Category Archives: Tricks & Tips

Blogging tricks and tips

The Top Ten Tips for Travel Bloggers

 

 

The blogosphere is a cut throat universe where only strongest survive. The sheer level of competition out there is fierce and getting noticed let alone read is an on-going struggle. The travel sector is one of the one of the most competitive, and bloggers competing in this niche arguably have more of a fight on their hands than others. The approach when creating and maintaining a travel blog is slightly different from other sectors, and means that this special breed of digital nomad must work even harder to get their voice heard.

 

Whether you run your own blog, or write for other people’s, the travel audience are amongst the most discerning and any content that’s not engaging, exciting, useful and genuine will be disregarded by consumers who are short on time and attention spans.

 

Here are the Top Tips for Travel Bloggers to succeed;

 

  1. Travel

 

Nothing will make you a more confident travel writer than actually having first-hand experience of what you’re writing about. Nothing will give you inspiration for great post like actually being in a destination and getting involved in the local culture; the people, the language, the customs, the sights, and the food will all give you reams of ammunition to write sincerely and creatively about a place, no matter if you loved it, hated it, or were completely indifferent

 

 

  1. Be Genuine

 

Travel audiences demand minute detail and simply regurgitating found information from Wikipedia won’t cut it with savvy travellers and holidays makers who are looking for genuine personal accounts and experiences of specific cities, towns, facilities, attractions and events. If you’re writing about Phuket in Thailand, you had better be prepared to drill down into some appreciable detail about local restaurants and shops or you have little chance of being taken seriously.

 

 

  1. Photo Blog

 

If you’ve been away on holiday, chances are you took hundreds of pictures on your digital camera or smart phone that you planned to upload and share with your friends on Facebook. The best writers are able to evoke the spirit of a place through words alone, but the rest of us need a little helping hand. Images are the perfect aid to a blog post, and on the right blog, they can even form a post in their own right. Take lots of photos.

 

  1. Pick Your Niche Wisely

 

Travel is a niche in its own right, but there are hundreds of sub-niches that come under the ‘travel umbrella’. Picking your sub-niche should be defined by two things; your audience, and you’re your expertise. Starting a Canadian travel blog is of little use if you are trying to appeal to Australia enthusiasts. Similarly, don’t launch a Canadian travel blog if you’ve never been there.

 

  1. Don’t be Afraid of Creativity

 

Some of the best travel blogs are based on locations you may never have thought of visiting, or indeed may never want to visit. We’ve all read about Bill and Marjorie’s ‘lovely trip to the Maldives’, but have you ever read about a holiday in communist North Korea, or camping in Death Valley, or staying on an oil rig in the North Sea? Probably not, but that’s a good thing. Venture off the beaten track and become an authority in your sub-niche.

 

  1. Cut the Fluff

 

The travel industry is plagued by clichés and buzzwords, in both promotional material and blog posts. Meaningless words like ‘spectacular’, ‘amazing’ and ‘picturesque’ (as well as tens of other sickeningly familiar adjectives) are grossly overused in travel copy and you’d be well-advised to avoid them completely. Always be specific, snappy and to the point; fluffy, overly descriptive copy is so 2000s! Even if that ‘white sandy beach’ is ‘beautifully picturesque’, find another way to describe it.

 

  1. Enlist the Help of Others

 

The best blogs in the world aren’t operated by one individual, but a team of many. Even if you don’t plan to hit the dizzying heights of the Huffington Post or Mashable, having a few extra team members on board will help your efforts no end. This doesn’t mean hiring staff or even paying people to write for you, simply create a ‘write for us’ page on your site and offers of content will soon come flooding in. This will save you some time but more importantly diversify the range of writing styles and opinions on your blog.

 

  1. Don’t Just Stick to Travel

 

Even though the primary theme of your blog is travel, don’t be afraid to branch out into other Niches. A post like The Top Ten Travel Apps (you can think of something more original than that!) will appeal to both techies and travellers. Cross pollinate your blog with tid bits from other corners of the blogosphere.

 

  1. Engage with Your Community

 

Well, it was inevitable, a blogging post with a mention of social media. Cut through all the nonsense and hype however, and social media can be an incredibly useful tool for drawing in traffic to your blog and keep readers coming back. This about travel blogs though, so aside from the obvious (Twitter and Facebook) what are the best communities to be a part of? Try the vowel-omitting trio WAYN, Dopplr, and Driftr to get you started.

 

  1. Be Personal

 

One thing that stands out on great travel blogs is the level of intimacy conveyed to the reader. Cold, un-personable blogs written in the 3rd person fail to connect with audiences hungry for first hand experiences they can relate to. Always write in the first person, write about what YOU did and what YOU saw, use ‘I’ instead of ‘we’ to make your message more powerful, and use photographs of you to back up your stories.

 

 

 

Joe is self-confessed nomad and writer of many online travel guides. He’s not going to tell you where you can find his holidays pictures though! Joe is looking forward to his holidays to Rome later this year, and Skiing in the winter with Crystal Ski! You can follow him on Twitter @joe__johnson__

 

How to Ruin Your Blog in 7 Steps

Sure, you’ve worked hard on your company or personal blog, but sometimes you just feel the need to destroy something beautiful.

If you’re looking to really ruin your blog, these seven simple steps will allow you to do it in a matter of moments.

1: Choose a Hideous Template

It’s time that you switch to a hideous template, like one that features light text on a dark background, excessively bright and distracting colors, and poorly designed layouts.

For example, try the nauseatingly pink Valentino template or some painful Retro template (which reminds us why the past should remain there). It may be tempting to just download something pretty like Business Turnkey, but avoid this if you want to successfully ravage your blogging space.

2: Stop Posting Regularly

If you’re posting once a week, slow down! If you’re posting once a day, it’s time you stop altogether. All that fresh content is sure to bring new visitors, return readers, and search engine robots to your doorstep – the opposite of ruin in the blogosphere.

3: Provide No Contact Information

Allowing users to contact you and develop a relationship may keep them around through other blogging blunders, so be certain to remove any method of contact.

Be especially certain that you get rid of any convenient forms like this one.

4: Never Link to Other Resources

When you write content, be sure that you make it clear that you’re writing to benefit your company.

One of the best ways to do this is avoiding any links to outside sites and resources, even when they would be highly relevant and useful to the reader.

4: Put Ads Everywhere

Image source: Evolution of web monitization

If you really want to drive away your visitors, one of the fastest ways to do it is cramming your blog full of ads.

Try to find the least relevant ads, place them in the most prominent positions, and make them as distracting and offensive as possible. People will quickly realize what a sell-out you are and will leave your blog in droves.

6: Regurgitate Information

If you’re running any kind of informational blog, one of the best ways you can run it into the ground is to provide only regurgitated information – the sort of content that’s common knowledge by now.

Do you tell the news? Look back two or three weeks for data. Are you teaching people about a new type of software? Only provide paraphrased information and directions that can be found on the software’s main site.

7: Talk Like a Robot

People don’t read blogs so they can feel nostalgic toward college textbooks – mostly because no one has that nostalgia. With that in mind, try your best to replicate a dull, monotonous voice that’s completely devoid of all personality.

Making these changes should only take you a couple hours at most. By the end of the process, half your visitors will already be gone, and the rest will be abandoning ship shortly thereafter.

Jessy is a creative blogger for Life Insurance Finder, the free money-saving tool based in Australia.