Almost Travel Blogging: How to Be Safe and Profitable on the Road

33 amazing comments

travel blogging

Travel blogging? More like blogging while travelling. In this post I’m going to talk about how to safely and efficiently blog while on the road anywhere in the world.

Once you start to take your blogging more seriously at time will come when you need to work while you’re away.

It might be a holiday in India or it might just be a weekend away to visit the family.

Of course, if you can take time away from the blog that is great. But for some of us it’s a full time gig and that means researching and writing posts, answering emails, etc.

I’ve had to do this from all around Australia, Europe and even China. But it doesn’t matter if you’re in England or the USA – the principles are the same.

Here are some top tips everyone’ll need at some point.

How to travel and blog at the same time

This isn’t going to be a post about ‘how to start a travel blog’ – a blog where you get paid while talking about your various travel destinations around the world.

Although those blogs are really popular at the moment, I feel like I covered the topic of starting niche blogs pretty well in my articles on how to start a fashion blog and my ultimate guide on how to start a blog.

I want this post to be more relevant to every type of blogger who occasionally needs to travel and work at the same time. That being said, there will be some overlap.

Let’s get into those tips:

1. Prepare as much as you can before you leave

Preparing as much as you can before you leave is absolutely vital.

Things are often a bit different to your regular setup and so you want to make sure you have things ready to go in case you are restricted in some way.

Darren Rowse from ProBlogger told me:

My top tip for blogging while travelling is to do as much work as you can before you go!

The first time I took a week long trip to the US to speak at a conference I naively thought I’d take advantage of the portability of my work and blog from the road.

Day 1 was fine because I wrote on the 14 hour flight into LAX but that’s when it all fell apart. A combination of jet lag, the busyness of the conference and some technological challenges with the hotel wifi meant I didn’t blog again until I returned home a week later.

These days I work doubly hard in the weeks before a trip to enable me to travel and just focus upon the trip itself.

I schedule blog posts and most of my Facebook updates before I leave. This is a massive task (last time I went away I pre-scheduled 40 Facebook updates) but means that I can be fully present and concentrate on the task at hand of speaking, engaging with other conference attendees and enjoying the new surrounds.

The only blogging related work I would then do on the trip would be networking (which is invaluable), gathering ideas for future content and some live social media of the conference I’m attending.

Note that Darren talks about networking as being part of blogging.

It’s so true.

If you head overseas for work or even for holiday it’s a good idea to spend less time online and more time offline meeting people and trying to make new connections.

In other words, do the things you can’t do at home.

2. Get your head right while you’re away

When I reached out to some of my blogging friends for tips I actually hadn’t considered this one but as soon as I read it I felt a bit guilty for not thinking about it.

Have a look at what Ryan from Blogging from Paradise says about blogging on the road:

Blogging safely and efficiently is an inside-out game Ramsay. If your mind ain’t right you’ll be doomed when your day begins. Example; I have about 30 things or more to do daily while blogging from paradise. Not just online work stuff either. I’ve had to walk 5 miles daily to get my lunch and dinner in Savusavu, Fiji and in spots like Hoi An Vietnam we had to bike for about 40 minutes a day just to get lunch and/or dinner. Factor in the tourist-type stuff we do, and we travel bloggers are busy bees. Here in Bali we have plenty of motorbiking treks to and from town to grab grub and to enjoy a day or 2 at spa.

Meditating is hands down the most powerful thing I do daily to think clearly, and clear thinking has helped me secure my blog, by tuning into all those safe little tips from my techie blogging buddies (avoiding internet cafes, using public WiFi sparingly, using tools like BruteProtect to secure your blog). I also act effectively and blog efficiently by knowing what to do, and when to do it, while blogging on the road. Example; since time is a precious commodity for me – and everybody – I’ll write one, kick butt, in-depth, targeted post weekly instead of many shorter posts. Helps me reach more interested readers with less work, so I can do the island hopping thing while prospering. I received an intuitive nudge to do this right after one of my meditation sessions.

Work on your inner world and something funny happens; you attract all the tools, techniques, prospering blogging buddies and brilliant ideas to build a sustainable business on the road.

If you do one thing today sit in a quiet room and watch what comes up. After dealing with the mental vomit/limiting beliefs that everybody spews in the beginning you’ll receive clarity of thought, you’ll develop peace of mind and you’ll be able to listen to your intuition guide you, blogging-wise and life-wise.

