I figure it’s been a while since the last time I wrote something related to blogging. I just deactivated my Indonesian blog and I’m currently in the mood to talk about my blog trial and error. I’ve been blogging for forever, but I only took blogging seriously (and not for the sake of journaling or ranting) since 3 years ago.
Now that I decided to deactivate my Indonesian blog, it’s obvious that there’s something about it that doesn’t work to my liking. So, here I am writing about the blog trial and error that I’ve done throughout my blogging journey in the past few years.
Besides, during this difficult time in the quarantine, I know some people might run out of the ideas to kill the boredom. Well, you might as well consider starting a blog to spend in your free time. So, what’s up with blogging this time?
My Blogging Mantra: “Just Do It”
Even before I launched The BeauTraveler, I knew I always wanted to have a digital version of myself through my blog. I initially wanted to focus on my blog here, but due to some rookie mistake, I eventually created another blog in my first language Indonesian.
Sure, I made some strategy that probably wasn’t the best in the past. Not just for my blog, but for my life in general. But I figure, if there’s one thing I should understand about life (and blogging), it is this: it’s just a series of trials and errors. You keep what works for you, and sometimes you have to let go of what doesn’t work in order to move on.
The decision to deactivate my Indonesian blog was tough, but not really hard. I’ve lost my passion to update it for quite some time now. I figure despite being born and bred in Indonesia, I’m probably clueless when it comes to Indonesian market.
Heads up for you, Indonesia is probably the biggest market if you understand those potential customers’ behavior. If you’re looking into the business side of it, I might keep the blog. But I do also have some idealism that seems to not match theirs. Hence, I decided to quit blogging in my mother tongue.
So, apart from that… What works and what doesn’t for me when it comes to blogging?
3 Things That Work on Blogging for Me
Blogging isn’t difficult if you like to explore things and learn more. Blogging is only difficult if you think you can write and you want to earn money as soon as possible. If anything, I always think that in order to succeed in blogging, you need to genuinely enjoy the process.
Because otherwise, you’ll get disappointed by the result that doesn’t come instantly and you get already burned out from not knowing the right strategy.
And that, my friends, is why I’m always hesitant to encourage everyone to start blogging. It’s like encouraging women to be housewives. While some people could rock it, there are some others who would probably struggle with the idea alone. Let alone the action.
So, what are the things that work for me in terms of blogging?
1. Not Picking Just One Niche for My Blog.
One thing that I’ve read a lot on some ultimate blogging tips is to niche down. Pick one topic that is super relevant to you and your audience, and work from there.
Don’t get me wrong, this would probably work if your passion and knowledge focus on only one thing. But I’d rather be jack of all trades and master of none if anything. There are a lot of things I enjoy doing, and I couldn’t see any point why I had to niche down into one thing only.
Besides, I don’t have enough time nor money to separate everything that I love. That’s the challenge when you start your journey as a solopreneur whatever.
And I’m glad that I didn’t follow all those blogging coaches to niche down. Because guess what? Almost everyone in the travel bloggers’ community complains about how the visitors of their blog dropped significantly because of coronavirus.
While the number of traffic for me isn’t really important (I mean it’s good that someone is interested to click my post, to begin with), I have some other posts that rank quite high during these days that help me cover the loss of my travel blog post traffic. Posts like working from home, or even some post on fuck buddy.
Pretty random, but I think there’s one thing that you should consider when you decide to niche down: what’s your contingency plan when your niche is no longer on-demand?
2. Guest Post and Other Kind of Collaborations
Even though it seems like blogging is some kind of a one-man show, there’s more about networking in blogging more than anything. There are plenty of platforms to network and/or collaborate with other bloggers, and the good thing is that you can still practice social and physical distancing while networking.
Some people use some group chat through Instagram, others join some group on Telegram. I personally love to be a part of several Facebook groups for bloggers in general or specifically travel bloggers.
Networking with other bloggers gives me more insights about blogging in general. Also, it helps me keep up with the trend or any update related to blogging.
For example, some time last year with the update of GDPR and how it affects the way we run our blog properly and all that, I might have totally lost it if it wasn’t for the groups I’m in that gave me such a useful resources to learn about it.
