Confessions of a *New* Travel Blogger

Words by Dalene Heck / Photography by Pete Heck
We are not entirely new to the world of travel blogging, having kept an online journal last year for our family and friends to enjoy while we traipsed around South America.  It was a fun project for us to do along the way, plus we have some great details of our journey that would otherwise have been forgotten over time.  We even managed to pick up a few new friends and fans as we went, which we are always grateful for.What we are new to, is the business of travel blogging.  After we decided to hit the road again and attempt to make this nomadic living our permanent existence, we purchased our own domain and spiced up our offerings – all with the intent of catching a larger audience.  If we’re going to keep at the blog anyways, we might as well try to make a few bucks while we’re at it, right? Sounded pretty easy.

So for the better part of our first few weeks in Roatán we were constantly in front of the computer: researching, learning, designing, writing, uploading, programming.

We designed, we redesigned, we bickered.

I wrote.  He wrote.  We edited and posted pictures.

And then, with the quick click of a button, we were live, just about one month ago.  We felt quite accomplished.

But, then what?

We want you to retweet because you enjoyed an article. We want you to become our fan because you are.

Then we had to Sell It.  And we quickly learned that this is no easy task.  Pimp our posts on Facebook, tweet and retweet on Twitter, offer updates thru RSS and become friends with StumbleUpon.  Peruse the many excellent travel blogs already out there and learn what others are doing.  It was at this point we realized how huge the travel blogging community really is, and we suddenly became very intimidated.

A lot of people are writing Top 10 Must See/Do/Eat Lists, should we write Top 10 Must See/Do/Eat Lists?  I think we should write some Top 10 Must See/Do/Eat Lists. Put it on our Top 10 To-Do List.

Some people are tweeting their stories 20 times a day.  Should we tweet our stories 20 times a day?  I think we should. Tweet, tweet, tweet.

All the while monitoring our stats with near obsession – how many page views today?  How many new fans on Facebook?  We followed so-and-so on Twitter, did they follow us back?

We don’t like our design.  We need to spice if up.  Look at what so-and-so is doing?  I like the background on this website, or the color used on another.

Design, redesign.  Write, rewrite.

Get no sleep.  Continue bickering.

Suddenly, in the middle of our life-cation, we were back at work, and it stopped being fun.  We were stressing over this and that, hits and fans, fonts and photos.  Add this all on top of the stress of now being so exposed and vulnerable – putting any kind of personal effort in front of the whole world to view and criticize is a lot like standing naked in front of a crowd.

Does our blog look fat from this angle? We sure hope they like us.

We finally took a much needed step back.  We spent some time out of the house and away from the computer, and thought about what we are doing and what we are really trying to accomplish.  And then, a few things slowly began to become very clear to us.

– We like us. Our design may not be the fanciest out there, but we did it and we’re proud of it.  We like our writing and our pictures.  If we have the confidence to like and promote ourselves, the rest will come, right?  And if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.  No more obsessing.

– We need PATIENCE. We’ve already amassed new friends and fans in just the first few weeks and we have to believe that this will continue to grow.  We.  Just.  Need.  To.  Give.  It.  Time.

– And while we enjoy reading them, we aren’t Top 10 Must See/Do/Eat List writers.  We are story tellers. We like to share the things that make us happy.  We like to give our opinion on certain topics so that we can engage our readers and get their opinion in return.  We also believe that every foreign location will provide a different experience for every visitor, and so we don’t want to tell people what they Must See/Do/Eat because we would never want to mislead based on our solo experience.

– The social networks…oy vey.  While we have made great new connections and read some really fabulous travel writing during our foray into Twitter et al, “selling ourselves” on the networks is our least favourite part of this process.  We have thus made some important decisions as to how we will use these tools – while we will continue to post our articles as they come out, we will never ask fellow travel bloggers for retweets, link exchanges or to be our fans.  We want you to retweet because you enjoyed an article, we want you to become our fan because you are, and we want to earn our spot on your blogroll.  We will do the same in return.

