To every blogger out there, struggling with the dilemma of his/her dying blog:
In 2012 when I started StreetTrotter – it was snail pace. Blogging was still coming up as a profession, WordPress was new, and BlogSpot was the only basic and ugly looking platform (no offence) that most initial bloggers were using. Being from a design background – the design of my blog was the key to me, and great content came next. Hence, I was taking it slow, one tool, one theme and one post at a time.
In 2014, my one year of housewife/study break in the US gave me all the time in this universe to concentrate on my website full time, taking it up as a serious profession. Living in the US gave me the advantage of proximity to some exotic destinations like Iceland, Mexico and Puerto Rico along with all the extensive travel we were taking up within the country on our long weekends.
Parallely travel blogging as a professional industry boomed too with a good scope of minting money through collaborations and free travel through sponsored opportunities. In short, all was going good at the right time, right place.But as wise men say, life is not a bed of roses, and nothing lasts forever. Similarly, the last two years of my life as StreetTrotter have been great eye openers too – in a sad-growing up-kind-of way. Mr. H and I have moved back to India, setting up a house in Bangalore amid all the traffic, and a full time academic job for me as a design professor. I am on a clock of routine yet again, a 9 to 5 class schedule and a restricted limit on my leaves that I can literally count of my fingers in less than a second.
So my issue/regret is – How to run a travel blog without having the time to travel? And how do you write great content – with a routine so stressful? And I know I am not alone here.
To top it up, as the story of great blogs go – this profession is almost like the career graph of a model in the fashion industry or an actress in Indian cinema – if you are out of sight, you are out of mind. Undoubtedly, you have to keep posting great content constantly just to retain your Google ranking and also your popularity amongst your readers. You miss a couple of months, and stumble a few paid deadlines – and you are on a downhill of your blogging career.
And yet again I know it for a fact – that a lot of other passionate bloggers like me have felt the same at some point of their blogging careers – simply torn with the dilemma for a personal and professional life which runs in opposite tangents to their blog. And then comes a time when you finally make a decision. Bring it back or just let it be?
The truth is the choice is never easy. But trust me, there is hope too.
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More than often, and pretty recently, people end up asking me – So what happened to StreetTrotter? I have even fallen in situations where my best friends bride got to me know as StreetTrotter first, and later realized I was her boyfriend’s childhood bestie. On some extraordinarily embarrassing days – a random stranger would recognize me in the middle of a conversation and ask – “Oh, aren’t you StreetTrotter? What’s going on with that!?” Honestly – I never had an answer to any of these, and all I had instead was a sad, thoughtful face.
So after months of regret, stressful nights of thinking about my oh-so-dying blog, and some great amount of self-motivation – I decided to write this post, with a promise to myself that I will bring it back. Why? – Because I always tell people – “The universe is kind. And dreams do come true. You just have to wish for it.” StreetTrotter was and is – my dream.And to reiterate that I have your back too, here is my list of bring-your-blog-back to-do’s that I would like to throw at you to catch:
- Accept it that your blog is dying first. After acceptance comes action.
- Remind yourself you are not alone. Look at other people’s stories and then look at yours. You will realize the universe was actually kinder to you. No one ever said great dreams or companies are made in a day, or a couple of years – so snap out of your loss and START WRITING again.
- If you have a lot of free advice to share – then start from yourself first, and then share it on your blog for others. Preserve your energies and use it for yourself. Because it is always easier to preach than to practice. So START WRITING again.
- Scout your old hard disks. All the trips you took but never got the time to write about? Write them down. Scout your drafts or your ideas diary. The least this will do is – remind you who you were and how happy you were blogging and just creating.
- Don’t miss anymore projects and don’t stumble your deadlines. In our business ‘commitment’ is everything – keep it. And the universe will keep its commitment to you.
- If you don’t have the time to travel – start from everyday inspirations around you. Use your weekends wisely and explore your own city. Find those hidden corners no one ever thought about and create content that matters – even if it’s local.
- Find time. Set short term – daily goals. Stick by them. Post one post every week – repeat – get into the habit – and then post once in three days. But, START WRITING again.
- Prioritize. And this time – put your blog as your priority. Tell yourself, while everything else got its attention and your blog was taking the backseat – its comeback time NOW. Everything else can wait, while you are writing for your blog again.
- Be stubborn about brining your blog back. Get busy, throw tantrums, miss the parties, write, write, write. Take those unreasonable trips again; push yourself to travel. Miss the friends and the family while you get back on your blogging routine. Trust me, the people who really love you – WILL STAY.
- Never underestimate yourself and your talent. If you were able to do it then, then why not now? The only thing your blog needs – is you.
- Snap! Snap! Snap! START WRITING again.