I’ve had this topic on my mind for a while – but my thoughts are seriously all over the map and I haven’t really been able to cull them into something presentable for you my readers. But here I am finally trying to express it. I might fail but let’s give it a try. It’s time to Blog about Blogging.
I had no preconceived notions when I started this blog almost SEVEN YEARS AGO. What? Where has the time gone? I knew absolutely nothing about blogging. And for many years I didn’t even try to learn. I just wrote what I wanted when I wanted to with absolutely no expectations. It was in the beginning, and still is, a journal of sorts. My Fab Fifties Life. Pretty much says it all.
Then Travel Happened
But then of course we set out on the Grand Adventure and I suddenly became a ‘Travel Blogger’ without really intending to. And then people started to notice. Who are all these strangers who are reading and commenting on my blog? And then I suddenly felt compelled to succeed at what I was doing, and I began to take it more seriously and learn and study and work hard to learn a little about things like search engine optimization, algorithms, domain authority. Then I met other bloggers and blogging communities and I learned more from all of them. My eyes were opened.
Everyone Thinks They Can Write
And though I have met so many amazingly talented bloggers, my eyes have also been opened to something else. There are many bloggers out there who have no writing experience or background. It’s kinda weird to me. Sometimes I run across a blog and I’m astonished at how poorly written it is. For hobby blogging that is just fine. But if they are trying to make a living, they need to become better writers. They may be really good at traveling, but have zero experience at writing.
I myself am never going to win the Pulitzer Prize for my writing but I am a trained journalist and I’ve spent a career writing in many different formats. I can write. And when I started blogging it was because I was looking for the creative outlet of writing I so enjoy. It became about travel much later. It’s not a career for me, but I want my blog interesting and well presented. I use my years of experience in the writing fields to make that happen.
Because here is the most important thing about blogging. Content. Good well written content will make you succeed – first and foremost.
Influencers – Not a fan of this title
The term influencers is a title many bloggers and instagramers self-proclaim for generating income by writing and photographing destinations around the world and creating a buzz about those places. And in return either getting paid or receive free travel.
I have an internal struggle with my blogging because, as the blog has grown I find myself often hesitant to talk about wonderful places we find, or unique destinations or restaurants we stumble upon. Because, will these places be so wonderful if everyone finds out about them? I don’t want to be an influencer that sends thousands of people to that cute little villa or that secluded little beach. I have no desire to influence anyone and make a unknown place the next “thing”. I struggle with the question if my niche is too wide, and should I pare my work down to focus solely on traveling with low impact and expectations? It’s a tough question. I haven’t yet figured out the answer.
The Most Instagrammable Spots
I will never write a blog with this title nor will I ever read a blog with this title. It just makes me so damn mad. As I have mentioned in previous blogs I believe the advent of the selfie and Instagram has ruined a number of locations (ie Santorini) and as we know it has also caused some untimely deaths of people trying to get the best selfie (most recently in Yosemite).
I will say this again – Yes, I take selfies. Yes, I love to put my photography on Instagram, but I will NEVER, trespass, put myself in danger or cause other’s to feel uncomfortable JUST TO GET THAT MONEY SHOT. I think I’ll puke the next pretty girl in long flowing gown I see posing for a shot and trying to make it look spontaneous. It’s a big loss to authentic travel and an unfortunate side effect of our social media crazed world (and amazing photo editing tools at our fingertips).
I earn a small amount of money for the stories I publish six times a year in a magazine back home. It does not pay for our travels. That thought is laughable. It does almost cover the costs I incur having my blog professionally hosted. But as for the hours of work I put into my blog – I make no money. Nada.
I tried for a while to sell books on my book reviews through Amazon’s affiliate program. But I didn’t make the cut for minimal sales and Amazon dropped me. I have not attempted, so far, to get involved in any other affiliate programs to monetize my blog. But honestly I don’t need to make money. I am not doing it for the money. I’m doing it because I like to write, I love photography and I enjoy sharing these two passions. I’m not looking for payment in return for talking about a specific destination or experience I have had.
I lived that life in my career and I don’t want that in My Fab Fifties Life. I want to remain authentic to my original vision for this blog; write about happy things that inspire women in mid-life to seek adventure, be authentic, brave and fearless, while sharing my story of my own personal Fab Fifties journey.
That is all
That is all I want for the blog. If you are inspired to find your own grand adventure, or inspired to read a book, or inspired to let your hair go grey, or inspired to try a new cuisine, or inspired to walk 100 miles, or inspired to purge and minimize, or inspired to get on an airplane to somewhere you always dreamed of – then this blog has served its purpose.
And it has done it authentically.