And so here we are, proudly standing naked before our family, friends, fans and the travel blogging world. Maybe this venture won’t end up adding much money to our traveling budget, but we’ve decided not to compromise ourselves or our happiness in an attempt to do so.

We have learned a lot in the last few weeks, but we still have a long way to go.

Thanks for being here!

0 Comments... Be the first to comment
  • I feel like you put down in words exactly how I feel sometimes (we’re relatively new to the whole blogging thing too). It has become a little bit like work 🙂 I’ve definitely stopped paying attention to hits/ranks/whether or not I’ve made it to someone’s list… When we changed our domain name, our Alexa rank went to null. Lol… owell.

    I think this post is worth a tweet or two… so, I’m gonna go tweet, tweet, tweet it now…

    • Dalene
      February 2 2011

      Mucho gracias again Jill for your comment and tweets! Alexa rank? Haha, great, one more thing for me to go and obsess about right now… =)

  • February 1 2011

    Oh man, I totally relate to this post. I just hit the one month mark too! I do feel like a lot of that time was spent obsessing over the little things like page views and fonts and pictures, trying to fit in. But I have come to love my little blog, mostly because I made it myself (with the help of Thesis theme 🙂 ) and it gives me a creative outlet. I’m happy that I’m sharing and connecting with a group of like-minded people who are super awesome. I’m slowly starting to develop my own niche, and I’m loving it!
    Sheryll recently posted..Happy Blogversary To Me!

    • Dalene
      February 2 2011

      It’s great to get past the few stressful weeks and be able to happily say WHY we love doing it, hey? And we are very happy to be connecting with so many great people out there too – and I wish we would have done this last year. =)

  • February 1 2011

    Awwwww, shucks. Thanks! (although now my more people know of my infamous childhood nickname). And, you’re VERY welcome. Thanks for all of your help too!

    Reading this post reminded so much of the work that goes with writing well. All the re-designing, researching, thinking, talking, etc.

    But I’m glad you aren’t worried so much about “competition” anymore, but are respecting your voice and your perspective.

    Enjoy the process!
    Teri recently posted..Creative Writing 3

    • Dalene
      February 2 2011

      Haha! It’s the only real nickname you have?! And it kicks ass on my childhood nickname (sorry to say, Uncle Ken, who is the only one to still use it!)

      Oh yes, and I still have the stress over the actual writing part, that hasn’t gone away! But at least now, like you said, I am respecting my own voice and writing about what I want to. And, remembering that if it isn’t fun, then it isn’t worth doing!

  • February 2 2011

    Aww thanks for the shout out, it is a game of patience. Most people think Im the South America girl because no one read me when I was in Mexico and Central America!
    Ayngelina recently posted..A porky postcard from the Far East

    • Dalene
      February 2 2011

      Yeah, patience has never been my strong suit (ask hubby!) but I’m getting there.

      And of course I was giving you a shout out – you’ve been so helpful! That means so much to us. =)

  • Ashley
    February 2 2011

    ah, you said all that I felt these past few months since entering the travel blog world! Just last month I decided to do as I do because I love what I do and it make me happy. So I totally agree with following your own instincts…it will get you somewhere!

    Happy Travels!

    • Dalene
      February 2 2011

      Thanks Ashley! The first little while is never easy, but I feel like we’ve powered through the crazy stressful part, and now we’re back to enjoying it! Happy travels to you as well!

  • MDoggy
    February 2 2011

    Everything looks great guys. Looks very professional, keep writing stories and doing what you love to do. No need to succumb to what the mainstream travel bloggers do (did I just say mainstream travel blogger?) Haha!
    Hope all is well! I’m desperate to book a trip myself! Even if it’s a year from now and to Seattle! I gotta go see something new!
    Hope all is well but I can see that it is.
    M

    • Peter
      February 2 2011

      M-Dub, firstly Thanks! We are just trying to put our adventure and stories out there, and hopefully we will get some readers along the way. We seriously do love reading all the do’s and don’ts, must sees, eats and drinks and top xx destinations, but just not our thing to write them.

      Thanks for your support!! And YES! Book a trip, Seattle rocks.

