Every now and then, as a blogger, you will reach the point where you will question whether it is all worth it. Keeping a blog alive is a full time job, which is then placed on top of a full time job.
Over the past year I have balanced being a digital marketing manager, a full time blogger of three separate websites, going to the gym four times a week and trying to transform my body completely, learning the saxophone and handling up to 6 freelance clients. I can promise you, it has been no easy job!
So when I get home at 10pm every evening and realise how much their still is to do, you do debate how much you REALLY need to post an image on pinterest or test out a new bot or imacro script. Even more draining is the thought of putting in 3 hours towards an article on a beautiful country you would much rather be in.
While based back home, you can’t simply leave the blog untouched, therefore you have to write from memory of these beautiful places or you have to do a lot of research. You can always write about your plans for your next trip, but you have to question whether anyone is actually interested in reading this.
When I started the blog, it was essentially a place where I could place my personal recommendations to people visiting a country I have previously been to. When I came back from America, all I wanted to do was talk about my adventures, but you realise it gets tedious for other people to hear, so after a while you begin to bite your tongue every time an anecdote comes to mind. This is where the blog fitted so beautifully in, not just were people willing to listen, they desperately wanted to hear. But the focus had to be purely on advice and help for anyone visiting the country, so that the content remained evergreen and the visitors to the site would always be happy.
This is what motivated me to write so many ‘things to do in…’ pieces, as this is exactly what I look up when I’m about to visit a holiday. My greatest success on this blog has always been the ‘100 things to do before you die’ piece, which you will find at the top of the site in the navigation menu. However now when I look at this page, I see something messy, a counter tool which doesn’t actually count and a host of peoples comments pasted in rather than being through a comments section.
I could have solved these issues a long time ago. I might have struggled at first, but this page could have looked unbelievable. But as the motivation went, so did the hours, as my dedication to the blog simply came down to ensuring an article was written on a regular basis. At first I was posting one article every three days, with a 6 month backlog! That concept seems incomprehensible now, as I struggle to push two out a month.
But Then It Changed
On Thursday the 3rd September 2015 I attended a travel blogger tweet-up in London Bridge, hosted by KLM and Air France. I got the chance to meet a vast number of bloggers, who were all incredibly interesting and highly motivated. None of them were suffering from the same level of exhaustion and I found their attitudes to be soul inspiring. They had that same glint in their eye that I once had.
The other thing that really stood out to me was that they all either knew each other or had heard of each other, while they had all attended every conference that year without fail. They were going to be attending blog stock this weekend, they had been to Tbex and they had loved traverse. I hadn’t been to any of these, I have been to a couple of digital marketing conferences over the past year but that was it. What had happened?
Motivation is a funny thing, I always feel good to go, ready to give 110%, but what I’m working on is always changing. I have been setting up a marketing blog called Hoop Marketing, which took away some of my attention. I’ve been trying to learn how to setup my own video studio in my room, without any real success. I’ve been trying to learn video editing, but found it all to be very expensive. I spread myself too thin, something my old manager John Lucas once told me. Rather than fully laying out my plan and then setting up a strategy to succeed, I instead get excited about something, then move onto the next project while the last one is half complete. But this has to change!
KLM were running a competition where every blogger placed their business card into a box and one would be picked out, to win a flight to Amsterdam. Guess who won? That’s right, there was a giant smile on my face.
But that wasn’t it, soon after they also mentioned they would be interested in sending me on a press trip to Amsterdam to check out the security centre at the airport and to also see the social media hub for the countries tourism. It was a great opportunity but it overrun with two other conferences I have arranged so I had to turn it down. But what was so significant about this trip? It was my first invitation of 2015…in September!
Everyone else at the meetup had been on numerous trips around the world via the contacts they had been dealing with. I could have been involved in the exact same if I had been more pro-active, but something had to change in my life to turn this all around and this night was the catalyst.
I am sat here in a library in Brighton, 12 midday in the knowledge that I could be at a party with my family or getting ready for the big England match or even just relaxing at home. But something changed in me that day. I’m not the same guy as I was on Wednesday. I went to that meetup feeling a little nervous and apprehensive about networking and then having to head back to Brighton at close to midnight to turn up to work the next day at the crack of dawn. I had become something I hated, but no more.
I will push myself at everything, but I will also keep focus on what makes me happy. I will give up stupid games like Football Manager, which I waste time on at the weekend.
I’m not going to fill this article with lovely images and the like, as that isn’t the point of this piece, this is a genuine article where I let out everything I’m feeling, something I don’t do often enough. This is day one……