Blog: The Travel Hack
Blog URL: http://thetravelhack.com
What inspired you to start blogging?
I started blogging in 2009 when I left the UK to travel for two years. I started blogging for a couple of reasons. I wanted to keep an online record of my travels so I used it like a journal and used it to keep my friends and family updated. I was doing so many amazing things every day and I didn’t want to forget anything.
I also started blogging as a way to build an online writing portfolio. I was studying to be a journalist and wrote a blog for my local newspaper to give me extra experience and exposure.
I had no idea the blog would eventually lead to every ‘proper job’ I’ve ever had and my life would be so different if I hadn’t started blogging.
Do you have any other ‘day’ jobs?
I spend around 60% of my time working on The Travel Hack and about 40% on other projects.
I spent a few years working in social media management so I now offer social media consultation services as well as blogger outreach consultation. Another job is freelance writing and copywriting and I write for a number of different blogs and websites.
What are your must-have blogging tools or resources?
I’m a firm believer that it’s worth investing in good tools. In the past I’ve bought cheap cameras and laptops and wasted so much money on gadgets that end up being useless.
I now pretty much have three tools I use on a daily basis. My first is an iPhone 5s. The camera is amazing so it’s great for snapping photos as I travel and sharing them via social media. I also have heaps of apps to make travelling as simple as possible. I use a MacBook Pro for all my blogging and plug it into a big screen when I’m working from home. And I use a Nikon D3100 camera. It’s an entry level DSLR and I love getting snappy happy with it.
I use lots of other blogs for blogging resources. Sites such as Independent Fashion Bloggers, Copy Blogger and ProBlogger are great.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by other bloggers. I’m a travel blogger but I love to read fashion, lifestyle, foodie and family blogs too. Things can get samey if you restrict yourself to one niche so I like to branch out in my reading.
I’m also a massive magazine addict. I subscribe to about 10 magazines a month and the beautiful designs, photography and writing fill me with inspiration.
As a travel blogger I’m constantly surrounded by new and beautiful places so I never run out of gorgeous things to blog about.
What is your biggest challenge as a blogger?
Being taken seriously. I love being a travel blogger and I wouldn’t change it for the world but it’s incredibly difficult. Many people think my work life is one long holiday but they don’t see those 16 hour days and the blood, sweat and tears a blogger pours into their work. I’m often approached by companies who expect me to work for free and this can be really frustrating. Things are changing as brands see the value of bloggers and there are solid results to prove bloggers can increase sales and brand awareness.
Share three of your favourite bloggers with us.
My favourite lifestyle blogger is The Londoner. Rosie’s photography is amazing and I have a lot of respect for anyone who blogs on a daily basis and still manages to produce gorgeous posts.
My favourite travel blog is Travelettes. There are a few different contributors to this blog but they all have amazing adventures around the world and share loads of great travel tips and inspiration.
I also love ScarletWonderland.com. This is a really refreshing and funny blog. It’s completely underrated and is basically about everything you’re thinking but don’t want to say.
What are your future plans for the blogosphere?
Now that would be telling…
I do actually have some really big and exciting plans I’ll be revealing fairly soon. The Travel Hack is a personal blog that will always grow and develop with me and as my life changes, so will the blog.
Finally, tell us a random fact about you.
I sleepwalk and regularly find myself in random places in the middle of the night. I do it more when I’m stressed or somewhere new and unfamiliar, particularly when I travel. I have to make sure I’m wearing respectable PJs when I’m in hotels but I’m terrified of waking up naked in a hotel corridor!
Thanks for joining us for Shout Out Sunday!
See you next week for more blogger awesomeness.