An interesting exchange occurred on Twitter yesterday which inspired this post. An “established” travel blogger tweeted how Klout scores and “top … travel blog” lists are not very accurate, then they proceeded to name a less “established” travel blogger as essential proof.
Now, I am not about to go into the “she said, she said” of this Twitter exchange. However, I would like to use it as an opportunity to inspire the travel blogging community to unite more cohesively.
Here are 5 reasons why travel blogging is really not a competition, why travel bloggers should unite and why there is room for us all:
1. Travel Bloggers = More Credibility than Commercial Websites
I am more apt to trust a blog post than I am a commercial website. Why? I can see pics, the nitty gritty, the good, the bad and more. And, if the travel blogger has any dignity, they will be upfront about their affiliate relationships. With that said, I can determine accordingly what weight to give their post/information which is generally more weight than I’d ever give a commercial site (If they are upfront about affiliate relationships)
I find myself inspired after reading a good travel blog. Can you say the same for most commercial travel sites?
2. The Travel Blogging Niche has Many Sub-Niches
There is so much diversity in the travel blogging niche, that we really aren’t competing with each other. We aren’t traveling to the same destinations, carrying the same gear, staying in the same types of establishments, coming from the same backgrounds, or traveling with the same budgets.
Challenge: Name me two travel bloggers that have exactly the same to offer and I will delete this entire post, call it a day, and I will never blog again (this challenge does not count sites that have stolen content and mimicked other sites)
Personal Example: I started Nomad Courier about two months ago and there are no other sites like it that I am aware of (if you know of a micro-team-photo blog that makes digital postcards that flip, please let me know). Similarly, I am a techie and my posts here at Hello, Meet World tend to focus on travel gear and soon will focus on the nitty gritty of Shoe-string travel. Although my posts at Hello, Meet World may be similar to some travel bloggers, I am definitely not the same.
3. Reminder: The launch of a New Travel Blog does not Always = Newbie
Never assume a new launch/re-launch of a blog = a new blogger or a new traveler. You know what they say about assuming…
Personal example: I have been blogging since 2004 (bet you didn’t know that) and I have been traveling to remote destinations since 2007 (bet you didn’t know that either).
This year, I decided to take my blogging to a different level and switched from personal blogging to travel blogging because, ultimately, I want to be location independent and travel blog beyond this short-lived 6 month trip. And, just because I didn’t start a travel blog in 2000, does not mean I have nothing to offer my fellow travelers.
4. The More the Merrier
I don’t know about you, but I regularly follow around 20 travel blogs (regularly follow = read 2-3 times a week, but I follow nearly 100 each month). And, I can honestly say, none of them are alike. Since each has their own writing style, destination, and topical focus, I gain something from each one of them. And, none of them are “competing” for my traffic.
Here are just a few of the 20+ travel blogs I follow regularly (keep in mind some are loosely related to travel). I doubt you will find much in common:
5. My Success = Your Success (and visa versa)
If I do well on my site, such success may very well drive traffic to your site. How? Because I link to posts, articles, people, and things I find interesting. So, if my site gets a lot of traffic, your site might just benefit when some of that traffic gets funneled your way. And, I will tell you right now, I am less likely to link to a cocky/arrogant “established” travel blogger than I am to a down to earth “newbie.”
Why has Chris Guillebeau succeeded? In my opinion, it is not because he is trying to visit every country in the world before he turns 35. It is, however, because he is a good guy! His posts emanate that, his tweets steam with genuineness, and his interviews only reiterate all of the above!
Over the past two years, I have followed travel blogging almost obsessively. And, in that time, I have seen some very petty behaviors. Overall, however, I am impressed with the sense of community I feel amongst most travel bloggers. And, I find it telling when some of the “best” interact more with the “newbies” than the middle-fish who think they are “all that and a bag of chips.”
With all that said, I would like to take this opportunity to remind each and every one of us that today’s “pink” could be tomorrow’s “fuchsia.” And, just because you are “established” today does not mean it will be that way in 1, 2, or 3 years.
We all have our strengths and our weaknesses! Let’s help each other by emphasizing each other’s strengths and filling the void in each other’s weaknesses.
Do I really have to remind you: “United we stand, divided we fall” ~Aesop