Successful travelling and blogging depends on a few simple factors which I would like to share in this blog post.
Once the decision was made to travel the world, one of the biggest excitements for me was blogging on the move. I was imagining myself travelling and blogging from just about everywhere, in the hotel room, in a cafe, in a balcony or by the beach. But the truth is, I ran into the illusion of time.
Back in London, having a full time job it wasn’t easy keeping up with blogging. Finding the time, energy and inspiration to write after a long day at work was very hard, but I tried my best. And probably like many amateur bloggers, I was dreaming of a lifestyle where I could do nothing else but blog.
If only I didn’t have a full time job, I’d have all the time in the world to experience new things and write about them. And then one day it finally happened.
Charlie and I decided to change our lifestyle. We left our jobs and London behind in exchange of a nomadic lifestyle. I thought this was a dream come true. Finally, I will be able to travel and blog at the same time. I will be able to update my blog as an when I visit many amazing places. Well, this didn’t quite happen.
The reasons why travelling and blogging doesn’t always work
First of all, it’s the time illusion. As we started travelling we wanted to see as many things as we could which meant we were travelling fast. We were so immersed in all the amazing things around us, that after a day of excitement all we wanted to do was sit with feet up, beer in hand and enjoy the evening. Blogging wasn’t on our minds.
Tiredness while travelling and by travelling I mean transport. After spending 8 hours on a hard seat with zero leg room on a 3rd class train in Thailand just to hop onto another uncomfortable train, all you want to do is to catch up with some sleep, not blogging. You make a note to blog about it and move on, to the next destination. And so the experiences keep piling up, unwritten.
Planning and research eats a lot of our precious time. If we are on the move and staying in one place for only a few days, we don’t blog either. We do our research. We search for accommodation, research the sights, prices and best ways to get there. Even searching for food sometimes becomes a mission. The time evaporates and the next thing we know we are back on the road.
Believe it or not, but uninspiring accommodation can be an issue when trying to blog, because then we just want to be out, enjoying the sights.
As we have fully experienced lately, fast travelling is the enemy of bloggers. Staying in one place for 3-4 days doesn’t give you anywhere near enough time to reflect on all the beautiful things we’ve just seen, let alone type it up on our laptops.
Occasionally we did manage to knock a few post out while on the move, but these were the times when we weren’t doing much, for example when we were on the Mekong river tour in Laos and spent 2 days on the boat. The other instance was at a hidden backpackers beach, but then again, all we did was eat, drink and relax by the beach, without crazily exploring the area.
How to make travelling and blogging on the move successful
It’s proven by many travel bloggers that for a successful blog, you have to focus on one thing. Forget about running multiple blogs while on the road.
I had to choose between my natural skincare blog and MapTrotting because, I simply couldn’t sustain 2 very different blogs. It’s important to stay focused on one subject and become an expert.
One of the most important decisions we made to make travelling and blogging work was to slow down travelling. This doesn’t mean you have to stop seeing and experiencing things, simply you have to stay put longer in one place.
For us this break came when we arrived to beautiful Luang Prabang in Laos. Staying put for just one week was enough to catch up with our travel blog.
When in Luang Prabang, we made a conscious decision to spend at least 3 days out of 7 doing nothing but blogging. This was the best decision we made in terms of building our website and creating useful content.
We literally stayed in our accommodation and only went out for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In the evenings we’d sit on the terrace with a local whisky on the rocks for a reward. And for the first time it felt right. It felt like we were travelling and blogging on the go. It felt like we were living the dream.
Once we made the decision to slow down, we created a simple list of the blog posts we needed to write. We divided the blog posts between us and set a deadline when we want them done. By the time we left Luang Prabang, we had blog posts scheduled on our website for a month in advance. We had some breathing time! And that only took us three days. Three precious days of not going anywhere and just spilling it all out.
We didn’t feel guilty about not going anywhere because we chose the right place to do the blogging. Luang Prabang is a small and beautiful town and once we explored it for a few days, we felt we could now enjoy our passion of travelling and blogging.
The beauty of slow travelling and where we are now
Now that we’ve experienced and figured it out for ourselves how the successful bloggers do it, how they can manage travelling and blogging at the same time, we see the beauty in slow travelling.
After travelling to Vietnam and exploring the north and the central part of the country, we are currently renting a flat in Hoi An. We are slowly exploring the area while mostly working on content and catching up on travel posts that are still on our list.
And this is no less exciting than seeing lots of new places. We live in a local, quiet and very nice street by the river, five minute bike ride away from Hoi An centre. We buy fresh produce from the local market every other day and already found our favourite local restaurant which serves amazing Cao Lau. We cycle to the town when we take a day off from blogging to explore the beautiful streets of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
So now we’ve discovered the trick of slow travel we aim to keep going, slowly. As the blog is still quite young it will take real effort to get it noticed and start attracting regular readers.
But that’s fine by us as long as we can keep blogging away, doing what we love each day.
Are you a travel blogger or thinking of starting one? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…