Blogging Lifestyle

6 mistakes that travel bloggers do and how to avoid them

1. “Follow my adventures”

Ok, I get it – you’re cool and you go to awesome places. I don’t doubt this and I’m not even being sarcastic. But you see, the people who are genetically predisposed to being “followers” are already stalking Kim K and a number of other meaningless people (no offence Kim, but we both know your actual coefficient of efficiency is below 0).

The other type of people (who don’t care about following someone just so they can have their own self-confidence thorn apart daily) are interested in bloggers providing them with valuable information or thoughts that can help their growth as human beings.

So, with that in mind, you’ll need to change the attitude. Instead of saying:
“Follow my adventures in Sweden”,
“Join me on an adventure in Sweden and I’ll be telling you about all the good places I find and warning you about the bad ones”.
With a sentence like this you have far better chance of attracting people who are at least remotely interested in Sweden.

2. I am off to discover the world: on my way to Asia!

Last time I checked, Asia was still the same size it was 200 years ago, so the chances of you discovering the world there are tiny. Try Africa. Or even, hold on… there is a place more exotic that Africa: try Europe! For most of us, millennials, Europe is where our ancestors came from and where it all began (yes, that includes Americans). Can you imagine how exotic exploring your family roots may be? Why don’t you consider it?

Back to Asia: I bet there is a lot to be seen and experienced there and I am willing to visit it myself one day. But it is not The World! And it is so culturally different, that you may end up with a gazillion stories that only other bloggers will be able to relate to.

And last but not least: we’re getting bored from the pics of Taj Mahal and colorful Indian outfits…

3. A day in [some city]

I’ll just go ahead and say it: I am yet to read one good story with a title “A day in …” (drop a link in the comments if you think I am mistaken). I do not mean to offend but I am getting the feeling that this title pops up, when you really want to share the pictures of a place but nothing worth sharing happened that day.

The problem is that by wasting a title like this with an article which sounds like “We went here, then went there” you actually risk losing readers. They may think that you are using your blog to communicate with your close friends only or that you’re a really boring blogger. You lose in both cases.

Next time you go to a new city, try putting together a post about the place that tells people which locations you found interesting and why; list them with their addresses and working hours and crack a joke. Or tell us why you think the stereotype for this city is wrong. Or why is it correct.

Either way – if I have landed on the page through Google, I am most probably looking for tips and advice – give me what I want and I’ll be back for more.

4. “How I got [x] followers on Instagram”

I totally and completely understand that a part of you is willing to help others get a huge following, but I also know that your evil side is thinking how many new followers this publication will get you.

Remember #1 in this post though? I may not really want to be labeled “a follower”… So instead of this, try putting a post with the title “How I got found by [x] people on Instagram”. I know it’s less “search engine friendly” but I assure you – it’s way more human friendly.

5. “My new outfit / shoes / lipstick that’s absolutely perfect”

It compliments your body and the fabric is so soft and gentle, etc. I’m happy for you, but it doesn’t say much to me, the reader. I need a little more information. I need to know why you’re advertising the specific product.

I realize most blogs like this are the result of a paid opportunity and this would be absolutely fine, if you were a little more open about it. If you said: “Apparently brand [X] likes the way I describe products, so they sent me [Y] to try” you’d break the ice immediately. And guess what: your readers don’t have to wonder if you’re honest or not. That’s quite a relief and makes everything easier.

Another benefit is that if brand [X] trusted your knowledge enough to let you test a product and write about it, you can use the moment to show off with that knowledge. Make me trust you by explaining the product in dept.

6. Not humble enough

I am myself a blogger and as such, I have made lots of mistakes and I assure you – I will make many more (stick around to punch me in the eye every time I do). But I try to be better every day and I try to deliver more quality because I strongly believe that blogging is not merely a priority I have, due to living in a world which allows me to own a computer and connect with people thousands of miles away (mind you, quite some people don’t even know what a computer is).

So, fellow bloggers, appreciate the opportunity of having a voice and use it for the good you’d like to see brought to this world.

Having a voice is our right, but it’s mostly our responsibility as we speak even for those who will never have one.

By Nina Alexander

Nina is the big sister. She's a marketing professional by day, traveler by heart, tech geek, bookworm, beer lover and an amateur photographer. Her motto is Friedrich Nietzsche's famous quote "And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

29 replies on “6 mistakes that travel bloggers do and how to avoid them”

This is a great article. I’m not a travel blogger but I have thought about it, seeing as I do a lot of traveling. I have seen many posts containing what you discuss here. If I ever do travel blog, I’m glad to know what not to do! Thank you 🙂

I agree attitude is very important. I really dislike reading travel post that is more about the blogger then the actual place. Especially when it’s about a place that I would like to visit.

Thank you Gladys! I completely agree with you – it’s quite ugly to have people talk to you, assuming they are “more” than their readers while without readers – we’re nothing.

Haha! This made me laugh, it’s so true. I like following travel blogs just because I’m jealous and want to know how they do it. I don’t care what lipstick they’re wearing

That’s exactly how I started Sarah 🙂 I looked at others’ blog posts and realized I have a lot to share myself. And I couldn’t care less about cosmetics or make up recommendations, unless there is something really useful in the description.

Hahaha, great post. I love irony and sharpness and you defintely have it. Great job. I’ll add something to the list:
– never write a post/comment when you are angry and feeling like drinking a beer that is not around.
– remeber you are a travel blogger so… what’s the poit of talking about your lipstick?
i’ll keep on reading

Attitude is everything Varun. And you know – people like Kanye make it to the top for a while but it isn’t tangible… Humble takes a long way if you are persistent and confident enough.

lol, well… you probably wont like my blog… I think what you are saying about a persons attitude going in is spot on. If you are looking to gain “fans” and not friends you are probably misguided. If you are posting to brag… people probably wont like you. So I agree with many of the points you made but am either just totally guilty of failing at some or disagree. I post many day in “blank” posts. But I also READ many of them as well because that is how I travel (a day here a day there) and I want to see what other people have been able to pack into a day in the same place so that I dont go in with crazy expectations that I wont have time to accomplish.

I just spent some more time on your blog and actually – I love it. What you’re doing is telling your story, sharing your emotional journey. This is very different to what I mean. Being yourself and speaking about you and how you have felt at a particular location is a wonderful thing. This way you give readers a chance to get to know you better.
What I was referring to is a blunt words-created road map, which doesn’t contain any emotion 😉

Well… I am feeling a bit ashamed because I can identify myself in some of these things to avoid… But I really feel you are right! So thank you 🙂 These are tips I’ll take into consideration

Flo, I did not mean to shame anyone really 🙁 It’s my writing style that’s a bit harsh (and I have been told that several times) but I am trying to improve. Obviously, I failed this once. Nonetheless, I do hope you find the tips worth taking into consideration and you manage to build a group of online friends instead of merely followers.

I completely agree with #3! A day in (any) city needs to be detailed and exciting. If you’re just giving a play-by-play, we went here and then went here – it’s not likely to hold my attention. I love a post highlighting one or two great things in that city that will make me want to go there or make me feel like I’ve already been!

Exactly my point Corinna – it’s a great title (I have myself used it to search for tips when going to a particular city) which is exactly why I hate to see such title wasted. Thank you for commenting.

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