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Blogging in Wanderland: It’s not easy being green.

Blogging in Wanderland: It's not easy being green. ~ A Blue Pearl
Blogging in Wanderland: It’s not easy being green.

Oh the life of a newbie travel blogger.

It’s like the dream where you show up to school/work/a meet-the-parents-dinner totally naked. That’s how I feel every time I post something. On anything, the blog, Instagram, Pintrest. I haven’t even done the Twitter thing yet. I mean, what is this Twitter thing? Besides where I pretend I’m Anna Kendrick’s best friend. (Any day now, she’ll call. I know she will.)

anna kendrick

But here’s a weird thing:

I kinda like the fear. It’s like smashing the spider on your wall instead of just leaving the room for an hour. Or even better, staring it down until if poofs out of existence.

There are things to learn though, so many things that hurt my brain. Most of these are tech-y. Some are social media related. And those are the ones I want to talk about now.

I am not a social media person. Heck, I’m not a social person. My dad learned early not to ground me from the phone as this was more of a reward than a punishment. Now grounding me from television…

old phone
What am I supposed to do with this new-fangled thing?

If not for the blog, I’d only be on Facebook and I just started that a couple of years ago. I do go on it daily but I’ve only posted to it about five times. I have these sensitivities, like not pissing off my liberal friends by posting certain things. Actually it’s my conservative friends I don’t want to upset as the liberal stuff is the stuff I want to share most.

It’s not even the crazier things like letting people pee where they’re comfortable or using less fossil fuels. I want to share things about saving whales and changing the rape culture. (Though I’ll like the heck out of any cute fur-baby doing cute things. Or getting rescued. Bathed. Sleeping, I’m not picky.)

But then I get called a whale-loving libetard and maybe unfriended. How rude, dude.

Of course this is different with a personal brand. (Sort of, I say plenty of things on this space of mine.) The biggest difference?

Vying for popularity.

I hate it, I hated it in high school, I hated it in my twenties, and I hate it now that I know it will always be this way. Because we are ever stuck in high school. I don’t care that I only have twelve FB friends. In fact I prefer it as those twelve load my feed more than I can handle. I feel like I can’t miss anything, like it’ll be mean or something, so I will scroll until I get to yesterday’s news and some days I lose hours. HOURS!

So fewer friends is a good thing, even a running joke with my IRL friends. Now I’m not saying I don’t want to be liked (definitely no pun intended) but I do not care to work at having people like me. Or look up to me. Or want to be me. But with the blog, I need friends, followers, people who give at least one poo, preferably two. But I do want some success. Or, at this point, an inkling that there might be success. Is this a lack of confidence talking or an urge for a reality check?

Funny thing? It doesn’t matter. I want to travel and this gives me a damn good excuse to do so. So if I travel to places that make people jealous… Light. Bulb.

So this is my new life as a struggling travel blogger.

Though some things are just laughable. Like comparing my two-month old travel blog (with one, count it, ONE trip taken) to those who have been doing this for years. Though, speaking of comparisons, there are teens out there with crazy followings, like 40K on Instagram. How?

Why?

Back to the how. As a rookie blogger I constantly research things like “increasing traffic”, “social media reach”, anything SEO-adjacent. (F* SEO, by the way. It’s like having the right brand of jeans in high school. And not just brand, but style and color and size. Cruel, cruel world.) Anyhow, I read established blogs for advice and it’s comical how much it doesn’t relate to me. One of my favorite travel bloggers was talking about Instagram. She said, “I just couldn’t get over 800 likes and wondered what was wrong with me?!” I thought, or probably scoffed aloud, “I think my record is eight likes.”

I guess I’ll go eat worms.

But seriously it takes work to get liked. Getting followed? That takes magic.

That same blogger (Liz Carlson, AKA Young Adventuress: she’s awesome and funny and keeps it real so I’ll just be honest about who I’m talking about) went on to tell a story about someone liking twenty pictures of hers and but not following, like this was a big faux pas. “That’s not how this works” is the quote, I believe.

If she hadn’t said that, I would have no idea that wasn’t how this works.

I still don’t know what’s wrong with that. There’s a little glow when a stranger likes a thing you did, however fleeting and futile. Though I get that it’s the follows that build your brand. It’s the number, and the ratio to your follows that make you look suave. Professional.

