then it’s all you care about. If you’re working with brands the pressure of getting the likes is ridiculous.
3. A lot of bloggers don’t actually look like their profile picture and are nothing like their online persona, when you meet them. You might feel a bit sad if you’ve put someone on a pedestal.
4. Most travel bloggers are born with FOMO. And with the more online friends you make and blogs you follow, it will only get worse. FOMO is what keeps us travelling and exploring when all we should really be doing is sleeping.
5. There’ll be days when you wonder what the point is because no one ever reads your stuff anyway, even though it’s pure genius (ha!). Then you’ll get an email through telling you you’ve inspired some kid’s life, or given them the BEST two weeks in Vietnam, and you’ll feel all warm inside.
6. As you tell your readers more and more about your life, you’ll start to feel disturbed about who exactly is reading all this. You’ll tell them about your break up that inspired your travels, and about whether you feel lonely travelling solo, and then in the future you’ll look back on the posts and wonder why you felt the needs to share so much.
7. There are tools to see who unfollows you on every platform and it can be a little upsetting when someone you personally know says adios and slips off into the night. Yeah I’m watching.
8. Some bloggers will slag off places in real life you read that they loved on their blog. You feel you don’t know who to trust anymore.
9. There are so many secret blogger groups on Facebook you wonder how anyone has the time to read through all the balderdash, let alone reply.
10. Your emails become the reason to wake up in the morning. Too exciting.
11. A lot of bloggers are massive introverts who are actually scared of life but go out there and do it anyway to follow their inner compulsion. Inspiration right there.
12. Travel blogging can be lonely and it can be liberating, all in the same minute.
More travel blogger secrets
13. Your life revolves around Wi-Fi. You can tell the strength of character of a travel blogger based on how they cope without it. You might end up going to a cool destination, and then just writing about how to get Wi-Fi there as that’s what’s important to you now.
14. It’s easy to spend a whole day without saying a word when you’re in a blogging mood, particularly when you’re in a different country. All you want to do is blog blog blog.
15. You’ll want to write about everything, but you need to learn that some things didn’t happen to be shared.
16. You’ll meet some of your best friends via Twitter and the best friends you didn’t will find it disturbing. Although as the years of travel blogging have gone on – this was written in 2015 – meeting people online has become even more normal, and is totally accepted. You might even have friends you’ve never actually met in real life but think of them as some of your bestest.
17. You’ll have to justify yourself and your life at every family gathering for the rest of your days. Just go travelling and avoid them all.
18. Your blog will be all the better if you have some sort of sob story.
19. And if you don’t have either an ‘I’m actually an introvert’, ‘How I escaped the office’ or ‘blogger burn out’ story, you’re a no one.
20. Sometimes you’ll feel that nobody but Google cares what you write – it’s the photos they want. ‘A picture paints a thousand words’ / people are too distracted to read your carefully crafted prose and can get the jist from a few headers and carefully placed pics. Reading your bounce rate or time on page for an article you carefully crafted can be upsetting.
21. Love your blog. Hate your blog. Love your blog. Hate your blog. It’s a vicious and destructive cycle. You might be a super successful travel blogger, but you’re so close to it all, even you can’t enjoy it or recognise it.
22. You’ll get trolled. You can laugh or cry. I like to write sarky replies, then screenshot it and Whatsapp it through to my bezza.
23. University and college kids will expect you to help with their dissertations. Some will even put you in a draw to win a £10 Amazon gift voucher if you answer their 50 trillion questions / write their dissertation for them.
24. SEO companies will think they can trick you with the phrasing of their emails into including their links and infographics. Even though you know words, and you love words, and you’ve probably got some sort of qualification in how words work, they still try with all the skill and grace of a drunken ninja.
25. Some companies expect you to work for free, even though you know they make millions. Make sure you know what a travel blogger gets paid, so you know how much you can expect to ask for.
26. “Sharing your post across social media channels” seems to have become an acceptable form of payment for some businesses. You’ll have to fight the urge to point out how they’d feel with a Facebook post as payment on the last day of every month.
27. There’ll be times you need to scrape the barrel to earn a dollar / rupee / pound, but in that desperation, a gem of an idea will grow. Or you’ll just have to stick the scuba diving on the credit card and think about it later. Yep, definitely been there.
28. You’ll feel like all the other travel bloggers know each other and hang out without you. And they probably do. Some say the travel blogging world is cliquey, but often these successful travel bloggers haven’t seen their friends for years and they just want to chat.
29. No one but another blogger quite understands what it is you do. Use the opportunity to make stuff up.
30. You’ll experience more in a year than many people do in a lifetime. I look back and genuinely can’t believe some of the amazing life experiences I’ve had thanks to blogging. #blessed
31. You’ll get to be creative, do what you want, work when you want, try things out, research stuff, follow your latest passion, work from where you want and justify drinking coffee in over priced hipster bars by thinking of it as ground rent for an office.
32. Being your own boss is fucking awesome.