I remember when I first toyed with the idea of starting a travel blog.
It was 2015 and my biggest secret.
Mostly afraid of what others might think and doubtful that I could even do it for I was just a 20-something accountant.
But the idea never left and suddenly I found myself brainstorming clever names.
Slowly, I started asking my family what they thought of this name, and that name, and months later I FINALLY decided on a domain name!
Fast forward to October 2016, I returned home from Europe with no job, no car and strong desire to give travel blogging a go.
Now, almost 2 years in the blogosphere, I’ve been through new blogger hell, and am here to share vital tips I’ve learned along the way.
Tips that will keep you SANE during the whirlwind that is before you.
So, let’s get to it!
Being a one-person show while balancing social life, relationships, and other jobs can go from 0 to “why am I doing this?” really quick!
Here are 10 vital travel blogging tips for beginners. You need to know and practice if you want to maintain your sanity as a new travel blogger.
#1 Keep Your Workspace Tidy
Trying to work around clutter is only going to distract you more.
It’s difficult to prioritize tasks when you have a million things piled up around you.
My desk is in the middle of my apartment between the kitchen and living room so you can imagine how easily distracted I become when I look up and see piled dishes in the sink and pillows tossed all over my living room.
Prevent yourself from feeling overwhelmed by keeping your workspace neat.
As a result, you will be at ease and more focused on the task at hand.
#2 Listen to Classical Music to Stay Focused
Listening to classical music while working is shown to increase productivity and focus. This is known by many as the Mozart-effect.
I personally listen to the Hans Zimmer and Electronic for Studying station on Pandora.
This is an especially helpful blogging tip if you are working in loud areas. Use music as an escape.
#3 Get Organized from the Beginning.
This is a crucial blogging tip for beginners. Read closely.
Have a backlog of blog posts ready to go. You want to be ahead of your content not behind it.
My rule of thumb is to be one month ahead with ready to publish blog posts.
And by ready to publish, I mean, pins created, photos edited, social media posts drafted, etc.
To help visualize, create your own content calendar.
I recognize there are good project management programs out there to keep you organized such as Trello.
However, as a new blogger, you don’t need to be spending money on these programs, especially since you are most likely a solo team and have few to zero projects in queue.
This will change quickly because you’re going to kill it, but still best to minimize expenses until you start making money to cover them.
#4 Budget for Expenses Besides Traveling
Yes, travel blogging has tons of expenses besides plane tickets. And if you don’t budget for these, you will find yourself quickly in the hole.
These expenses include content creation supplies, software tools (i.e. Tailwind, Adobe Creative Cloud), incentives (i.e. giveaways), networking events, etc.
But what about Ad spend on Facebook, Instagram, and Google?
Honestly, don’t throw money at ads if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Paid advertising is a huge trial and error game fueled with lots of money. So, unless it’s in the budget (like $300/month budget), don’t do it.
Instead, put that money aside in a fund that will eventually cover these expenses.
#5 See Projects All the Way Through Before Starting New Ones
This is the best practice with just about anything in life.
Starting too many tasks at once can lead to feeling overwhelmed and ultimately setting yourself up for failure.
That’s not what you want, is it?
Back to my point of keeping your desk tidy. By doing this you will find it’s easier to start and complete a task before moving on to the next one.
#6 At the Same Time, Learn to Live with a Never Ending To-do List.
This tip will seem contradicting to the last, but it’s necessary to recognize you will always have something to do; new things to add to the list.
Recognize certain tasks will arise needing your immediate attention.
This will happen A LOT!
However, as soon as you’re done taking care of those emergency tasks, don’t lose focus on what you were working on before.
Try to remain calm and check one thing off at a time.
This is way easier said than done but try to make a conscious effort.
#7 Create More than You Consume.
This single handedly helps reduce comparison envy.
Have you ever fallen into the ibis of the internet? Getting lost on other blogs or social media profiles – only adding to your pile of things you have to figure out.
Congrats, you just took time away from creating your own content.
My best advice is to remember why you got into blogging in the first place.
Was it to share your message and create your own content?
Next time you find yourself in this position, try engaging with the content whether it’s commenting on the blog post you just read or the YouTube video you just watched.
If you’re going to spend hours perusing the internet, might as well promote your brand.
An even better solution is next time you find yourself scrolling through other bloggers Instagram feed, shut your phone off, throw it under your bed, and go write a blog post!
