My blog is 3 months old this week (aka January 2016) – did someone say partyyyy?!? – and I’m starting to come to a point where I know which direction I want to go with it. Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait to find out, because that’s not what this article is about… 🙂
If you want a hint, read this article or this one.
But first, keep on reading this one, it’s gonna be funny, I promise!
I decided to start a travel blog because I wanted to write down my stories, share my passion for travel with others and connect with like-minded people. And to make lots of money, of course!
No, seriously, I obviously wouldn’t mind making some money with my blog, but I’m not quitting my day job just yet… And mostly, I’m not willing to do NO MATTER WHAT just for money. I don’t care if you’re blogging just for fun, to try and make a bit of money to help pay your travels, or because you want to make it your job. Certainly, your approach might be different for any of these situations, but as long as you stay true to yourself and don’t become a sellout, I can respect your choice. Unfortunately, the number of bloggers that only seem to want to satisfy the masses in order to grow as fast as possible is huge…
Does this mean I’ll never try out new things just to see for myself? Of course not. As always when you start a new thing, launching a travel blog involves a learning process. It’s about testing things and finding out what works best for you and your readers, and of course it comes with changing approaches and a few ‘mistakes’. There’s so many things to learn: the technical part, the design, the writing in a language that’s only your 3rd language, the networking, the part where you try to get readers, etc… I’m the curious type who wants to know everything right away, so before even starting I spent hours checking out ‘successful’ travel blogs and articles full of ‘useful tips’ about travel blogging.
Wanna know what I found?
A helluvalotta crap!!!
“Follow these 5 easy steps and gain 10 000 readers by tomorrow morning.”
“Pay 578 USD right now to take my blogging course and you’ll be able
to quit your job by the end of the month.”
“Learn all my secrets about…” wrote the guy with 458 769 monthly readers,
which makes it hard to still call it a secret, right?!?
I mean puh-lease… Who believes those things?!?
If it were THAT easy, wouldn’t we all be putting down our asses on a tropical beach, drink Mojito’s all day, post some pictures on instagram every once in a while and never come home again? OK I must admit putting pictures on instagram actually IS hard work with all those filters you have to add – because apparently nobody wants to see a normal looking picture anymore… Plus, after a whole day of drinking Mojito’s…
Tulum, Mexico, the view from our cabaña on the beach. Believe me, I wouldn’t have come home if it were THAT simple…
Anyway, let me share the ‘best’ trends and pieces of advice I’ve came across on the internet with you and tell you why I’m not going to follow them. But first, let me start with a tip I actually AM going to follow but which still is worth mentioning. It’s like the number 1 on every list of blogging tips. Every. Single. One of them.
Ready??? Here it comes…
“Write good content about interesting things”
REALLY?!? Can’t I just sit in my couch all day and write a load of crap about it??? Damn, I’m gonna have to change my strategy…
1. Start EVERY post title with “how to” or “10 tips/reasons/ways/…”
OK the fact that you’re reading this article kinda proves (sadly) that strategy actually works… And I’m not saying you should NEVER use titles like this. I’ve done it myself a few times too, like when I wrote my 34 reasons why I travel for my 34th birthday. But what’s wrong with a bit of originality?
I could have called it “How to spend 2 days in Rhodes town” but instead I chose “Getting lost in the cobbled maze of Rhodes town“. It’s one of my most shared and most read articles since the beginning of my blog and I doubt that’s because Rhodes is the number 1 on everybody’s bucketlist…
If you can’t even come up with a decent title, how
are you going to write the rest of the article?
2. Write lists and keep it short
Of course, you have to live up to the promise of your “10 ways to…” title, which kinda asks for a list of 10 points…
“Remove the superfluous details of what really happened, 99% of them don’t interest the reader. Stick to the facts.”
No, I did not make that up…
Let’s look at an example from my “The slow boat to Cambodia – How the Mekong broke my heart” post (which by the way I should have called “10 Things the Mekong taught me” if I wanted it to be really successful).
“Slowly we glide over the Mekong river, rocked by the water for hours, getting tired but refusing to fall asleep. It’s too beautiful and too ugly at the same time to miss even a minute of it. Lush tropical vegetation in stark contrast to tiny rickety houses. A woman using her ‘toilet’ (read board with a hole in it and some panels fixed around it, not even high enough to cover up her upper body) right above the river as we pass, a man washing his cows in it a bit further down the stream.
People are working like animals on the fields, each and every one of them looking up to wave at us. They have the biggest smiles I’ve ever seen. Children dressed in rags running along the shore in an attempt to follow our boat, probably still too young to be dreaming of jumping on it and sailing with us to better places.
After 2,5 hours we arrive at a building in the middle of the river…”
Following the precious advice about ‘sticking to the facts’, this would have been something like:
“We sit in a boat for 2,5 hours. There’s children along the shore and a woman peeing in the river.”
You’re right, that’s waaaaaaaaaay more interesting…
PLEASE people, can we get a bit of emotion and a hint of passion, too?
Are we really resuming the magnificent experience that is traveling to a bunch of lists and facts? What are we, a guide book? Of course I’ll give you the practical details behind my stories, but what’s the use in giving them if I don’t make you WANT to travel, first? So pleeeeeaaase let’s not give in to this whole top 10 trend, please let’s not loose our passion!
3. Place random Google advertising on your blog in order to make money
Really, ANYTHING seems to do the trick… Not long ago, I saw one for sex toys. Sex toys!! Now I can understand one’s sexual desires don’t suddenly go away when starting to travel, but that doesn’t mean I’d go to a travel blog if I were looking for sex toys, nor would I suddenly decide to buy a few because the article I just read about ‘The 10 best spicy foods in Thailand’ made me hungry.
Maybe it would be time to redefine the words ‘travel related’.
It’s not because you cut your toe nails while you travel that all of a sudden toe nail cutting becomes travel related, is it? Well at least I hope so because if I’m gonna have to start reading articles about people cutting their toe nails, I think I’ll run away and never come back! Hmmm, runing away and never comming back… actually that doesn’t sound bad at all… Can somebody write an article about toe nail cutting please???
On top of that, you really have to be naieve to think this actually works if you don’t have 400 000 monthly readers. Nicole from The adventures of Lil Nicki wrote a post about it that’s so hilarious I actually have tears in my eyes every time I read it. It’s called “How I’ve made $0,21 as a travel blogger“. Check it out here!
4. Post loads of sexy pictures of yourself. If possible looking perfect wearing a tiny bikini.
What is this? America’s next top model?? Are we writing about travel or about how to have perfect skin, hair and measurements? Are my stories less good because I’m not a size 0? Is my advice less valuable because I’m actually wearing clothes in my pictures?
Can we please stop being fake???
Can we please show the real side of travel instead of spending 3 hours getting ready for the perfect selfie? I mean who looks like that when it’s 37°C outside with 95% of humidity?!? Who wears heels for a visit to an aercheological site? Who takes a curling iron on a trip to the Mekong?
What about emotions? Aren’t we allowed to look like we’re having fun instead of doing everything we can to look perfect for the picture? To cry when something breaks our heart? To sweat and have our hair sticking to our face when it’s hot and to look like shit after spending 15 hours on a night bus?
I’ll show you what a girl having fun in a swimsuit really looks like. There! Am I looking super skinny, perfect or even a tiny bit elegant? No I’m not! Am I having a blast? You bet I am!
