For the last couple of months I’ve struggled to upkeep my website. Recently, I talked to a WordPress/website marketer and designer about the ins and outs, and found out that I’ve been doing many things wrong. I had to go back through all of my posts and adjust everything. It caused me so much headache which led me to writing this post for all those who are thinking about travel blogging in the future.
It’s been a year and a bit since I took on this huge project of setting up my website/blog and attempt to make it out on this highly saturated blogging world. Saying that I’ve learned a lot is a massive understatement. I didn’t have any prior knowledge of coding or CMS or website building. That meant that this project would require a lot of determination and willpower.
I will only be reflecting on my personal experience through my time blogging, not giving any advices or tutorials. There are many blogs out there that can do a much better job then I do and have a reputation to back it up.
I started by signing up on WIx, a website buiding platform that made setting up a breeze. After a few months at it, I realised that Wix didn’t have a lot of features that I wanted and needed. So I decided to switch to WordPress and self-hosting. A major step forward. Not only did I have to learn what those meant but transferring from Wix to WordPress proved to be a major headache.
Furthermore, I signed up for courses such as the Travel Blog Success and WP BFF, and watched countless hours of video tutorials to get everything set up. It took me a few months to completely set up, redesign and re-concept my entire website.
Many bloggers out there make it look so easy to run a website and very few talk about the difficulties that come with it all. I came across many obstacles, such as plugins issues, unresponsiveness, hosting troubles, etc. I spent many hours consulting forums and troubleshooting, additionally being on the road didn’t help the time needed.
Having the time to write, edit pictures and structure posts is the biggest problems I face while on the road. As I couchsurf and hitch hike, a lot of my time is taken up entertaining and connecting with new friends and random people. When I’m not with them, I’m exploring the city or place. By the end of the day, I am exhausted and just want to rest and switch off. The last thing on my mind is sit down and write.
Change of Travel and Life Styles
Before traveling for me was mostly a way to escape from the realities of life. Upon considering a life of long-term traveling, I knew that everything was going to change big time. Traveling was going to be more educational and with more purpose than before.
After setting up the website I realised that I was getting more dependent on Internet. I felt like I needed to be online constantly to check social media or post something on Instagram. It not only meant more expenses, but also spending more time on my phone and less on my travels. I loved the times when I was off grid but now I feel a slight anxiety that I’m not posting anything.
In the blogging world, stats is everything. It slowly took over my life. I was obsessed with the number of likes I would get on my instagram posts, how many people liked my facebook page, how many visited my website, etc. I was stressing out and constantly figuring out what I can do instead of enjoying my time traveling.
The Dream Life
Many bloggers out there put up pictures of them “working” by the beach or at a resort living a dream life. However, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine and rarely see many bloggers talking about it. After a year or so at it and not gaining much traction, I’m feeling unmotivated, undriven and undetermined. I had an intention of monetizing this blog when i started but that seems to get slimmer each passing day.
If I knew what I was getting myself into in the beginning, I would change many things. On top of it all, I would focus on writing what I started the blog on instead of worrying about journaling my travels or social media. However, with all that being said, I do not regret taking on this huge project. I learned a lot and gave me a purpose to my travels. But maybe, just maybe, travel blogging isn’t for me.
If you ever think about challenging yourself, I would recommend trying this out. Who knows, you might be the next big blogger earning big bucks for traveling.