Being a Travel Blogger (Even When You're Not Traveling!) | Theresa Christine | Skillshare

Being a Travel Blogger (Even When You're Not Traveling!)

Theresa Christine, Freelance Travel Writer + Blogger

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9 Lessons (33m)
    • 1. Introduction (Video 1)

      5:09
    • 2. Types of Posts (Video 2)

      4:21
    • 3. Types of Posts (Video 3)

      3:21
    • 4. Types of Posts (Video 4)

      3:37
    • 5. Types of Posts (Video 5)

      3:01
    • 6. Types of Posts (Video 6)

      4:01
    • 7. Types of Posts (Video 7)

      3:54
    • 8. Types of Posts (Video 8)

      3:42
    • 9. The Final Task

      1:54
30 students are watching this class

About This Class

You don’t have to travel 365 days a year to be a travel blogger. Yup, seriously.

Sure, there are travel bloggers out there who are 100% nomad but there are also plenty of travel bloggers out there — let's be real, probably more — who aren’t. They enjoy a job that keeps them in one city most of the year...they prefer living close to family members...they are sorting out finances before making a move...or they only have 2 weeks of vacation a year. (Sound familiar? Keep readin'.)

Whether you aspire to one day travel every day of the year or you simply enjoy travel writing as a hobby, how can you successfully blog about travel when you’re not traveling? It’s a unique form of writer’s block to feel like you have no experiences or travel stories to write about simply because it’s been a little while since your last trip. But to be even remotely successful at travel blogging, you also have to be consistently publishing content. What’s a travel blogger to do?

Well, I’m here to help you kick that writer’s block's ass and get content and posts queued up in your editorial calendar. By the end of this course, you will have a plethora of different types of posts to create and different brainstorming techniques so that you can write regular content for your blog, no matter how much you travel. You simply have to know how to dig up that content and use it in the best way possible.

So open up a new text document on your computer or grab a pen and paper, and let’s get started!

