Yesterday, in part 1 of How to Build A Successful Travel Blog, I wrote about the importance of letting your personality shine. Putting your personal stories, experiences, and opinions into each post is important, but you need to do so effectively.
A travel blog can easily turn into an unorganized chaos of rants and random observations and drive away your most loyal readers. Most travel blogs begin as personal jounals to family and friends but I’ve seen travel blog posts so ambigous that even the writer has confessed to not wanting to read them!
It’s important to keep your travel blog posts as exciting as your travels themselves, to encourage and inspire readers who will continue to follow you on your journey.
Get To The Point And Fast
Write Like A Journalist Columnist– Many travel bloggers spend a lot of time and text writing about one specific place they visited while traveling. Although the Akshardham Temple in New Delhi may be the most interesting place you’ve ever been, nobody’s reading your blog for a detail description of it. Travelers like to see things firsthand but are fascinated by firsthand accounts.
- Don’t spend too much time on any one aspect of a given trip, even your personality. Use these 6 ways to keep your travel blog interesting, including the ‘upside down pyramid’ cut out 20% of your post before you publish it. If you’re really feeling the urge to write further, break your longer posts into series.
Use Your Camera, Specifically For Travel Blogging!
As a travel blogger, you need to remember that you’ll be writing about your experiences and turning them into blog posts, but you don’t always need lots of words to do so.
Photos – Everyone likes travel photos so post your best ones (but not everything on your camera’s memory card!) When you’re taking pictures from the road, consciously take pictures specifically to post on your blog. All too many times people post a lot of pictures in the midday sun of a mountain side and throw it up on their blog simply because they have it.
- Interesting, thoughtful pictures encourage readership and interest in your travel blog. Steve from Asian Ramblings has 5 ways to improve your travel photos and there are plenty of good travel photographers blogging out there – leave links to your advice in the comments!
Your photos can be personal too – something that too many travel bloggers (including myself) don’t do too often. Add yourself in a few pictures to add that unique touch so that more people can connect with you and your travels.
Remember You’ll Be Writing About It
Your travel blog needs to live on when you’re actively traveling. Being on the move is a great way to generate content, but don’t let the dent in your Internet access slow you down when you can’t bum a free wi-fi signal.
- Have a List of Ideas – Maintain an active list of things to post in an email account, online notebook, or pen and paper so that you are always churning out ideas as you move around the world.
- Multiple Angles – For every aspect of your travels that you want to post about, come up with two or three separate angles to write about. Don’t think in terms of “I went to a Paris” – break down your trip into elements that personally touched or inspired you.
- Nobody Will Care – When you don’t even feel that anyone will care about what you are writing, rest assured that most everyone else won’t either. Look for an interesting twist, or (again), add a personal touch to ‘the same old thing’.
Keep It Going
Often, traveling makes blogging difficult, but that’s only if you relegate yourself to ‘always’ writing. One thing I can recommend is to never force your writing. Blog posts where typing every word is torture while you’re trying to sleep at the airport, isn’t fun for your readers either.
Despite the obstacles, consistent blog posts are critical to success, even if you do travel for a living (or live to travel). First, begin by setting a weekly posting goal for your travel blog. Along with taking thoughtful pictures for your travel blog, there are many things to post on your travel blog when you’re traveling too much to write. Different types of posts not only give your readers variety, but also a better rounded impression of your travel experiences.
Finally, travel blogging isn’t glamorous. You’ll need to write for months or years to make a personal connection with your readers and gain their trust that you know how to travel and blog about it. It’s vital to keep your travel blogging passion alive by organizing when and what you write and not being afraid to take a break when you need one (just let your readers know).
And, while it won’t happen all of the time, you have to have fun doing it if you want to build a successful travel blog.
[photo by: martapiqs]
More excellent tips Anil!!
Building a travel blog or site is really hard work. You’re right, it does take years, and it’s a very competitive field.
It’s competitive but not directly with the other travel blogs. In many ways you’re really competing with yourself to produce solid content and get readers to come back.
Other travel blogs and their authors are an asset!
Your blog couldn’t come at a better time because I’m getting my site redone. Time to ditch the WordPress templates.
BTW: WP automatically upgraded me and the new edit site is way too Beta for me. It won’t let me tag my posts and so I have to take it to a tech guy to figure it out. This happens with every version upgrade. Why don’t they just leave it alone for a while.
I’m currently working on a redesign myself. I’ve written and overwritten the code here too much and want to freshen things up with more efficient code.
Are you not liking the new edit window? I don’t use tags (probably should) and use some plugins to keep the best of the old versions.
I really agree that building a fine travel blog is a huge task, but none for those who are constantly travelling with camera with them. Generally, People like good exotic places, beaches and costs of the place. Its about providing them good information, which can be beneficial for them. They can become regular readers.
A camera certainly helps. especially if you put a little bit of thought into the pictures. Or at least some with the intention of posting them later.
There’s a difference between posting a bunch of Facebook pictures and using one for a travel blog.
Hey Anil, excellent 2nd part with some great info! I’m new to all of this and so until I leave for my adventures I’ve found a semi-travel related topic (i.e. local travel of sorts). Thanks for the RSS help!! jen x
There’s plenty to write when you’re not actively traveling! Are you planning any trips soon or trying to figure out where to go? They all make good topics to write about.
I also find that many travel blogs tend to ignore local (personal) travel.
Forget my idea–these sound a lot better!
And I like the coffee cup, lol. Way to use your noggin.
In your opinion, what is the main difference between a journalist and a columnist?
I can definitely agree with less is more when it comes to photos. I typically post less than 1/3 of the pictures I take. I make multiple passes on all my photos from a specific trip and not only do I take out photos that are subpar, I also take out photos that slow down the photo narrative. I look at each photo album as a narrative unto itself, and each photo should support the story I’m telling.
Thanks again for writing this, Anil!
I see a journalist as one who writes about facts, generally with as little opinion/bias as possible whereas a columnist is basing much of their writing on personal opinions and experiences.
It difficult at first not to post every single picture you have since you know the background behind each one. Maybe I just hit upon a new idea for a picture post…actually writing the small little stories for a post or two.
Sorry, I just saw this. Thanks for the link. Great post.