Travel Blogger For Hire – Pitfalls On Travel Writing From The Road

Travel Blogger For Hire.. Sort of

That title in big words (i.e Travel Blogger for Hire!) is for Google so that someone might employ me on future Travel Blogging Trips/Junkets/Other Opportunities when they do a keyword search!

Anyway, check out my Travel Writing and Social Media pages, then Contact Me for more information!

Think of it this way – if you’ve Googled me, I’d be able to attract others to your destination or brand!

No seriously – I learnt a lot about Travel Writing/Blogging From the Road on my recent month long trip to Indonesia.

I loved every single second of this trip.  However, I learnt so much about the practicalities of Travel Writing in a challenging environment that I wanted to pass on some tips to others who are lucky enough to experience the same thing! Suzan With Durian in Palembang Indonesia

As with all trips I undertake, I decided to be ruthless with my backpack weight and not take a laptop (that was the Tight Arse Personality Type coming out), and either a) create all my posts from Internet cafe’s or 2) use the local bloggers computer. Most of the time, I was using the Internet Cafe.  And in Indonesia, that was certainly an experience. There are pros and cons of taking/not taking computers with you on a Travel Writing/Blogging trip.  For me, the con of extra weight was enough for me to place faith in the Internet Cafe system of a third world country. I’m pretty anal when I come to backpack weight, and I try to keep this down to about 12-13 kilograms, or about 20 pounds.  I hate looking and feeling like an overweight tortoise whilst locals are trying to convince me to board their barely roadworthy form of transport! Anyway, here are some valuable lessons that I will use in the future, and that I’d like to pass on to others.

Travel Blogger Tips!

Professional Travel Blogger for Hire

Lesson 1. Without The Internet Working, You’re Totally Crippled Sounds obvious, but when you’re travelling in third world countries, expect the Internet to cut out for any unknown reason.  There were numerous times where I was uploading photos, or about to push ‘Publish’ where all of a sudden, my entire post crashed, almost forcing me to scream with frustration. Couple that with the odd power outage, and you’ll be pressing the ‘Save Draft’ button every 5 seconds, just like I was.

Lesson 2. Even With The Internet Working, It’s Still Challenging To Write! Internet speeds can vary dramatically.  It might take you anywhere from 10 seconds to 5 minutes to upload a photograph. But try doing this activity for a few hours, sitting next to 11 year old boys smoking away (no joke) on their high tar cigarettes, whilst your eyes are stinging from the combusted tobacco wafting into your face. I think I also have industrial deafness now – most of these 11 year olds were playing computer games that involved blasting the crap out of their friends sitting next to them – which included exuberant celebrations when someone was killed off. The term ‘Fire In The Hole’ is now embedded forever in my grey matter. And because of the smoking, you smell like a well cured salami when you walk out of the Internet Cafe. Ironic, because I have Italian heritage as well. Another Internet Cafe hazard, especially in Indonesia, is that there is a chance that an earthquake will hit when you are writing something critical.  I was in Banda Aceh when the tragic Padang earthquake hit Sumatra, and the whole room shook, including my chair, for about half a minute. Banda Aceh was 400 km away, and I must admit, the Tsunami word did enter my head.  However, none of the smoking 11 year olds were too concerned and carried on playing their computer games as if earthquakes happen every day.

Lesson 3. It’s really hard to fix annoying Word Press Bugs When you are a techo gumby like me, the simplest Word Press bugs (for those who aren’t familiar, this is the software that powers the website) become almost insurmountable when you are challenged by internet speeds. I had a problem with my visual editor which did not let me schedule posts when I wanted to.  So I had to go to an Internet Cafe and physically push the ‘Publish’ button when I needed to. Not ideal, but I got away with it.  I only found out how to fix this bug when I got home.  It would have taken me hours to fix it in Indonesia because of the Internet speeds.

Lesson 4. It Really Sucks When Your Hosting Provider Stops Hosting Your Site – In The Middle Of The Trip You should try harrassing your Internet Host when you are out of one of their base countries. Of course, I had to go to the Intenet Cafe and send a barrage of emails to try and get my site back online considering that a lot of the travel world was watching.  I even had to organise people in Australia to do this for me! I also used Twitter to draw attention to the problem! In the end, the site was down for a day, and everything has been fine since.

