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The Death of Travel Blogging and the Way Out

The Death of Travel Blogging and the Way Out

30 December, 201526Comments

It’s so hard not to compare yourself to others, in terms of travel, blogging and well, pretty much every aspect of life. Having been limited on how often I could travel, blog and feel like myself, I’ve found myself comparing my achievements to others. It’s a slippery slope and one that I’ve thankfully decided to hike up instead of sliding down.

In an effort to curb this cycle I’m trying a new approach to some pretty important parts of my life.

In terms of blogging I’ve felt a little lost and unsure of my voice. After reading so many blog posts about having to be ‘on brand’ and to blog within the boundaries of my niche, I became overly critical of anything I wrote. The fact I even managed to write a few paragraphs with so much pressure was surprising and the number of shelved posts in my drafts is stupid.

Not only that but having a baby has differentiated me from some of my usual blogging go-tos and although having one doesn’t stop me from being me, it has meant that I’ve felt out of the loop. I no longer want to spend hours travelling to London for a networking evening aka a night of free drink and no dinner when I have a cute little baby waiting at home.

I’ve been teetering on the edge of a new circle, wanting to read things that I previously couldn’t care less about. I’ve been feeling split in two, like I don’t know which blogging world I belong to, and I’ve been scared to write anything new.

Thankfully I decided to stop being so ridiculous and to…wait for it…just write.

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I’m sat here furiously tapping away, realising that I was the blocker all along, not the people I was comparing myself to. There’s no need to feel split in two when I can just be a part of it all.

My new approach for 2016 is to put my phone down. I’m not going to check my feeds every five minutes, aimlessly scrolling through other people’s travels, brimming with jealously. Checking the amount of likes on my post isn’t going to magically multiply it so why should I spend my precious time hitting ‘refresh’?

Equally, staring at a blank Word document isn’t going to fill it with exciting adventures so I’ve given myself a kick to just get on with typing whatever I like. It’s my blog and I’m the boss, but I guess I temporarily forgot that or perhaps I was scared to admit that as I was silently reading those other blogs.

I thought I had nothing to write about, but as soon as I started the words just flowed.

Having a baby does mean that I’m limited on when I can work, so my new set-up involves using the laptop from 9pm until about 11pm. This means there’s no time to waste and I have to just get on with it, being as efficient and effective as possible. It sounds tough, but getting rid of distractions like the TV and my phone, and being under a time limit seems to be helping. I’ve written four blog posts this evening!

Onwards and upwards, eh?

If you have any tips or advice they’d be much welcomed…X

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26 Comments

  1. Love the honesty in this post, Char! I think it’s so easy to get bogged down in blogging stats every once in a while, but it’s important not to be too hard on yourself and put yourself under too much stress – I did something similar when I was starting a stressful new job this year! Your blog has always been one of my favourites for its insightful pieces and quirky stories. So don’t compare yourself to others, because I think you’re great just as you are :)

    As for how I managed to get out of my rut…I re-evaluated why I was doing my blog and what I wanted out of it. When I realised that it wasn’t the be all and end all of everything, I cut myself some slack. Nowadays I spend a few hours on a Sunday putting together articles for the week. I also found it useful to get some perspective by going away for a bit…which also inspired some more stories! x

    1. Thank you! I was so scared to hit publish, but it actually feels good and it’s so lovely to read these comments. The pressure we place on ourselves is crazy, isn’t it? I think I’m my own worst enemy – I want the world and then some! I’m honoured to be one of your faves – puts a big smile on my face :D

      Congrats on the new job! I hop it’s calmed down a bit for you now and that you’re finding your stride with it. In terms of blogging, I think your bulk writing day is such a good idea. I used to write one post, then do the pics, programme etc etc, but now I’m trying the bulk approach and so far, so good. Oh and as for your going away tip, hell yes! I love an excuse to escape! x

  2. Great post Char and one that I’m sure will resonate with many. When we focus on blogging and online, we often forget to live the life that is the food for the blog in the first place!

    Like Emily, I also cut myself some slack these past few weeks as I started a new demanding job and actually haven’t posted in a month! So yes, my stats went down but I have given up on worrying about that.

