Confessions of a travel blogger,  Sunday social travel talk

Confessions: 11 reasons why I’m the worst travel blogger

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…

pinterest
Some of my pins that worked really well


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!

confessions-collage
Caught in the act!


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.

IMG_3448 (1)


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.

hashtags

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!

Previous confessions:
Why social media made me lose my appetite for blogging
– 6 Things I learned at TBEX Athens
– The “my fear of flying” edition
– Why I’m not so cool and/or adventurous

Thanks for sharing!

25 Comments

  • Sandra

    Hahaha I’m guilty! 5, 6, 7 and 10… I’m also not begging for free stuff. I really hate that when people do that, come on! People are actually suprised by the fact I didn’t contact a PR person for going to New York amd get somw free meals and coupons for a museum. Once and for all: I want to pay the entrance by myself. I’m on vacation, I don’t want to have to write about it because I’m a blogger. I will write about it if I really did like it! People really think I’m stupid I don’t push for things… Blegh, can’t stand the people who are pushing to get things. But everybody has do decide it for themselfs. I want to do all the things I want to do and explore things by myself and then write about it, instead of do those things others want me to do. Enough haha. And selfies… check. And phonephoto’s… check. And no Apple… check. Really love this honest post!

    • Sandra

      I realise that some things I wrote down may be a little narrow minded… The fact is that begging for things doesn’t fit me as the person who I am. That’s what I meant actually. Free stuff is always nice, but I don’t want to push it. What other people do… That doesn’t really matter. Live and let live, right?

  • Reni

    Love that post. Honestly. Also because your so honest. Your congession made me smile and I see myself in some points too.

    Hope you continue with this series. Really love it ☺ BTW, no need to reply to this comment…

    • anto

      Well when you subscribed to this post, I just had to reply 😉 will definitely continue writing this series because it’s a lot of fun and some things just need to be said!

  • Sarah Pittard

    I love this post! I am guilty of all of this. I fall into moments where I am so stressed and then remember this is all for fun. Its not life and death. I blame facebook for most of those moments. Thanks for a great perspective and selfie on!

  • Cat of Sunshine and Siestas

    Gah, so guilty of so many of these! After quitting my job to take one with less prestige to have more time to blog, I found that full-time blogging is not for me! So, SandS has morphed into something totally different than I intended, but oh well! When you write for yourself, you stop worrying about stats and number of followers!

    • anto

      True, I quit looking at numbers, they are in fact, well just a number. If people choose not to work with me because my numbers aren’t good enough, it’s their loss 😛

  • Shannon

    This was a very refreshing read. I’m glad someone else is bad at reading other people’s blogs and still uses their old laptop 😉 I also really liked your post about social media and have put a link to it on a similar post I wrote (because I genuinely enjoyed it and thought others should read it though, and not because I was thinking about the possible effect on my stats!) Oh and your English is very good – better than some native-speaking bloggers in fact!

  • Raphael Alexander Zoren

    What are you talking about? Selfies are AWESOME!!!!

    PS. I have found out that cutting Social Media time and focusing on sending e-mail is a very productive tool. This year I quitted almost every single FB Group and instead I’m using my time into doing research about brands I want to work with and monetising my blog.

    Here’s an article by Gary Arndt that might be very useful:http://gary.arndt.com/2012/10/03/community-isnt-all-its-cracked-up-to-be/

    • anto

      Your selfies rock Raphael, but I already told you that! Will check out the link later on and should definitely quit some FB groups, too. Too much time and too much food for thought!

  • Sam

    I’m totally with you on #2, #6, #7 and #9 – I’m just the same. With regards to #4, I think being someone who wants to write is a pretty good start! Also, don’t worry about not being a native English speaker – English doesn’t belong to us natives anymore, and most of us don’t really even notice when non-natives make typos or grammatical errors in writing, as there are so many common mistakes made really only by natives that people like to get caught up on (your vs. you’re, for example)!

    • anto

      Thanks Sam! It’s just hard for me not being able to write without mistakes since I used to be spelling champion (yes, really!) in highschool … but taking a course for proper English would take too much time …

  • Chris

    Yezz. Agree with allmost all 🙂
    Except 5. No selfies on blog. 7. Depends.
    About 6. My pitches are always bad. But as in my other business (not travel related) either work with me or not. Call me arrogant or something else. My time is money too 🙂

  • Esther

    Oh dear, I look horrific in selfies. And on most pictures people take from me my hair looks exploded, or I am eating (or both!!). Needless to say, I don’t like putting pics of myself on my blog, even though people say it’s a ‘must’. I rather show people what I have done and what’s worth checking out and hope they will like it anyway.

    • anto

      When you don’t feel comfortable doing that, I can totally agree with you not using pictures with yourself in it. All the pictures I post are carefully selected though, out of 10 pictures I take, usually just 1 makes it to the blog. Or less. Poor Martijn, he always becomes to impatient …

  • PsychoTraveller

    I can so totally relate to these points! The amount of time I spend beating myself up over the things which I’m not doing, it leaves me no time to do the things which I actually need to do. Like film a video. Edit a blog post. It’s a vicious cycle really! I think I need to just accept my flaws as a vlogger and focus on the parts I’m good at! Excellent post, keep it up (if you can 😛 )

    • anto

      Hey Psycho 🙂 today was one of those days, I should have done a lot but basically just did crap. OK, not true, I wrote two posts but didn’t send out any of the pitches I planned on sending nor did I do any work on the layout. However, I’m replying to comments to at least that’s a start. Good luck with blogging!!

  • Yvonne

    To be honest… I think you’re a very good travel blogger for many of these reasons! You make your own choises and do what you like… other people can like it… or not, but I think most people like honesty and that’s what you are, great!

    • anto

      Thank you Yvonne, so nice of you to say that! It sometimes hard to make choices not everyone understands, but so far it got me where I am right now and I don’t regret it at all…

  • Julie Cao

    I was laughing while reading your post. To be frankly, this post is so insightful and so interesting to read. I also wont guess that you are not a native-English speaker if you did not mention it, and you have your own voice with a sense of humor. We are guilty of so many things during our blog journey but the passion for travel and write just keep us going. So keep writing and traveling!

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