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Blog writing advice

newadventuresinbackpacking

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  • Added on: November 13th, 2009
Hey everyone,

I have been writing my own travel blog to cover my trip of India. Im quite enjoying it so far and have found no end of things to write about about. I have recieved lots of positive feedback and constructive comments as well as a steady stream of traffic so I am quite pleased with the way things are going so far.

Im looking for a bit of advice though, I am really struggling to keep short and sharp. My blogs tend to drift into to stories. Is there a discipline for keeping your blogs short or is it ok to sometimes get carried away whilst writing.

I know it's fun and interesting to me and maybe some others but from my own expierence I like to read bite sized blogs and have trouble recreating similar blogs.

Thanks in advance!
Ross

Scar

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  • Added on: December 2nd, 2009
Hey Ross
Just wanted to say, I have the same problem! I've pretty much given up trying to shorten the articles, but I do cut out whatever I don't think is necessary anymore because I think the general public doesn't read the whole thing when a blog is that long. But it's hard to change your writing style!
Scarlett

www.monkeyandrooster.com

Kate and Dan

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  • Added on: December 2nd, 2009
Some great advice on blogging concision here by Dean Rieck in his article "The Ultimate Blogger Writing Guide"
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minerguy

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  • Added on: December 9th, 2009
Kate and Dan wrote:Some great advice on blogging concision here by Dean Rieck in his article "The Ultimate Blogger Writing Guide"


Thanks for the copyblogger link. I've seen a couple more articles since then with some good tips.
http://www.copyblogger.com/confucius-blogging/
http://www.copyblogger.com/bestselling-writing-hooks/
Traveling by motorcycle to Alaska and beyond at BikeandBoots.com
Come along for the ride!

stationaryhobo

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  • Added on: January 6th, 2010
I would encourage you to not try to hard to shorten on everything. Often the best travel writing comes afterwards when you have time to reflect on the travel. However, the more notes you have the easier it is to mine your notes later for ideas. But I get what you are saying if you want readers now. Maybe make a post only you can see with the full story and full notes, and only make public the edited shorter version?
http://stationaryhobo.com A blog for those who wish they could travel more often.

Ant

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  • Added on: January 13th, 2010
Put in what you think best reflects your trip the way you want to put it across. Little bold headers here and there are a great way to give the reader a general gist of what that section talks about.

The title is really important. I always try to think of it from this perspective: "If I were looking for a piece about what I'm writing about, what words would I Google? What would catch my eye?"
Cheers,

Anthony St. Clair
Writer & Editor / Traveler / Cook / Brewer
http://www.antsaint.com
twitter / antsaint

Markus

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  • Added on: February 6th, 2010
My more recent efforts at blogging while away have avoided the typical narrative and tried to hone in on specific events or ideas. In any few given days you will probably have one or two really interesting and unique experiences, or experiences that you can spin out in an interesting way.It might only involve 30 minutes out of the last week, or it might be a common theme that came out over the course of several weeks. Rather than "I went here, then did this, then at this, then did that, then rode a ephelaphant!, then got drunk..." write between 500 and 1,000 words on just the ephelaphant. How did it smell, was it hairy? did someone in your group fall off or step in poop? Take people into that one golden moment rather than burying it in an itinerary style post. Make it funny, make it poignant, make it irreverent.

My biggest problem has always been the fact that I consider all the little details of my days to be super important to understanding the story, but what you have to learn to realize is that they're very much not relevant to strangers.

This is just a theory, and I'm just one reader, but that's where I'm focusing my energy right now. It all depends on your target audience and what they'll want to read. I have about 6 regular readers, so I can pretty much post whatever I damn well please!

I guess I should back that up with an example, so here's something I wrote about a week ago:
http://www.markfeenstra.com/blog/2010/01/27/doppelgangers-and-las-drogas/

I'd like to say I have more examples, but reading back over what I posted while in Thailand several years ago, I let too much of the mundane creep in.

PPooDD

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  • Added on: October 20th, 2010
1. Never apologise, explain or administer in public. Apologies for not having written for a while, promises to write more soon, explanations based on the difficulties of getting online all ruin blogs.

