It all started late one night, “I can’t do this anymore!” after blogging for 20 hours a day for a week to build Two Monkeys Travel. I’m not a writer, and I’ve never dreamt of being one but I always have lots of different ideas that I want to do – I’m a planner. Jonathan loves his privacy and isn’t into posting about himself online, but he compromised a lot when I persuaded him to start the blog and help me with my grammar. Related Article: Career or Travel, why not both?
“This blog is ruining us, it’s either we do something to change it or just shut it down” – This is what Jonathan told me after I had an anxiety attack reading comments and messages from “haters.” Our life would be quieter, and we had other means to support ourselves, but I still didn’t want to shut it down. We had invested money, done a lot of work and had a lot of readers messaging us daily thanking us for helping them. We had also been able to travel a lot more, thanks for the blog. Related Article: How to Start a Travel Blog and Earn Money in 6 Months
When we first started on Blogger about a year and a half ago, my only goal was to get discounts in hotels while we were traveling in India, but with such a shallow motivations we soon abandoned it. To help us with our long term travel lifestyle, we had different sources of income – we had invested in our massage business, and certification and Jonathan were paid good money teaching English. However, when we started learning that blogging could help you earn money, we got curious. We studied on how to start a travel blog for a month, we designed a business plan, and we invested money in it.
It was ok, my marketing and networking background helped us to reach an audience and get articles published in other websites and magazines while Jonathan started to write more articles for the blog. The blog grew from nothing to 150K page views per month, and I started receiving a lot of questions. Some questions I couldn’t even answer because I had never been to those places, though I’ve traveled to more than 35 countries and been living abroad for six years now. However, I promised myself that all questions would be answered. Aside from the increase in inquiries, we had many more opportunities to travel, including some places we couldn’t even go because we had already planned our travel itinerary. I also started receiving messages from fellow bloggers asking me to feature them on our blog, for interviews and guest posts. I rarely say no, because I will never forget that time when a fellow blogger refused to accept my guest post when we were just starting out.
This was when we started to think that the only way to maintain this website would be by working with a team. I started hiring people in February to April, invested some money on help, and there were a few bloggers who interned on our blog, but it’s hard to get someone else’s help if they have hidden agenda. So I cut everyone and started a new group with the ethos that all of the people who want to work with us would benefit and most of all, they would truly enjoy it. We have a writer who went on an all-expenses paid, luxury trip to Budapest and Iceland, another had an all-expenses paid press trip in Indonesia, and much more including staycation in hotels, tours, travel gear and products to review, all in exchange for writing articles about doing what they love – traveling
Well, I think it’s all doing pretty well now, we have an amazing group of writers, all enjoying travel perks for doing something they love, we still have the blog that we built from scratch and we have more inspiring content to share with our readers that we hope will help them with their life and travel plans. It’s a win-win! I know there are people who have ghost writers to write for them, but Jonathan and I want people to get the credit they deserve for the work they do, thus now all of our writers have their own Author’s bio on Two Monkeys Travel Group website.
Now, I do not have anxiety attacks from being stressed out maintaining a blog, the real hard work is behind us, and we can enjoy the fruits of our labor. We’re working normal hours now, instead of 16 hours per day. We have a team of amazing people who love what they’re doing and are growing with us. Jonathan and I will continue to work on the site, but also go back to our real passion – our old travel style – Yoga and Meditation every day and Ayurveda! And oh, we’re starting to plan our WEDDING next year! Busy busy!
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