Wow! Can you guys believe it? On Friday, 1st of November, it’s been precisely one year since I launched this blog! No idea where the time has gone!
To mark this special occasion, I’ve prepared an article detailing my honest opinions about the first year of blogging, both good and bad. And tips to help you launch your own travel blog too.
But before I do that, I would like to take this few minutes and thank you for stopping by; for clicking on my link through Google or Social Media and for reading this article. Not only for this one but for all my articles you’ve read. It means a lot to me and helps me to keep doing what I love, as long as there are people to read my articles – there is a purpose 🙂
This first year of blogging was challenging; between families, started a new job, and moving house, keeping up with writing, editing and vlogging was harder than I wished it to be.
My most popular articles:
Lisbon in January:
How to save money on New York Attractions:
Weekend in Faro:
And these are the lessons I learned after one year of blogging:
1. It is not going to be easy
It is not easy, primarily if you work full-time, go to the gym, study, have kids, or whatever else you do outside of your working hours. But you know the saying, nothing worth having comes easy. 2020 is approaching us faster than I thought, and I have so many projects planned for you guys! New content and giveaways, yay!
2. You put in more than you get out
It’s like with any new business, the first year is crucial – you probably lose more than you make when you compare expenses vs income. And I am no different. I lost more than I earned, but I got over it – it is not about the money, it is about the passion, the community and the joy writing brings me! I am not saying that this is always the case, it all depends on how much time and effort you put into blogging – for me this year was incredibly busy. I am sure if you don’t give up and keep up with regular articles, strategic SEO and exciting content on Social Media, you will quickly turn this around!
3. You meet people and build a community
I don’t even know where to start! With blogging, no matter the niche, you will get into communities, go out, meet people and realise that you have more in common than just a passion for the same thing and make new friends! I’ve met so many amazing people, bloggers, both from Instagram and Twitter with more I’ve yet to meet! This is the best thing blogging brings – it brings people together, and it is incredible, and I love it!
Every time I went out, it felt like a first date! Exciting! And what is even more impressive – I signed up for Bloggers Retreat with the Fleamail, which takes place in April and I cannot wait to meet new bloggers! https://flearetreat.
(Updated: Due to coronavirus outbreak, this event has been postponed.)
Here are some fantastic people I met or will meet soon and people I follow, find inspiring and talk to! 🙂
Djamila and Tommy from Together They Travel
I haven’t met with Djamila and Tommy just yet, but we became good friends and Djamila is the one who designed my very first tattoo, which also became a logo of this blog.
Me and Aga in London during our girlie weekend away
Aga on the run
Aga and I met on Instagram and met a few times in real life too. We spent a weekend in Manchester together and a weekend in London and had a great laugh! A fun fact, she is from Poland, I am from Slovakia, we both have English boyfriends, and we both live in England! She recently launched her travel blog too, so go, check it out, guys! https://agaonthe.run/
I also met up with some amazing people from Twitter!
Because I am from Slovakia, via Social Media and blogging, I have also got to know some amazing people from my home country! Most of them participated in my guest blog article – Why do you Travel.
For the inspiration, visit:
- Martina and Andrej from Travel Done Clever
- Daniel and Majka from Cestujzamenej
- Veronika and Karol from Shemakesmetravel
- Lenka and her gorgeous travel pictures on Instagram
- Lenka from Lenkasays
4. 9 til 5 with the blog becomes 6 to 9
Like I said earlier, having a blog is like having another job while working full time. Often, especially in the past few weeks, I wake up at 6, spend a good hour on my blog and then go get ready for my regular job. I get home around 5, either go gym or cook, or both and then carry or working on my blog. So many times, I actually fell asleep with my laptop while writing, editing or watching programs, totally exhausted! So, if you are ready for long days, go for it!
5. Achievements, First Page on Google and Sponsorships
The first year of blogging is definitely a learning curve for everyone new to it. While still learning myself, Carl and I managed to get sponsored activities and an exceptional service treatment while we’re vlogging.
So, to show you that it can be all done with extra hard work, here are a few examples of our achievements:
- Discounted hotel cost in Gdansk, but unfortunately, we couldn’t make it this year
- Embroidered Personalised Patches
- 3-hour cruise in Penzance with Marine Discovery – Video Content – Check the video guys
- A featured picture from Yorkshire Dales published in Wanderlust Magazine (image below)
- Featured in Independent.ie https://www.independent.ie/world-news/and-finally/oneplasticfreeday-social-media-users-give-up-plastic-for-environment-campaign-38184174.html regarding our Environmental lifestyle
“Karina Em from Slovakia replaced plastic cotton swabs with bamboo cotton buds for One Plastic Free Day. She said: “Me and my partner became members of Marine Conservation Society after Carl started doing his scuba diving. We opened our eyes and noticed how much plastic and waste is in oceans and decided to help the environment.
We help cleaning beaches or our local parks and decided to change our lifestyle as well. We use natural shampoo bars, soaps, bamboo toothbrushes, make-up in glass jars.
So, for us, it’s not only a day, it’s a lifestyle.”
- Last but not least – while we were having dinner in Mandarin Oriental in Kuala Lumpur and were recording our vlog, Chef Luigi came from the kitchen with a surprise for us we didn’t know about
- The first page of Google: below
6. Year of blogging: Steady traffic
Working in digital marketing has its pros, for example, SEO and I are friends, so with the right tactic, I pushed a few of my blog posts to the very first page of Google. This is now giving me steady traffic from Google and has the most visitors thanks to the right keywords! SEO is vital for your blog and ranking on Google. This for me is a significant achievement considering how many travel articles are out there.
7. Changes you
It changes you. I am not sure if this is always the case, but it was mine. Before I started blogging and posting on Social Media as much, I had way too much spare time on my hands. I didn’t know many people around my area, so most of the evenings I spent on my own when Carl was at work, feeling lonely and wondering what to do. I didn’t have many hobbies apart of working out, so my nights consisted of Netflix and moaning about being alone. Starting the blog, getting to talk to people on Social Media, doing videos and editing pictures became my lifesaver. It made me move out of my comfort zone, I stopped feeling lonely, and it keeps my anxiety down. Although it can be exhausting, I wouldn’t change it for anything else.
So, there you have it, my thoughts, accomplishments and opinions about our first year of blogging. For me, it was a successful year and although maybe the numbers weren’t as high as I was hoping when I started, sometimes you know, it’s not about the number. I accomplished more than I ever dreamt of, considering that this is only the start!
I can’t wait to share with you our other projects prepared for next year and the amount of content I am developing and working on!
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