Like you’ve made it.

And I have to admit, a follow ting gives me a glowier glow than a like chime. And now that I’ve been insta-gaming for a bit, I get it. Just follow, yo.

instagram
Seriously whoever came up with the idea for Instagram should get into cancer research or something. Congressional reform…

Other Insta-gripes:

  1. That old Follow Game. You know, where someone follows you and if you don’t follow back within an hour or two they unfollow you. Pardon me for working for a living dude. I at least give it a day or two. Then if they make it clear they’re too good for me, I’m out. It’s not personal, I just gotta keep that ratio… Ah, high school.
  2. The subversive unfollow… They follow, like a couple things, you follow, like a couple things and then a few days later you realize someone’s missing. Little scamps.
  3. Like-flirting. Where they keep liking your stuff and you return that favor but you wait for them to follow you first because you’ve been burned before. You’re not getting this milk for free, buddy.
  4. Hashtags are tricky buggers. I use ’em, and it’s totally true they increase your exposure. Some say thirty is the magic number. Seems needy. And how many synonyms for hiking-is-fun can there be? Also I thought it was cool when I first started using Instagram that you could start a #, say #wildfl… and it would bring up a bunch of likely choices. Then I learned that you should check out the hashtag to make sure it’s not, you know, dirty. I’m still afraid to use #—porn anything. Wouldn’t want to taint my brand, guys. People are [not] watching.
  5. Popularity is awesome until you take a selfie at Auschwitz. #whoopsie. Here’s the thing about that: when I was a kid and we’d visit old Civil or Revolutionary War forts and battlefields, the parents would force my sis and I into taking a pic. I realize Fort McHenry is not a place of attempted genocide, but I feel like if we had visited a concentration camp, the same pic would have been forced. And it’s not like we were the only ones. A picture is a way to memorialize something. I hate to be in pictures so this mistake will not be mine but why exactly is it bad? Just don’t put two thumbs up.

Pintrest Problems:

  1. What the heck is this good for, except losing more hours than with Netflix? Though, I’ve found I can do both at once.
  2. Is this a reverse helpful thing, like you have to have followers who pin your crap and then more people will find you and pin your crap? Or do you just pin your own crap and pray?
  3. If it is a chicken or egg thing, what if you do not have the chickens or the eggs?
  4. Do you have to know how to code to get a “Pin it” button? I say no, then I read a tutorial on it, freak out, and go watch Netflix. Sans Pintrest.
pintrest travel blogger
Yep. That’s my board. And it’s the MLB that I follow. Don’t know how that happened.

Twitter Tirade:

This seems like where I would find out I’m racist or otherwise bigoted. Or where I find out I’m not funny at all. Maybe where people tell me to jump off a cliff.

Goodbye cruel, cruel world.

Don’t worry, I’m not suicidal. Also I am not disparaging the depressed among us. (Pardon, those with depression. See I can be PC too; I know what’s up.) But I don’t like bullies, I don’t like trolls and I don’t really want to put myself in a position to deal with them. They are dumb and should find religion. (See how I went nonviolent there?)

Floundering on Facebook:

facebook
Since I now post on this page, my personal page is gonna get no love. And it was already pretty neglected.

As I said, I’m not a spend time on social media type of person. But Facebook is established and businesses use it all the time to advertise and network. And, surprisingly, that’s the page that is bringing the most amount of peeps to the blog. I assume this is the way FB lets people search through tags. Cool, but how do I get them to like my page? I don’t want to say “like my page” as it seems desperate.

But desperate times… No but really, I think before I go that route I will take at least one more trip. I still have to play the popularity game, reach out to friends, create a paid ad, make sure I post on the friggin’ thing.

Also I don’t know what’s proper to use when, like videos and hashtags. Hashtags are everywhere but I still don’t really get them. Are they social media ubiquitous?

hashtags

Getting Google +:

Nobody cares. Even I know that.

YouTube Blues:

I know vlogging is the new black but if I don’t even like taking pictures why would I like taking a video? And traveling while filming seems like a great way to miss a whole lot of stuff. So no YouTube for me.

Sorry Snapchat.

There’s a trend here, cuz of the picture thing.

This guy’s sadder than the crying Jordan.

Exhausting I tell you. It’s easier to just not go to any parties than to stay in the loop on the off chance you want to go to one some day. (Once an introvert, always a flake. There’s a brand for you.)

