The Reality of Being a Full-Time Blogger is NOT easy

From an outsider’s perspective, travel blogging must appear to be pretty simple.  All you have to do is write about your travels, post awesome photos, and retweet whatever BBC Travel says…  Right?


Being a full-time blogger requires more work than you could possibly imagine.  And the truth is I’ve never worked harder in my life.

Never.  Not for any college exam, not during any internship, and not for my current job teaching English in South Korea.

Over the last calendar year, I’ve been blogging for an average of 6 hours per day.  Including weekends.  That is over 40 hours a week.  Some days I work 0 hours, while others I work 12.  My fingers frequently have aches and pains from typing so much.

Here is a breakdown of what I do on a daily basis:
(30%) – Social media networking (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest)
(15%) – Writing new posts
(15%) – Responding to emails, comments, messages, FB posts and tweets
(10%) – Dealing with tech issues
(10%) – Pitching myself to advertisers, hotels, and travel companies
(5%) –  Learning new skills like SEO, Photoshop and Google AdWords
(5%) –  Editing movies for my Youtube Channel
(10%)Other:  Tracking financials, reading other blogs, managing my VAs, reaching out to other bloggers for advice, writing guest posts on other sites

If you’re a visual person, then see the pie chart below:

Keep in mind that these are just the basics that make up the majority of my daily work load.  There are plenty of other things that I do.  In one way or another, I find ways to stay productive.

I have no time off. 

I can’t remember the last time that I went to bed without thinking about what article to write next, which photo to post on Instagram, or how I can improve my blog.  On my free days, I try to bang out as many articles as I can.  And when I am traveling, I am constantly taking photos and thinking about how I can use them to get the most engagement out of my readers.  It’s truly a nonstop process.

Here is my current to-do list on my desk:

You must understand that travel blogging is an extremely competitive industry.

I estimate that there are several thousand people who take travel blogging seriously in the world.  And they are all working toward the same goals -> to build a massive following, to travel the world (for free) and to make an influence on people’s lives.

So I constantly ask myself, “How can I stand out from the field?”  What will make people want to read my site?

This is perhaps the biggest challenge of travel blogging.

So here are 4 useful tips for how I separate myself from the rest.

Key #1: Be Myself

One of the ways to stand out is to show my personality in my writing.  My old posts were too generic such as, “10 Things to do in Vienna.”

But once I started bringing out my opinions and personality more, my engagement has gone way up. The reason being that people can connect with me on a more personal level.

Key #2: Stay with my niche

When I first started blogging, I wrote about anything “travel related” that I could think of.  It was messy.  But as my blog has evolved, I’ve started writing more about my niche, which is partying around the world, encouraging people to step out of their comfort zones and showing people how they can also live a life like this.  Another niche that I’ve used is the lifestyle in Korea, because I lived and taught English there for 18 months.

You have to be an expert in your niche.

Key #3: Build off momentum 

It’s hard to take a week off blogging, or ever a few days.  It’s important to build off the momentum from my recent blog articles and social media posts.   If one of my tweets goes viral, then it’s essential to follow up with more amazing content to keep people on their toes.

Key #4: Stay consistent

I must consistently provide, entertain and share quality content to my readers.

Timing is crucial – especially in regards to social media.  For example, on Instagram, I ALWAYS post on the same time schedule (usually between 7-10 PM EST).  This way, people will look forward to my upcoming posts.

I know this all sounds like exhausting, but to be honest with you,

I love travel blogging 

I am 23 years old and I am extremely happy with the life that I live.  I have already created work that enables me to do the thing that I love most: travel the world.  I am able to work remotely from anywhere on the planet with a wifi connection.

Which is exactly what I plan on doing in 2015.  I will be traveling full-time this year using 100% earnings from by blog and bonuses from teaching English.

I like to think of travel blogging as the best ongoing project in the world.  There is always – ALWAYS – something I can be doing to improve.  I love this challenge.

I can’t imagine doing anything else right now.  I would go mentally insane if I was stuck behind a cubicle.  I couldn’t handle a boss telling me what to do.  The corporate world is just not for me.

I am a digital nomad – a location-independent entrepreneur, and I plan on being this for eternity.

I’m not trying to crush your dreams of becoming a travel blogger.

You can absolutely do it too, and I encourage you all to try it out.  The hardest part about blogging is the start. Once you get the ball rolling, the momentum builds quickly and you’ll make adjustments to improve.

But before you start your blog, know what your overall goal is.  There’s a huge difference between a travel diary and a travel blog.  It’s called an audience.   If you choose to have a diary, then that requires very little work (other than writing.)  However, for those who want to have a public website and grow your following around the world and make money, then consider yourself warned for what you are getting into.

