25 July 2013

I am not a Travel Blogger

I recently learned a lot about travel blogging, because I spent a few days with a travel blogger. And after several conversations about what are the things involved in being a travel blogger, I really realized that I am NOT a travel blogger, nor do I want to be one. Sure, I love traveling, and I love writing about the places I have been to (or rather, taking photos and posting them), but that doesn't mean I want to be a travel blogger. And there's one main reason for that. It's because I want to enjoy traveling, and for me, travel is a hobby, not work. Let me explain.

See, I personally implement a huge separation of work and play. When I work, I work hard. And when I play, I also play hard. I have a work email and a personal email. I only check my work email during the times I work. And that principle also applies to traveling. I see traveling as a hobby: it is the thing I do where I use my disposable income, as a way of enjoying myself. Hence, I do not want to contaminate it with work: I go places because I want to, not because I have to.

This reasoning carries over to blogging. Sure, I have my own little corner of cyberspace, and I use it to rant, as well as to post photos of places I have been to. But this is not work for me. I blog for my own personal enjoyment. I do not profit from it, I do not accept any paid posts, and all of the stuff that gets published is purely my opinion. Again, I blog because I want to, not because I have to.

I do not want to care about keywords and search engine optimization. I do not care whether I have one reader or one thousand. I do not care about traffic flow. Sure, I have things set up in Twitter where it automatically announces a new post, but I do not go and schedule repeated advertisements just so that people will see it again and again in order to visit my blog.

So, why do I blog? This is where this entry takes a philosophical turn. I do not blog to make money. I do not blog so that other people can read what I wrote. I blog for the pure selfish motive of being able to download thoughts and put it somewhere where I can easily look it up again and reminisce if I ever wanted to tread upon the rocky pathways of memory lane. Perhaps it is because I like to make lists. Perhaps because I want to keep track of the experiences I have had during my waking hours in this planet.

So no, I am not a travel blogger. I do not write offering e-books on how to travel in Europe. I do not write offering advice on what things to see while in Berlin. Sure, I sometimes write something like "if you happen to be in City X then check attraction Y" but that's the extent of my promotion. I would never claim that something is a must-see or must-do. I would never do that. I simply write how I traveled in Europe (or in other places; most travel bloggers seem to equate travel with Europe, but that's for another rant), I simply write about the things I saw while living in Berlin. If a reader decides to copy that, sure, he's more than welcome. But I don't see myself as a travel guru giving advice to other travelers. After all, travel is like beauty, it's on the eye of the beholder/traveler. How you experience travel for the most part, depends on very personal (read: your own) constraints.

4 comments:

  1. I have never cared about SEO and all these tricks and honestly, I think if you are genuine and have content you care about, it shows better than whatever algorithm you are trying to achieve!

    I can never categorize blogs... I see yours as a "lifestyle" read, an interesting one as I got to know you.

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    1. Zhu,

      You're totally right. I have seen other travel blogs and their content has just been so predictable that I just have a bad taste in the mouth whenever I read one of their articles. As you said, genuine content is more important than algorithms.

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  2. Very compelling argument! If blogging platforms were non-existent, I'd probably be stuck writing journals which eventually will eat up space and gather dust. So it's really a blessing getting ourselves a free space to write whatever we want and not be pressured by the evolution of other blogs.

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    1. TNP,

      Exactly my thoughts. I write for myself and my enjoyment, not for my income. Blogging is not work for me, as I personally do not want to spoil the experience of travel, which is what I love as a hobby.

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