Do you love writing? Are you a travel addict and wanderer? Are you wondering what to write about? Well, you have found the right place with a treasure trove of useful information on travel writing and blog writing tips.
Visit: Write for Us
We have created this page specifically to answer two of the most common questions about travel writing and blog topic ideas. We’ll cover both of these here:
- What to Write
- How to Write the Best Travel Blogs
What To Write
We frequently update this page and keep each section updated on what we need vs. what we have already covered in great details. Below is the list of travel topics we encourage all guest contributors to write about.
- Travel stories/Trip reports – everyone’s lens is different and your subjective experience makes a place unique
- Medical/Wellness Tourism – places which offer affordable and better healthcare and wellness
- Adventure Activities – adventure travel is a growing trend and any new adventurous activity or adventure destination is always refreshing to read.
- Underwater and Ocean Exploration – most of the earth’s ocean is still unexplored
- Cultural Encounters and Experiences – what you learned from a foreign culture or language
- Volunteering and/or Finding Jobs abroad (while Traveling) – this is very, very helpful to younger travelers and student travelers
- Long-term Travel Itineraries – if you have traveled non-stop for months or years, preferably to multiple destinations
- Pilgrimages – your personal take on the journey, what you learned, reflections, life lessons, etc.
- UNESCO Heritage Sites – those you have been to personally
- National Parks & Monuments – personal trip report and experiences, preferably in a story format
- Traveling using Bitcoin – how to travel using bitcoin or other crypto-currencies for food, hotel, cars, etc.
- Space Travel – not that you have been to space, but covering this growing industry from a journalistic POV
Below are some of the Destination Guides that we would like to expand and improve. Please pick the one which you have personally visited or planning to visit and therefore have done your research.
- African countries
- Caribbean Islands
- Brazil, and its regions
- China, its Provinces and Cities
- New Zeland and Polynesian Island Countries
- Russia (+ Baltic countries)
- Central Asia (+ Mongolia)
- Greece and its islands
- Middle East
- Central America
- Europe’s popular destinations (Spain, Portugal, Germany, France, Italy)
- Nordic and Scandinavian Countries
What Not To Write
Below are few topics that we have already covered in great details on this blog. Please do not submit articles on the following topics.
- Christmas Vacation / Christmas Foods, Buffet / Christmas related topics, etc.
- Travel Packing / How to Pack & Traveling Light
- Travel Trends / Travel Niches (we have got 40 of them already)
- Travel Hacks (unless your hacks are original and time-tested)
How To Write Best Travel Blogs
What makes a blog a great blog or the best piece of content? There are a couple of things that separate the great from the good. We believe, the best travel blogs or travel guides meets these criteria:
- The best content is a complete content (so you don’t have to jump to 10 websites to plan your trip).
- The best content is an evergreen and timeless content. It is just as useful to someone reading it today as much as 10 years from now. (That’s why you should not write anything about a “city’s population” or things that most likely will change in 12 months like phone number, email address, etc.)
- The best content is free content (one which you can download or print, and then use according to your need).
- The best content is written in a conversational style. It is not boring or dull like a textbook or encyclopedia.
- The best content inspires you and motivates you (to visit the place you are writing about)
- The best content is usually about personal stories and unique perspectives on a place or an issue at hand.
- The best content is addictive and makes you want to read more (again “think storytelling”)
- The best content is written in most simple words which a sixth grader can easily understand and explain.
- The best content is written for the mobile generation. It is written in short sentences and short paragraphs. It is easy to read on a mobile screen.
- The best content uses a lot of sub-headers, bullets, and has plenty of photos with an interesting caption.
- The best content is visual. Lots of photos, Infographics, and videos ideally spaced every 250 words.
- The best content is a living content where we engage with the commenters and our readers by answering their questions and updating our content if a change or correction is required.
- The best content hyperlinks to other related destinations and blogs so that the reader can easily find additional contextual information. Just like how Wikipedia is structured.
- The best content is shareable and makes a reader want to share with others. The content should be so good that the reader can’t wait to share the post link with her/his friends.
- Lastly, the best content is for everyone. It covers all types of activities and things to do, see, visit, and experiences to have. It is useful to both the budget travelers and also for the luxury seeker.
- The best content should always highlight the best of any destination whether it’s a free attraction or pricy experience. It should be up to the individual reader to decide how they want to use the information provided. But as writers, we should not make that decision for them.
- Lastly, the best content reveals its sources as required. Always give proper credit and backlink to other people’s copyrighted photos and quotes.
