We receive a lot of messages from future travelers about travel blogs: “Should we write a blog before leaving? What are the advantages compared to a Facebook page? Is it expensive? Or, on the contrary, can you make money with your blog… or even travel for free?
Writing about blogging is not the purpose of this blog: I like to share my discoveries and reflections. But given the insistence and the interest shown, and despite my initial promise to write only one article on the subject, here is the behind-the-scenes and our point of view on travel blogs.
Traveling and blogging: a good idea?
I have already given you some answers in the article “travel Blogger, on vacation all year round”. Following the reactions, today let’s dig into the question I’ve been asked the most:
Should you have a travel blog?
And for the first time since the creation of this blog, we’ve concocted a four-handed article for you: François, a computer scientist, will talk to you about the technical side of blogging, and I, about the traveler’s point of view.
The travel blog: the traveler’s point of view
The travel blog has two missions for me: to share the experience of your trip and to extend this experience.
Share your experience
Going far and long and wanting to keep in touch with loved ones and share your discoveries with them is deeply human! This reassures both sides. We had this approach for our first long-distance trip: He had created a website for us to publish our photo albums and road diaries as we went along.
The advantages: let us know that we are still alive and give our news without having to write to each of our loved ones one by one. Kind of a time saver…
But this first site was not a blog. For example, there was no space for comments. The idea was not to be interactive but to deposit content accessible to our loved ones. Nor were we looking to be read by strangers. We didn’t have any social networks and didn’t share anything outside of our site.
Over time, we continued to publish our photo albums and traveler photo there… but not so much for our loved ones, who followed us from afar, more for ourselves. Keep track. An album that can be consulted anywhere and anytime.
After our second trip to Peru, four years after our first big trip, I wanted to write other types of articles. Get out of the canvas that we had created for ourselves to share thoughts and answer certain recurring questions from relatives and friends of relatives, interested in benefiting from our advice drawn from our past experiences. This is where I created Wonder Road Travel, with a very different approach.
Live your journey or write it down?
Write during your trip or after? A question that I solve by saying to myself: and why not both? When I have the desire and the time… quite simply.
I like to write while traveling, especially during long journeys by bus, train, boat, or plane… This moving immobility, with the landscapes passing by behind my window, is extremely stimulating ideas are flying in all directions in my head and my fingers. swarm. It’s the call of the keyboard (or notebook)!
But this question of the temporality of blogging is a real debate without a good answer.
Does sharing your trip diminish its experience? Or does it amplify it?
Some consider that publishing photos and articles during the trip cuts the traveler off from their experience on-site. Others, like me, consider on the contrary that writing is an extension of this immersion, reliving in the evening, through writing and the selection of photos, the highlights of the day. But it’s obvious, a personal balance must be found and reinvented with each trip…
Loving your blog: between ethics and personality
Travel blogs are like books: there are all kinds. “Travel diaries” blogs, advice blogs, “storytelling” blogs, reflection blogs, photo blogs, vlogs (videos)… And there are those who, like ours, mix a bit of all genre!
When you create a blog, there are often two essential points that you don’t think about.
First: there are hundreds of travel blogs.
Really. And I’m only talking about English-speaking travel blogs! It’s impressive. This implies on the one hand that by creating a blog, one enters a new community, that of travel bloggers, sharing a passion and common interests. A world to discover step by step, bloggers to “meet” (virtually or not) … This also implies that many others before you have had the same idea as you and are probably talking about the places you have visited or that you go find out…
Second: how will your blog be unique?
It is a question to be asked, at the same time as that of its objective. When I started, very naively, this blog, I had no other objective than to write. My head was full of words, I wanted to lay them down on the keyboard. That’s all. Not even to be read. Just write. This is a bit paradoxical… But some people have a much clearer vision when they start their blog, with a marketing plan and the desire to monetize their site, or even to become professional US travel bloggers.
I think it’s not that simple and that before embarking on this adventure, you must be very aware of the work, the time, and the energy that it requires. But also, and above all, the passion that this implies. Writing for the sake of writing makes no sense to me. Some people sometimes say “Oh, my God, I have to meet my quota of X articles per month or week”… But what’s the point? Why do we write?
For me, the real, the first, the most important of all reasons to write should be envy.
Yes, it is possible to become professional as a blogger, at least initially in the way you blog mother daughter trips and the quality of your work. But it is a complete approach to adopt.
And the ethics in all this? I speak of ethics because that is part, for me, of the approach of the blogger. Ethics is to write your articles, without copying and pasting from Wikipedia or other websites. Ethics is to cite the source of the photos if you do not use your own. Ethics is to check your sources and write with heart and reason.
And alongside all this, there is the question of the identity and personality of his blog: to be unique and to offer unique content, going beyond the classic “top 10 of the most beautiful beaches to visit” …
And being ethical also means loving your blog.
And loving your blog comes first and foremost by respecting yourself and your project.
Yes, being a blogger means asking yourself a lot of questions!