Maintaining a travel blog is the best way to chronicle journeys, stay in touch with loved ones, and make some money on the side. But these days, the only travel many of us do are the steps we take from our beds to our refrigerators.
While the day that we can enjoy the sights, smells, and souvenirs of faraway places will come again, there are moments where it's difficult to stay motivated. Anyone else feel me on this one?
So what’s the best way to stay motivated to write and create content efficiently while at home, without seeing the world? I’ve compiled some quick tips on maintaining a travel blog during Covid-19 below!
1. Stick to a Schedule
When traveling, you need to make the most of every moment, right? So why not apply the same work ethics you practice while on the road to the ones you practice at your kitchen table?
If you want to write the most inspiring, accurate, and informative content, you need to first find a place you can concentrate that is both relaxing and fuels your creative fires. For me, this spot is outside on my private terrace with a glass of wine, listening to the chirp of birds and wind-rustled trees.
Create a schedule that is comfortable and easy to maintain. For example, if you’re not a morning person, don’t set your alarm for a 5am brainstorming session! Set attainable daily goals that are ideal (i.e. “write outline of blog post draft” rather than “complete blog post in one day”). These are fragile times, so be easy on yourself.
If lack of Wi-Fi is a deterrent to your ability to publish content or work online, there are a number of options you can choose from that are affordable for long-term subscriptions. Have a look at some options:
1. Cricket Turbo Hotspot. You can buy the standalone hotspot for $99, or choose an option of three monthly plans for either $25, $35, or $70.
2. Skyroam. This is an international hotspot you can buy or rent. $119 to buy online at Best Buy.
3. Tep Wireless. The “Teppy” is an international hotspot that offers unlimited Internet. You can rent a device for $6.95 a day, or buy the device with 1GB included for $149.
Pro tip: A great time to write is while you are sitting down to enjoy lunch or dinner, especially if you are alone. Try to work in a room that doesn’t have access to a television for less distractions.
2. Give Yourself Time to Process Your Thoughts
There is a lot of uncertainty in the world at the moment. People are confused, scared, and anxious (I am one of them). Allow yourself to process your thoughts and emotions first before you set or tackle long-term goals for your blog.
“What kind of content do I want to share?”
“What do I want to accomplish most during this time?”
“How can I utilise this downtime to increase my monetisation or improve my skills?”
The best blogs are often the ones that provide thoughtful, accurate information that has been compiled over the course of a few days (sometimes even weeks). This method doesn’t have the same rawness that other short-form posts have, but can offer a greater sense of perspective and insight.
3. Get Creative
Maintaining a travel blog in general is time consuming, and sometimes it’s challenging to put pen-to-paper. If you’re experiencing writer’s block, this is where alternative forms of content creation come in handy.
Photography is a natural ally for bloggers of any niche, and can help serve as an additional form of income (check out my “5 Simple Ways to Make Money While Traveling” post).
If you invest in the right equipment and put the time in to learn new skills and improve existing ones, the possibilities to earn extra cash are endless. You can create your own online print shop or sell your photos to an independent company such as ShotKit or PhotoShelter.
This could be a great source for creativity and additional income.
Video is another effective way to share the behind-the-scenes of different locations.
To do this, you need to invest in quality equipment (an iPhone or GoPro), and hone in on those editing skills. There are a couple of iPhone and desktop apps that make to do are iMovie, and Quik App. These *free* apps are also mobile and desktop friendly, so you can create content while you’re on the road (or at your kitchen table).
Ultimately, it’s important to remember that mixed media works best when combined with written content as Google still needs to pick up key words (these help readers find your content on the Internet!) Find out why they are so important here.
4. Take a Walk Down Memory Lane
The days of un-utilized content are over.
That photo you thought you looked too pale in? Use it.
The product flat lay you thought was too over-exposed? Share it and help out a small business or your favorite brand in the process.
In addition to promoting small or privately-owed businesses such as tour groups, restaurants, or hotels during a difficult financial period, travel nostalgia can help turn doom-and-gloom into joy and excitement. Memories of challenging travel moments can also help remind us how strong we are in the face of adversity.
Of course, too much reminiscing can have the opposite effect, so make sure you’re kind to yourself and know how much “travel nostalgia” your heart and mind can take.
This is perhaps one of the most challenging times we will face in our personal and professional lives. If you’re reading this, you’re likely someone who also lives a life of adventure and exploration, who enjoys sharing your experiences with the world.
To you, I say your time is not over. Our time as an industry is not over.
There will come a day, perhaps not soon, but in the future, when we can feel the sand of the beach between our toes; feel the excitement of packing our bags and heading out to places unknown; and sit down with new and old friends over wine to reminisce of happy memories past.
Until that day, I hope we all can continue to find joy even in the smallest of places and moments, and keep our passions of maintaining a travel blog alive through kindness and the beautiful memories. <3