Posts Tagged With: travel writing

How NOT to be a travel blogger

It may be a tad premature to write a post on how to be a travel blogger seeing as how I’ve only been travel blogging for about 7 months. Nonetheless, I have learned a lot over those 7 months and want to share that knowledge with other newbie bloggers in the hope that they can learn from my mistakes and create better blogs that I, in turn, can learn from.  SO.  I have put together a little list of how not to be a travel blogger. Just so you know, I’ve been guilty of all of these at one point or another in the last few months.

1.  Make a schedule for how often you have to post a blog and keep to it whether you have anything to write about or not.  Because really, it’s not like (good) writing is an art form or anything.

2.  Make copious amounts of spelling and grammar errors.  Just because it’s kewl and who has time to google the spelling of a word??? You have to open a whole other tab for that shit!

3.  Don’t take the time to organize ANYTHING on your blog/website.  That’s how the madness starts…first it’s “I’ll just put all this budget stuff under one tab” and before you know it, you’re organizing every blog by topic and laughing maniacally in the background! Mwahahahaha!

4.  Make broad political/religious/lifestyle judgements out of the blue.  Obviously, you only want people that think exactly like you to read your blog.

5.  Have a monotone blogging “voice”.  Your blog should sound like it was written by a robot for other robots.  How else will readers know you’re serious?

6.  Do not interact with commenters.  What do they know? After all, they’re reading your blog.

Have any other tips on how not to be a travel blogger? I’d love to hear them! 🙂

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Ok, I have the blog…when do I become a writer?

When I was younger, I was a good writer. A little unpolished, sure, but strong. Clear. Lately, I’ve felt like I lost my voice.  I reread the articles on this blog and yawn. It’s like reading a grocery list. Where is the passionate voice of my youth?  Where is the descriptive, and yes, even elegant (sometimes) prose of my teenage years? Maybe more importantly, why can’t I seem to get it back?  If I’m going to have a successful travel blog, I need to be able to go beyond telling readers about the places I go, I need to take them with me on the journey.  I want people who read my blog to smell the thick, slightly sweet scent of ozone, rain, and decaying plant life when I hike through the Amazon.  To taste the tanginess of sauerkraut I buy from a tiny shop in Berlin.  To hear the blaring horns and hawking street vendors as I stroll down a busy street in Chang Mai. To feel the Australian sun beat down and the sweat rolling off the tip of my nose when I’m slaving away on a pearl farm near Broome. To experience the spiciness in not only the food of Brasil, but the air, the clothes, and even the way the people move.  

I need to lose the fear of not fitting in that we all tend to acquire as we grow up.  I want to shed it like a second skin.  I’m already doing something with my life that is hugely different from what society tells me I should be doing, so why is it so difficult for me to be true to my inner writing voice?  Maybe because I’ve tamped down the somewhat formal, certainly old-fashioned style of writing that felt so good to me for so long that I’ve forgotten how to write that way.  Maybe I shouldn’t be looking to go back to that style at all, but instead find the voice that is right for me now.

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