Introduction to Travel Blogging
Travelers may want to blog for themselves, for friends and family, for a niche audience, or for a worldwide audience. Some travelers blog to attract attention of publishers, others blog to develop a portfolio of work that can be used to raise a writing, film-making or photography profile, and others blog to become professional travel bloggers and make money and a viable living from their blogs.
Principles of Travel Blogging
Travel blogging follows the same principles as non-travel blogging, with some unique subject requirements too. The most basic blogging principles include writing well-written posts and uploading clips or attractive images into posts, creating an appealing blog layout, interacting with readers via comments and email, commenting on others’ blogs in the same niche to develop a network, not overloading posts with too much information and, ideally, a regular blogging schedule for serious bloggers.
Reading others’ travel blogs is an excellent way to help new travel bloggers develop skills, ideas and design blog layouts. Lonely Planet even runs an annual Travel Blog Awards Competition.
Writing for the Internet and Travelers
Good writing online should be engaging, succinct, and, if possible, illustrated with an image. Travel blogging is inherently enhanced by illustration more than other blogging subjects. Writing about a mountain climb is one thing, showing an image of the clouds parting atop Mount Everest in a post about mountain climbing takes a post to a new level—especially if Mount Everest was climbed.
Readers are more attracted to blogs with images than without. If attracting readers is an objective, including at least one image in each post will enhance the post’s appeal and keep readers returning. Some readers may have no idea what a destination looks like and will appreciate a visual reference before they leave home.
Writing key-word rich articles is also important for attracting an audience, which is the same for any blogging topic. Dozens of books and blog posts have been written about this topic such as Write Keyword Rich Articles, and this is a topic in itself for a separate article.
But, the most important point is that blogging requires the internet and therein lies one of travel blogging’s greatest challenges.
Travel Blogging Quirks and Challenges
Travelers who blog face challenges that would likely turn the average professional blogger a pale shade of green if they had to face these frustrations every time they sat in front of a computer.
A scenario that the average travel blogger backpacking around the world faces every time they visit and internet café illustrates this point:
Arrive at internet café, plug in pen drive, open Word or Notepad document in which blog text is written. Attempt to log in to blog. Connection so slow that log in takes twenty minutes. Uploading photo to illustrate post takes forty minutes, or it is impossible. Video uploads impossible for weeks on end. Or, connection normal, but cuts in and out every few minutes so that uploaded work is lost and has to be re-pasted. Or power cuts and all work lost. Or, virus on internet café PC wiped out work, and must return to hotel across town to reload work onto pen drive, but virus issues make inserting pen drive into one’s own lap top a risky act.
This scenario is, unfortunately, not an exaggeration and is what most travel bloggers face every time they head to an internet café located in the developing world. Those in the developed world are truly spoilt when it comes to blogging at public internet cafes and don’t face as many logistical challenges!
The basic challenges travel bloggers face essentially involve internet connectivity, internet viruses, access to computers to type or transfer files, electricity supply, and time. They may need to research aspects of their content and this also requires access to the internet or a library. Successful travel bloggers also need many of the same personal qualities as successful travelers: patience, determination, preparation, and generous doses of humor for those frustrating days when internet connectivity and the blogger are traveling down different highways.…