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Travel Blogging 101 : How to Improve Your Travel Blog

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Congratulations! Obviously you have a travel blog or else you probably wouldn’t be interested in improving it. If you don’t have a travel blog, well, read on anyway, because by reading this article you might avoid some of the common newbie travel blog mistakes.  Along with these simple tips, I also included photos and insights from fellow travel bloggers on “What Makes a Good Travel Blog”.


Gaye Emami in La Union

“A great travel blog will show the good, the bad, and the ugly – yet it can still make you pack your bags 5 minutes into reading it.” – Gaye Emami of PinayTravelJunkie.com

If you’ve spent any time looking at travel blogs on the Internet, you’ve probably noticed that most of them aren’t worth remembering. In fact, the sad truth is that when you think of the blogs you’ve looked at, chances are that you won’t remember much about them – not even the name!


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Starfish Island in Honda Bay Palawan
Starfish Island in Honda Bay Palawan

Aside from good stories, a good travel blog should have good photos. Posting UGLY pictures in our posts will do MORE HARM than good to our effort to help the Philippine tourism industry. – Antonio Carranza of Pusangkalye.net

One of the first things you can do to improve your travel blog is to make your name memorable. If your blog is called “Journeys and Travels with Betsy V. Watson”, it might be descriptive, but it isn’t memorable. A better name would be simply ‘Betsy Travels’ or ‘Journey with Betsy’. Okay, so let’s say you like your name just fine, what can you do next?

Marcos Pinuela Caratao Jr. of www.ambot-ah.com
Kapururawan White Rock Burgos, Ilocos Norte

“A good travel blog must be able to help its readers at any point along process of traveling. From inspiring them to travel to the places featured in the blog to providing the information they need to travel to those destinations.” – Marcos Pinuela Caratao Jr. of www.ambot-ah.com

Simple. It’s called branding. It’s not only big companies that do it, small companies need to do it too. Part of the reason I suggest a shorter name is because when you are branding, you don’t want to have to say a long name every three sentences such as:

Batanes
Batanes

A good travel blog gives the reader an honest assessment of a destination providing realistic and useful information on where to go, how to get there, what to do, where to stay, what to eat in addition to the what not to dos in a particular area. What a good travel blog should not do is just paint a rosey picture about a destination or give false or incomplete impressions of a place. – Jojo Ayson of Lakwatsero.me

Advertising with Journeys and Travels with Betsy V. Watson is a must because every traveler comes here and reads Journeys and Travels with Betsy V. Watson several times a week. Can you imagine your blog tittle this long?

Woodcarver at Ta Prohm
Woodcarver at Ta Prohm

A good blog can make me travel vicariously. All the elements in the blog–from the content to the layout and the pictures used–contribute to make me feel as I were really in that place being blogged about. Aleah of www.SolitaryWanderer.com

It’s awkward, it’s unpleasant, and worst of all- it’s still not memorable. Put Betsy Travels in your blog header and suddenly it sounds cute, it sounds memorable, and chances are, readers will remember it. You can brand in text as above and with graphics too. Make sure you have a nice, easy to read logo. Make it fun. People remember fun and they come back to it.

coron palawan
Coron Palawan

If it provides the unusual things to do and unusual places to visit about that place. And an honest feedback (no sugar coating please) from the blogger is a thumbs-up! – Chyng Reyes of www.ChyngReyes.com

In terms of making your site better, the above is a good rule to remember. Make it fun. Nobody wants to read wikipedia when they can read Lonely Planet instead. Look at a good guidebook. What does it have? Fun facts, great pictures, quirky descriptions, and easy navigation.

palaui island
Palaui Island in Cagayan Valley

“A good travel blog for me is when the blogger was able to compose a mixture of the over-all travel experience, background and history of the place itself accompanied with wonderful images. Written in wild humor with a bit of inspiring quips.” – Marky Ramone Go – http://nomadicexperiences.blogspot.com/

Your travel blog should also have all of these. Make your site easy to get around on. People shouldn’t have to spend ten minutes searching for something. If they do, they will use google and unless you are either extremely lucky or have a great travel blog already, they will find someone else – not you.

So, the first steps to improve your travel blog? 1) fix your name 2 ) start branding 3) make your site clean and easy to navigate 4) keep it fun. It’s a start.

Take care of that and then come back here for more tips about travel blogging:)

Comments

comments

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27 COMMENTS

  1. easy to navigate, pleasing to the eyes, very informative,those are among the many thing I LOOOOVE about your blog Melo….I am sure people also find this very enticing. no wonder why your blog is very famous. thanks

  2. one more thing: i find it more reliable if the blogger shows himself in the blog. pero not to the extent of camwhoring! =)

    ps. that’s true. ang pleasant sa mata at pleasant to browse yung site mo.

  3. very nice blog post, melo! love the pics too. i agree that a travel blog should have good pics. it should entice readers to go and see the place for themselves.

  4. Thanks. It was really very helpful. I’ve noted your suggestion point that was given by other travel bloggers. Wish this will help me improve my blog.

  5. I have to disagree regarding name choice. “Long and boring” is relative. What’s long and boring for one doesn’t necessarily mean it’s also long and boring for another. What appeals to a certain target audience will not necessarily appeal to another.

    IMHO, itt’s how you’re able to carry the name and execute. One can retain “Journeys and Travels with Betsy V. Watson,” go for a travel diary theme, and have articles written with a conversational tone. Her entries can contain photos with her on it. People will remember her blog, albeit its long blog name, to being a blog where they can “hear” stories of travel from Betsy V. Watson.

    For me, branding comes from the overall image projected by the entire blog that will appeal to its intended audience. It’s important that everything in the blog falls into place as a whole, thereby making the blog memorable.

    • @Gail – Point taken:) One of the most important essense of blogging is the ability of everyone to express their opinion regarding a topic and I appreciate each and everyones feedback! Thanks for dropping by:)

  6. Thank you on this kind tips mel. As a beginner in travel blogging, somehow, I’ve been doing already some of the tips you’ve mentioned in this article. keep on giving tips mel. We’re always following you here in Bukidnon. Two thumbs up!!!.

  7. @Chyng – I guess the problem with me is I dont normally take photos of my self:( But I agree.. I will try to to embed environmental portraits in my future posts:)

  8. Thanks for this blog Sir Melo! I know this has been an old entry but it definitely made me strive to revise and improve my blog. I will be getting another domain and a trusted hosting soon. 🙂

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