I’ve decided to dust off the ol’ personal blog and use it to write about things which I don’t want to put on my main site. I think the best way to get into the habit of writing is to write, and I don’t always want to write about things which I’d put on my travel blog, so I’ll just stick them here.
The first subject I want to address is the very thing I’m doing on this site: keeping your blog on-point.
There has been a trend I’ve noticed during the last several months. People start a travel blog because they are about to take off on a long trip. As they learn more about blogging, SEO and social media, it starts to consume them and pretty soon their travel blog spends more time talking about blogging than it does about travel.
People……no one is interested in this!
If you draw a Venn Diagram of people interested in blogging and people interested in travel, you don’t get both circles, you get the tiny hunk in the middle.
The total universe of people who are interested in travel blogging is pretty small in the big scheme of things. Walk down the street and ask people if they are interested in blogging or if they are interested in travel? I think the answer you get will be pretty obvious.
Moreover, unless you have been running a blog for years, you probably don’t have much to add to the conversation other than rehashing what you’ve read on other sites.
It is easy to get suckered into writing about it because other bloggers leave more comments than average readers. It appears that you get more action on those type of posts, but the reality is you are just limiting yourself to the echo chamber.
If you want to reach a wider audience you have to stay on point and stick to the subject that got you started in the first place: travel.
I have on occasion discussed business issues on my site, but for the most part, I stay totally away from such discussions. People aren’t interested and if there is too much inside baseball, it turns casual readers away. I would never have posted this article on my travel site for precisely that reason.
My advice: stay on topic and leave the insider discussions to blogger forums or Facebook groups where you don’t have bore the public.
…or better yet, start a personal blog.
13 replies on “Travel Blogging Isn’t Blogging About Travel Blogging”
Words to live by right here. This is the exact reason you don’t see these kinds of posts on my site. I’m really really happy that other travel bloggers read my stuff, but I want readers who have no idea what a travel blog is before they get to my site, and those people are there for the photos and the stories and to hear from the guy traveling around the world. They aren’t there for the guy sitting behind the computer.
This is part of why I started a membership site last year…as an outlet for wanting to write about the mechanics of blogging.
Couldn’t agree more with your point of view Gary… the wonderful idea of monetizing travel blogs become such an obsession, that I believe some of the most influential travel bloggers lost their focus on travel and start producing the same type of content over and over… as a traveler myself I’m so tired of reading hundred of tips on how to build/monetize your blog, endless packing lists, articles about the being a corporate america dropout and the huge benefits of being location independent professionals, it’s time to get back to the simple roots of travel blogging… traveling and story telling. Great article.
[Echo chamber] I agree! **I agree** ….i agree…
This is so true. Like you say you have to make sure you are true to what you are blogging about.
It seems to me that the crux of the problem is that most travel blogs ARE personal blogs (or should be), but the site owner doesn’t yet recognize it.
At last! you have said outloud what I’ve been thinking for a while, and I couldn’t agree more with every word, and with the comments too. And not only have blogs changed from descriptions of travel to travel guides, but they are now also morphing into kind of self-help guides too. Sure, it’s great to be able to help people kick their stick-in-the-mud habits, but lots of people don’t actually want to do that, or can’t, they just want to travel vicariously or get an idea of what a place is like for a future trip.
I think you’re absolutely right, except that another real problem is people talking about THEMSELVES, and not travel hahaha!
@Bill I don’t have an issue with that. My site is very first person and personal. I only write about things I experience. In fact, it is the only thing anyone can write about.
Totally agree, but not every travel blogger understand this point. Bloggers have to write about the topic people is looking for in a travel blog: experiences and advise for travelling
I’ve noticed the same problem with other travel sites and try to avoid it myself! Thanks for the insight!
When travelers start a blog to document their travels, they often don’t know much about the blogging scene. They just want to have a platform to keep mom, dad and the guys up to date.
Once they start a blog, they start reading other blogs, spend more time using social media and eventually get in contact with terms as monetization, google adsense and SEO.
When you’re about to make a long lasting trip, those are the topics that bring dollar signs in your eyes.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could earn money with your blog? Imagine how much you could extend your trip. Two hours blogging in the morning instead of eight hour shifts at a hostel bar.
This is what drives bloggers into broathen the subject of their blog to online marketing stuff.
Hey Gary – I’m with you on this one and it seems to be getting worse. From someone who’s travelled the world extensively. I started a personal travel blog about 7 or 8 months ago to get some of my photo’s and tales in the public realm. Hopefully my blog will inspire others to get out there and travel, and I enjoy writing about what I’ve done.
If people read it or comment on it thats great, but the number of travel blogs posting about things other than travel is starting to get ridiculous. I enjoyed the back and forth banter on Backpacking Matt’s site regarding his recent post on site traffic, and I hope people can write more about interesting travel stories or general travel information rather than pushing out ‘How to Blog’ articles. You will never see a ‘How to Blog, or SEO ectt post on my site’. Thanks for putting this out there. It needed to be said.