How to keep your travel blog alive when you’re not travelling

by Heather Cowper on December 18, 2010

In this article I’ll share some ideas on how to keep your travel blog fresh and alive even when you’re not travelling. This article was originally published at Heather on her travels here.

You’ll remember how it started. The idle flicking through the travel guide in the book shop. The fleeting glance in the travel agent’s window. The checking out of websites when you should have been working on something more serious and important.

Wika tattoo in Ecuador

Wika tattoo in Ecuador

And then the trip itself, the sights you saw, the food you shared, the people you drank wine with. The scary bits, the exhilarating moments. You wanted to share it with your friends, your family and just anyone out there who would understand, so you started a blog.

But then you came home and the magic faded – so you took another trip and then another, and the magic returned. Still there were the times in between when you were getting on with another life, in which you were a parent, a partner, an employee. But you’d grown to love your blog, you’d nurtured it, it was your baby and you didn’t want to let down all the people out there who enjoyed your travelling too. So how could you fill the empty spaces between your trips?

Well here are a few thoughts from someone who’s shared your problem.

Planning our Roman Holiday

Planning our Roman Holiday

Plan for the next trip

There are plenty of places out there you must be dreaming about visiting, or perhaps you’ve already booked the flights. You can share your planning on your blog, talk about the things you’re hoping to see, the hotel you’ve chosen, the resources you’ve found. Here’s the article I wrote on;

Planning our Roman Holiday

and here’s how Mara on Mother of all trips does it on her Mondays are for dreaming slot.

Host a Blog Carnival or make your own

Some blogs host Blog Carnivals either listing them through Blogcarnival.com or doing it informally like these carnivals at Travel Rants or Nomadic Matt. You can offer to be a host for one of these regular carnivals, or cover for someone when they’re off travelling. Or start your own by writing a post about some things you’ve enjoyed on other people’s blogs. The added bonus is that you create lots of links going back and forth which will help boost your readership and Search Engine ratings. Here’s the carnival I guest hosted for Karen at Europe a la Carte when she was on holiday;

Carnival of Europe May 2008

Valencia City of arts ans sciences

Valencia City of arts ans sciences

Review Travel Resources

In planning past or future trips you’ll have come across expat blogs, podcasts, videos, and other resources you’ve found useful. Why not share them with your readers, weaving it into the discussion of your trips, and pointing your readers to things they might find useful for planning theirs. Here’s a post I did on Podcasts for my trips to Rome and Valencia;

Sounds of the city – podcasts

Review Travel products

If you’re someone who loves all those gadgets or just want to rave about the the travel plug that saved your life or the rucksack that circumnavigated the world with you, then why not share your recommendations. You could even seek a few free samples from suppliers while you’re at it. Once you get known for this sort of thing your in-box is likely to filled up by endless press releases and PR bumph. Here’s my review of some fabulous stationary products;

Paperblanks supports Passports with Purpose

Loading the dugout canoe at Canelos in Ecuador

Loading the dugout canoe at Canelos in Ecuador

Revisit your photographs

Every photo has a story to tell, and if you enjoy photography as I do, you can make a feast out of revisiting your old photos – just think tapas rather than main course. I participate in the Photo Friday at Delicious Baby by posting a photo with a story behind it from my travels. Other bloggers do the same and before you know if you’ve got a regular audience for your photos. But you don’t have to part of any organised thing – just find a favourite photo and write a short post to tell the story. It’s a good way to fill in between more in-depth posts. Here’s one of my Friday photos;

Loading the dug-out canoe in Ecuador

Explore your own back yard

Once you start travelling and blogging about your travels, you start to appreciate your home patch a whole lot more. Every restaurant you eat in and every place you spend a Sunday afternoon becomes an opportunity for a review on your blog. Take day trips in the surrounding area and see things through the eyes of someone visiting your town for the first time. My home town of Bristol is not a typical tourist trap but there are loads of fantastic things to keep a visitor here busy for a few days. Here’s one of my most popular posts about Bristol;

Graffiti tourism in Bristol

Joanne at Machu Picchu

Joanne at Machu Picchu

Enjoy the trips your friends made

There are plenty of people out there who love to travel but don’t have a blog and chances are some of them are your friends. Why not give them a platform for their travel stories and photographs by featuring them on your blog? If you get the chance to have a chat before you go, you can always explain the type of photographs that would be useful to help you tell their story, so they don’t forget to take that great shot of them at Machu Picchu. Here’s Joanne’s story;

A grown-up back-packer at Machu Picchu

Invite Guest Posts

Many bloggers are looking for ways to attract new readers and are happy to write a guest post about one of their trips or travel experiences. Although it’s great to get a well-known blogger to write a guest post, they may already be innundated by requests, so you could ask someone who’s just starting their blog but whose travel and writing style will be enjoyed by your readers. Here’s a great guest post that Mike from Previously Bitten did for me;

10 offbeat experiences in Tokyo.

Reflect a little

And if all else fails you can always reflect on a theme, drawing on your experiences of travelling and blogging, which is exactly what I’m doing now.

I feel sure you all have some ideas of your own, so do share them in the comments. And here’s to our next trip – it can’t come too soon!

This article is published at My Blogging Journey, but originally appeared on my Travel Blog at  Heather on her travels where you can find travel tales, videos and podcasts from Europe and around the World.

You’ll also find lots of great travel stories, videos and podcasts at our travel blog at Heather on her travels .

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