The Ugly Truth About Life As A Travel Vlogger

in travel •  5 months ago

Back in college, I was part of a conversation with a group of people. One of the girls in the group played roller derby competitively and somehow we got on that topic. Knowing very little about it, I said something like: Is that where you just skate around in a circle and shove people out of the way?

While the girl's face (appropriately) expressed a bit of annoyance, another guy in the group said to me: Never describe something the with the word "just." He went on, yes, roller derby involves skating around a circle, and involves some shoving. But there's a lot more to it than that. It's a sport that requires a ton of strategy, stamina, and physical strength.

He was right. My comment was ignorant and insulting. I didn't mean it that way but "just" is a powerful word in this context. To this day, that's some of the best advice I've ever received. Never describe something using "just."

What does this have to do with a travel vlog?


People see travel blogs and vlogs and think that the vast majority of peoples' time is mostly just spent experiencing incredible adventures and might involve an hour of work each day.

The truth is, well ... that couldn't be further from the truth.


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It might be the case for a handful of people who have such an enormous following that they get daily offers to be flown to Dubai in first class, test-drive Lamborghinis, and soar through the skies using a winged jetpack. These vloggers not only get these experiences for free, they're very-well-paid to do so.

These few people can afford a full-time staff to do all of the boring stuff for them. But even then, managing a staff is a lot of work in itself.

Let's not forget, this didn't fall into their lap. You can bet they made a lot of sacrifices and worked their tail off for years to get where they're at.

What's it like for us normal folk?


Most travel vloggers earn little to nothing from their work and never will. They have enough savings or a career that allows remote work. They choose to spend their time and money traveling around and sharing some of their experiences.

I'd estimate that only the top 1% earn a full-time income. Of that 1%, most portray it as the perfect life - as if every day consists of sitting on a beach, sipping a margarita, and watching the gorgeous sunsets. They don't do this because they're trying to deceive people, they do this because that's what their viewers want to see.


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I'm here to tell you it's not like that.

If you want to be a part of that 1% who earns a living doing this, every day is going to be non-stop work from the time you wake up until the time you go to sleep.

You'll pull your hair out trying to appease YouTube's algorithms. You'll spend hours and hours every day editing videos, making sure you're keeping the audience's attention throughout. You'll study your retention rates and figure out what makes viewers click out of your videos as well as what makes them stick around. You'll be reading and learning every single day to figure out how to get your videos to rank higher. Every day will be non-stop work. At least for a while.

What goes into shooting a video?


Before making a video, you'll brainstorm some topics and do keyword research to make sure there's enough demand for it. You better also make sure there's not too much competition, otherwise, ranking for those search terms will be a struggle.

Next, is shooting the video. This is the fun part, right?

Shooting the video is the most fun part but it can easily suck the fun out of an otherwise enjoyable activity. Am I facing the right way? How's the lighting? What do I picture the video being like? In what order should I capture the footage? What do I need to say? What will my audience care about? What will keep people engaged?

As you're shooting your footage, you'll be answering dozens of questions like this to try to get the best possible footage. If you don't do these things, you're going to end up with a subpar video or give yourself an editing nightmare.


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You want to have fun while making your videos, otherwise, your dissatisfaction is going to be apparent in the final product. However, if your entire focus is on having fun, your video isn't going to be representative of the experience.

You can still have very enjoyable experiences but it is difficult to find this balance.

Editing a video "The boring part"


Without knowing what goes into video editing, the average person thinks we can get an hour of footage and turn it into a great 10-minute video in a few hours.

Let's take the video we're currently working on as an example. We went on the Herradura Express, which involved a 2-hour train ride, a tour, lunch, tequila tasting, a mariachi/dancing show, and a 1.5-hour train ride back. The total experience was 9.5 hours.

From that 9.5 hours, we got 1 hour and 26 minutes of footage.

To turn this 1.5 hours of footage into an interesting 15-minute video, it looks like it's going to take about 20 hours of editing.

You just need to edit the video but once you get that out of the way, the rest is easy.

If only. It seems like this is what most people think. But after the editing is done, our work is only just beginning.

What more needs to be done?


  • Optimize the video (takes about 45 minutes)
  • Upload the video (takes about an hour but is totally dependent on internet speeds)
  • Do tag research to ensure low competition and high search volume tags
  • Write a YouTube description for SEO purposes
  • Think of some comments that will help get engagement
  • Reply to comments for a few hours to get more engagement
  • Create backlinks to high-authority websites
  • Transcribe the audio for subtitles (takes a couple of hours)
  • Reply to emails, facebook messages, Instagram messages, Patreon messages, etc.
  • Share on social media channels
  • Run A/B tests to determine the best titles, thumbnails, and tags
  • Study analytics to figure out what we're doing right and where we can improve

Doing all of these things, every single day is what has allowed us to grow to more than 10,000 YouTube subscribers in a little over 4 months. It has been stressful and it's been a tremendous amount of work, but at the same time, we've learned a lot and are happy with the progress.


