Mistakes I have made as a Travel Blogger

If you are starting up as a blogger, surging adrenaline comes with actions that you later feel could have been avoided. Over the last year and a half of blogging, I have been through such phases, and I know I am not the only one. Here are some of the tips that I believe would have you avoid the time wasters and take the right actions when starting up as a blogger:
Will it be hobby or work: Do you want to keep your travel blog as a personal diary which you will share with your family and friends, or do you want to take it to the next level and venture on the path of becoming a professional blogger? For months, I did not dwell into this extremely important question
Choosing a blogging platform: Most bloggers start with either Blogspot or WordPress platform. Making the right choice before starting would save you from migrating between platforms later. Deciding between blogger or wordpress takes some research. It is time well spent

Being generic: As long as it is not The Mashable, which talks about a wide range of topics, I suggest you begin to find your niche as you progress. A blog with a niche will funnel audience that is genuinely interested. Find a flavor that is unique to your storytelling style and to the information that you provide. Be selective in what you write

Image Source: Flickr Creative Commons

Working in isolation: This is one of the biggest mistakes that I did. For months, I worked in isolation. I did not meet other bloggers, did not read their blogs, did not indulge in conversations and was not at par with the latest news from blogging world. Remember, you can’t survive (as in you will literally die) in isolation. Create conversations with similar people

Competition vs Cooperation: This is the next most relevant thing I had to speak about after speaking on ‘Working in isolation.’ Blogging community is small and the opportunities available are massive. Consider other bloggers as your friends and partners not as your competitors. Support them and help them in forwarding their cause. They will be more than happy to support you back

PS. Competition mindset does not survive in the industry for long and so do the people who have it

The power of social media: Twitter is one of the most powerful tools that a travel blogger can use to connect directly with the right people. I was not on twitter for months. Knowing how to use Social Media wisely will give you immediate exposure to the blogging world. Most travel bloggers use Facebook, Tumblr, Google+, and Pinterest to connect around the globe. Have your own YouTube channel

Image Source: Flickr Creative Commons. Image By: Jason Howie

Patience is of the virtue: Social media, although a very powerful tool, still needs you to be patient. It takes time to build trust in the community and gain reputation. Please don’t go bonkers by checking your website traffic and twitter followers every hour

Image Source: Flickr Creative Commons

Context is decisive: A fellow blogger once suggested me that I should update something everyday on my blog to get more traffic. Slowly, I realized that it is not the quantity or the frequency but the quality that matters. The quality of your content, writing style, multimedia content will have people come back to your blog for more. This will build serious followers over time. Damage caused by low quality content will be long lasting and difficult to reconcile. Focus on providing content that will be of actual worth to the reader

Being professional: Now that you have decided blogging will be for work, you got to take it as one. Be professional in your approach to PR companies, online and print publications and industry professionals. Get a business card printed and give a professional look to your blog. I have visited PR companies and travel boards without a business card. Trust me, it gets embarrassing when they ask for one and you have to make excuses

Know your worth: I want to give special emphasis on this. If you don’t know your own worth, no one else will. This work will be your bread and butter. Know when and how to ask for payment for your work. If you won’t ask, no one will pay. Define your values and goals and stand by them. A travel board once asked me if I charged for my work. I fumbled, because for me, my work was not worth charging. This is when I started looking at my work from a completely new perspective. Remember, we are only a select few and worth in gold

Image Source: Flickr Creative Commons, Image By: Kris Olin

If you have some practical tips for bloggers who are starting up, based on the mistakes you did, please share with us in comments.

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Gaurav Bhatnagar
Gaurav Bhatnagar
Travel Writer, Photographer, Public Speaker, Entrepreneur @ www.thefolktales.com
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14 thoughts on “Mistakes I have made as a Travel Blogger

  1. Great information, thanks for sharing and exposing the mistakes so others (like me) don't have to find out the hard way. I am just getting started with my website, my brain is mush, but I can't wait to actually start writing something.

  2. Dear Anna. Thanks for reading. The journey as travel blogger started only 2 years ago but it has been quite intense I must say. A pleasure to experience after all the sleepless nights trying to find some foothold. πŸ™‚

  3. I really love reading and following your post as I find them extremely informative and interesting. This post is equally informative as well as interesting . Thank you for information you been putting on making your site such an interesting. Travel Tips

  4. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.A fantastic presentation. Very open and informative.You have beautifully presented your thought in this blog post. Travel

  5. Hey Bonny. No worries. It's always a learning journey. Even the most successful bloggers are learning all the time. I also have few more points to add to the above list now πŸ™‚

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