I recently decided to try my hand at a spot of travel writing and I have to say it wasn’t quite as easy as I thought it would be! That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it. Sharing moments from our first family holiday on My Bellyful was a special experience for me and writing about our little excursions seemed to cement the memories in my mind even deeper than the photos alone. Opening up my laptop of an evening to type up a new post also made me realise how much I love blogging, but that’s not to say that when I did sit down to write I found that the words flowed. In actual fact, at the beginning, it was quite the opposite.
When I decided to start adding travel-based content to My Bellyful, I wasn’t expecting to whip out a post every single day. I knew there would need to be some adjustment, some learning, some time to find my feet (because no form of blogging is easy, is it? It takes hard work and dedication no matter what your subject matter and if you’re dipping your toes into new waters then you need to work doubly hard), but when I tried to write my first post I struggled to know exactly how to frame it. Did I want to write about EVERYTHING we got up to? Would my readers be interested in hearing about the queue of traffic we encountered on our way there? Or our trip to the supermarket the next morning?
I also found it difficult to stop myself from weaving a little of my usual content into these new posts. For example, when writing about National Fudge Day (which fell on our first full day in Cornwall) I started going off on a tangent about food-based nostalgia and was just a small step away from writing the kind of posts I would normally write but with a few extra photos thrown in.
When looking to write something new/out of your usual comfort zone, it’s always a good idea to research how other people do it. I very much enjoy reading travel blogs, but as I was so busy with other commitments on the lead up to our holiday, I barely had time to login to WordPress let alone find out what these bloggers were up to. Needless to say, this made the whole experience all the more challenging, but in the end (and after several glasses of Cornish beer) I decided that a little variation was key. The Cornwall Collection (as it is known) is now subsequently made up of four posts – one life/travel post (the fudge one), one image gallery and two dedicated travel pieces in which I essentially talk about the highlights of our day. These have been popular to varying degrees and I have to say that in branching out and experimenting with my content, I’ve discovered exactly what it is that my readers are interested in.
Now, I’m not going to round this piece up by writing a long bullet-pointed list of all the things that I’ve recently discovered about travel blogging (although having a rough idea of what you’re going to write and when would be helpful and taking a decent camera is a must) instead I’ll say this: one thing I’ve learnt is that it’s actually really hard work and it takes a good deal of skill to write something that is both unique, entertaining and reflective of your trip (also, trying to write about a place without lessening the impact for other travellers, or potential travellers, is an aspect that I became quite preoccupied with).
There are definite pros to this type of blogging (passing on your wisdom, sharing places that you thought were out of the ordinary) and I would almost certainly try it again (particularly if, say, Thomas Cook were looking for someone to review a luxury holiday resort!), but it’s certainly not as easy as it looks and I take my (sun)hat off to anyone who is able to do it!
What do you think? Have you dabbled in a little travel writing yourself? Or are you an experienced travel blogger with some helpful tips for those of us still learning? Let me know in the comments below!