I recently attended a travel writing workshop at General Assembly in London and I have to say that it was really worthwhile for a complete writing newbie like me.
Here are the top five tips that I took away from it and that I want to try to follow from now on:
1. Find an angle
This was probably the best tip that I got. Don’t just go straight into the details of who, what, where, when, why but start with an anecdote or a unique experience that you had. Anyone can write a generic article about any destination – Google has all the info! But you want to try to make it personal and a bit different. And ideally, at the end of your blog entry, try to refer back to the initial hook, to round off the story.
2. Describe things with words, not just with photos
Photos are important in a travel blog but it’s also important to describe the destinations and activities – with words that are more descriptive than “amazing” and “beautiful”. Write about the smells, sounds, tastes and so on, things that photos can’t show.
This is probably the most difficult rule for me to follow. I have been taking lots and lots of photos for years but I don’t really have any experience in writing. But I’ll try to make an effort and describe things a bit better.
3. Write engaging headlines
Of course! This is really a no-brainer and can be applied to any kind of journalistic writing. It should be obvious, shouldn’t it? Except that I realised that I had completely neglected my headlines. Sometimes the obvious things need to be spelled out. I’m going to try to make the headings more catchy in future.
4. Use videos
It’s good to use short videos in blog posts as they are often more engaging than just photos and text. The workshop instructor suggested that the videos should show unique or unusual content like for example a video of yourself eating creepy crawlies in Thailand or doing bungee jumping in New Zealand.
Well, neither of it is going to happen for me, so don’t hold your breath. But now that I have a shiny new digi cam, I might actually try to create a few videos.
5. Ask questions at the end of the blog entry
I’ve actually seen that a lot of bloggers do that, where they ask a question at the end of the article to get people to comment on it. I don’t do that because I always thought it was just a bit of a lame attempt to increase the comments. And what if no one answers my question?
But maybe I’m seeing this too negatively. Maybe it actually is a good way to get some interesting conversations going! So let’s try this.
Do you have any other travel blogging tips in addition to mine? Let me know in the comments below! Leave a reply
If you’re interested in taking the travel writing workshop, go to the General Assembly website to find out more. It’s worth it!