Updated May 28, 2020.
If you’re looking for a glamorous life with lots of excitement… travel blogging is not for you! Ha! The travel part is amazing, and I wouldn’t trade this life I’ve been able to make for myself, but the business side of blogging is a lot more work that you might think. That goes for lifestyle blogs, food blogs, beauty blogs, and every kind of blog in fact. If you’re still curious, though, here’s a quick sneak peek into a day in the life of a travel blogger!
1. Wake Up 5:15am
I know that sounds early, but I’m a morning person. My husband and I wake up at the same time, but he’s a better person than I am: he brings me coffee in bed! While he’s making my coffee, I get up, throw on my workout clothes, and get back in bed so the work can begin.
2. Social Media Tasks
Social media is the bane of my existance, but in the blogging world, it’s an absolute necessity. This is how people find my blog and interact with me! So I spend about 45 minutes each morning getting my social media started for the day. I make sure my post automatically went live on Facebook and Twitter, pin the latest post to Pinterest, and create a new post on Instagram. This last one takes the most time and involves posting a photo, writing a caption people might read and respond to, tagging 20 accounts on the photo in hopes that it will be seen by one of these accounts and shared, and comment with 30 hashtags, usually split into three sets of 10 location-based, 10 travel-based, and 10 female traveler-based.
I also check my stats from the day before while enjoying coffee in bed. It’s fun to see how many page views I received, how many unique users visited my site, what country they came from, which posts they’re reading, how they came to my blog, and what search terms they used to find me!
3. Exercise and Shower
Steve and I both exercise every morning, even if it’s just going for a walk. It helps with our anxiety, gives us energy, and helps us feel good all day long! I try to do something a little bit different from one day to the next. I run or do a stairwell workout three days a week, and the other days I do weight training, HIIT (High-intensity Interval Training) workouts, or simply go for a long walk. I usually spend an hour to an hour and a half on my workout, depending on what I’m doing that day. I don’t do yoga.
4. Breakfast, Coffee, and Start Work
I’m usually showered and ready by 8:30 or 9:00am, at which time I fix breakfast and a second cup of coffee (which I’m savoring even more during quarantine), then sit down to my laptop and look at my list of tasks for the day.
5. So, What Does a Blogger DO All Day?
Well, it varies a lot, which I like. My favorite thing to do is write blog posts (in the blogging world we pretentiously call this “content”), but that’s really just one part of the work that goes into a blog. At any given time I can be found doing these things:
These range from itineraries to packing lists to “top 10 things to do” to “things to know before you go,” and more! I’ve been writing a lot of “travel tip” posts lately since I haven’t been traveling the last couple of months due to the Great COVID-19 Quarantine of 2020.
I have a large paper desk calendar that I use to keep up with what I plan to publish each month. I schedule content a month or more in advance whenever possible. That’s not always practical, but I like to have a general plan to work with. When I know a trip is coming up, I go ahead and write my planned blog post titles on the day I want to publish each one. It changes a lot (thank goodness for white-out!), but this system helps me remember what content is supposed to go out when, and keeps me from scheduling two posts on the same day or no posts at all!
Researching Upcoming Travel
This is my second facvorite thing to do for the blog! I love making plans, and I love figuring out the most efficient way to see the most things. I’m always Googling things like “best things to do in_____” and “best coffee shops in_____” and “what to eat in _____” for whatever destination I’m researching.
Keep Reading: All My Travel Planning Resources
Pre-writing Future Posts
I like to get a head start where I can. So while I’m researching, I might go ahead and start my posts like “What to Know Before You Visit ____” or “Staying at _____” if I know I’ll be reviewing my accommodation on an upcoming trip. I’ll end up changing a few things before I actually finish and schedule the post, but overall, I can get new material published faster if I get a head start on a few posts when I can.
I don’t do heavy edits. I want my photos to look real, but I also want you to be able to see what I photographed if it happened to be in a shadow. So I do some light editing in Photos on my Mac before publishing them in my blog or on social media.
Trying to Figure Out Social Media
Speaking of social media, this one takes a lot more effort for bloggers and social media influencers! Social media changes all the time, and each medium has different rules. It’s all a big game, but no one tells you the rules. So I’m constantly trying to figure it all out on my own by reading articles, taking classes, and of course, using it myself. Between the hashtag research for Instagram and trying to figure out why my Facebook posts went from hundreds of impressions per day to only a couple of dozen, I spend a lot more time on social media than I’d like!
Well, I haven’t packed for anything since February, but I’m usually packing a few weeks in advance for two or three trips at a time! I also pack for Steve. It’s our little trade: he brings me coffee, I pack his bags!
Doing Laundry and Dishes
We can’t forget this part of my day. Since I work from home, I am also constantly up and down switching laundry from the kitchen floor to the washing machine, from the washing machine to the dryer, from the dryer to the bed, where they are folded and put away. I’m one of those people who likes to keep things separated and washed at the right settings, so I do about 4-5 loads of laundry, 2-3 days a week.
And the dishes. We usually only run the dishwasher once a day, but I really don’t like loading and unloading. I’d rather do laundry.
Updating Old Blog Posts
I’ve finally had time to do some of this during quarantine! Google likes new material, and Pinterest likes new pins. So it’s worthwhile to update or even repurpose older blog posts so Google might find them again (and put them into your search results) and Pinterest might start showing them again.
Maintaining My Website
This is the one I dislike almost as much as social media. Trying to work on my website totally squashes my creativity, and with it, my motivation. I need to make sure it’s still searchable, all the features and links work as they should, reply to comments, and the like. I have been using the same blog theme for the last three and a half years, but I’m hoping to change it soon. Times change, Internet capabilities change, and my website needs to keep up! Be looking for a facelift soon… but maybe not too soon!
Over the course of a few days in March I spent several hours on chat and on the phone with Amazon to make sure my affiliate links were working. Several times I’ve fought with the “help” at WordPress to make sure I’m getting all the services I paid for and that I’m using them correctly. There are more tasks I’m not thinking about at the moment, I’m sure. Running a business means rolling with the punches, even the punches that aren’t too fun!
6. Take a Mid-day Walk
I try to go outside for a walk at least once a day, if not twice or more when the weather is nice. I usually take a break around lunch time, then come right back to it!
7. Make Supper and Proofread Tomorrow’s Post
Steve is working from home these days, which I love, but usually he gets home around 4:30pm when he’s coming home from the office. When he gets home, we usually go for a walk around the block a couple of times, then come in and I make supper while Steve proofreads my post for the following day.
8. TV, Reading, and Bedtime!
It’s not my favorite thing about my day, but Steve and I eat supper while watching TV. It’s usually whatever we’ve recorded, Murder, She Wrote, or Cheers these days. We go to bed at 7:00pm (hey, we wake up at 5:15am!), and we read until we fall asleep (8:00-ish for Steve, closer to 10:00-ish for me).
So what do you think? Impossibly boring? A lot more work than you thought?
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