“So you think we should start a blog“, I asked Vera. We've been flirting with the idea of having our own blog for a while. But between the renovation of our old house, my freelance translation business, everyday cooking & houseworks, I haven't had much time for blogging. We took a road trip to Amsterdam in the late 2011. And on the way back we finally made a decision to start our own blog. Right away, Vera wrote our About us section on her telephone. It changed overtime. Just wanted to say it all started on a 14-hour drive back home when we had to keep ourselves entertained.
Don't promise when you're happy, Don't reply when you're angry, and Don't decide when you're sad
Few years of living in Istria, and we noticed that the places we've been visiting lately had nothing to do with the places we were visiting when we just moved here. Never underestimate the local knowledge. Locals know where to eat, where to go, what to do, and when to do it. No matter what that is. Our original idea was to try to share the best of Croatia, just as we discover it. And our blog is still pretty much about it.
However, on our blogging journey we've learnt a lot about all kinds of things, from technical aspects of running a blog, writing, distributing our content and how to build traffic. Travel bloggers are just excellent group of people who help one another a lot. We are truly grateful for all the tips they've selflessly shared with us (and still keep sharing). We'll get more into it in another post. We naturally expended our blog to expat life as well as to our blogging life (this is a first post on that one!). We also plan on adding the product reviews to our blog.
The first things first
If you think of starting your own blog, here are few hard learnt truths about blogging:
#1: It's time consuming, if you want to do it properly. If you just have a blog as your own diary, then go ahead and enjoy it. If you want to build a substantial traffic and a readership, you'll need to put in many hours of work. Our daily activities consist of:
- creating the content for our blog (and to have a content you need to previously have an experience you will write about);
- distributing our content across different social media channels, commenting on other bloggers' content (good Karma is extremely important; so if you want others to support you, start by supporting others first);
- actively participating in the forums related to our blog's content;
- interaction with the followers on our social media profiles (Thank you every and each one for being there!)
- answering e-mails, comments from our readers and sending pitches out in a search of more content and / or paid gigs (we need to live off something)
Son, if you really want something in this life, you have to work for it. Now quiet, they're about to announce the lottery numbers. – Simpson
#2: The success doesn't come overnight. If you want to run a successful blog one day, then you need to really be serious about it. We put countless hours in our blog (and we don't yet consider us successful), and we both hold steady, 9-5 jobs. Combine it with the number #1. You need to like it a lot, or to have really clear goals to keep doing it. If you are in for a quick ride and an overnight success, you better don't even start with it. There is no such a thing.
Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else. – Alison Boulter
#3: You'll be spending money when you just start. If you are a travel blogger at least. If you want to share your travels, or experiences with your readers, you'll need actually to pay for them. Just check how many restaurant reviews we have on our blog. We paid for each of these meals. It's a lot of money. You can try to fake it, but you won't go far with that. Don't forget that there are almost 7 million bloggers and only 14% make a living with their blogs.
Being blogger is still pretty awesome, and we enjoyed it a lot. If you think of becoming a blogger, we've put together six simple steps to help you start your own blog.
Do you still want to be a blogger? Let us know in the comments about your blogging aspirations.