      Sauldos,
      Pedro

  • February 2 2011

    Oooooh, YES! We spent months blogging for just our family and friends, and only a few weeks ago did we think “gee, maybe we need to get our butts in gear and make this more of a business?”

    The part I can really relate with is the question of whether or not to write Top 10 lists. They’re great and helpful and seem insanely popular, but….. they’re just not our thing. I love to tell stories! With oodles of pictures! Which don’t work very well in a list, unfortunately. I’m trying to incorporate a few more of those kinds of posts, but I’ve finally decided it’s way more important to just do our own thing and rock it, lol.

    Anyhow, good luck! I look forward to reading more of your stories! 🙂

    • Peter
      February 2 2011

      Hi Christy! Thank you for reading and commenting on our post. Glad you can relate to us, and we’re not the only ones (we were certain we weren’t 😉 Keep doing your own thing, we are certainly coming over and checking out your site!

      Best wishes to you too!
      Pedro

  • Joan
    February 2 2011

    I’m so happy to read this!! Love you guys. They will come because you are amaing. Aw, and thanks for the shoutout, guys. Right back atcha for everything. Love! xoxo

    • Joan
      February 2 2011

      uhm, and by “amaing” I mean amaZing. Bahah.

      • Dalene
        February 2 2011

        Thanks Joanie Joan!! Love to you! xoxo

  • Joan
    February 2 2011

    Also, what you’ve accoplished in such a short time is nothing short of spectacular. Very inspiring. 🙂

  • February 3 2011

    Greetings and hello! I so resonate with this post. We’ve been on the road full time now nearly 5 years as technomads. Our first year or so of blogging was for friends & family.. and viola, we picked up other followers too. Wowie.. exciting!

    We then decided to revamp the site and make it more professional-like and see what we could do with it. Studied and immersed ourselves with travel blogging, learned about SEO, affiliate marketing, gaining advertisers.. etc. We quickly came to the conclusion that to make any reasonable money at blogging, it was a job in and of itself. (And we already had mobile friendly careers!)

    Sure, we could work it and likely make it a sustainable stream of income. But it really came down to – Do we want to fund our fully nomadic lifestyle by talking about it? That just didn’t seem right. I mean, what if we’re not called to having an exciting month to write about? What if we got writer’s block? Does that mean the income we came to depend on to fund our travels goes away until we refuel it? That didn’t sound like fun.

    So, we took what we learned – and used it for social currency. Meeting and connecting with other like minds. Finding our tribe. And that has been our greatest reward for sharing our lives online. And, we feel free to write about what inspires us and not worry about always trying to make a post go viral. If we’re having a crummy day, we’ll sure as heck rant about it.

    Happy to meet other nomadic couples out wandering the world! Hopefully our paths will cross one day.

    – Cherie
    Cherie @Technomadia recently posted..Where are you from

    • Dalene
      February 3 2011

      You are our idols – 5 years on the road!! We are still figuring out how we can make this continually happen for ourselves and are in awe of those who do.

      Cheers Cherie for your insight into your blogging! We are not sure yet what this will turn into for us (a sustainable revenue stream would sure be nice), but what we do know after these first few weeks is that we are just going to ENJOY what we are doing, and worry less about what comes with it. And in the meantime, we surely are getting a big boost from the social aspect of it – we’ve virtually met so many people like us that it is refreshing to no longer feel like total weirdos for what we are doing!

      Thanks SO MUCH for your thoughtful comment!

      P.S. I also loved your recent article, answering the inevitable question: Where are you from? We’ve taken to just answering: Earth. 🙂

  • February 3 2011

    Well put guys! I know how you feel. Do what you love to do and outsource the rest of it when you can. Just remember, you are an inspiration to a lot of people. Keep it comin 🙂

    • Dalene
      February 3 2011

      Thanks again Jeff! You are a definite inspiration in that regard…”doing what you love”! 🙂

  • February 3 2011

    I love the stories you share about your adventures on Roatan! You could just scratch them down on a scrap of paper, as long as you keep sharing… not sure how you could get them to my in-box though!

