I am, as far as I’m concerned, the luckiest person in the world.
I have the best job in that I get to spend my life doing the things I am most passionate about, and y’all have been incredibly supportive. I couldn’t possibly be more grateful.
Blogging about airlines/hotels is my absolute favorite thing I’ve ever done – I love blogging more than I love flying Lufthansa first class in an otherwise empty cabin. Which is saying something. The most relaxing part of my day is when I put my phone on silent and close all my internet browsers except the WordPress one, and just start writing. I pinch myself every day for the fact that the “core” of my job is also the highlight of my day and what I enjoy doing most.
The fact that anyone reads what I write is just icing on the cake. I blogged for two years without making a dime from this site (literally not a dime), and enjoyed it just as much back then as I do now.
Of course, the side effect to that is I am always connected, and always engaged in what’s going on in the industry and our hobby in general. I honestly don’t remember the last day I spent fewer than eight hours reading, writing, or researching something involving miles and points.
And I wouldn’t change that for anything.
A few months ago reader Gene (who does a good job of keeping me honest in general) left the following response to one of my ramblings:
I brushed it off at the time, because I love what I do, and couldn’t imagine my life any other way.
At the same time though, I dread taking long haul flights because I’m afraid I’m going to miss something, and not having internet for two days in Beijing turned me into a nervous wreck. I want to spend more time with my parents, and travel to places that might not have great wifi connections, and right now so much of that is impossible. For example, I’m taking a two week round the world trip with my dad in November, and I’d love to be able to spend quality time with him as much as possible, as much as it pains me to “disconnect” from my hobby.
Beyond that, I want to start planning for the future. I have written all but maybe a dozen of the posts here on the blog, which equates to more than seven thousand posts over the past six and a half years, and I’m quite proud of that. But I don’t know if I can reasonably keep writing 10,000+ words a day for the next 10 years and keep my sanity, much less do any of the other things I want to do.
A few years ago I was in the same situation with my award booking service. There was literally more business than could possibly be handled, and at one point I landed in Bali to over 200 new emails asking for help with award travel. In the space of just a few months it’d gone from a cute side hobby while I was in college to a viable business, and to say I was totally unprepared would be an huge understatement.
Collaborating with other frequent travelers and mileage experts took a huge leap of faith, but bringing people on to help with that side of the business was the best thing I ever did. And I learned a ton by doing it.
So I feel like I’m at a similar crossroads with the blog.
I love writing, I love interacting with y’all and responding to comments, and that’s never going to change.
I just want to write the very best blog I can, and I feel like I’m reaching the human limits of what I’m able to do here by myself. What a lot of people don’t realize is that what you see on the blog is only a very small portion of what goes into actually writing/managing the blog. For example, I receive dozens and dozens of emails from readers every day, and I do everything in my power to respond to them.
The few guest posts that I’ve featured have been well-received, so I’m thinking of doing more along those lines. I don’t want to turn this into a free-for-all with a huge pool of staff writers, nor do I want to have ghost writers using my name and a template. This blog is my baby.
But I also don’t think having some additional contributions from passionate travelers with a different perspective would be a terrible thing, and having an additional handful of posts a month from people I trust could add some interesting color to the blog, and hopefully create a better foundation for the future.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking to “check out” and outsource this blog. I’m looking to make it the best it can be, by potentially adding more perspectives and writing about more topics. I get requests every day for covering certain topics, and when I respond that I’ll add it to my “list” of post ideas, I mean it. The only problem is that my list of post ideas has hundreds of things on it, and it’s growing by the day.
But having some help wouldn’t hurt, I don’t think.
So, since I trust you guys with all my major decisions, what do you think about having additional contributors to the blog? If you like the idea, would you want to see them have a weekly/bi-weekly/tri-weekly series, or rather cover topics as they’re relevant? What types of topics would you want them to cover?
Thanks for the feedback, and thanks for reading. I really appreciate it more than I can express.