This advice obviously is also really important for your regular work life. Keeping your head on straight is such an important aspect of running your own business. In my experience it’s never the external circumstances that make you happy, it’s how you deal with your thoughts about them.

I wonder who agrees?

3. Know your strengths and weaknesses

Some people are really good at travelling.

I’m not one of them.

I find the change of routine really whacks me around and I feel tired for days. But that doesn’t mean you should stop working. Jodi from Legal Nomads has some good advice in this regard:

One of the hardest parts of writing has been the lack of stability in terms of place. With no set base for 7 years, I’ve turned to creating routines around the act of writing instead of around the place itself. I am most productive when writing on planes or trains, so I save longer form pieces for those times. I edit photos when most tired, I keep a notebook on me during long wanders, etc. Essentially a process for maximizing the productivity around writing despite leading a not-so-normal life. Tools like Scrivener, Evernote, and a Moleskine Notebook are all my go-tos for getting this done.

This is also really about knowing your business. Everyone’s is different and that means you need to think about the different things you’ll need to do when you’re away.

If you have a solid process in place you’ll be able to find tools and structures to help you keep going even when your normal routine changes.

4. Figure out how much you can do offline

It’s tempting to think that you really need to be online 24 hours a day if you work in an online business.

Well, that’s not always true.

In fact, if you’re smart about it, you might be able to get quite a lot of your work done while you are offline. My friends Caz and Craig from yTravel Blog are constantly traveling and have some tips in this regard:

Because we’re travelling with children and have challenges with WiFi connections in Australia, I rely heavily on Windows Live Writer. Therefore I can easily work when we’re driving, or I have a few spare moments in between parenting juggles. I write and edit all my content in Live Writer first and then quickly post the drafts to the blog when I can get connected. It has made my work so much more efficient and saves a lot on data costs.

My friend Chris Ducker has some similar advice:

This is a simple tip, but it’s saved me a few times. When I’m on the go I never know when I might be caught with a low laptop battery. So I make sure to write my blog posts via a Word document that is saved automatically in Dropbox. That way, if I do lose power, I know that the work is saved in my Dropbox folder and I don’t have to start all over again. The alternative is losing it all, if I was to be writing the post (like a lot of bloggers do) directly into the WordPress dashboard – Ouch!

Of course, you can’t be offline all the time. But if you can learn how to do the majority of your work on your computer without connecting you will feel like you aren’t really all that far away from your work.

5. Be online when you post your articles

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but when I send out my mail outs I always let people know that I’ll be around in the comments for a while to chat.

This has the effect of helping me get more comments and also being around to put out any fires that may happen when the post goes live and there are either server issues, mistakes in the article or controversial discussions happening.

Neil Patel mentions this in his tip:

The biggest thing I recommend is to write your posts in advance and schedule them. This way you stay consistent with your posting schedule and your traffic should continually grow. And if possible, try to avoid being on a plane during the days you are publishing content.

I personally think it’s really important to “show up” when your post goes live and really be a part of the process. That way it is less about lecturing to your audience and more of an organic discussion.

And it’s also incredibly important to ensure you’re fixing issues as soon as possible.

6. Keep your security tight with a VPN and monitoring tools

Your blog is your baby.

And things like email and social media accounts are vital for how you get things done.

For those reasons it’s absolutely integral to make sure you keep things safe. Total safety is a myth but there are some things you can do to reduce the risk of things going wrong.

  • Use a VPN
    A VPN (virtual private network) is something you should use if you ever have to connect to a public Wi-Fi network as it encrypts a lot of your data and makes it harder for people to spy on your passwords. I absolutely NEVER log onto essential accounts from public networks, even with my VPN. Here’s a VPN review that I did last year.
  • Secure accounts with your phone
    Many services like Google and Facebook allow you to use double verification. This means you need your phone to log in as they send you an SMS. At a minimum, set up security notifications so that if someone logs in you get an sms sent to your phone notifying you to take action.
  • Make sure your computer is safe
    Every computer should be up to date from the software side as well as all of the browsers that you use. Many of those pesky updates that we all hate are made for security reasons. Here’s a list of tips I wrote a while ago to help you keep your computer and other online assets a bit safer.

The purpose of all this stuff is not to make you paranoid. There is no point in being overly worried about mysterious deviants lurking in the shadows.

But you do need to be aware and smart about it.

7. Have good communications channels with trusted contacts and admins

One of the absolute best things that I have done when traveling overseas is have a trusted contact or two that can login to my email, website, bank, etc. if something were to go wrong.

