These days travel blogging has become a multi-faceted skillset with a valuable range of skills that push beyond simply writing a travel diary on the internet. The importance of good photography skills, social media talents, video shooting and editing have increased with developments in technology. Smartphones have been smarter, internet speeds have increased and various ever changing platforms, apps and websites have emerged.
With so many distractions all over the place it can be easy to lose focus on what really matters. What really improves your own content and skill set?
How do you improve your skills as a content creator and push on to the next level without getting distracted by the latest fad?
Don’t be shy!
It’s one thing to talk about doing something and it’s another to actually put things into practice, it’s important to know that your best work is unlikely to happen straight away but you’ve got to start somewhere. It’s easy to find excuses for not trying new things, that podcast you’ve always wanted to start or the new YouTube vlog you have a great idea for. You can convince yourself that you can’t start without the right gear or necessary experience when really, you just need to get started!
Practice, Practice, Practice
You can’t expect to master a skill will zero experience but repetition and practice have a huge impact on your ability to incrementally improve over time. That’s why it’s equally important to not just sit around talking about it but actually get started and put things into practice!
Put yourself in your audience’s shoes
If you’re not thinking about the value your content has for your audience then you might as well be shouting into the wind.
Mike Sowden (Fevered Mutterings) says it’s all about himself… well, his life and his readers life. In other words it has to relate to the reader.
Trust the Data
If you’re not delving deep into your analytics for your blog or YouTube, Instagram or whatever platform it maybe, you’re missing a trick. This is where you can figure out what’s working and what isn’t with your content, don’t just guess, check the figures.
Google Analytics is an amazing in-depth free analytics tool for websites and YouTube’s analytics are brilliant, there really isn’t an excuse for not using them! If you want to get even closer to your audience try giving them a survey to find out what they want more of instead of working on a whim.
Erik van Erp (Around the Globe) is known for being a big believer in data and suggests that you need to get a good grasp of your contents analytics.
Believing in your own ability
Sometimes you’ve just got to have a bit of confidence in your own ability and not down play your own work. Take it more seriously and the results will reflect it.
Tamason Gamble (Travelling Book Junkie) gives some great advice on simply believing in your own ability and being confident.
It’s easy to get distracted by too many platforms or improving a range of skills but it is still important to have more than one string to your bow. A blog with no photos or social media presence simply doesn’t cut it anymore.
Sabina Trojanova (Girl vs Globe) believes that to be successful it’s wise to have multiple skills.
Collaborating, networking, teamwork, learning from others
Forming collaborations at conferences or events and making connections for future projects can be invaluable. There’s no point sitting on the sidelines, you’re missing out on pushing your abilities even further by working with others with similar interests. You can get to see how others approach their work from a perspective and even get their feedback on your own work.
Jayne Morris (Girl Tweets World) suggests that networking and working with peers is invaluable:
Attend the right events for skills
You can easily jump start your skills by attending the right events. Some influencer events specialise in hands on learning that you can take away and put into practice right away. If you’ve got that expensive camera and just don’t know how to work it or maybe you’re videos look great but lack any storytelling, expert speakers can teach you things from years and years of experience. It really can be valuable to invest in your skills at these events. Things change, blogging changes… you can never know everything, even the speakers don’t.
Realising you’re unique
Realising you’ve got your own unique angle on the world and that you can bring something different to others is important. Don’t fall into the trap of copying other people, be unique and innovate.
Heather Cole (Conversant Traveller) says you need to find your own success with your own uniqueness.
Working with the Right Brands on the Right Projects
When first starting out in blogging it’s easy to be allured by a PR dangling the prospect of a free trip but what really matters is if it’s a good fit for your audience and brand. There’s no point in writing about snowboarding if none of your readers want to know about it or would find it useful.
Press trips often remove all the barriers to travel that your readers would face so you’ll find it hard to deliver those real nuggets of wisdom you’ll find traveling by yourself. Stay true to your audience and look for brand collaborations and campaigns that specifically address your community and their interests, it’ll pay off in the long run.