How To Give Proper Image Attribution
For all Creative Commons photos used in a post, please follow this attribution template:
Example: Photo [hyperlink] by [author name] / CC BY [hyperlink]
Because, you need to mention these 4 things:
Title? Title is not noted but the source is linked from text “Photo” which is good enough
Author? “author name”
Source? “Photo” – linked to original source page
License? “CC BY” – linked to license
Read this short page for even better understanding: https://wiki.creativecommons.org/wiki/Best_practices_for_attribution
Note: *Individual photo files should be no larger than 300KB. Smaller the size, the better and the faster your web page will load. Faster websites make for a happy user experience.
Tips On How To Write Well
- Caption the photo if you can and where you can. It always helps the reader. Except if the photo is right below or above the said destination/attraction.
- Use plenty of sub-headings. Search engines love headers and sub-headers. Moreover, humans generally don’t read full sentences or paragraphs. They skim read. Most people will read the first sentence, headers, bullets lists, and look at the photos. So keeping your page full of small headers gives them an idea of what to expect, what they are reading, and how to connect the dots.
- Use the H1 Header tag for main SEO Keywords (such as Things to do, Destination names, etc.). Use H2 Header tags are for main categories or Topics being discussed. Use H3 is for Names or Activities. H4 same as H3 if you get that far.
- Do not mention boring stuff or stuffs people can easily Google if they are interested in…. address, hours, ticket price, sq km area size of a city or national park, dates of some old wars or the official name of a country.
- Avoid listing or recommending best hotels or restaurant as the quality always changes over time and the ratings are often prone to manipulation and inflated with paid favorable reviews.
- Avoid talking about politics or other civil issues about a country unless it is directly related to tourist safety.
- Avoid too much back history and/or political background. These are almost always boring and if someone is interested in a country’s history, they can easily read it up on Wikipedia.
- Do not talk negatively about any destination or culture (even if you have had a bad experience). We are not talking about things related to safety, etc., such as Rape or Crime. Please report any such incidents to the local authorities and your embassy.
- Focus on “bite-size fun-facts” and “cultural diversity”.
- Humans connect most with the human story…so storytelling is the key element of any successful content. The story should be entertaining without focusing too much on the “self”.
- Use bullets to list cities, attractions, national parks, temples, beaches, etc…. as applicable. Sometimes, instead of a bulleted list, you may have to use H3 sub-headers for each place. It basically depends on how much text do you have under each place. If little to no text, then use the bullets. If moderate to a lot of text, use H3 sub-headers.
- All important places should be listed first followed by less significant places.
- If a place is a tourist trap (and you know it through a personal experience or by reading enough bad reviews), don’t include it or at least mention that the place is mainly a tourist trap and not worth the money or time.
- Lastly, add your subjective trip experiences in the Destination Guides that you write. We do not want to be like Wikipedia. We want to interject as many personal experiences into a Travel Guides as much as possible. So, feel free to add your take under each “points of interests” or as it suits the overall page structure.
- Follow “One keyword = One page” policy. On any Given website, Google doesn’t want multiple pages with the same “keywords or key phrases”. Try to keep your content unique across pages. (If you notice, Wikipedia has this format and they are the number 1 website on the World.)
- Google loves “headers”, “sub-headers”, and “bullets/numbers”. So, a page with plenty of H1, H2 and H3 header tags and properly formatted content structure will rank higher than a blog with just text and photos.
- Write long-form content. Google prefers longer content over shorter ones. If all things are equal, a quality blog post of 2000 words will rank higher than a quality blog post of 500 words.
- Google notices and values “time spent on site”. The “time spent” on a webpage signals that readers are liking what they are reading. Therefore let’s rank this page higher. Again, as mentioned in above point, good-quality longer content is also good for “time spent on site”. (If you think about it, a longer content will take someone longer to read or even scan past it. Add half a dozen photos with catchy captions, and your readers will stay even longer.)
Seven keys to a successful travel blog:
- Shorter sentences; shorter paragraphs
- Powerful and interesting openers (first lines)
- Lots of photos (ideally with short captions)
- Lots of bullets or sub-headers (because this is what most will people read and scan at a high level)
- Skip the boring, obvious, and useless fluff
- Don’t brag, don’t talk negative, instead be creative, be funny, and use humor to break the ice
- Give proper image / quotes attributions, as required by Creative Commons and Copyright laws
Last updated: Sep 28, 2018