Transcripts

1. Introduction (Video 1): Hello and welcome. This is the Skillshare course, Being a Travel Blogger, even when you're not traveling. My name is Teresa Christine, I am a freelance writer and a travel blogger, and I am so excited to have you join me in this course. After years of writing, I know how hard it is to want to sit down and publish a new post and feel like you literally have nothing to write about. Maybe it's been a few weeks or a few months since your last trip and for most bloggers in the world, this isn't really a big deal. But for a travel blogger, it's a very unique form of writer's blog that can really hinder you putting out content. This course is designed to help you battle this kind of writer's blog, so that you can get a lot of really amazing ideas for new posts, fill up your editorial calendar and you don't have to worry about, if you're taking a trip for three months out of the year or two weeks out of the year, or even just a couple of weekends out of the year. What I hope that you walk away from this course with are a couple of different things. First of all, you will have some tangible prompts and categories that you can refer to to help you create content when you're feeling a little bit stuck. Also, you're going to be feeling really inspired, not only by the fact that you'll be able to generate more content more efficiently, but also by what everyone else in the group is working on as well. Last, you will feel 100 percent confident in owning the title of Travel Blogger. When I started my blog Tremendous Times, I definitely was not confident enough to own the title of Travel blogger. I convinced myself that I just didn't travel enough and that the travel bloggers that I had seen online were always traveling 365 days out of the year. Then I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes. Leo Tolstoy once said, "If you want to be happy, be." This really, really resonated with me and I had a realization that I was going about this whole Travel Blogger thing all wrong. Actually, a travel blogger isn't some title that you have to work towards and earn, it's just something that you are and that you were fine and finesse through practice. So not to [inaudible] on Tolstoy, but I've revived the quote a little bit for this course. Once I declared that I was a travel blogger and that all the content on my site would be related to travel, I found that I not only have a lot to say, but there are a lot of people interested in what I have to say also. Now, curating and creating a really amazing blog requires a lot of work, and what we're going to be focusing on in this course is content. Of course, social media helps, beautiful layouts on your site are great, but if your content is bad, people aren't going to care. So you need to be providing posts that are accomplishing three things: First of all, you want to provide posts that are well-written, this is a no-brainer. You want your links to work properly, you shouldn't have spelling or grammar errors, and just in general, the story that you're trying to take your reader on should be clear. You also want to provide posts on a regular schedule. If you're posting sporadically, this is hard for your readers to keep up and they don't really know when to check in with you. So instead of doing three posts, one week, one post the next week and then skipping two weeks, try and spread those posts out, so that it's just one per week. Last, and most importantly, you should provide posts to help your readers, this is hands down the number one goal that you should have. Readers come to your site because they lack something in their lives that you can give them. If you're not helping them or giving them anything, then they're going to lose interest. Now, of course, doing any one of these things separately is pretty easy, but when you try and do all three of these at the same time, on top of feeling like you don't have anything to write about, it's very challenging. So in this course, we'll be looking at other travel blogs and examining seven categories that you can use on your own site to create new posts and build up your editorial calendar. Before we get started, go ahead and pull out a pen and paper, pull up a Google document or Evernote, whatever you like to use, if you've got a task already, you need to take five minutes and write down all of the trips that you've ever taken, ever. Spare no detail here from study abroad in college to the road trips that you took with your family when you were five years old to anything and everything in between, no matter how short or how long the trip was, try to include all of them. Once you're done, go ahead and post this list here in Skillshare and move on to video 2. 2. Types of Posts (Video 2): Hello and welcome to Video two in being a travel blogger, even when you're not traveling. For this lesson, we're going to look at posts that utilize past trips. This is a really nice way for you to revisit experiences that you had maybe a year ago, three years ago, or even longer, and get to relive them. Two things that are really going to help you when you're trying to write posts like this are your journals and your photos from your trip. If you aren't already, you should be recording your trips in some ways so that in a few months from now, when it's not so fresh in your mind, it's so much easier to look back on your journal entries and photographs from the trip, and really be able to write an informed post about it. When we look at the types of posts in each category, this is by no means a complete list, but it will give you a good idea of what you can expect to see and the kind of things that you could maybe create for yourself. For using past trips, you could create a post that is a reflection, perhaps how it changed you or why it was such a monumental trip for you to take. You could discuss a unique problem. Maybe it's something that you yourself experienced that no one else in an area had gone through, or