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If starting a blog is something you are considering this post -gives you an idea of the things I have learnt after 10 months of blogging.

I actually wanted to call this post Diary of a Travel Blogger Aged 49 3/4Β ‘ because thats what it is and thats how old I am! Anyway this post is basically a summary of everything I have learnt over the past 10 months. Hopefully this may help anyone starting out and resonate with more established bloggers!!

1. It is hard work

Like really hard work – at least 35 plus hours a week. I also work full time so its a bit of a nightmare sometimes juggling posts, replying to messages, tweeting and generally keeping on top of all things to do with the blog.

I am not sure why this was/is a surprise to me! All the top travel bloggers say in their top-travel blogger way that they didn’t get to where they are today by luck…oh no it takes hours and hours and hours and hours of dedication. I concur.

Luckily I love it. If I didn’t I would have done something else……a heck of a lot easier!

Tip – try to stay organised (I am laughing whilst typing this because the operative word for me here is ‘try’) These are my notebooks and each has a different function! I am sure lots of people use their laptops to help keep them organised but I am a pen and paper kinda girl! If I get any more I do worry I may need a notebook to organise my notebooks!!

2. You will meet some amazing people in the blogging world

I love meeting people and wow have I met (not literally yet – how to go to one of these travel blogger meet things when you work full-time???) some great people.

Get out there – talk to fellow bloggers, read their posts, socialise and help one another out.

I also love taking part in link-ups and have met some great fellow bloggers that way.

Tip – read others’ blogs, comment on them, share them!Β 

3. Social-media – a love/hate relationship

My relationship with social media has certainly developed over the past year – there have been ups and downs, highs and lows and in some cases near divorce!

I will tackle each individually because I have different feelings views on each!


My favourite social media tool. Never have 140 characters meant so much! I find Twitter a great way to share you travel stories, pictures, thoughts and generally interact with fellow travel enthusiasts. I would happily say I am a wee bit obsessed with it – don’t knock it until you have tweeted!!

I am also just starting to use some scheduling tools which are definitely making life a bit easier!


Facebook has the advantage of having loads and loads of fantastic groups to join on it! And I have. Joined. All. Of. Them. Yikes – some I spend more time on than others and I would highly recommend a few such as Feet Do Travel, Female Travel Bloggers, Ultimate Pinterest Group for Travel Bloggers and for aspiring Travel Bloggers the Under 1000 Club. There are many more and to be honest you could spend 24 hours a day on Facebook simply engaging with all the groups.


I loved Pinterest before I started my blog – isn’t it fantastic pinning articles to read later onto virtual pin boards??? In the past few months I have realised just how valuable it is for sending traffic my way. Again its a bit addictive – I use a scheduling tool to help keep on top of it all. Top tip – get rich pins!! And I recommend Canva to make pretty pins! And also have a ‘BEST OF’ board to showcase your pins!

all the best of tracys travels in time


To be honest this is my least favourite. To say that I dislike all the follow/unfollow rubbish that goes on is an understatement. If you like my pictures then follow me but don’t unfollow me two days later after I have followed you. It spoils it a bit for me – I like looking at lovely pictures and reading the blurb not wondering how fast you will unfollow me once I have followed you!!

Its like being back at school.

The gondola at Mt Pilatus
My most liked Instagram post! Can’t figure out which widget embeds a single pic off Instagram so if you know could you let me know?? See – always learning!

Top tip for all social media – Find the ones you like and build them up.There are more out there but those are the ones I like. (I can’t work Snapchat however many times I try.) Not that I have a zillion followers on any of them but I do dedicate an hour or so a day to social media interaction. (Not Instagram…that is every few days…under duress…) Feel free to follow me on any or all of the aboveΒ ?

4. I wasn’t prepared for the steepest learning curve I have ever been on!

Ok I am in my late-40’s so I probably wasn’t as au fait with some of the things that the younger generation are familiar with. Things that have had my head spinning over the past year. Sometimes my brain actually hurts.

Words like SEO (oh thats so important), plug-ins, no-follow links, Domain Authority, etc etc meant nothing to me a while ago now they are everything!! Especially SEO. Dear me SEO….thats a page all to itself…

I learn something every day – if I hear or read about something I don’t understand then I am onto it …. the best way to improve is to try and learn from any mistakes (luckily I have the amazing Dan – my righthand computer guy – there to help me if I do something I shouldn’t haveΒ make a mistake.)