Update 19th April 2016: if you want to keep on laughing, check out this recent article I wrote about all my (not so) glamourous moments on the road !
5. Be in your twenties
I guess the reason why I’m not following this one is obvious. At 34, I shouldn’t be traveling anymore, and definitely not writing about it. I should be growing up and getting a real life instead!
6. Write about yourself in the 3rd person
“Liesbeth is a part-time travel blogger from Belgium. She loves traveling, it’s her greatest passion. She wants to share it with you but she didn’t have time today to tell you herself…”
Does this need further commenting? I guess not…
7. Hire people to help you
Well I actually have to start with another tip: “Be on social media 27 hours a day”.
And once you’re finished with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Bloglovin’, StumbleUpon, Google+, YouTube and all the others, you’re not ready to go to bed yet! Of course not, you still have to write your great content!
Nobody explains where you’re supposed to find the time to actually travel anymore, so I guess that has to be secondary? Can anyone confirm? Are we supposed to look for the information for our top 10 lists on google or what?
But I don’t really want to discuss about social media presence here. Yes, blogging is a lot of work and people are not going to find out about your blog if you don’t show them the way. Everyone has to decide for themselves what they want from their blog and how much time they want to put into it. It’s a personal choice, a passion, and I’m not judging it in any way. So let’s skip that discussion.
But, if you’re still awake, you must have noticed something was wrong. That’s right: there are no days with 27 hours in them! So it’s obvious you can’t do this alone! But luckily our dear superstar travel bloggers have a solution: hire people!
You can pay them with the 21 cents you made from your advertising.
Why I’m not doing this? Because I haven’t set up Google Adsense yet, I’m still looking for the one promoting the sex toys.
8. Set up an email list to get lots of trafic
OK don’t misunderstand me: I get why you would want to have an email list. But I do need some explaining on how to get thousands of people on it BEFORE having lots of traffic… Maybe we’re just supposed to subscribe random people?? Are there lists? If anybody can enlighten me… I’ll be forever grateful!
So that’s it, you’re all set now to become the best and richest travel blogger of all times! And don’t worry, the secret’s safe, I don’t have 458 768 other readers you’ll have to share it with. Of course not, I’m refusing to follow the guidelines for getting more traffic!
Now guys, don’t get me wrong: I’m not judging anybody and I have been finding my way in the travel blogging world myself over the past couple of months. I might have done some stupid things but I know exactly where I’m going now. So if you’re looking for quick articles you could have found on google instead, fake pictures and lists without any emotions, this will probably never become your favorite travel blog.
On the other hand, if you want to hear real stories from a girl with a genuine passion for every single aspect of travel, please stick around and follow me, the adventure has only just begun.
7 Comments about traveling I never want to hear again | My other travel stories
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you are doing amazing job and it will help to so many person, who would like to travel.
This is a inspiration for those who are hesitation to write the blogs or any articles also.
This article was great and made me feel a lot better. I am pretty new and don’t follow the stereotypes and I am always stunned when people say they have 10,000 visitors/month after only blogging 6 months and getting free travel, etc.
Yeah they only forget to tell us where they bought their 7000 followers in 1 month… I’m blogging for 3 months now, I got like 6 propositions all together, worth a total of about 15 USD… Half of them didn’t even have something to do with traveling… It’s just sad!
You need to keep in mind that there are all sorts of people out there blogging. A person with 0 experience in anything website related reaching 10,000 visitors a month after half a year is incredibly impressive indeed.
However a similar goal achieved by a person that has professionally worked for years in any digital marketing related field and has a few websites already under their belt… Well that traffic would be expected and getting anything less, a disappointment.
There’s no point in getting depressed about such things, in my opinion one of the best things about managing your own blog is the unbelievable amount of different things you need to learn and that can be in turn put to good use in your workplace.
I loved your creation I hope you will also like my travel blog. Your blog is too cool
Very entertaining piece to read! Seems a trend these days that people wanna grow as quickly as possible with their blog and post crap content without any personal experience or emotions. The feedback I get from my few readers is that enjoy the personal side of the stories I bring. Keep it up 🙂
Thanks Lionel!! The worst thing is the emotionless stuff seems to work better than our writing that comes straight from the heart… But let’s not give in, we can do it!! 🙂
Ahhh I love this so much! Every time I read one of those tips I die a bit inside, because I know it will encourage even more boring, unoriginal content that shadows out the actual good stuff. Like, you know, emotions. Stories. Unique experience. People not in their twenties having a blast in a bathing suit without trying to look sexy. 😉 and how is “write good content” supposed to be advice? Why would you even blog if not to write about interesting things? Anyways. I guess I’ve read too many of those articles. Keep the originality alive!
I say ‘ayay’ to that! (or how’s that written?) What’s sad is that for some people ‘write goog content’ actually IS advice. I read a post about ‘how to travel with wine’ today… I mean OK we all have different passions but why even waste time on shit like that? You put it in a bag, wrap some clothes around it and get on with your life… Or rather: you empty the bottle before getting on the plane, problem solved :p Thanks a lot for reading and commenting, I’m happy you feel the same way!! 🙂
If it was a blog about actually sipping from a glass of wine in your hand whilst travelling then…I think I might read that! (but seriously) I agree wholly with your observations, I love to read stories about destinations, not a check list of Instagram moments.
Being a slightly older traveller too I appreciate the reality of visiting these amazing places and think the stories where the writer has had a difficult time really compelling. It’s not all sandcastles and laptops!
Hahaha Lili this is hilarious, I rant about the same things regularly! I see you’re stuck on the $0.21 you’ve made that are burning a hole in your pocket as well too. And I can’t agree more about the about the constant flow of “look how sexy and beautiful I think I am” selfie travel posts and Instagram accounts. There’s a reason I’m behind the camera most the time… I don’t wanna fix my hair and suck it in for a pic, and if I’m in a picture I usually try to wear sunglasses because I just don’t care about looking a beauty pageant contestant while I’m traveling the world actually having a good time. But mostly im trying to show other people dramatic landscapes and how beautiful the planet is… Not trying to jam my narcissistic head in front of a jaw dropping location for a good ol ego stroke. Oh and I hate lists that provide no insightful info… Just clickbate to get your followers off the FB and onto the blogger analytics numbers!
I didn’t make $0.21, I got that from YOUR post! 😀 I put a link in the article and I just sent you a mail about it 🙂 Wait I’ll make the link a bit more visible :)I am full of admiration for you, for I myself have made $ 0 from my blog up until now!!! Hahaha 🙂 Thanks for dropping by!
Ok I’m an airhead and totally missed the link there haha.
You still beat me at making money from a travel blog, so I wouldn’t even dare to laugh :p
This is one of the best blog posts I’ve read in a long time! Thanks for making it real.
Aaaauuuwwwhhh thanks for the compliment Tricia!! 🙂
Hahahaha oh my god this is brilliant girl! I agree with everything you said especially the Google ads thing. Probably made $3 in the whole time I used to use it. Maybe I should put that towards a blogging course that will make me a millionaire 😉
Haha let me know if you do, so that we can discuss about how I can put an affiliate link to it on my blog and get 20 cents every time somebody subscribes through my blog!! 😀
Haha! All of these made me laugh Liesbeth. Great post!! I’ve been experimenting with Google Adsense and I have made more than $0.21 luckily but still up in the air on if it’s worth it. Do you what’s extra funny though? Google Adsense also displays ads based on what the viewer has been looking at!!
