Many of us love to travel, and plenty more of us love to read about the travels of others. Starting up your own travel blog is a great way to share your experiences with like-minded enthusiasts.
Starting from scratch can be a daunting proposition, what do you write about? What else should you include? How do you get people to read it?
We’ve put together some top tips to make your travel blog as engaging to as many people as possible.
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Think about what you’d like to read
Before you’ve even started blogging, you need to think about what sort of things you will be writing about. Will you be putting together listicles of your favourite places to run/eat/stay? Are you planning a diary-style blog of an upcoming trip? Or maybe you’re looking for a mix of both?
To get some inspiration, make sure you do plenty of reading. There are thousands of great travel blogs online and getting immersed in some of them will help you with your own. By producing a blog, you would like to read yourself, the output is more likely to come across genuine and be more engaging to your readers.
What’s the point?
There’s nothing wrong with taking a reader on a linear timeline of your stay in a particular destination, per se, but “and then we did this, before doing that” isn’t the most engaging. When starting to write any piece, think about what the aim of the blog entry is.
Are you showcasing what there is to do in a city in 24 hours? Are you sharing your 10 favourite marathons to run around the world? Or maybe you’re showing how to get by in a destination on a budget? Whatever the ultimate end game of a blog post is, make sure that’s clear to the reader early on.
Don’t just state the obvious
Some of the best travel blogs out there are interesting because they offer something different. Sharing information that people will easily be able to ascertain from a generic guide book is, frankly, a waste of both the writer and reader’s time.
Share titbits of information that the average traveller might not know about a destination. That could be an attraction off the beaten track, a must-visit coffee shop, or something as simple as hacks for travelling around a country that might not seem so obvious.
When you travel, speak to locals
If your blog is going to be all about your travels, speaking to locals can really add that extra dimension. Similar to the above point, guide books will only tell you so much, but to get the real story nothing beats talking to the people that call your destination home.
Whether you just use quotes from locals as part of a longer blog piece or decide to put together a “What’s it really like to live in…” article, getting the inside scoop about a place can really add value to both your experience of the country or town, and the enjoyment of your readers.
Use plenty of imagery
What’s better than describing a top destination to your readers? Showing them of course! Your writing style will be key to encourage visitors to read on, but quality imagery will no doubt help. If you’re blogging while on your travels make sure you capture the visual evidence of what you are writing about.
Better still, why not record some video footage on your travels? You don’t need to be a full-blown Vlogger to use video on your blog; a short clip of the hustle and bustle of a local market or Go Pro footage of your snorkelling trip or a nearby beach will add lots to your blog.
Readers? What readers?
There’s a certain fulfilment one will get from writing all about their travels, but a travel blog is merely a personal diary if it doesn’t have any readers. Getting people to consume your writing is surely what you’re doing this for in the first place.
Social media is the obvious way to share your blog, with the #TravelThursday hashtag a great one to piggyback off. Facebook is particularly good for sharing your blog, there’s even the option to put a bit of money behind an advertising campaign, where, for a relatively small outlay, you could build up a readership base. Once you have them, keep them engaged. Whether you set up a dedicated social media account or create a newsletter, keeping in contact with your readers will leave them wanting more.
Once you’ve got your travel blog set up, our biggest piece of advice is to do it for your enjoyment. A passion for travel is about sharing that love of new places and experiences with others, and without that emotional attachment, any travel writing can become stale and robotic.
If you need more of a helping hand to spark your venturous side, read our blog 7 Travel Books That Inspire Adventure.