In collaboration with Sandra, from Quirky Books, while preparing a guest post for her blog about writing she mentioned that her readers would be interested in learning more about ‘what to include in blog posts, while travelling, and / or the most popular topics/things to include and why, to help other bloggers’. I thought this was a fantastic idea as I’ve never written on this topic and have been meaning to share with my readers how I write full time, while traveling and on the go. If I can make it work, anyone can make it work!
One of the most difficult things in being considered a blogger or writer, especially a travel writer, is coming up with original ideas for blog posts. Traveling and experiencing the world is the easy part, yet summarizing my experiences in a short blog post at times feels daunting. How can I capsulate a once in a lifetime experience in a mere 500-800 words and with just 8-10 pictures attached? I struggle to not write too much to bore my readers (yes, I can get wordy), yet at the same time I don’t want to write too little and not explain my journey completely. I want my readers to be left wanting more, yet left satisfied with the story-a complete beginning and end. What’s the moral of the story anyway?
The key is finding the balance in sharing enough vivid details to give the reader the feeling that they are experiencing that exact moment alongside me, yet enough mystery to inspire them to go out and experience it for themselves. Or at least that’s my hope when I write. I hope that my readers get a sense of who I am as a person through my writing-my passion for living life to the fullest, being positive, my desire to seize the moment, and my unexplainable connection with the world (especially the sea). I am constantly searching for opportunities big and small, whether locally or abroad, that align with my personal travel style and passions.
Surprisingly, for me, I never run out of blog post ideas as I seem to have more ideas than I have time to write about. Finding time to write about them in my busy (travel) schedule is the hard part. At any given moment, I wish I had more time to write about all the things I’d like to share with my readers (and potentially the world). I really should start writing all of my ideas down for future reference before I forget them. Every time I start a new blog post I have at least a dozen more ideas flooding into my head. Regardless, whether it’s writing on my cell phone while riding a public bus or writing a hand written journal at the beach, I’m always finding new ways/places to write.
A goal of mine is to always be open and honest with my readers when sharing information about myself and the world on my blog. Although I’d like to be transparent on my blog, I’d also like to keep a part of myself just for me. There is nothing wrong with keeping your public life public and your private life private. I’ll continue to share my best one of a kind and unique experiences with those who are ready and willing to read them (I am constantly blessed by those who read my posts). Of course I can’t help but share my favorite destinations that I’ve visited throughout my travel journey as well. As a believer in ethical writing, I only share things I am passionate about and believe in. The experiences, destinations, and companies I share on my blog are all ones I believe in and stand behind. Other than the guest posts on my blogs, if I haven’t experienced it personally myself, I won’t promote it.
When traveling, even when in the worst of circumstances (like when camping outside with rats, snakes, and other creepy crawlers) I try to stay positive. Positive reaps positive.There is no point in bringing negative energy into my life (and especially to/on my blog); yes, there are times when I am negative and down in the dumps, but for the most part I lead my life with a positive attitude looking at the bright side. The glass should always be considered half full and not half empty. Am I right?
Before starting my own blog, I read a lot of travel blogs to get inspiration. I started to notice some general themes consistent on many travel blogs including my own. Now after blogging for one year (and I’m no expert, nor do I claim to be), I’ve observed the following popular recurring topics and items to include in a traveler’s blog post:
1. For some reason travel bloggers (and bloggers in general) love to write posts about the top 5, 10, 15 (or higher) of their favorite whatever; for example, their favorite cities, countries, destinations, beaches, restaurants, foods, travel essentials, travel tips, etc… The list goes on and on.
2. Bloggers also love to focus in on one moment in time whether it be a bucket list accomplishment, new experience, something scary, something someone overcame, or a life moment. These blog posts are typically very detailed, inspiring, have a moral at the end of the story, and are easy to read.
3. Top to-do items in a place are also popular on travel blogs and are also helpful when visiting a new place and wanting to know what to do when there.
4. Bloggers are also generous in posting lists of whatever it is they’d like to list.
5. The last common blog post that shows up on travel blogs is a story or memoir; these blog posts are the ones I like to read the most as I love stories! The writers personal writing style often comes out in these posts as they use various literary devices (now the English teacher is coming out of me) like humour, symbolism, irony, alliteration, sarcasm, among others.
I’ve found myself using these strategies as a go-to-blog-post model when I start running out of blog formats.
Below are the 10 best tips I can recommend when writing while traveling (or on the go):
1. Write when you have the time, whether it is on the bus, at the beach, or while waiting for an event. It’s okay to start a blog post and finish it at another time, regardless if it takes you three days to write and 12 mini writing sessions.
2. Find out when you write the best- I write best during the day.
3. Find a space where you feel comfortable writing and which promotes creativity- I enjoy writing at the beach, on a bus, or at a kitchen table.
4. Go through your pictures regularly and often (while also editing when needed)-do not go through your pictures after months and months of travel because I’ve learned this one from experience.
5. Make a weekly schedule for yourself- what types of posts do you publish on what days? What days do you publish?
6. Decide how many posts a week you’d like to publish and is manageable- my goal is 6 posts a week, yet I am traveling full time and not working.
7. Find editing software and programs that work for your blogging style and make your life easier. I like to make collages using Pixlr.
8. Schedule your posts in advance.
9. Vary your post lengths- It’s okay to post just a picture if it says what you want it to say.
10. Have fun with it. Blogging should not feel like a chore, and if it does you need a break.
What other blogging tips can you recommend?