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Blogging is hard work. Travel blogging feels even harder.
Most of our families and friends don’t comprehend how many hours we invest into our websites, managing our social media and interacting with people along the way. When it comes to actually planning a trip…we barely have enough time to find the time to research, let alone book something to benefit our own travels! When asked why we started blogging, sometimes it is hard to remember what drove us to it.
So, I am here to say one thing to us all: Take the pressure off yourself. Right now.
Because so many people in this industry are killing themselves at the expense of their health and happiness and it is becoming concerning just how many people that actually affects. That’s not to say everyone experiences this. And to those that belong in this group, you are very lucky if that’s the case.
But, what I am noticing as a blogger, and as an admin of the Female Travel Bloggers group; is that whilst there is a massive community out there full of support and love and comradery – there is still a lot of competition out there too, as bloggers compare themselves to others who they may feel are more successful than they are because of a simple set of numbers: visitors, page views, followers, likes, comments…it’s not worth worrying about if it’s affecting your ability to be a happy blogger.
Just because an influencer or blogger has good numbers across their social media does not mean they are more successful. Just because someone has triple the monthly views on their site than you do, does not mean they are doing things better than you are or that their content has more quality than yours does. There are so many reasons for why people are at differing levels, so why worry about that?
There is no need to compare yourself to others. There is no competition if you don’t let it in.
What you need to do is remember why you started this.
Back then, you didn’t care about millions of people reading your work. As long as you helped even one person out there, it was enough. You shared your tips, you gave recommendations and wrote about things because you loved your experience so much. Why are you allowing that to be impacted because others are getting more than you may be? Factors you have no idea about, or even know how legitimate they are in some cases – but you worry about because these people are gaining things you are not (yet!)
People constantly say don’t believe what you see online. People don’t share the hardships. They share the positives because it’s easier. If this is the case, why are we focusing on these aspects we see, when we know we ourselves sugar coat things? That we are more inclined to share the best of us, rather than the worst? Are we really seeing how easy the road is for these more successful bloggers? No. They struggle just like we do. We all have our own demons.
So next time you start to feel your blog is failing, that you are wasting your time or unable to keep up with everyone else pushing past you – I want you to stop blogging for a moment. Take a step back and look at what you’re investing your time in and why. Because time is the biggest aspect in your life that you lose and can never get back. Money will come and go. Free trips will happen in time. Nothing was ever made to be easy and hard work will pay off. But if you go about things the right way, plan properly, schedule content and stop pressuring yourself to be active every single day? You’ll be a lot happier.
We all feel inferior from time to time. We all wonder if we are spending too much time on this venture and if it will ever pay off. We all worry if we will reach the heights we aspire to.
But the minute this becomes a chore, or something you feel substandard in – that’s when you need to step back, even just for a moment and re-asses how you can get back to where you were when you started. The time when you just wanted to create a blog as a way to document your life and share your travels. When money wasn’t a factor and press trips or free stays wasn’t the only goal. When happiness in being a writer was all you wanted.
Some people need to take longer breaks to get back to this. Some will find their footing quite quickly. Every one of us is different. But we all share the same feelings and worries even if we don’t always show it.
Don’t let travel blogging ruin travel for you – your blog and social media platforms won’t die if you reduce your workload to enjoy yourself. You should be making that a priority when you’re traveling! Don’t let the pressure to capture and experience it all kill you. Don’t let this affect your health and happiness to a point that you’re making yourself sick, staying up all night writing post after post because you have to be active – even on vacation. You can take a break. You can slow down. You need a work life balance here. You need to be able to enjoy your travels too.
There is room for everyone and when you step back and smell the roses so to speak. You can learn from the experience you have gained; and see just how much you have to be proud of (and what you have to look forward to) if you take a step back momentarily to re-assess what you actually want and the right way to go about getting that.
Just don’t give up because you feel like you are not good enough here. You are. Always.
You just have to want it enough to keep turning up every day. And if you don’t then that is fine too. But at least you gave it a shot to know for sure.
So find your way back to wanting it and see yourself prosper whether you keep at it, or move onto other ventures.
We are all in this together. Never forget that. You’re never alone here.
Remember why you started blogging and keep that in the forefront of your mind every day. It will remind you just how worthwhile this whole thing is, and reinforce why you keep showing up to remain part of this world every single day.
And if you still feel like you can’t get to the place you need? Speak to other bloggers; turn to our Female Travel Bloggers community; communicate how you feel. If nothing else, you won’t feel so alone.
You’ll see just how many of us all go through this feeling too.
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Toni is a Melburnian who has recently lived in London and Vancouver. She has visited 44 states of the USA and goes back every year to return to her favourite places. She tracks down filming locations everywhere she goes so her favourite films and tv shows come to life. Follow her on her site Enchanted Serendipity to learn about her travels. You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest here.