Coming in from clearing the snow off the driveway for the umpteenth time last winter, my husband, face red and numb from the cold, announced “We’re going somewhere warm next year. No more Midwest winters.”
Now I don’t usually take too kindly to being told what to do, but this was one time I couldn’t argue. After six decades of cold, snowy Chicago winters, I’m ready for a reprieve. So next week we’re hitting the road, driving to the Southwest for two months in the sun.
Until a couple of years ago, we couldn’t just pick up and leave home for weeks at a time. Although my husband had a work-from-home job, I was saddled in an office cubicle. But since I started my travel blog, my life couldn’t be more flexible. I still work hard, but I choose my hours and work from anywhere I please.
In fact, I’ll be working during our road trip to the Southwest, taking photographs of places we stop and posting them on social media sites like Instagram. I’ll take notes, too, for blog posts and travel stories I’ll write later. And when we get to the short-term apartment we rented in Arizona, I’ll set up my temporary home office.
If I feel the urge to take a day trip to the Grand Canyon, I’ll adjust my schedule and do it. Day trips will technically be considered work, too, because I’ll be researching another article. Yet it’s hard to think of fun things like exploring a national park as work.
The same holds true for dining in restaurants. Take a few photographs before I indulge in a meal, write an article later, and my work is finished.
Travel blogging is flexible like that. I can write about any aspect of travel. In fact, blogging is so flexible that even though my blog focuses on the Midwest, I simply added a menu option to my website called “Beyond the Midwest” where I post articles about any other places in the country—or around the world—that I travel to.
In fact, even preparing for our Southwest winter escape is becoming a topic to write about. Leaving home for two months has taken a lot of preparation—making sure our house is in order, finding a decent place to stay that won’t drain the bank account, and figuring out what to do about mail delivery, for starters. I’m taking notes on all of that, which I’ll compile into an e-book about long-term travel. And then I’ll sell the e-book on my blog.
A few other ways you’ll find flexibility in blogging are:
1. If you need to take a little time off, you can write blog posts ahead of time and schedule them to automatically publish at a later date. Facebook and Twitter posts can be scheduled ahead of time, as well.
2. You don’t have to limit your blog strictly to articles punctuated with a few photos. You can vary what you publish, perhaps a photo journal or a video.
3. Besides writing articles, you can easily sell travel-related items through affiliate programs or publish product reviews that some companies will pay you to write.