When starting my Confessions of a Travel Blogger series last summer I already mentioned that there would be a lot of “confessions” for me to make. Even though this series started kind of like a joke (I mean, c’mon, don’t take it too serious … life is fun you know!) I never thought I could actually do 7 episodes within 7 months. But as I continue traveling around the globe, meeting new people and experiencing a lot of crazy things, my diary is full with things that I never even gave any thought 2 years ago, before becoming a travel blogger.
A few weeks ago I wrote how social media made me lose my appetite for blogging and why I never want to become a professional blogger. Following that, I thought it would be nice to confess why I am actually the worst blogger. In the world, in the universe, or whatever. Why I’m not a good blogger or the stereotype blogger. So aspiring travel bloggers: you can actually learn from this on how you should not do things. Or instead, you can try not to be perfect and be like me … someone who’s just herself and doesn’t really care about the rest.
1. I’m not too serious
See above. Although I am taking my blog very serious, in a way I don’t. It’s a hobby and I treat it that way. I’ll never be a professional blogger or travel writer or whatever because it should remain a hobby. And a passion. I have no desire to take blogging to a professional level anymore… and don’t take myself too serious, at least, from time to time.
2. I spend too much time on social media instead of writing
From various people I’ve met over the past year, I’ve learned that social media is important but never more important than content. Content should be King. While I try not to spend more than 3 hours on each post I do (one hour for writing, one hour for pictures and one hour for editing) which makes about 9 hours a week, I can easily spend hours a day on social media. A total waste of time, I know, but once you start pinning, there’s just no stopping, is there? Pinterest is obviously my new addiction (and my biggest referral after Google nowadays) but I also spend too much time on Twitter and Facebook. If you need to get in touch with me, sending a tweet is usually faster than calling or sending an email…
3. I don’t read many other blogs
I know … those other blogs are the ones to learn from. But I just don’t have the time to read them all. There are a few blogs that I check out on a weekly basis but mostly, I just browse through Twitter to see who has posted something new that I’d like to read about. I don’t have a favorite blog and/or a favorite blogger, because even those I follow sometimes write crap and/or something I’m not interested in.
4. I can’t write
Sure, I can write, but then again, I can’t. I’m not a native English speaker and although I think my writing is decent enough, it’s nowhere near good and/or perfect. I’ve not studied to become a journalist nor a professional writer and know that my blog will never be a masterpiece when it comes to content. If I really wanted to, I could, however I choose not to do so because I want to keep it real and close to who I am. Just a girl who wants to write. That’s all…
5. I still think selfies are OK
I know this blog is all about outdoor and nature and should contain pretty pictures of mountains and landscapes, but I’ll admit, I still like selfies. Many bloggers don’t do them anymore, which I think is a shame. Personally, I like to see people on pictures on a blog and it becomes so much more personal when adding some of your own photos. So unless you’re a professional photographer and have the best pictures ever, show me the selfies people!
6. I don’t feel like pitching all the time
I could probably get way more stuff for free than I do now. But you know what, I don’t want to spend hours pitching to museums, DMO’s, restaurants, airlines, hotels and such, only to get free stuff. I’ve seen discussions from fellow bloggers about getting free entrance to a museum but for me, having to explain who I am, what I do and what I can offer them, doesn’t outweigh to just paying the 10 euros to get in, without any obligation. Same for hotel reviews. Come on people, nobody is waiting on hotel reviews these days anmore… there’s Tripadvisor for that… I travel during my vacation time and basically, I don’t care if I have to pay 15 euros for a meal. If I want it, I’ll pay for it. Sure, I’m happy when I get something sponsored but in all honesty, doing something just because it’s for free is certainly not my style.
7. I take iPhone pictures and use them on this blog
Ever since I got my iPhone 5s I’m in heaven. Really, happiness can be bought people, at least in this case. On the small trips I made since I bought it, I also carried my regular camera (not my DSLR though, too much hassle) but I caught myself just taking pictures with my iPhone. It’s much easier with social media and basically I can’t find the patience to get my other camera out and take the same picture again. When we’re going on bigger trips (coming up!) or press trips (coming up, too!) I’ll still carry my DSLR but over the past weeks, I just couldn’t be bothered.
8. I have no schedule
Each year I start with the intention to keep an editorial calendar. Hey, I even had an editorial calender. I used to write down what I was going to publish when and it seemed the perfect solution for my messy mind that it is always in 3 different places at the same time. However, I never stuck to it ofcourse (would you have expected anything else from me?) and basically I still end up writing what I want, whenever I want it. This summer I started writing about our Patagonian Roadtrip and now, one year after the trip took place, we are still in Chile only 100 km from where we departed. Being consistent and on a schedule works, however just not for me…
9. I don’t like #hashtags
#hashtags #freak #me #out. Sure, I like to add a couple (one, maybe two) to a tweet but that’s what I’m used to ever since the #hashtag made the entry into this world. However, #hashtags on #instagram annoy me. Not sure why, but when I see a picture that has 30 #hashtags and then (because Instagram limits you to 30) a comment with another 30, I get itchy. I’m sure it works for a lot of people, but I just think it’s unattractive and a desperate way to scream for attention “look at me, my pictures are rad!” … or whatever. I only allow myself to add 10 hashtags because otherwise it just gets plain ugly. Just my humble opinion though. And I never use #hashtags for Facebook and only seldom for Google Plus (but I only use that for Google to like me, anyway) and I’m sure life would be better #WithoutThem.
10. I don’t have an iPad nor an iMac
When going on some blogger trips this past summer, I noticed pretty much everyone has an iPad or iMac or whatever those are called (iBook? I really have no clue!). I even considered getting one myself but then I thought: why? My current Dell laptop is about 6 years old and not too fast but it works just fine. It may not look very fancy but guess what: #iDontCare!
11. I forget to reply to comments
Every week I sit down and remember to reply to the comments left, however many times I just forget about it and before I know it, at least 2 or 3 weeks have passed by and I’m hopelessly behind again. I’m always very happy when a comment is posted, really, it’s much appreciated, so maybe I should give this last point some more attention in the future.
More confessions? Sure, there will always be some. For today it’s enough though. Time to get the house ready as our nephews are coming over today to crash the place. Have a great Sunday everyone!
Thanks for sharing!