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10 Things You'll Think after Becoming a Travel Blogger

10 Things You'll Think after Becoming a Travel Blogger | CosmosMariners.com
Travel blogging means views like this while you're working!
{Cozumel, Mexico}
I've been blogging for over five years, and exclusively travel blogging for nearly two...and it has been one crazy, wonderful, magnificent experience.

Over the last 24 months, my relationship with my blog has gone from we're-just-aquaintances to my other child. I plan what I'm doing around my posts and what I need to do for it. And like, a small child that needs constant attention and nourishment, the blog has slowly grown and--dare I say?--started to thrive.

10 Things You'll Think after Becoming a Travel Blogger | CosmosMariners.com

Also, like a child, the blog has caused me many, many days of stress and sleepless nights as I try to fix technical problems that are way beyond my comprehension, juggle social media marketing with hanging out with my family, and the overwhelming feeling that I will never, ever, ever get everything done on this thing that needs to be done.

If you're thinking about starting a travel blog, here's what to expect after you've picked your travel blog name, set up your website, and opened those social media accounts.

Be prepared: it's one heck of a ride!  If you're the happy current owner of a travel blog, these blog phases are probably the story of your life, too.

10) Why didn't I think about doing this years ago?

I started my travel blog with starry eyes and a huge sense of what I was going to accomplish. After the first few weeks of just producing travel content, I realized that I had discovered something that combined all of my favorite things: writing, travel, and education. There couldn't possibly be a downside to this perfect thing that I'd stumbled upon. (Right!?)

9) Working for myself is so fantastic.

After being a teacher with certain lecture and office hours (and endless hours of grading), the idea of working for myself when I'm able to make time is so awesome. (The whole working-for-myself thing was perfect until the first week when my toddler got sick, and I couldn't stick to my usual posting schedule...and that's when I realized that working for yourself means that if you don't do it, no one will.)

8) So, when do I start making money off of this thing?

The newness wore off about four or five months into my professional blogging career: I had the hustle, I had the content, I was building my blog with new readers, but I had nothing in my (freshly minted) business account to show for it.

I've been at this travel blogging thing pretty seriously since late April/ early May 2014, and I've only just started to see my monetization efforts pay off within the last 6 months or so, mostly with affiliates like Booking.com and Bluehost. If you're justing starting out in travel blogging (or any blogging niche), know that the money will come eventually, even if that seems impossible when you're first beginning.

7) I'm definitely a traveler...not a tourist.

After that honeymoon phase of travel blogging wears off, you'll remove the rose colored glasses and realize that there are a bunch of petty arguments that keep going around and around and around the travel blogging community. The most popular of these is the traveler vs. tourist mentality (though the argument about whether you're a "real" traveler because you travel quickly is a close second), which continues to make the rounds even though everyone is thoroughly sick of these meta-travel musings.

Yet, at that early stage in your travel blogging career, you will feel the need to take possession of some of these titles because all of the other cool kids are doing it, and you'll mull over whether you're a traveler or a tourist, a slow traveler or fast traveler, a budget backpacker or luxury globetrotter, and if you'll ever be a legit travel blogger because you don't ever want to couchsurf and you're not in your 20s.

6) Uh, who cares about labels anyway?

Ultimately, you'll break through to the other side of all of these labels and realize that you're just you and your quirky travel habits are what make you happy. Who care what everyone else is doing (or how they're doing it!) if your particular brand of travel is what keeps you going!

5) I hate traveling. Seriously, I'm never leaving the house again.

I won't lie: I have hit this stage in the last few months, mostly because I struggle to balance my normal non-traveling life schedule with the incredible amount of time that my blog needs and the necessary pitching and traveling that comes with my niche.

At some point in your travel blogging career, you will go through this phase and wonder why in the world you've chosen a job that requires you to keep going and going all of the time without any end in stop. I have felt a bit like a hamster on a wheel that keeps getting sped up as my blog grows and needs even more attention! Add into that fact that I have a toddler who requires just as much attention or she'll burn down the house, and my day-to-day life can be more than a bit overwhelming.

Of course, the depth and intensity of this phase probably has a lot to do with everything else you've got going on in your life: the stresses of young kids or ailing parents or your full-time job outside of travel blogging can definitely make it seem imperative that you travel less and stay home more.

My advice when you begin this phase is just to keep going--because it's going to get worse before it gets better.

4) I spend so much time on my blog that I don't feel as if I have time to actually travel anymore.

In part II of the travel-blog-disillusionment phase, you'll really hit that wall and realize that there's a balance out there between your traveling and your blogging (and thus, your source of money!), but you're not sure where it's hiding.

Now that this blog is my full time job, I have to plan SO much when I'm heading out of town for an extended period of time. When we went to Ireland earlier this year, my husband joked to me on the plane over there that it was the first time we'd talked in several weeks because I was working morning, noon, and night just to put my blog on autopilot for the two weeks we were gone.

That much work has made me second guess these long trips, which really is unfortunate since they are something I love to do. I travel to blog, but the ratrace that is the travel blogging industry sometimes makes me feel as if I blog to travel.

3) I'm tired. I'm tired of writing. I'm tired of blogging. I'm tired of social media. I'm tired of thinking about traveling. I'm tired of emails.

And this is where I am right now. My kid just had spring break from her preschool, so my precious hours of work twice a morning were snatched away. Add in the fact that we haven't been home for a weekend in nearly a month, a trend that will continue well into May, and you've got a melting pot of stress and non-blogging.

Sometimes, I think that if I have to schedule one more tweet, write one more word, or post one more time on Facebook, I will scream. On more than one occasion, I've told my husband: "I just want to go sit on a beach far, far away from my computer, and enjoy the sunshine."

His response: "You'd like that for a day, but then you'd probably try to blog about it." Seriously, travel blogging, I can't quit you.

2) This might be the worst decision I've ever made.

You will wonder many times why you decided to post that first blog post. You'll wonder why you spend so many hours getting little to no pay. You'll wonder why you care so darn much about how many people have liked that Instagram photo you posted of London. And you'll wonder if you should quit.

But you won't because one thing will keep running through your mind:

1) This might be the greatest thing I've ever done.

And it will be. Even with the late nights, the endless pitching emails, the sassy (and sometimes downright rude) comments, the never-ending posts and social media scheduling, travel blogging has been the most rewarding career that I've had yet.

There are days that I think about going back to teaching, but I realize that, now I've seen the world from this side of the computer, there's no going back. Despite those bad weeks and months, I love making new friends who love traveling as much as I do, inspiring others to see my favorite places, and being able to write about my passions each week.

To all of my old readers--and those new to Cosmos Mariners family--thank you for being a part of this journey. It's a wild ride, and I'm glad that you're here!

This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase through one of the above links, I will receive a small commission at no additional charge to you. 

10 Things You'll Think after Becoming a Travel Blogger | CosmosMariners.com


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