WHAT I LEARNED FROM MY FIRST MONTH OF TRAVEL BLOGGING
I’ve been “blogging” for almost a year now, and by “blogging” I mean posting something every other month, maybe once a month. I’ve given up on my blog at least 15 times within that year, I even almost canceled my WordPress account once. Every time I have the idea of starting my blog and really buckling myself down that’s exactly when I neglect it the most. The idea of having a travel blog and saying I’m a blogger was way more intriguing to me than the actual work of blogging.
As long as I could remember I HATED writing, I never thought I was any good at it, I could never piece things together using words on paper. I don’t think I’ve ever received a grade better than a C in any writing class. I was always the visually creative person, not the wordy one.
Just over a month ago I received an email that my WordPress site was going to expire and if I wanted to renew it. That’s when I decided to give this blog one last shot. But I knew that I couldn’t become a real blogger and peruse this as my new career venture with a WordPress site. So I took two full weeks to transfer from wordpress.com to wordpress.org, rebranded my blog, redesigned my site and launched my new and improved Ania Travels on June 12th. It has officially been a full month since starting a blog and giving it 100% this time , these are the things I learned in my first 30 days of being a travel blogger.
How to use WordPress
I have been a graphic designer for 8 years now and it’s something I’ve always been passionate about. My work has mostly focused on print design but I’ve design websites as well. I know coding but I prefer not to touch it. When I switched over my site from .com to .org that was the first time ever I really dove into WordPress. I have learned so much in so little time, I even feel comfortable designing a site for a client in WP now.
WTF is SEO and DA, no-follow vs follow, what are keywords? Oh my goodness, there is so much to learn with blogging lingo. Every day since starting a blog I have been reading about new terminology and learning something new. Before these 30 days, I knew that SEO was important but I had no idea how to manipulate it into a website. I never had to deal with that from a creative standpoint.
Fun fact: I thought keywords were tags, LOL!!! I literally put multiple random tags separated by commas into the keywords and wondered why my SEO wasn’t picking it up.
Affiliates are lot of work
Along with blogging lingo I learned about affiliates. I knew what they were but I had no idea what goes into them. I quickly learned that they are actually a lot of work. You can’t just sign up for a site and BAM you get a promo link. You have to fill out a ton of applications, go through an approval process, and then use active links (I’ve run into a bunch of login problems with affiliates as well).
READ READ READ
You’ll never know everything about blogging, but everything is just a click away. I spent countless hours reading, researching, and learning about blogging. Just like in the design industry there will always be something new, better, and more innovative out there. You have to stay up to date and read.
Niche blogging is an extremely tight community
When starting a blog a year ago I never imagined being where I am now. I hated writing and I had no idea what I was doing. I knew there were thousands of other travel bloggers out there and each of them was already way better than I was (unlike me they were at least putting themselves out there and posting more than every other month). I compared myself to them and never imagined being one of them.
I stumbled upon this awesome Facebook Group for Female Travel Bloggers that showed me that I can do this too. I quickly learned that we’re all out there to help each and that travel blogging is an awesome community I love being a part of. This group pushed me to really buckle down and motivated me to stay on track over the last 30 days. Thanks gals!
BLOGGING IS HARD WORK
I’ve always read that blogging is a lot of work but I never realized how much ACTUAL work really goes into it. It doesn’t stop once you’ve written awesome content. You have to create images, links, promote your blog, do social media, network, collaborate and much more. I’ll honestly say between my graphic design business and starting a blog I’ve been working 12-16 hours EVERY DAY for the last 6 weeks.
Your blog will never be perfect
Yep, the last 6 weeks since starting a blog I’ve been working 12-16 hours daily. I spend all day working on this thing and it’ll never be perfect/where I want it. And that’s ok! Every day I learn something new and feel the need to go back to every single blog post and fix something. I’m just glad I’m learning all of this early on to prepare myself for content to come.
Step outside your comfort zone
Having this blog has made me step outside my comfort zone. I’ve developed new skills and talked to people I would have never talked to if I haven’t been doing this. I always hated networking and reaching out to people asking for things, this blog has pushed me to do just that. And I’ve met some awesome blogger friends along the way.
I’ve become a writer
Funny how that works. I always knew writing is way easier when you’re writing about something you love, but I never really thought I would enjoy it. I constantly get new blog ideas that pop into my head (usually at 3 am when insomnia kicks in). I still have a long way to go for my writing to get better, and me actually thinking something is written well, but I’m on the right track. Practice makes perfect, right?
I can do anything if I put my mind to it
I’ve given up on this blog at least 15 different times, but my head and heart haven’t been fully in it. This time is different, I actually want to succeed in this and I want to become a better writer, blogger, share my stories and inspire other solo female travelers. I want to do this. I already see so much success just from the 30 days of starting a blog that I’m excited to see what the next 30 days/months/years has in store for me.
I should have done this earlier
Even though it’s a lot of work and I fought a lot of internal battles to get this blog started, being a travel blogger is fun, rewarding and what I’ve been looking for. This is my way to make a lasting impression and inspire others. I’m finally making my passions my reality.
So now for the fun stuff. I believe in being completely transparent with my audience so I want to share my achievements in the last 30 days of starting a blog.
4746 number of views in 30 days
2877 number of unique visitors
5 collaborations/guest posts
2 hotel stays
1-day pass at a country club
xoxo Ania Travels 💜
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