I’m approaching nearly 5 years of solo travel blogging (crazy, right?) so naturally I started reflecting on my first posts. I still keep my first posts up to serve as a constant reminder of my progress, but they make me think about things I would change if I could go back in time and what I would tell people today if they wanted to start blogging. Whether you are new to blogging or have years of experience, I feel like the following points are pretty relatable. If you want to avoid some common slips in content creation keep reading…
Inconsistency. This one speaks to me as for 4 years of blogging I would only post when I had been on a trip. Sure, this makes sense if blogging is solely a hobby but to build lifelong friendships and intriguing content I would tell my younger self to post more regularly. Now, I still think it’s better to not post at all than post half-hearted content but being consistent also means replying to comments and researching new ideas to write about. It goes without saying everyone has different lifestyles so it can be hard to be consistent, but I recently discovered scheduling posts in advance which has been pretty life-changing!
Selective Replying. This point links nicely to the above, where I mentioned replying to comments is also part of being consistent. Whilst I personally do reply to all non-creepy comments, I have seen some content creators reply selectively. This means they reply only to popular content creators. To me, this reminds me of childhood behaviour because not only does it imply there is a sort of hierarchy, it also ignores potential connections. If you have a large following it can be hard to reply to everyone, however I do think one message in comments thanking everyone for their responses goes a long way. Your community are the ones who will come back to read your blog so keep them close to you.
Assuming Payment. These days, there are so many ways to monetise from content creation. However, it can take years to start earning from blogging. Not to discourage anyone, but patience is certainly required. Just like YouTubers, they don’t start earning from their very first video so the same mentality should be applied to blogging. Sure, overnight successes do happen but these are rare. This is why having a genuine passion for content creation is necessary to earn money in the long-term. The people who only blog for the benefits will run out of steam real quick. Slow and steady, in my opinion, really does win here.
Not Having Goals. This point can also be called ‘Not Thinking About The Future’. Whatever your reason for blogging, create small milestones for yourself. I wish I did this when I first started blogging. Keeping track of the first time I received X amount of views or X amount of interactions would have helped me to see my achievements more clearly. These figures are useful if you intend to pitch to brands in the future, as a timeline of your progress can be seen. Keeping track of achievements also serves as a great confidence boost when you are stuck in a creative rut (it happens and that’s ok!)
Not Listening To What People Want. This is another point which relates to my personal blogging journey. As mentioned in previous posts, I began blogging to document my memories. However, as I started to build momentum with my blog I just continued posting what I knew. I would gain particular interaction in a certain topic but it didn’t register to me, until months later, that I should keep expanding on what my followers loved the most. That topic was solo travel. Knowing which posts perform particularly well helps when planning what content to produce, as you can use one of your popular posts as a starting point. For example, if I wrote about solo travel one week, my next piece of content could be how to take photos when travelling solo. By doing this, my readers will start to associate my blog with solo travel which helps build an all-important community. For me, the best part about blogging is meeting so many like-minded individuals so building a genuine community really is my blogging priority. I appreciate each and every single one of you, no matter when you joined me on my blogging journey.
If you have had any ‘mistakes’ or ‘slips’ in your blogging journey let me know! Alternatively, what is your best piece of advice to upcoming bloggers? Until then, see you in the next post!