Hey guys, if you haven’t read the rest of this series, I suggest you do that first before you read these tips. 

Now for some last lits bits of advice….

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Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate-

Yeap, in the words of the lovely T-Swift, “haters gonna hate.” And you know what? Ain’t nobody got time for that. Seriously though, not all hate is bad. Sometimes I hear things that get me down, but then I realize, “Eh, they are actually kind of right. That would actually be a better way of doing something. Good tip!” However, there is for sure a difference between criticism and hate.

Story Time: I had a wonderful guest blogger submit an article to me about her time in another country. It was a well written article and I personally found it extremely informative. Then, I got two comments in a row on that article from two fledgling bloggers who I had actually previously met (they were partners) who completely bashed this girl and her experiences. Sorry, but just no! Usually I publish comments even if they are negative, but typically they are directed at me and I can handle it. To attack someone that took the time and effort to share info in an attempt to help others…well….I won’t stand for that.

Every person’s experience abroad is different and to say that she was wrong about how much money you need to live in this particular country and to say her article was badly written in many not so nice words…grrr….it pissed me off! I am happy to hear you disagree but you can state this nicely by saying, “In my experience, I needed more money to live comfortably.” I stewed over the whole thing for awhile trying to decide how to approach it, and in the end I just deleted the comments and let it be. I don’t know if that was necessarily the best approach, but oh well! I thought about asking the offenders if they wanted to write their own guide to the country and explaining that ever person has a different experience, but I decided I didn’t actually want their writing on my site.

Anyway, the point of this is that you can’t take the hate to heart. Some people aren’t very nice and that’s just a fact of life. Don’t let it get to you. I like to live in my happy sunny bubble, so I just ignore it.

 

There’s no such thing as competition-

Along the same lines as the previous point, I don’t believe in competition. Unless of course you are legit in a competition for something, then yes, competition is legit, and I will try to kick your a**. Watch out! 🙂

I know, I’m filled with the weird business advice. A few articles earlier in this series I said I don’t believe in market research and now I’m telling you I don’t believe in competition. Basically I’m a major contradiction from every business book you’ve ever read, but hear me out.

I don’t believe in competition because I think the blogging industry is filled with other amazing people who are just trying to make it. In my opinion, that makes us all a team more than anything. 

Also, as an expat blogger you really don’t have competition. Maybe there are a few other bloggers out there who blog about life in whatever country you are living in, but I’m pretty sure they will have a different approach, background, and niche than you. Instead, I choose to try to learn from other bloggers and pass on what I know to. In fact, that is exactly the goal of this series. I’m not holding anything back here, because I want to help others to have an easier time breaking into this industry. By being kind, inspiring, helpful, and motivating to other bloggers you will not only grow a greater following, learn a lot, but also build fab friendships. What more could you want?

Instead, I choose to try to learn tips from other bloggers and pass on what I know to. In fact, that is exactly the goal of this series. I’m not holding anything back here, because I want to help others to have an easier time breaking into this industry. By being kind, inspiring, helpful, and motivating to other bloggers you will not only grow a greater following, learn a lot, but also build fab friendships. What more could you want?

Which brings me to our next point.

 

Make blogging buddies-

Blogging buds are everything. I mean jeez I love my friends and fam, but when I try to talk to them about how I spent six hours making graphics on Canva only to realize I f*cked em all up, they just look at me like I’m cray cray. When I talk to my blogging buds about that, they can totes sympathize and provide some good tips to prevent that problem in the future. Sometimes blogging is completely emotionally draining guys. You need buds to help you get through it. Also, your blogging buds will likely be your biggest supporters and will share your content like it’s their second job. Blogging buds are life. Get some!

Hey! I’m a friendly blogger and would love to be your buddy. Message me! Let’s be friends….I mean that in a totally non-creepy way BTW.

Sometimes blogging will make you feel like this. Buds can help 🙂

 

Not everyone is going to get it

So, let’s talk about some of the things my real life friends and family have said to me over the past year about my blog. Like friends and family who know me very well.

