6 months as a travel blogger

It’s now been over 6 months since I went live and wrote my first blog piece on why I started travelling.  I had no clue then what I was letting myself in for and how much hard work it takes to be a travel blogger.

I originally wanted to start a blog, to document my travels and help the people I have met along the way who wanted advice about certain places I had visited.  I love telling people about the great places I have visited and people who know me, certainly know if you start me talking about a place I won’t shut up!!  I have had so many people asking questions about places and it’s great when I can give them tips or direct them to a post I have written on that place.

Facebook

ilive4travel facebook

When I set up my facebook page I thought it would be easy to get thousands of followers, I am a bit obsessed with facebook so I do know how it works, but actually getting people to like your page, including your friends is a tough job.  I found that joining facebook groups and helping other people grow their pages helps too.  It’s also a great way to get introduced to other travel bloggers to see how they do things, to see where they are going on their travels and add even more places to the list.  I am not sure I am posting enough though, knowing that only a small percentage of your followers even see something you post in their newsfeed.  Should I be posting a link to a blog post several times? At the moment I only post 1 link per post.  I still feel I have a lot to learn on facebook but I need to concentrate on it as at the moment it drives the most traffic to my blog.

Twitter

ilive4travel twitter

Twitter was something I had never used before I had a travel blog it was one of the social media’s everyone said I needed so I gave it a go.  Getting followers is a lot more easier than facebook.  At first I liked a lot of people who were also travel bloggers and joined facebook groups for twitter too, but I find now after getting over 3,500 followers that I regularly get more followers, without actually doing much.  I still have work that I need to do on this, I still haven’t signed up to a site where I can schedule tweets and so I do feel I neglect this a little and at the moment i get the 2nd highest number of referrals from it.

Pinterest

ilive4travel pinterest

Pinterest is something I have only started using, it took me so long to get my head around it and understand what it is for but now I love it and am using it to plan my future trips!!  It will soon take over twitter as my number two referrer.  I use Canva to make my pins and it’s easy to pin them onto my posts.  Again I have joined more facebook groups to help get my pins repinned.  It’s great that after such a short time I am already seeing the benefit of it, which is great.  I still have a lot to learn on this I think, rich pins and group boards.  I am now over 1,000 followers but I still have a lot of work to do and over the next few months need to make sure all my old posts have pins attached and get them promoted.

Instagram

ilive4travel instagram

Instagram I have but I don’t particularly use that much, I do put pictures on and try and keep getting my numbers up but I find that it’s a lot of work for very little reward.  I get very little traffic from Instagram to my blog but maybe it’s something I need to look into more.  Do you have the same problem or am I doing something wrong?  Do you get much traffic from Instagram?

SEO

SEO, this is something that I am still trying to get my head around and something that I need to spend more time getting correct on my blog.  i have done a few courses that have included SEO sections, so I have more of an idea but it’s still a weakness I think.  I have finally got Yoast on my account which helps show me areas I need to do better but I still need to get my head around keywords.  Anyone got any tips on keywords, on how I choose what my keywords are in a post?

When I started my blogging journey 6 months ago I had no idea how much time, effort and dedication writing a travel blog took and I still think I need to get more efficient and organised.  I have learnt so much in the past 6 months about the different social media out there and done numerous courses online.  I never knew that it would be a full time job, the work you need to put in is unbelievable but hopefully in the end it will be worth it.  I think as long as I am enjoying writing about the places I have travelled and making the most of seeing those places and helping people to find the best things to do in those places  then I will be happy.

My family still don’t understand it’s work, when I tell them I am working and they say you might as well get a proper job the amount of hours you are putting into it, but for me travel is my life and maybe in the future my blog will help me travel the world.

For the next 6 months I have more travels planned.  At the moment I am writing this in Peru, I am here for 3 months.  I am finding it hard getting into a routine of travelling and blogging, but I guess it takes time to get used to doing both.

I am also planning on seeing 18 countries in Europe this year so it’s going to be a busy year for me.