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How do we balance work with life?


Work/life balance is a struggle, to say the least. We've been trying to figure out how to appease the YouTube algorithms while at the same time enjoy our everyday lives. The conclusion that we've come to is that we need to make fewer, but longer videos.

We were putting a lot of stress on ourselves to release a video every single day. So instead of doing that, we're going to try to put out a video approximately every other day.

We think that putting out fewer videos will allow our audience to get the quality, useful content that they're looking for, while at the same time, it will give us the balance that we need in life.

We'll continue looking forward to the day when we have a large enough audience to outsource the boring and time-consuming work. But until then, we'll have to continue with the grind.

Please, "just" don't


Anytime you're describing or asking about something without having personal experience with it, never say it's just this or just that. Any time something seems easy, you can bet your bottom dollar that there's a lot more to it.


Hopefully, this gives you a little bit more insight into what it's like being a travel vlogger.

We get to visit a lot of new places and have so many wonderful experiences. But the truth is, most of our days are spent in front of a computer. We've had some people tell us that they want to do exactly what we're doing - For those of you who feel like this, we hope this post shows you some of the other sides​ of the story.


If you enjoyed this post, follow us @TangerineTravels

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Greetings, Tangerinetravel

Pretty cool your trip saw. I was curious about the photos of the vehicle you used to travel. I don't think there should be any difference to a house. It seems to be big and very comfortable. Of the will not only to travel in it, but also to live hehehe.

A five-star vehicle, let's say. To sleep peacefully in that padded armchair.

Thank you so much for showing us this vehicle, which I thought was pretty cool, how much to talk about the weighting they do between work and personal life.

Thanks for the post.
PS: In the photo you are in the vehicle, it is very beautiful.

Good night!!!

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Great waterfall.

I try to make a video every single and that 5 minute video will need 5 hours of editing just to produce. I hope I can be better and do it in a faster rate. I know the pains of editing that is why I love whta I am seeing in your content. Great job tangeriny. This is "Just" too awesome. 😁😁😁

That is a tonne of work. I only make short and very simple videos myself. But I also don’t upload to YouTube. So for me video making is simple. Plus I have very limited equipment and software which makes things quite easy for me.

Most YouTubers only seem to upload a video once every week or 3 days. Or that’s what I thought at least. Daily videos of your kind must have been a huge challenge.

I’m sure your audience will be happy with longer and higher quality videos. It’s very clear that you put a lot of care and attention into your work.

I’ve seen your videos continually get better over time so you’re obviously learning a lot as you grow your various channels. Keep up the great work!

10,000 done and dusted!. Congratulations guys, and this is not just 10,000. There is a lot of hard work to make this a reality and i can attest to it that you gave everything to this, coupled with your amazing hearts. Well done guys.

There is a lot of hard work and unseen sweat behind all these great videos you put out. There is no just in it. Like you said, if no one has a personal experience about something, don't ever use just, because that is like rendering the efforts and sweat of another person useless. Your videos are great and that is because you put a lot of effort into it. Well done again guys.

I appreciate your job. Greet keep it up @tangerinetravels

As an artist on youtube myself - this is all completely true! Editing can truly take me 15+ hours . Since I upload weekly, I have to plan out my ideas at the beginning of the week, record in the middle of the week then edit the day after and finally upload on Friday - doing all of this prevents burn out but keeps me productive. Thank you for this post, it's very accurate!

Thanks for the tips and realizing what you guys do is a lot of hard work, keep it up guys!

You got a 6.61% upvote from @postpromoter courtesy of @tangerinetravels!

Want to promote your posts too? Check out the Steem Bot Tracker website for more info. If you would like to support the development of @postpromoter and the bot tracker please vote for @yabapmatt for witness!

"We were putting a lot of stress on ourselves to release a video every single day. So instead of doing that, we're going to try to put out a video approximately every other day."

Even that seems like an insane amount of work when you are trying to enjoy your everyday lives. That is comendable dedication to it.

Nice work And keep up the good work.

Nice work And keep up the good work.

Haha so true even for writing articles/blogging or designing. It all takes work. Even if we do freelance work it is still work. 😁

I think if a daily video is not feasible or healthy, you can do two or three a week maybe.

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Exhaustive, but when it is done out of love everything goes well and work is rewarded, it continues like this, they have done it very well. They have found pleasure in the effort and that is the most important

To make your youtube video to rank higher on the search engine you need to do some basic search engine optimization for your video, by using the right keywords and also including the keywords on the video description. Engaging with your audience also matter because that is also part of youtube ranking factors

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Great work repeating a part of the post...