something that's very specific to a destination. You could talk about a holiday in a certain place. What is Christmas like in Germany? If you'd been there, it's interesting to share those types of experiences. You can ask yourself, what would I do differently? Is there some way that you could have improved your trip? This is actually a great exercise so that you can travel smarter in the future. In general, you can just talk about what it is that you miss or what you wish you'd known before going on a trip or to a certain destination. For each category, I'm going to give you at least three really wonderful examples that you can refer to. The links to these posts will be in the Skillshare description below. Ten years since Florence is a post from adventurous Kate. What I really like about this piece is that her images aren't actually that amazing. She went to Florence and only had disposable cameras. She didn't have anything really fancy, and at the time, she wasn't a travel blogger. So when you look at the post, the images aren't the best you'll ever see. But it's a really heartfelt piece and I thought that it was worth noting, because sometimes we tell ourselves excuses so that we don't write about certain things. So don't let images be the reason that you don't write about a certain destination or experience. 100 things I wish I'd Known Before Traveling, is from the travel ads. This is just a massive post with so much information. It's really valuable, it's eye-catching, and it's not specific to a certain destination, which is really nice for people who just like travel and have wanderlust. How to Meet People as a Solo Traveler, is from the blonde abroad. She goes through a couple of different methods to meet people when you're traveling, that she's tried herself on her travels, and she presents it in a really no-nonsense, very simple and straightforward way. For this lesson's task, you're going to look at your list that you created in Video one, and pick one destination on your list, and really dig deep into the trip. Think about anything and everything related to this trip. Imagine that you're sitting down with someone who has never been to this destination. Maybe they've never even heard of it, or they don't travel very much, what kind of information would they want to know? If it's hard for you to wrap your head around what kind of things you should be writing down, go ahead and ask for help from someone. Sit down with a friend or a family member and have them ask questions about this destination. This will give you insight into what it is that people really want to know about this place. Things that you might not have necessarily thought of at first. When you're done, share some of your work here on Skillshare and tell us what it is that you unearthed or discovered in this brainstorming task. Once you're done with that, go ahead and move on to Video three. 3. Types of Posts (Video 3): Hello and welcome to Video 3 for Being a Travel Blogger Even When You're Not Traveling. In this lesson, we're going to look at lists, a type of posts that does generally pretty well. They perform well because they're easy to digest. It's a really nice way to break up information for your readers and present it to them in a slightly less overwhelming format. Some types of posts that you will find that I lists are: top 10, favorites, a packing list, a bucket list, we're all travelers, so we probably all have one; a wish list, perhaps for gear, a destinations list. Popular post roundup is a nice way to put some of your best posts into one spot for your readers. I see a lot of bloggers doing this at the end of the year to say, "Hey, these are my most popular posts from this year," and in the same vein of lists, but could also be considered as separate category are how to's. For the sake of brevity and keeping things a little easier to manage, I decided to stick that into this category. Some great examples of lists are Brooklyn’s Most Impressive Street Art from Bohemian Trails. I really like this because there's a small blurb at the beginning, but the list is actually mostly comprised of images themselves, which I thought was a pretty cool approach. The Five Steps I Took to Start a Life of Travel is from I am Aileen. Listicles get a reputation of being really simple and void of really good information, they're not very meaty sometimes, and I think that is certainly true of a lot of listicles you'll see online. However, this is a really wonderful list that's very fleshed out and really she spent a lot of time breaking down the steps. It's also just a great read if you're interested in traveling more. Five Trips You Really Need To Take In Your 20s was featured on Wanderlust Magazine's website. This post takes a slightly different approach to these mandatory trips that you'll see listed out on a lot of blogs or websites, and I appreciate this new approach because it doesn't focus so much on destinations, it focuses on travel style. My Current Ultimate List of Travel Movies is from Nomadic Matt. He travels quite a lot actually, but he still finds it very beneficial to include a post on his site to things that he's interested in, which include movies and books, and this is a really great roundup of some of his favorites. For this lesson's task, you're going to create your own list. You don't have to go ahead and create the entire post, but try and flash it out into an outline. A couple of ones that you might want to focus on are: a favorites list, bucket list, the gear that you love, a how to, or a top 10. You can make any list that you want, but these are just some suggestions to get you thinking. Once you've created your list, go ahead and share it here on Skillshare, and you'll be ready to move on to Video 4. 