As of writing this I have been travelling for the last 6.5 months and during that time I have pretty much been posting 3-4 blogs a week and 2-3 vlogs a week produced from every place I have visited whether that’s a City, Beach, Island or Town. And doing social media on top of that!
It has taken a lot of dedication to stay up to date and not get behind on the blogs and videos and in all honesty, there haven’t been many times in the last 6 months where I’ve had a huge backlog to do. (Although that doesn’t mean I don’t have a long list of things to do!)
I know it may seem easy, surely you all have the time in the world to blog when you travel?
Well, that’s kinda what I thought too, and when I gave myself longer in places in India it wasn’t as hard but I moved around Turkey and Lebanon at the start of my trip quickly, I moved around South India quickly. Recently I have been travelling very fast around Taiwan and Japan going somewhere new every 2-3 days and alongside resting and sleeping this doesn’t leave much time to work, to be honest.
However, over the last few months, I’ve created some blogging processes that really help me be productive when I travel so I can keep up to date with social media, my blog and YouTube channel and do not get behind.
So I thought I’d share my general process and schedule I’ve been working to with you, to help you work more productively and efficiently when travelling too.
This does not need to be on a big trip like me either. If you work full time I know it’s hard to get content up quickly after a trip so you may have some ‘ah-ha’ moments from the below to help with this too!
(I’m also writing this for my own use so I remember how to be productive and why I should be!)
Balancing Content Creation and Travelling!
Let’s say I’ve just arrived into a new place late afternoon ready to fully explore the next day, here’s how I’ll balance travelling, social media and content creation:
I’ll make sure my Camera Batteries are charged. I use a Canon M50 eos (and a Canon G7X now and again) and I have 3 batteries for my Canon M50. I get through at least 2 batteries a day, usually nearly 3 so these need to be charged!
Not long after I got the camera I purchased a new USB charger so I can change 2 batteries at a time via USB / Battery Pack which is much more helpful than the standard Canon Charger that goes in the wall and only charges one at a time!
Check social media and my emails. Most of the time I do not push myself to go out exploring really early so if I have a work station in my room or in a common area I’ll do an hour or so of editing a blog or vlog in the morning, not always though.
During the Day Exploring
Of course whilst I’m out exploring, I am taking photos on my camera, taking the odd few photos and videos on my phone for Instagram Stories, I’m also filming the vlog.
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I usually add information to a notes page on my phone throughout the day. Important information like costs, transport, key facts that I’ll want to add into a blog post.
On this note, I usually know what kind of blog post I’ll write which helps me take photos in the right place and gather the right information. I focus very much on informational posts on my blog and SEO friendly posts to gain traffic and help answer people’s questions so I like to gather all the practical travel information.
If I have a local SIM and internet I like to post Instagram Stories in live time throughout the day so it’s not ‘another thing to do later’, if I don’t then I’ll draft them up, for example, if I fancy using the Unfold templates I’ll make these so they’re ready to geotag and upload straight away when I do have internet.
I like to do this in dead time, for example on transport or in queues, or when I just fancy a sit down in a park or something, then, I can sit down and be productive!
Later in the Day
Once I have pretty much finished my day I firstly transfer the photos from my Camera to Phone using the inbuilt WIFI, again dead time like the train back to my accommodation is a good time to do this. I transfer photos that I’ll want to share on my social media, blog post and use on my YouTube thumbnail.
Then I’ll edit the photos in Lightroom on my phone, I have created some presets in Lightroom so I essentially edit most of the photos in one click of the preset.
When I have internet I’ll schedule social media posts. I really like the interaction and community on Twitter so I always schedule a tweet sharing 4 of the edited photos and a caption of what I’ve done using Buffer. To help myself stay ahead of time I usually schedule this for the following day rather than the day of, and because of the time difference I schedule it for the afternoon UK time so it goes out when I’m in bed!
I don’t really like Facebook these days and don’t get much engagement (apart from my Mum & Dad) but every few days I schedule a Facebook post using Facebook’s’ scheduler with an update and some photos.
I also add the Instagram photos that I want to share into the drafts section, sometimes I write the captions right then, it depends how inspired I’m feeling, otherwise I leave it. I usually post photos a day or two late on my Instagram feed and I have to wait until later in the evening to post so the UK is awake!