    Thanks for the link to Roatan Vortex! Right back at ya! Excuse me know while I go re-tweet and Facebook share your posting 🙂 I’ve got a couple of pics to tag you on too!
    Genevieve recently posted..Roatan Triathlon 2011

    • Dalene
      February 3 2011

      Thanks again for everything Genny! You are such a great ambassador for this Island, and we’re so glad to be getting to know you!

  • February 4 2011

    I wanted to echo everything Cherie said.

    This post is absolutely spot on. When blogging turns into grunt work, what’s the point?

    I hope to meet you guys on the road someday, you sound awesome!
    Chris Dunphy recently posted..Where are you from

    • Peter
      February 4 2011

      Thanks for your comment Chris, we hope to meet you guys too, as Dalene put “you guys are our idols”!

  • Milan
    February 3 2011

    So refreshing to read! I’ve worked in Internet Marketing for over 10 years now, but just started blogging about our travels through home exchanges – so I feel your pain about starting something new. The one thing I always keep in mind is that I will quit doing this when it feels like a job, I quit my job 10 years ago to do what I wanted, spend time with my kids while still earning an income. If a blog gets in the way of that and I’m forcing myself, it’s not worth it!

    • Dalene
      February 4 2011

      Very good point, and it kind of shocked me that we had to go through that little life lesson again. We gave up our jobs and everything to escape the stress, why did we need to learn this lesson a second time? Why did we let it feel like a job again? Argh, oh well, us humans are silly creatures I guess. Lesson learned (again) though! Cheers, and goof luck with your blog as well!

  • Sarah
    February 4 2011

    Oh, I’m glad it’s not just me that feels this way!

    I’ve been working full time at the same time as developing my blog so I haven’t had enough time to devote to it as I would like. I’d had the same thoughts at the beginning about how easy it would be and boy, was I in for a shock! I wrote in December about the fact that it had stopped being fun for me. So I took a step back, thought about what I wanted and reasessed what I wanted the blog to be about.

    I can particularly relate to the feeling that you need to change your style to be in the big boys league. It’s tough to be confident in yourself when there are so many talented writers out there. But I think people are drawn to a genuine personality, you just have to be willing to let it shine through!

    • Peter
      February 4 2011

      Hi Sarah, Thank you for your thoughts. I just read your blog from December, firstly love the quote from it “I have discovered the joy I can get from writing; the excitement from posting something I’m proud of”. This is what it is all about. You have to gain joy from doing it, otherwise as Chris commented below, “what’s the point?”

      I hope that your goals come to fruition and that you are in the South of Argentina by the time of your blog’s second anniversary. Best of luck in everything!

  • February 7 2011

    I don’t think many people realize how long the return on investment is on a blog. We are almost 11 months old and are *just* starting to get any head way – but I mean, I’ve been treating the blog as a job for the past 7 months and intend on making it my business in the future.

    Keep your chin up! As Ayngelina said, it is a game of patience.
    Erica recently posted..Travel Photography – Saguaro Cactus in Scottsdale Arizona

    • Peter
      February 7 2011

      Thanks Erica, You’re right in that the ROI (oh uh, that’s the accountant nerd coming out in me) definitely will take a long time. Your blog is great and we are really enjoying your posts! You should most definitely be proud and I don’t think you will have any trouble finding opportunities in the future.

      A game of patience is certainly right. Thanks again for your comment.

  • February 9 2011

    Sooo refreshingly candid – thanks ever so much for reminding me that I’m not utterly crazy! As a newbie travel blogger myself, I’ve of course been pondering all the same dilemmas. And I too have come down soundly on the side of “if it ain’t fun, then… hey stupid – DON’T DO IT!”