4. Types of Posts (Video 4): Hello and welcome to video 4 of being a travel blogger, even when you're not traveling. In this lesson, I'm going to talk about recurring posts, which are honestly one of my favorites. The reason I like them is because once you really get into a groove with it, you can increase the amount of content that you put out and decrease the amount of time that you put into organizing a post. Essentially, you'll have a template for a type of post that you want to put up. Before we get too far, just realize that recurring posts don't have to be tied to a certain day of the week. People love wanderlust Wednesdays or traveling Tuesdays, but you don't have to associate it with a certain day. A lot of people do, and I actually think it's more interesting to just have a post that is a certain style and you use it whenever you feel like you want to or whenever it's applicable. Some types of posts that you could do that a recurring are link roundups. I used to do this every week, I did them last now on my site but it's a really nice way to connect with other travelers and provide a lot of fun content. You could do a photo post, whether it's your own photo or image from Instagram or sharing other people's work, just make sure you have permission. You could do an installment post, which would basically mean you have a lot of information about one subject and it's just too much for one post. This is nice because you can break it up and actually build excitement for the next one when it's going to be published. A A&Q posts, a quote. That sounds really simple, but for people looking for a little bit of travel inspiration, it's nice and really anything can be a recurring post, just make it unique. Some examples of recurring posts are 13 things I found on the internet today from MessyNessy Chic. She just gets together a lot of really fun, sometimes really old inspiration and puts it in one place. I always like flipping through it and I always feel like I learned something from what she puts in there. The stylish traveler's guide to shopping is on travel and leisure's website. This is a prime example of putting together an interest with travel. The interests of course, being shopping. This means it's not only a great resource for someone who has got the same interests, but it's also really fun for the writer to put together. Ultimate female packing list is on Her Packing List, a blog dedicated entirely to packing light and packing lists. As you can guess, this is a really thorough category for her and that includes lists for destinations all over the world. Polaroid of the week is from GlobetrotterGirls, of course, travel and beautiful photography and inspiring photos go hand in hand. Naturally, it's nice to see something like this on a travel blogger site. Your task for this lesson is to create five recurring post ideas. The trick here is to think of your outside interests and combine them with travel. You want to do this because obviously this is a recurring post, you're going to be writing posts about this topic more than one time and you need to be interested in it. It should excite you. Think of some of the things that you like to do that don't involve travel and try to dream up some interesting ways to combine that with travel. Once you're done, share your favorite one here in Skillshare, and then you'll be ready to move on to video 5. 5. Types of Posts (Video 5): Hello and welcome to video 5 of Being a Travel Blogger, Even When You're Not Traveling. In this lesson, we're going to discuss guides which are an excellent way to share your knowledge in one place for your readers. They're really going to appreciate you putting a lot of information into one post or a series of posts because it makes their job so much easier when they're looking for information. Some types of guides that you might find are ones that are specific to a destination like a country or a city. They are guides that are activity or interest related, such as snorkeling or hiking. You can also create a guide that revolves around a certain type of travel style, such as minimalists travel or a weekend travel, and of course, a language guide to help people who are going to a country where they don't speak the native language. Some great examples of guides include traveling without kids from Solo Mom Takes Flight. When you think about parents who want to travel, a lot of the time, they are looking for ways to make travel work with their kids. So to throw something out there that's actually the opposite, is really an interesting take. Good to know German for traveling from Relocate. Relocate lives in Germany now, but Germany is not her home country and she is not a native German speaker. So this was a nice guide for her to put together for people who just want to learn the basics when they travel to Germany. Three Perfect Days in Tokyo from Global Girl Travels. She travels to a lot of destinations that I feel aren't covered as much by travel bloggers, and I'd like that her guides make it really accessible for people who are very unfamiliar with these destinations. For this lesson's task, I want you to declare yourself an expert on something. So you will say, "I'm a mini expert on a location, activity, travels style, or language." With this, you're going to free write, and write any and all words and phrases that come to your mind when you think about this subject. Try as best as you can to just keep your pen to the paper or your fingers on the keyboard and write for at least five minutes longer if you can. Again, think about this person that you're trying to explain this information to. They're just not as familiar with it as you are, and things for you that might seem silly or obvious are actually really vital for them to know and understand in an easier way. Once you've completed this task, share what you've decided your expertise is, and 10 of the key words or phrases that you came up with here on Skillshare. Once you've done that, you're ready to move on to video 6. 