I’ve started a lot of blogs. I’ve abandoned A LOT of blogs. With every new blog I started, I vowed this time would be different. It never was. Because I was the same and I didn’t learn from my mistakes after I made them. I blamed everything and everyone around me instead of recognizing that I wasn’t doing things in a right or honest way. I so badly wanted to be COOL and have followers and get free stuff. I saw what other travel bloggers were doing and thought “I can do that better than they can.”
I tried a lot of different routes to be a travel blogger. I started a few blogs of my own, which upon seeing no traffic, I abruptly abandoned. Then I guest blogged for a handful of websites that paid me a whopping $10 per post. My logic was that at least I was getting my name out there, which I was. But what I didn’t know was that these sites were only using my content to make their own affiliate income.
The thing is, I never wanted to be a travel blogger. I just wanted to travel and make money while doing so. But in my mind travel blogging was a quick way to do both of those things simultaneously. I grossly oversimplified the work it took to build an audience, create content and generate enough traffic to actually earn money travel blogging.
But where I failed to actually get a blog off of the ground, I learned some important lessons in authenticity, discipline and what NOT to do if you want to be a successful blogger.
Don’t pay attention to what anyone else is doing
There are places that are made exclusively for travel bloggers. I’ve been in Bali for months and everywhere I go people are setting up the perfect shot. It’s a travel blogger’s heaven. Cafe’s are designed to be photographable and everywhere you look are perfectly painted murals, walls, and unnecessarily decorated plates. I regularly see bloggers setting up their shots and have petty thoughts like “that’s so basic, I can do that.”