Travel Blogging 101

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Keeping friends and family updated about your travels can quickly become a real chore, both for you and those you are trying to stay connected with. Contacting people individually takes time and money. Mass e-mails are a solution, but they color and variety. One of the best ways to stay in touch is to keep a blog of your travels. Blogs allow people to check in at their leisure, but they also provide you with a creative outlet for documenting your trip. By the end of your journey, having a blog is like having an already complete scrapbook of your trip. Finally, blogs are a great way to start a career as a travel writer, honing your skills for future gigs with magazines and online travel guides.

Domain
The first thing you’ll need to do is decide on a domain provider. This is essentially where your blog will leave forever. The biggest blog sites are Blogger, by Google, and WordPress. Both are free and excellent, though there are other free hosting sites out there. Play around with each and see which format you like using the best.

Keep It Short
When you’re traveling, nearly everything that happens to you is interesting, from the three-legged cat you met at the train station in Prague to the frightening midnight walk you took through London’s Hyde Park. It’s all good stuff, but it doesn’t necessarily mean other people want to read about it. Keep each post short and succinct, under 500 words is a good target. Try focusing in on one part of your day and describing each detail. Fifteen-hundred word posts are great, but most people will not take the time to read them. You want to keep people wanting more.

Keep it Regular
Establish a schedule and stick to it. Even if you only post once a week, your readers should expect a posting at regular intervals. If your schedule makes such a publishing rate difficult, try writing posts in advance. Most online publishing sites will let you set a future date for automatic publication.

Equipment
While having a computer is not absolutely necessary, it can make blogging much, much easier. With a small tablet or netbook, you can work on your posts even when you don’t have access to the internet. Put down ideas when they are fresh and compose articles for quick publication when you are near a WIFI area. Having a camera is another major advantage. Blogs with pictures and movies are more engaging and fun to read.

Tips
If you’re interested in turning your blog into a resource for other travelers, or if you want to use the blog as a stepping stone for a travel writing career, you want to promote it as much as possible. Share your blog posts on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Find a unique hook that would make your blog a beneficial resource for other travelers. Identify your strength and turn it into a travel writing specialty.

By Patrick Hutchison

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