Hahaha what are you insinuating there? Do you want us to do a second article about my other collection? 😀 hahaha just kidding!!!! 🙂
This was absolutely brilliant (and hilarious to boot)! I’ve often lamented these myself, particularly the need to constantly write click bait titles. Yes, I’ve written some in the past myself but personally hate sacrificing the creative for the accessible. If my blog grows slowly then so be it! Thanks for putting this out there!
You’re very welcome Tamar 🙂 Thanks so much for reading and leaving a message!
Love your blog, and love this post! So nice to see a more realistic post about blogging, rather than one that makes me feel bad for not having a million followers 🙂
Thanks so much Ailish! I’ll let you know if I ever get to 1 million followers, but I don’t think you have to be expecting a message anytime soon 😀
Always love your style!
I don’t know why I can’t find the comment button! So hijacking someone else’s comment instead. 😛 Funny post, Liesbeth! Just goes to show how much crap there is around the Internet. Especially the “read all about my mistakes so you don’t have to make it” variety. If there was a surefire formula for being successful, everyone would be. In the end, we can only real find the right way to go about it by ourselves. 🙂
Thanks girls! 🙂 I don’t know why we can’t add any more comments, I’ve checked all the parameters and it should be fine… This sucks! I’ll keep on looking but I suggest anyone who wants to add another comment replies to this one for now 🙂
It’s true, there is some pretty interesting advice out there for bloggers, but like you said, it’s only really going to work for you if you make your own rules and follow your own interests. We can all see through the gimmicks and ploys. It’s authenticity that wins out!
I hope so, but all the positive comments I’m getting on this article makes me think it will! 🙂
I enjoyed reading this. I’m new to the blogging world and am astonished at all of the clickbait crap out there. If you’re true to yourself and you are passionate about your subject it will be apparent to your readers. Quality over everything else.
Thanks Louis! Your blog looks nice, very different from other travel blogs, great!!
This post made me chuckle. You’re so right with some of the things you mention 🙂
Hehe thanks Zascha 🙂
Awesome post! It really made me laugh, specially “Post loads of sexy pictures of yourself. If possible looking perfect wearing a tiny bikini” LOL. I just started my travel blog a few days ago, still writing my first articles,and this has encouraged me a lot! Thank you! I love your blog btw 😀
Thanks Ivana! 🙂 Your blog looks nice, keep up the good work! It obviously misses some of those oh-so-important sexy pictures but I read you’re in your twenties, so at least you’re doing something right 😀
This just made me belly laugh! 27 hours on social media is not enough by the way. I think 35 is more appropriate. I always wonder what I’m doing wrong when I see other people’s pictures after a day of hiking. Some of these gals look like they are having a photo shoot while I’m sweaty and gross!!
Hahaha I clearly need to be more implicated! 😀 I don’t know how they do it either but I do know that if I have 3 hours, I prefer spending them outside of the bathroom 🙂
Oh boy, I’ve read a lot of these lists too and yours is, by far, the best take. Thanks for keeping it real, Liesbeth! You’ve definitely just won me over as a new reader 🙂
Thanks Heather, you make my day!! 🙂
This hilarious and most of your witicisms are true (bikins, blog titles, banner ads). Congrats on making the 3 month mark. I’ve been blogging for just over 6 months and it’s a slog but totally satisfying too.
Thanks and congrats to you too! 🙂 It’s sooo much work indeed but I just love it!!
I love this! Very well-written! I don’t believe English is your third language haha. I will be following your blog because I really want to hear genuine stories about your travels! Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Haha well it is, didn’t you notice I wrote trafic everywhere instead of traffic? Somebody told me afterwards haha 🙂 Thanks a lot!!!
I totally agree with the premise of this article. The bloggers who start blogging just because they want the $$$$$ make me cringe. “Just for the money” is never going to produce good blog posts because you’re not personally invested in it, in my opinion.
Sadly some of them do seem to get lots of readers… Apparently some people are just looking for some nice pictures and 2-3 words of superficial information. But, well, those people can go check out those other blogs if that’s what they prefer… 🙂
I love your honesty in this post 😀 It’s certainly well-written and too funny! I appreciate the fact that you’re telling it like it is – certainly a breath of fresh air in this community! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks Laura!! 🙂 I’m too old for not telling it like it is anymore, hahaha 😀 I’m sure that when I’ll be really old, I’ll be one of those cranky old ladies haha 😀
I love how hilarious this! Useful posts are great, but I’ll be coming back for more of your personality in addition to your travels!
Aaaauuuwwh thanks Meagan, you make my day 🙂
Great tips & love your humor!
Thanks so much Perrisha!
I love this! I’m also a new blogger who feels inundated with a bunch of false claims to get rich quick or get tons of followers. What they don’t tell you is these followers you can get overnight don’t care about your writing at all and will just hold you back. Thanks for putting everything out in the open and I love your humor!
Indeed, in the beginning it’s hard to make a difference between the real and the fake followers. But if you stay true to yourself, you’ll get there 🙂 Thanks!!!
Hahahaha. This cracked me up. I completely agree with you. Follow all those tips if you want a soulless, copycat, unoriginal, clickbait machine website designed to hook people in for money and money alone. This is my problem! I usually write my blog posts from the heart, so it’s not for everyone. And that’s OK with me 🙂 the people who read my blog are people who are genuinely interested, and I much prefer that. Thanks for such an honest post!
Mel | illumelation.com
You’re welcome Mel, I’m happy you liked it 🙂 Love your blog too, I love your writing and the look, too! I’ve subscribed to your newsletter to stay updated. I’m always in for some posts that come from the heart! 🙂
impressed with the amount of comments. Great post 🙂
So am I, I had to add comment boxes because apparently each one only goes up to 10 comments 😀 Hehe thanks!!!
Haha wow awesome tips! 😀
Yep, you’re all ready to be rich by tomorrow morning! 🙂
ahaha fun article! I am a new blogger to and share so much how you feel! Let’s just be ourselves and if we won t become rich, but we will have had a lot of fun and maybe even inspired someone else to go wild and free <3
We might nog get rich but indeed, we’ll at least have the time of our life 🙂
Totally love number 4!! hahaha… Your blog is awesome! So stay true to yourself and keep blogging the way you do it! 🙂
Thankssss!!! 🙂 I will, don’t worry!!
I enjoyed this post and agree on so many of your posts! I once saw a blogger give away his “secret” on facebook which said to spend 80% of your time on marketing and 20% on content. I was blown away as just about all my blogging time is given to content. Most of my posts are between 3000-5000 words. I may not have the largest audience in the world, but within 5 months of blogging I was contacted by a magazine editor who read my blog and I’m now their travel writer with my own 1000 word (3 page spread) feature every two months. I’ll take that over thousands of list scanner readers any day!
Woow that sounds great! And at least that way, you get to write real stories rather than 250 word lists with no value. I do spend a lot of time on social media, because well I’d like to get SOME readers hahaha 🙂 But the content obviously stays the most important part of my blog!!
This was a great read. I love your cynical tone and fun attitude. As an Online Marketing gal, I get so sick of some the schemes and the fakeness of so many people on the web, trying to cheat people out of their money and ripping people off. 🙁 People will love you for being you and being authentic. As a blogger, don’t be shy about your success and use strategies that bring you success (for whatever goals you set), just don’t be a sleezeball!
