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Six Things We Learned After Six Months of Blogging

Ever think about starting a blog? These days, it seems like everyone’s got one. But just how difficult is it to create and manage a successful blog? Well, it takes a lot more than just sitting around in your PJ’s writing down whatever comes to mind. Blogging creates a lot of challenges. Some of which we anticipated and some of which we didn’t. But we can say that blogging for the past six months has been an amazingly fun experience. Not easy by any stretch of the imagination, but rewarding nonetheless. For any would-be bloggers out there, or anyone interested in the process, here’s a few things we’ve learned along the way:

 

1)   It’s A LOT of work

 If you read any article out there explaining how to start a blog, the author will most likely give warning about how it is WAY more work than you think. We read this countless times and thought “okay, we get it! Maintaining a blog is very time consuming, blah blah blah.” Deep down I knew it was true, but secretly hoped all the top bloggers were just saying that to deter others from starting their own. Then they were left to sip margaritas on the beach, laughing manically while big bucks rolled in. This is not how it works. Starting a blog is a lot of work. Maintaining a blog is a lot of work. Hell, I’m sure even shutting down a blog is a lot of work.

 beginner travel blogging tips

{ if only life was always this easy }

 

2)   There’s a lot more to it than just writing stuff down

 If blogging were as easy as just writing down your thoughts, then every 15 year old with a Xanga (does that still exist?) would blog forever. But unless you want your audience to be limited to your mom and your tech savvy grandma, then you need to put in a lot more work. I’d say half of our time spent working on the blog is spent writing. The other half is drawing in new readers, promoting our articles, working on moving our posts higher up Google search results, answering questions on travel forums, connecting with other bloggers, updating social media, etc. It takes a lot of time, but it’s super gratifying to see our stats build up.

 

3)   People can be mean

This is almost a life lesson. Whenever you put your work out in the public sphere, you have to be ready for negative feedback.  Not everyone is going to like your work and you have to accept that. The great thing about the Internet is that your writing can reach a mass amount of people instantly. The terrible thing about the Internet is that readers can bash your work while hiding behind the protection of their computer screen. Some bloggers embrace it and publicly mock the ridiculousness of cruel comments. Still, no matter how many positive things readers say about your blog, it’s the negative ones that stick with you. We’ve learned the best way is to just ignore it and continue with a thicker skin.

 

 beginner travel blogging tips

 

4)   It takes a long time to build up

 It’s no secret that every blogger wants more readers. That’s why we choose to put our writing on the internet instead of scrawled in our journals.

But gaining readership is not going to happen over night. It’s a slow process and sometimes we bang our heads against the wall, wondering why we should even post if no one is reading? But with consistent work, our numbers are growing. And there’s nothing more thrilling than knowing that someone, somewhere in the world is reading our article. And that just maybe it will inspire them to travel.

 

5)   Brush up on your photography skills

 You can be the best writer in the world, but people are visual creatures. We want to see pretty places, mouth-watering food, adorable puppy photos! No? Just me? Just because you bought your first DSLR, doesn’t mean you’re a photographer. Having quality photos, especially on a travel blog, is super important. To work on our photo skills, we’ve both done a lot of reading, as well as studied the work of other travel photographers that we like. But the most important thing? Take thousands of photos! Of everything! Especially the mundane, seemingly unimportant things. We took a TON of photos, but still look back on our trip and wish we had photographed every meal, hostel room and grungy local bus. Those are the things we end up writing about, so having a photo to go along with them is essential.

 

 beginner travel blogging tips

 

6)   It’s all about who you know

 Just like pretty much anything in life- it’s all about contacts. Sometimes while checking out other travel blogs, a bit of instinctual competition kicks in. Are we better writers? Why is their lay-out so awesome? How did they do that Facebook like box pop?? But we’ve learned that these aren’t necessarily our competition, they are our colleagues. And they can be damn helpful. From suggesting helpful blogging tips to exchanging guest articles, networking with other bloggers is HUGE.

There you have it. A sneak behind the scenes peek at the world of blogging.

 

Are you a blogger? What have you learned in the process that was surprising to you? Thinking of starting a blog? Does this list seem daunting or exciting? We want to hear from you!

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Animal lover, wannabe artist and peanut butter fiend with a serious allergy to a 9 to 5. On the other hand: undyingly messy, chronic blanket hog and so bad with directions I can get lost going to the corner store. Wanna know more

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28 Comments

  1. Great List and so true ~ I have been blogging now for 3 months ~ and you are right it is so much work. Twitter, Facebook tweets, retweets, likes, shares ~ on top of trying to write and come up with great content that is new and different! I think you right about just keep working and putting your stuff out there, get it seen, and keep and on going! Thank you for writing! Have a super day!
    Stacey Veikalas recently posted…Get in Shape while Traveling the WorldMy Profile

    • Don't Forget to Move says:

      Thanks Stacey! Before we started the blog, I had no idea how to use Twitter! Thats why I love blogging because it gives you new skills other than writing. So fun!

  2. It’s true! There’s been plenty of times I’ve wanted to throw myself on the ground and have a tantrum like a 2 yr old. Usually because the internet won’t work or I’ve accidentally deleted a tonne of work I’ve done on an article. But when you start seeing that people are reading your posts and complimenting you on your photos that’s when it’s worth it.

    I’m convinced that when you hit the point when you want to give up and throw in the towel, thats when you need to work even harder, because it doesn’t happen over night. Just keep writing!
    Megsy recently posted…5 Essential Travel Apps that Will Save You Money and Make Travel EasierMy Profile

    • Don't Forget to Move says:

      Very true Megsy! It’s all about sticking with it and working hard. I love the idea behind your blog by the way!

