It’s been one year of Jack Runs The World. I missed my anniversary by quite a few days. The 12th July was the start of my blog and Instagram, where I started writing about travel and taking a social media content creation career seriously. Time has gone by really quickly!
Well, considering there’s a global pandemic going on, things haven’t been great this year, for any of us. I remember though that I have my health, and my family and friends are well and safe, and that’s what matters. But global pandemic aside, things have been going pretty well so far! When I started this blog and Instagram, I had goals in mind. Some of those goals I’ve reached. Others I haven’t. Some I’m closer to, others I’m still a long way away from.
So let’s see what a year of Jack Runs The World has been like, and what goals I’ve met.
Goal number one. 5,000 followers within six months.
When I started my Instagram, I considered the possibility of reaching 5,000 followers within six months. Things started well, and every month I was reaching 1,000, then 2,000, then 3,000. I thought by month five, I’d have reached 5,000 followers. Then the Instagram algorithm changed, and I hit a wall. My followers stagnated, and six months went by and I was only just reaching 3,000. So I went back to the drawing board. Followers aren’t everything, sure, but I wanted to grow my online presence, and I remembered that goal, so I began looking at new strategies.
I learned the Instagram algorithm
I began learning how Instagram works. As a business, that is, and not just as a place to upload pretty pictures and hashtag willy-nilly. I began researching the power of hashtags, as well as which ones worked and which ones didn’t. And then I learned that you have to keep up to date with how Instagram changes. What works for a few months won’t work another month, and you have to learn why. It’s been difficult keeping an eye on how Instagram works, but it’s been worth it. If you’re looking at the same thing, look at joining some influencer groups online, or Instagram groups, where people are aware of what’s changing, and what to do about it.
So you didn’t reach 5,000 followers within six months. What then?
Well, as part of going back to the drawing board, I set a new goal. Scrapping my plans for 10,000 followers by a year, I then set a goal of 5,000 followers by one year. Again, that goal wasn’t reached. Instagram algorithm changed, and changed, and changed, and some were harder to combat and adapt to than others. So I’m now currently at 4.800, and working towards reaching that 5,000 goal a little later.
It might sound weird, but a goal of setting up my travel blog and Instagram, and creating travel content, was to actually travel more. I’ve always travelled. I’ve been fortunate enough to go to quite a few places from a young age, such as Egypt and Turkey, as well as America and Spain. My family regularly go to Turkey for one big family holiday, which is fine, but I want to see and do more. So I started my Instagram and blog to meet new people, talk to new people, hear about travel stories from real life people, and hear about experiences others have. Seeing what people have seen through their visual Instagram and social media content has been a very good thing for me, as I’ve learned a lot more about what’s out there, stuff I might have missed otherwise. That goal has been reached. I may not have travelled to a lot of places physically, but getting to know so many others has taken me to places I would never have known about. Now they’re on the list, and I might not be able to see it all, but I know about it, and will try my best to see more. Before 2019, I’d never really considered Bali, but now it’s top of my list, closely followed by Thailand and Mykonos.
I feel like I have. Not worldwide, but closer to home. I’ve had more stay at home experiences, as well as more European experiences, and I’ve built confidence to start booking new places and going out there to see the world.
Like I said earlier, I set up my blog and Instagram with not only the goal to travel more, but with the idea of being able to make some sort of income, so I can see a wider part of the world, for longer. Travel enriches your life. I’ve made many a digital nomad success story, and felt a mixture of optimism and sadness. Sadness because it’s never as easy as they make out, and the reality of that happening to me is very slim. I’m realistic. I love my day job. I’ve worked hard to get to it. I’m grateful for it. But I’m also keen to work towards more, and that’s where the paid partnership comes in.
Did you get paid partnerships?
Yes, but not within my first year. Just after my first year, actually. I’m proud of that. My first paid partnership was with Peperami. I’ve also got more work coming up that is paid, and I’m very happy about that. Can I quit work and go and travel the world? Nope. But that’s okay. I’ll be working on getting more paid partnership, but I know it’s still a long way to go before I even consider being able to live off travel content creation.
So what are my year two goals?
Well, I’m putting my new goals out there now. Year one, I actually didn’t reach any of my goals. I didn’t meet my follower goals, and I didn’t reach my paid partnership goals, but I never let any of that deter me. Persistency is key. I keep going, working away. But my content creation is not just work.
Have fun with it
I’ve always had fun with it. I travel because I want to see the world. I want to see what’s out there. I want unbeatable experiences. The photos and the videos come with it, of course, but I’m not travelling just to get a photo. (Honest!!)
Make more video content
Video content. It’s quite a lot of work. Especially when my full time job is editing. The last thing I want to do is edit for eight hours a day, come home, and edit more. My eye sight is already shot from extensive editing since I was young. But video content is how you can call yourself a content creator. So I’m upping my video content. I’m planning drone shots, GoPro footage, better vlog productions, and god knows what else. And with Instagram introducing Instagram Reels, and TikTok taking over, video content is not going away anytime soon. Learn video content, and get going! Keep an eye on my Instagram and TikTok for more of my video content.
I want to take better images. My followers like to see me in the photos – that’s not me being big headed. It’s simply because my content from the beginning has had me in the photo, and my followers have come to get used to that. – So, while keeping that theme going, I want better photos. I want to show the scenery I see, as well as how stunning and amazing a location is. I edit my photos through Lightroom, and I’ll continue to do that. A consistent theme is key.
It’s not just video that is taking off. Podcasting is getting traction, too. Spotify have just made a podcast chart. There’s an audience out there. I said in one blog post that I would do a podcast this year, but then a global pandemic happened. I’m hoping to have some news on a podcast soon, so watch this space.
Reach 5,000 followers, possibly 10,000
So, 5,000 followers may be within reach within the year. If they’re not, then I’m doing something wrong with this content creation plan. I’m still going to aim for 10,000 followers, but I’m not hopeful. Maybe a more realistic goal is 8,000?
Cut myself slack…and stay safe!
My 2020 travel goals have been dashed. As have many others. Travel hasn’t happened this year, and even now, while countries are open again, the future of travelling like we normally would is looking very uncertain right now. Many people won’t feel safe getting on planes, and going to different countries. So I have to remember that content may not be as good as I wanted it to be, and may not be improving as fast as I want it to, but you have to cut yourself slack, as well as remember why you’re doing this.
To see the world.
To have fun.