Stephanie runs Twenty-Something Travel, a travel blog dedicated to assisting new or young travelers with the skills, resources and opportunities available to them for travel abroad. When not traveling the world she lives in Washington DC.
Taking up travel blogging is a lot like falling in love. At first it’s all exciting and new. Posting to your blog makes you feel euphoric and all of a sudden it’s all you can think about. You talk about it constantly until your friends beg you to shut-up.
Then, one day you wake up and the honeymoon is over. You start to notice all of your travel blog’s faults and resent the many hours you must spend with it. You don’t want to break up, but you are tired.
It was at almost exactly the 6-month mark that I hit the wall. I had worked incredibly hard during that time, and had achieved moderate success but I was getting seriously burnt out. I was starting to resent the amount of time I spent with my blog, and miss my social life. I had trips to plan, courses to take and I was stressed and overwhelmed.
Here is what I did to fix my ennui, and some steps you can take to fall in love with your travel blog all over again:
- Line up some guest posters. Posting 4 times a week was getting to be too much for me but I felt like cutting back was letting my readers down. Instead I put up a simple call on twitter for guest posters and got an overwhelming response. I decided to start a series to feature one guest poster every week. Not only did it cut down on my responsibility level, it gave me a chance to showcase new authors and include different points of view on my blog. Everybody wins.
- Take a new direction. If you mainly write destination pieces try your hand at something a little more philosophical. If you usually talk about yourself try interviewing someone new. Run a contest. Run a photo piece. Experimentation can make you look at your blog in a whole new light.
- Write something non-travel related. Can’t possibly think of another single thing to say about travel? Sometimes it helps to stretch your writing muscles by writing on a new topic. See if you can guest blog somewhere unexpected. This will remind you that you love writing.
- Do SOMETHING else. If you really can’t stand the thought of sitting down to write today, then don’t force yourself. Go outside and take a walk. Go to the movies. Read a novel. Just stop thinking about it for a few hours. Your blog will still be here when you get back.
Most important of all is to keep your eye on the big picture. Just because you don’t like blogging TODAY doesn’t mean it’s time to give up. Use your frustrations as an opportunity to re-asses what you love about blogging. That’s the path to a healthy, long-term relationship.
I’d also recommend taking a look at setting a weekly posting schedule, quick things to post on your travel blog, and selecting smart breaks from your travel blog to keep your mind (and travel blog) fresh. Thank you very much for the guest post Stephanie. You can follow Stephanie on Twitter @20sTravel and follow her blog at Twenty-Something Travel.
[photos by: MarkKelly, Gabriela Camerotti]
Great tips Stephanie. I know at some point that day is coming for me but I really hope I can stay motivated and push through it. I’m really enjoying blogging and have found that when I do struggle for an idea, twitter or another blog will prompt me into action.
It comes and goes, sometimes everything just flows and others times you get bogged down or thrown off a bit. It’s best to catch those moments when you’re on creative fire and write as much as you can. Even a good outline can overcome the toughest writer’s block.
Thanks for the tips – I’m still just getting started, but I’ve also been trying to vary the perspective of the posts to hopefully keep things fresh over time: an article about a destination on Sundays, an article about logistics on Wednesday, a photo feature on Friday and just something goofy on Mondays.
I haven’t hit the right blend yet, but I love the guest posts and interviews so it’s not just my own spew all the time!
That’s a good idea. When you’ve got a ‘type’ of post planned in ahead it takes some of the pressure off. I use my best comments of the month on foxnomad to showcase some of the comments and mix up posts between my writing.
I try to schedule my posts ahead of time and had different “types” at predetermined intervals. It helps so sit down and write when you know exactly what you need to do.
I get those moments too where I wonder, “Sleep or blog? Hmm..” or I ask, “Is this really worth it?” But I know I’ve put so much effort into my blog that it would be a waste to let it rot away. I tell myself “Well, it’s not like you have that many readers. They won’t notice you didn’t post today.” Sometimes, all you really need is a little break. You can’t write about your life if you don’t have one, right? Plus, scheduling future posts really works. It’s much less stressful. I just wish Wordpress would actually publish my scheduled posts but that’s another story.
If I find myself asking myself for a break too often it usually means I need one. I’m stubborn and fight it but usually does wonders for my creativity and motivation. Love the quote:
“You can’t write about your life if you don’t have one, right?”
“You can’t write about your life if you don’t have one, right?”
Advice I have to keep reminding myself of. It’s so hard when you have a full time job PLUS the blog PLUS your friends want to do stuff.
I can relate to a few things—my friends definitely don’t like me talking about my blog and I’m always sacrificing sleep for it. Once I hit the wall, I’m sure it’ll come down hard but hopefully that’ll happen while I’m away on my trip. Inspiration will take new forms at that point.
You get more efficient with it as it goes on but it still takes a lot of time…lots.
Great tips. I definitely run into the wall every so often. Most of the time, I start off with a topic but didn’t have enough motivation to finish the post. I love the idea of guest posts.
Lots of drafts hanging around then?
Just wanted to add that if you are interested in joining Guest-post Stravaganza over at my blog drop me a line! I’ve got posts lined up through mid-April but I’m happy to take more!
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