You got a 13.85% upvote from @upme thanks to @tangerinetravels! Send at least 3 SBD or 3 STEEM to get upvote for next round. Delegate STEEM POWER and start earning 100% daily payouts ( no commission ).

Certainly puts everything into perspective. Thanks for opening our eyes to the reality of a vlogging career @tangerinetravels! So many people eye this as a "dream job", thinking it's "just travelling and filming your trips along the way". Often audience like us don't realise the mountain of work it takes to get to where you are. I'm glad that you're enjoying what you're doing despite having to grind. Which is something every kind of passion involves anyway.

Three cheers and looking forward to more content!

I agree the editing video part is really boring and needs more space on your disc.

@tangerinetravels
Just curious who toy watch. I just finished watching Fun for Louie's around the world Cessna flight, that was pretty cool. What else you got?

Sometimes we just believe what we like about the travel blog, I think it's just that.

Another tip for YouTube, is to make videos that people may search for, for example a gear review. I run an adventure lifestyle website and I've found that this helps our YouTube views. Hope that helps. 👍

Subscribed to your YT channel

Nice trips! do you come to Venezuela eventually. Thats very nice. Beautifull Country

i appreciated your point of view is almost right ..

Good luck on your travels

I knew it wasn’t easy but I also didn’t know it was that hard!
And you never really know what your audience will get out of a video. Did you expect anyone would learn about zapateado because of a brief glimpse in your Herradura Express video?!
(Congratulations on passing the 10,000!)

i love the way you are, the way you work and the way to smile, you make a lovely work. i admire you

I found your post very interesting. It seems a lot of work to make a daily video. I have tried to write daily in steemit but sometimes there is not enough time. And I thought that making the videos was even more work. It is very important to find the right balance. Even so, I think it's worth doing all that work, because it seems more rewarding. I hope everything goes well. Saludos! :D

In a way it's good that you guys never worked on the production team for another brand before you started doing this for yourselves or you'd have never agreed to this amount of work lol. So awesome that you guys have each other and at least it is an adventure that few would have the balls to dive into. Keep up the good work and the REALNESS
😃😙

Disagree. Your comment was great. People are too sensitive. What you said about it is what you thought.Yeah, it was a generalization which is a starting point, an icebreaker, in conversation. You skate, you push people over. Life always has more to it when it comes to anything and everything. We all can be offended and annoyed at anything and everything. It never ever ends. Yeah, it is a tough sport. I play basketball, and that is pretty tough but ice skating, hockey, and roller derby, are tougher. On one hand, we want to be sensitive to how others feel. So, we may try to avoid saying things like "Just this" or "Just that" and so on and so forth. However, that may not be the most important fundamental, priority, in life. Being politically correct is a like a disease.

Beautiful waterfall

your point of view is nice good job

Great post guys. If the work/life balance is a struggle, remember, you're in it together. And that's beautiful and precious.

@tangerinetravels.... I m planning for a honeymoon trip to bangkok and Phuket during August 2018. Is it worth going there during rainy season? Plz help

good experience in travelling

The photos are such great quality, I love it!

To listen to the audio version of this article click on the play image.

Brought to you by @tts. If you find it useful please consider upvoting this reply.

The roller derby involves skating around a circle, but it is very easy to get rid of it. Blog has a very beautiful description

Hola los amigos,

Good to see you are all still well.

Had not been getting your post in my feed for a while, not sure why.

hi @tangerinetravels nice post
you upvote me & i also upvote you
I recently got Steve, together with you I decided that we can achieve a lot and develop rapidly. Let's increase steemit strength together. I follow you and you enjoy new acquaintances following me! ;) I will upvote you, you give me upvote plz

good photo, i like you post

Excellent Information!! :D

Thanks for posting this. It's amazing how naive people are to the reality of how much work something takes.

The other "Just" I really dislike is when people say "Just" when describing how they're going to accomplish something. lol Oh, we'll "Just" build a smelter and make our own iron beams!! Not!!! lol :)

Great read and very insightful. Are you planning to travel to more countries soon, or are you JUST gonna stay in Mexico? haha.
Editing is always fun for me. You can make the most 'amazing' boring video with the right editing techniques.

Being both a blogger and a vlogger I know how much time and energy goes into being one of those. So much to do and so little time. Often times I wonder is it worth it because I'm not making nearly as much money doing something else, but then I remember all the adventures and amazing people and I meet and I know it's definitly worth it!!!

Very good reflection @tangerinetravels.
Unfortunately, we make the mistake of saying that something is easy without seeing the whole picture.

I'd like to be "just" a steem blogger