Obviously you need to make sure you trust this person with all the material before handing over the logins. That means a local staff member (not a VA) or a family member that is competent and knows their way around online.

Then you can do things like:

  • Write down passwords
    Write down your logins on paper and give it to them. Never send these via email or an online service and always make sure that they are somewhat anonymous in case someone steals the piece of paper.
  • Give them a quick tutorial
    Sit down for five minutes with your trusted person and give them an overview of what to do in some of the basic scenarios. It might just be as simple as how to reset or change a password if it were to get compromised.
  • Communicate with your host and important admins
    As far as a blog is concerned, it is your hosting admins that are most important. If something goes wrong with your blog you need to be able to get on chat with them and sort out the issue. This can be very hard if you’re “off the grid” and so you want someone at home to do it for you. Consider shooting your techs and email ahead of time letting them know that someone else has permission to act on your behalf while you’re away.

Again, you probably won’t need all of this stuff but it makes it so much easier should anything go wrong if you’ve planned ahead of time.

Preparation is key.

Keeping your blog profitable while you’re away

So far this post has been about how to keep working while you’re on the road.

But what about keeping your blog profitable?

It might seem odd, but profit and work are two completely different things.

I know a lot of bloggers who work really hard and still don’t make any money. And I know other who hardly work at all and make a fortune.

I was overseas for around 11 days in November during which time I sent this Tweet:

profitable blog

One of the greatest things about an online business is the ability to keep it kicking along without you constantly having an input.

There is a certain freedom in knowing that you’ve set up your blog(s) so that they will continue to make sales and get links and traffic while you’re offline or away.

It’s not easy, but it is very possible.

And it mostly comes back to creating a distinctive brand that has an effective content strategy.

One of the big things I’ve been helping my Private Coaching clients achieve is a clear and deliberate content strategy that is aimed at achieving a very specific goal. That means no more random posting and a lot more strategic connections, linking and so on.

In 2015 I’m going to be writing a lot more about this with the goal of making Blog Tyrant a place where people come to get “serious” about their blogging and online marketing – more specifics and less tips and tricks.

Any tips or questions?

I’d be really curious to know whether you have any tips about blogging and working on the road. Or perhaps you have a question about the last paragraph on strategic blogging? Either way, I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below so please let me know. Oh, and feel free to leave links to your own posts if you’ve got similar stories or tips to share.

Β© Mquirk | Dreamstime.comToy Car On A Road Map Photo

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33 Comments. Join in. *Closed after 30 days*

  • Suzanne Fluhr (Boomeresque)

    My #1 blogging takeaway from a recent 3 week trip to South Africa was– “Do not engage in magical thinking”. I learned that extensive blog writing and maintenance from the road neither feasible nor desirable.


    1. Ramsay

      You mean to say that it’s better to be realistic and not expect that you can work much while traveling?


  • Britt

    Great tips, thank you!
    I struggle most with social responsibilities during traveling. I work abroad and use my holidays to visit family and friends. I try to spend as much time with them as possible during those holidays, and struggle to keep up my blog. But a combination of preparation and using some hours either late at night or early in the morning usually save me!
    My blog is only small, and I don’t rely on it for my income, but I still think it is important to keep it going during my holidays. Normally I need to combine blogging with doing a PhD, during holidays I stick to the same schedule to combine it with as many social events as possible.


    1. Ramsay

      Doing a PhD and blogging! I’m suitably impressed.


  • Nico

    It’s nice to be able to get away and enjoy the freedom of working online. Hope you’re enjoying it.

    One of the most important things for me when I travel has been putting time aside for work and having a system in place for when things don’t go to plan (broken laptop, crap wi-fi etc.). That means plenty of preparation and setting up a system / empowering your staff so that your business can run on almost autopilot with minimal supervision.


    1. Ramsay

      Nice one. Totally agree.


  • Ashish Nagwanshi

    Hi Ramsay,

    It is really awesome. When i find bloggers trying everything to make money with their blog. You are comfortably making money and even visiting cool places.

    Regards,


    1. Ramsay

      Takes a lot of work!


  • Marc

    I’ve traveled for a few weeks at a time (not usually more than 2 weeks) and for me your first point about planning ahead is the most important. What I like to do is to create a daily to-do list for while I am away. It’s usually just a couple of simple items like publishing a particular post that has already been written on a specific day, scheduling an email newsletter to be sent, or something like that. With the to-do list I don’t have to waste time trying to remember what needs to be done when. Of course, you can schedule posts and emails in advance, but personally I prefer to do it manually because it only takes a minute and that way I can make sure that my site is up and in working order before a post is published or an email is sent.

