How To Write A Better Travel Blog - TBU Innsbruck


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How To Write A Better Travel Blog - TBU Innsbruck

  1. 1. Travel Writing for Travel BloggersHow to Write a Better Blog<br /> Abigail King<br />
  2. 2. Who am I?<br />Blogger<br />Inside the Travel Lab & Cheap Weekend Breaks<br />Visit Britain, Lonely Planet, UK Inspirations<br />“Traditional” writing & photography<br />Lonely Planet, BBC, CNN, Red Magazine<br />Academic journals<br />Guides<br />Corporate work<br />
  3. 3. Writing <br />Magic<br />Can transport a total stranger into a completely different world<br />Mundane<br />Rules, tools and tricks of the trade<br />
  4. 4. Writing...<br /> like driving<br />
  5. 5. Writing Is Like Driving<br />You can learn to do it<br />You can learn to do it well <br />It’s a skill that brings you great freedom, pleasure and other opportunities<br />Some people do it exceptionally well<br />You may or may not be one of them <br />So what? Not winning a Grand Prix doesn’t stop you from driving<br />
  6. 6. Overview<br />The big secret<br />What is the point?<br />Headlines<br />Beginning<br />Middle<br />End<br />Final polish<br />
  7. 7. The Secret to Great Writing Is...<br />...REWRITING<br />“The first draft of anything is shit”<br />Ernest Hemingway<br />
  8. 8. How To Improve...<br />Remove the mystery<br />Get writing<br />Edit, edit, edit and then edit some more<br />You can always edit bad writing. You can’t edit a blank page<br />
  9. 9. Two Main Approaches<br />Pour your heart out onto the screen. Take a break. Get to work. The impassioned artist approach.<br />Plan every point methodically before you start and the fill in the gaps afterwards. The careful civil servant approach.<br />
  10. 10. Writing for Blogs<br />All the usual principles of good writing, plus<br />SEO<br />Continuity<br />Call to action<br />A sense of story & personality.<br />You are not Wikipedia<br />
  11. 11. What’s Your Point?<br />Why are you writing this post?<br />Information guide<br />Provoke a discussion<br />Entertain<br />
  12. 12. Finding a Theme<br />What can you say about this experience that no-one else can?<br />History<br />Quotes <br />Current affairs<br />
  13. 13. Headlines<br />Bad headline > no-one reads the rest<br />Page Title<br />H1 Tag<br />Modify the headline for Facebook, Twitter, Google +<br />
  14. 14. Headlines<br />For Search<br />Use the AdWords tool<br />Consider what people type into the search box<br />For Social Media & Regular Readers<br />Room to be more creative<br />Use lists<br />Use questions<br />Use words loaded with emotion<br />
  15. 15. An Example<br />Page Title - Search<br />“Visiting the Alhambra” or “What’s it like to visit the Alhambra?”<br />H1 Title – Social<br />“Beauty, brutality and motherhood”<br />
  16. 16. Headlines<br />Experiment<br />Read Write to Sellby Andy Maslen<br />Read Copyblogger<br />Test your headline against the “So What?” test<br />
  17. 17. Opening Line<br />Crucial<br />People are busy. There is already too much information to consume and too many distractions online<br />You HAVE to hook them with your opening line<br />
  18. 18. Start Mid-Action<br /> I’m running through Kraków’s bus station, spinning around to see coaches lined up behind me and smaller trams rattling through the concrete space below. My eyes jump around, searching for D8, for Oświȩcim.<br /> A stocky man strides towards me.<br /> “Proszę,” I say, please, before my supply of Polish dries up. I’m suddenly embarrassed, flushed and ashamed to say to the face of a stranger one of the most emotionally charged words in the world.<br /> “Auschwitz.” He says it first.<br />
  19. 19. Start With Speech<br /> “Bend your knees,” he says and I have to obey. From behind, he pulls the strap until the rubber scrapes my skull. I hug my arms against my chest and crank my head back, making the shackles around my thighs tighten further.<br /> “Now,” he commands, as I try to ignore the gap where the side of the aeroplane should be, “don’t forget to smile for the camera.”<br /> And with that, we’re gone.<br />
  20. 20. Start With A Bang<br />Launch with the biggest piece of information:<br />“The world’s best restaurant – that’s how it was billed.”<br />
  21. 21. Do Something Different<br />When I first started travelling in Italy my relationship to beach going and sunbathing was strained.<br />I’ve got the natural skin tone of a maggot, so when I first started travelling in Italy my relationship to beach going and sunbathing was strained.<br /><br />
  22. 22. Opening Line - Pitfalls<br />Rambling<br />Errors<br />Assumptions – When you think of Independence Day, you think of sales, right?<br />What if that’s not what I think when I read it?<br />
  23. 23. The Middle<br />Consider headings<br />Keep your theme in mind<br />Use the five senses<br />Use transitions<br />
  24. 24. Make It Punchy<br />Short Words. Use Them.<br />Avoid the passive<br />Cut unnecessary phrases & fillers<br />Use verbs not adverbs<br />
  25. 25. Examples<br />I walked quickly and quietly<br />I tiptoed<br />I sprinted<br />I paced<br />
  26. 26. Spelling & Grammar<br />
  27. 27. Spelling & Grammar<br />
  28. 28. Spelling & Grammar<br />Always run a spell check<br />Choose one version of a language & stick to it<br />Use other resources to help you with finer points eg The Guardian online<br />
  29. 29. Research & Fact Checking<br />Always do it<br />Errors reduce your credibility<br />Check with reputable sources<br />
  30. 30. Pitfalls <br />Breathtaking<br />Stunning<br />Gem<br />Amazing<br /> Use in moderation. They don’t tell me much about the place (or you)<br />
  31. 31. The Finish<br />Don’t just stop<br />Deliver your reader safely back to the real world<br />Make them glad they bothered to read the whole thing<br />
  32. 32. The Finish - Techniques<br />Echo something from the start<br />End with a teaser<br />End with a quote<br />End with a question<br />
  33. 33. Bring Them Back...<br /> Ninety minutes later I’m back in Krakow, in the rush hour stream of 21st century life. Beyonce’s Beautiful Nightmare accompanies the commuters and shoppers, while fluorescent lights shine over the latest Zara collection and women sell salt-encrusted Obwarzanki from kiosks sheltered from the wind.<br /> I go to buy one and find two pieces of paper in my pocket. Jan’s card and the square cut-out from the first bus driver. It lists the departure times from Auschwitz back to the modern world.<br /> It’s only small, but perhaps this was the sliver of beauty and hope that I was searching for.<br />
  34. 34. The Teaser...<br /> Then we enter the kitchen and meet the man himself: Ferran Adria, the head chef.<br />To be continued...<br />
  35. 35. The Call to Action<br />What do you want your readers to do?<br />Comment?<br />Share the post?<br />Buy something?<br />ASK THEM TO DO IT<br />
  36. 36. English as a Foreign Language<br />Wow. Congratulations.<br />However...<br />Don’t think you can forget all this<br />Especially the grammar and spelling part<br />
  37. 37. The Final Polish<br />Search for your own “danger” words<br />Look for colours, the passive, rambling<br />Read it out aloud<br />Spell check<br />Link to other posts from your site and beyond<br />
  38. 38. Experiment<br />Play around with these techniques<br />Test what works for you and your readers<br />Aim high but don’t let the quest for perfection hold you back<br />Enjoy it<br />
  39. 39. Questions<br />?<br />
  40. 40. Resources<br />Online courses –<br />Write to Sell – Andy Maslen<br />On Writing – Stephen King<br />Story - Robert McKee<br />Copyblogger<br />