6. Types of Posts (Video 6): Hello, and welcome to video six of Being a Travel Blogger Even When You're Not Traveling. The type of posts we're going to be talking about in this lesson are posts that get personal. This can be a really scary thing to do because obviously you're really putting yourself out there but I found that when you do this, your audience really appreciates it and it's a nice way to connect with them and let them see you in a different way. Some types of posts that get personal include emotional experiences. May be a time when you were really happy or really sad. Embarrassing experiences, these are the types of things that when they happen we are so mortified and just don't want to talk about them but after the fact we often find that it's a really interesting story and sometimes even really funny. A lesson learned perhaps through traveling in a certain way or some mistake that you made. Sharing something about yourself that your readers just don't know about you yet. A lot of our personality traits and quirks, and the weird things about us, they sometimes don't come through in the other blog posts, so this is a nice way to share those types of things. You can also answer reader questions, which I know doesn't seem like a very personal thing, but it actually is because this is something that a reader is asking you specifically, it's very meaningful. So for you to take the time to answer that question is a really simple gesture that's actually quite touching and of course, letters or journal entries. Some examples of posts that get personal include, Confessions Of a Runaway Bride from The Pin The Map project. Obviously, relationships are a very personal thing, and you should only talk about them on your blog if you feel comfortable, but it is certainly something that everybody can relate to on some level and I felt like The Pin The Map Project did a really wonderful job of taking an extreme situation and making it applicable to other situations as well. Why I'm Returning to Burning Man is a post that's on my site tremendous times. In this post I just wanted to be honest with people about why I loved Burning Man so much and why it was so important to me. This really resonated with people who had been to Burning Man before, but also just people who had traveled to a destination and felt like they had a pull there, and that a part of their heart was tied to it. But Things Just Get So Crazy Living Life Gets Hard To Do from Away She Goes. This post was actually originally just a private journal entry, and she went ahead and made it a public post and I just think it's a beautiful and touching tribute to someone that she used to know. For this lesson's task, I want you to answer this question, why do you travel? Try to go beyond the obvious that you like seeing new destinations and having new experiences because I think a lot of people can relate to that, but it's not a very meaty answer. Really think about why you like to travel and why it's something that's important to you and when you're trying to appeal to people on a more personal level, it's a really helpful thing to think about how something makes you feel. So in this instance think about what traveling makes you fee, l and try and write that out. Once you've completed this, go ahead and share your answer in as little or as much detail as you'd like here on Skillshare. It can be a few sentences, a few words or even a couple of paragraphs, whatever you're most comfortable with. Once you finish that, you're ready to move on to video seven. 7. Types of Posts (Video 7): Hello and welcome to video 7 for Being a Travel Blogger, even when you're not traveling. For this lesson, we're going to look at posts that bring the world to you. Because let's face it, if you can't travel, you might as well embrace it and try and bring as much culture into your life as possible. Sometimes the posts that bring the world to a smaller scale include recipe posts, either food or drinks, observing traditions, perhaps taking a tradition from another location and bringing it to where you are or sometimes there will be events going on in your city that will be celebrating a different type of culture. Post about city neighborhoods are interesting because when we go travel and we're in a new destination, we're often filled with a sense of wonderment and excitement because everything is new. So taking a look at the city that you live in and exploring it like you're a traveler is an interesting approach. A themed party or event, you've probably attended events like these where people bring food from a different country or some kind of night related to a certain type of culture or location, and you can either throw one of these events yourself and write about it, or you can just plan it and give people information if they want to have this kind of event. A review of a museum or attraction where you live. We often forget that for people who don't live where we are, a lot of the really simple places that we go to are actually quite fascinating, and so you can bring this to people who would like to know more about where you live. You can also plan a trip. Some excellent examples of posts that bring the world to you are Mango Lassi & Cardamom Roasted Pistachios from Food Inflight. Liz takes her love of travel and food and combines them in a way that a lot of people can really relate to because for many people travel is about the food. She makes it such an easy thing to get the ingredients and create these delicious dishes. How to Make Your Home Feel Like a Chic Hotel from Suitcase and Heels. I just think this is such a clever post because one of the reasons that people really enjoy traveling is getting to go to hotels and being in a place that's not their own home. She's taken this element of one of the things that we like about travel so much and made it something that you can have in your everyday life. Christmas the Norwegian Way from Heart my Backpack. Since she lives in Norway, she's just writing about her holiday time there. But for someone who has never been there and not spent a holiday in Norway, this is a really interesting thing to read about. Your task for this lesson is choose five destinations and create a chart. Pick a location, and decide on the unique aspect of this location, and then think about how you could recreate it. These destinations can be places you've been, that you listed out in video 1, or they can be places that you'd really like to go. For example, I'd love to go to Moscow, Russia and see some theater there. I don't have plans to go to Moscow right now, but if I wanted to bring a little bit of Russia to me, I could read a check-off play and then write a little bit about it on my blog. Go ahead and do that for five destinations, and once you've done that, share your favorite one here on Skillshare, include the location, the unique aspect, and how you'd recreate it. Once you've done that, you're ready to move on to video 8. 