Blog Post Inspiration, are Bloggers Keeping it Real

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Blog Post Inspiration, the Personal Connection

It’s 11:30 pm on a Sunday night. Your eyes are sore from a long days work on your laptop. Oddly enough this doesn’t distract you from the mountain of tourism brochures piled next to you in your makeshift office -it’s time to write. You need a blog post inspiration. You’re at the intersection of ‘too exhausted to do diligence to your last amazing journey’ and ‘just wide awake enough to be inspired’. So, what do you do? You write about you.

Now I’ve read many criticisms about getting personal on your blog -some from travel bloggers that I look up to. However, I would be lying if I told you that when I recently saw my friend and colleague Brandon Scott’s own “personal” tab in his menu navigation on Eye & Pen, I wasn’t intrigued. It wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what I did next.

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From Brandon’s New Year’s Resolutions post.

I clicked, and clicked, and clicked some more, and before I knew it I had been on  his site for 45 minutes. Yeah, 45! That said, after I was through rummaging through his public personal affairs two things happened…

1. I immediately felt a connection to Brandon that I hadn’t before. Sure, he’s cool, and calm, and smart; all things I already assessed from having spent some time around him at TBEX in Dublin, but I learned something deeper than that. He’s human. Not like “duh he’s human!” but like, human in the sense that he’s not afraid to feel and show feeling. Surprise, I’m human too! Thus, I consciously made a stronger connection to this human of humans, and from that point forward respected his work even more. He has no idea of this, though he probably will now, but I commend this gesture because from a PR standpoint, it’s gold.

2. I went back to my collection of “do’s and don’ts” and recalled how controversial the idea of a “personal” post had been in social media threads. I tried to really weigh out the pros and the cons that this would have on the audience and on the professional side of travel blogging. Then I realized, who cares?

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Bloggers have to keep it real! Yes, we work professionally with brands and DMO’s, yes we have to be mindful of our image, but are you writing for them or are you writing for your audience? If you are writing for them first, you will eventually become a robot. If you write for your audience, the brands and DMO’s will be on board with whatever you’re doing so long as it is bringing in the audience loyalty. With TV shows in America like Honey Boo Boo and Jersey Shore getting millions in paid advertisements, are you really going to question this?

So what do I write about?

No one is saying you need to publish last nights argument with your over controlling mother-in-law, please there’s enough of that on facebook. Why not start taking a personal approach to the inner growth that traveling has been a catalyst for. Start telling a story of your travel evolution through some of these great personal topics:

Culture Shock Changed My Soul

Feeling Helpless, Lost in Translation

Connecting with People Without Words, Journeying Abroad

Inspired by Children

Things I’d Never do in America, that I did in…

The Traveling Heart, Falling for Someone in a far Away Land

Traveling Changed My Vote

The Moment (Name Country/City) Changed Me Forever

The Evolution of My Travel Style, from ….to….

These are just off the top of my head, but you get the idea. Explore, evolve, share and connect. I would love to hear what you have to say about this. If you decide to write about any of these things, please let me know so I can get to know you!


About Christa Thompson

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Christa Thompson is the Founder and Senior Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. Christa has been traveling the world since 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

22 Comments on this post

  1. I’m all about being personal, it’s what sets me apart from the masses. If you don’t like me don’t read my blog. I’m cool with that 🙂

  2. AMEN! I get emails weekly from reader who say they like reading as (insert part of my personality here), so each to their own… now off to look his pages…

  3. I am all for the personal touch. I want to get more than travel brochure information when I read a travel blog. Thank you for some great tips on personal topics.

    Bente Vold Klausen / Reply
  4. Christa, it’s actually a very good question how personal a blog should be. When I first started I kept mistaking the blog for facebook and I really had to restrict myself posting any compromising or too personal photos and stories. On the other hand I keep slowly changing my attitude again and now I am thinking the little touch of personality is actually what wakes the blog interesting and different. Finding the fine balance between these things seems to be the challenge, but keeping it real and being authentic should definitely be the underlying principle… 🙂

    Dennis Kopp / Reply
  5. Good post, it’s something I always think about. I think it depends on the nature of the post. Some posts you want to be informative, give people practical information they can use (ex. Seeing the best of Budapest in a day). Other posts are just ripe for personality and I think, generally, they get the most traffic and definitely the most comments (ex. Why I wouldn’t go back to Brazil). But if done wrong can seem self-indulgent and that’s definitely a turn off. I think a mix is best and how a post is written has to depend on the subject matter.
    Totally agree with your examples of personality pieces though – they all sound like great reads :).
    Frank (bbqboy)

    Frank / Reply
    • Thank you so much! I am so happy to see that so many people are interested in self expression. There is a balance no doubt. I think being true to yourself and your personality is important for you and the audience.

  6. Yup I agree. You need to put yourself personal stories into your posts otherwise how do you set yourself apart from the rest? But it’s a tough line to walk between getting too personal and not enough and is something I’m still trying to figure out. I do know that whenever I get more personal, I get a lot of great feedback from readers, so that’s good. Just need to do it more!

    Adelina | PackMeTo / Reply
    • It’s great to hear that you get a lot of feedback. I’m amazed as to how much feedback this post has gotten and how much it has been shared. It goes to show, maybe there’s a nerve that I hit with writers! It would be interested to see the numbers play out.

  7. What a cool post, Christa. At the risk of blowing my cover and people realizing how boring I actually am, I think I may try that.

    Brad Bernard / Reply
    • BAHAHAHAHA Brad, where have you been? It’s always nice to hear from you. You are anything but boring dear.

      • If only I slept in castles above the clouds and crapped rose petals. *sigh* You’re so inspiring.
        I just got back from my disasterous India trip, working on the story now. Spoiler alert: I somehow survived.

        • Says the guy with a giant spider in his mouth! Brad, you can explore fairytales with me anytime. I warn you, hiking to caves and having tea time in castles gets pretty addicting!!

          Let me know when you tell all, I can’t wait to hear this disaster lol. Glad you’re okay!

  8. Hey Christa,

    This is something I realized last year before I changed the way i write. I do affiliate marketing and I’ve seen the best way to connect with others is to be “human”… There are people out there going the the same struggles and looking for the same answers as I am, so why not show that side to show that you’re like them. I found out that the connect is deeper and usually they come back to read more of my posts! Great topic here Christa! Thanks for sharing!

    sherman smith / Reply
  9. I’ve never really heard criticism that bloggers should keep personal out of their travel blogs. I think those are the most popular posts. At least they are for me – I get the most views, shares and interactions from the posts that are the most personal.

  10. I loved reading this and it just confirms what I think too about blogging. I love reading personal things about others and I try and write a mixture of articles that are informative or how I experience something. I have a tab on my blog that is entitled “thoughts” but I haven’t been brave enough to put myself out there! Thanks for the inspiration and I will let you know if I use any of these topics you suggested. Great post!

    TravelDrinkDine / Reply

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