1 year ago, on 17th of May, 2015 “born” my travel blog. Honestly, I didn’t plan to become a travel blogger. In the beginning, I just wanted to have a virtual space to share my experience, tips about Indonesian cultural Darmasiswa scholarship that I got. I thought this information can be useful for the next year students.
But later, I saw that during my trips in Indonesia I found out things that I didn’t know before visiting some of the places. I thought that this practical information can be useful for other travelers as well. So, little by little I started to make notes from my trips which turned into the posts (unfortunately not all stories are told yet :)).
Later on, I felt in love with Indonesia and after my scholarship finished I decided to start my life here – become a full time travel writer/blogger. Truly to say, I’m not naive person, but this time I thought that to be a travel blogger will be so easy – I will just travel, write and get income. I was wrong! Nothing was (is) so easy how I expected it will be. But the main good thing – even if I didn’t reach my aim yet, this 1 year of blogging gave me good lessons to learn.
9 things I learned in my first year of blogging
1. Blogging is a tone of work
I read that some of the people write a post within couple of hours. Maybe they have a gift to write? For me to write 1 post takes at least 2 days: writing draft, couple times of editing, selecting and preparing photos, adding post to the blog and etc. Later, after 2 days of preparation, more than half of the day takes to “spread” it in social media and other sources. But each moment spent on single post give me a pleasure to remember all discoveries during my trips.
2. It’s freedom to do experiments
It’s not possible to find out what is working what is not without trying and making experiments. Travel blog is my own, so I can do things without asking permission of any people. I try different posts structures, different ways of present information and analyzing what readers likes more. I’m not scared to make mistakes and I’m trying to learn how to make better posts in a future. When I was working in the company, each mistake cost not only more work for me but sometimes influence my colleagues work as well. Now I’m free to stumble and learn from mistakes without involving others.
3. It’s an opportunity to learn new things
I never wrote any article or post for anyone before. I started my first post in this blog from 0 knowledge about it. Only now, little by little I start to understand what does it mean a “good post” and I’m learning to write such ones.
I’m learning how to make my content interesting, trying to understand how people behave while reading posts, what they find the most interesting, why they like to share my content and etc. It’s like learning people’s behavior psychology which I find very interesting.
Before I was just ordinary social media user. Now I know much more about it. I read many articles, was searching for answers to understand how different social media is working, how to engage people with my content, what is more important in social media and etc. I found it so challenging but at the same time really thrilling.
Because of blogging I even learned some programming codes. Now I’m able to fix some problems in website design, adding new tools, codes and etc. I never thought that I will understand such things.
4. Need to move out from comfort zone
I’m the type of people who can’t sell things which people don’t need. I believed that if anyone needs something they will find it by themselves. But blogging taught me that “promoting yourself” is one of the most important things in successful blogging. I need to be proactive if I want to be known (especially among thousands of other travel bloggers). I need to engage people to meet with me, suggest ideas. I need to convince possible clients, partners that I can be useful for them even if they didn’t think about it yet. It’s not easy to leave comfort zone – but it’s really worth it.
5. Blogging is not a game
To have a blog and wishing to make a living from it, means to think about blog like about business. Make a strategy, understand markets and target groups, planning budged, participate in networking events, make evaluation and etc. It’s non-stop process and full time job.
6. Need to understand what you pay for
I used to pay for services expecting that I don’t need to know anything about them. I pay because somebody will know more than me. But I learned that whatever service I buy, I need to know about it at least a little bit. Not all the people who do business and sell services will do it in a fair way and right price. Just to avoid overpaying for anything – better to understand what you are buying, how long it takes, what the result can be expected.
7. Nothing will be perfect
No matter how hard I will try to make my blog perfect – I always will find something to correct, to add, thinking how to make it better. But I understood that blogging isn’t meant to be perfect – it’s a journey of making mistakes, learning and growth. If I would wait to make perfect blog design, perfect posts, probably even after this 1 year it wouldn’t be published yet.
8. Don’t have expectations to get backing
Many people don’t understand what does it mean to be a blogger. Especially when it’s presented like a full time job. I can’t expect that people from my surrounding will know as much as I know now about blogging, how works social media, what is important for each blogger, what means to be “a good blogger” and many other things. Because of that I don’t have to expect that people from my surrounding will be the most engaged readers.
9. It’s never ending personal growth
I became more curious about things which I write. I want to give for my reader’s correct information and it’s a big responsibility. Before publishing any post, I check other sources, speak with people and etc. just to prove that things, I’m writing about is correct.
I learned to pay attention in things I’m writing about and how I do it. Sometimes things which looks usual for me, for others can sound like offence. I’m learning to use filters in each of my sentence.
I realized that having a blog and trying to reach aims I need to become really patient: in learning, getting answers, answering questions, growing my blog reader’s community, getting income.
Having a blog, it’s growing a strength not to give up when something doesn’t go like I want. And each time finding a strength to try harder, search, see new opportunities and thinking positive.
Blogging taught me to be more flexible. If something goes wrong – try something else and new but not stuck on the same things.
In conclusion – I had a year of awesomeness, but I believe that the best is yet to come!
Have you tried blogging? What kind of lessons you learned? Do you think it’s worth to be a blogger?
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