Besides travelling though my goals for my blog for the next 6 months are as follows:

  • Set up a plan of the posts I want to write.
  • Fully understand SEO and update all my previous posts
  • Finish creating pins for Pinterest on all my posts
  • Increase my numbers of social media followers
  • Write some reviews of hostels I have stayed in
  • Get part of my travels paid for by my blog

Is there anything else you think I need to do or is there any advice you can give me on my 6 month goals?  Any help is appreciated.

Am looking forward to reading this back in 6 months and seeing how I did with my goals.  I really hope I get the discipline needed and don’t get distracted by all the travelling!!

If you liked it, then pin it.

6 months as a travel blogger

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30 thoughts on “6 months as a travel blogger

  1. I’ve also run my blog for about 6 months now although I did not actively promote it until very recently. For Facebook I think it’s important to share content that really engages with followers. Not necessarily your own content, but content elsewhere is fine as long as it intrigues and/or provides valuable information to your followers 🙂

    • Have you found that that when you share other people’s posts it has less reach and engagement than your own posts? Maybe I just need to be more selective in what I post? How many times a week do you post to facebook?

  2. Well done for keeping it going for 6 months, I think a high percentage of people would have given up by this point. You could put your instagram feed on your website so visitors can see more of your travel photos!

    • I guess only the people who love writing about they are doing and maybe hope to make a living out of it in the future keep going!! Thanks for the tip I will look and see if I can find a plugin for that 🙂

  3. Technically I’ve been blogging for near enough 3 and a half years now (crikey!) but have only been “properly” doing it since about August last year, and only recently I’ve started putting an actual effort into the social media side of things. Previously I was happy enough with my couple hundred WordPress followers but now I’m like, GIVE ME ALL THE PAGE VIEWS!
    Struggling BIG TIME with FB! I don’t know why but I feel a lot more awkward sharing links and updating posts on there than I do Twitter/Instagram. As for Pinterest…well…I have NO idea.
    Also, please don’t take this the wrong way but your blog is INCREDIBLE for 6 months along! Seriously, if you’d been able to see mine after 6 months, it was laughable.

    • Thanks so much. I still feel I have a long way to go and a lot more to learn. Pinterest is great once you understand it and facebook still gives me the most traffic. The facebook groups I have joined have certainly helped me and pointed me in the direction of resources for learning bits I didn’t know 🙂

  4. After Facebook, I get the most views from Stumble Upon. When you post in Instagram, try to use the text to direct people to your blog. For example, post pictures that relate to one of your blog posts and then say something like “check out my blog for more information.”

    • I need to look into Stumble Upon as I am getting some traffic from it, despite not being on it!! I will have a look at your instagram pics to see how you do it, as I know I can do better!!

  5. I feel like we’re about at the same stage in our blogging “careers”. It’s so much more work than anyone can ever imagine unless you actually have a blog! I sometimes find it really daunting trying to keep up with all the social media outlets and still working on figuring out SEO properly. Anyways, congrats on your 6 months – keep up the good work!

  6. Hi Clare! I just found your blog and love it. I started a blog several months ago for reasons similar to yours, to keep friends and family in the loop as I traveled around. Somewhere along the way I discovered that I love it! Love meeting fellow travelers, love sharing my experiences through words and sketches, and… well u get it.

    I haven’t really jumped into social media platforms yet (particularly Twitter and Pinterest) but this post has piqued my interest. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to following along as you bounce around the world!

  7. Thanks so much!! This is so useful. I am a VERY new blogger and really loves this article. It gives me hope that I too can get the hang of Pinterest. You have to tell me what some of those repining groups are. Also glad I am not the only one who didn’t realize what she was getting into. All the best and can’t wait to see your blog develop. OXOXO

    • The 3 main facebook groups I use for Pinterest are, Travel bloggers guide to Pinterest, Ultimate Pinterest group for Travel Bloggers & Pinterest for Travel Bloggers. There are also occasional threads in other travel blogger groups. Hope this helps and good luck with your blog 🙂

  8. Thank you so much for writing this post about social media strategies! As a new blogger myself, I am still figuring out ways to grow my social media following. I’ve got the most followers on Instagram compared to other accounts, but like you said, it doesn’t really drive actual traffic to my site. Facebook and Twitter result in actual clicks, but I need to grow them more. Do you have particular “groups” you recommend joining to help with this? I really appreciate your tips and look forward to following your future work! 🙂

    • Facebook is a hard one to grow but “Travel Bloggers” does a lot of Like 4 Like. Another one I like for threads is “Real Travel Blog Promotion & Interaction”, yesterday we did a follow all on twitter thread 🙂

  9. Congratulations a great first 6 months. It’s often tough to see yourself objectively, but I think you should give your self a pat on the back for how much you’ve learned and accomplished. You’re passion for travel is clear and you’re biggest asset. The mechanics and strategies of social media are very important, but nothing without that core passion.

