Speaking to people I’ve met for the first time and old friends, I’ve found that people are more curious than I thought about what I do as a travel blogger. So I’ve decided, on one train ride to work, to jot down the things I do on a typical blog work day.
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Here’s a typical day in the life of the work I do:
At the first opening of my eyelids, I switch on my phone’s WiFi. In seconds, notifications start buzzing me awake.
Emails emails emails
I can’t even begin to tell you how I used to dread opening my office’s email inbox. On the contrary, I get so excited looking at new emails from my inbox that this is often what makes me get up and out of bed.
What is so interesting about my blog’s inbox, you wonder. What kind of emails do I get? Sifting through my daily/ weekly PR, freelance gigs and blog newsletters I subscribe to, I occasionally get invites to events, product reviews, new hotel openings, etc.
Sometimes, I get replies from the VIP I pitch to for my upcoming trips – be it with tourism boards, airlines, or hotels. Most of the time, there is a lot of back and forth. On the off-chance they like my offer, we have a mutual agreement.
Other days, I get nice comments from readers of my blog affirming me of how the content that I share has inspired or helped them.
Then there are emails for sponsored posts – yes, these are the people who are willing to pay me to link to them.
So I say, why would I want to sleep a second more when I have these kind comments, income-generating and experiential opportunities to tend to? It is partly also why so many bloggers out there put in the long hours (often 10 hours or more) on their blogs. It is after all, all part of cultivating your seeds you’ve sowed!
Monthly reports and review
At the beginning of every month, I would tabulate the breakdown of my previous month’s blog earnings into a budget planner sheet, figure out what went right/ wrong, evaluate my productivity, and refocus on my priorities for the new month with to-do lists. Along with that is the study of my blog’s traffic – another favourite part of blogging for me.
Am I spending too long on an area which reaps little return? Is there a window of opportunity that I can tap on? Can I leverage a high-performing post to understand what my reader wants, and in return, provide more value to them?
I would then draw up flow charts, brainstorm more ideas for content and newsletters or tweak the direction I’m going on the notebook I carry everywhere (in case an idea sparks up in the middle of nowhere!).
If it’s a typical day, I might be editing photos (if I’m just back from a trip), writing articles, editing articles that others have contributed to my site, formatting a blog post, designing pins (which I’m terrible at and outsourcing for the most part), pinning other pins on Pinterest, designing my blog’s newsletter, or optimising SEO for existing articles.
A typical newsletter:
All of these take up copious amounts of time, so I usually only manage to do one of the above mentioned activities in a day. Sometimes, I take days or weeks to edit/ do up an article! I have to draw up a schedule so I don’t spend too much doing one thing and neglecting another.
SEO. The holy grail of all serious bloggers. Search Engine Optimization (SEO), in case you don’t know what it means. SEO is what makes our articles appear at the top of Google when you, a reader, searches for something. Those articles that you land on, they don’t appear at the top of Google by sheer luck.
The work that goes behind the writing of those articles are more than mere writing. If you think writing alone is a chore, researching keywords, finding out the reader intent, answering your reader’s questions… They all come before the actual writing. Thankfully, I enjoy this part of blogging the most.
After coming up with the necessary background work, I would sometimes outsource the writing so that my writer has the skeleton needed to craft the article. Too many ideas, too little time, and so delegation is the way. I’ve learned in 2019 that sometimes to achieve greater things, smart investments have to be made.
Occasionally, I would log into Facebook travel groups and connect with like-minded people, participate in group boards, offer tips and suggestions and get inspiration.
As part of my break between work, I scroll through Instagram and try to be active, posting when the time is right, or looking for inspiration from some of my favourite accounts.
Secrets of Famous Travel Instagrammers – Meet @tourdelust Secrets of Famous Travel Instagrammers – Meet @zeebalife Secrets of Famous Travel Instagrammers – Meet @xkflyaway Secrets of Famous Travel Instagrammers - Meet @swedishnomad How to Really Grow A Large Following on Instagram
Matters of business
If I’m not working on my blog, I’m working on the other freelance work I’m engaged in – PR, social media management and SEO for other clients.
Or…. I will be planning my next destination – currently an adventure trip to North Vietnam in April involving rock climbing, deep water solo, kayaking and caving, and a hiking + volunteer trip to Nepal in August. A road trip with the family in May to Australia might warrant more research when more details are firmed up.
Prior to coming back to Singapore in February this year, I was wholly engaged in my blog work in Japan for 3 months. I must admit I miss those times where I could fully dedicate my schedule to working on the blog. Having nothing on my calendar except working on the blog gave me a structure I could adhere to and progress towards.
Today, I work less than 8 hours a day on my blog, and less than 5 days a week. Sometimes they are interspersed between work/ lunch/ doctor’s appointments.
Definitely not ideal, as I am wishing I could work longer, uninterrupted hours. While I do have a co-sharing work space I can go to to get work done in the CBD, the commute time puts me off.
If I do, I’ll be equipped with my new Pad & Quill leather laptop bag for my number one essential item, my Macbook Pro. I’ve been looking for a nice hand carry laptop bag as I didn’t want to put the brunt of the weight on my one shoulder, hence this bag. The smell of the luxury leather is enough to make me feel
That said, I’m glad I’m done with the brunt of my blog’s maintenance work, otherwise I would be spending extensive amount of time trying to reduce bugs, block spam bots, reduce page load times, make my blog more user-friendly, etcetera etcetera.
I wind down my day watching shows, most recently Breaking Bad.
Now that you have an insight into my life, was this something you expected?
Read other related posts about travel blogging:
- The Secret Life of A Travel Blogger; How My Income Exploded 211% when I turned Full-Time
- 2018 In Review; Being my own boss, living abroad, personal growth
- 2017; A Year of Firsts, Big Decisions and Life’s Turning Points
- Torn By Decisions? My Advice for 20-Somethings, Through My Life’s Lessons
- Taking the Leap
- On Being Independent