My #1 Travel Blog Mistake

Mistake

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Travel Blog Mistake

Soooooo.

You lovely readers noticed radio silence on my blog, huh?

Since you all adore me, I bet you wondered why – after such a strong start – my posts suddenly vanished in a puff of e-smoke. What happened to Blond Wayfarer? you thought to yourself, sad eyes gazing at your computer. She was hilarious and cute. Where, oh where, did she go?

I feel like I must provide answers!

Did a disease strike me in a foreign land? Did I find a gorgeous Australian (cause they travel lots) and elope in the middle of Poland? Did my fear of flying consume me and force me to swear off travel forever? Did I just forget my log in credentials?

HA.

Mistake
Stunning view of Cesky Krumlov. Easy to forget the internet with this sexy fairytale scenery.

Do you want to know the real reason why I failed to update my travel blog chronicling my adventures?

Here it comes!

I was too lazy to write while I was overseas enjoying the sights, activities, food, and people.

Yes, folks, I was too lazy to weave together fantastic posts for everyone to enjoy. I promised to deliver and failed. Now I wasn’t a complete slug! I wrote in my paper journal whenever I had a spare moment, but me tracking down a computer to update my blog simply didn’t happen.

Honestly, I’m embarrassed to admit the truth here, but I pride myself on being totally and completely transparent with my audience. I’m not perfect. I never was. Laziness and procrastination are huuuuuge character flaws of mine.

While in Berlin, after I was briefly frozen out of my account, I decided that I couldn’t be bothered stressing over scheduled blog posts. Instead I planned to write upon arriving home in the USA. I saved a lot of money for my summer travels and wanted to enjoy every single second.

Unlike a lot of bloggers, I’m not a digital nomad and don’t earn a cent from this website so financial motivation was non-existent for me.

Me on a bike in rural Austria. If only I had the same work motivation to write!
Me on a bike in rural Austria. If only I had the same work motivation to write!

Please don’t misunderstand me.

I want my site to succeed. I shelled out money to build it, and I’m currently enrolled in blog courses to improve my skills.

However, my laziness is a fatal flaw. I hope to tackle it in the near future, though. More trips are coming. They’re unplanned, but they’re coming. When I next step on a plane, I’m determined not to allow my sloth-like nature stop me from providing fantastic stories and tips for travelers who are similar to me.

I’m sorry I didn’t update.

No, I really am.

Mistake
Whee, let’s leave this embarrassment behind us! [Lake Bled, Slovenia].
Instead of moping, I’m forcing myself to accept my failure to update as a learning experience and move on from it.

Here are my tips for brand new travel bloggers who wish to write on the road:

1. Bring a laptop. I know some of you might think a laptop is an expensive, heavy, and pain-in-the butt device to bring with you on your travels. Lugging a laptop through airport security and then a busy city street isn’t my idea of a fun time, either.

But, truth be told, if I had a laptop, then I’d update my blog a lot more than I did. Most of my hostels didn’t have communal computers, and the communal computers I found didn’t have a place for me to plug in my camera (which makes sense, cause who wants a virus?). In addition, I didn’t want to waste my precious time running around cities and towns searching for internet cafes.

If you’re a serious blogger who hopes to create a brand and audience, then bring your own laptop. You can write and upload photos in the comfort of your own room.

2. Find a hostel with strong wifi. Free wifi doesn’t mean good wifi. I stayed in many hostels that advertised free wifi, but the signal was limited to the lobby or a single floor. In some hostels, the wifi constantly kicked me offline and made it impossible to check my e-mail, let alone write a post on my phone’s wordpress app. In other hostels, there was no password protection, which made the security of the wifi network sketchy at best.

Personally, I hate when hostels advertise free wifi that never, ever, ever works, but this post isn’t about my hostel complaints (more on that later!). Instead I’ll leave you with this piece of advice: read hostel reviews. If the wifi is terrible, trust me, then people are gonna vent on trip advisor or hostelworld about it!

Mistake
Are you on time? [Prague, CR].
3. Pick a time to write and stick with it! As a teacher, I’m a bit obsessed with schedules. The bell rings at a certain time. I schedule tests on particular weeks. I post calendars around my room. And I’m twenty minutes early for work.

As a blogger, my schedule crumbles into tiny little pieces, and I need the folks at Travel Blog Success to seriously shake me for my lack of dedication.

Schedule a time to update your blog. For example, if you decide to update you blog three times a week after your lunch, then force yourself to commit to that time! You’ll stay on track much better than I did.

4. Keep it casual if you don’t plan to earn cash. As I’ve said, I’m not a full-time travel blogger. I’m a secondary English teacher and return to work in September. I’m not going to lose piles of cash and clients if I fail to write in my travel blog, although I eventually would like to earn money and a devoted audience.

If you have zero plans to grow your site and only want family and friends to read it, then don’t make yourself sick about updating your blog. Write when you want to. You don’t want to resent your own website.

Are you a travel blogger? Do you keep it casual? Or is your blog your full time job? Have you ever been way too lazy to update your site? C’mon, you know you wanna tell me.

4 thoughts on “My #1 Travel Blog Mistake

  1. Rashaad says:

    I don’t know about Central/Eastern Europe – but there are some places in the world where you can get frequent Internet access even if you don’t bring a laptop. In any touristy areas in Thailand, Internet cafes are very prevalent. In some places, the connection speed can be a bit spotty but the last time I was in Thailand (five years ago), I had no problem getting access to the Internet. Where Internet cafes prevalent where you were?

    • Rachel Elizabeth says:

      Haha, this is so embarrassing to admit, but I didn’t even check for internet cafes. I think Berlin had quite a few, but the smaller villages didn’t have any. I was also surprised that many hostels didn’t have communal computers! I know Thailand draws many digital nomads so the many cafes aren’t surprising. 🙂 PS: You’re making me wanna visit Thailand.

  2. Eden says:

    I’m a shy, introvert who loves the thought of traveling alone (or with my dog as a companion or with someone who doesn’t mind being dragged around on my crazy adventures). I like the fact that you’re a teacher and travel during summer break. I wish I could do that. I work full time at a restaurant though and that is entirely different. It doesn’t stop me from dreaming of traveling, but lack of funds stop me from actually going out and doing it. I can relate with your laziness and procrastination. I’m very lazy and a huge procrastinator myself. I’m also very forgetful, hence the need to either write a to-do list and keep it readily on hand and set reminders so I don’t forget to do things. I also have a very short attention span, which is why I’m tired of monotonous jobs. I also get depressed and discouraged quite often and even though I have a couple stories I want to share, every time I write about them I feel like they aren’t good enough. I want to start a local travel blog, but I’m worried I’ll not make it because of the type of person I am. Do you have any advice for someone like me?

    • Rachel Elizabeth says:

      My best advice for starting a blog is to dive in and do it. I was nervous about starting a blog for 2-3 years because I thought I couldn’t compete with other established bloggers. Yet I love travel so much that I began to write for myself, which helped me care less about whether or not my writing was good enough for the internet. I realized my biggest obstacle was myself.

      I think a local travel blog is a fantastic idea, because it means you have a strong niche! 🙂

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