So who wants to know what the life of a blogger is actually like? When I decided to write this post, I immediately thought, "I need to be careful." This type of post can be such a bust! It can turn into a "me show" pretty quick.
Have you ever heard..."Well it all began on my first trip abroad when I saw the Eiffel Tower and knew I belonged constantly exploring." Girl! Every person likes to travel, be different! Lol, can you tell I have a slim list of favorite travel blogs? Alright, now that you know the framework, let's dive into the pressing questions you all want answers to...
1. "So like...how do you make money from blogging?"
Ah, the question everyone wants to know. There's multiple ways to drive income from a blog, but they're not always fun. I know there's a lot of bloggers out there who take these routes anyway. They see the $ and are convinced this is what they want to do. Little do they know, how painful the process actually may be. Slowly, as you become more familiar with this world, you learn a couple things.
Every method you find on blogging for money, won't be for you.
I started with applying for ads on my site. Only, my page views were too low. As I began to build my brand, I noticed many other blogs with ads, and to be honest, some were just like YIKES- inappropriate. These were top blogs too and I was embarrassed for them.
Along with that, one of my favorite bloggers, Slightly Savvy, held a Facebook Live about this topic the other day. She mentioned how often she sees bloggers busting their butt just to get ads up, and make what, a few cents? Her blog is definitely one to follow!
I worked with a couple brands and as thrilling as those new projects were, I knew my heart belonged to the tourism side of things. I have the most fun working on things "travel related" and I didn't realize how important it is to do what I enjoy. I mean, isn't that why I'm blogging, to create a career I love?
Currently my main focuses for making a profit are hotel sponsorships and selling a physical products. (which is still under construction!) If you're unfamiliar with how hotel sponsorships work, let me break it down. In exchange for online exposure (social media posts, professional quality photos, blog post, and Pinterest templates), the hotel will give you a discount on your stay or it will be comped.
2. "What hosting site do you use?"
I use Weebly and love it! I experienced a few minor glitches last year, but nothing disastrous has occurred. However, if you're looking to set one up in 2019, I'd go with Wordpress. Weebly is wonderful, but there isn't a lot of content out there to show you how to get started. You have to be creative and teach yourself. With Wordpress, I bet there's a thousand articles out there and they have great plug-in options.
3. "What's your blogging schedule like?"
Yay! I love this question and reading what other bloggers have to say! It took me a lot of prayer and practice to perfect it. I think the harsh reality of creating a blog schedule is, you're gonna need to change it for every season. I believe this is why it took me so long to find something that worked.
For instance, this winter, I added a third class to my list and switched jobs. I noticed during the fall, I'd always manage to miss publishing a blog post every other week. That's when it kinda hit me- "Why am I trying so hard to be like other bloggers? Do they even have the same schedule as me? And how long are their blog posts, compared to mine?"
That's when I decided to start posting biweekly and since then, my page views per month have increased by +1,010! So, I'm just here to say girl, you can do it all. That being said, do it smartly and work on DEVELOPING your posts, not shoving them out the door. You don't have to post one a week, let alone two or three to be successful!
Pick one day of the week and stick to that day no matter what season you find yourself in. Change how you get to that day and in what time frame you write the post, but always show up on the same day. They won't notice if you do it monthly. THEY KNOW YOU GOT THREE KIDS GIRL! Eventually, people will be like "oh yeah that Logan girl posts on Tuesdays!"
As for writing, the first week I spend time praying over my idea and thinking about key points I could expand on. By the end of that week, I choose one day to write up a partial draft. Then, the following Monday I finish and do my editing. I used to wait til Tuesday to finish up, cause like why not? Although, I noticed when I get it done a day early, I have more inspiration and energy to put towards the newsletter I send out after my post goes live!
*If you don't want to miss out on secret blogging tips, blog post upgrades, and valuable travel advice, sign up below! I only send out three emails a month- I'm not about that spam life!
4. "How do you deal with writer's block?"
Mhm, great question! The best way for me to make a blog deadline, is to schedule in two days where I can solely commit to writing, kind of like what I said before. Normally, I try to schedule these days far apart, so I can think over my first draft and come back ready to write.
