Welcome back to my “Ask Me Anything” series. I try to answer FAQ every once in a while and something I get asked a lot is “Do I ever consider giving up blogging” & “how do I stay motivated?” I am guessing it’s other bloggers asking this question. It’s a good question because it’s hard to stay motivated to blog it an industry that is very saturated and always changing.
How do you stay motivated to blog?
1. Because I love it.
The first reason I stay motivated to blog is that I really truly love blogging and love this job. I have not ever considered quitting blogging and don’t see myself ever quitting, although I could see maybe the blog turning into more of a website down the line (when I become boring and have no more stories to share!)
I think you would really have to ask yourself “Do I love to run my blog?” If you aren’t sure of that answer, then I can definitely see how you might lose motivation to continue.
First trip abroad, pre-blogging, 2009, literally used to sleep illegally in parks, hitchhike, and couchsurf. For food? 50 cent baguette from supermarkets. I didn’t start my blog until the end of 2013.
2. Because I feel secure as a blogger.
It’s a hard nut to crack into the travel industry and it can seem like an uphill battle that you just never seem to reach the top.I remember having just 7 readers a day when now I have over 10,000 per day. It was a struggle but I feel like I have passed that “omg am I going to make it” thing. I’m not some famous travel blogger like the many that I look up to like The Blonde Abroad or Adventurous Kate, but I feel like I’ve surpassed all the goals I have set for myself, and that’s really what matters to me.
There are an approximate 1.2 million travel blogs. When I started my blog four years ago, I think this number might have been a lot lower. After a year of blogging, my blog became one of the top 50 blogs based on traffic with just 65,000 UMV per month. This is impossible now. Travel is the “cool” thing to do, people love it, and travel blogs are getting read more than ever. So, starting out it can seem like a daunting task to become a “top travel blogger”.
I was lucky in a sense that I started early when I did, but that’s not to say you can’t still become successful. There are new blogs popping up all the time that are amazing and have something unique to say – so they are becoming top blogs.
Because I was a little lucky to start early, and have grown my blog to the point where I feel good where I’m at, that keeps me motivated to just continue without stress. I don’t feel like I have something to prove or like I need to get my name out there.
3. Because I need to make a living.
Money is always going to be a motivation. I left my job as a nurse to do this. I’m going on 30. I need to have a retirement plan and be able to support myself with this as my one and only career. I don’t want to return to nursing, although I would if I needed money. I have a backup plan in place. If I don’t make money, I can’t keep blogging as a full-time job. That’s some motivation, there!
I have said before on this blog, I did start it with the intent to make an income from it. I love doing it, but it’s a job for me.
That means that one motivation for me is money – and I don’t think it’s bad for bloggers to admit that. We work so hard putting our lives online so people can learn from our travel mistakes and it’s only fair that we earn an income from promoting brands we use and love along the way.
4. Connecting with people.
What is life is we don’t connect with people along the way? I love the people I meet online. I know that sounds lame but in this day and age, I think it’s acceptable, right? I’ve made so many friends from blogging like Alex, Mindy, and Silvia. It’s like how you have your childhood friends, your college friends, and your work friends – well, I work on my couch, so my blogger friends have filled that spot.
I met Anna (right) in Kerala when she joined the GoMowgli trip I co-hosted and she ended up staying with me in Goa after and is who I hired to redesign my site last year.
Trish, a firecracker who I met in Israel is someone I always stay in touch with now!
Fellow blogger Colleen came here to stay and met my dog, Huck, before he passed away. She wrote this amazing blog post about him which is my favorite thing on the internet. Goosebumps.
It’s not just connecting with other bloggers and online entrepreneurs, even more so, it’s connecting with the people who read my blog and that I met on social media. When I go to a new town, people who follow my blog from that town get in touch and offer advice on where to go, offer to meet up, and sometimes offer me a place to crash.
5. Because it’s something I’m proud of.
I don’t want to toot my own horn here, but I am proud of myself for making this blog. I didn’t know what a travel blog was 4 years ago. I didn’t know how to make a website or what marketing and sales were. I have learned so much and it’s been self-taught. There are many resources online to learn about blogging which I’ve read and a lot of what I learned has been from mistakes I’ve made.