Sometimes I can do all of the above in dead time on a train or waiting for a train, or during dinner which is where I get a lot of phone stuff done.
On this note I take my battery pack out with me most days as when I have internet I drain my battery in a few hours, this way I can keep using my phone all day!
When I get back to my hotel / hostel the laptop fun starts!
I transfer the photos and videos from the memory card to my hard drive.
I airdrop all the edited photos from my phone to my laptop ready to upload to WordPress to use on my blog, and to use on Canva for my Pinterest Pins and YouTube Thumbnails.
This is something I’ve only recently started to do and it’s a huge time saver! I used to edit photos for social media on my phone and the other blog photos on my laptop but this way I don’t edit many photos on my laptop at all and it saves me so much time as I find it much quicker using Lightroom on my phone which is why I transfer so many photos from my camera to my phone earlier in the day.
This is what takes most of my dedication – I try my very hardest to start writing the blog post for where I am / what I’ve done, that evening whilst it’s still fresh in my mind using the notes I’ve been making during the day. I don’t push myself to finish the post but having a good draft version makes my future self happy, and I find I write much quicker when it’s fresh and exciting so even when I’m tired I know it’s worth it. I really hate writing about a place 3 places ago for example, and it takes me so much longer!
Usually, in the evening I’ll have a vlog I have edited that needs uploading when the WIFI is good and a blog post that needs finishing off in terms of adding links when I have internet and making sure I have my keywords in using Keysearch and once that’s done I’ll schedule it and make Pinterest pins.
(Soo much goes into each blog post doesn’t it!)
In terms of actually finishing the blog post and editing the video, I plan ahead, usually, if I’ve had a full-on day exploring I won’t do as much the following or day so I can sit at my laptop for a good few hours, or the following day will be a travel day and depending on the type of travel, travel days can often be really productive (I’m writing this in draft on a train to Tokyo for example).
I like to edit my vlogs whilst on transport so if I know I’m going on a train, bus (although editing on a bus is usually much harder!) or plane (not that I fly that often) the next day or day after, I load the footage into iMovie so it’s ready and then I leave it to edit on the journey.
If I’m being super productive and have time I’ll write the YouTube title and description in my notes on my laptop so when I have internet it’s fully ready to upload and I only need to make the thumbnail which I use Canva for.
I also find travel days good for writing blogs like this as I don’t need the internet to do any research and I can just type with no / little distractions.
And finally, before I go to bed I make sure my Camera Batteries are all charged again for the next day!
My Biggest Tips
My biggest tip and what I’ve really found to work for me is doing what I fancy!
I always have something to do whether it’s writing a blog post on where I am/have just been, whether it’s a random blog post that’s been on my mind to write, a vlog to edit, a sit-down video to edit that I filmed a while ago and haven’t edited yet, my newsletter to draft, an email to draft, social media captions to type. It’s literally never ever ending!
If I don’t fancy writing, I’ll edit a video, and I find once I start doing this and doing what I like I get into a good flow and then I’m ok to start the other thing.
For example, I’m on a train right now, I said to myself I wanted to edit a video on the train but this post has been pouring out of me so why not write it now as I’ll write it much quicker this way!
The other thing is not pushing myself too much which I know may not sound right seen as I am publishing a blog every other day and 2-3 vlogs a week, but in Japan, for example, I’ve made a rule for myself not to write a blog post about everywhere as it will take up too much time.
Instead, I’m trying to be clever with what I write about, to write a post that I was looking for when searching. This is hard as my natural instinct is to want to share what I’ve done everywhere (that’s the reason I started this blog) but realistically and after doing this for 4 months in India, I know I just do not have the time and it makes me feel stressed and right now my blog is not worth getting stressed over.
I never stay up crazy late just to work as I know it’ll catch up with me the next day, I’ll feel tired and unmotivated and then I won’t want to do anything which is not productive in the long run.
I also try to get my own room where possible and not stay in a dorm so I can work whenever I want. I’ve really struggled to stay in dorms because you end up going to sleep much later and by everyone else’s clock, I like going to bed earlier and getting up earlier, but in Countries like Japan that hasn’t been possible.
Finally, optimising dead time! We should all be focusing on this to make us more efficient no matter what we’re doing because we do have so much dead time when we’re waiting for something, in a queue, on a journey and a lot can be done in that time, especially when you have an internet connection!