Two weeks ago, I experienced writer's block when I was typing my social detox post. I wrote for an hour and stopped because I felt super defeated. I took a break by watching a little netflix, soaking in the bath, and listening to some worship music. Although I didn't feel 100% after, I told myself I'd grab some sticky notes and write out the rest of my ideas.
After fifteen minutes, I found my groove and jotted down stuff that wasn't crazy sucky. I then, tiredly updated the content onto my laptop. I only worked for around an hour and a half. Let me tell ya, I did not go to bed happy with that work.
Yet, the next day I opened it up and thought what I had to say was pretty freakin good. I don't think there's a process for avoiding writer's block, other than to keep writing. Say what you write sucks out loud or bang your head on the keyboard, but just keep putting things down. I always give myself a time limit. Show up, with a crappy attitude or not.
5. "How do you edit your photos?"
Funny you asked, because I'm giving my VSCO recipes away! Lately, I've been playing around with Lightroom, but I still love my presh VSCO account to death. My favorite filters are C1, P5, and they just added a new one I love called SS3! Guys, I don't even have the paid version and I seriously think you don't even need it. In this week's newsletter (it comes out every other Tuesday night) I'm sharing how I edit my Landscape/Lifestyle photos for free! Take a look of how they work below.
6. "How do you know if you should start a blog?"
First off, I'd ask yourself why you want to start one. If it's because you have so many ideas and need a place to empty your head, you may want to buy a journal instead of a domain name. I'm not trying to crush your dreams of becoming a REAL blogger. I believe in you, but I started out treating this online space like it would heal me. I was writing to reflect and grow, not to benefit anyone else.
As I began to spend more time emptying words into my journal, I learned that God wanted me to serve His people through this platform. If you don't contribute value to your readers, they'll stop coming. They need a reason to visit. They want to grow too, not just watch you. I'm not trying to dis on personal blogs either, but the traffic you receive will be much slower, than if you try to go the professional route.
With this in mind, I believe any topic can be presented in a helpful way. If you're still unsure, shoot me an email and we can come up with something! An outside perspective can be such a great resource. Use firstname.lastname@example.org to start a conversation with me!
7. "How do you pick a blog name?"
I am overlyyy grateful I did a lot of research, before picking my domain name. I wish I could scream this answer from every rooftop! Let me summarize for you:
8. "Should I buy my own domain name?"
This is such an easy question for me. If you want your blog to look professional from the start, invest in it. If you feel like this may be more of a hobby, don't do it! If you can't commit to how much time you'll spend on it, don't do it! If it is to update family/friends about a trip you're taking, don't do it! If you want to make money, share value, and work on it for years- BUY ONE NOW!
9. "How do you have $ to travel so much?"
I really don't have a lot of money. I work about ten hours a week and take classes on the side. Saving money for a trip is a CHALLENGE! I get so high off of it though. Fortunately, I'm obsessed with budgeting and that makes it easier to put away money.
However, this also means I rarely buy new clothes and have a pretty tight spending budget. Lol, I got my nails done yesterday for the first time in four years!! Haha, I have trouble spending money on things I don't absolutely need.
Another helpful tool, is my envelope system. (so thankful God created Dave Ramsey) If you wanna know how that works, here's a good explanation. Other than that, I start saving months before and constantly check plane tickets/hotel rates. When it comes down to it, I love searching destination blog posts and photos on Pinterest, which really helps me be disciplined to save for an upcoming trip. I know there's more great budget travel tips, so hit me with them below!!
10. "What does your social media routine look like? For promoting your brand and posts?"
After a short (lol) three years, I've mastered a routine I love and that keeps me growing!
Here's a breakdown:
1. Post one insta (find the most active day for your account and ALWAYS post on that day)
2. Pin 100 pins or more (you can follow me here!)
3. Engage in two Facebook groups (my favs are Online Biz Superheros, Blogging Newbs, and She's Making an Impact with Rachel Ngom)
4. Promote an older blog post using Insta Stories
5. Follow/comment five users on Pinterest, Facebook, or Insta (alternate every week)
1. Copy and paste blog posts into Google Docs
2. Use Facebook to promote a blog post
3. Boost most popular post from the month before
4. Invite those who like my posts on Facebook to like my page (follow me on Facebook here!)
5. Double check all blog + social media comments are responded to
There ya have it my dudes! Now that I've spilled all my secrets- I wanna know yours!
