Tell your story online on a personal travel blog

Saturday, August 12, 2017

You might at first think that writing a personal travel blog is a narcissistic thing to do. But I can assure you, if you do it correctly, it is totally worth it! Each journey is different, and everybody has a unique view of the world, and a personal story to tell. There are a lot of people writing blogs nowadays, sharing their experiences with anyone who has access to the internet. Do not get intimidated by a number of blogs or be put off by others. Every story, including yours, is worth being told. Besides the influence a travel blog has on others, there are also plenty of reasons writing one can be beneficial for you yourself!

Why should you create your own personal travel blog?

So what are the main reasons to start your own travel blog? Most importantly, because what you experience on your journeys is unique and should be shared with the world! You can divide your potential audience into three categories: you, your family and friends, and the rest of the world.

Your family and friends will likely have questions and inquire about your trips. They want to know where you have been, what you have been doing and seeing, and how it made you feel. Remember, you do not want to make them jealous, rather help them live vicariously through you! Documenting your trip will strengthen and preserve your memories. Later on in life, you will have great stories to tell your children and grandchildren, and commemorate your adventures for yourself. As for the rest of the world, you want to inspire people, and perhaps help others plan a journey of their own.

What can you write about that has not been said before?

The more authentic and personal your personal travel blog is, the more exciting it will be to your audience. Share encounters and interesting conversations you had with both locals and fellow travelers. If you are traveling around a larger area, a travel map is great to show off your specific route. The biggest, ‘standard’ sights are covered by the internet enough as it is, so instead write more about your personal insights. The action is appealing, but also people-watching and contemplating is completely fine. Describe the challenges you face and your solutions to those problems. That will, in turn, help others if they ever find themselves in a similar situation.

Find a good balance of general knowledge and your personal experiences and feelings. Select images that have not been used before, do not copy other texts, instead add videos as a fun element! Find your specialty, something that you are passionate about. If you are a nightclub lover, find the best nightclubs in every city. If you love animals, seek out safaris and zoos.

How can you set up your own blog without technical knowledge?

You do not need any money nor technical knowledge to get started. Free blog pages like blogr, WordPress or Weebly are perfectly sufficient, just like social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest. The more sophisticated kind of software is indeed nice, but you really only need it if you want to do something over-the-top. Above mentioned free blog tools are fairly simple to setup and use. After the initial configuration and choosing a template, you are ready to write. All of them allow you to write lengthy texts, upload images as well as videos and let you use tags and categories. You can go one step further and setup a free YouTube channel for your videos and share every new blog-post through social media. In the beginning, you might feel lost, but with some practice, you can easily become a professional blogger.

screenshots of youtube on ios

What is the best moment to write for your own blog?

As with everything in life, there is no perfect moment. I like to write my blogs while I still am traveling so that my memories are fresh and vivid. It is helpful if you are prepared though: Make sure you choose your tools in advance and that your site is all set up and ready to use. Most online blogs have easy mobile access so that you can publish articles anywhere and at any time! But if you are not able to post while you are on your trip, at least write a diary to keep track of your experiences. With all that in mind, do not forget to enjoy your travels and live to the fullest in the moment!

Why I have started my own personal travel blog

I have traveled a lot in my life and started documenting my trips pretty early on. On my first Chinainfo-icon trip, I only kept a simple notebook and took a few pictures. Right after the journey, I printed my best photos and manually stitched them into an album. Then, about a decade ago, I started sharing my trips through social media - though at that point it was mostly images. My first long-term journey was in 2015, and I started a full-size blog to spread the word about my adventures. I built the entire blog on the road and started blogging after one month into the adventure. Initially, I just wanted to remember everything, and to update my family about my whereabouts and highlights.

There is a fine line between being narcissistic and being authentic. But once you find that line, having a travel blog is fantastic! Mostly blog for yourself, then for your friends and family, and lastly for the rest of the world. You should not do it to get popular or to get ‘likes’, rather enrich the lives of others and to inspire people across the world. Figure out what you love to do, and what you enjoy writing about - You have all the tools to start a blog, publish, and share your experiences!