How To: Write a Travel Blog

“Claire,” friends often [Ed. note: never] say to me, “how can we replicate your success by starting our own world-famous [Ed. note: technically true!] blog?”

Step 1: Talk for several years about doing a creative project.

Spend a lot of time at your boring day job talking about doing something artistic and creative with a similarly bored and frustrated coworker. You may, in the course of this, start and fail to follow through on many other projects. That kind of practice will help you move on to…

Step 2: Decide one afternoon to just do it.

The less forethought you put into this, the better. Forethought is what stopped you from acting on all those other ideas. Inform your friend (yeah, that bored coworker from Step 1) that you’re starting a travel blog together. Do not phrase it as a question or an invitation but merely as a statement of fact. I can’t find the chat where we arranged all of this, but I believe it went something like this: “We’re starting a travel blog. It’s called Go Go Go. I need you to make it look nice for me.”

Step 3: Keep doing it.

This is the hardest part, and yet the most crucial. Like today, for example, when I was not inspired to write about anything in particular. This is where having two people comes in handy. One person falters, and the other urges them on (usually in less-than-supportive terms, like, “Don’t be a lazy ass,” but sometimes with a concrete suggestion, like “Write about that car accident you got in” or “Use your lunch break to take some photos”). And you take turns at that, and that’s how you keep going.

Step 4: Be lenient.

For example, in your definition of travel. You may have noticed we’re pretty loose with that term around here. That’s because we make the rules, and we want to make the rules so we win.

Step 5: Get your friends to help.

A/k/a make them do it for you. We’ve recruited a fantastic and surprisingly dedicated staff writer and staff photographer from among our friends, as well as others who have written one-off pieces for us, and we’re always looking for more people to participate. Remember, when you get other people to do the work for you, the hardest part is accepting all the many accolades that come your way on their behalf.

Step 6: Remember that you are Doing Something.

When someone asks about your blog’s metrics and you have to shamefacedly say you get like fifty readers a day, temper the shame that you are not yet The Hairpin of the travel world with the fact that that’s fifty more people looking at your work every day than if you weren’t doing this blog, and that counts for something. Whether you ever try to conquer the world or make a dime off it or do anything more than just write the stories and shoot the pictures doesn’t really matter. You are Doing Something, and the alternative is Doing Nothing, and Doing Nothing is the lamest. Also, when you do something, you get to high-five.


3 thoughts on “How To: Write a Travel Blog

  1. Found it!
    Claire: so I was just taking a shower, where I do my best thinking (sometimes), and I had this thought:

    back in undergrad we had to create a magazine (obviously, being magazine journalism students)
    and ours was pretty much a standard women’s magazine, but we hung all the stories on a really stupid theme of sleep. I think it was called Sleep, even.

    and our teacher praised us, because he said, people want the same old articles, but they want a new hook for them.
    so I’m thinking that we should have a website/blog/web presencey thing called Go Go Go, which would ostensibly be about travel/journeys/going places, etc

    but could actually be any old thing, like going to visit your parents or a historical journey of some important figure or just going to the grocery store or whatever.

    that’s my contribution to us actually doing something creative.

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