Since I started my own travel blog 3+ years ago, I’ve been asked a lot how I manage to keep writing while working full time. The truth is, its surely challenging at times. I’ve had numerous occasions when there was literally no new material to write about. Winter months are slow and not much is happening. Nevertheless, you can still stretch your older experiences and make use of past trips months after they actually happened. Here is a small guide how to keep writing awesome content even if you can’t afford to travel full time.
Someone mentioned in travel bloggers social media group that place where you live is a destination for someone else. I can’t agree more. Luckily, I live in a city that lot’s of people may be interested in and keep visiting every year. To make things even better – it’s a cruise port! Every summer, loads and loads of cruise passengers enter the old town gates, take organized tours and board tour buses.
My hometown is Tallinn, Estonia. Over the years, I have written many useful blog posts on how to spend a day, best museums, where to stay and day trips from this amazing city. Surely, it’s not as popular as Rome or Paris, but I hope it will gain in popularity and my advantage is the ability to always get the latest, freshest material in a matter of days.
Nearby countries can be fun
Traveling to a neighboring country over the weekend is rather easy when you live in Europe. For me, this means variety of day trips to Latvia, Russia, Finland or Sweden. I have also managed to fly to Germany over the weekend. Of course, these are just short trips, usually for one day.
The best trips I have done so far were to St.Petersburg in Russia. This city is easily the most culturally diverse and has the best choice of entertainment combined with very affordable accommodation, food and transport. Every time I come back, there is always something new to discover, cool museum to enjoy and tasty local cuisine to try.
Maximize your holiday time
One or two weeks holiday is ridiculously short time if you are spending it in a sun and beach kind of destination. Surely, you need to relax and just lay down from time to time, but wasting precious holiday time on things like that is not worthwhile.
Every time I plan a trip somewhere, I like to research and create the most tricky and competitive itinerary I possibly can. It needs to include a bit of everything – from places to relax to challenging hikes and road trips. Every day I spend in the country should provide me enough material to compile a blog post of at least 1000 words.
Plan everything to detail
Planning is the key to productive travel blogging. You will not have a ton of new material unless you have planned to gather it. It’s not just about taking good photos. In order to get the maximum out of short trip time, you can’t be wasting half a day figuring out when the bus leaves or how to get somewhere.
All our moves at the destinations, places of interest you intend to visit, restaurants to eat at, possible costs and currencies as well as cash – it all needs to be sorted and planned ahead. For some travelers this would mean taking the fun out of traveling. It’s true, but would make being a productive travel content creator very inefficient. Blogging is a job! Once you are back, you can start writing about preparations and travel tips, too!
New destinations are the key
We all have favorite places we want to return to every once in a while. You can keep writing about past travels for as much as you want. However, that would mean a lost opportunity for us as bloggers. While you still can squeeze something new from the destination, spending time in the same city over and over again will eventually limit your topic potential.
The key writing interesting and engaging content about travel is variety of destinations. Depending on your niche, this may mean new budget hotels in various countries, best beaches, coolest ski slopes and the most exciting hikes. Going to a new place may sometimes be uncomfortable and look like a lot of work to prepare, but you will definitely gain more in the end – new experiences, great new photos and fantastic memories, not to mention whole new stories to tell.
Guest posts help in slow times
Last of on my list are guest posts. When nothing else works and you have zero ideas what to write about, ask other bloggers to help you out. Many active travelers have travel blogs these days. You will find like-minded travel bloggers in social media communities. Search engines love back links, so every new and old blogger out there would probably be willing to contribute to your successful travel blog in exchange for a back link.
I have participated in many group posts over the years and shared my knowledge with other bloggers. It’s a great and really helpful way to communicate and make connections. Getting to know others and reading their blogs is a good way to learn and improve your own writing and write about places you’ve been to. In the end it’s not about making money off clicks but creating a blog about the value travel can give to someone.
What are your tips?