2. The fact that you are in the Andes and the bus journey took a long time and was scary and uncomfortable is of no interest to your readers whatsoever, nor is the wait at the airport, nor what you had for breakfast, dinner or tea. Unless of course it really was INTERESTING. Waiting at a bus stop becomes no more interesting TO THE READER because the bus stop is in Tehran instead of Preston.

3. You are not Wikipedia. "Finally arrived in Paris, the capital of France. Did you know that Louvre was not always a gallery..." is always boring. No history or geography lessons.

4. No one is interested in YOU. YOU are not even interesting to you: that is why you are travelling. You should be writing about the people you meet, the things you see, not about yourself.

5. Do not allow your mum, sister, father or grandmother to read your blog.

6. Adhere strictly to conventional grammar, spelling and punctuation!!!!

7. If your writing is amusing, your reader will laugh of their own free will. They do not need a LOL. There are no LOLs in Shakespeare, nor are there any YUMs.

8. Attempt a week of blogging your 'real' life, in Preston or Milwaukee, in the same way as you would when you are travelling. That will force you to focus on how dull your writing really is.

9. In the whole history of literature and art I cannot bring to mind a single figure who was both a great writer and a great artist, though cases could be made for Michaelangelo, Francis Bacon and perhaps D.H.Lawrence or Wyndham Lewis. Write or take pictures. Do not PUBLISH both. Never juxtapose mediocre writing with good pictures or vice versa.

10. Ignore all positive feedback and compliments. Very few people have an opinion worth listening to.

To judge your success of failure, I will leave you with the words of Ray Bradbury, talking about Farenheit 451

I think the hardcover sold 5,000 copies, which isn't much... The paperback edition sold maybe 50,000 copies in a year. which is more than 5,000, but it isn't a bestseller.

I'm on a kind of question for good travel writing, and so many people are wasting their time and talent of boring blogs.

If you don't hate me, have a look at my post in Travel Writing Leads.

Arre

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  • Added on: October 21st, 2010
Thanks for that, PPooDD! Full agreement on point number two in particular. Nothing makes me close a window faster than "...and then we had quesadillas! They were so good! Then we met our friends and got completely obliterated!" Ugh. At best you're making me a little jealous and at worst you're boring me absolutely to death.
http://sierralights.blogspot.com/ -> blog about living in Turkey and Palestine

Nicolas De Corte

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  • Added on: November 15th, 2010
Great post PPooDD! Those tips are very true.
One remark on point 3, history and geography lessons are indeed boring, unless you can provide details that are not in the general encyclopedia.
E.g. I don't want to learn from you when the Eifel tower was built and by whom, but I like small facts like the number of nails that were used (2 500 000) or the number of people that jumped off (367, making it one of the most popular suicide sites in the world).

@newadventuresinbackpacking: It's often hard to keep your blog post small as so many things happened and there is so much to say.
One trick is to write the post as you are used to, say 2000-3000 characters, and afterwards try to write a pitch for it (200-300 characters). This is a good exercise to leave details out of your story without losing the concentration of the audience.

greetings,
Nicolas

K2

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  • Added on: December 30th, 2010
PpooDD, what makes you an expert and how did you come up with all those rules?

Ksiu

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  • Added on: January 24th, 2011
Think if you write an article you should not write about you, but about what you have seen minding grammar rules, of course. Are you interested in the author when you read an article? I do not think so. The reader is usually interested in some informative facts, but not in biography of the author that we meet in articles very often.

anuraglidl

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  • Added on: February 2nd, 2011
I write only that much what I think people will enjoy reading. If its too long than people leave it in mid and if it is too small then also they don't give it a try. This is my experience. And I also tweet by blog posts as it helps in exposure and getting traffic.

Ksiu

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  • Added on: February 14th, 2011
anuraglidl wrote:I write only that much what I think people will enjoy reading. If its too long than people leave it in mid and if it is too small then also they don't give it a try. This is my experience. And I also tweet by blog posts as it helps in exposure and getting traffic.


Thanks for your post. Really good experience.



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