Tip – Read up on anything you don’t understand. If you still don’t know then ask a fellow blogger!

5. It has slightly changed my attitude to travel

Ok this one isn’t so positive but for me the main thing is that I am aware of it. Once you are a travel blogger the temptation is to see every opportunity as a blog moment. So rather than relaxing and enjoying the view, the sights, the food the desire to take pictures of it/write about it is there.

I recently read a great post by Rachel of A Nesting Nomad who was viewing whales in Alaska when she made the decision to watch the whales with her own eyes rather than through her camera lens! A good choice as she didn’t miss a thing but it illustrates exactly how the desire to share every travel experience can sometimes make you feel torn.

Spotting killer whales in Canada
A killer whale popped up just as we were having our photographs taken – with our backs to it!!!!

6. I have a lot of the world to still experience – and it has made me more determined to do it!

I thought I had done a fair amount of travelling but compared to some travel bloggers out there I have seen very little! I sometimes have to look up where some of the places actually are in the world! So for me travel blogging has opened up the world even more to me.

I also see the possibilities. And like many out there I want to travel full-time and earn enough to survive whilst doing it. Before I get to 60. Others have done it so why not me??

So I will keep writing, reading, taking pictures and building up this website in the hope that one day Tracy’s Travels in Time will be FULL-TIME! Right where are the tickets to Chiang Mai??

And SO my conclusions after nearly a year?

Its great fun, you learn loads and meet a lot of awesome people! I am still learning so there are no life-changing tips in this post just some reflections on the journey so far!!!

tracys travels in time quote - every adventure requires a first step

Pin for later – Diary of a travel blogger

Diary of a travel blogger

So that is my diary of a travel blogger! Do my experiences sound familiar? Is there anything you have learnt/done/experienced that I have yet to find out!!! (Feel free to share this information!)

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Author: Tracy

Over the last 50 years I have lived and worked in 7 countries on 4 continents and travelled to many more. I enjoy exploring and learning about new places and meeting people on my travels. History, reading, photography, nature and wildlife are my interests and I am ALWAYS researching and planning my next trip (preferably by train)

With a lifetime of travel experience, and a network of friends all over the world, I share genuine insider guides, recommended best book lists and train journey inspiration to help YOU travel authentically to some of the most beautiful places on earth.

Come and join me as I travel the world one country (and train journey) at a time!

This post may contain compensated links. Please read our disclaimer for additional information.

44 thoughts on “Diary of a travel blogger – the early years!

  1. Paul and Carole says:

    Excellent observations and can relate to all of them after blogging for just over a year. We work full time too so it is a constant juggling game. We love Instagram for the photography but like you find the following/unfollowing so annoying. So true regarding link ups and facebook pages we wished we had engaged with those earlier. Blogging truly is a steep learning curve but one that we are really enjoying! Great post and good to be connected!

  2. Jurga says:

    Very well said, Tracy. I’m sure that many starting bloggers can relate to all of the above. It’s a lot of work with not much immediate material reward, so you better love it or don’t start at all.
    For me too, the main disadvantage of blogging about traveling is that you’re never really on vacation anymore – there’s always a picture that needs to be shared, or a photo that needs to be taken… As I said, you better love what you’re doing! πŸ˜‰
    And I’m glad we ‘met’ through blogging. It’s good to have someone to talk to who understands all of the frustrations and the little wins.

  3. Angie (FeetDoTravel) says:

    I can totally relate to all of this and was nodding in agreement all the way through! The social aspects and making new “friends” was unexpected for me and I didn’t realise that the travel blogging community was so supportive, but that just makes me want to do as much as I can to give back πŸ™‚ I do agree with the Instagram follow/unfollow as well – it’s great to look at the visuals but follow me if you want to follow please and yes, Twitter is now my favourite when it used to be my nemesis lol. So on a final note, I thank you personally for joining the FeetDoTravel group and the warm and friendly interaction you have provided within it, I am so glad we have met. It’s people like you that make running groups and link-ups worthwhile πŸ™‚ #feetdotravel

    • Tracy Collins says:

      Thank you so much Angie – taking part in the group and link-up is great fun and meeting like-minded people has been fab! The travel blogging community is so amazing – so many friendly supportive great people out there. Twitter has become a little easier lately too πŸ˜‰

  4. Anna says:

    Oh yes… so much I can agree to! I had no idea it was such hard work either. And it’s so easy to get overly obsessed when you’re trying to capture every single moment for the blog. Over the years, I’ve learned to relax and just enjoy what’s going on around me instead (though I still can’t help but take way too many photos!), and honestly about 80% of what I do don’t even make it on the blog! And I’ve learned to be okay with that.