8. Types of Posts (Video 8): Hello. Welcome to video 8 for Being a Travel Blogger, Even When You're Not Traveling. The final type of posts we're going to be talking about are posts that connect with travelers. Types of posts that will allow you to work with other travelers include guest posts, where someone writes an article for your site or you write an article for their site. Q&As or interviews. You can interview travelers or other bloggers as well. A slice of life. If you're just interested in knowing about what life is like in other parts of the world and bringing that to your readers, it's a wonderful thing to be able to connect with other people all over the world. Giveaways or contests, which perform very well, obviously, people love free stuff. It's really nice to get more than one person involved in your giveaway because then you are able to reach more people. A guided tour. If someone that you know is coming to the city that you live in, you could write out a post about the tour that you will give them and the places that you'll go to. Sponsored posts, which are really fun to do as a blogger and can really entail all sorts of things from doing reviews about gear to experiences and tours that you do in exchange for writing an article on your blog. Also link parties, which are posts where at the end you're allowed to leave a link to an article on your blog. It's encouraged that you go ahead and also reach out to other people in this list and make friends and connect in that way. Generally, working with other travelers and other travel bloggers is a wonderful experience. I will just say, especially if you're getting into giveaways or sponsored posts, just to make sure that everything is in writing and that everyone understands what it is that they should be bringing to the table, just to be on the safe side. Some great examples of posts that connect with other travelers include the Mini Travel Guides from Yes and Yes. These are actually written by locals and then featured around the blog and shares travel guides from all over the world. The Expat Files is on Young Adventurous. She basically just interviews expatriates about where they're living and what their experiences are like. Sundays In My City from Unknown Mami is a great example of a link party and an active one that happens every week. Your task for this lesson is to write down 10 questions that you have for other travelers. These can be questions directed for certain travelers, maybe you have a favorite travel blogger and you have some questions for them. Or it can just be questions for travelers in general, people who've been to a certain destination or had certain experiences. From that list, share three that you'd really like to pursue the answer to here on Skillshare. For future reference, if you want to really keep your blog going strong, you can do this homework, which is to read and comment daily on at least three other blogs, or at least interact with their social media. This way, you're really connecting so when the time comes for you to reach out to them, they'll know who you are and they'll be much more familiar with you. Once you've shared your questions here on Skillshare, you're ready to move on to the final video in this course. 9. The Final Task: This is the final video for Being a Travel Blogger Even When You're Not Traveling. You've almost made it to the very end. Congratulations, I'm really proud of you and I know you've put in a lot of work. Now, for the final task, I want you to go back and look at all of the prompts that you posted in Skillshare, building up your portfolio. These were the ones that were your favorites and you shared with the class. Go ahead and choose your favorite one, and explain why it is that you want to pursue this particular prompt and why you're most excited about it. If you'd like to go ahead and outline it you can, but more than anything, it's helpful for you to understand why this is the one that is important to you. Understanding your reasoning will help you figure out what kind of posts in the future you might also be interested in writing about. Of course, I would love to see your finished post and the rest of the class would as well. So please share it with us along with a link to your blog, and I'm really excited to see what it is that you're going to create. I hope you feel you've gained some really useful tools and tangible steps that you can take, to improve the content that you're putting out on your blog. I also hope that you remember this quote from Leo Tolstoy, because it really is so powerful. ''A travel blogger isn't some title that you have to work endlessly to earn, it's something that you are, you are a travel blogger the day that you decide to be one.'' So go ahead and be one today, it's inside of you, you have so much that you can write about, and now you have a lot of tools to help you put all of those ideas into action. Thank you so much for doing this course with me and please do stay in touch. You can always reach me here on the Skillshare, and you can find me on social media as Tremendous Times. Thank you for your hard work, and I'm really excited to see some of the amazing posts that you publish.