Do what you love and the money will follow.
Successful travel bloggers will tell you it’s not that simple. Making a living from blogging is a tough and competitive business requiring a lot of time and effort.
Not only a blogger, I’m also a reader; your audience, if you like. I respect good writing. The bloggers I follow are polished and have a unique perspective on their experiences. They bring me along for the ride and give me something to consider. They’re the “go-to’s” when I’m researching my next destination.
I’ve also read a lot of blogs reminiscent of those tone-deaf kids who show up on reality tv because no one was kind enough to say “honey, singing really isn’t your gift”. These are the bloggers who have committed the cardinal sins that guarantee I will never visit their site again.
If you want to be a successful travel blogger, here are some suggestions of What NOT To Do from a reader’s perspective.
Do NOT steal content
There’s a lot of pressure to be consistent in your blogging. It’s needed to maintain and increase readership and followers, as well as build sponsorship. There will be times you stare at the screen and your mind is as blank as the page in front of you. There are ways to deal with those moments that don’t require plagiarism.
Your writing style is like a fingerprint. If you really can’t come up with your own ideas, then you need to rethink your decision to blog.
Do NOT write what you don’t know
I recently came across a post about my home town that had a glaring factual error. It was even highlighted in bold font! In a single sentence, it became obvious the writer had never been there, nor done their research. A typo can be forgiven but an error like that speaks to your credibility.
Do NOT buy into the “people only scan” hype
People scan because the content doesn’t grab their attention and because they’re weeding through manure to find diamonds. Do we really need another “5 things to do in (insert location here)”? Find your own voice! There are almost 8 billion people on this planet. If you write something worth reading, people will take the time to do so. Be the diamond.
Do NOT ramble
Okay, so I’m guilty of that. I’m part Irish – I don’t know HOW to tell a short story! Whether your post is short or long, be clear, be concise and write with a defined focus.
Do NOT market yourself as something you’re not
Some bloggers branch out with courses, ebooks and speaking engagements linked to their blogs. A recent seminar run by a blogger who also markets himself as a speaker was so painful I almost walked out after the first half hour. Course development and facilitation clearly weren’t his skill set.
If you’re offering a product, make sure you can deliver quality. Stick with what you do well.
Blogging is great way to share your adventures, offer a unique perspective and build community through common interests. Do it with integrity, do it with courage, and do it for the love of writing. Maybe then, with a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck, the money will follow.
As a reader or a blogger, do you also have a tip of your own to share?