    My advice is similar to Emily’s: relax about the whole thing, write when you have the energy or inspiration for it, consider what you want to get out of your blog and if it’s just personal satisfaction and not internet stardom, that’s absolutely fine!!

    Above all, cherish those first few years with your little boy, they do truly go fast!

    1. Thanks so much. I think my problem is often wanting to do it all and when I get what I want, then wanting even more. The numbers game can be neverending – is it possible to ever be satisfied?!

      Congrats on the new job! Hope it’s going well and that you’re enjoying the new challenge. Thanks for the great advice – wise words indeed. And yes, no need to encourage me with the little one…he’s already adored in every way possible :D I have so many photos and videos of him. I just want to bottle all these amazing feelings up! Can’t believe two months have passed already – it really does go so fast.

  3. Oh Char I totally agree with all of this, I have been feeling very much that way lately too. It is easy to lose direction with blogging and to worry about following all of the ‘rules’ especially when there are so many other things in life more important and needing more attention. Like you say, ignoring everything else online and just writing is the best way to begin afresh. Looking forward to reading your stories in 2016 :) x

    1. Sorry to hear you’ve been feeling like that too, but it sounds like you’re in control and on the up too. Yay! It’s so hard to pick just one direction, let alone lose it! Life isn’t so straight forward and cut clean – it’d be pretty boring otherwise. In my opinion it’s nice to mix it up and keep it real. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment and can’t wait to follow your new adventures too :) x

  4. Great post, I have to agree aswell. I am stick about reading about having to have a niche and as Jodie says about all the #rules. I blog about what I have been up and do it on my terms. And as Stephanie says ‘if it’s just personal satisfaction and not internet stardom, that’s absolutely fine!! – can not agree more. Enjoy the time with your little boy – that is far more important !

    1. Thanks so much and glad to hear you’re on the same page as me. ‘Niche’ is a word that grates me too. I get the need to have a focus, but it has to be balanced with freedom to do what you love. At the end of the day, we’re in control of our blogs so I say go with whatever feels happiest :)

  5. Comparison is definitely the thief of joy! I’ve been through this before too and I think the New Year is making a lot of bloggers re-think what they’re doing and why.
    In the past, I’ve found myself thinking ‘how can I be like that awesome blogger’, rather than ‘what makes me different to that blogger and how can I used that to make my blog different?’

  6. Hallelujah! This post is EXACTLY what I needed to hear today. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    I love my blog, I love seeing my photos and my writing evolve, but then I looked at my page’s news feed and it is full of bloggers doing it bigger and better than I am. And some not doing it better than I am. I looked at their stats and mine, and I stopped writing. I will never be a full time blogger, I will never be a digital nomad, and it looks like I’ll never have more than 500 followers on Instagram (seriously, how do you get people to see you on IG?!!!!)

    Thank you for giving me my 2016 resolution: “I’m not going to check my feeds every five minutes, aimlessly scrolling through other people’s travels, brimming with jealously. Checking the amount of likes on my post isn’t going to magically multiply it so why should I spend my precious time hitting ‘refresh’?”

    Have a wonderful 2016 x

    1. YES! So happy to help and to hear that you’re on the same wavelength. Well, perhaps not if you’ve been struggling too but I guess it’s nice to hear that you get what I’m on about!

      The numbers game is a dangerous one. When do you stop? Do the ones with millions of followers wish they have a billion? Is it possible to ever be satisfied? Personally, I always want to improve and achieve more so I guess for me, nope…!

      Good luck with your resolution and happy new year to you too. :) xx

  7. Well said Char – I can so relate to comparing numbers etc and you’re right – it’s time wasted that could be spent on creativity and enjoying that process. Here’s to a year of getting back to why we started blogging – for the love of sharing our travels. Enjoy your baby, the time passes so quickly – have you had that priceless first smile yet? Happy New Year x

    1. Thanks. I’ll cheers to that!

      I know, I can’t believe he’s two months old already. Oh yes, he started those early at just four weeks old! We’re onto laughs, squeals and lots of gurgling chit chat. He’s a genius in my books ;) Happy New Year to you too xx

  8. What a post! I’m trying to be a part-time traveling travel blogger, and I got SERIOUSLY hung up with everything you’re talking about in 2015. I just needed to take a minute and realize that ultimately I blog for me and I blog for connections. Being on brand and being a queen of all social media is great and I’ve seen some people do it successfully, but that’s not what I’m about. But we all don’t need to be about that. :) Kudos to you!!

