As the first quarter of 2018 comes to an end, I’ve decided to reflect on the last three months of blogging. As many of you might be new to my blog, I felt it was time for a little update. There has been a lot going on in my life and I’m excited to share some of those updates with you. So what exactly have I been up to?
Even though it seems like January was a lifetime ago, it was an important and memorable month. January is already special to begin with as it’s my birthday month. However, what made it even more special this year was that I officially resigned from my job.
It wasn’t a decision made hastily and there was a lot of thought that went into it. The reality was that to be fully successful at blogging, I had to start treating it like a business. I needed more time to do all the things I wanted to do and working a full-time gig wasn’t allowing me to do that. Last year, which was also my first year of blogging, writing was a challenge. It was hard to write regularly with all the things that were going on.
So I worked till end of the month and then jumped right into entrepreneurship. I’m not sure if many of you know this, but in addition to being a travel blogger, I also do social media consulting. Leaving a full-time job to do blogging and consulting allowed me to take my two side hustles mainstream. The combination of the two allows me to work for myself. But there is more.
In February, I officially became my own boss. It was exhilarating, exciting and felt just right. The hardest part of working for myself was losing the 9-5 mentality. I’ve never been a morning person. Getting up for work and commuting for hours there and back was not fun. Especially in winter. Plus, it took so much time away from blogging.
It didn’t take me long to revert back to my old lifestyle. My ideal working time is between 8 pm and 3 am. I can get a lot of things done during that time. So what if I wake up late? So far, this has worked quite well. As many of the people I communicate with online are in different time zones, it makes it easy to touch base with them when I’m not restricted by 9-5 work.
Ok, so I as I mentioned, a lot of thought has gone into my decision. My husband Alex and I have planned things for quite some time. We have decided to sell our house, so that we could free up some equity and use the money for other things. Like travel. Lots of it.
March has been absolutely insane. We’ve been getting ready to get the house ready for sale. This means getting rid of things that we don’t need or want. Selling items online, driving between different donation spots and fixing things at home has takes up a lot of time.
Toronto is still a hot housing market so a lot of work goes into selling a house. We are few days away now. Then we cross our fingers and hope for the best. What happens later will depend largely on the sale of our house. Perhaps that will be an update for the next quarter.
In between all that, I am busy planning my next trip. Recently, I wrote about the places I’m now obsessed with and they have been now added to the mix. There are many places on my bucket list which are also strong contenders. The short of it is that I haven’t fully decided yet on where I’m going next. But, there will be an adventure in my near future. I’ll be sure to share that with you 🙂
Blogging like a boss
So I’ve told you about all the things that have been going on, but what about blogging? There are a few things I’ve been working on that make my second year of blogging much different from year one.
When I first started blogging it was a way to write about my travels. It was also an opportunity to get back into writing, which has been something that I really enjoy. In the first six months, it was a bit of a struggle. I finally got into the groove in the second half of the year and stated paying more attention to my blog.
Having travelled extensively in the last 20 years for both business and pleasure, I had a lot of content. Unfortunately, there was no time to write it all down. So for 2018, I decided to write regularly. I made a decision to have two blog posts a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. So far, it’s been a success. Some times they are published on Wednesdays and Fridays, but there are two each week.
Last year, I wrote whatever came to mind. This meant that I wrote inconsistently and usually when I was in the mood. This year, I created an editorial calendar to write down topics for each blog every week for months. This has kept me on track as I’m not sitting in front of my laptop trying to decide what to write. I have shuffled some topics if a new idea came up, but so far, it’s been pretty much what I originally set out to do. It’s amazing how much I can come up with. I have even surprised myself.
Search engine optimization (SEO) of my blog has become my mission. I’ve been going back to my old blogs and updating them so they are optimized. I’ve been learning all about SEO and its importance when it comes to blogging, taking online courses and going to WordPress meetups. While I’m not an expert in this field, I feel that my knowledge of the subject has improved tremendously. There is still so much to learn.
I love writing. It’s something that I feel I’m good at and it makes me happy. I didn’t want to look back after writing for 3-5 years just to realize I could have done something sooner. Based on my research, SEO was that something. Would I have been better off focusing on SEO right from the start? Absolutely, but at that time it wasn’t a priority. Remember, my blog was just an outlet for story telling.
These days, when anyone asks me for advice about blogging, I tell them to learn about SEO. That is my personal opinion and something that I am prioritizing for my blog. Is it right for you? It won’t hurt, but that decision is up to you.
Ever since I’ve started working for myself, I’ve had this sudden surge of creativity. Between coming up with blog content ideas and post on my social media, I’ve been dabbling with the idea of writing some books. I have few ideas that I am working on and if things go well, I will have at least one of them done by end of the year.
I am super pumped about this and all these ideas are coming to me out of nowhere. I am discovering creativity that I didn’t know I had. It’s been quite an interesting journey and one I am enjoying immensely. It’s a lot easier to write now, which should make writing books even better. I can’t wait to share that with you.
I wrote before about my love for photography and have experimented with selling my photos online. I’m still trying to work out the kinks so that project is taking a lot longer than expected. Now that I have more time, I plan on getting that up and running. Hopefully, this will be resolved soon. Fingers crossed.
A big thank you
No matter how much I write and plan, it’s people like you that read my blog, that make this a real pleasure. I appreciate every one of you for taking time to read my ramblings and commenting on my posts. Thank you!
I hope my writing provides you with an inspiration to see the world and learn something new about the places I write about. Thank you for sticking around and I promise you that there will be more. So if you’re liking what you’re reading, tell your friends 🙂
Meanwhile, stay tuned for the next part.