    Admittedly it gets a bit lonely when nobody seems to be listening to my blather. But I love fiddling with the technos and learning how I can make it better. And I just keep on pecking whatever strikes my fancy (like… my brilliant “Travel’n Haiku Awards” that uh, but a single soul has thus far noticed – sigh…) in hopes that even a handful might stumble in and find a bit of inspiration.

    btw, Roatan, eh? (and do note that the “eh?” was deliberately added in honor of you, my dear Canuck neighbors to the north) As I specialized in travel to Belize and Costa Rica for near 20 years, I’m of course a tad familiar with that lovely part of the globe as well (Honduras). Have you visited dear sweet Utila? You surely must. So exquisitely unique!

    • Dalene
      February 9 2011

      It’s not just you that is crazy – we’re all crazy! 🙂

      As long as you love it, nothing else matters…I know, I know, easier said/written then done, that is for sure. But patience is the key to all of it, we need to remind ourselves constantly!

      We have not made it to Utila, but hope to before we leave this side of the world!

      I feel a haiku coming on….

  • February 9 2011

    Love this post! How true it is! Do your own thing! The people will come.

    We did. And we Love it!

    Mike and Luci
    http://www.1000fights.com
    Mike & Luci recently posted..A Zanzibar Holiday!

    • Peter
      February 9 2011

      Thanks Mike and Luci for your kind words. For sure you have to be true to yourself and do your own thing, happiness will follow. Glad to hear that it is working out for you guys. We will certainly be following you guys on your adventures! Abrazos! P&D

  • February 9 2011

    I think you hit that nail on the head. There is not going to be a watershed moment. No overnight success. Be yourselves. Be personable. Market YOURSELVES.

    It is just like any other business, it does not come overnight. Takes time, effort, patience, persistence and more persistence and more patience.

    I am in a similar boat as yourselves, and I can guarantee you we will be talking more in the near future!

    Until then, keep up the good work!

    • Peter
      February 9 2011

      Thanks again Justin! We are surely learning to be patient and as you said time, effort, patience and persistence is a must! Best of luck to yourself, and we will be following you on your adventures. Cheers!

  • February 9 2011

    I had a nosy round your blog and then went straight to follow you on facebook and Stumble Upon. Already following you on twitter. So your blog has done the job then. I love it!! Great design and style. Easy to read. As long as you enjoy the blogging and have passion for travel then success will grow in front of your eyes.
    Natalie recently posted..Bodrum – Big Boats- Expensive Beer and a Castle

    • Peter
      February 9 2011

      Hi Natalie! Thanks for stopping by and thank you for your kind compliments. I think we’re following you on all those too! I have no doubt the passion will be there and we hope you are right about the success. All the best!

  • Gillian @OneGiantStep
    February 9 2011

    Oh it’s so hard not to play the comparison game isn’t it? Sounds like you’re on the right path now…be youreself, that’s what people want to hear…make yourselves happy, there is no-one else to account to! Looking forward to hearing more from you guys!!

    • Peter
      February 9 2011

      Thanks Gillian! We’re sure trying to be ourselves, and we hope we find some followers! You’re right and we’re just going to try and make ourselves happy… Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Looking forward to hearing more from you too!!

  • February 11 2011

    Great post – I definitely can relate. People appreciate honest and passionate writing. If you can show that, the traffic will follow. All the best for the future! 🙂
    Pete recently posted..Essential software for your laptop

    • Dalene
      February 11 2011

      Thanks so much Pete! The same to you! 🙂

  • Ed
    February 11 2011

    thanks for sharing your story. I’ve been blogging since 2003 but only got serious the past year when it comes to my travel stories. I can totally relate with selling myself out. I used to be anonymous with my travels but sometimes if you also want to earn a little extra, you sometimes resort to other methods.

    Also, I can relate with the “How To/Top 10” entries. Just started mine recently too.

    But no matter what, so long as you love what you’re doing, I don’t think it will ever make you stop. Keep on doing what you do! First time here!

    • Peter
      February 11 2011

      Thanks for stopping by Ed and for your comment. We totally agree that you have to love it or what’s the point.

