6.22.2014

Tips and Tricks for Travel Blogging

What can you do with a summer vacation? Have you ever thought of writing a travel blog? It's a great exercise to keep your writing sharp for the summer and cement your trip in your memory!

But how do you get started? The Tupelo Press Teen Writing Center has asked me to put together a guide to getting your blog on its feet.

Random Writing Tip One: No matter where you're going or what you're doing, keep a personal journal of the things you do, the people you meet, the places you see, and what you think about everything. This is your number one resource for writing material: life. Even if you decide not to share a blog of your trip, you can take experience, aesthetics, and situations and apply them to stories later. 


What are you doing this summer? And how do you blog it?

Are you flying this summer? Or taking it slow?

Are you traveling this summer with friends or family? Yes? Amazing! This is a huge opportunity to see a wide variety of places and experience new things.

Traveling is a great excuse to write a Travel Journal blog. These tend to be more diary-like and personal. It's your story. Where did you go? What did you do? What did you see? And what did you learn from it? In this form of travel writing, your personality is front and center. This style will be most appreciated by your friends/parents/followers of your cult of personality.

No chance to travel this summer? Studies show you can still have an amazing eye opening summer without traveling far. Most people make use of less than 20% of their home town on the regular. But you can change that. Take the opportunity to open your eyes to the city you live in, and experience it in a new way. You can make a conscious effort to go to the historical places you've never bothered to visit, try new hiking trails, try new restaurants, or other nearby attractions. Explore your city in depth! This is sometimes called taking a "staycation".

Staying in one place, or staying in different places for several days at a time lends itself to more Guide Book style blogposts, in which you can give fellow travelers advice on Things To Do In ______. This does involve a little more research, but you can share your unique thoughts and analysis of the places once you've been there. This style will be most appreciated by fellow travelers looking to go to the same destinations. 

As long as you keep your eyes and ears open, and keep yourself open to new experiences, you'll find material to write about. 


A Picture is Worth More Than 1000 Words

Pictures are the number one reason anyone will click on your article. They are an excellent opportunity to work on writing witty photo captions. I have many close personal friends who only skim my blog posts for photo blurbs!

Tip 1 for Photos: Tourist attractions want you to leave with a magical impression, and many are well lit for photo opportunities at night.  

Your tourist dollars pay the power bill.
Tip 1.5 for Photos: Make sure to always travel safely in packs when taking night photography.
A good photo can bridge cultures.

Tip 2 for photos: Take some pictures of recognizable places so readers can get excited that they recognize places. 

Though infuriatingly unavoidable,
Tourists are useful to provide scale. 

Tip 3 for Photos: Take pictures of temporary things like street art and other cute things that you appreciate that not everyone will have seen when coming to a city.

Cats in bubble baths won't stay there for long.


Misc. Tips and Tricks for Travel Blogging

  • Include lots of beautiful pictures. 
  • A little humor is a good thing. 
  • A lot of humor is a better thing. 
  • Be honest about your thoughts on a place, within reason.
  • Pointed pictures juxtaposed with text can do the talking for you.
  • Enthusiasm, or at least keeping an open mind is a good thing.
  • Even if you're upset, don't bash whatever place you're visiting, or the people you meet.
  • Try to keep a regular posting schedule, and plan for delays.
  • Blogger is the easiest blogging platform, but you can also try Tumblr for very short entries. If you are dedicated you can learn how to set up WordPress! 
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