Part 2 - How to be an Engaging Travel Writer

This is the second segment in our How to Build a Successful Travel Blog workshop. Read the first section How to Start a Travel Blog.

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So you’ve got a travel blog set up and are ready to go. Or perhaps you’ve been plowing along with your site for awhile now. Whether you’re super new or have been working on your travel blog for years, we all can improve our writing skills. Taking time to actively work on your writing will help you to become a better travel writer who connects with their audience. 

How to be an Engaging Travel Writer

Active over Passive voice

You’ll want to use an active voice when blogging rather than passive voice whenever you can. What’s the difference you ask? Active: Lauren wrote the guide ‘How to be a Better Travel Writer’. Passive: The ‘How to be a Better Travel Writer’ guide was written by Lauren. Ultimately, the active voice is often more concise and strengthens the sentence. How do you know if you’re writing in the active or passive voice? Yoast SEO has a ‘Readability’ tab that flags if your use of the passive voice is more than 10% of your sentences. Bonus: here is an awesome resource for understanding and mastering the active versus passive voice.

Bring your own voice 

Write like a human! The worst thing you can do with your new platform is to omit your personality. People may find your blog when searching for specific travel content, but they’ll stick around because of you. It can take some time to find your voice but look for ways to weave it into your writing. There’s a balance to showcasing your personality alongside valuable content, but it’s worth keeping top of mind until it becomes natural. When I feel like my article lacks personality, I’ll take a read through Jeff Goins’ article on finding your writing voice.

Don’t try so hard

A lot of new bloggers want to project intelligence and authority so they use big words, winding sentences and an overly formal style. Readers will resonate more with your content if it’s clear and simple, and doesn’t bring on a headache. The best travel bloggers have an approachable writing style that feels more like chatting with a friend than reading a doctoral thesis. Geraldine of the Everywhereist does this exceptionally well. Bottom line: write the way you talk in real life to keep your audience interested in what you have to say.

Focus on providing value

We’ve all come across articles with a catchy headline that are optimized for Google and have about a billion social shares only to be supremely disappointed with the actual content. It’s a bummer. Don’t be one of those people who uses tactics like click-bait and too-good-to-be-true hooks to drive traffic to your blog but provide no benefit to the visitor.

There’s so much content on the internet that as travel bloggers we need to focus on delivering value to our readers first and foremost in order to stand out. Yes, the topic you’re writing on has probably been written about a million times before, but not in your voice and reflecting your unique experience, which might be most important to your reader. Don’t rehash what’s already been done. Instead find a way to bring new information or a different perspective. If you help readers solve a problem or alleviate a pain point, they’ll be yours forever.

Be a good storyteller 

Providing helpful travel advice to readers should be a top goal of your travel blog. But while I suggest you avoid the ‘this is what I did play-by-play’ (as those travel blogs aren’t useful to the vast majority of readers, in my opinion), find a balance between actionable information and your personal experience.

Beginning your articles with an engaging story hooks your reader, making them want to read more of what you have to say. This is a tactic that Departful writer James MacDonald does very well throughout his articles. A travel site that features epic, journalistic-quality storytelling is Roads and Kingdoms. For more in-depth learning, check out the Storytelling for Bloggers course offered by Mike Snowden, a well respected veteran travel writer.

Get creative

Don’t feel pressured to follow what every other travel blogger is doing. Inspiration for content is everywhere. Keep a running list of article ideas on your phone, laptop or notebook. Jot down notes of your experiences as your travel – what are your surroundings? How do you feel being there? What small moments connect you to this place? These details often get lost in the passing of time, but can help a reader feel like they’re actually right there when they read your experiences.


Reviewing your content and ensuring it’s free of errors is an important step that many bloggers don’t spend enough time on. I abhor bad grammar and I instantly lose faith in whatever I’m reading when I come across it. 

There are so many methods and tools to ensure that the content you’re putting out is free of spelling and grammatical errors: read your post backwards (it’s hard to catch your own errors because we automatically put the sentences together in our brains, especially those written by us), have a friend or colleague review it, or install Grammarly – the best online tool for catching grammatical issues.

Contribute to large websites

Guest writing for established travel blogs is an excellent way to get some solid writing experience. Content that’s reviewed by an independent editor who has expertise in generating content that resonates with readers can drastically improve your writing. Leave your ego at the door and take any edits constructively. Look for any patterns that might positively impact your writing down the line. 


Practice, practice, practice. At the risk of boring you with an overused metaphor, your writing ability is like a muscle that needs to be strengthened if you want it to grow. Like many professions, good writers aren’t born, they’re developed. Take Jerry Seinfeld, who, as an aspiring comedian, wrote a joke every day and tracked his progress by marking his calendar with a large X. Follow his wisdom and make writing every single day a habit to become a better writer.

Read everything

Read the dominant blogs in your niche, read popular writers outside of travel, read non-fiction books and novels – just read as much as you can. You’ll pick up on other styles, see what works and what doesn’t, and fill your brain with content ideas for the foreseeable future. 

How to be an Engaging Travel Writer courtesy of Unsplash