  • flip
    February 13 2011

    im relatively new to the business of blogging like you guys… tried experimenting with sorts of stuff, i joined various communities of bloggers such as travel blog challenge etc to gain information…

    goodluck to you guys and hope to bump on you somewhere…

    keep on travelling and keep on blogging 🙂

    • Dalene
      February 13 2011

      Thanks Flip – same to you! 🙂

  • February 14 2011

    Hello Dalene and Pete! I was so very glad to read this, “I am not the only one who feels like that!” pheww… I can never blog professionally, even if I try pimping zealously, the enthusiasm doesn’t last more than a week or so. Oh and the top 10 lists and tips and must-do’s, etc. are pure garbage, I always wondered who reads it. Thanks for sharing! Salut from a sloshy Toronto.
    -Priyank
    Priyank recently posted..Worshiping the Sun on the Avenue of the Dead

    • Dalene
      February 15 2011

      Yes, there are times every day, week where we wonder if we can keep this up – with all the “pimping” and such. It’s a lot of work beyond the fun part of writing and just connecting with others! But, at least I know now to just be true to myself and my writing…and if no one reads it…then I *try* not to take it personally. Thanks so much for your comment – cheers from a rainy Honduras! =)

  • February 17 2011

    Love Love Love this post! I feel sooo naked putting myself out there for the world to see. I have only had my blog up for a week or so and I am still learning how to install a theme! I just want to say thanks for this post because you have let me know that I am not alone in the world of “travel blogging”.
    Tai@TraveltoStLucia recently posted..St Lucia Jazz Festival 2011 Lineup

    • Dalene
      February 18 2011

      Good luck to you Tai! Those first few weeks are definitely the most stressful and the most NAKED! After awhile, it resumes being fun again! 🙂

  • February 26 2011

    *Stands up and applauds* This is great and something I think every travel blogger and writer can learn from. There’s a lot of noise out there and all you can do is just write and do how you want and not follow a certain “track”. I’m a believer that content is still king, no matter how good of a “marketer” you are. If you’re delivering great content, then people are going to share your stuff on FB/Twitter, tell their friends, subscribe, and so on.

    I love this:
    “…we aren’t Top 10 Must See/Do/Eat List writers. We are story tellers.” When you look at the kinds of writing that leaves an impact on you, what is it? 5 best bars in NYC’s East Village or a story about how travel changed one person’s perspective of the world? 9 times out of 10 it’s a story.

    I’ve recently stumbled across you guys and look forward to reading more. Cheers!

    • Dalene
      February 26 2011

      Spencer – thanks SO MUCH for your comment and your tweet. Those first few weeks for us were quite a struggle to find our footing, but now we are happy and proud to be able to be truthful about who we are and what this blog will be.

      And learning to be patient! We are learning to be patient! We are happy with the progress we have made so far, so we must be doing something right.

      Thanks again…cheers! 🙂

  • February 26 2011

    Great post and I can relate to all of these thoughts of what to do/not do etc. Just got my blog up and is still struggling with how to present it and trying to find my own voice.

    I think the hardest part is to not get stuck infront of a computer screen instead of experiences true traveling. Aiming to minimize time using tech and maximize travel but it’s hard in the beginning:) think automation is the key. Wish you the best of luck and hope you keep doing your own thing!

    • Dalene
      February 27 2011

      Thanks Olov, glad to see you can relate. I agree that there are times when we just have to break away from the screen. This usually involves grabbing a bottle of wine and heading over to a little secluded beach to enjoy the sunset. It surely takes time to find your own voice, but that’s what sets you apart. Best of luck to you too!

  • March 15 2011

    I totally know how you guys feel! It is wonderful though that you are getting so many comments and things seem to really be taking off. It will be two years for my blog in July and I have one dedicated commenter (the lovely Sarah @swgraphic) :(. This is partially because life keeps getting in the way of what I really want to do (which is write write write) and I haven’t always been consistent with my posting. Still.. it is frustrating and sometimes a little sad.

    Your blog looks wonderful and I’m off to do some more reading 🙂

    • Dalene
      March 15 2011

      Thanks so much Verity! I understand how it can be frustrating, and the only thing I can say about it so far is that while we seem to be progressing nicely, it has been a LOT of work. Like, A LOT. It’s not even all about consistent posts, the social networking side of it does take up a lot of time (as much as we enjoy it!) And I honestly don’t know how just one person can do it all, thankfully there are two of us!

