How We Blog on the Road

How We Blog on the Road

Here’s our writing, editing and blogging process at A Brit and A Broad

This year Brian, Brianna and I have been travelling around a fair bit with trips to Africa, Europe, North America, Central America and South America, and we’ve been writing, editing and blogging from each country we’ve been to. The question is, how do we do what we do at A Brit and A Broad? Technology.

When I first started blogging in 2008 all I used was an internet café once a week. One hour to reply to emails and one hour to knock out a blog post on WordPress (who remembers what it used to be like in the good ol’ days?)

Now, I take the  internet café with me. I travel with a huge heavy laptop (an Acer Aspire), and both Brian and Brianna travel with MacBook Pros.

Do we need three laptops? Yes, and it all comes down to the processors. At any one time all three of us are using either Adobe Premier for editing our videos or Adobe Bridge, Lightroom and Photoshop for editing out photos, and all of this takes some serious RAM, more than you’d get on a smaller netbook. We only ever shoot in image RAW, so each image file size is around 18mb. For one photo, that’s pretty large. That’s why we need fast processors, to handle the large file sizes.

People always ask me why I spend so much time editing photos, and I know there are a lot of bloggers out there who don’t bother, but for me images are the same as any written content – would you ever publish an article without fact-checking it first and going over the spelling, punctuation and grammar? Of course not.

The thing about photography is it takes a lot of time to shoot and edit

So many bloggers call themselves “photographers”, yet they don’t put in the time and effort associated with being such, and it shows. For us, we’re willing  put in the time. That’s why every single photo on A Brit and A Broad has been edited first, and we think it makes a difference.

Anyway, here’s our process of writing, editing and blogging while we’re on the road:

The beginning

I’m old school. I actually write an article in a notebook first (as in a paper notebook) before I write it up on my laptop. I find I really think about each word more, about each sentence, fearful of wasting pages and ink, but that’s me.

The majority of the time I write on transport (mainly on buses and trains but I’m actually writing this on a plane right now). I find the actual act of travelling a magnificent medium to write in, and a good source of inspiration too.

Often, I already have the structure of the article laid out in my mind. Then I really thresh out the opening sentence and paragraph – there is none more important when it comes to storytelling.

Writing an article of around 1,000 words invariably takes me up to two hours

Writing an article of around 1,000 words invariably takes me up to two hours, and I’m constantly going back and forth through the article making changes (you should see what this one currently looks like in my notebook).

Usually, while I’m writing, Brian is sourcing music (to edit our videos to) and organising footage, while Brianna is researching the next destination or alternative angles to write and film about so we know what we’re doing. We really don’t like wasting time.

Once I’ve finished writing, I start editing photos. To give you an idea of how long it takes, 20-30 photos again usually takes around two hours.

So, by the end of the journey we’ve got an article, some edited photos, Brian knows where he wants the video to go and Brianna knows what we’re doing once we get there.

The middle

Without a doubt the longest piece in the process is the film editing. It takes Brian (our director of photography) around 10 hours to edit a three to four minute video (his style is to use lots of clips and cut-aways, so he needs lots of footage, one of the reasons it takes that long).

While he is editing, both Brianna and I are writing up our articles, editing as we go (the second edit by now), and then uploading it onto WordPress.

Once we’ve uploaded it to WordPress, we select and upload our photos (all edited of course), and then look at the SEO of the article.

Usually, all three of us would be woring on our computers at the same time

Once we’re finished with all of that, we read through it again (the final edit) and then push the button. For us, uploading an article takes between one and two hours (depending on the article).

Now we’ve got something to talk about.

The end

Pushing the button is by no means the end of the process. Once our article is live, we then promote it.

One thing we’ve found incredibly tricky is video upload speeds on the road when uploading to our YouTube channel – at times they have been non-existent, and as such have stalled our progress.

After we’ve uploaded a video to YouTube, we then promote it and the associated article on Facebook, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Twitter and a couple of other social aggregators as well.

We want as many people to read and see our work, and promoting it on social media is a huge part of that.

I’ve no doubt there are a few other things that go on behind the scenes that I haven’t talked about, but that’s pretty much our process of writing, editing an blogging while on the road.

If you have any questions, technical or otherwise, we would be more than happy to answer them. Also, if you do anything completely different to us we would love to hear about it in the comments below!

  • BeyondBlighty

    I hate trying to write on public transport. I need to be comfortable with access to a kettle. It’s a shame because long journeys are the ideal time to get some work done!

    • You’re right Ari, having a cuppa is instrumental to writing. Luckily, if you’ve ever travelled in India, you can have a cup of chai virtually every 15 minutes on public transport.

      As I said, for me I find the actual act of travelling a good medium to tap into to inspire my writings.

  • Clear division of work and good organisation. I guess we will have to implement that into our blogging on the road soon! Happy New Year!

    • Thanks guys! Having three of us working on A Brit and A Broad really means we can clearly divide the work, and each of us brings something different to the table. I’ve always said it, when a few bloggers get together and form a conglomerate of 10+ people, then the sky’s the limit.

  • Sharon Mason

    Another super post. The effort you put into your photos really shows. I need to stop reading your posts, though. My bucket list is getting a little too long. 🙂

    • Thanks for your support Sharon; it really does mean a lot to us. Personally, I enjoy photo editing, and I’m glad that it shows in our posts. Oh, and make sure you keep on reading!