*What are your assumptions about bloggers?
*OR- if you are a blogger, what FAQ did you find most helpful? Tell me below!
I hope this cleared up some of your burning questions. Often, bloggers like to hide the technical side of running a blog. It can feel really defeating! I strongly wish this gives you guys a glimpse of how one operates. I rounded up a couple extra blog posts to help ya get going, if you're ready too!
Pin the image below if you found this post helpful!
Hope this helps, see ya in two weeks sweeties! :)
I'm six days into my detox...and guess what happened? Well, not a whole lot quite yet. Would you like me to be honest or write about a bunch of things you already know like, "Guys, it's the craziest thing! I feel way less distracted and I have ROOM to breathe. Here's a nine step guide to get the results I did!" I know most of us have taken a step back from social media before. I'm pretty certain that I don't need to convince you that it's refreshing either.
A fraction of you may be thinking, "So am I gonna learn anything here?" Well, let me rewind a bit. I have plenty of notes and comments. I have reflective questions that may come in handy and keywords that'll help simplify what I'm trying to say. However, since I made no social media a rule for Sundays, the past couple days haven't felt a whole lot different. Although, when I come to think of it...I've been longing to feel normalcy without social media and I think I've finally got here. That being said, let's dive into a few key things I dug up about my faith this week.
First, let me clarify what I consider social media, so we're all on the same page. This week I logged out of Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, and I rarely use Snapchat. One difference between this week and a normal Sunday is, I had to continue working. I help a friend with online marketing, so being on social media for this job is mandatory. It was a little tricky navigating Facebook without reading my own notifications, but I got the hang of it.
Without social media, I don't have many outlets for marketing my blog. In this case, I had to sit back and pray God would keep this thing growing. I kept a close eye on my numbers this week and there was no dramatic dip. In fact, I've had the highest number of page views I've had in months. So, for all my bloggers out there, you can take a break girl. Your website can survive a week off.
1. If logging out for a day or a week scares you, try a challenge that focuses on logging out for a specific meal or time of day. Jessica Walker created a super cool challenge and you can find that here. It includes 30 days of challenges like turning off post notifications, no Facebook until 12pm, first hour of day phone free, and Insta free day!
2. If you're ready to block out a day for jumping offline, take a look at my Nine Habits I Like to Practice on the Sabbath post. I go over my Sunday rules and not getting on social media, is one of them. It's pretty manageable and sometimes I look forward to my one day without it!
3. If you've tried a mix of these, maybe it's time to go off grid for a week, month, or shut it down altogether. This is where the real magic happens. Revelations, perspective, and change of heart. I'd love to delete everything one day, but as a blogger, I see such potential marketing with these platforms, that I can't. For now, a week break is perfect to get my heart pumping again.
My face feels scratchy, like I've been picking at a sunburn all day. Writing this wasn't easy. My last three blog posts tumbled onto the page and I assumed it would be the same with this one. I was on a roll. Although, about halfway through I felt my-usual-writing-joy leave my body and be replaced with tingling panic. "Is this even helpful? People won't read this. Why do I blog? I'm a terrible writer."
Um Lo', weren't you just writing about anxiety a few weeks ago? I definitely was, but we all know anxiety is much like a war, not a fix-it ticket. It takes strategy, discipline, and the energy we don't have. What I'm trying to say is- doing what you love will take weird and wild turns. Believe me, I took a nap, watched a tidying up episode, soaked in the bath, and listened to worship music, before I could even force myself to work on this again. Leave it and come back- LOL do that with social media too. :)
Thanks for reading guys! I hope this helps you find a break that feels right for you. Who knows, maybe you've got this thing DOWN and you don't ever need to log out. I wish I could feel that!
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Travel bucket list:
Countries visited: 5