I totally agree!! There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be successful and I’m not saying I’m anti making money with a blog, but at the end of the day you still have to be able to look yourself in the eyes, right?
I read this with a bit of love/hate. Your points are valid and interesting, and I like your writing style. But gees you made me feel bad about being a travel blogger for a bit there!
Ooooh 🙁 Why? I’ve read some of your articles, seems like you write from the heart yourself, too. Don’t feel bad, I think you’re doing a great job!
Haha, ik denk net hetzelfde over al dat fake-gedoe, de Belgische nuchterheid waarschijnlijk 🙂 Ik ga binnen een paar dagen naar Brazilië, ideaal voor een bikini-shot, maar ik ben 39, dus zal waarschijnlijk minder goed scoren 🙂
Hahahahaha dat is NOG ouder dan mij dan 😉 Misschien kan je een lijstje van “de 10 beste Braziliaanse stranden waar ik nooit geweest ben” bij elkaar googlen om toch nog een degelijk artikel te schrijven! 😀
Love this list! And that you don’t follow them because I don’t follow them either 🙂 (Talesfromafork)
Something similar to my thought process but definitely much better expressed. Do read http://astonishingindia.net/2015/12/22/5-reasons-that-are-making-me-question-travel-blogging and share your opinions.
I see we definitely agree on all those points 🙂 Keep up the good work and don’t give in to the trends and fake advice!! 🙂
Haha! This was good 🙂
Hehe thanks!!! 😀 <3
Hahaha, that was a pretty entertaining read! Thanks for this post!
I also just started blogging, and by no means I plan to give up my day job to make this my career, but I admit it does take a lot of time and a lot of work.
However I still enjoy it and it is nice to see when people are coming to your little online place, read your thoughts and leave feedback. And this is something genuine, that comes from writing good content and not from artificially increasing your followers. Happy posting, you’re doing a great job!
Thank you!! You’re totally right: it’s a lot of work but as long as you’re passionate about it, it’s all worth it! And than when you see people are actually reading it, that’s just the best moment! 🙂
hahaha! I love this. I pretty much hate list posts. And honestly, if the list is longer than five things, I already got bored and stopped reading because stories are what connect people, not facts.
Thanks! You’re so right!!!
Great post Liesbeth! I love the honesty and thanks for sharing your trials and tribulations. As a 36 year old, I definitely resonate with point 5 😀
Giiiiirl, you’re even older than me then! Hahahaha 😀
It appears this is the lowest comment bar. So following directions, I’ll comment here. I loved this article. It’s so true. I follow several blogs where every photo is a selfie. I don’t want to see their bikini-clad ass in the photo. I want to see what the place looks like. I don’t put people in my photos unless there is no way to avoid it. I promised my followers that I would give them the good, bad and ugly side of travel but I am not putting my ugly butt in a photo. I don’t use flowery words to describe the location or the situation. I’m 69 years old. I don’t have time to add all those words. Get to the point, add photos, and if you feel like it, add a list at the end. If you read my story, you can pick out the items of interest or the best of the good stuff, the stuff that might not be perfect and the stuff you shouldn’t waste your time on. Do I really have to number them for you? I’ve have my website up for a year now.
I love writing. I’m not advertising anything, yet. I’m thinking of totally dismantling my email subscription section because I’m pretty sure that an email address with the words “@mypenisisbiggerthanyours” is not legit. Neither is one ending in “.ru”. And if you want to make a comment – try making a sentence that’s real. Phishing is so obvious. I’m also on Facebook – Tumble Along Tales. I have exactly 3100 followers but it may have gone up to 3101 today. That’s okay. At least they come back frequently. I haven’t quite figured out Twitter, and I have an Instagram account and follow some people but haven’t added any of my photos. Filters – what the hell? Thank you Lili for the best laugh I’ve had all day. I am definitely following you. <3
Hahaaa Karen, you rule! 🙂 You’re so right, it’s like you can’t write any real stories anymore, everything has to be a list of max 250 words so that the reader can’t get tired reading it. How did people become this lazy?? Keep on going, you’re doing a great job! I’m on my way to follow you on facebook 🙂 Oh and by the way, I’m very sad the guy with the big penis hasn’t subscribed to my blog yet hahahaha 😀
I think you might have 3102 followers now 😉
Thanks for this article!! I’m just like you, my passion is travelling and wandering the world and I recently thought about creating a website (still in process) and I realised that when you want to remain authentic, it’s harder. But I’ll be pride if people come to my posts and truly engage because they are interested. Making money is obviously fine, but as you said, I’m not ready either to do it at any price. So thanks again for this genuine article! And by the way, your blog is really pretty with great content, if you did it on your own, congrats!
Thanks Lola, you made me smile 🙂 Yes I did it all on my own, changed it about 17 times in the first 2 months but really happy with it now! I totally hear what you’re saying: passion before anything else!!!
I’m glad you’re not trying to follow that crap, it gets pretty tiring to read!
Thanks Katie! Let’s stay authentic! 🙂
I too “love” those blogs where the blogger writes 300 words has 10 pictures id themselves all dressed up (and always in the middle of the picture blocking the view)! And it amazes me the comments they get! Wow- I must be doing something wrong!
At least the ones you saw have pictures of the person in them… which proofs they at least went there :p You wouldn’t believe how many blogs are full of bigstock photos… But I totaly agree, if you want to write about how perfect you look, maybe starting a TRAVEL blog isn’t the right decision… Let’s keep on doing it wrong, at least we’re real!!!
Haha!enjoyed reading this post? I have really heard a lot of ppl say that all successful bloggers spend 80% of their time on marketing and 20% on content.When I started my blog,I would just put all my time in writing and then just selecting pictures I have,because I really loved writing.But,in the last year,I got introduced to all the different social media and groups and techniques for photo editing that require so much of time!But,I still want to have all my stories and thoughts out there,even if the titles are not ‘SEO friendly’!Sometimes though,I’ll admit,writing lists based on your experiences doesn’t seem like a bad idea.
Oh but it doesn’t botter me so much if it’s a list based on experience, but at least try to be original… A week or 2 ago I wrote about all the great things to do in Cuba, but instead of calling it 26 things to do in Cuba, I called it “my abc of cool things to do in Cuba” and made it around a word with every letter of the internet. It’s more original and at least my readers notice I’ve made some kind of effort! Thanks for your comment!!
Amen! You nailed that one sister! My blog is only 2 months and you have managed to speak on trends that I have been unable to embrace, ESPECIALLY the obnoxious ads and even more obnoxious selfies. Thank you for being real about these trends and giving us new bloggers renewed hope that we aren’t alone in the decision to not conform!
You’re welcome Jessie 🙂 I think we should all stick together!! 🙂
Lovely post. I like that – Can we stop being fake. I do not follow most of these advices, they do work to get some traffic but at the cost of quality of mu content and satisfaction.
You’re so right! I don’t think I’d even like my own posts if they were all lists and no emotions, and where’s the satisfaction in that???
Wow. I mean seriously wow. This article is an eye opener for an avid traveler and a new blogger like me 🙂 what an interesting and quirky read. I am following for sure.
