How to Overcome the Self Doubt That Will Ruin Your Travel Blogging

Like any pursuit in life there’ll be hurdles to jump in travel blogging that have the potential to throw you off kilter. The biggest one of these is usually self doubt.

My self doubts

Self-doubt is an absolute killer of all creativity and talent. When no one reads your work, interacts with your social media statuses or remembers little old you when events come around it can be very hard to keep the faith.

Self doubt in travel blogging

I can be full of self-doubt, but I’ve definitely come a long way in overcoming it. When you’re a travel blogger there’s no one to ask ‘Is this right?’ or to constantly tell you you’re doing a good job – especially when you’re starting out and you’re full of questions.

When I clicked ‘publish’ on the first few Travel Blogger High posts I felt a bit sick and my heart was racing because I knew so many of you were reading. The few email unsubscribes that have come through push the level of self doubt even higher, but when I focus on the 100s who stay and the positive comments I’ve had along the way I know that I’ve done a good thing.

Travel blogging confidence

If you’re anything like me that self-doubt creeps in before any meeting, before an event, even before emailing another blogger I don’t know very well. I’m often convinced the person at the receiving end won’t remember who I am, even though we may have spent an hour chatting in the past.

Thinking that a PR must’ve contacted the wrong person when a press trip offer comes through, worrying that no one will talk to me at events or that no one will respond to my question in a Facebook group are just a few example of the other pointless self doubts I have in travel blogging.

“Comparison is the thief of joy”

So said Mark Twain. When you envy other travel bloggers’ press trip selfies, #awesomeeventname social media updates or millions of followers you are only going to damage your confidence. When your confidence is low that self doubt is sure to creep in and sabotage being proud of how far you’ve come. Instead of looking at their updates, have a flick back through your Google Analytics, your Facebook page or your latest posts to admire your progress instead of theirs.

Doubt in travel blogging

Of course you need to keep up with other bloggers, they’re fun. But if dark thoughts start entering your brain you need to stop. There was this one blogger I followed who I started to compare myself too. She’d done so well in such a short amount of time, it was actually making me feel a bit shit. I realised how I felt after reading one of her updates so just deleted my follow. It worked! There are loads of amazing and successful bloggers I follow but she just got to me for some reason.

I never really realised how bad I was at measuring success by comparing it to others until I learnt to surf in Mexico. My instructor Luis kept telling me I was doing really well, but as a solo lesson all I wanted to know was how well I was doing compared to past students rather than focusing on the fact I could stand up and ride the wave quite quickly. I realised that was a really weird attitude and vowed to stop comparing in all areas of my life.

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

I’ve thought of a few examples where I doubted what I was doing, thanks to things other people have said, but then gone ahead anyway. Each one has turned out for the better. Banish the self doubt! 

confidence in travel blogging

Someone told me I shouldn’t do travel videos, so I didn’t. I wasn’t feeling very confident before and after that I didn’t bother for two years. Then, when I was in Saint Lucia the idea was in the back of my mind. On that trip I read the Sheryl Sandenberg (Facebook bigshot) book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. One of the biggest takeaways I got from that was her question ‘What would you do if you weren’t afraid’. And in that moment it was to make a video. So I got up and did a review of the St James’s Club Resort where I was staying. Two days later it was on YouTube, I had a lot of compliments and so far it’s had over 2000 views. Admittedly it makes me cringe now but I had fun doing it and this year I hope to bring out more videos from my travels. If I hadn’t listened to that person I could’ve had fun making even more on my travels, and be a pro by now.

Another blogger said you should never write for other travel bloggers on their blog. It sowed the seeds of doubt for me to write the Travel Blogger High series and yet, 5 posts into Travel Blogger High and I see a post on how to be a travel blogger on their blog! Further evidence that you should take what other people say about your craft with a pinch of salt, and just do what feels right.

