Let’s just clear something up here. I’m not a blogger, it’s not something I ever set out to be, it’s just sort of happening.
I’m not a journalist, a writer, a web designer, a marketing specialist, or an SEO expert.
I am a mum, a traveller, a homeschooler, a scientist and a private human being with feelings. Those are for certain.
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I’ve found myself in a world of advertising, marketing, and blogging professionals. I feel like I have to take it further, make it bigger, make it better. Nobody is forcing me, I know, but it’s so tempting to see how far I can take this thing. Seeing the viewing figures grow is addictive. Yet half of me just wants to climb back under my anonymous rock.
I don’t want to become a Twitter diva, it’s not me and I don’t know how. I don’t want to sell advertising to companies I don’t support. I don’t want to defend the industry to ignorant individuals who think blogging is “a load of w**k”. Somebody said that to me this week.
I just want to live our travel dream, educate my kids, spend time with my family and have the money to do so. Blogging is bringing money. That was a surprise.
I’m Not a Homeschool Blogger
I started a homeschool blog to help people out.
I’ve been really involved with the homeschool community for a long time, helping and encouraging new and potential home educators. Opting out of the school system is a big step to take, it is intimidating, but there are passionate people like me who want to spread the word and help with the transition to homeschooling, for nothing, free. We give our time and share our ideas, because we love to do that.
I know how glad I was to find relevant blogs when I was first writing my homeschool applications. I more or less copied other people’s write ups, there is a lot of paperwork here in Queensland.
It costs nothing to read a blog. People can read or not, their choice. Yet somebody told me blogging is “a load of **k” this week. Rather unfair when this stuff is there to help new homeschoolers, they may just need that encouragement and support.
If I make some money from the homeschool blog one day, great. I’ll buy the kids an ice cream.
It won’t be the reader’s money, it’ll be some big company wanting to advertise to my audience, don’t begrudge me that. I will have put many, many hours into it before that happens. So far it has cost me money.
I’m Not a Travel Blogger
Well, I wasn’t. Maybe I am now. I was listed in the Queensland Tourism top 41 Australian Travel Blogs yesterday.
Does that qualify me to be a travel blogger?
Does the fact that people want to give me money to advertise to my audience make me a blogger?
Companies are offering me free stuff to promote on my site. Does that make me a blogger?
I spend far too much time on the internet. That is what probably qualifies me most. It’s actually starting to scare me, the blog will bring money to fund our travels, but will it spoil the experience? Will I be spending so much time online that I swap places with Dad and become the absent parent?
I still don’t feel like a real blogger, I don’t know my way around Stumble Upon and G+ is a mystery to me, but something seems to be working. People are reading.
I started this travel blog, just as a hobby, something new to explore. I’m far more interested in the technical side than the words, setting up a website from scratch was a challenge. I did it, I felt very pleased with myself and then it just snowballed. Put a technical challenge in my path and I’ll go and find a way to do it. I like learning.
I Didn’t Know Travel Blogging Existed
Honestly, I didn’t.
I don’t think I’d ever read a travel blog before I set up World Travel Family. I thought that what we were doing was so unusual that I should document it.
Then I started Googling and realised that there are hundreds of travelling families like ours, most of them are bloggers. So I’ve joined a gang.
Like all gangs, it takes time to be accepted. I’m finding my feet now, many people in the blogging community have been brilliantly helpful. So thanks for that guys.
I’ve discovered that travel blogging is a huge industry, people make a good living doing it and take it very seriously indeed. Another surprise.
I’m blagging my way into blogging, trying to look like I know what I’m doing. We blag our way into most jobs don’t we?
Thanks for reading. Maybe this has been my biggest, most self-indulgent “load of w**k” yet. That comment hurt. Maybe I should go back to writing about how great backpacking Thailand is with kids, stick to what I know. I know travel.
Maybe I should just do destination pieces and tips on taking your family around the world, maybe that’s less “w**k”. But now that I have a voice I may as well use it.
We leave to travel the world in about 8 weeks. Stick with us!
Update. As you can probably tell, this post was written a long time ago, before we set off to travel. If you’re reading this in 2020, it was seven years ago. I’ve long forgotten who the woman was who said that to me. She was an Australian homeschooler but the name has gone. I am now most certainly a blogger and I love my job. I’ve learned so much and this website is our family’s sole income. It’s taken us to Tibet, Bhutan, and private island resorts. Travel blogging is our life. I am a proud blogger.
Alyson is the creator of World Travel Family travel blog and is a full-time traveller, blogger and travel writer. A lifetime of wanderlust and now over 7 years on the road, 50+ countries allowed the creation of this website, for you. She has a BSc and worked in pathology before entering the travel arena and creating this website. World Travel Family Travel Blog has been helping you travel more, better and further since 2012, when Alyson and James first had this life changing idea. On this site you can find endless travel information, tips and guides plus how to travel, how to fund travel and how to start your own travel blog.