Do you envy me?
You could, but shouldn’t. Travel blogging is not about vacationing around the world all year long.
So what is it like, then, to be a travel blogger? What’s my workload? What do I do, exactly, all week long? When I am traveling, and when I am not? One of my friend, Genevieve, asked me these questions a while ago, and from the look I sometimes get, I guess a lot of people are wondering the same.
At last, here are all the answers to your most burning questions about my work. Because travel blogging IS work.
First, you have to know a little bit more about my situation. I own this travel website and blog, Easy Planet Travel. I build it all by myself, with the exception of the Destination Finder. I had to hire a professional to program it. And by the way, I am very proud of it! I hope you are using it often!
I try to work as much as I can, but my priorities and choices in life allow me to work for about 30 hours/week. I wish I could work more, because I want my business to be successful. But I have to keep all my priorities in check. I said my business, because it is a business: I am an entrepreneur. I am on my own, trying to make my way through a maze of other businesses, needs, supply and demand. Nobody is helping me, besides my family who tries to support me. I am on my own, and I am eager to succeed!
EasyPlanetTravel.com as a total of 41 pages, and 266 posts (blog posts, travel guides, etc.). Every page and articles have been written by myself, except for 1 blog post (Important Tips for Travelling with Your Pets You Don’t Want to Miss!!). My website also has a lot of plugins, and a lot of products in its shop.
Every week, I write new articles. I read a lot of travel blogs and magazines about the latest travel trends. I write about what interests me the most, and what I think will interest you. I find pictures that will fit with the subject, and design posts for Facebook and Pinterest, and sometimes I will also design infographics.
What am I writing about? My travel experiences, itineraries all around the world, accessible travel, perfect family retreats, the best destinations in the world, travel guides (I have 77 country guides written so far, not bad, hen?), travel tips, I make printable lists, update my list of travel costs for every country in the world, and my malaria travel map too, etc.
After I just published an article, I post it on all my social media channels, one after the other, with the corresponding design and links. I also look online for opportunities for me to promote my articles. I try to stay connected with other travel bloggers, comment their work and chat with them. I am working on guest posting too (it means publishing articles on other people’s website), as it gives a lot of exposure to my work.
Now, social media! Easy Planet Travel is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and YouTube. Some channels I am good at, some I am wondering why I keep my account open (oh dear Google+!). I try to post good videos on YouTube, but I really have to work on my filming and editing skills! But every day, I post on almost all of them, because I want to build a following and talk to you! I also answer a lot of emails and comments on my website.
To keep things interesting and fun, I like to run giveaways! And I think you like it too! To run a giveaway, I have to pick a great prize, design the ads, publish it and promote it. I usually pay for ads on Facebook.
Some of my giveaway prizes come directly from my shop. To have a shop is also a lot of work. I have to find the products you will like and want to buy, test them, contact businesses and get agreements. When I have decided which products I will sell, I get pictures of them, write a description, add them to my shop. Moreover, I have to prepare invoices, handle the products that are sold and ship them (after having designed and got printed labels and envelopes), and make sure my credit cards and PayPal plugins are working well. I additionaly have some affiliate link I am trying to promote.
As for my website, I have to regularly update plugins, make sure my backups are good, my site is running fast and that I have enough space left on my hosting plan. I also have to fix all the bugs that happen. And there’s too much of those!
Finally, I am working on my SEO (search engine optimization), on having the right keywords and promoting them, get new backlinks, and so on.
All this is only to have a website running. I haven’t traveled yet!
I am planning all my trips myself, and the destination is usually decided according to airfare deals. I work with Lonely Planet’s books, and I do a lot of research online. After my husband’s approval (he has to like the trip too!), I contact hotels and businesses at destination to find which ones would like to work with me. We normally get some complimentary stays in hotels and activities in exchange for a review of our experience and live coverage on social media.
During our trips, we try to post as many pictures and articles as we can of our adventures. Clinton helps me a lot with this. Of all the hundreds of pictures we take during the day, we look at all of them during Emma-Kate’s nap or at night, choose the best ones, edit and post them with a description.
When I am writing a review of an activity or a hotel, I talk to the manager on site and the staff to get to know their business better. I am taking a lot of pictures of everything, from the amenities to the food we eat. I take tons of notes in my little notebook (I always love to write in little notebooks!). I also try to film the premises, but again, I have to work on getting better at this! And when I get back home, I choose the bests, write an article and work a lot at making it better and better and better.
In fact, the job is endless! I probably forgot to tell you about a lot of things that I do, and there are other I should be doing, but yet I don’t know how or just don’t know I should be doing them. I could work 100 hours a week, and it still wouldn’t be enough. I am unsatisfied with the amount of work I am putting on my business, but I need balance in my life, and taking care of my little girl is a big part of it!
So, what do you think I am doing right now? 😉