29 September 2011

Lots of career breakers write a blog, for one or more of these reasons:

  • Because they enjoy writing
  • To keep in touch with the folks back home
  • To show off!
  • Because of ambitions to become a travel writer or journalist
  • To earn money blogging

Unfortunately, a lot of travel blogs suck. How to make sure yours doesn't? By following these simple tips:

1. Don't be boring

This sounds so obvious, yet it's something so easy to forget. You always need to be aware of what people want to hear about, as opposed to what you want to tell them.

A non-boring blog will start getting shares and likes and comments. You'll know if you're boring people because you won't be getting any attention!

2. Don't go on about yourself all the time

This seems an odd bit of advice when it's your blog, but people are going to be more interested in the things you see and the people you meet, rather than all the stuff you're doing.

The exception is if you're already popular in some way, even if it's not with travel blogging. If people are already interested in you because you are charismatic or semi-famous, the rules are different.

3. Try not to whinge

Things go wrong when you travel. Try not to moan too much as it's really off-putting.

It's a major thing for you if you lose your shoes, but it's not that interesting to anyone else, unless you lost them in a swamp while fending off a crocodile.

4. Try not to be too smug

Not everyone can do what you're doing, so going on about how great everything is all the time can be quite annoying. It's difficult not to sound smug but some words of gratitude and appreciation can go a long way.

5. Visualise the people who are reading your blog

This might be specific friends and family, or it might be a person you are imagining. This will help you make a connection through your writing.

As your blog (hopefully) gets more followers, you will get a better idea of who is reading your blog, whether they're male or female, how old they are, what they connect with, and so on.

6. Talk normally

Your blog will have a much better flow, and be more engaging, if you write how you talk.

Too many bloggers fall into the trap of trying to write like someone else, or like they're a bank website or something. It's fine to have a certain style of writing, as long as that style is not stilted or artificial

7. Make an effort with spelling and grammar 

It makes it much easier for people to read. If you struggle, spellchecks can be really helpful – or if you've got a willing and trustworthy editor, give them access to your blog to make corrections.

And please, please don't do that Annoying thing of Capitalising Random Words.

8. Try to vary the type of blog posts you do

For example, one entry might be 'A typical day volunteering in Vietnam', and another might be '10 things I've learnt about travelling'.

It's fine to write about your own specific interests (the subtle differences in southern hemisphere grasses, for example, or what you had for dinner) but remember that not all your readers will be into the same things (unless your blog is clearly about that one topic rather than just a general travel blog).

9. Don't worry too much if you get the odd bit of criticism

If it's constructive, it's a chance to improve your blog. If it's not, you can ignore it – some people will criticise anything.

And remember the golden rule - don't feed the trolls!


Do you have a travel blog? Tweet us the link (or email it to us) and if it doesn't suck, we'll put it in our next round-up!