Keeping A Travel Blog Fresh When The Trip Is Over

Keeping a travel blog fresh
4 October 2010 Post Author:
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Do you own a travel blog but at the moment you just aren’t traveling?

I’ve seen this brought up before and empathized with the rants of frustration and envy. 

It can leave one full of doubt as you ponder over your latest trip to the local apple orchard.  Was the apple orchard news worthy?  After reading about someone’s experience at Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar you start to think – probably not.

I’m not traveling right now.  I have no solid plans to travel, just vague ideas of what I want to do and the goals to achieve this.  Finding a community of travel blogs either on the road or in the midst of a planning stage can be both encouraging and intimidating.

My past travel blog experience was the proverbial “write what you know”. 

Look through your passions. Sometimes we forget how our other passions in life can still somehow be related to traveling.

I took this literally to mean if I wasn’t on the road traveling I didn’t really know travel.  When the trip ran aground so did my blog

This was a few years ago and since then the blog sank somewhere in the sea of lost and forgotten experiences.

New day, new blog and with my travel senses more aware I think I have a better grasp on what it is to own a travel blog, and how to be successful even when the trip is over

Note, these ideas are not necessarily my ideas as they can be found across a wide range of blogs, it’s just smart blogging.

8 Ideas for keeping it Fresh

  1. Make a List – If you start with the question “what should I write about?” you will get hung up.  It’s too broad, instead say “I’m going to make a list.”  You will notice that you can quickly dream up ideas for different lists related to the theme of your travel blog.  What’s even better is that people love a good list.  Imagine your searching in Google for “Paris Restaurants”.  The first listing is “Restaurants in Paris” while the second listing is “Top 10 Restaurants in Paris”.  I bet you click on the second result because people love a good list.
  2. Make a Segment – I’ve seen quite a few blogs implement this and it seems to work great.  A segment is a series of posts, usually at set intervals centered around a central theme.  Maybe every Tuesday you create a post highlighting your favorite posts from the past week on other travel blogs.  This is just an example and has been done. Get creative, come up with your own segment.  The point is you build a relationship with your readers and they begin to expect and know when and what to look for.  I think most segments work best if they are highly focused on involving your readers somehow.  This is also a great opportunity to distinguish your travel blog from the rest so be creative.
  3. Use your Twitter and Facebook Friends – With today’s social media measuring opinion, taking a poll and simply digging for ideas has never been easier.  Phrase a question, ask it to your fellow peers on twitter and facebook, forums work well too.   Bring it all together in one convenient blog post that repeats the question and how people responded.  You can really do a lot here.
  4. Hold a Contest – A contest gets your readers involved and its fun.  Not everyone can afford to offer extravagant prizes but if you get creative you can make it worth it.  Heck, maybe the prize is a write-up on their blog mentioning your blog, everyone likes that.  Sometimes you might even find someone that will sponsor your contest for returned recognition.  Try a contest.
  5. Use Digg – I have not played with the new Digg much but it was a great place to find interesting and popular news really fast.  Usually under the category “Lifestyle” you can dig up some interesting travel related news.  You can find what other people find interesting in a matter of seconds.  For example: I just went to Digg and found this article trending – “Bedbug Summit Meets in Chicago: 10 Things You Should Know About Bedbugs”.  Now, obviously you can’t just copy it but you could take the facts from it and form your own story.  Maybe your story is something about why we as travelers need to look out for bed bugs.
  6. Do it Local – Just because you’re not traveling don’t mean you can’t travel in your own back yard.  Seriously, many times we forget that the very place we live is the same place someone else is looking to visit.  Often times we neglect our own city because we are so used to it.  Your city is truly foreign to someone living in another country. Think about your city, why would someone want to come here?  Do you even know what your city has to offer as attractions or are you to busy looking for a way out?
  7. Dig through the Past – I’m sure we’ve all taken a trip or two before we knew we wanted to blog about it.  Dig it up, get those photos uploaded onto your computer and do the obvious – “write what you know.”
  8. Look through your Passions – Sometimes we forget how our other passions in life can still somehow be related to traveling.  For instance, I like playing guitar.  Guess what, I went out and started buying travel guitars and now I have a blog on travel guitars.  Something like this could even develop into a segment on your travel blog.  The bottom line is don’t forget to tap into your other passions and explore it from the side of a traveler.

