This Thursday my sister leaves for her first parent-free trip around Europe. I’m so excited for her, and a little jealous, and this got me thinking back to some of my own recent travels. I’ve been a blogger for years, and I’ve also gone on a few trips throughout that time. I’ve learned a lot about the ins and outs of blogging and what it really takes to stay committed to blogging while you’re travelling. It’s one thing if you’re a travel blogger, and you spend your time writing only about your life on the road, but it’s another thing if you’re a lifestyle blogger who is going on a trip and considering blogging while you travel.
Make Sure The Trip Fits Into Your Niche
The latter is the category I fell into when I blogged through my travels. I blogged on The Crafty Frugaler while I was studying abroad in Italy in 2013, and while I was backpacking through Europe in 2014. I used the blog as a way to keep family and friends updated on my travels and as a sort of digital scrapbook of my trip so I could remember what I did. Since The Crafty Frugaler was about crafts, saving money, and my life, I didn’t have a narrow niche, so travelling also seemed to fit in.
But, in reality, this didn’t fit into my niche. I wasn’t writing about travelling on a budget or any DIY aspects of the trip, I was basically just journaling about my travels. I see this on a lot of blogs out there when bloggers go on a trip and share all the details of their trip with their readers regardless of how relevant they are to the content of the blog. I’ve done it, and it’s a mistake I don’t regret making, but it’s one I now know not to make again, for a number of reasons.
Think About Ways to Tie Travel Into Your Blog
There are a few ways that you can tie travelling into your blog, even if you’re not a travel blogger. If you’re a huge famous blogger like Elsie and Emma of A Beautiful Mess, you write about travel because people are just interested in hearing about what they do day to day. But, even so, they don’t just journal about their travels. Even when their on trips, they have regular content scheduled and then a little while after their trip they write one or two posts detailing what they did as a travel guide to anyone else visiting those locations. Since their content is very widespread, from DIY to beauty to home décor, these travel guides fit in with their blog.
Another way you can bridge your travels with your non-travel blog is if you encounter stuff on your trip that is relevant to your content. For example, if I had found a really delicious frugal restaurant, or a way to beat the lines to the Colosseum in Rome, it would have been worth sharing on The Crafty Frugaler, but other than that, most of the content I shared wasn’t.
Schedule Regular Posts Before Leaving
Sadly, as much as I love both blogging and travelling, the best way you can do both together is, not to. Unless you travel often, your trip is a vacation from your work life, and your blogging life, and you should enjoy it. Sure you can take pictures to share with your readers later, or jot down names of really great places you’d like to recommend, but you don’t want to have to worry about finding wifi or finding time to write a post every day.
So, when planning for a trip, blog as you would any other time. Hopefully you’re scheduling your posts ahead of time, so travelling just means scheduling a little further ahead of time, so that you have consistent, normal content being published the entire time you are away. Then as you travel you can share pictures and info with your readers whenever you want to via social media, since these platforms are little less formal than a blog, and their niche is a little less rigid.
Write About Your Trip Once It’s Over
Once your trip is over and you get home, then it’s time to think about whether any of your travel content is actually blog worthy. Now that I’ve narrowed down my nice on The WCC to blogging, design, and entrepreneurship there is only certain content I’d be willing to share here if I went on a trip. Maybe if I met a new designer or fell in love with their work on my travels, or if I encountered an entrepreneur who was taking exciting steps to get their business up and running, or maybe even if I met some new bloggers along the way. This content would be relevant to the normal content of The WCC, and would be worth writing and scheduling a post about.
Last summer I blogged while backpacking through Europe, and the summer before that I blogged while living in Tuscany. Though I look back at my posts and am happy I have a written record of what I did, I don’t think I would do it again. Making sure I got back to my room in time to write a blog post was always an added stress in the back of my mind, and looking back on the trip I kind of regret that. The struggle to find wifi was also an added burden, one that I wouldn’t have had at all if I had scheduled posts ahead of time. Both trips were still amazing adventures, but it would have been nice to focus just on the trip rather than on my blog. Not to mention that now I know those posts I wrote while on my travels had nothing to do with my niche, and were just really a way to journal and keep my friends and family updated. Looking back, I would just travel and enjoy those moments rather than blogging along the way.
After travelling and blogging along the way multiple times, I now know that the most important thing about a trip is enjoying it. Scheduling posts ahead of time will be a little more work before you leave, but it will make sure you never have to worry about your blog while you’re away, and it will make sure your content is still as good as usual. And once you get home you can think about what you did and schedule new content if any of it is relevant to your niche. Just like this post is relevant to my niche now, various aspects of a trip will work differently for everyone. But, just remember, your number one priority is having fun and enjoying your trip. You might never get to return to whatever destination you are visiting, but your blog will always be there waiting.