“That’s a cute hobby.”

No! It’s not a “cute hobby”! It’s freakin hard work that I’ve devoted my life too. I work like 12 hours a day, even on weekend. Yes, I love it and I’m not complaining, but it is definitely not a “cute hobby”. Maybe I wasn’t making any money in the beginning, but jeez ppl!

“Oh you make money with that? That’s nice, but don’t you think you should get a real job?”

No! I’m building something I’m extremely proud of and honestly it will look damn good on a resume someday. I don’t want to work for anyone. I’m just fine on my own thank you very much.”

“So you like write about trips you take right?”

No! That is totally not what The Wanderlanders is about and the fact that you even think that considering how much I’ve talked to you about it is just downright sad.

OK, rant over. Point is, people are not always going to get what you are doing. I find this is especially true with older generations that don’t really get the whole online influencer thangggg. So, you have to just roll with it and try to not let it bother you. Clearly this is something I’m still working on. I’m a work-in-progress, people!

 

Change is good-

Over time your approach to your blog is going to change. I mean, you have no idea the amount of layouts I’ve had on The Wanderlanders. I’m notorious for falling in love with some new blog and thinking, “Ohhhh I totally need to change my whole site to look as cute and amazing as this site.” Point is, as you grow and learn more about blogging your focus, articles, layout etc will change. Let that happen. It’s a good thing. Just don’t change your brand on a constant basis, or your followers will be confused and leave.

 

Be on brand-

I’m one giant contradiction today, aren’t I? First I say change is good and now I say to be on brand. You can change aspects of your site and style, but your brand needs to somewhat consistent. So, for example The Wanderlanders brand is focused on bringing Millennials the best info on life abroad. We (attempt) to be young, kind, genuine, and informative. I want The Wanderlanders to be about a lifestyle. Anyway, that is my brand so, when I’m approached by companies to write articles about retiring abroad, I turn them down. Even when they offer me a nice chunk of change. That is not on brand and I want to keep my site in my tiny niche focus. You should do the same. If you are all over the place in your focus, it’s not going to work.  

Trust me, I sometimes would love to share a really great recipe, concert experience, etc but they have nothing to do with this brand so I refrain.

 

Treat this like a biz-

When I started this site I read a ton of articles preaching tips that you need to love blogging and not to start this with the intent of making any money. It kind of made me feel bad about myself because I really did want to make money. Anyway, eventually I read an article (which I so regret not saving because it would be great to pass it on to you) in which some lovely blogger said that she thinks you should definitely blog with the intent of making money because that way you will stay motivated. Amen to her! I totally agree.

Yes, you should enjoy running your blog for sure. Also, trust me, you won’t always enjoy it. Sometimes you’ll want to give it up completely, but when you think of it as a business you will be less inclined to do so. By thinking of The Wanderlanders as a biz, even on the worst days, I think, “this is my source of income and I’m really freaking lucky that I have been able to build such a cool source of income, so I better stick with it.”….and I do. Even if you are not making money at first (which you probably won’t be) tink of it as a possible eventual source of income and you’ll probably follow through.

Anyway, we have come to the end of this Expat Blog Success series. I really hope you took some good info away from this. Also, please, please leave me some comments or send me an email if you have questions, want to contribute a post, want to be featured in the Expat Blog Directory, or want to be blogging buds.

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Sarah
Creator of The Wanderlanders | Lives in Costa Rica | Folk music lover | Travel addict | Craft beer snob

3 COMMENTS

  1. Great series, and good work as always. My wife and I just started blogging about our life abroad and this is all great advice. I think you nailed it regarding the “no such thing as competition,” bit. Creating a community of common interest where great ideas can be exchanged and people are able to learn or connect is a nobler goal.

    Of course, I have no commercial expectations of anything I write, but I believe that the more you foster conversation on a subject the more opportunities will come along to everyone in the biz.

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