nyway, let me share the ‘best’ trends and pieces of advice I’ve came across on the internet with you and tell you why I’m not going to follow them. But first, let me start with a tip I actually AM going to follow but which still is worth mentioning. It’s like the number 1 on every list of blogging tips. Every. Single. One of them.
Ready??? Here it comes…
“WRITE GOOD CONTENT ABOUT INTERESTING THINGS”
REALLY?!? Can’t I just sit in my couch all day and write a load of crap about it??? Damn, I’m gonna have to change my strategy…
1. Start EVERY post title with “how to” or “10 tips/reasons/ways/…”
OK the fact that you’re reading this article kinda proves (sadly) that strategy actually works… And I’m not saying you should NEVER use titles like this. I’ve done it myself a few times too, like when I wrote my 34 reasons why I travel for my 34th birthday. But what’s wrong with a bit of originality?
I could have called it “How to spend 2 days in Rhodes town” but instead I chose “Getting lost in the cobbled maze of Rhodes town“. It’s one of my most shared and most read articles since the beginning of my blog and I doubt that’s because Rhodes is the number 1 on everybody’s bucketlist…
IF YOU CAN’T EVEN COME UP WITH A DECENT TITLE, HOW
ARE YOU GOING TO WRITE THE REST OF THE ARTICLE?
2. Write lists and keep it short
Of course, you have to live up to the promise of your “10 ways to…” title, which kinda asks for a list of 10 points…
“Remove the superfluous details of what really happened, 99% of them don’t interest the reader. Stick to the facts.”
NO, I DID NOT MAKE THAT UP…
Let’s look at an example from my “The slow boat to Cambodia – How the Mekong broke my heart” post (which by the way I should have called “10 Things the Mekong taught me” if I wanted it to be really successful).
“Slowly we glide over the Mekong river, rocked by the water for hours, getting tired but refusing to fall asleep. It’s too beautiful and too ugly at the same time to miss even a minute of it. Lush tropical vegetation in stark contrast to tiny rickety houses. A woman using her ‘toilet’ (read board with a hole in it and some panels fixed around it, not even high enough to cover up her upper body) right above the river as we pass, a man washing his cows in it a bit further down the stream.
People are working like animals on the fields, each and every one of them looking up to wave at us. They have the biggest smiles I’ve ever seen. Children dressed in rags running along the shore in an attempt to follow our boat, probably still too young to be dreaming of jumping on it and sailing with us to better places.
After 2,5 hours we arrive at a building in the middle of the river…”
Following the precious advice about ‘sticking to the facts’, this would have been something like:
“We sit in a boat for 2,5 hours. There’s children along the shore and a woman peeing in the river.”
You’re right, that’s waaaaaaaaaay more interesting…
PLEASE PEOPLE, CAN WE GET A BIT OF EMOTION AND A HINT OF PASSION, TOO?
Are we really resuming the magnificent experience that is traveling to a bunch of lists and facts? What are we, a guide book? Of course I’ll give you the practical details behind my stories, but what’s the use in giving them if I don’t make you WANT to travel, first? So pleeeeeaaase let’s not give in to this whole top 10 trend, please let’s not loose our passion!
3. Place random Google advertising on your blog in order to make money
Really, ANYTHING seems to do the trick… Not long ago, I saw one for sex toys. Sex toys!! Now I can understand one’s sexual desires don’t suddenly go away when starting to travel, but that doesn’t mean I’d go to a travel blog if I were looking for sex toys, nor would I suddenly decide to buy a few because the article I just read about ‘The 10 best spicy foods in Thailand’ made me hungry.
MAYBE IT WOULD BE TIME TO REDEFINE THE WORDS ‘TRAVEL RELATED’.
It’s not because you cut your toe nails while you travel that all of a sudden toe nail cutting becomes travel related, is it? Well at least I hope so because if I’m gonna have to start reading articles about people cutting their toe nails, I think I’ll run away and never come back! Hmmm, runing away and never comming back… actually that doesn’t sound bad at all… Can somebody write an article about toe nail cutting please???
On top of that, you really have to be naieve to think this actually works if you don’t have 400 000 monthly readers. Nicole from The adventures of Lil Nicki wrote a post about it that’s so hilarious I actually have tears in my eyes every time I read it. It’s called “How I’ve made $0,21 as a travel blogger“. Check it out here!
4. Post loads of sexy pictures of yourself. If possible looking perfect wearing a tiny bikini.
What is this? America’s next top model?? Are we writing about travel or about how to have perfect skin, hair and measurements? Are my stories less good because I’m not a size 0? Is my advice less valuable because I’m actually wearing clothes in my pictures?
CAN WE PLEASE STOP BEING FAKE???
Can we please show the real side of travel instead of spending 3 hours getting ready for the perfect selfie? I mean who looks like that when it’s 37°C outside with 95% of humidity?!? Who wears heels for a visit to an aercheological site? Who takes a curling iron on a trip to the Mekong?
What about emotions? Aren’t we allowed to look like we’re having fun instead of doing everything we can to look perfect for the picture? To cry when something breaks our heart? To sweat and have our hair sticking to our face when it’s hot and to look like shit after spending 15 hours on a night bus?
I’ll show you what a girl having fun in a swimsuit really looks like. There! Am I looking super skinny, perfect or even a tiny bit elegant? No I’m not! Am I having a blast? You bet I am!