At travel blogger conferences you hear other blogger snuffing press trips, often in a condescending way. You shouldn’t take press trips, you should travel independently, ra ra ra. And then you’ll see them gallivanting round the world at some PRs expense a few weeks later. If I hadn’t have gone on press trips I wouldn’t have seen Cape Town, Saint Lucia or any of the other incredible destinations I’ve been privileged to be invited to.

self doubt in travel blogging

I’ve also heard travel bloggers declare you shouldn’t do sponsored posts only to see the same company post miraculously appear on their blog too. If I didn’t do the occasional one I wouldn’t be able to afford to travel and write all this free content for everyone.

Someone told me I shouldn’t give all my learnings and secrets away in this series when I told them about it. But for personal satisfaction, as much as yours, I’ve really enjoyed it and judging by the amount of views and subscribers the series has had, so have you.

Be yourself

self doubt in travel blogging

This is why I can’t stress enough that you have to do what feels right for you as a travel blogger. Do not compare yourself to anyone – especially anyone who’s been around longer, has more time to blog or who’s travelled more than you – as long as you’re proud of what you’ve achieved that’s what matters.

You can’t please everyone and if they don’t like you, that’s fine, maybe they will in the future. All you need is to like yourself.

5 ways to overcome the self-doubt

1. Remind yourself you’re awesome. Sometimes people I know will take the piss out of things I write or how I write them. I smile and just remind myself they don’t have the guts to put themselves out there like that – to be open to the world and all the emotions and experiences in it. And, they’re not following their ultimate passion so if mocking me cheers them up, great. Another service the blog provides!

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2. Work to your own measure of success. Don’t let anyone get to you, or make you feel you’re not good enough or talented enough to blog if that’s what you want to do. You only need to work to your measurements of success no one else’s. I talked about this more in How to Be a Successful Travel Blogger. Set out what’s important to you and focus on that as your goal.

3. Wait till just before you’re ready. I’ve had a few bloggers write to me saying they’re too nervous to show their friends and family their blog. Well don’t. They don’t have to know everything about you. It’s a shame because they could be your biggest advocates but if you don’t feel comfortable then there’s no need to rush anything. There’s no such thing as perfect though so there’s no point waiting around for that either.

Self doubt in travel blogging

4. Abolish the ‘should’. I try really hard not to use this word as I don’t think you ‘should’ do anything particular in travel blogging. It’s up to you to take the movement and interpret it how you want. I find all sentences with ‘should’ in create a negative feeling and usually align with someone else’s morals and ideas. Notice how in the examples above all the people were shoving their ‘shoulds’ on me.

Travel blogging confidence

5. Follow your intuition. Do what you feel comfortable with. It’s good to listen to others but when it comes to doing I’ve learnt over the last three years the best idea is to listen to yourself and do what you think and what you feel is right.


top UK travel bloggers


 

“Keep your head up, keep your heart strong”

Love that lyric from Ben Howard.

Any sort of creative endeavour takes guts. It’s hard to put yourself out there, revealing your feelings and thoughts so freely for anyone who follows you to read, or even any randomer who happens to type your keywords in Google. Like artists, poets, creative writers and musicians, bloggers will generally put everything they have into their work. It becomes your baby. If you can keep your confidence in it, and in you, and not waste any time or energy on doubting yourself or comparing yourself to others you’ll find you have a lot more to spend on your blog.

Stay strong in your belief in yourself and keep going with what you think is right based on your knowledge, experience and intuition.

VickyFlipFlopTravels

travel blogging confidence

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17 Comments

  1. by Lisa on April 6, 2015  4:32 pm Reply

    Bravo Vicky! Such an inspiring post - I even screenshotted parts and sent them to my friends (travel bloggers or otherwise). So glad you didn't give in to that self-doubt. Your content is on point and I really respect what you do.

  2. by Cathy on April 6, 2015  5:59 pm Reply

    Thank you for sharing all the encouragement with us! I've found the blogging community to be a supportive group which is really nice for a new blogger! I emailed this blog to myself with the subject- Read often!
    Roar!