Lesson 5. Extremely Hospitable People = Less Time To Write! The reason I love going to Indonesia is because of their people.  I’ve always had a great time there because they are so willing to show me their world. The flip side to this is that it’s hard to drag yourself away from all of the great cultural experiences you are having with them so you can write! Banda Aceh Sate But it’s a great problem to have, and I’m not complaining!  I gained so much material to write that this may keep The Travel Tart going for a bit longer before I have to travel again! So there you go, there are some of the Pitfalls of being a Travel Blogger for Hire and Travel Writing From The Road. These are some of the issues that can happen when you travel without your own laptop! I think I need a copy of Blogging For Dummies!

Just think of this post next time you want to be a Travel Blogger For Hire!

About Anthony The Travel Tart

The Travel Tart writes about the funny, offbeat and weird aspects of world travel today. Travel wasn't meant to be taken too seriously! Check out ways to say hi below or sign up for his silly newsletter!

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49 Comments

  1. November 12, 2009    

    Wow Anthony – sounds like you had some frustrating moments – glad you got it all worked out! Seems like our most memorable trips are like that – full of highs and lows.

    One thing you might consider on your next backpacking trek (if you still don’t want to carry a laptop) is a tool & service my brother (who is a long-distance hiker) uses – it’s a PocketMail device. It’s about the size of a checkbook cover but thicker, and very light. It’s used to compose email, which you can then send using any phone line – no internet required.

    WordPress has a great feature that you can enable and configure easily, which is that it will accept blog posts via email – your email subject line becomes your Post Title, and the email message body is your blog post.

    Something to consider…
    .-= Trisha Miller´s last blog ..FTC Site Compliance – Blogger Disclosure Guidelines =-.

    • August 18, 2010    

      I’ve been looking into getting something like this myself as carrying a laptop can become a burden. I admit I’ve even cheated a few times and actually wrote the post after the trip. I have to say, its kind of comical writing a post about the gardens of Versailles from my house in Michigan.

  2. November 13, 2009    

    We are going to be in your shoes soon and have to admit, not looking forward to the Blogging part of our travels. Africa was difficult, but we weren’t serious bloggers then and if our post didn’t get up, we didn’t really care. Now however is a different story.
    I remember your site going down, I think that I would have been freaking out if it was me. But I will have to prepare myself for anything and in the end realise that people will hopefully understand that things happen:
    We are bringing our laptops and are a little worried about the extra weight, but I don’t think at this point we will be able to work without them. I will let you know.
    Glad everything worked out and your time in Indonesia really did look like an incredible experience.
    .-= Dave and Deb´s last blog ..This Weeks Adventure’s in Blogging =-.

  3. November 13, 2009    

    I should clarify what I said about not looking forward to blogging, we are looking forward to Blogging, but worried about all of the pitfalls that you mentioned above. Ah, if only we could travel around with our highspeed wifi in our back pockets:)
    .-= Dave and Deb´s last blog ..This Weeks Adventure’s in Blogging =-.

  4. November 15, 2009    

    All of these frustrations you outlined are so spot on. A lot of future RTW travelers email me asking if they should start a blog before they go – and I have to keep pointing out these little facts. It was so frustrating for me trying to get anything done when I only had power for 8 hours a day in Nepal…and some of it was in the dead of night! But, that being said, can’t imagine leaving my laptop behind! Good for you being so ruthless with your weight limits 🙂
    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..A Little Contemplation…Readjusting to a Dose of Reality =-.

  5. December 9, 2009    

    WordPress has a great feature that you can enable and configure easily, which is that it will accept blog posts via email – your email subject line becomes your Post Title, and the email message body is your blog post. I am going to read your all lesson and try to find some thing new in that.

  6. December 19, 2009    

    wow… that’s nice tips and trick … that’s can be a good learning to make a trip and make a travel blog
    .-= suzan´s last blog ..From Bandung With Sickness =-.

  7. December 22, 2009    

    Whoa… these are great tips! Thanks for sharing because I’m going to find myself in the same boat in a few months. As long as I still enjoy writing, I’m hoping I’ll overcome all the frustrating parts.
    .-= Adam´s last blog ..How to be Semi-Successful at Your Job =-.

  8. February 1, 2010    
  9. February 10, 2010    

    Really helpful stuff, Anthony — thanks! I think the hardest part of starting my RTW trip will be internet detox.;)
    .-= Johnny Vagabond´s last blog ..Vagabond Travel Tip #2 — Never Trust a Monkey =-.