#8 Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
That means don’t drink 8,000 cups of coffee a day and drink like a fish.
Instead, eat less sugar and carbs. Workout and stretch daily.
I will be the first admit, I love sweets, I don’t go to the gym for hours every day, and when I’ve had it up to the roof, nothing sounds better than an ice cold beer.
However, the better your lifestyle the better you will feel physically and mentally. Yes, your food intake plays a part in mental clarity.
Eating healthy can improve your concentration and focus. If only everything were that simple!
#9 Sleep, Sleep, SLEEP!
I know your stretched thin and everyone is telling you to hustle harder than you’ve ever hustled before. But if you are not getting a good night’s sleep, you will become irritable, bloated, stressed, basically everything that prohibits you from being the best version of yourself.
By good sleep, I mean, uninterrupted REM sleep. Less tossing and turning and more sweet dreams.
If you go to bed at a reasonable hour but find it hard to get comfy and fall asleep, then you need to consider a new mattress.
For months, I’ve been sleeping poorly – waking up with aches all over my body ultimately leading to the downfall of my day.
I mean, who wants to work with a back ache and kink in their neck?
So, I decided it was time to change my sleeping arrangement and opted for the Tempur-Pedic Pro-Adapt.
I couldn’t be happier!
The Pro-Adapt minimizes tossing and turning allowing me to sleep uninterrupted through the night – waking up feeling completely refreshed and ready for the blogging day!
When you wake up feeling 100% you are already winning.
#10 Remember, this is Your Business and You’re the Only One Who Can Make it Flourish.
I live with the notion that “if I don’t do it, someone else will”. I repeat this phrase to myself daily. Even more so when I’m full of doubt, completely overwhelmed, and full of FOMO.
No one else is going to wake up every day and make your blog succeed. Only you can do it.
And don’t let your mind bring you to a place of doubt.
If starting a blog was what you want to do then follow through! If you fail, at least you tried. If you start and eventually lose interest, at least you tried.
Now chug some water, take a jog, throw on some classical music and work on your task at hand. You will most certainly be slaying in no time!
Huge thanks to Tempur-Pedic for sponsoring this post. Since switching to the Pro-Adapt mattress, I am sleeping through the night and waking up feeling great and ache free.
Great tips. I too have the habit of taking on too many things and some of them stay unfinished even as I go into new ones. Should avoid that!
I’ve been there and still find myself trying to take on too much. I literally have to repeat to myself “one task at a time” in order to see it through. Thanks for commenting.
Those are some amazing tips for starting your own blog. One thing that gets missed out is budgeting for things beyond travel. Sleeping poorly can be a big challenge. We figured the best is to sleep when you are feeling sleepy! There are dependencies on things like network availability which, at some places is faster at night..haha… especially in some of the remote areas!
This is true. I should work in afternoon naps haha. Thank you for sharing.
Some great tips here, love the one about listening to classical music. I listen to the radio but get very distracted so I’ll try that tip for sure and should maybe cut down on the caffeine! Some very good advice, wish I had found this earlier !
Thank you for the kind words. Glad you found some helpful. Best of luck in your coffee cut down.
Lots of interesting tips here that are useful for all bloggers, not just newbies. I haven’t played around with paying for advertising, but it’s something I’m going to look into for later on.
Great tips! I’ll also add force yourself to write daily. Set a timer. I often find that even on my non-inspired days, if I just give myself the opportunity, something will pop into my head and I’ll keep going even after the timer goes off!
Agree to all of these points! travel blogging requires you to plan a lot, and create a LOT of content – but also to engage with others too. Even though you create a lot of content, I still think that only forms about 20 percent of the job! Sleep and a work/life balance is a tricky one especially in the beginning, because we want to often throw ourselves completely into it, brimming with new ideas and options to build the blog. It’s a tough one to find the right balance for.
Totally agree with all of these! I mean, working out physically when stress from blogging beats us down! Yay! Much needed! “And don’t let your mind bring you to a place of doubt.” – I badly need this now! hahaha I sometimes think of giving up blogging but thanks to this!
Thanks for sharing tips for beginners in the blogging world. Blogging is the world where when you enter it looks simple but after you have entered then it is an ocean. There is always a never-ending list and on top of that, we have to maintain strict deadlines while not neglecting our sleep and daily routine. And loved your #10 tip that this is my thing and I can only do it. Very inspiring!