Six months ago, I had the crazy idea of starting my own adventure blog. I had never been very outdoorsy, and I’d only been on a few hikes. But I wanted to follow one of my oldest dreams: to make a successful blog.
Now, looking back on my blogging journey, I notice how many things have changed: my message, my experiences, and even myself. Getting to where I am today took a lot of work, and the lessons I’ve learned have made a lasting impact on who I am.
After blossoming from a homebody to a full-fledged adventurer, here are the things I’ve learned from my time as an outdoor travel blogger.
1. No matter how hard the challenge, if you persevere, you will succeed.
To be completely honest, making a blog can be a real pain in the ass. There may be some helpful documentation for platforms like wordpress.org, but if you don’t have any experience in web development, at some point, you’re going to find yourself stuck, frustrated and at your breaking point.
This happened to me countless times. I’d toss my laptop aside and swear I would never open my site again, so angry with myself for not being able to figure it all out.
Other times, I wondered if it was all worth it. If the likelihood of my success was so slim, why was I wasting my time? Will anyone even appreciate my content?
Thankfully, I kept my goals in mind and refused to quit (but most of the credit goes to my boyfriend Will who endlessly encouraged me to keep at it). And after I made a routine and stuck to it, regardless of my own insecurities, I created a fully functional blog with loads of content.
Sometimes it takes a long time to work it all out, with most of that time filled with frustration and tears. But as long as you are happy with the end result, you will succeed and all the struggle will be worth it.
2. Use your support system.
Real friends will always be there to support you, and if you have a goal that you are truly serious about, they will surely be there to help you every step of the way.
It wasn’t long before I discovered that it would take a village to defeat my mortal enemy: web design. After weeks of frustration, I finally decided to be honest with myself.
I knew that if I put my pride aside and let others help me out, I could accomplish the tasks that seemed impossible to me. And lo and behold, after only a few minutes, my tech-savvy boyfriend had solved the problems.
As my blog grew, more and more supporters flooded in. On our adventures, my family members became my photographers. And with every new post, my closest friends became my biggest fans.
Once I learned to accept the help that was sitting right in front of me, I finally felt like I was on the right path, each day bringing me a little closer to my end goal.
3. Get out of your comfort zone.
I quickly learned that my blog wasn’t going to magically gain popularity. I would have to reach out to potential readers myself.
I felt embarrassed at first, asking people I’d never met to look at my underdeveloped website. But nonetheless, my readers grew. I used Instagram to connect with other bloggers, influencers with just 100 followers or with tens of thousands, and overtime, I became accustomed to putting myself out there.
It’s one thing to reach out via social media, but it can be a little more intimidating to do so in person. Approaching my peers, instructors and coaches, asking them to support my site, wasn’t always easy.
But you’d be surprised how supportive people can be. They understand the time, effort and drive it takes to create a working blog. So don’t be afraid to make new connections. Get out of your comfort zone and find your following.
4. With time grows confidence.
At first, I was hesitant to share my blog with the world. I wasn’t sure of its value, and if I didn’t even believe in it, how was I supposed to convince others to do so?
Even though plenty of other bloggers recommend having unrestrained confidence from the start, I’m not sure if that’s realistic. It can be hard to believe in your new web page with three lonesome posts and a small subscription form.
Instead, set your insecurities aside and simply write. Grow your experience. Grow your content. And overtime, your confidence will grow too.
It’s much simpler to believe in something that already exists. So instead of worrying if people will like a blog that hasn’t even been created yet, keep working until it all comes together. And with your finished product, you can showcase your creation with pride.
5. Love what you do and do what you love.
Before Taylor Untamed, I’d attempted to make other blogs. But after a few posts, they were abruptly abandoned due to my lack of confidence. I had a feeling that my new travel blog would have the same fate, but something inside me kept pushing me forward.
Overtime, I realized that that “something” was my love for writing about travel. I thoroughly enjoyed going on my adventures, traveling to new places and trying new things. And recording my experiences made it all the better.
For this reason, I think the true secret to starting a blog and sticking with it is writing about what you love. Enjoying every part of the long process of creating your own content.
So find something you love to do, something that gives you a reason to get up each morning, and do it every day. Is there any better job?
6. Get the most out of your experiences.
For a lot of people, adventures are over as soon as the trail ends. But one thing I’ve come to love as a travel blogger is that writing about them later can bring back all the good memories.
When I sit down to write a new post about a trip or outdoor experience, I can’t help but feel nostalgic. I smile and feel butterflies remembering how happy I was at that moment. I go through each picture slowly, trying to remember every detail from my journey. And I reach out to my friends and family that came along with me to tell them again what a great time we had together.
For those of us with busy lives, it’s not always possible to take week-long trips to picture-perfect destinations. That’s why I want to soak up everything I can from each of my great adventures.
After having an amazing experience, one that you never want to forget, find a way to keep the memory alive. Do what you can to make sure that the best times of your life stay that way.
Without the Corona virus pandemic, I probably would never have discovered my love for outdoor adventure. Or have created my newly popular travel blog.
I never would have learned these things about myself and my own capabilities. And I definitely wouldn’t be able to share these unique experiences with you.
Therefore, as I reflect on my short, but rewarding, time as an adventure blogger, I am thankful for a summer of closures and shutdowns for giving me the opportunity to find who I was truly meant to be.