    I also like to have a good idea of when I can get 30 minutes to an hour each day to check in on email and respond to anything urgent.

    Another thing I try to do is to know what the internet access will be like where I will be staying. Not every destination will have great wi-fi,so if I am anticipating any issues I can find a local coffee shop or someplace ahead of time where I can go for 30 minutes to get easy access. I have problems all the time with hotel wi-fi being down or very slow, so it’s good to have a backup plan.


    1. Ramsay

      Legendary comment! Thanks for sharing Marc.


  • Slavko Desik

    Great article! And it doesn’t apply only to travelling as well.

    We’ve been rebuilding the family house the first half of this year, and it meant that I was going to spend the next few months in and out of different housing arrangements. Meanwhile, things went great with my girlfriend, so I was also spending some time back at her place. I remember hitting a one month streak of not sleeping in the same bed for two nights in a row. Certainly not the challenge many travel bloggers face, but it was a drag nonetheless.

    When the construction was finished, and I finally went back home, our holiday was already scheduled and my girlfriend and I went for 14 days on Corfu. And this was mid September; still recuperating from the mess though.

    Here is what I have to stress again, in case you missed the importance.

    First, as Jodi says, you must have some sort of stability in your routine. Forget the place if you must, but build something else that is going to provide you with a sense of stability.

    And meditation. Do it already. I started with Headspace (the best app on the market), and it is really doing wonders.

    Finally, prepare everything as Darren does, and give yourself some break. We all deserve it, really.


    1. Ramsay

      How does the house look now? Are all the family members still talking? πŸ™‚


      1. Slavko Desik

        House looks great buddy. If your travels become more frequent and you sometimes decide to visit the Balkans, doors are always open πŸ™‚

        We are fine now, only takes some getting used to I guess. Things are back to normal, and we just started appreciating the place more.


        1. Ramsay

          Thanks for the invite!


  • Chris

    THE BEST THING TO DO…
    Don’t work!

    I recently spent a week on vacation visiting a friend. The only thing I did was check my email. Think about it, if you have an established business, if you don’t post a new article or social media or post a new ad, what are you going to lose?

    Give your body and mind a rest when you go on vacation. You just might find that’s when you’ll have you’re best ideas.

    And what if your sales do drop for a few days. So freaking what?!? It’s your life so enjoy your vacation. It’s ok to be free for a while.


    1. Ramsay

      I agree for you and me, but it’s not a reality for everyone. Some people struggle to put food on the table and pay the bills so a holiday might mean a working one.


    2. Rachelle Berube

      This is what I logged on to say. It’s not a vacation if you’re working. I’ve worked for the last 7 years to get to a spot where I have a person I trust to handle stuff. I should let them.


  • Ben

    Thanks so much for the sage advice.

    I spend about 7 months a year in South America and when on the road one can never assume that internet will be available. A “backup” of small posts with at least one of those “awkwardly thorough” ones, always ready to go can make a stressful “I haven’t posted in days” moment less frequent.

    Special thanks for the security tips, I’ve been lax & needed a reminder…


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Ben. Hope it helps.


  • Sue Anne Dunlevie

    I totally enjoyed this post, Ramsay! I haven’t traveled for more than a week since I started my blog, but it’s great to know that it’s doable for longer trips.

    I especially like Ryan’s tip on inside-out blogging. I find that is helpful even while not traveling.

    Glad to have you back!
    Sue


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Sue! Glad to be back.


  • Scott Kindred

    I’m very much in tune with the suggestion to “get your head right” while you’re away. The opportunity to realize [see] more of the world, be around new and different people and – ever so importantly – to meditate and be thankful are things that rejuvenate me every time I go away on a trip.

    Tomorrow, I head to Los Angeles for a client’s holiday mixer. It’s 7 hour drive – plenty of alone time. And I purposely scheduled another 2 days at the hotel in Hollywood after the mixer so that I could just enjoy being away and focus on getting my head right. I’m thinking a visit to the Walk of Fame and checking out the sidewalk stars of so many famous people will be re-energizing! Have you got any favorites, Ramsay? I’ll keep an eye out and send you a pic πŸ˜‰

    By the way, loved the imagery you associated with this post. The How to Be Safe and Profitable title fits quite well if your little car makes a bit of a left turn and heads south.


    1. Ramsay

      I love that you’re the only one that gets my imagery! Appreciate it. Ha.