      There’s lots of great resources out there on how to make it *happen* for your blog! Good luck!

  • Stephanie
    March 15 2011

    Holy Crap you’ve got a lot of feedback already! Hope I’m not being repetitive.

    It takes time. A lot. This is one of the reasons I’m very fortunate in that I started my blog a good year and a half before I began travelling. I had a lot of time to see what works and get into a routine.

    This is important because what works for one person won’t necessarily work for another. Some people write informational blogs, some write person, some love lists, some stories. You want your blog to be unique, so it’s all about finding what best represents you.

    The only other thing I would add is that Twitter and social networking can be a great tool- IF used correctly. I’ve always looked at them less as a place for self promotion- and more as a way to network with like minded people. So many great oppurtunities, both personal and professional have come my way from that philosophy.

    Welcome to the game!

    Steph

    • Peter
      March 15 2011

      Thanks so much Steph! And yes, we’ve gotten a lot of feedback and a LOT of support from the travel blogging community which is SO great!

      We’re finding our groove, I think. I feel like we’re a bit scattered when it comes to the “type” of posts that we come up with, but I think I’m okay with that. It’s all about us on our journey, and so I don’t want to censor the ideas that come up along the way. It’s just been 2 months, so that may change a bit, but for now it is working for us.

      Everybody says the exact same thing re. social media, and I do agree, but for now, we “do” need to use it as self promotion, otherwise, how would anyone find us? Again, still trying to find the correct balance.

      And like you said, it takes time! We are learning patience. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Whoa. A decent amount of comments here.
    Don’t be discouraged. The first few months are a bit dull and repetitive. After awhile, networking will no longer feel like a job. It’ll start to feel like your talking to your friends. Once you start to really get to know the community, you’ll feel connected as if there’s one big family.
    You’ve just gained one new follower. 🙂

    • Dalene
      March 16 2011

      Thanks Michael!! We are definitely starting to feel part of the family you talk about. It is getting exciting and the frustrations are diminishing. We are really enjoying how things are progressing and getting to know all the other travelers and bloggers out there.

      On another note, just signed up for your artoftravelblogging.com site. Really great idea, hope to have some questions answered and offer any advice we can give too. Thanks for following and you’ve gained a couple followers yourself!

  • April 11 2011

    You guys are far ahead being just one month into it! It took us a lot longer to even get the basics going on our travel blog. Nicely done, guys. Love the honesty in this post.
    Julia [Mrs. Globetrot] recently posted..Novovolynsk

    • Peter
      April 11 2011

      Thanks so much for the compliments Julia. We certainly have come a long way from when this post was originally put up. It’s definitelly not as easy as some people think. A lot of work has to go into it if you want it to be successful.

  • April 11 2011

    I love when bloggers figure out that they should really just do what they want and feel right with. Sometimes I get discouraged by my numbers (whether it be pageviews, visitors, comments, etc.) and start to compare my blog to others, but it’s really just about being yourself. No one wants to see the same type of blog over and over again. Our originality is what makes us stand out and be the place worth reading/visiting. Thanks for the reminder and good luck! I’m off to check out the rest of your site.
    Eva @ Four Leaf Clover recently posted..The clearer we should see through it

    • Peter
      April 11 2011

      We do the same Eva, I’m sure everyone is/has gone through it. We used to get discouraged, but you really can’t let it. It’s all about anything that we put up on our site we are proud of. We’re telling our story, and if the numbers come that’s great!! You’re certainly right that originality is what makes a good blog stand out and keeps readers coming back for more. Hope you enjoy the rest of our site 😉 Cheers!

  • April 19 2011

    Blogging can become obsessive sometimes, I know from experience. I find incessent tweeting of posts annoying even if I have the urge to do just that for my own. I have gone to a few marketing events in return for writing posts and I have not felt totally comfortable with it either.
    It’s nice to see what others are doing and to learn from them but at the end people come back to hear your voice.

    • April 20 2011

      Very true Sarah (at least I hope so!)

