If you’ve already got your own travel blog up and running, that’s awesome! Sharing your experiences about this amazing planet we all share is a great thing for you to do; helping others discover new locations, and learn about cultures they may not have even heard of, is more than a worthwhile goal, it’s something we should all endeavor to do as human beings.
Still, maybe your viewership isn’t as widespread as you want it to be; maybe there’s something missing in your blog to really make it stand out from the crowd; or, maybe you just want to get even better at what you do. They’re all perfectly fine – every blogger worth their salt should want to improve, and explore the ways that they can not only draw in new readers, but create an even better experience for those who already subscribe.
Consider the following ideas to help your travel blog grow, and have an even greater impact on your readers.
Take the Road Less Traveled
Travel blogs are a dime a dozen, and they cover nearly every topic imaginable. To complicate things even more, non-travel blogs, like Facebook and Instagram, make it easier than ever to share photos and posts from a trip to the beach or a tour of Asia. What this means for you as a blogger is not only more competition for your readers’ attention, but also fewer ideas to use that are wholly original.
But if you want your blog to stand out, you need to find a niche no one else, or very few people, are covering. This can be tough to do, and will take some creativity on your part. Some suggestions to pull this off include:
Look for Unique Locales – Just about every travel blog you come across will have posts titled something like, “Your Guide to Vacationing in Las Vegas,” or “The Top Ten Shopping Destinations in New York City.” While there’s nothing wrong with talking about either of these cities, they’re both great places to visit, you won’t stand out talking about the exact same places everyone else is.
Instead, discuss regions and cities that few people are showcasing. Travel blogs appeal to people because they get to see places they’ve never been, and learn more about them. They don’t necessarily have to be locations that your readers will actually travel to – you can talk about the deserts of Saudi Arabia or the Arctic Tundra and make it interesting. Sometimes, it’s enough just to learn something new!
Take a Different Approach – If you are going to talk about a common location, approach your subject from a different perspective. Everyone wants to talk about the casinos, spas, and shows when they discuss Las Vegas. Again, nothing wrong with that, but it’s been done before, and many times. You never, or hardly ever, see anyone discuss the music scene in Las Vegas, despite the fact that Imagine Dragons and Five Finger Death Punch both call Las Vegas home. Using a different perspective will allow you to talk about common travel destinations in an uncommon way!
Improve the Quality of Your Writing
Nothing is more painful for a reader than to find a blog with a topic they’re interested in, with an article that covers exactly what they were looking for, only to discover that the useful info is buried beneath layers and layers of fluff and bad grammar. Blogs are primarily a medium that uses the written word to communicate what you’re trying to say, so with that in mind, if you want to make your blog stand out, you need to be able to write well.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying you have to be the next Stephen King. Part of the appeal of blogging is that anyone can get started in it, and they can showcase experiences, advice and ideas that are common to many people with simple, easy-to-understand language. You’re not necessarily trying to write a bestselling book on your blog (although
there are bloggers who have).
Instead, what I’m talking about is generally improving your grammar, how you structure your posts with a beginning, middle and end, and in the case of relating your experiences, how you tell a story. There are many different ways to do this, and it depends on your preferred learning style, as well as what aspect of your writing you want to improve.
Do a search for the most popular blogs on the web, and do a careful analysis of their writing styles. You shouldn’t be copying them, but instead, looking at what makes them work: how they structure their posts, the persona and tone they use, how they present their topics. Understanding how different people approach different topics, and their blogging philosophies, will help broaden your knowledge, as well as generate potential ideas for your own blog posts.
Tying in with your writing clarity, think about how impactful your blog and domain names are. If you didn’t give it much thought when you started, and settled for johnlikestocanoe.com, I’m not blaming you: we all have to start somewhere. But to make you stand out, you’ll need a name that’s simple, but memorable, and that means you may need to retitle your blog and register a new domain name.
Use Better Images to Illustrate Your Posts
There are few places that the old adage of “a picture is worth a thousand words” proves itself more true than on blogs. No matter how good your writing is, you should include some visual indicator to elaborate on or illustrate the points that you make in your blog.
Since blogs are very personal affairs for many bloggers, taking your own pictures, and indeed, featuring your own adventures, can go a very long way towards drawing more people into what you’re blogging about. If you haven’t yet, start training yourself in photography.
Don’t worry so much about the camera right now; cell phones have gotten to the point that they can take very high quality, if not professional grade, photos. Instead, immerse yourself in the principles of lighting and composition; figure out how the Rule of Thirds works and how to turn it to your advantage.Utilizing these principles, even photos taken without filters on a mid-range phone can become compelling illustrations of the stories you’re telling.
If you’re not a competent photographer, and know you never will be, that’s okay; you can still provide high quality, engaging images to expand on your written word. If you can’t compile your own photography to use, you should look into use free stock black-and-white images to accompany your post.
The important aspect to focus on is providing images, whether your own or those you use from cited sources, to bring a deeper understanding of your topic in each post.