Aaaauuuwh Jo, thanks so much!! 🙂
Really great post. I have just started my blog a few months back and can relate to all the comments you make
Thanks a lot Lisa!!
love it! Great written 😀
Aaauuwh thanks for the compliment!! 🙂
Totally love your tips! Even though Im using Google Ads, everyday Im becoming more convinced that no one can make a real living out of it!Definitely: your honesty will be the key to get more traffic! Thanks a lot for sharing this!
Actually you’re right: this article got me TONS of traffic hahaha, how ironic is that… 🙂
What a refreshing and fun article. Just seeing the volume of comments below confirms that your style is working well, it is very engaging 🙂
I’ve been blogging for over 3 years and admittedly tried some but not all of these. Titles are a pain to be honest. They need to be catchy and to draw people into clicking through when they see it on Twitter, Facebook or any other media.
My most successful post to date is nearly 2 years old. I think the reason it works so well is because it ranks well with Google due to keyword research. My “own voice” articles can cause a bit of a stir when they go live and have lots of interaction. They then seem to fall off the radar and nobody finds them.
I love your refreshing style. Do things your way and what works for you. As for your friend who made $0.21 travel blogging, yes been there, done that 🙁
Hehe thanks so much for your compliments!! Of course we try things, we’re travellers thus curious people, so of course we want to see if it works for ourselves. But as long as we stick to our own true stories and keep it all travel related, I think it’ll be fine! 🙂
Yeah, I’m just going continue documenting my travels without all of that. It’s already difficult to find a writing style let alone, trying to find a writing style with SEO guru’s breathing down my neck. Drives me crazy!! I usually read SEO articles to find out how to improve my site’s responsiveness and loading speed. 😀
I have absolutely no clue about SEO, it’s just too boring! 🙂 Haha, let’s just write from the heart!!!
Thanks for your tips, I will try to use these tips for my blog!
Seriously. If I read ONE more article that tells me to join Travel Blog Success I’m going to throw something. I’ve read dozens of articles about how to start a travel blog and they all say the same thing – diddlysquat.
Haha call me first, maybe if we throw something together it’ll have more impact 🙂
Ha!! Love this…I started my blog because I missed writing and wanted to share my travel tales…but find myself frowning at these ‘instant blogging success’ articles that keep landing in my inbox. My head hurts from all the frowning. Reading THIS blog has relieved my frowning pain. Thank you! 🙂
Aaauuwh you make my day 🙂 Thanks!!!
I just started a blog too and have been struggling with the same issues you illustrate here. I will be true to my own damn self and do what I love. thanks, sister.
You’re welcome, that’s what sisters are for! 🙂
I can already tell that’s gonna be super helpful.
Great article! Fun to read, and certainly hits the nail on the head. There is no quick and easy trick of gaining meaningful subscribers. I’ve been exploring copywriting, article writing as well as my blog. I’ve found that being true to why I love travel, and writing in a responsible way, makes my writing better. I’m focusing on loving what I write about, and being receptive to any and all $ that comes my way. No matter what, I’m having fun. Is anyone going to the TBEX North America conference?
I think that’s a very important point! It should be about fun and about what we love in the first place, because our readers will definitely feel that while reading! Let’s keep having fun!!
Great article…I love the personal details as well! Lists are way overrated….
Thanks a lot David! 🙂
Such a good article Lilli. Well done. I agree with you 100%
Thanks for the compliment Kerri!! 🙂
I could have written this, started 3 months ago, being almost 33 and 1/3 and trying to figure out what I should do- supposted to what I want to do. I love your sarcasm. Well done. Maybe that’s tip #9: be genuine by being a scarcastic b*tch <3 love it.
Haha I can only say 1 thing: let’s be sarcastic b*tches!! 😀
This post made my day! So fun and all so true. Thanks for the laugh 😀
You forgot those newsletter signup adverts that block the content that you’re trying to read- my favourites!
The truth is that a lot of the people who are really successful travel bloggers are digital nomads who do/did another job on the road while developing their blogs. Also, I do those ‘listicles’ since they are popular and easy to organize. However, some of the posts that have gotten real engagement are the ones in which I decided to speak from the heart or to tell a story.
Hahaha yeah they’re horrible, or some have social media buttons covering up the content as well 🙂 We get that you want us to share your content but if we can’t even read it… hahaha 🙂
hahahah so funny. I had similar thoughts after reading some stuff online 😀
Trying, and trying hard to get to share and make monies! Hopefully soon!
wonderful, tongue in cheek post, but all facts,
Haha I love this post. I read quite a bit of your content because your post titles are absolutely hilarious or attention grabbing. I like how you’re able to joke around on your blog and not take it too seriously!
Haha thanks Taylor! 🙂
Ha ha! Your sarcasm is the best. No wonder I haven’t gotten 10 million followers yet, I haven’t spent $39.95 for blogging secrets! 🙂
Hahahaha lemmie count: paying off $39.95 with a montly income of $0.21 (it wasn’t even montly but let’s be positive… :p) that’ll only take 15 years and 10 months! But in return you get 10 million followers and you can go and pay your dinner with your “traffic card” 😀
This post is so funny and so very true! I remember reading it on your fb page first and commenting there – now that I stumble onto it again, I want to comment again as the part about hiring people with the money made from ads on the blogs cracks me up every time!
Haha great post! I guess now Im ready to be a success travel blogger 🙂
Such a great post! Fun and entertaining, more of these please 🙂
Loved this one so much and I agree with it all. A blog should be fun and not all about making money out of it! Great article!
Excellent blog and I love the honesty throughout. There are no shortcuts and we all will have to find our unique ways.
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I am so glad you wrote this. I’m new at this and the advice some people give seems totally not me. Thanks for the validation!
Couldn’t agree more! Lili (eh, almost spelled your name with ‘y’ again- sorry!), you literally made me believe in people. It’s good to know I’m not the only one who’s not a superhuman, living in a few parallel realities, collecting 27 hours to write 3 sentences of a sponsor post with my boobs saying hi from every picture just between letting know the Insta people how avo toast looks like and scheduling 40 tweets to spam my followers over the next 24h. Seriously: Boobs going to Mallorca. Boobs having green juice. Boobs pretending they actually ate that 4-course meal in a fancy restaurant. And this just reminds my of a blog I used to follow- at the beginning I was really enjoying it then the content was getting poorer and poorer in favour of more and more visible breast of the blogger. I was still following the blog out of the habit, visiting it less and less frequently though. I didn’t get any stories, all I was getting was breasts (and nah, it wasn’t a porn site). Then only last week in one of those Mexico/Bali/who-knows-where-else bikini pictures the blogger was posing with only bottom part of her bikini on. And no, it wasn’t that sublime, artistic nudity, it was basically just a pair of breasts. The author didn’t resist informing the readers that very soon after the pic was taken, the other part of her bikini went off, too. Seriously??? Is it what we call lifestyle blogging these days??? Suddenly, I felt sorry for her. And it was my last visit on that blog.
Let me finish this (already too long comment) with a quote:
‘Big money is un-cool now. There’s something gentler going on. Our generation crave authenticity, real stuff, well made and respectful.’ /Jullien Dossena/
All the best & keep up your great work,
Aaaauuuwh I love that quote!! It totally sums up what I want this blog to be about: something different, real and always with passion (and without boobs hahaha 😀 )! Thanks for this great comment!!!
I don’t care much for those over-monetized top-ranking travel blogs either. They have tons of stuff to sell you, but usually very little good writing.