    And I definitely agree that my favorite part of blogging is making friends with other like-minded people. And I really have met some cool people who are great real-life friends now too!

    As for social media… I think I give up on all that :). I’ve followed you on all your channels. πŸ™‚

  5. Elisabeth Caraballo says:

    Great post! I can totally relate with everything you wrote. I also agree with you on the social media side of being a blogger. Although I don’t have Pinterest and I think Facebook is my least favorite social media site to use. Instagram and Twiter are both my favorites but the follow/unfollow thing you mentioned is really annoying. I will never really understand why people do that. I think it’s time for those people to grow up. πŸ˜‰

  6. Simona Barbu says:

    I just started travel blogging and I can relate to this post. Especially the part about Social Media, fancy complicated words that is still a headache for me. Thank you so much for your tips! Good luck!

  7. Garth says:

    As others have said, as a newbie travel blogger I can relate to much of what you’ve said, we’re all in the same boat i guess. What’s surprised me is how supportive other travel bloggers are, Ive made some really great friends too. Thanks for sharing your story, keep going!

  8. Jenn | By Land and Sea says:

    Tracy this is great – I am just over a year into blogging and I can totally relate! It’s so nice to “meet” and work with other and form virtual friendships. I also agree with your rank on social media. I rebelled against it for awhile, but recently got into all of the sites you mention and feel the same way about them as you! Happy blogging!

  9. LISA says:

    Yep I agree with so much of this. It’s hard but I think we all make some great friends along the way. Our journeys are all different. I am at my one year point too. Wish I had more hours in a day! Safe and happy future travels to you!

  10. ThriftyTrails says:

    I can relate with you! When we started the blog we didn’t think we would be putting so much time into it but since it’s something we enjoy then it doesn’t become a burden or chore. I am so glad that there are two of us and that my other half is the tech savvy one. I think blogging is one of those things where you will never stop learning. There will always be new apps and programs being created that will affect us all. I enjoyed reading your post πŸ™‚

    • Tracy Collins says:

      I would love to have my husband helping out as I end up trying to do stuff I have no clue about – anything tech related! Luckily he likes football as it means I get time to do stuff when he is watching that! Its all great fun and its certainly been a great way to ‘meet’ virtually anyway some great like minded people. Glad you enjoyed my post and thanks so much for commenting too πŸ™‚

  11. Stephanie (1AdventureTraveler) says:

    Great article and I can relate to all of them. Its all learning on the fly and curve. I’m still learning new things everyday. Yes, travel blogging takes loads of time to do. You are correct that its great to join groups and meet other fellow bloggers. After reading some of the articles from other travel bloggers my bucket list is growing. This is a great inspiration to not give up, keep learning and to interact with more travelers. Plus to stop and enjoy the moment. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚ #feetdotravel

  12. Rachel ¦¦ A Nesting Nomad says:

    Thanks for the shout out Tracy! I completely agree with all these things, especially the meeting people bit. I’ve met some absolutely lovely people through blogging, just goes to show it’s not all creeps on the internet πŸ™‚

    And I’ve got a total love/hate with social media, too. Sometimes it’s awesome (crowdsourcing tips & recommendations etc) and sometimes it’s crap (the follow/unfollow nonsense). Sometimes I just have to put the phone down and go and take some deep breaths!

  13. Jen Ambrose says:

    I agree about Instagram – I guess it’s a nice way to display pics, but the follow/unfollow is frustrating, and I’ve seen way bigger benefits from Pinterest, FB, and Twitter. FB groups have been huge for me too, they’re such a great way to learn connect with other bloggers!

  14. Andrea says:

    All of this sounds familiar. I’ve been blogging for 4 years now and keep learning every day. Also I love Instagram but made the decision when I first started not to play the Instagram game. It makes it so much more enjoyable! #feetdotravel

  15. Kreete says:

    All of this is so very true! It takes so much time to work on our blogs and it’s definitely not for someone who hates promoting stuff and sitting behind a computer all the time! It takes ages to edit the photos, create the pins and the actual content and then to share it. Sometimes I feel like I am in over my head ha! I use notebooks too, so a pen and paper kind a girl too! I even write out my posts on paper as I find it easier to express my self. All in all a great article for any starting travel blogger!

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