Think Being A Travel Blogger Is Easy? Think Again!
Who wouldn't want to be a travel blogger? It sounds like the best job in the world! And, as I know from personal experience, it can be! But it's also a lot of work - in fact, there are 75 steps involved in creating just a single blog post and I bet it's the same for foodie, fashion, lifestyle, and parenting bloggers too. Even when you're pursuing your passion there is a lot of work involved! So tell me: Did I miss anything on the list?
1.) Come up with story concept. Wallow in self-doubt if this is anything but easy.
2.) Research potential partners.
3.) Contact potential partners.
4.) Prepare to travel to the destination.
5.) Follow up with potential partners.
6.) Follow up on plans to travel to the destination –which may involve more partners.
7.) Prepare gear and equipment to record story: lenses, batteries, SD cards.
8.) Do your travel preparation thing – clean, pack, sell your house, whateves.
9.) Do additional story research and advance reading.
10.) Generate buzz about your story and trip on social media.
11.) Confirm final plans with partners and travel partners.
12.) Take the time to travel to the destination –be it across town or across the world.
13.) There is no time for jetlag, malaria, giardia, homesickness, hangovers.
14.) Scout out your meeting location so you are prepared.
15.) Go to the locations you need to gain story materials.
16.) Conduct interviews, take notes, verify names, titles, contact information.
17.) Take photos with camera.
18.) Take videos with video camera.
19.) Take smart phone photos for social media use.
20.) Take smart phone video for social media use.
21.) Write additional notes and flush out story ideas.
22.) Back up your photos, videos, notes, and files.
23.) Send a thank you email.
24.) Send an email with follow up questions.
25.) Begin to put together an outline for your first draft.
26.) What is the story missing – do you need more quotes, photos, another interview?
27.) Verify facts and secure rights over images or information as needed.
28.) Edit and revise first draft.
29.) Begin photo and video selection.
30.) Secure stock photos/ open licensing photos to replace the shots you screwed up.
31.) Edit and revise second draft.
32.) Back up your material once again.
33.) Speak to a colleague about your ideas and allow them to review your draft.
34.) Based on their feedback, edit and revise third draft.
35.) Begin process of resizing, editing, enhancing, and watermarking photos and video.
36.) Upload videos to You Tube.
37.) Generate additional story buzz on social media.
38.) Do edit of fourth and final draft. Consider paying a professional to do this.
39.) Finish final photo and video selection and editing.
40.) Back up your material once again.
41.) Sort and store remaining photos and back up all photos to external hard drive.
42.) Ensure website and plug ins are up to date and bug free.
43.) Begin formatting blog post.
44.) Decide on a title that is catchy and clever, yet somehow SEO friendly at the same time.
45.) Decide on a secondary title and how post will be organized by subtitles.
46.) Begin placement of paragraphs and photographs.
47.) Rearrange photos and paragraphs because something just isn’t right.
48.) Give photos captions/credits and alt tags.
49.) Stare at post for several hours. Something just isn’t quite right. Fix it.
50.) Select tags, categories, SEO post titles, SEO post description, the works.
51.) Agonize over links for several hours. Do Follow or No Follow?
52.) Add in affiliate links and/or advertising.
53.) Hit publish.
54.) Record all expenses incurred in the research trip in your budget spreadsheet.
55.) Record all car mileage incurred in the research trip for income tax time.
56.) Look at published piece, find a spelling mistake. Go in and fix it.
57.) Schedule this post for immediate sharing on social media.
58.) Schedule this post for future sharing on social media during a relevant celebratory day/educational month/seasonal landmark.
59.) Send a copy of the post to all your partners. Thank them again.
60.) Send a copy of the post to other people who might be interested in sharing it, reading it.
61.) Watch the comments trickle in and try to catch spam missed by filters.
62.) Respond with wit and originality to every single comment.
63.) Someone wants to insert a sponsored link in this post. Devote three years for negotiating.
64.) If you accept link, insert it into post. Record date on sponsored link monitoring spreadsheet. Record new partner’s information into partner’s spreadsheet. Devote three years for tracking down payment. Record income in budget spreadsheet.
65.) Share the post on professional sites like Linked In/ Facebook sharing groups, etc. Consider listing the post as a Linked In publication.
66.) Share something your partners posted on social media to maintain the relationship.
67.) Scan the internet to see if anyone has stolen your work. Send cease and desist letters.
68.) Link your post to any relevant blogger round ups or content republishing sites.
69.) Monitor how the post is doing through your analytics.
70.) Find another spelling mistake. Like rabbits, they multiply.
71.) Change whatever it was you did wrong because you didn’t fully understand SEO and Google rules at the time of publication.
72.) Consider how to apply ‘versioning’ to your post. Will it be part of an e-book or a top 10 list?
73.) Enter the post in writing competitions and photography competitions.
74.) Revisit post to ensure verified facts and links remain accurate and up to date.
75.) Smile as people say “Maybe I’ll be a travel writer and get things for free too”.
Vanessa Chiasson is the founder and senior digital strategist of Sculpt Social.