Totally agree! 🙂
Lili this is great! I laughed out loud. And especially #4….I’m so sick of looking at travel blogs I think are going to give me good info/advice/stories/photos and just seeing some girl in a bikini. (But I’m wondering if maybe I’m just jealous that I’m not at all confident enough to put pictures of myself in a bikini on the internet?) They just seem so unnecessary and attention-seeking.
Anyway, you definitely have a new follower! Here’s to being real! 🙂
Haha thanks Jenny! 🙂 Don’t be jealous, just feel good about yourself! Everybody’s allowed to have fun, right?!?
Love this. And if I read another 20 trips you need to take in your 20s post I may just through my laptop against the wall. And that says something because I really love my laptop and don’t even have 21 cents to put towards a new one. Plus I love slightly weird headlines so yeah for that and pissing of the SEO gods.
Hahahahaha you make me laugh 😀 I don’t think the SEO gods will ever be my friend either, with headlines like ‘Breathtaking views and a bucket full of shit’ – but who cares?!? 😀
No matter how many times I read this, it never gets less hysterical (or TRUE)
Haha thanks Natasha! 🙂
Great and hilarious post! I started my blog 3 months ago too. I’m reading a lot about “how to get more traffic”, but I also would choose for myself, if the tip is good for me or not. It seems that those “10 best blabla” posts are successful for bloggers. So I tried it too. But I didn’t even enjoy the writing. So I decided to stick to more narrative writing and tell stories about travel situations and so on. If I don’t make a lot of money with my blog, it would be fine for me, but I am enjoying to write and even if I share it with less people than the big travel blogs. The only thing matters: be yourself and look what you’re readers are interested in.
Totally agree! You should feel good about it yourself first and have fun with it!
Refreshing read! I regret following all the usual advice when I first started taking blogging seriously. I went back and removed all the actual interesting bits out of my anecdotes because all I was thinking about was SEO and such. Now, I regret that and just do my own thing – and people seem to like my honesty!
There’ll always be someone who wants to read your stories, no matter how you write them, but if you don’t even love your own stories anymore, what’s the use, right? Keep it honest and real girl!!
Great article. Strangely, I had pretty much come to the same conclusion as you just a few hours before I saw this story – so I’m very pleased to see I’m not the only one. I spend way too much time monitoring social media and rush to try and write my blog posts. I’ve now scaled back my SM so I can focus on the content. In six months, I’ll ramp up the social again and then see how I go. But as for the ’10 Perfect Things’ posts? Blah!
LOL. This list made me laugh. Well done you for sticking to what you want to write and how you want to write it. I personally find stories more engaging as well.
Shew, I know where you come from here. I remember trying to follow some of those tips on how to gain 10k followers in 6 months and am like, what? It’s only possible if you’re taking time away from creating good stuff and/or putting out superficial stuff to begin with. It is possible though, I guess. I’ve been at it on my site for just over 2 years and can say things are starting to do well. It takes time if you want to grow something worthwhile. Fast growth measures just become a hungry beast and need to be fed more often.
Thanks for sharing this, Lili. This was an awesome post!
Thanks Duke!! You’re right, obvs it’s possible to grow fast, but you just can’t be everywhere at the same time, can you! And between growing as fast as possible or creating good and honest content, I know which one I’ll always chose! Keep up the good work on your blog!!
Sad state of affairs – yes. I work for a website – i do content for the travel section. My boss says make lists – people don’t want emotions! At heart, I love to tell a story – what I saw, what i felt – so i sneak it in. I know and empathise with what you are saying. Travel writing needs story tellers – lists can be made by anyone. Keep writing please
Thanks so much Maya! I understand what you mean and I think many people only read easy to read lists, so it’s obvious that your boss wants you to write those… But must be really frustrating!
I love this! Thank you for some giggles. You are so right with everything you have said. Keep on blogging because I will definitely be reading more 🙂
Loved this post!! bookmarked it so I can read more later! Following you too!
I needed to read this! My blog was born around the same time as yours and, like you, I’m finally figuring out the direction. I was struggling just last night with writing a story that felt detached and lacked emotion…not something I would’ve been proud to publish. “Write good content about interesting things.” That sums it up!
Loved this post – I was drawn in by the title and stayed to have a good chuckle! The only selfies on our site are our sugar fondant figures – Pork Belly and I are certainly not fashionable twenty somethings! Keep writing about what you love and we’ll keep reading:)
Hahahaha, loved the Article Lili .. P.S. Made 0.81$ by now in the past 2 months from my blog 😛 Unable to get traffic more than 30 people in a day these days and then I see someone posting shits about how to get a few people on my blog and I’m like okay Ill click on t his post and then I come across yours and I’m like I’d rather read Lili’s post than go onto some random traffic junkie website – pleading to be read..
And trust me – I had an amazing time reading this one 😀
Hahaha 81 cents way to go giiiiirl!! 😀
Hahha this is such and accurate and hilarious post! I’m always amazed that people enjoy reading articles like ’23 things to do with a potato in Koh Samui’.. so much of it is just plain common-sense I can’t believe that it could be seen as useful. I write my articles in a more diary/guide format so yeah I don’t think I’ll be raking in the millions anytime soon! But hey, that’s not why we do it, right? Love your blog, I’m happy I came across it 🙂
Haha Zuleika you crack me up 🙂 Thanks so much for reading and for your kind comment!!
For interested readers, I gave up on the whole website / make money online story in 2008. Made a few pennies but it wasn’t worth it. It is easy to spend $10,000 to bring $10,001 and claim that as successful income!
A couple of years ago I started again, but this time I invested in a couple of “proper” courses run by people with the experience. Wow – big eye opener!.
No, I am not making an absolute fortune (yet ), but the direction is now clear and I am having fun.
Message is you can wing it and may get lucky, or invest in yourself and find out how to make it work the right way.
I think you sum it up very well! Yes you CAN be successful but only if you run things properly, have a vision and a business-minded approach, as for every other ‘business’ in the world, right?!? Money just never comes rolling in all by itself does it…
I feel I m close to setting this up.
hahaha! This post is awesome 😀
I love #5, in particular. At 37, it is a little annoying to constantly read posts about what I should have done 10+ years ago and can’t possibly do now that I’m over 30. Wonder what those bloggers will say when they reach 30 – it’s like they don’t realise that it’s going to happen to them one day! Having said that, if I had the figure for it, I wouldn’t mind posting a sexy bikini pic every now and then!
Haha every now and then is 1 thing, but there’s blogs where a girl in a tiny bikini is litteraly screwing up EVERY SINGLE VIEW!! 😀 And yes, maybe they all think life won’t be worth living once they’re 30 anymore or something like that, but luckily we know better, right? 🙂
I especially loved the one when you mentioned the ‘perfect selfies’. Gosh, I sometimes look at my photos where I look terrible – sweaty, tired and not at all sexy and think ‘how is that going to sell’? Oh well, we are who we are. I think showing a real side of ourselves and a real side of travel is great.
I say amen to that 🙂
Enjoyed reading this, and completely agree, I’d much rather read an interesting and well written story about someone’s travels than a bland list of ’10 things I learnt from staying at hostels’.
Be careful making fun of Google Ads on other people’s websites though – sometimes it can come back and bite you – https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/mar/17/gavin-barwell-date-arab-girls-twitter
Haha I know how it works but no, I didn’t order sex toys online if that’s what you’re insinuating haha 🙂 Thanks for your comment and have an awesome day!
