July 12, 2016

Travel Blogging- The Paradox!

Long road ahead

While travel blogging seems to be the job many aspiring job- quitters are vouching for, most existing travel bloggers are still decoding this Pandora's box.  Today I complete seven years of travel blogging, and am pretty much nowhere near the border line where I can happily take it up as a full time profession. We live in an age where internet and google are flooded with articles labelled ‘How I quit my job to travel’, ‘Why I quit my job to follow my dream’ and many more on similar lines. Every second day some acquaintance’s post on my feed on Facebook pops up- ‘And I have quit to travel’. 

When the whole world is quitting to see the world or realise their dreams, I have done something more adventurous- I have cut down on my travels, to take up a full time job. Quitting your cubicle job has many motives, but going back to the cubicle has only one- to survive. People are tempted to quit jobs to the lure of travelling. Before you quit, what you require is a clear mindset and plan on how to survive. How much ever frugal backpacking you do, your bank balance can only dwindle if you don't have a regular inflow.

Let me jot out a few points travel blogging taught me, which might help people who intend to take up the travel blogging conundrum:

  • We live in a world where hundreds of travel blogs are born every day. Most of them die a premature death. Only the fittest survive. Make sure yours is one, keep it running.
  •  Sharpen your writing skills. Most people don’t like reading articles with grammatical errors even if the post is on the cheapest means to travel to Antarctica. There is demand only for good story tellers.
  • In travel writing, writing comes first, travel is secondary. Period.
  • It takes quite a considerable time to make a name in the travel blogging circle. Do not expect your blog and your name to be splashed all over the internet after you have posted 2- 3 articles.
  • Your blog needs to be fed frequently over a long period of time. Feed, feed and feed. Only when you have frequent posts, will you have more visitors. It is only through high traffic can you make your blog a known one.
  • Be a master at marketing through social media. Your blog needs to be present on every single social media out there. Be an attention seeker.
  • Money will trickle in only when you have a significant readership. Yes, ‘trickle’ is the word and not ‘flow’.
  • If you feel having Google Ads will help you earn money, keep waiting forever. Most of your readers are not going to click on Google Ads. Google doesn’t have answers to everything.
  • Dreaming of FAM trips? Quit dreaming before you quit your job. Long way to go before you get that FAM trip mail in your inbox.
  • If you don’t intend to take up small assignments and content writing opportunities that come your way, you are losing out on opportunities and money.
  • Photography is a part of travel blogging. Sharpen your skills and find ways to sell your gorgeous frames. 
  • Editors don’t approach bloggers for articles. If you want your article to be published, learn to chase them with repeated mails.
  • Negotiating with PRs, clients and editors for payments requires a special skill set. If you don’t have it, learn.
  • Getting the payment for your article is an equally tough job. Ask, request, plead. Keep chasing!
  • Find ways to sustain yourself over a long period. Try to get long term writing assignments. Take up volunteering.
  • If you feel teaching English in some remote village in Cambodia is the easiest way to sustain, please mail me the details when you do get your offer letter. Preference for such jobs is always for native English speakers. 
  • Travel blogging is a job, never see it as a means to travel for free, because it doesn't work like that. There are no free lunches anywhere.
  • Whenever you feel travel blogging is not worth the effort, read the above points again. There is definitely a huge struggle, but hard work pays. 
Now with all those points well taken up, are you going to be a top top notch travel blogger which every other soul in the cubicle dreams of becoming? Maybe, maybe not. Only time will reveal that. Keep putting in your hard work, success is never far off.

Keep travelling and churn out stories after stories of that distant far flung land, that weird stranger who helped you, that most delicious coffee you ever had, that invigorating festival you took part in and that longest hitchhike you ever took. Bring them on. There are readers who want to listen to you.

40 comments:

  1. 100% true! I too am learning such harsh lessons along the way!

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  2. Thanks for writing a post that calls a spade a spade!

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  3. Well,I too had rosy dreams of blogging and traveling and fell flat right on my first phase. Problem was infrequent posts, lack of marketing skills, and inability to be on every inch of the virtual world. Your pointers up there are absolutely true! But yes, like you said a dogged determination to leave no stone unturned will be saviour.

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    1. Yeah, put in the effort and forget the rest.

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  4. Even though I ended up quitting my job, I knew it is hard, even though FAMs do keep happening for me. The trouble is now that I have quit I do not wish to go back to work easily! But I do not rule out the possibility.

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    1. As long as you are flexible and open to jobs or quitting jobs as per the demands of the situation, you will do absolutely fine.

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  5. Every person and his circumstances are unique... You have rightly mentioned the first thing is readership / traffic... if a blog has that only then one can dream of other things like money etc..

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    1. Absolutely, follow the steps and success will follow you.

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  6. The numerous Facebook feeds reading "quit my job to travel" indeed pinch hard, especially after one of those bad days in office. But then as u rightly said, we do need fuel to survive. One doesn't need to leave it all in pursuit of passion.

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    Replies
    1. It is all about how you balance it out. Grass is always green on the other side.

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  7. These are some great tips for a travel blogger.

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  8. Well said Niranjan. Best wishes for years to come.

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  9. Assam one I like this post and also I want more posts of yours so try send up coming posts also.
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    http://www.oystergroup.in/

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  10. I agree with you. Even though travel is my passion, I am no in way can not depend on travel blogging for livelihood.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, priorities in life vary from person to person.

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  11. Such a very informative Travel Blog .
    I am able to get new knowledge while reading this..
    this travel blog might help people who intend to take up the travel blogging conundrum.
    http://www.ranthamborejeepsafari.com/

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  12. Good Advice..i loved d lovely Sarcasm in it. Best wishes for your travels.

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  13. Whoa! I'm sure you burst some people's bubbles, there. :) But those are some wise words, my friend.
    And seriously if everybody did quit his or her job, who would do all the work that needs to be done?

    Great points there, Nomad.
    I think I'm going to be be feeding my blog even if 'those' prizes don't come my way; because I'm going to be tripping, anyway. ;) I'm sure you'll be doing that also.

    All the best. Keep the tales coming, Nomad. :)

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    1. It is always better to nip them in the bud, before they grow to gigantic sizes.
      Look forward to your lovely articles, Nambiare! Keep writing.

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  14. Thanks for putting the truth on your blog in such an encouraging way, you have nicely dotted down the exact thoughts that I had whenever I come across stories that say how so and so quitted their job to travel.Nowadays posts and shrewd advertisement tactics try to make a lot of people believe that quitting job and setting out on world travel is so easy as if money will automatically flow into your account while you travel around blissfully.Barring a few most of the blogs either hide half of the truth and some just publishes fantasy stories to catch more readers.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Glad you liked it. Exactly, travel blogging isn't such an easy way to live off.

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  15. Excellent post Niranjan! I completely agree with your list and would try to use some of these. Hard work pays over time for sure when it comes to blogging...

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  16. So well written Niranjan! Such an interesting read! Lots of points in there that I can and will use! :)

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  17. good points and congratulations on completing seven years :)

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  18. Happy Anniversary. These are some really good pointers for all aspiring travel bloggers. I like the statement Google doesn't have answers to everything. Keep traveling and blogging. All the very best.

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