I hope this helps you get an understanding of what I’ve been doing and gives you a few golden nuggets of ways you can be more productive when you’re travelling and creating content at the time time, whether that’s on a long backpacking trip or on a weekend trip when you know you have to go into work the next week and won’t have any time to do anything!
- For more of my posts on Blogging that you may like, see:
- How to Manifest What You Want From Your Blog!
- The Positives of being a Travel Blogger who Works Full Time.
- 10 Real and Honest Ways That I Have Tripled my Page Views in Less than One Year!
Wednesday 6th of May 2020
Thank you very much for your feedback.
Friday 1st of May 2020
Hi Ellie, I've found your posts about blogging on Twitter. I was always wondering how travel bloggers can produce so much content while traveling. I actually started to write a comment here and realized it was too long. One page in Word. So, I deleted it from here. I'll just ask two things.
In the past 2 years, I have traveled a lot and I am lagging behind with content creation. What I'm doing right now is optimizing and making my current blog posts better. I just started doing SEO and backlink swap. Once I'm done with the improvement of my existing 50, I'll write more blogs. I plan 55 new blog posts. It's all written down in my yearly plan. What do you think about this strategy?
My second question is when you publish 4 blogs a week, do you do all the work for yourself? I mean do you do all the SEO by yourself? I feel so slow compared to you because I cannot post so many blogs even if I'm home all day.
Wednesday 6th of May 2020
Hello, Thank you for coming over to my blog from twitter!
Your idea of updating 50 sounds perfect to me, it is so important to go back and update old posts, firstly to update the information but also as time goes on we learn more and need to implement it on our older posts, especially the SEO that we learn, I'm always doing that!
Yes I do all of my blog posts myself but my posting schedule changes so much, I used to post regularly once a week and I did that when I worked a full-time job on top of blogging, it meant I could write a few blog posts in one go and then work on other things or chill out, but now I do it full time sometimes I post 4 times a week, sometimes I don't post for 4 weeks!
I do think regular posting is key especially as you grow your blog but 4 times a week all the time is a lot! I'd suggest 1 or 2 posts a week and if you get ahead of that, schedule them so you have some weeks with no pressure! I hope that helps and keep going :)
Thursday 30th of May 2019
This was super helpful! I'm just getting into the whole blogging thing - I'm still working full time and organising content like blog posts etc, plus figuring things out for the first time AND doing a bit of freelancing on the side, so my time management is being challenged every day! I have a loose schedule I try and stick to, but your point about doing what you fancy is SO important! If I've planned to write one blog post, but a different idea comes to mind that I'm excited about, it's way better to go with what you're passionate about in the moment! I hope travel blogging and maintaining my insta never feels like work, but we'll see! Keep up the amazing work! xx
Thursday 30th of May 2019
Hello, I'm so glad you found this interesting! It sounds like you have a lot on but you're making the right steps. Doing what you fancy is such a good way of getting motivated and I find once I've started and into it I can the move onto what I did't want to do. Right now I can't be bothered to edit videos but it's ok as I have lots of blog posts to write so for now I'm doing that. Thank you, keep it up too! :)
Abbi @ Spin the Windrose
Friday 12th of April 2019
Ellie, I don’t know how you do it! (Well I do, because I’ve just read how you do it haha.) I’m absolutely inspired by how hardworking and focused you are. I’m trying to juggle my blog around my job and struggle so much, but seeing you do this (writing a post every other day!? I’m lucky if I get 2 our a month!!) has made me realise there is so much more time in the day I could use more wisely. Great post as always, and I’m loving following your travels!
Friday 12th of April 2019
Haha!! Thank you! I know it’s super hard, I struggled working full time too but I averaged at least 1 a week and mostly 2 but again that was generally from writing them on the way back from a trip or as soon a I could after whilst I was still motivated! And I tend to batch write and schedule them so I could finish 2-3 in a weekend but slowly schedule them so it doesn’t feel like one every other day although often it is. :)
And thank you lovely!! X
Thursday 11th of April 2019
Really helpful tips, and the camera battery thing is so relatable.
Friday 12th of April 2019
Glad you find them helpful and yess, how quickly do camera batteries go!!