When I first started blogging and read all of this random stuff online like “learn how to make tons of money and work from home” and other things that sounded too good to be true, I totally thought that blogging was another MLM platform in itself or that I would accidentally download a virus from these sites. They’re still fishy to me…. Have you actually clicked on one of those links to find out what happens? lol
I usually stay far away from all those things haha, they just look too dangerous 🙂
The title almost kept me from clicking on your link. I thought “Dear gawd not another effing one!” Well done! Couldn’t agree with your more.
Ok. Finally. Now I get it! Bas Brader guesses he’ll stop blogging then, being in his 40ies, not looking good in a bikini and blogging about stuff that is not easily put together in a list. 🙂
Loved your article, I feel exactly the same way. It’s the same with all the groups with their like-for-like stuff going in. Why would I like or comment a blog, or even share it, if it doesn’t add any value to my potential readers?
I think there’s one thing that is really important, and that is to be your own, genuine self, and show that to the readers out there. Keep on going. I’ll share this one on my facebook page because it was so much fun to read. (and fun is value to potential readers for me 😉 )
Hahaaaa Bas I don’t even understand why you still bother! 😀 Thanks so much and I totally agree! It’s all so fake, as if all those fake followers are ever gonna lead to anything… You can have 10 million followers, if they all just followed you to get a follow back but don’t really give a shit about your content, that what’s the use?!?
Thanks so much for your comment and for sharing my article!! 🙂
Really enjoyed this! When I started blogging a few months ago I did wonder should I be doing more to drive traffic etc. but I write the kind of blog I would like to read and that’s it really! Great piece
That’s great! Write for you first, put your soul into it and all the rest doesn’t matter! Thank you!!
LOVE your article and your way of writing! You must be doing something right, eventough you don’t follow this tips;) I keep coming back to your blog from different pages (facebook, Pinterest….)!
I am totaly new to the blogging world and still trying to figure out my way trough it all!
Haha I do put a lot of time into it because I really like doing it, and if you want readers, definitely in the beginning you just HAVE to promote it so that people know about it. So I think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with trying to get traffic in itself, as long as you keep it real and keep the emotion!
What a great article Liesbeth! You should probably sell it 😉
Haha how much do you think I could ask for it? :p
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It is sad that you are even able to make such good points. I assume that it is better to keep enjoying our lives with amazing travelling and keep the blogs as side projects. Who knows, maybe people will one day start to read other things than top 10 lists and no longer feel a need to look at other people on a beach. 🙂
We can keep hoping, can’t we? 🙂 And you’re so right, let’s enjoy the moment rather than spending 2 hours getting ready to take the perfect selfie of it!!!
I think this post is hilarious! And you’re 100% right. I’d rather read superfluous details anyday. Jeez louise! This tips are freaking everywhere. Just be a real human telling everybody about your travels and I’m 100 times more likely to read your blog. So you’ve got yourself a new reader. 🙂
Love it. The sad truth is that there are very simple ways to get lots more traffic to my site. Its just a matter of writing imbecilic fluff and making sure to have a good “click bait” headline. Guess I’ll never be famous
Hahaha we can be unfamous together! 😀
I disagree with a lot of points made in this article but see where you’re coming from. Great content is just one part of the puzzle, the real effort comes from having a proper distribution strategy in place. If all I’m going for is traffic or email signups, I have absolutely zero issues getting those metrics that you deem unrealistic.
After I publish an article, I schedule social posts for the next couple weeks and even Throwback Thursday posts months later. By writing for SEO, I also see traffic months to even a year later on any website I start too.
Seeding an email list is an easy task as well. You can easily export your LinkedIn contacts to a .csv that can be uploaded to MailChimp. Writing an introduction email campaign to these contacts with a strong CTA for referrals and social shares will help you build a strong list with about 1-2 hours of work.
It’s all about your approach.
First of all thanks for your thoughtful comment!
I actually think we agree more than you think 🙂 It’s DEFINITELY all about the right approach and strategy – but that, in my opinion, is exactly where the majority of articles that can be found on the internet with tips and ‘secrets’ to become a successful travel blogger fail. There is no strategy or mid-/long-term vision in most of them, only some short-term crap we’ve all read 85 times before…
Things like good SEO can obviously get you traffic, but how many of those articles give a decent insight into it? How many talk about decent and thorough social media strategies? I certainly didn’t find any 🙂
And that’s the whole point of my article: it’s definitely possible to build a successful blog and get traffic, but I doubt any of the “how to become rich in 2 clicks” articles are gonna help us with it 🙂
Thanks again for your comment and have a great day!
There are PLENTY of good resources out there for building traffic. This article adds nothing to the conversation other than complaining about others getting results you’re jealous of. Sorry, but this type of pessimistic attitude is just annoying.
What I find annoying are those people who are gonna come up with arguments that have nothing to do with the original article just to criticize… Those that just assume that all those who don’t agree with the crap the masses throw at us must secretly be jealous… I clearly wasn’t writing about the usefull resources and I think you know it… I also definitely have no reason to be jealous, but it’s not because I decided to follow some vague shit from those thousands of articles without any strategy or vision (which I WAS writing about)… Greetings, Liesbeth
It is hilarious, honest and helluva great read!! I know how it gets super crazy promoting, getting subscribers, marketing and then writing. By the time you come to that last part….your creative juices have literally evaporated!! Well. what can i say, i am sort of lucky cos its two of us running the website. My other partner mostly takes care of technical stuff which gives me enough time to write (except on those days he is down, sick or i guess…being lazy)!
I’ve been trying to follow some of these strategies you speak of, but I have kids. My perfect selfie never has make up and my hair *might* be brushed. I tried snapping to my one follower, who is a dear friend. I haven’t been on Snapchat in awhile.
It struck me later, as I was watching a successful blogger’s snaps, that she’s probably not a lot of fun to hang out with, since she probably feels she has to have her nose buried in her phone.
Oh! I also am well over 30! Thanks for the reminder to be me!
I started a blog mainly for me, as a way to share, and suddenly I see people are making money out of it. I’m sure it works for them, but I wonder if it would work for me, especially since I travel for work.
Anyway, love your blog!!
This article was hilarious! Haha Sometimes when I’m reading those kind of articles your talking about, I just think to myself, “have these people ever had a real job?”, because blogging is actually very easy. Now being a highly successful blogger is another thing entirely. Way to keep it real though!
You have become one of my favourite travel bloggers . Appreciate your wit and honesty . Many writers write with I don’t care attitude. But only few of them strike so strong . Iam sure after reading your blog quite a few would have done a self evaluation 😉 ! … Keep up the good work ..
Simply amazing! And the fact that your blog is less than 6 months old but the comment list here is way longer than your article, shows that you are defo doing things right! 🙂
Keep writing as detailed as possible, describe emotions and don’t become the Matthew Santoro of travel blogging 😀
Oh, and please never lay off the sarcasm!
Warmest regards from Ireland
Hi Sascha! Thank you so much for all your compliments, you truly make my day 🙂 Don’t worry, I will never loose my sarcasm, I promise!! 🙂
I would like to hear more about your travel adventures.