  3. by Cathy (MummyTravels) on April 7, 2015  1:34 pm Reply

    Such a great post - and some bits are exactly as if you're reading my mind! I have to remind myself not to compare myself to 'strangers on the internet' (or even friends via the internet). Who knows what the reality is behind the blog posts after all. Being happy with my own accomplishments rather than wasting time wishing for someone else's life is definitely the way to go. And I love your videos :)

  4. by Alexandria on April 7, 2015  6:05 pm Reply

    I think this is definitely something everyone struggles with. Sometimes it's hard to gauge if readers will find your post as interesting as you do. I think all the points you made are spot on. As far as comparison, I think that can be the biggest struggle for every blogger. It's easy to take our own site or work for granted, but glorify others. This was a really insightful.

  5. by Traveolani on April 8, 2015  3:18 am Reply

    Great post, Vicki! I love the "Travel Blogger High" series and I enjoy your other posts so much :). I am exactly one of these blogger who are not yet ready to show their blog to friends :(.

  6. by Elizabeth @ Awesome Wave on April 8, 2015  10:26 am Reply

    Yes, yes and yes!

    I struggle with comparison so much, I've blogging for yonks and still find pangs of envy when a newbie blogger gets super successful really quickly.

    I have to remove myself from it and just focus on myself and my own journey.

    We all find a way in our time.

    Great post, lovely!
    x

  7. by pragati on April 8, 2015  12:16 pm Reply

    OMG, Vicky, I am speechless..I have had a crappy day and this is just what I need to give me a leg up.

    I am amazed at how the words just flow in what you write. they flow for me too, in my head, but not everything comes out on paper. Maybe self doubt stops it from coming out?

    I know what you mean about how someone can just 'get' to you.. I guess we are all just human..

    Thanks for sharing this :)

  8. by Neily @ Cherie City on April 8, 2015  12:32 pm Reply

    I love it that you've quoted Carrie Bradshaw! Comparisons and following other bloggers' advice to the letter doesn't always help. Easier said than done, but we should have more faith in our own convictions and do things our way :-)

  9. by Jp on April 8, 2015  6:35 pm Reply

    What a great post. A reminder of the attitude we should all take. Thanks.

  10. by Catherine on April 9, 2015  3:47 pm Reply

    THIS. I love this post! I'm awful for comparing myself, and like you there's one particular blogger who's gotten really successful really quickly that just gets to me. Every time I see an update I feel bad about myself. I should probably do what you did and just unfollow! I really do need to remind myself of how far I've come, and how what started out as a 'blog to post random shit about uni and procrastinating' has turned into something so much bigger.

    And I love your Youtube vids, they made me feel more confident about creating my own!

    C x | Lux Life

  11. by Graham Franklin on April 9, 2015  11:51 pm Reply

    Hi Vicky
    Google analytic's and Facebook page stats, I've just checked mine, plus Twitter! I should get a life lol Things seem to be going up again and I'm heading to Bangkok next Wednesday 15th April, proper travel blogging at last. I have been using my 5 years of back catalogue of trips, is that cheating?

  12. by Taylor Hearts Travel on April 10, 2015  7:57 pm Reply

    Sometimes easier said than done, but you're so right. Thanks for the reminder!

  13. by Lahaina on March 11, 2016  7:41 pm Reply

    Very timely for me to find this post! I was searching for ideas on how to choose / create a blog name (since I am yet again in that my-blog-name-needs-to-change mood) and saw your post about it. I browsed a little more and saw this. Thank you for being so open and real :)

    • by Vicky on March 12, 2016  2:42 pm Reply

      Ah no worries, I'm happy to have helped you in times of need! Just let me know if you have any questions or anything :)

  14. by Natasha on April 5, 2016  2:06 pm Reply

    Great post , love the quotes , everyone is never gonna get everything, yes you get disappointed when you don't get a trip you really really wanted but it just opens the door for something else just as good if not better ....

    • by Vicky on April 9, 2016  4:19 pm Reply

      Thanks Natasha. Yeah, I agree. Think you just need to have faith in the world and yourself that it wasn't quite right for you in that point in time but in the future something better for you will come up.

  15. by Rissa on July 26, 2017  3:14 am Reply

    I guess this would be an appropriate post to finally comment on. :) I've just started a travel blog and discovered yours through your social media tips post. You genuinely have the most helpful perspective and insights that I have found so far! Thanks for writing.

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