I NEVER saw myself as an “entrepreneur” and sometimes don’t even think what I do is real or that people really are going to read what I’m writing. It’s never stopped being a “pinch me” moment. It motivates me to keep writing and keep working hard to see where Hippie in Heels as a brand can go.
6. Because it allows me to see more of the world.
My blog has brought me life opportunities that have been so amazing and unforgettable. I have been to places like Jordan and Israel because of my blog. I have been flown to Bali to be paid to surf every day. It’s literally a dream job and the more I see of the world, the more I want to see.
I’ve always been interested in traveling and had “wanderlust” before it was a word. This blog is my gateway to that and I don’t see myself stopping!
If you’re interested in starting a blog, check out my article from last month on how to start one from scratch. I won’t pretend like the market isn’t saturated, but if you have a unique travel style and a unique voice or are a great story-teller, then you should 100% give it a go!
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I think Number 1 is huge here. Was just out running before listening to a podcast, turns out ‘passion = to suffer’ in latin’.
You haven’t mentioned passion in this article, but you have an innate passion whenever you publish something on Hippie in Heels that comes through your writing. That will see you continuing to tick your goals :D
You mentioned Hippie in Heels as a brand. Would love to see you write about where you see Hippie in Heels going in terms of its purpose, you’ve got the audience and readers now, you’re still the central part of the brand of course, but is there a underlying bigger purpose in the brand going forward :)
Hi Jub, thanks for the feedback! You’re right, I do have a passion for what I do. I have been thinking a lot lately about how I will move forward with Hippie in Heels – will I stay in India? Will I start doing video? Will my focus shift from India if I move and how will people react – it’s definitely something I consider but really not sure at all how it will evolve in it’s purpose!
I blog for about 2 years. I think you blog when you want and have something to share with others. You should enjoy writing.Thanks God I do not make living of it, even I did, would never force myself writing just because. I only write when I feel so.Money should be a primary motivation for creative jobs. And if it is, I do not believe it comes out as something valuable.
This is amazing Rachel. Your honesty is inspiring – and although I’m relatively new to the blogging game, I absolutely love the constant progress I make. I think new bloggers are too quick to compare themselves to the biggest/most well known blogs, when in reality we should stay on our own path and kick our own goals. Comparison is the thief of joy; comparing ourselves to others is a recipe for disappointment. Keep doing what you’re doing XX
I always think of that quote: “comparison is the thief of joy” and it’s so true – especially with blogging and comparing stats! It’s good to have goals, but ones that are your own and not trying to be like someone else :) Thanks for commenting and best of luck with your blogging!
Ha! Ha! You’re so right and I absolutely agree! Motivation or what to write about, isn’t an issue, when you love what you’re doing! My blog has just turned 4 and it’s been amazing.
I started my blog on a whim and because American mums in Berlin, kept asking me about where to go in Europe, so I just started my blog to get them off my back, so to speak, and here we are!
I had absolutely no idea, it would take off the way it has ‘cos a few months later I got invited to a music award show as press, and before you knew it, I was on live German TV talking about the Queen!
Lol – talking about the queen!? That’s amazing. It’s great you started a blog just on a whim and it became such a great success!
Thanks Rachel. That’s awfully sweet of you to say so!
Great insights, Rachel.
Very inspiring. I have been blogging since 2009 but on and off it. Since the past year or so, I have tried to stay disciplined with my latest blog and consistency does play a huge role in keeping a connect with the readers.
I loved reading your posts on India – great work…. keep inspiring…
#5 struck a cord with me! I feel stuck right now and not sure what I want do with my career. But you are right Rachel, what is more important is I truly enjoy blogging and showcasing my content that way. Thank you for this wonderful article and helping me stay motivated to keep going!
Thank you! I was feeling demotivated and really needed some pick-me-up today. After traveling for almost 10 years, I ~finally~ started my travel blog in 2019, but then Covid happened, and I found it SO hard to stay motivated to write about travel when nobody could travel. I’m still feeling that way now, with my country being put under full lockdown (again). This article is just the kind of inspiration I need.