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