Thanks for stopping by! I’m sharing why I started a blog and how SeeingSam.com accidentally came about. I’m not going to lie, it has been a struggle and a bit exhausting but I haven’t quit yet!
the beginning phase
The idea of starting a blog evolved from when I decided on a whim to launch “My Bucket List Year” on Instagram after getting fed up with work and deciding to quit my job and travel the world! Original right? haha-well until I worked out the details on the job front I went ahead and launched my new account and started getting followers without even posting my 1st photo. I immediately thought “hot damn this is going to be GRRRREAT!”
I ended up only posing twice to Instagram over the next few weeks because, well i’m a perfectionist and couldn’t decide what was good enough to post.
After a few more weeks I started to realize I have a mortgage, not enough savings, and an upcoming condo assessment (in the millions of dollars), and maybe quitting my day job to spend money on traveling wasn’t the best idea.
I did some soul searching and realized my job was pretty solid and my new manager was actually becoming a reason to stay. He encouraged a strong work-life balance and promoted a healthier work environment. With that, I decided the smart thing do would be to balance the two (work vs travel) all while earning a consistent paycheck, saving $$ money and keeping my health benefits….so maybe in the future, I would be able to quit my job and travel full time.
the getting there phase
The next 10 days I soul searched again and on August 31st I finally committed to trying my hand at travel blogging.
I changed my Instagram name to Seeking.Sam since my bucket list year wasn’t going to happen. I spent hours…probably 6 compiling all of my past travel photos, editing, drafting comments, and searching for hashtags and finally started sharing them on Instagram…I think I ended up with three Insta worthy posts in 6 hours! ha- I realized then, this is going to be a looooong road!
Over the next week, I brainstormed and read as much as I could about blogging and building websites. I skipped out on brunches and birthday dance parties and didn’t get out of my PJs all weekend long. I was in the zone and wanted to soak up all the information I could!
On September 8th I decided to set up a website. SeekingSam was not available…mistake 101 (picking a name that is not available across all media channels) I went with the domain SamStampsTravels.com, hosted with SiteGround and started my WordPress site with a free theme.
the “I want to quit phase“
Over the next 12 hours, I attempted to build this website and became SO incredibly frustrated. I was getting nowhere! I figured a few things out but couldn’t get photos to show up and text to appear correctly. After having a mini meltdown I decided I was hiring a professional.
I researched a few web-designers who wouldn’t even work with beginner bloggers saying “trust me, you don’t want to pay me to set up a site with no content” (its about $4,000-$10,000). They are right, it is not the best investment for a beginner, but this was how frustrating I was getting!
I felt like I wasted the whole day. I went to bed that night feeling defeated and old because I couldn’t figure out some tech younger generations seem to pick up in an instant. I’m usually good at self-teaching (thank you YouTube and Skillshare) but I was totally starting to doubt myself. I’m now thinking “maybe this was a mistake.”
The next morning my brain was still exploding from the day before. I hastily deleted the site, bought a new domain name SeeingSam.com and started from scratch.
I don’t remember where SeeingSam came from, but I remember it was on my “blog name list,” and I committed to it when I entered the site’s tag line, “Come SEE the world with me.” I updated my Instagram account to seeing__sam (since all other versions were taken) and set out for attempt two!
Fast forward eight months later, I learned a lot including these three things you must know before you start a blog. I am just now feeling I have the whole website thing down. Using tools like SuperStar Blogging from Nomadic Matt, A bunch of Facebook groups, Canva, and a paid theme with fantastic customer service (Thank you emPress) all helped get me over the “I want to quit” phase.
You can read more about my blogging journey over the past year on the About page.
If you are thinking about starting your own blog or a niche website, just do it! It is not always going to be easy, but if you keep working at it, I bet it will be worth it!