Travelling is fantastic but lets face it, it comes with ALOT of prep.
Step 1: Research, there goes your “me time” after work re-watching your favourite episodes of Friends. Once you decide to travel you’re going to spend a good three months (if you’re anything like me) researching where to go, what to do, where to stay, who to book with, the decisions are endless. You might find yourself completely in love with the sound of a specific place but the question you find yourself constantly asking is what is this place really like? ENTER TRAVEL BLOG.
A good travel blog post can be your hallelujah chorus at 3am in the morning when your STILL tossing up about whether the place to “find yourself” (in a two week annual leave limit) will be in Laos or Vietnam. Decisions, decisions. Some how this blog post AKA god, has answered every single question you can think of, provided the real life experience you just needed to read UNTIL…right at the bottom of the post you see those dreaded words “AND shout out to “XXX” for the free trip!”
HUH, WHO, WAIT WHAT THE?! YOU MEAN THEY WEREN’T JUST SOUL SEARCHING ON THIS TRIP.
Ulterior motive alert…are you being paid to sugarcoat the crap out of this?
This article by copy blogger explains 10 rules for creating content people can trust and I think most travel industry blogs could gain more credibility (and not to mention bookings) by following these rules.
Take for example, Rule #1 Include other voices and Rule #8 Provide context…YES blogging is a very personal thing and for the most of it you are writing from your own perspective, but come on how hard would it be AND how helpful would it be to include someone, other than your own, opinion? you could:
Talk to other travellers: quote them in! Include a bit about them, give us readers another direct opinion on the area without having to read another blog! A one stop shop, one could say.
Talk to the locals:
what are they like? are they friendly enough to be quoted in your blog? Should I be scared of them? Do they like tourists being around? what’s the rudest thing they have ever seen a tourist do? Are there areas I should or shouldn’t go?!
Now, I ain’t gonna go saying that if someone offered to pay me to travel around the globe and write about it that I would turn them down…P.S. HELLO IM RIGHT HERE PICK ME…but travel companies investing in this type of content marketing need to be concerned with the honesty and reliability of their blog, your brands reputation is at stake here and in todays social media driven world we’ve all heard that story about one bad review ruining a brands reputation.
Bottom line…don’t get paid to sugar coat. Do your conscience a favour and tell it like it really is.