See The World
Seek Adventure Travel Happy
So, I've been writing this blog for about 5 years now. So, I wanted to dispel a few myths about blogging and spill some things about this blog as well.
Myth 1: Blogging is an easy way to make a few bucks.
First, there are a few bloggers out there that manage to make money and even have it be their full time job. They do this a number of ways, ie, advertising, doing sponsored posts/reviews, side consulting gigs, etc. The truth is though, that the VAST majority of bloggers aren't making anything.
For example, this humble blog has made a whopping....wait for it....$9.28 so far using Google ads. $9.28 isn't even enough to cash out that amount, so essentially, it has made a big fat goose egg.
Moral of the story: Only start doing it if it's something you are really passionate about. I've spent probably thousands of hours writing, formatting, researching etc for no financial gain. Even the blogs that make money, they don't do so over night. It's only through long hours and a passion for what they are doing that they ever end up making real money.
This was a mistake I made at the beginning. I'm a dreamer and my dreams are usually grander than life has plans for. In my day dreams as I started this blog, I though that after awhile I'd get a gig on the Travel Channel or just generally get paid heeps to travel and tell people how awesome it is. News flash! That did not happen and that's OK, because I still really love doing it...but if the Travel Channel is reading this, I can be available for my big break anytime.
If you do frequent this blog often (thank you!), you may have noticed ads on the sidebars. I've removed those. I wanted to get back to what this blog was about and ads were distracting from that, and for the 0.14 cents a month, is wasn't worth making the blog suffer.
Myth 2: It will be easy to build a following
Truth, it will not. You may be able to easily trade likes and follows, and build up a superficially large following. At the end of the day though, the real people reading your posts is much smaller, and that's the number that counts.
It will be so frustrating as you write your heart out to see only 2 people read your post. Over time, that number may grow, or it may not. This is one of those times that you have to really love/believe in what you're doing, or you'll quit...which is fine too, as long as that's what you really want.
If blogging, (or anything) is what you really want to do, don't be discouraged at the distance between you and whomever is currently on top of their game.
One of my favorite blogs, Young House Love, had been blogging for years and they were HUGELY successful. This year though, they decided to call it quits and do something different. It opens the door for another blogger in their genre (home decor, remodeling, DIY) to launch into that realm.
So, if you're miles from the finish line, don't give up, you never know when your big break will come.
Myth 3: It's easy to write interesting content
Truth, sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't. Sometimes I have an idea for a post that I think is going to be great, and it falls flat. Sometimes I write a post not thinking it's going to get much feedback, and it does. It's a total crap shoot sometimes. Not to mention, that to be constantly writing good content, you need to be constantly doing something interesting. That's not always possible. Even if you are doing something interesting, it may not be ready to post about, or you're just at a loss for what to write. Couple this with the need to have new content regularly and you're setting yourself up for trouble.
I had been only writing posts when we were traveling, which luckily was usually a couple times a year. That's not exactly enough for a ravenous following. So, I kicked it up and starting writing a few posts a week. Then it became a challenge to have good content and not boring junk that people were going to hate 3 times a week.
3 posts a week x 52 weeks a year= 156 unique and interesting posts. That's a lot of content!
Myth 4: There's lots of tips and tricks to write a good blog
Truth...kind of. Yes, there are lots of tutorials on figuring on how to optimize search engines, and layouts etc. But, that's out there for everyone. Everyone is largely doing a lot of the same things. Some are just doing it a bit better.
There are so many blogs out there, that not only do you need to be an expert in whatever your writing about, but you also have to be good at website layouts, photography, writing, graphic design, search engine optimization, social media, editing, the list goes on.
This has been a struggle for me. The blog is definitely prettier than it used to be, and I'm out there on twitter and all that, but there are tons of people who are rocking it better than I am.
For a long time I didn't start a blog account for facebook, twitter, or instagram. For one reason, I didn't want to be a bother to my friends and family, nagging them to like or follow me for the blog. Years ago, I started a blog facebook page, only to delete it the same day. Earlier this year, I decided that I wasn't going to half-ass things anymore and I was just going to go for it. Things are steadily growing. The blog is a bit better all the time, and more people seem to be engaging.
Moral of the story: Don't be afraid to put yourself out there. The people who really love you will support you, and the ones who won't support you probably don't matter in the long run anyways.
The one tip to writing a good blog: Persistence!
Myth 5: You can do it on the side
Not if you want to be super successful. It is a full time job. Wait, let me go back...I have a full time job, that is not writing this blog. If I dedicated a full 40 hours a week to the blog, I'm convinced that it would be much further along than it is now.
Remember the 156 posts I mentioned earlier? That's just the posts, that not counting all the Facebook/twitter/instagram/pinterest posts you have to make. It's not counting all the behind the scenes formatting and networking you're doing. It's a lot!
If I wanted, I could shift things around, save up, and totally dedicate myself to the blog 24/7. It's not what I really want to do right now though. I've also worked really hard to be where I am in my day job, which I feel really lucky to be where I am. I love writing the blog on the side. If that means it takes a bit longer for it take off, or that it won't ever fully take off to my wildest dreams, well then, that's what it means
What does this all mean?
Hi there! I'm Skeeter. I grew up moving a lot and that makes me a bit restless for travel and exploration. I started this blog with my husband Pat when we decided to backpack New Zealand for a year. We are always looking for the next adventure and are loving life. We're just your average couple with two sassy dogs and a love for travel. We're sharing our travels and the tips we pick up along the way.
Hello! I'm Liz. Blogging is very new to me, but I'm so excited to finally write as much as I talk!
"Don't forget to travel happy"-Skeeter & Liz