A big part of travelling is sharing our stories with other people, and blogs are a popular way to do this. People can share their journeys, lessons learned, or travel guides through photos and articles posted on a common space shared by like-minded people. Successful travel blogs (such as Shut Up And Go) hook readers and create enjoyable experiences that prompt further reading. While each blog differs from person to person, here are 3 common characteristics of good (travel) blogs.
The content of a blog is obviously one of the most important things. Each article should have a specific focus, for example, a city or food or a landmark. Other things to incorporate can be recommendations, budgeting tips, funny experiences, etc. Articles can also have a “moral” or a lesson learned – kind of like a reflection to tie everything together and leave readers with food for thought. Multimedia is also essential to good content; photos, videos, and hyperlinks can add a lot to an article and communicate more to the audience.
Articles can be written in many different styles, but my favourite is the storytelling/diary approach. It has lots of funny anecdotes, relatable details, and personal touches. On the last note, it’s also vital for the content to match the overall “mission” of the blog.
An authentic voice is what makes a blog a blog. Readers often come for the content, but what makes them stay is the person behind the articles. The voice can be funny, serious, anything – as long as it’s genuine and unfiltered. If the blog post sounds like it could’ve been written by another person, then the voice isn’t “real” enough.
I think this is the hardest thing to do well, but it’s essential to a good blog. Specific details, honesty, and vulnerability are key to achieving a good voice.
Intriguing content and authentic voice mean nothing if it’s not well-presented, so a good blog should have a straightforward and aesthetically pleasing layout. The fonts should be easy to read but still eye-catching; there should be photos and graphics, etc. One way to do this is to stick to the same theme – use the same fonts, same colour palettes, etc. Bolded texts, underlines, and pop-outs can highlight meaningful quotes; colour theory can be applied to draw the eye; patterns and textures can make things more interesting.
The purpose of a good layout is to organise the content to allow the reader to best digest the content. Generally, a good design is organised and interesting without being too cluttered and messy.
These three characteristics might seem obvious, but they really do help create engaging blogs.
(for Beijing Through the Lens – ELO 2021)