Most people who start travel blogs with the intention to build an audience will give up after a year.  They’ll quit when they wonder why they’re not getting as much traction and recognition as other bloggers.  Most people just aren’t willing to put in a lot of fucking hard work.   Do you have what it takes? 

Please contact me if you want advice on blogging!

Want to read more about what it takes to be a travel blogger?  Check out what other top bloggers have said about this topic.  

Planet D – Do You Want to Be a Travel Blogger? Read On..
Mapping Megan – Life as a Travel Blogger
Finding the Universe– How to Become a Professional Travel Blogger
Adventurous Kate – The Reality of Professional Blogging
Gary Ardnt Interview – What Gary Can Teach You About Travel Blogging


28 thoughts on “The Reality of Being a Full-Time Blogger is NOT easy

  1. Fine balance between blogging about something and actually doing stuff. I am starting school full time soon too so I think I’m gonna die.

  2. That is so true, it seems as if we spend most of our day in front of the computer. I’m at the stage where I spend mostly between 8 to 12 hours per day, every day working on my blog and social media, but I think following your advice of taking social media one at a time will help me sort that out. Funny thing is, my family thinks I’m playing on the computer the whole day, where it is actually hard work.Some days are more successful than others. For me, especially when I have some kind of technical issue, it seems to take an entire day to sort it out (or try to) and my entire schedule is messed up. Love your posts.

    1. Linda, same here!! My family doesn’t realize how hard I am actually working, so I always have to convince them. But in any regard, keep up the hard work and I PROMISE you that it’ll soon pay off 😉

  3. Word up man….my friends think it’s a piece of cake, just a way to lose time when u r bored, they have no idea how much time and energy is put into it. Especially since blogging scene became popular just few years back in Croatia. Anyway, it’s nice to now I’m not the only one struggling 😀

    Love peace and pancakes

      1. Duuuude that’s awesome 😀 If passing through Zagreb – you HAVE to let me know 🙂 At least to get u drunk somewhere Balkan style 😀

  4. This is great advice for a upcoming travel blogger like myself. Curiously I have published a article ( about what I’ve learned in my first six months of blogging and many things coincide with what you’ve said. I also think standing out and finding a niche is essential. It makes me more confident I am on the right path!

    Happy travels mate!

  5. Definitely we are all in the same boat…
    I started a nomad life 10 months ago and I don´t regret it at all. Although I have never thought it would demand so much work. Hours, days, weeks in front of the computer… And no way to call sick, it is one man game!!!
    Happy travels and blogging!

  6. OOOhhh I can so relate to it! if you’re a travel blogger, the work is never done. There is always something else you could do. I have endless to-do lists, there is one huge blog post I’m writing for it since 4 months already (and i haven’t finish it yet) and there are the hundreds of emails I have to reply every week. But I love this shit! When I go to bed, I can’t wait to wake up and continue working. I think i even reached a state where I enjoy taking care of my blog more than traveling, haha.
    For no job in the world I would trade my current life. Actually being a successful blogger is not that hard, you simply need to stand out of the crowd and do your own thing and you’ll see, amazing things will happen. Happy travels and happy blogging!

    1. Exactly Sab!! I’m glad that you feel the same way I do. I absolutely love travel blogging and it is so rewarding to “work” on something that we truly enjoy doing! Keep up the awesome work 🙂

  7. Hey Drew, good for you, mate! It’s certainly not easy, especially with a full time job! Wishing you all the best with your future travels, and maybe see you on the read sometime 🙂

    1. Thanks for the love Heyley! What does your upcoming travel schedule look like? I’ll be heading to the Philippines, India and Nepal until May. Then USA until July, and then Europe until October! It would be great to cross paths 😀

  8. I can SO relate. I said to myself I’d take tonight off (HA!), but here I am, unable to give myself even a moment off, before the blog takes over and I’m doing something to do with it, like writing this post! Crazy. But I do loves it.
    Claire 🙂

  9. A job (earning a living) you enjoy is a good thing! Work is work, there is no way around it.
    I’ve met people in their 60’s who never worked a day at a job they enjoyed… this one guy was waiting until he was 65 & could start medicare to go out & do what he wanted.

    I enjoy your travel blog, keep it up!

  10. Being a travel blogger is indeed a dreamy job but like all dreams –you have to work hard for it. Still, I want to be able to have my own voice to talk to readers on a more personal level. My niche is also pretty diverse as I still can’t afford the luxury of travel (I have a day job). But I will get there sooner or later.

    Thanks for this stimulating post. 🙂 keep it up!

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