Wednesday, August 31, 2016

How I am trying to balance my life with very busy social media activities

The true is that I wear quite a lot of hats. Not only for specific amounts of time - such as a mother hat in the morning and the evening, in-between with a hat of working class woman hero and the travel blogger, social media consultant and freelancer the rest of the time. I have those hats - actually, I love hats very much - all round the day, the week, the month and the year. 
Nothing wrong with that so far. My life experience is a permanent proof of the fact that you are given a precious gift that you should do the best of it, even though, what you get once in a while are some rotten stinky lemons.
I am one of those who embraced from the very beginning the social media: Facebook, Twitter, blogging, Pinterest followed by the other more or less successful variations such as Google+ or LinkedIn or...or...I had the chance to connect in virtual and often in real life as well with inspiring people, that eventually can count among my friends. I succeeded to improve my language skills and learn every day at least something new.
But year after year, the social media tools are becoming more and more complex and sophisticated. Especially if you are interested in branding maintenance and development, you need to be there, I mean online, most of the time. Which after a while, can be not only exhausting, but a source of inner tension and even a reason/risk of family fights. 
Particularly for a travel blogger, the challenges are dramatic those days. If you aim at maintaining your brand and keep being interactive, you should be ready to do some snaps from your trips, create some inspiring Instagram travel stories, select one picture - or maximum two, my advice - the day for your feed, answer wuthin hours various questions from the readers or remarks made regarding the content - I am a strong supporter of interaction with readers, as a main condition for creating a successful and stable readership. A lot of things to do on a very daily basis, besides cooking the food, taking pictures or changing the nappies. 
The last year was a very challenging one for me, as I needed some time to consider my future work and life options, while keeping doing a limited amount of travel and giving birth to an amazing little boy. Suddenly, life can be so overwhelming in terms of emotions and events, and it takes some time to digest, albeit not clearly understand everything what is going on. My life was about to change, but within the same coordinates, meaning that my travel stories should continue to run, as my desire to share my knowledge from the road via my various social media channels. 


How to balance though from now on, the family life and obligations, with my need to continue my travel blogger life? Here are some of my lessons learned in the last year:

- I love to experiment with time management and thus, I take 30 minutes in the morning and another 30 late in the evening for checking the social media feeds, answering questions or other social media related-issues;
- Take as many pictures as possible when you are in an inspiring location. Always try to have more than the necessary amount of pictures for a single day. For instance, try to think about the next 4-5 days when you might not have too many opportunities for interesting views.
- Quantity, not quality. One, maximum 2 pictures the day is enough. All you need is to capture the spirit of a specific event or place. Sometimes, you may need to take more than 2 pictures from the same place, changing the angle or focusing on different details.
- Planning is essential. Try to figure out the agenda of your week and the places you are supposed to see for the next days and try to find out which one suits a particular exposure. Very often in the last months, I tried to better know the streets around my immediate vicinity that offered me invaluable samples of photographic beauty and topics for forthcoming blog posts.
- Avoid the feeling of guilt. No pictures for today or not exactly in the mood for writing? No inspiration or just overwhelmed by the emotional loads of the daily life? Let it be. Treat yourself with a lemonade or an ice coffee. If travel+writing are supposed to give sense and meaning to your life, than sooner or later you will be back on the track. At least, this is my experience I am happy to share!  

Feel free to follow me on Instagram: #ilanaontheroad or Twitter: @ilanaontheroad
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