  • June 10 2011

    I know exactly how you feel! But then I realize that everyone looks funny naked so I don’t mind my blog the way it its 🙂
    Roy | Cruisesurfingz recently posted..Plugging Into The Offline World

  • Great article and I relate to so much of it … funnily enough have just written my first touristy “how to spend a day in….” just to see how well it’s received but much prefer storytelling and setting the scene. When I get time to do the technical stuff, I lose my creativity and isn’t that why we start out bogs in the first place – to express ourselves? Happy blogging 🙂

    • August 24 2011

      Thanks Charlotte! And happy blogging to you too!

  • nod 'n' smile
    August 30 2011

    Thank you so much for this wonderful post! It was honestly a relief to find it. As a relatively new travel blogger (2 months), I’ve lost and found myself a million times during this process. It’s definitely a fine line between being inspired by successful blogs and completely derailing from your original intent by trying to emulate them. There are a couple of posts that I wrote that I look back on and I don’t see myself in them at all. And then when you are being true to yourself and no one reads those posts, you start questioning yourself all over again! Definitely a test in confidence, but it’s good to know there are others who are going through the process. Thanks again, and best of luck with your blog!

    • August 30 2011

      Glad this post resonated with you. Now that it’s been 6 (?) months since I’ve written it…all I can say is keep true to your own voice….it’s the only way to do it. The people will come!

  • January 13 2012

    Well done on a beautifully honest and open piece of writing. There is nothing like the fresh breeze of honesty to blow away the stagnating air of pretentiousness! Read this after reading your latest blog post. Well done on doing what you’ve done;)
    Nate recently posted..Best Video of Nate’s Music EVER

    • January 14 2012

      Thanks so much Nate. It’s gone way beyond what we ever expected it would be, and we’ve really enjoyed it in the meantime!

  • March 25 2012

    I love reading stories like this! You both have created something you should be proud of! I’m new at this whole blogging thing and can totally relate to everything you said when you started.

    It’s encouraging that you were, where I am today, but you are where you are today because you never stopped and continued building not only a great website but also a great experience. 😉

    By the way.. I found you from twitter today 😉
    Derek recently posted..Earn Free Airline Miles From Current Deals

    • March 25 2012

      Thanks for your comment Derek! And welcome to this crazy travel blogging community. I hope you are getting the wonderful support that we got when we started blogging. 🙂

  • Dalene and Peter, I’m glad I read this post. It’s very encouraging and motivating for new bloggers like me and my husband. We’re at the point where we are obsessing about little details (traffic, page views, etc.) We know it takes time to ripen and we know patience is required. And we thank you for reiterating it.
    Marisol

    • May 8 2012

      I have yet to meet a blogger who said that they DIDN’T feel that way in the beginning, or even many times along the way too! It really is all about patience. Good luck!

  • Kim
    September 26 2012

    Just wanted to say hi – as a fellow Okotokian I really enjoy your site. You both have amazing courage and are an inspiration! I look forward to reading about your travels and dreaming of one day getting a chance to see so many beautiful countries out there.

  • lisa
    January 12 2013

    I love this, some how I missed it the first time around. I found the link in your second post. You guys are doing great things. Keep up the fun 🙂

  • Tim H
    July 16 2013

    Wow. I know this post is old now, but it was comforting to read. We are soon taking a pretty serious travel plunge and it helps knowing others had similar issues when starting.

  • September 19 2013

    Gee, an awful lot of this sounds like us! It’s early days for us, but this is great to hear! Thanks for being open about it. (And always great to run into some fellow Canucks!)
    Cheryl & Paul recently posted..Paul’s Left Brain Takes a Mayan Holiday

  • January 7 2019

    I don’t know who you people are, but I like your style.

    And I bet in eight years, you will look back and think “yep, that was a good move.” I really, really do. Just a feeling I have.

    Oh, and – hi. We’re going to be friends in a few years, but not just yet. Carry on.
    Mike Sowden (@Mikeachim) recently posted..Why I’m Giving Away My Story Course For Free*

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