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What makes a blog interesting?

A few months ago, I came across a post by an apparently popular 20-something travel blogger in which she wrote about the kinds of things she wants to read about in a travel blog. Hotel reviews were one thing she essentially labeled as trite (i.e. boring) and many people commenting concurred with her. I somewhat laughed at this since hotel reviews play a prominent role on my blog. But in terms of what is interesting and what isn’t, well, it all comes down to what your travel style is and even in a sense, your age. Here are mine:

INTERESTING

Photography

I love big and flashy glossy photos. Nothing induces wanderlust in me quicker than seeing gorgeous photographs of far flung destinations I have spent all my life dreaming about. I admit, the photos are often one of the main reasons I will check out a blog post and I sometimes tend to gloss over the written content (bad, I know). I also love seeing photographs where the person was able to capture a unique detail or angle, especially one of a popular landmark like the Eiffel Tower or Angkor Wat. I try to achieve this myself but it’s still a major work in progress.

Expat topics

Traveling to a foreign country is one thing, living in a foreign country is an entirely different matter. While I haven’t been an expat in a very long time (sniff), I still love reading about others’ adventures abroad in their adopted countries, even if it does make me immensely jealous. Reading about someone’s escapades in Europe or Asia can get old really fast and honestly, sound like someone else’s. However, reading about their experiences as a “fish out of water,” that is an entirely different spectrum.

Food

Food has become such a major part of my life, but especially in regards to travel. My recent trip to Miami Beach is testament to the fact that I will want to almost solely visit a destination for its food (and boy, did Miami not disappoint in that department). I will say that most travel bloggers who are canvassing the world are pretty open in the food department. And I love seeing this reflected in their writing. I’ve so loved the many posts I’ve seen bloggers do on street food from around the world. I also dig when travel bloggers get in touch with their culinary side and share recipes of things they’ve made.

Reviews-restaurant, hotel, attraction

Restaurant-I guess one of the major differences between me and some of the other bloggers I follow is that I’m not pinching pennies and I can dine out nightly at nice restaurants when I travel. I do love when travel bloggers (they’re generally older than me), talk about restaurants they’ve dined at. Nothing is better than a personal recommendation. And even though it may be from a cyber stranger, I’ve found that those people I have the most in common with are generally the ones I’ve never met in real life.

Hotel: Just as with restaurant reviews, I don’t stay at hostels or couchsurf. When I travel my accommodations are a big deal to me-if I’ve had a long or tiring day, I want to know I’m coming back to someplace good. So yes, I DO find hotel reviews extremely important and beneficial, especially since those on TripAdvisor are often full of malarky and ones in guidebooks tend to be too brief for my taste.

Attractions: No, I’m not talking about the Colosseum or the Great Wall of China. I’m referring to ones more off the beaten path, especially if they cost a bit more money and you want to know whether or not someone else who visited it thought it was worth it. To me, food tours are a perfect example of this particularly if it’s an area in which there are multiple tour outfitters to choose from.

Tips/Advice

I don’t care what the destination is or how old the blogger is, if there’s advice that could benefit me on a future trip, I want to hear it. I never would have made it through the Machu Picchu ticket booking nightmare without this excellent website I stumbled across. To me, this is one topic in which on a travel blog that there can never be enough of.

BORING/THINGS I’D SKIP

Posts on the “party scene”

I’m nearing 30. But even when I was in my early 20s, I couldn’t care a fig about the party scene regardless of the destination. So when bloggers go on about the nightlife here, how great the partying was, how cheap the beer and drinks were (along with pictures of the dozen random inebriated strangers they hung out with), I couldn’t care less. What I always find ironic is that these are the individuals who are so big on wanting to experience the destination, not being bogged down with lodging and food costs, and yet they spend how much on booze? Food for thought.

Posts on the quarter-life crisis

I get it, I truly do. I’ve had my own inner struggles over the years (and I still do) with feeling of discontent, sadness for things like my study abroad days being such a distant memory, wanting to do more. But I don’t feel like I need to blog about them…especially not all the time. To me, these types of posts just come across as whiny and so evocative of the millennial generation.

So this is what I find interesting and enjoy reading about on travel blogs…what about you?

What makes a travel blog interesting?

Good photography is key to attracting my attention

 

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Katie @worldwidevegetarian
    December 15, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    I agree with you 100% on photos.. thats what will attract me to a blog! I tend to enjoy reading the blogs of travelers who share my lifestyle and travel style. I am a cheap traveler but I am also outgrowing the party scene so I like tips on natural scenic destinations nowadays.
    Katie @worldwidevegetarian recently posted…What I Saw in ChicagoMy Profile

    • Reply
      Julie
      December 16, 2014 at 9:14 am

      Thanks for commenting! Yes, I think irregardless of the destination or person’s demographics, photographs are key on blogs you want to check out and return to. I also agree that we’re naturally attracted to the blogs of those individuals who have the same lifestyles and travel styles as us although I will still gladly check out a backpacker’s blog if their photos are amazing 🙂

  • Reply
    Beth
    December 17, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    I completely agree on not wanting to read about drunken escapes abroad and the like! Maybe I’m weird since I’ve only just hit my mid-20s, but I just never been into that scene and hate reading about it.

    What I do like? Inspirational photos (that aren’t super tiny) and of course, food.

    Oh, and, hotel reviews don’t bother me either. I don’t really sit down wanting to read through all of them, but I do find them really helpful when I’m actually in trip-planning mode!
    Beth recently posted…Pushing My Limits in MexicoMy Profile

    • Reply
      Julie
      December 18, 2014 at 7:47 am

      Not weird! I just think we’re a smaller bunch and all 🙂 But I was never like that either in my early to mid-20s. Food holds my attention much better.

      I agree about when and why I want to be reading hotel reviews-trip planning mode is key! Although I certainly don’t mind gushing over photos of five star hotels either even if I won’t be visiting that destination anytime soon.

  • Reply
    Liz
    December 17, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    Straight up hotel review posts are boring haha if you want the opinion from an “apparently” popular blogger. I’m doing something right at least.

    In the future if one of my posts pisses you off enough to inspire a story on your own blog, feel free to credit and link me 🙂

    Thanks!
    Liz recently posted…Escaping to New Zealand’s Wild West CoastMy Profile

    • Reply
      Julie
      December 18, 2014 at 7:45 am

      Well, first off thanks for commenting! Although second off, I actually stumbled across the whole “boring” label on ANOTHER blog. I don’t typically link to anyone’s site if I’m disagreeing and instead focusing on my subjective opinion. It’s just my humble prerogative 🙂

      It definitely didn’t piss me off whatsoever and I didn’t feel it gave off that kind of a tone in my writing either. Rather, I was just happy to have some new blog fodder. Interesting topic and all! Cheers!

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