Travel Writer

Will All The Real Bloggers Please Stand Up

Recently I interviewed for a writing job. What I heard them say during the interview process made me do a double think. Their stance was that bloggers, and blogs in general, were considered worthless poppycock because of the lack of journalist integrity shown by blog writers. Blogs, as far as they were concerned, were badly written, the bloggers did not have credible sources and no blogger did any research on their topic. They wrote just what they thought off the top of their heads. In essence, every blog on the internet was baseless as far as they were concerned.

Since I have three blogs I listened to all this hyperbole with my eyes wide open and my mouth firmly closed shut. If you know me at all this was a momentous occurrence.

Who on earth were they trying to sell this ridiculous notion too I wondered?

According to the latest statistical data, there are 172 million blogs on Tumblr and 75.8 million blogs on WordPress.  That’s a whole lot of nothing going on.

Now, I am aware that not every blog online is active. I have seen many of them in my searches on various topics and sadly I know the blog has been deserted. There are, however, plenty of blogs online to read on a variety of subject matters; travel, food and civil rights are among my top three.

Most people who are blogging that I have read are knowledgeable on their chosen topic, passionate about what they are doing and able and ready to write a blog to help others. I guess I don’t read the blogs they were referring too because none of the blogs I read fit the stereotype of the blogger that they opinioned.

Maybe I am just fussier than most. I don’t read every blog out there of course and over time some blogs are no longer relevant to me and I look for something else to read. I also have to be moved greatly to even post a response on a blog because some blogs are interesting but do not require my feedback. It also depends on the mood I’m in when I read them.

I know this company just wanted to make their job seem more than it was, but to disparage an entire enterprise with nonsense and downright lies made me wonder. If their objective of being a leader in the communication industry was so tenuous that they had to disparage bloggers in general, did I even want to work with them?

So, to all the blog writers and bloggers I read and follow, keep up the good work. Get your references annotated, make your links bold and bright and keep up the good fight. I’ll be reading.

Florence Lince




STOP the Lists, I want to Get Off

I cringe when I see them; those headlines that say “Ten Best Places to Eat”, “Ten Bucket List Ideas”, “Fifty Best Beaches in the World” and the several dozen more articles and stories that come out what seems like daily where some travel expert is telling others where to go, what to see, what to do, what to eat and more.

Travel bloggers are so desperate to churn out content they are constantly writing, some about nothing.  So many people think that they have to post an article daily or they will fade from the public mind.  If you are skating on such thin ice posting constantly is not the way to build an audience.

I do not read any of these lists.  I do not compare how I travel and where I want to go to someone else.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been traveling so long on my own and been to so many places that I’m not inclined to think that someone else’s idea of what I should see interests me.  I have been able to decide for myself where I want to go and when and even how to get there.

Travel writers and bloggers are not going to someplace that others have not been.  We are not pioneers who are exploring unknown territories.  Others have been there before us and more will come after.  I will not tell someone the top ten beach’s to visit or the best places to buy wine or the best hotels to stay at.  I will give you my shakedown on the service I received and the tours that I can go on and take photos of the things I have seen.  It is not my job as a travel writer to tell you what to do and where to go and what to see.  It is my job to give you information to make your travel easier and to give you my advice on what to expect and perhaps even what pitfalls to look out for.   What you do with the information after that is up to you.

To me the sign of a good travel writer or blogger is someone who makes the reader react to a story or their writing makes others want to travel someplace new.  Telling someone what the 10 Ten Restaurants in Rome are certainly won’t make me want to travel to those 10 Restaurants.   Who do we think we are anyway?

I have been traveling for over 30 years.  I know how to travel and pack my suitcase and buy airplane tickets and how to book hotels; hostels and resorts.  Stop trying to prove you are an expert in travel by telling me where to go and how to do things.

If you want to prove to me that you are a great travel writer or blogger then tell me a compelling story about your travels.  Tell me about meeting a local and sharing dinner with them.  Tell me about working or building an orphanage in a country not your own.  Tell me how the locals deal with rising costs of living and what they think of us.  Tell me how the economy meltdown has affected people in a place you love dearly.  That’s what a good travel writer or blogger should be doing.  So stop the lists and the how-to’s and show me what makes you a great travel writer.  Tell me the stories that set you apart from everyone else out there.

Creating lists only gets you a one line post on a search engine.  Creating a compelling story or blog post gets you noticed and an audience of loyal followers.  That’s why I’m writing and posting; to share my life’s travel adventures with others.  Not to tell someone how to pack their suitcase or rent a car or where to get the 10 best hamburgers in the world.

Join me, I dare you.  Let’s give travel blog readers what they really want; compelling stories about travel and about the real people in the world around us.  Let’s join the Walter Winchell’s, Edward R. Murrow’s, Ernest Hemingway, H. L. Mencken, Bob Woodward’s, John Steinbeck and others and leave a legacy of travel writing we can be proud of.

Florence Lince