    • February 10, 2010    

      Enjoy the trip, and don’t spend the entire time in an Internet Cafe!

  10. March 1, 2010    

    you supposed to go on sightseeing and not too much time on internet cafe.
    .-= freshwater Aquarium´s last blog ..The Importance of Freshwater Aquarium Temperature =-.

  11. March 1, 2010    

    This is excellent and exactly what good blogging is all about. Interesting and witty writing that allows us to escape from our daily lives and learn something in the process.

    As a blog writing tutor I often get asked about how to write a travel blog. Well, from now on, as part of my answer I shall refer my students to this blog.

    If I can make just one tiny suggestion, it would be to place all your text on a plain background. The pics you’ve used here are excellent but they don’t carry the text well and as a result some paragraphs are hard to read.

    Good luck with your career as a travel writing blogger.

    Bruce

    • March 2, 2010    

      Hi Bruce, thanks for the feedback, it’s much appreciated!

  12. March 6, 2010    

    Nice post. In Indonesian, people called this fruits as “Durian Montong”.
    Looking forward to your next post.. 🙂
    .-= Andre´s last blog ..Inconsistency Blogging =-.

  13. March 16, 2010    

    I like this blog! It is Zanzibar as we use to say about cool stuff.

  14. April 8, 2010    

    Hi there,

    I have had a number of your experiences on the road as well. Writing and traveling is tough combination.

    By the way, great photo of the worst fruit of all time — the dreaded durian.
    .-= Devin´s last blog ..The Creative Writer’s Bill of Rights =-.

  15. topbloggingsoftware topbloggingsoftware
    May 2, 2010    

    I always do a little writing for my blogs when overseas. Traveling to the Philippines every few months gives me a great opportunity to find new subjects to write on. But there is always the issues of brown outs and being away from home not having much control over things. I also use WordPress blogs for my blogging and sometimes have small issues but in the norm they work pretty well and the ease of setup helps. But your blog is a nice read keep it up.

  16. Mr. Reo Mr. Reo
    May 4, 2010    

    After looking over this blog post I took a look around the site. You have done a good job gathering all this information.

  17. Bill @ Learn a New Language and Travel Bill @ Learn a New Language and Travel
    May 12, 2010    

    Traveling and blogging. Can’t beat that. I need to learn another language and do some traveling to a place I havn’t been yet.
    .-= Bill @ Learn a New Language and Travel´s last blog ..Pimsleur Rated Best Language Course to Learn a New Language Fast =-.

  18. Actually I should also add I recently traveled to the country Azerbaijan to the Baku region. It’s a very interesting place there, they speak mainly Azeri, and Russian there. I learned a lot of the Russian language before traveling and it helped a lot. This area is right on the Caspian Sea and the people are very friendly as well.

  19. Uche Nwaobi Uche Nwaobi
    May 20, 2010    

    Hi, I enjoyed your commentary. I recently wrote about a similar topic on my blog. Here is part of what I said… “Many bloggers find it difficult to blog regularly. On the other hand, other bloggers find it easy to blog everyday. As you are aware, for your blogging to be effective, you will need to add fresh content to your blog on a regular basis. This article presents five tips that you can use to make blogging easy…” To read more, check out my blog… Thanks. http://coolinternetmoney.com/blog/5-tips-blogging-easy/
    .-= Uche Nwaobi´s last blog ..4 Main Mistakes Which Bloggers Make And Which Stop Them From Making Money With Their Blogs =-.

  20. Egon @ Luxury Beach Resorts Egon @ Luxury Beach Resorts
    June 17, 2010    

    Computer and internet can sometimes be frustrating, but hey, what ya gonna do. Just have a good time and make the best of it.

  21. June 22, 2010    

    Enjoy Indonesia and write us when you get back. Sounds like the internet issues are more trouble then they are worth

  22. August 11, 2010    

    Very cool post, I think that type of job would have to be my dream job, lol. I hope that goes well for you, I wish I could get a job like this. Anyways, I thanks for the cool opportunity.

  23. August 29, 2010    

    Its so cool to travel and blog about what happens to you every day. You mentioned wordpress being a hard tool to handle so here i start learning all the possibilities of it as we have a normal website with CMS and sometimes its hard to find an internet caffe on the road. WordPress can prosess e-mail posts from your iphone, quite handy. Thats why i choose wordpress for my travel stories.
    Good luck 🙂

  24. Jeffrey Revell Reade Jeffrey Revell Reade
    October 1, 2010    

    I think that is the one challenge when travelling. Trying to find internet connectivity. Sometimes it can a difficult thing to find.