In fact, networking has become one of the main reasons why I decided to give up on my Indonesian blog. 😐
Most opportunities in Indonesia are mostly done through the offline approach. And if I gotta be honest with you, I’m not a fan of socializing so it became a bit of a challenge for me to develop my Indonesian blog. From a few bloggers’ events that I’ve attended, I only found a few soulmate fellow bloggers that actually got me.
3. Monetizing My Blog.
As I mentioned multiple times, I’ve been blogging since forever actually. My main motive to start The BeauTraveler was strictly for money, because I wanted to not just write, but also monetize my blog through it. Fast forward to today, I’m glad that I’ve made it.
Sure I’m not that one blogger who could claim that I earn 6-figure from my blog. But I definitely earn a couple of hundreds bucks on a monthly basis. I imagine, maybe if I put some extra effort in terms of SEO and all that, I’d earn more.
But for now, I’m in my own comfort zone where I can maintain my blog when I can while at the same time I also work my part-time job and handle a few clients for both copywriting and social media management.
Mind you, there’s a lot of ways to monetize your blog. It’s totally up to you how you’d like to generate your income when it comes to it. From sponsored posts, displaying ads, to affiliate marketing, you can try everything to see what works out best for you!
3 Things That Doesn’t Work on Blogging for Me
Now it’s time to talk about the failures and things that don’t work for me on blogging. As I said, blogging has been a rollercoaster journey for me. I think I’ve been saved by how much I love writing and rambling that this blog keeps on going. LOL.
But you know what’s the secret about blogging that I’ve found out throughout my blogging experience? The secret is that there’s no secret at all. You just need to jump in, do it yourself, and see what works and what doesn’t for you.
There’s no exact formula to this, because after a while, you kinda just wing it and know what’s the deal with blogging that you need to keep doing because it gives you a positive result and vice versa.
I’ll list some that don’t work out for me, but heyyyy… Who knows? Maybe they’ll work for you, so there’s no harm to try. I’m here to share, not give you some instructions whatever. 😛
1. Managing Multiple Blogs All At Once.
This would probably work if you have a team running them for you. But if you’re planning to just be a solopreneur in which you have to be hands-on on what you do, managing multiple blogs is really challenging. You gotta deal with time management, and the pressure to be consistent in all of them.
Based on my experience with my Indonesian blog, one of the problems is also that I don’t see eye-to-eye with my audience there so I don’t see any point why I have to keep it. Another thing I’ve learned when it comes to blogging in the business side is also to know your audience and target market.
The key is to know how to approach them, because it can vary accordingly. For me personally, it’s easier for me to work with English-speaking clients because they keep almost everything simple. I could have a virtual meeting through Zoom or just do correspondence through mail, when most of the time a real meeting is required to work with Indonesian clients.
After a while, I know what I need to prioritize so I focus on this blog and deactivated my Indonesian blog. 🙂
2. Affiliate Marketing
In the early days of The BeauTraveler, I used to register for Amazon affiliate marketing as people seem to highly recommend it. After a while, Amazon deactivated my account because it didn’t make enough sales. So I gave up.
I still occasionally use affiliate marketing for a post or two, but the only affiliate marketing that eventually generates income for me is Google Adsense. Other than that, I only use it for the sake of using it. I’ve never really earned money through other affiliate marketing.
That’s why I often just receive sponsored posts with hard cash instead of the collaboration in the form of affiliate marketing.
3. E-mail Marketing.
One main reason why I don’t work out my e-mail marketing is that as a reader myself, I hate receiving e-mail from all the blogs and websites I subscribe. That’s why after a while I just stop doing e-mail marketing all at once.
Instead of e-mail marketing, I try to work harder on the content of my blog as well as on social media. Like, after a while my mindset has changed from “making sure my audience I exist” to “if they want to read me, they will.” So far, it serves me well.
So, those are the things that work and don’t work for me when it comes to blogging. If anything, blogging is really just some kind of experiment that could turn out well or the opposite. What matters is whether it works for you, and whether or not you enjoy doing it.
Do you think blogging is for your? If so, how’s your experience? Tell me your experience below, and cheerio! 😀
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