Reality Check: the trouble with travel blogging

Are you a travel blogger or thinking about starting your own travel blog? It’s not as easy as it looks! Read on for a reality check and some good advice from one of my favourite bloggers…

If you are a regular reader of the WayfaringPanda.com then you’ll notice that I’ve been a little absent of late. There have been a few reasons for this…

Firstly, I currently work full-time and try to fit in travel (and blogging about travel) as much as I can around of my full-time work schedule. It’s not easy. A few months ago I was very focused on my blog but it was consuming so much of my time outside of work that my personal life, health and relationship stared to suffer. So I needed some ‘time out’.

Secondly, I’ve recently moved house and much of my spare time has been taken up by packing, unpacking, changing addresses, redirecting mail, making sure the cat is comfortable in her new environment, etc. In between all this I’ve struggled to find the time to focus much attention on my blog.

Thirdly, I’ve been pondering whether this travel blogging thing is really worthwhile and whether I’m ever going to get anything out of it or achieve my goals (or even know what my goals are). I’ve read several posts by successful full-time bloggers who talk about how much work needs to go into travel blogging to become successful (and many who try are unfortunately not so successful). It really is only the ones who are dedicated that seem to ‘make it’ in the world of travel blogging. This led me to wonder whether it is possible to work full-time, travel when I can, as well as dedicate enough time to my blog to make it successful.

Travel Goals

Battle of the Brains

I recently read a post by Wandering Earl about his battles between his work brain and travel brain. I too suffer from the same problem. I struggle to travel and work at the same time and it takes a lot of time to switch between brains. Because when I’m focused on one thing (be it work or travel) it consumes me and doesn’t want to let the other brain take over.

Knowing this about myself has made me question whether I should not worry about this blogging thing and just focus on  my travel goals. But then again, I also enjoy writing about my travels… I just struggle to combine the two. applaud anyone that has the ability to spend the morning sightseeing, wandering around a new city and experiencing all that travel has to offer and then sit down in the afternoon and produce a post about their experiences, complete with amazing photographs within an extremely productive time frame.

Hannah and Adam’s from Getting Stamped offer me something to aspire towards. They seem to be very organised and combine travel and blogging very well. Although I haven’t personally been exposed to their work vs. travel schedule, on face value they appear to opt for a very active travel pace but are also focused on their blog and manage to churn out quality, humorous content in productive up-to-the-minute fashion, complete with perfectly edited photographs and even manage to throw in a few cute videos just for fun! (Then again, there are two people working on their website).

Working_Poolside-3

But reading Earl’s post put things into a little perspective for me as a part-time traveller and blogger with a full-time job and with a little encouragement from my Beloved, I’ve realised that whilst it will require a lot of organisation, planning and prioritisation, it may just be possible to manage both travelling and blogging (around full-time work). It’s also good to know that I’m not the only person who takes 4-5 hours to write, edit and complete a single blog post. I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist (which can be a bit of a curse when it comes to productivity) and I don’t like to release any posts with mistakes or poor grammar.

The email that changed it all

I recently received an email advising me that I had featured in the Top Female Travel Bloggers List of 2014. What!? Me?

top-80-female-travel-bloggers-of-2014
I clicked on the link to checkout the list. Having recently started out and not yet received any such recognition for my blog, and I was feeling pretty chuffed at coming in a number 80! And not to mention seeing my blog on the same list as some of my favourite bloggers and women who have inspired me to travel (and write). Thanks Bricktown Hotel!

I immediately pulled out my laptop and starting working away. If Bricktown Hotel thinks my blog is an inspirational source of travel information, then maybe there are others out there who also enjoy reading my work. That’s reason enough for me to keep going!

My current travel plans 

Tulum - Tancah 4

Over the next few months I am travelling with other people, which makes it difficult to find the alone time I need to dedicate to my blog. Right now I am travelling in Thailand for three weeks with my Beloved. My Beloved has kindly given me a few hours of ‘alone time’ to focus on getting my blog back up and running. This is why I love him!

In mid-April I will be heading to Mexico and Guatemala with my sister (and possibly Belize) and I can’t wait! This will be my first time in Central America and I’ve been reading a lot of information about it. My sister is a journo and will most likely also be doing some freelance work on the road, so hopefully that will make it easier for me to get some work done as well and share my adventures along the way. Although we have a pretty full schedule… so we’ll see how my work vs. travel goes!

Guest Posting

I’m looking into adding some guest posts onto my website, the first of which will be posted tomorrow by Jesse from XLTravelBlog. If you are interested in guest posting on my website, and have any ideas related to flashpacking or solo female travel then please drop me a line.

Are you a travel blogger or a traveller who works on the road? Have you ever experienced the same problems with managing travel vs. work? I would love to hear your strategy for managing both!

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2 Responses to Reality Check: the trouble with travel blogging

  1. Anna April 15, 2014 at 6:47 pm #

    I totally understand where you are coming from! Sometimes I feel I am spending too much time working on my blog and not enough time out there exploring a new city! Try to enjoy it and keep up the good work though – looks like that recognition was just what you needed!
    Anna recently posted…The Seedy Side of Siam – Thailand’s Sex Industry

    • Amanda April 15, 2014 at 9:10 pm #

      Hi Anna,
      Thanks for the encouragement! I really appreciate it. It’s also good to know that other travel bloggers feel the same way. As fun as it can be, there is a downside to working on the road.

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