Great photos elicit curiosity about a place or event. They give readers a glimpse of what is uniquely beautiful about the place and what makes it a must-see attraction. A travel story is better imagined through photos. This is why it is important that you learn about the rule of thirds (if you still haven’t). Shoot at times of the day when natural lighting is at its best, and choose the right lens when taking pictures. This knowledge, along with your observation skills, will enable you to tell a story through your photos and encourage your readers to stay for more.
Investing in an action camera is a fun way to document your adventures more, allowing your readers to see the intensity of your every move. But more than learning how to best use your action camera for your next trip, you can also make your travel blog a sure hit. Here’s how:
Write in detail
Most people check out travel blogs when preparing for their trip’s itinerary. Having a detailed log of your entire visit to a destination attracts more readers. Make sure you put the name of the place, nearby landmarks, and the breakdown of expenses in your trip. By doing this, your blog entry will be seen as a helpful guide that will likely be passed along by your blog readers to their friends. This will encourage more visitors and increase traffic for your blog.
Make yourself known
Sam of Nomadicsamuel.com couldn’t have said it better: “You’re a complete nobody when you first start out. It’s great having ‘Mom follow along’ but in order to create a successful travel blog you need a solid readership.” One of the ways to do this is to comment on other travel blogs. Be friendly and share what you know about the place or topic being talked about in the blog entry. Interesting discussion between readers are likely to start within the comments section of a blog post, so this is a good place for you to widen your reach and get people interested to hop over your blog, too.
Keep the travel story real
Ben Beiske of Livingthedream.com, in a discussion over at TravelBlog.com, writes that one of his greatest peeves is when a blogger over-idealizes a place. “I am looking for blogs that don’t ideali[z]e a place, but give a balanced view. And of course that’s how I try to write my blogs as well. Not all experiences are good when you travel, and I think there is nothing wrong in mentioning bad experiences as well.”
Do not be afraid to give a place a negative review. What might be a good experience for others might not be the same for you. Plus, experiences like this will help set the expectations of your readers straight and help them prepare for untoward incidents.
Tell how the locals do it
Some people are interested in the lifestyles of the locals of a place. Be sure to include this in your agenda. What are they like? Where do they normally go to eat for lunch? What about when there are celebrations and festivities? How do they prepare for such things? How do locals spend their weekends and days off? These are the things that you might want to take note of as you wander, take photographs, and write about your experience.
Offer your readers a different way to experience a place
If you’re a bit more adventurous, you can go the spontaneous route and skip the travel guides. Go to a place or try an activity that is not normally done by tourists and document your experience for your readers to see. Since your blog will be among the few (if any) who has this information, it will be the go-to site of people who are up for a different experience. Who knows? The activity you did might just be the next big thing in that place’s tourism. If you write about your experience well enough and post photos that enhance your storytelling, your blog post may even be used as a reference by the place’s local tourism board.
Show a bit of your personality in your posts
Readers sometimes choose a blog author they can identify with before considering they type of content they produce. So show a bit of your personality in your entries? If you’re funny, inject a bit of humor in your posts. If you’re sporty, feel free to use sports-related analogies in expressing your points of discussion. Choose photos that perfectly support the personality you’re trying to project. Showing your personality in your posts will make your blog look more authentic.
Tell it like it is
Just a warning though: it’s easy to get carried away when writing a travel piece and exaggerate certain parts to make your story lively and intriguing. Such an effort is good, but do not mislead your readers. You may end up losing both your readers and your credibility.
Earl of WanderingEarl.com reminds his fellow travel bloggers of their responsibility to their readers as bearers of truth. “Let’s inspire and motivate through what we know, what we experience, what we learn through our travels. We can do that by telling it like it is, by being honest. We’ll be helping a lot more people achieve their travel goals as a result.”
Building a name for your travel blog takes a lot of time and energy, but it can be done. All it takes is a bit of patience and drive to write even when your blog posts seem to go unnoticed. Your hard work will eventually pay off.
Liz Pekler is a travel photographer with more than 10 years of experience in the field. Being a freelance blogger enables her to help photography beginners and enthusiasts to tell wonderful stories of their travels as seen through their lenses. It also allows her to share her thoughts about another advocacy of hers: social equality and change.
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