So that’s 8 ideas for keeping it fresh and preventing your travel blog from going stale, what’s yours?

~ Michael

What do you do to keep your travel blog fresh? Share your advice!

12 Responses to “Keeping A Travel Blog Fresh When The Trip Is Over”

  1. Excellent ideas, Michael! I especially love #6 (writing about your local area), because you’re so right – often we forget that where we live is a travel destination for a lot of other people who may be looking for information about the places, attractions, and events that we take for granted because they’re in our own backyard.

    Another way to keep fresh content on a travel blog is to solicit guest posts from other travel bloggers, which has the added benefit of extending your audience reach and increasing traffic to your site as well.

  2. I blog about China. One thing I do is link to news articles I think are interesting, and then give my opinion on them. If I have personal experience with the topic, I’ll also write about that/ I aloo link to articles on China I’ve written for other publications.

  3. Michael

    Thanks Trisha, guests post is certainly another great idea and I’m grateful for the opportunity to share a post here.

    @Cheryl – I agree that discussing news is another great idea. Sometimes I get the news by visiting some of my favorite blogs.
    .-= Michael´s last blog post: Four practical things you should know how to do in China and SE Asia =-.

  4. Maria Staal

    Great tips, Michael! I have done a lot of travelling in the past, before blogging actually existed, so I think #7 could work well for me. 🙂

  5. Emma

    Hi Michael,

    Great ideas here. I recently returned from a trip and faced that exact problem. I decided to discontinue my old blog and instead blog about how to maintain that travel attitude – Feet, Ground; Head, Clouds – essentially how to avoid the post-travel blues. Your Tip #6 is great – I live in London, UK, so plan to do this alot. I also love your idea about holding polls on Twitter and Facebook – I’ll certainly bear that in mind, thanks!
    .-= Emma´s last blog post: Callander Jazz and Blues Festival =-.

  6. Michael

    @Maria, thanks, You can even go as far to head over to Mejiers and scan actual photographs and have them put on a disk for easy computer access.

    @Emma, I live near Detroit, I don’t think many people have their hearts set on visiting. I plan to do it local anyway and see what I can come up with.
    .-= Michael´s last blog post: Get Polarized – Sunglasses that will make you go WOW =-.

  7. Dave and Deb

    Excellent ideas. I know how you feel, it is difficult coming up with fresh content when not travelling. We have been home now since July and are starting to run out of inspiration.
    We leave in less than a month and I am happy that the blog will have some fresh content.
    If you don’t have any intentions on travelling any time soon, I think it is a good idea to rethink a niche to keep people coming back to your site. Emma has an excellent idea.
    A travel blog doesn’t have to be about destinations all the time, it can have advice, guest posts, forums…there are a million ideas.
    .-= Dave and Deb´s last blog post: Rajasthan Camel Safari in the Thar Desert =-.

    • Michael

      @Dave and Deb Thanks, Looking forward to hearing about your new adventures. I agree, tips and advice are great avenues to explore. I’m taking a community travel blog angle and seeing how that goes. So far we have a few really good writers sharing their adventures. It makes it nice to not be footing the content all alone.

  8. ross says:

    Good article, i find the same problems as well – I likeyour first idea – make a list – I have done that before and, came up with a list of ideas and come back to them from time to time to see if I can develop any of the ideas further.

    I also like offering guest postings too, which is something Trisha had mentioned.
    .-= ross´s last blog post: 5 Unusual Animal Discoveries at Customs =-.

  9. Brooke

    Hi, I must say these are excellent ideas – really helpful as I’ve only just started my blog and am not travelling at the moment. #8 is great – I’m now sifting through my other blogs to find relevant content!
    .-= Brooke´s last blog post: How to REALLY get the cheapest air tickets =-.

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