I just came back from TBEX Europe that held at Girona, Spain. The hospitality was amazing. I bet every single attendees had an amazing time, and went back home hoping to come back to Costa Brava soon. I certainly did. Now, I know I don’t normally talk about the business of travel blogging here, but after attending two travel blogging conferences in last few months, I’d like to share some thoughts. These are mostly a message to myself.
Know your goal, precisely
Are you a professional blogger, or blogging as a hobby?
Do you want to be a great writer, or great at marketing?
Is running a successful blog is your goal, or something beyond that?
There are such a many fine lines in-between these questions, but need to be answered. For who? For me.
For the last three years travel blogging has been my life. I write, I photograph, I communicate and most importantly I travel, but I always thought there’s more than just blogging. Building up the readership and a certain level of popularity was my goals for a long time. After all, the blogging business doesn’t mean anything if no one’s reading. So I reached the point that I have quite a solid readership. Because you are reading this right now. I thought that was the highest goal I can get. But as I’m standing here, I know that I want more. Traveling the world is great, but that’s not everything I want. I want to be better at story telling, sharing my experiences, and be an expert.
What do I want? What do I have to do to pursue my goals? The answer to that is the key to my next move.
Be brave, be focus, be humble
Now, let’s say you know what you want. The next step would be finding the path to walk on. Be focus on your goal. Don’t be afraid to take that step forward. Don’t be afraid of not knowing the future. The possibility is various; it can be a cliff that you’ll step in, or a beautiful meadow filled with butterflies and sheep. Who knows what’s there? All we can do is to believe we’ll be reaching to the meadow, at some point. Failure is a scary thing, but it’s so much better than stuck and regret. The reality will kick our butt, but that’s the wakeup call, motivation and the starting point. If you see the cliff, just turn around and find another path to the meadow.
I think I reached a certain point of the success. I have readership, I travel the world, I have a group of people who recognize me from my website and I’m happy most of the time. So yes, life is so much better than when I was stuck. I’m keep reminding myself to be humble and generous. That’s another goal. Quiet different than a lesson I got from the last conference: ‘Be the best of what you do. If you can’t be the best, be an asshole. Don’t be a mediocre.’ I don’t want to be a mediocre but I want to be a nice person who is the best at what I do.
So yes, once you found what you want to do, be focus, be brave and be humble at your success.
It’s not too late
When you see the room full of famous people (it means we know who they are from the internet), it’s easy to think ‘Sh*t, I’m too late. I’ll never be like them’. Just like Chris Guillebeau said in his closing speech, maybe yesterday would’ve been better, but today is okay, or tomorrow. And remember, you don’t have to be like anyone; just be you. Travel is possibly one of the largest fields in the world. Everyone loves to travel, or desires to travel, and there are people who are making that possible. Hotels, airlines, trains, writers, and photographers… a huge group of people are making it happen. Travel blogging is getting bigger and powerful, and it is growing every second. Which means the competition is getting tougher but the good news is there’ll be a room for everyone.
If you want to travel, or start the blog, or start the business, or want to working in the field, it’s not too late. Today is better than tomorrow, and certainly better than 20 years later.
10 thoughts on “Things to Think about after TBEX”
Great thoughts. I think setting a goal is really key. I started as I wanted to blog, but without a clear vision of where I wanted it to go. Something I have changed.
Hope you enjoyed TBEX as much as I did. Was my first one, and was really impressed. Look forward to following your posts now that found your blog 😉
Great post! I really wish I could’ve attended TBEX but it’s great to hear some of your insights on the conference. I think I want to be a great writer, and storyteller like you said. And I would say for now I blog as a hobby but it would be great to have a larger readership. Thanks for sharing!
As a fairly new blogger. I have read posts like this one before and felt horrible afterwards. But this one was different, it made me feel good that i’m still in with a chance as long as i’m an expert in my field. Thats all I ever wanted anyway so reading this has been enlightening. Time to get serious!
Oh what a nice post, thank you! It’s hard for newbies to get started and make their place in the travel blogging world, but posts like that definitely give you hope that something, anything i spossible. You just have to focus, know what you want and work hard. Thank you!
Sorry we never got to meet up in the end. Hopefully we will at the next Europe TBEX!
I just thought of that, we never had a chance to meet! It was crazy two days. 🙂 Hope you had a nice day. Will definitely meet you somewhere in Europe!
Really inspired to read your travel thoughts on blogging. Your passion for travel comes across clearly, and although not a successful travel blogger myself, I enjoy sharing our travel experiences with others. I don’t make any money from my own travel blog , so it was good to learn you don’t have to sell your soul and lose your integrity to succeed on a more commercial basis. I do hope to attend a travel blogging conference soon, in a hope to learn how to grow my audience and maybe benefit somehow commercially, but understand what you say about it being a very competitive market. It is probably nearly impossible for new entrants, like me, to find a place. PS. just planning the China leg of my around the world trip and have being reading your excellent posts. Would you recommend a Yangtze River cruise or is it best to stay on dry land if you only have about 3 weeks in China?
Thanks for feeding back your experience. As a relatively new blogger (now into my third month) I’m always looking to learn what works well and how I should be measuring my success or failure. Clearly it takes time to become established and build an audience.
I take from your reflection that even with all your experience, there is still plenty to reflect on as we strive to achieve our goals.
Many thanks for your guidance. I continue to learn and be inspired by you.