Ahooooga readers! How are you? Bringing some ideas for beginners on Travel Feed!
When it comes to Travel blogging there is a tremendous spectrum to analyse: It goes from those who write and share stories to those who consume content and feel inspired by it. To achieve the desired attention, writers need to give their best to captivate an audience; some will focus on breathtaking images, others will have a meaningful and impacting writing style, some may be more focused on adventure and nature while others especialize in reviewing restaurants, the list is enormous.
For all the reasons listed above I've always postponed the idea of providing tips on how to compose a post, because the art of content creation, in form of blog, is very unique and each individual carry his/her own style.
However, being myself a full time writer for almost two years and Travel content curator for at least the same time, I've had the opportunity to acquire some knowledge on both ends: the creator and curator. I hope all the beginners can benefit from it.
On Travel Feed, the team reads between 25-50 posts per curation round, from where we have to pick the 5 best posts to feature, it is THAT insane to choose what passes and what doesn't.
So, before I talk about the tips on how to compose a post I'd like to make it clear that each curator is free to exercise his/her own individual criteria, everything here listed is what appeals to me as a curator and by any means I want to change your style as a writer. Let's go!
1. Learn Basic Markdown / HTML
There's nothing cooler to the eyes of a curator as a well formated text, one that uses and abuses everything the editor has to offer to make the reading more fluid and diversified.
Once you have learned the basics of Markdown or HTML you'll be able to give emphasis on a phrase, like I'm doing here with the bolded and italic words.
You'll also be able to play with the text position to better use the space, for example dividing the text in collums or wrapping your text around an image. See below.
If you want to unleash your Markedown + HTML knowledge on Travel Feed you'll need to switch to our complete editor, where you'll also be able to see a preview of your text side by side with what you are producing. Isn't it sexy?
By doing this you'll save space on your post with images that may not be totally relevant, making the reading proccess more fluid, with less scrolling down.
Observation: This might not be the fastest way to compose a post, but it'll sure make it more appealing, it shows that you have put some effort into your composition instead of simply dumping your thoughts.
2. Be Creative on Your Text
I know, I know ! This is very subjective, how can I measure creativity? Duh!
I absolutely cannont tell people how they should write their texts, but you can unleash the monster inside of you! Be yourself but at the same time avoid narrating your story in a sequence from the time you woke up to the time you went to bed, for example by repetitively using the preposition after.
Reading texts that address the story in a neutral way instead of "I did this, then I did that" is more pleasing; using elements to make me curious and aprehensive to what the heck happened during the said story tend to be rewarded with that juicy Travel Feed like.
Texts that are able to use words to express emotions or to express the feelings felt (duh) during said experience while travelling gain my heart big time. Texts that add informative or some historical background are also cool.
3. Use Images But Don't Describe Them
In the past I used to read a very simple blog from an adventurer who traveled on an extreme budget; his blog very rarely had images to ilustrate where he was, but his writing style was so amazing and descriptive that you could unconsciously create the images yourself, that's what kept me and many readers going back every week to spend time reading his content.
I only added this info, because I've lost track of how many texts I've seen while curating where people describe an image. It's not only redundant for the reader but it's also a bit boring.
On the other hand I've seen amazing texts where people talk about the feelings of doing something, like climbing a mountain and then add the image from the top, it gives a whole feeling of achievement.
It's also super cool when someone adds an image from some city landmark and talk about the history behind it instead of saying "here's the master blaster landmark" and "on this picture you can see the ninja doing ninja things".
4. Title Is LIFE
If there's one thing that can ruin a post, that little bastard has to be the title. A good title can and will induce a click while others will make the post disappear on a list of 25-50 posts.
Things like "My walk on the forest" might not be as appealing as "The Most Amazing Forest Walk" or "Almost Dying on a Forest Walk". I know I've provided poor examples, but you get the idea, the title must:
- Catch the readers attention;
- Direct to the subject;
- Be a complete click bait (You bastard!)
- Think of bullet points or hooks!
4.1. Tell your location!
I've added this linked to the title because your location might be included in there, it's absolutely up to you, but it DOES help the reader / curator when it's time to clicking or not.
There's nothing more frustrating than reading a travel text without knowing where the person is, or discovering mid text the location, or having only the name of the city. No matter if your style is more focused on tourism or adventure, telling the name of said location is primordial and needs to be highlighted somewhere.
If you find a way to add your location to the title you might score some points, as your post will be more appealing when it comes to comercially delivering your post, 10/10 I'd click if I'm searching for the same place.
5. Find a Balance Between Text and Images
Travel posts that balance images and text are the boss, when you get tired of reading, plin, comes an image to add a visual feeling.
I would avoid big chunks of texts followed by a gigantic pile of images, as a reader I feel lost scrolling without a sequence. A great post needs a beginning, middle and end. If there are a pile of images without context the reader has no feelings at all and zero incentive to keep on reading.
On the other hand I've seen texts with barely no images, but the writting was amazing, so the balance was implicit.
You don't need to be fluent in English to be a travel writer, but make sure to check grammar and spelling by either checking on a translator or sending your post for a friend to proof read.
If you want you can send it to me on Discord and I'll be more than happy to help!
7. Minor Tips
I could go on and on about things that catch my attention as a curator but it would make this post even more boring than it is, so let's quickly list minor things that make a HUGE difference.
- Think about your images, do not just throw a bunch of them out of the blue, think of images as part of your text, embed them with feelings instead of describing them.
- You don't need to be a professional photographer, but avoid images that are hard to see (over/under exposed).
- If you want to show a particular place, avoind putting yourself in front of said place (oh, no, selfies).
- We know when people put an effort into writing a travel post (especially formating) so we tend to reward that.
- For Christ sake do not steal text nor images, try as much as you can to be unique with your images and if there's no other way, make sure to add the source.
Uff, we got to the end!
As you can see travel writing is something that is highly subjective, but with this tips I believe the beginners on Travel Feed will be able to open their minds and make even the walk to the park a fully immersive experience.
For the ones who had the patience to read all this and were clever to pick the hints I provided, I'm pretty sure that you'll be half way through getting one of the juicy Travel Feed rewards, at least from my curation round.
The most important thing is to have fun writing about your experiences and don't forget to share your Travel Feed post on your social medias.
Were the tips helpful to you? Share on the comments!
If you liked this post, please, consider leaving your upvote for a hot coffee.
~Love ya all
Disclaimer: The author of this post is a convict broke backpacker, who has travelled more than 10.000 km hitchhiking and more than 3.000 km cycling. Following him may cause severe problems of wanderlust and inquietud. You've been warned.