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment. It’s such an easy cycle to fall into, especially when it’s something you’re so passionate about. Everything matters more when it’s something you really care about. Glad to hear that you’ve realised what your priorities are and good luck in making it work for you. Like you say, you’re the boss! :)

  9. I totally get where you’re coming from with this Char! I think the demands we all put on ourselves is crazy sometimes. I had such a busy period at work before Christmas and then was fretting about the fact that I’d been neglecting my blog. But in the end I decided to give myself a complete break from it and gave myself Christmas and New Year off. And guess what? I’ve come back to it feeling so much more refreshed and ready to go! I think you are doing a great job, I always love reading your posts and they give me lots of great places to add to the travel list ;) Keep up the good work!

    1. I know, we’re our own worst enemy at times! A digital detox (or even just a break from one aspect of it) can be so refreshing. I haven’t done one in a while, but when I have it’s always had similar results to you. Great tip!

      That means so much to me, so thanks. Definitely motivation to keep travel blogging. Thank you, lovely lady! xxx

  10. Great post, I’m exactly the same, always worrying whether what I’m writing about is in my niche and appeals to my readers. And comparing myself to more successful bloggers… Comparison is the thief of joy! Imma do me. (I’m such a G.) x

    heelsinmybackpack.com

    1. Thanks so much. Glad you enjoyed it.

      There’s so much to think about, isn’t there? I guess it’s up to us to remain in control about our own blogs and only think about what *we* want to. And as for the comparison thing, that’s a hard one to switch off completely but I’m going to give it my best shot!

      Thanks for stopping by and good luck :) x

  11. Hi Char,
    This is a fab post. I have to say I have felt out of the loop since I started blogging! It’s so different from the journalist world – I know my site has only been live since April but I don’t feel any closer to joining the ‘blogosphere’ than I did then. I’ve just been bobbing along doing what I want and seeing how it goes. I really like your site and enjoy your posts so I was sad to read you’ve been feeling pressure with the content. You were the first travel blogger I met! (At IPW) and I was like, ‘ooh this won’t be so bad’ and then… Well, let’s say not everyone is as friendly as you are!
    I honestly don’t have much spare time to go to blogger events. In fact, I have only been to one and Elle (Croft) took me under her wing and I hid behind Simon (boyfriend) most of the night! So I feel like I know no one and a bit like I’m should be trying to get in with the cool gang to succeed!

    I hope to have kids in the next few years and have always wanted to travel with them so I look forward to reading about your adventures – home, and away!
    Hx

    1. Thanks so much, lovely. You’ve done amazingly well in such a short space of time and I’m loving your latest vlogs. There’s something to be said for the ‘bobbing along doing what I want’ approach!

      I’m surprised that you’ve found some not to be so friendly. The travel bloggers that I’ve met are normally really inclusive. I’m not a regular on the London scene where all the events seem to happen, so it could well be luck. Elle is a sweetheart, so a good one to hang out with. Glad she helped you out. Anyway, your personality is amazing and I’m shocked that everyone wasn’t flocking to you (especially with some of those stories you have)!!

      Thanks so much and hope you enjoy following Nova & I! :) x

  12. To quote Meatloaf (yeah I went there) – you took the words right out of my mouth! We all spend so much time looking at stats and shares and likes and god knows what, it totally takes all the fun out of everything. I downloaded Snapchat the other day because I read somewhere that that’s what we’re all meant to be doing right now, and I looked at it for 10 minutes, got confused and then deleted it again. Ain’t nobody got time for that. You’re right, it is your blog, and I for one love reading your posts so you’re doing something right! Keep writing, your words have so much more value than a Facebook statistic :) x

    1. Haha, well that’s an original reference and not one that I’ve had on this blog before!

      So good to know that I’m not the only one and that you can relate. I’m with you on Snapchat. Everyone seems to be raving about how it’s a prime opportunity for travel bloggers to get in on the action, but I feel it’s not really for me. I’m 31 and it seems more 13 if you know what I mean. Give me Instagram or Twitter any day!

      Thanks so much. That really means a lot and put a smile on my face :) x

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