  25. Adventure Cruiser Adventure Cruiser
    October 3, 2010    

    Hey Anthony, You’re spot on mate. My site crashed while I was sailing between Fiji Islands on the dinky little Tui Tai last month. How many times was I asked “Do you know that ‘travel tart’ guy? He’s hilarious!” I confess I take my laptop though. Cheers, Rod

    • October 3, 2010    

      Holy crap, I must now be a Z grade internet celebrity! ;P Fiji is great, I’m going there again soon!

    • October 4, 2010    

      I am writing from a hotel room of Gangtok.
      I am developing a website and a blog on Gangtok.
      But the net connection is quiet pathetic in some parts of the state.
      So I always have to look some spot to get connected.

  26. October 8, 2010    

    Well, I’m happy that you love to trip at my country, Indonesia. We’ll waiting for your next trip.

  27. October 9, 2010    

    Indonesian is one of the biggest Muslim country, thanks for your free lessons :p

    nice picture BTW

  28. November 15, 2010    

    I spent my vacation on GOA, India which is probably famous for worst internet connection in the world, and it was to painful to upload even images to my blog, not talking about videos. It’s strange though how India can make it to be #1 outsourcing country with such a bad Internet capabilities.

  29. December 9, 2010    

    Nice post. In Indonesian, people called this fruits as �Durian Montong�. Looking forward to your next post..

  30. December 12, 2010    

    thanks for Travel Blogger Tips!. Very useful for me because in future i will become travel blogger to. I will add advise for travel blogger tips that important to add photo/picture in our posting. Also important to promote our blog with Facebook and twitter.

  31. December 16, 2010    

    Nice tips anthony! and also thanks for sharing. Good job for gathering all this information. As long as I still enjoy writing, I�m hoping I�ll overcome all the frustrating parts.

  32. December 23, 2010    

    I love Indonesia, i’m going to travel to bali

  33. BurnRX BurnRX
    December 23, 2010    

    Good job on writing this all. By the way, hopefully you liked it in Indonesia, been there two times myself, and it was simply amazing!

  34. credit cards for no credit credit cards for no credit
    December 30, 2010    

    Wow I never realized that having hospitable hosts would stop blogging, I would think it would help, thanks for the advice, if I ever do anything like this I’ll be sure to come back to this for more tips

  35. January 28, 2011    

    Those were great travel blogger tips. You are right in all cases. I loved the last lesson, number 5. I would love to meet extremely hospitable people in all my trips even if that means less time for writing 🙂

  36. Turbo Traffic System Turbo Traffic System
    March 8, 2011    

    so, this is really neat. You get paid to travel around and blog. Who pays you?

  37. Richard Stooker Richard Stooker
    April 17, 2011    

    You make me feel lucky to be in an Internet cafe here in The Philippines. I’m in one in a mall, so the people are generally quiet. However, I’ve also been to neighborhood cafes where most of the computers are taken up by teenaged boys playing computer games with a crowd of friends standing behind them watching – and all are screaming as hard as they can. Fortunately, though, they don’t smoke.

    That’s quite table full of durian – which to me neither smells so bad or tastes so good as everybody says.

  38. January 20, 2012    

    I totally agree with most of these! It’s damn hard to blog on the road. I’ve experienced wordpress bugs which have set me back and forced me to troubleshoot programming and stuff and after traveling or sightseeing, I’m generally too tired to do much.

    Another one– it take a long time if you’re going through, filtering and uploading travel photos.

  39. March 19, 2012    

    Extremely Hospitable People, what a problem to have! Ha! I guess this goes to demonstrate the importance of getting away from the computer and letting yourselves be part of the experiences, and to remember that you can write away about them all when you have a better chance, or when you are home and dealing with travel withdrawals. You don’t want to miss a thing…and your readers will stick around, after all it’s the experiences to be had that we want to read about! So tough, though, with the travel blogger mandate to get material out there!

  40. PULSA ELEKTRIK MURAH SEMARANG PULSA ELEKTRIK MURAH SEMARANG
    July 14, 2012    

    Only Quality Service in Town

  41. JD JD
    July 29, 2012    

    Hello my name is JD. I represent a new men’s magazine looking for a travel blogger.
    Are you interested in more work?

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