  3. Great post Christine and so very true! As we find our views going up (hooray!) we also find ourselves with so much more work – it’s difficult at times to get everything done and also see the beautiful places we’ve traveled halfway around the world to visit. That being said, I wouldn’t trade our experiences for anything. Safe travels!
    Calli recently posted…The Enclosed Balconies of MaltaMy Profile

    • Don't Forget to Move says:

      You have a great outlook on it, Calli! It can definitely be hard to juggle traveling and blogging at the same time. Now that we’re settled in Australia, blogging is an amazing way to reminisce about our travels until we get back out on the road.

  4. Everything you wrote is so true. There are so many things about having a blog that never occurred to you before. I would love to just write and post, but if you don’t do all the work behind it, no one will know it exists!
    jennfer recently posted…Tuesday, December 23, 2008 – The Day I Was a Degenerate Winner!My Profile

    • Don't Forget to Move says:

      Glad you could relate Jennifer! I know I always finish writing a post and think, phew I’m done! But the work has only just begun, haha!

  5. I am struggling with #4–I know I only started my blog 2 months ago, so I should be patient…But I’m just not naturally patient. If I were, I’d probably write a book instead of a blog.
    Syd recently posted…Photo Essay: Cook Strait on the Interislander FerryMy Profile

    • Don't Forget to Move says:

      Haha tell us about it! We are a little the same, but you just have to remember that patience pays off. We’ve heard off a few bloggers that you have to wait to tip the bell curve, which can take some time, and that many bloggers fall by the wayside just before the happens. Remember that every person with internet access and a smart phone wants to start a blog these days, so you’ve got to find the edge that’s going to make you different and unique. Keep on blogging!

  6. Boy can I relate to everything in this post! My blog has been up for 10 months and it’s a lot of work but boy am I learning a ton. I do believe that consistent posting and making great connections is key. Both areas I need to improve upon in order to gain readership. Glad to know I’m not alone in this journey, thanks for sharing! :)

    • Don't Forget to Move says:

      Yeah absolutely. Also remember good content is the key. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in all the other aspects of blogging that we forget to write haha. Good luck and stick with it!

  7. Yes, it’s a lot of work. But so worth it.
    Christopher James recently posted…review3.comMy Profile

  8. Nice post! It does get frustrating when not many people read something I think is quite unique or interesting, but thousands of people read and praise the most generic kind of posts from popular bloggers. I guess it’s all about networking and putting the time in!
    Jon @ jonistravelling.com recently posted…Why I Should Be the First Travel Blogger in SpaceMy Profile

    • Don't Forget to Move says:

      Definitely about the networking! Hopefully when we all make it big and famous people will go back over articles we wrote at the beginning, and then they’ll finally get the recognition they deserve haha :)

  9. Nice to read about views expressed in this post! great for bloggers :)

  10. Agree with all of them :)! It’s especially lots of work :)! But I feel it does pay off in the end! And of course, keep in mind that (for most) it’s a hobby, something you love and should not become a source of frustration!
    Manouk – Bunch of Backpackers recently posted…A BoB top 10: The hitchhikers guide to EuropeMy Profile

  11. Hi Guys
    True, a lot of work! we are 3 months in now and I had never heard of Klout, Triberr or Alexa before we started so it’s a learning curve. I always enjoy it when you see someone has read your post in a far away country!.

    Thanks
    Aaron
    Aaron recently posted…Overnight train from Chengdu to XianMy Profile

    • We still haven’t heard of Klout haha, looks like we’ve still got a lot of work to do :) We get some really random countries reading posts from our site, it’s great! Always works as get motivation to keep spreading the word!

  12. Hi guys, Yes it is a lot of working. Having had my FB page for 2 months now and only just started by blog this week I have a lot to learn and even more social media to get involved with. I had no idea how much time it takes but seeing those in the first month was amazing but the interaction I am getting is the best reward. Thanks for the great article I can use a learning tool.
    Lyn recently posted…Barcelona – I’m not that into youMy Profile

  13. You raised some very good points! Blogging is hard work and a lot of trail and error. Sometimes it is hard to develop your brand and market niche. With that being said, it is also rewarding – especially when you see that your hard work and dedication is paying off.

    I started my blog 9 months ago and I am still trying to figure it out. It is a learning process which I hope to master someday!
    Constance – Foreign Sanctuary recently posted…Through the Camera Lens – My Photos Published in a Magazine!My Profile

  14. You know your post is 100% correct. i started my blog 3 months ago and I spend every waking spare moment on it. My boyfriend sits and stares at me in the evening, watching me multitask between hootsuite, facebook, wordpress, pinterest etc…Blogging is hard work no matter what anyone says. Every day I learn something new, I have taught myself everything from scratch. Sometimes I come across other blogs and think wow how did they do that or I want my blog to look like that…but its all about finding something unique and being you and writing what you know.
    Samantha recently posted…Review of Yoe Yoe Lay Guesthouse MandalayMy Profile

    • Exactly Samantha! The work of a blogger is never done! There’s always another post to write or a plugin to add! But you’re right, it’s all about finding your style and being true to yourself. Good luck with your blog!

  15. I’ve just started my blog and this is a great insight into what to expect when it’s fully up and running! Although it will be a lot of work, I’m hoping it will continue to be something I enjoy doing – which I really am so far! I’ve been learning more and more each day! :) x
    Kelly recently posted…48 Hours in Lucerne, SwitzerlandMy Profile

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