Haha love it, thanks Lili! I got a laugh out of reading this post 🙂 I’m still trying to establish my blog and don’t have a huge audience as of yet…I’m working on it and as you it’s definitely all about the content. Happy blogging! X
Good stuff! I love how you demystify everything you’re “supposed” to do on a blog. I’m struggling with it myself!
Really good post lili. We’ve been down the same road as you, watched all the videos, read all the articles and still not there. One wonders which is the right road to take and one is none the wiser. Thanks for a great read, and keep doing what you’re doing!
That’s so funny haha and yet so true. I read a few articles about that stuff and they all made me feel like “oh ok I’m obviously not a travel blogger material”. But then I thought ‘do you know what? it’s 2016 and nobody’s gonna tell me who i can or cannot be, if i want i can become a unicorn so i’m just gonna do my thing.’
Enjoyed reading your post. We have been blogging for more than ten years about our travels and thought about making it a profession several times. Right now we are glad that we keep the blog private and use it more as a posibiltiy to stay in contact with people we meet in person or online. It also gives us much more freedom to choose our topics and how we write about destinations.
I love your writing style and voice, it is hilarious and real. I have been trying my hand at travel blogging for about one month now. I have been traveling for decades and recently I have stepped up my presence on Facebook because we have family and friends that don’t have the courage to travel and explore but seem to love living vicariously. The travel blog world is very overwhelming but I am slowly finding my own voice. I am so glad to hear it is okay to step out of the “Top 10” mold. I read them but they are like chewing gum, tasty for a minute but no real nourishment. They are not my reading style and most definitely not my writing style. I have stories to tell, not lists to make! Thanks Liesbeth.
I really like your reasons to not follow most of the tips.
My blog is 3 years old and I have to say that I don’t have many followers, maybe because I try to keep it honest… I write what I want and not trying to fit in the norm.
Thank you, Lilli! You’ve listed everything I thought was terrible (although I make lists, too) about blogging. Indeed, it’s the emotions and the personal touch that keeps me reading. I thought I was the crazy one, love this post!
You are so real! And oh, hilarious! 😉
The “How I’ve made $0,21 as a travel blogger” killed me
Hi Liesbeth! What a solid punch that is! Have to say your article is deeply inspiring for a newbie travel blogger like me.
As someone who edited and published a print magazine for several years, I thought I would never have any questions about how much time to devote to quality content one. After launched my travel blog a week back, I felt I had got on to a decent start, but seeing the craze for number crunching…followers and likes and what-have-you, I’m afraid of getting sucked in the murky social media quicksand myself.
Reading your article has reminded me that its ok not to chase numbers mindlessly and to stay focused on the real goal, ie. love for travel writing.
More power to you!
I absolutely love this post. I did the same thing starting out: reading loads of posts on how to become a millionaire blogger in under 10 seconds (only condition is you have to sell your soul but who needs that anyways, right?). I knew from the start that I would never sell me (aka sexy pictures) but rather my travel advice and stories, but I have unfortunately fallen victim to the listing-stuff-game. I’m still trying to find my way but with some better advice from insightful, funny and interesting travel bloggers (like you ;-)) that shouldnt’t be a problem.
What a great article! We back you up 100% 🙂 Stay true to yourself! Always!
Keep up the good work 🙂
Patrick and Cécile
Thanks for the kind words guys! 🙂 And don’t worry, I’ll always just keep on doing my own thing, that’s for sure 🙂
Well, you hit the nail on the head there! You’ve managed to cover all the points that bug me about 99% of travel blogs – im so glad im not the only one who thinks theyre all morphing into the same blog ( to become blogging millionaires with 23 billion followers)
And thank you for writing a blog that I actually want to return to and read more – you paint a great picture with your words.
Must dash and come up with a few ’10 best ways’ lists 😀
Aaaauuuuwh Greg, thank you so much, and cheers to doing it differently! 🙂
This is awesome. Are you going to write about the social media stuff too because that is just as ridiculous as some of the blogging advice out there.
This post put the biggest smile on my face! I’ve done some causal travel blogging on-and-off for the past few years but only recently decided to make a serious go at it. I’m doing it because I want to share my experiences with others in the hope that it will encourage them to travel or help them avoid some mistakes I’ve made. I’m not doing it to make a quick buck so I can quit my job and travel full-time. You made me realize that there are other travel bloggers like me out there!
Hehe I’m happy you can relate and that I’m not the only one out there who sees things this way 🙂 Good luck with your blog!!!
Thank you – this made me laugh. Particularly on the points of sexy photos and being in you twenties – I can do neither of these! Nor would I want to. And getting lots of emails about how to hit 100,000 readers by morning…. In looking at the stats, what I get excited about are the comments, and not so much the number of visitors, but the number of page visits!
Yes comments are the best, and engagement in general! You can have 500k monthly page views or 7 million IG followers, if they don’t engage then what are they worth? Luckily I think that slowly people are starting to realize this!
This is such an original piece and I can absolutely relate to it 110%. I have never written a “top 10” article or curled my hair for a perfect selfie while on a backpacking trip. And if that means people don’t find my blog or stick around, so be it. I’d rather people stick around because they are inspired by my writing and my storytelling. Keep sticking by your own rules, because people like me would rather read your content than the content of the click-baity blogs!
This article made me laugh so hard! Thank you for writing it.
A lot of people act like travelblogging is just one big populairity contest….best photos, prettiest selfies…..but thats not, in my opinion, the idea behind a travelblog.
Anyway what do i know, i just started with this whole bloggingthing LOL 🙂
Ahaha! I just stumbled upon this article on Pinterest and I LOVED it!
Cheers to posts with real content and real passion and real people behind 🙂
10 reasons why i love this article…
Just kidding, keep doing what you like, not what others expect from you.
LOL. I’m 50. WAY too old. And I make a living from my travel blogs. It’s a job, sure, but the best damn job I ever had. Great post! ( PS the Adsense ads track what you’ve been looking at, I now know you’ve been Googling sex toys 😉 )
As a newbie travel blogger, I find this hilarious 😀
I came across all of these “great tips”, and I really wish there were more genuine bloggers like you out there 🙂
Thanks for sharing this article, and keep being yourself!
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It’s sooo true. I’ve read so many blog articles with the same info about how to make money blogging. I’ve made like 50 cents. I feel like it’s just hard work and sticking with it, not some magical formula.
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Haha omg I love this post! It’s exactly how I’ve been feeling since I started my blog a year ago. Everyone has pro advice on how to get more readers, how to get more attention, how one should write etc. Yet, I started my blog because I wanted to share MY PERSONAL opinion on accommodation, destinations I’ve visited, attractions I’ve seen etc… more importantly, I wanted to do it my way and reach people who would enjoy my writing style. So, I’m not a fan of all those blogging tips and I prefer doing it my way. I’m not a rich or popular travel blogger, but I still enjoy working on my blog and I consider that a huge win.
Ahhh, yes, this is hilariously on point! Love your genuine attitude and sarcasm, my writing is similar so I can relate to your thoughts 😉 Thanks for keeping it real.
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This is the Good stuff! I love how you demystify everything you’re “supposed” to do on a blog. your work is helping a lot.
I really admire your personality, we welcome you to visit our country.
Greeting from Morocco.
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Literally one of the most relatable posts I’ve ever read about blogging. I am soooo tired of these ‘blogging tips’ that people list off. I loved what you said about all of them and making 21 cents as a travel blogger is totally me. Thanks for the laugh!!
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