When I first started my blog I was a uni student. As such my blog became a place where I shared tips for uni living and avoiding mental breakdowns. Over the years my blog has evolved as I think is only normal after six years of blogging.
As a now travel blogger, I see a lot of people in “the scene” (God I hate myself for saying that) feeling pressured to live up to a certain ideal. There’s this unspoken weight of well if this blogger is doing this – that’s what I must have to do in order for my blog to be successful. I also know from mistakes I’ve personally made that sometimes there’s just a better way to do things.
So to save you the hassle of wasted time and precious energy here are the top 5 mistakes to avoid as a new travel blogger!
Thinking you have to travel all the time
Your favourite travel bloggers are probably not travelling all the time. It’s their job to portray a certain lifestyle. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. After all, it’s hardly exciting to read a blog post about someone’s day answering emails and writing blog posts. Just remember that the reality is often very different from the pictures.
Trust me. This is coming from someone who just spent the past day holed up in a hotel room skipping lunch for cookies and trying to schedule the next month’s blog posts. 60% of the travel lifestyle really isn’t that glamorous.
You need to know that it’s okay for you to be wherever you’re at. Whether that’s one trip a year or constant travelling. Don’t bankrupt yourself in order to sustain a lifestyle you can’t afford to impress people you don’t know.
Not using Pinterest
Pinterest is one of the best ways for bloggers to get their content out there. Why? Because next to Google it is one of the most used forms of search in existence today. People are desperate for the content that you have to offer – they just want it to be easy for them to find it. I know for a lot of people the prospect of starting afresh on a new platform can be daunting but once you get the hang of it that’s you set.
If you’re looking for one simple Pinterest tip that can potentially bring in loads of traffic here it is. Make sure it’s easy for people to pin from your site by adding the Pin It hover button.
In the past, I used to spend about 20 minutes a day pinning. But if you’re worried about taking the time to manually pin you can check out this great scheduling service called Tailwind, which helps you set up your entire week in less than an hour. Using this link you get your first month free!
I also share a lot of free tips on my Facebook community for bloggers. I talk about how to set up and manage your Pinterest profile, how to monetise and it’s a great place to connect with fellow bloggers to ask questions about blogging and social media. If you’re looking for more one to one paid services just pop me a message and I’d be happy to help you out!
Not talking about where you live
It took me until I left Scotland to really realise how little of Scotland I’d actually seen. I think it’s very easy to take for granted what’s on your own back door. Remember that although to you it’s just home to someone else it’s a destination they want to learn all about!
If you can’t think of anything interesting to write about where you live think about what you’d want to know about another town/city if you were going to visit. Is there a unique spin you can put on it to make it more interesting? Are there any hidden spots only locals know about? You’d be surprised what you can come up with when you sit and brainstorm.
Not collaborating with others
It’s hard trying to make your mark on an industry that is so saturated. With bloggers, vloggers and Instagram influencers it can feel like you’ve been dumped in the middle of the ocean and you have no idea how you’re even going to begin to make your way to the shoreline. But you don’t have to do it alone!
Though at times it can feel like a competition for the jobs and the exposure one of the best ways to get your blog out there is by collaborating with others. When I started my travel interview series I had no idea the sheer amount of interesting people I’d get to talk to. People who were just waiting to have their stories told on a different platform.
I feel not only honoured to be able to share their stories but grateful to be able to provide such massive value to my readers. Often those featured share my interview on their platforms too so it’s win/win for everybody.
There are so many ways to collaborate whether it’s an interview, a guest blog, an Instagram shout out – there really is no end to it and hey you might even strike up a great friendship too.
Thinking you can only share the positives
In 2018 we live in this Instagram culture where we’re encouraged to show a highlight reel of our lives. The pretty polished version. But people want to know about the stuff that’s not so great too. I’m not saying throw in an ugly picture and fuck up your entire feed just to show you’re a human. Lord, no.
Instead, tell the stories where things didn’t turn out as you’d hoped. Or that time you nearly got kidnapped Vietnam. Those stories are refreshing to hear and they’re guaranteed to make you stand out too! Some bloggers are aspirational some bloggers are relatable. But I’ll let you in on a secret, I think the sweet spot is a combination of both.
Travel blogging is fun, rewarding and many other things. But one thing it’s not is easy. The good news is we’re all in it together to help each other out and to learn from each other. I hope by sharing my mistakes you’ve learned something today, I’d love to hear about any mistakes you’ve made and tips on solving them too.
What about you guys? What mistakes have you made as a travel blogger or what advice would you give?
Let me know in the comments!
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