  10. 6 months with such achievements are pretty awesome I would say. I started my blog long time ago and neglected it for years then back to be active again about 1.5 years. Compared to yours, I am still far behind in the total number of followers in each social media account. I might have done things incorrectly and still learning to figure out how things work like you. Hopefully I can make better progress this year. Yeah..let’s do it together! 🙂

    • It is hard work to get your number of followers up and for me its hard fitting it into my travelling and being sociable too!! I hope you too can grow your account this year too. I have found that joining lots of facebook groups for the different social medias really helps 🙂

  11. We’re a bit behind you with the blog, so your post is useful. My January focus was Twitter, and the next to tackle is Pinterest. I’ve set it up and posted other peoples’ pins, so now got to make my own and start sharing with group boards etc. I honestly don’t understand any of the other platforms yet!

  12. Keep on trucking. Blogging is for sure work and it’s much more involved than anyone who doesn’t do it knows. I’m a blogger too and really, the work is creating your own trusted voice and working to be heard. It gets easier over time, but don’t get comfortable and let your quality slip, cuz people will notice and then it’s all for nothin’.

  13. Nice post. I don’t think most people understand how much work is involved in getting an online income-generating project off the ground. It’s a lot of work for little reward but if you stick at it long enough and put it in the effort, as you are doing, then it usually pays off in the end. Good luck with your blog and happy travels.

  14. Happy 6 month anniversary! I think your struggles are shared by lots of bloggers. Pinterest is my #1 traffic driver BY FAR… so I hope you see great results from creating pins for your posts. Keep up the great work and good luck figuring out what works best for you.

  15. It’s such a steep learning curve. I’m up to year three over here! It’s a lot of fun and you do get to meet some amazing people along the way

  16. Congratulations on your anniversary! So many experience a great influx in traffic with pinterest but I’ve never realized how that media works.

    And I agree – instagram doesn’t bring any traffic at all!!

    As for seo – I need to learn this too!

    • Thanks. Once you understand pinterest it’s great. I now use it to plan my travels!! I feel I could be using instagram better but we will see. I hear stories of it making people money but I have no idea how!! SEO, I feel I will never understand!!

  17. It’s so inspiring to read pieces like this – to see someone pursuing their passion in life. As a blogger and lover of travel, it’s hard to have these amazing experiences and not be able to share it. I am always inspired by other people’s travels, so it is good that you decide to jump in and become a travel blogger yourself. Can’t wait to read more of your adventures!

  18. Keep on blogging and you have done a tremendous job for your blog. As a fellow full-time travel blogger, I can attest to the amount of work and time commitment it involved.It is certainly not for the faint-hearted.

    For Facebook, I am currently recommending Facebook Fabulous and Exchange Travel Facebook Post Likes (New Group). They all helped me to grow my Facebook followers and engagements tremendously. I found once you get dozens people like and interacting with your pages or posts, more people will like your posts and pages without you doing many work.

    I really do not like StumbleUpon through. I sometimes join the SU thread but just for the sake of traffic (yes sponsorship and ad companies like to see the numbers). It destroy the bouncing rate and the visitors just stay for a couple of seconds and that it. And the same as you, Pinterest and SEO is something I need to work on too. Currently Pinterest is my #2 traffic driven source next to Facebook.

    Good luck with all your blog journey and cannot wait to see how good your blog will be after 1 year.

  19. Looks like you are off to a really great start! I just started my blog a few months ago and you’re right. It is a lot of hard work. Hopefully the payoff will be grand! Keep up the great work and good luck!

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