      Have a lovely trip!


  • Vikram singh

    It is definitely not easy to write blogs while travelling, at-least I haven’t been very productive. Learned my lessons hard way, I always schedule my posts before leaving and travelling is spent in watching places, taking notes and even interviewing people. This way I return back with more material for atleast 15-20 next blogs.


    1. Ramsay

      Yeah that is a really good idea I think.


  • Lewis LaLanne

    I love Ryan’s insights here as well as Jodi’s as well as Chris’s and Neil’s.

    I’m like you Ramsay in that I much prefer this little success environment I’ve set up for myself. My chair and desk are exactly the height I want them to be so that my wrists are above my full sized keyboard. My chair is ultra comfortable. The internet is full deluxe. Food is 20 seconds away. MY own bed and perfect pillow is 20 seconds away etc., etc., etc.

    I’ve been massively productive on the road, but nothing matches my productivity from my success environment I’ve created here in my home. Environment is SO important. One of the reasons I love all of the suggestions given here is that they’re helping you counter your own limitations so that there’s no excuse for not getting something done. Doing THAT is SO important – being resourceful.

    I love Chris’s suggestion as I too, write offline and publish from there. I have never written any of my 398 blog posts in WordPress but have instead written them in Microsoft Live Writer which is probably pretty shitty compared to other blogging tools I don’t know about – but I like it a thousand times better than writing in WordPress itself.

    The other thing I would suggest, relevant to passwords and making them available to others just in case, would be to have a Last Pass account set up just for the business. Last pass keeps track of ALL the passwords you ask it to and requires only one password to log in from any online connection. Seems like giving a person admin access to this would be easier than writing out a bunch of passwords but maybe there’s a downside to it that I’m not thinking of.

    I thank you Ramsay for all these awesome suggestions you’ve shared here as I can’t be reminded of nor enlightened enough on the topic of making progress in this arena. πŸ™‚


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Lewis. Love your comments, as always.


  • Greg

    Nice one as per usual Ramsay. Are you going to be traveling lots in 2015?

    ‘nother Q – when is your tactical bootcamp subscriber special OPs opening again?

    — Greg


    1. Ramsay

      It won’t be.


  • Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Ramsay,

    Thanks so much for allowing me to share my “inside-out” thoughts! I dug each point, big-time.

    I just flew 25 hours from Bali to New Jersey. I found myself nodding to each tip, because learning how to leverage your time is absolutely critical to traveling and blogging. Kelli and I have globe-trotted for 44 months straight, and lemme tell ya: if you want to learn how to go broke while traveling AND how to prosper, as a blogger, I can give you both the harrowing tale and more cheery advice πŸ˜‰

    I’ve been in both camps. After following the advice up top, I had a more pleasant experience.

    Darren’s so right; when you do this for the first time, you learn a bunch of lessons. Most of which slap you in the face, waking ya up πŸ™‚

    I myself am still learning daily. Example; here in NJ, with little travel stuff to do – NJ is NOT quite like Bali lol – I find myself trying to jam more work into the day. No good. At least if I want to achieve that Zen-like balance I achieved on the road….j/k πŸ˜‰ But seriously, after this comment I’m shutting off the laptop for a while. Here I am, back home, and I find myself falling into bad habits because I spend only a month back home, and 11 in some tropical locale, blogging from paradise.

    I did follow my own advice – as I do, sometimes – and meditated, so let go that urge fairly pronto…for now πŸ˜‰

    Thanks again Ramsay for sharing some pearls of blogging and traveling wisdom here!

    Ryan


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks mate. Really appreciate your input.

      Boy that’s a long flight…


  • gaurav

    Where I am for 3 years,
    Actually I am running blogs from 3 years and have not seen Writing someone so perfectly.
    The only blig I read before is Brian dean blog backlinko.
    but you are writing in a very nice way and
    you make it more easy for me to blog.

    And I come to your blog from Google.
    and you do not believe but the search term is really funny for a 3 year experience holder. the tem is “how to blog”.

    finally found something highly quality full and targeted.

    the headings you have used are awesome.
    I have not read so many articles earlier but today it is.
    thanks for blogging like this


  • Dewald

    Hi there. I have an interesting question regarding blogging while traveling.

    Do you think it is possible to blog on your mobile tablet or thablet while you are traveling or is it best to take your laptop everywhere? I personally love the idea of being able to blog on my mobile while I am not in the office. I think you can use tools like ever note to make things easier.


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