General stuff:

  1. How do you use the @johncsmith bidness? Like, can’t you just call a spade a spade? (Related, was that racist?) Does it help that person/business if you use the @? Is this like tagging? Or maybe not…
  2. When do I need to resort to sacrificing small animals to get follows? Do piñata effigies count?
  3. Where are the archives for these established bloggers early days? You know, when there was only one or two trips taken and they were learning the lessons? I get that a lot of these people took a year off and traveled the world, blogging about it for friends/family and then thought, hey! I’ll just keep on keeping on especially since these random companies want to pay me to do this. But…all of them?
  4. Email solicitations are like a door-to-door vacuum salesmen. Nobody likes them but…what was my point? Right! Subscribe to my blog, dudes!

I feel a bit better. There are necessary evils and there are needful things. Instagram is of the first, begging is of the latter. Actually, I like IG a lot and may be developing an addiction. And the day I get 800 likes on a pic will be a day I celebrate not bemoan my loser-ness. Really, the day I get a hundred likes will be a day for champagne. But like, Andre not Kristal. I’ll never have Kristal.

I’d so take a picture of the bottle though.

What is fun about all this?

So much!!

  1. The traveling, even when it’s just a couple of hours down south for a hiking jaunt. I get alone time, which I love, and exercise. Fresh air. Lovely views. New memories. Even if there are gross bugs involved
    hit the road
    Hit the road, Bex.
  2. The picture-taking. I won’t go so far as to call it photography yet but I may be on the right track. And this is coming from someone who cut off the heads of her entire family when taking a pic at Epcot.
    wichita mountains
    This isn’t even enhanced.
  3. Looking forward to what’s next. For instance, I’m going west next month and doing a couple of things I have never tried and checking (baring rain…) a thing of my bucket list. In August, I’m hitting BC and kayaking around that famous bay and in October? Freaking Ireland! Ireland!
  4. Tangential to the last: time off work. Oh how I hate work. I’m not saying I need this blog to turn into a money-maker so I can quit but I do think it will force me to use the job as a means to travel more. I can really only do this by living with my parents for the foreseeable future but that’s not so bad. And they take care of my pets for free! (Thanks, thanks, and THANKS Mom and Dad!!)

So in a nutshell, it’s all good. I haven’t learned patience in my 36 years on this planet so maybe it’s time to start practicing that. And heck, if I do end up with some followers/subscribers/likers then here’s a resource for a rookie travel blogger in the future.

You’re welcome.

Are you addicted to social media? Have an Instagram account you want to grow? Want to follow me for a follow?! No but really…

 

Written by

My name’s Becke and this is my blog about life, travel and making a difference out there. I talk about the stuff we aren't supposed to talk about and about the stuff we all want. Having made a mess of my life (pretty much so far) I decided to turn things around, document a bit for posterity. Because posterity will surely care.

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  • Pretty flowers found in Stanley Park. Don't know what they aware but they're lovely. .
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#travelshot #prettyflowers #stanleypark #flowerstagram #travel #vancouver #canada #pnw #canadatravel #canada150 #vancouverbc
  • Beacon Hill Park should be the archetype for city parks everywhere. Quiet spaces, wildlife and an ocean view at the end of the trail. Props, Victoria. Props. .
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#beaconhill #victoriabc #canada #getoutdoors #bridges #beautifuldestination #cityparks  #vancouverisland #travel #quietspace #beaconhillpark
  • These dudes were my favorite thing in Granville Island. I think it's a cement factory but whatever it is, they got spunk. And cheek. .
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  • The view from Beacon Hill Park in Victoria. Love this place. Playgrounds, ocean views and peacocks. Yes, peacocks. And the waterfront has a huge off-leash area for dogs. Made me miss my pup like crazy! .
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  • In the ferry's wake... I do love the open seas. .
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  • The crescent moon winks as the sun sets on the water. Love the west coast. Night-night Vancouver. .
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  • Found out you can anchor here in False Creek for two weeks, no rent required. Putz around town then head out to sea, rinse and repeat. Now I just need the boat...
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  • Oh you know, just a Classical Chinese Garden in the middle of the big city. Dr Sun Yat-Sen's urban zen did not disappoint. Loving Vancouver. .
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