Here are the reporting resources you’ll need to become a successful travel blogger

Editor’s note: This is part three of my series on becoming a successful travel blogger. Here’s the first one and the second one.

OK, you have your topic and some of the basic tools.

Now it’s time to find the content for your soon-to-be incredibly successful travel blog.

But before that, let’s get one thing out of the way: This is not journalism. I think it helps, in some ways, to have no formal training as a journalist.

Not that we trained journalists have hangups (well, you don’t hear any bloggers pompously referring to themselves as part of the “Fourth Estate”). It’s just that there’s a lot more to travel blogging than journalism, at least the way it has traditionally been practiced.

Travel blogging is a lot of things — reporting, commenting, producing, sharing, even innovating — but to just refer to it as another form of journalism would be to sell it short.

Truth is, it is whatever you want it to be. There is no travel blogging stylebook, no trade group for travel bloggers, no guild, no union.

Breathe the free air, my friend.


Feels good, doesn’t it?

Before blogging, you had to jump through hoops to be recognized as a journalist. You had to go to journalism school and get hired at a newspaper or TV station. But today, the barriers to entry haven’t just been lowered. They’re gone. Now, it’s the people – the folks reading your blogs – who determine if you’re legit.

Wow. That’s pretty profound if you think about it. The people say who is a journalist. And because they read blogs, they are in effect saying you, if you have a blog, are a media source.

Alright, let’s review some of the critical ingredients of your amazing new travel blog.

An audience. The best-written travel blog is a waste of cyberspace unless there’s someone to read and interact with it. I could spend several posts about ways to find your audience, but there’s a simple answer to the question of how to connect with your readers. Be interesting. When you’re interested in a topic you like, whether it’s photographing churches or interviewing celebrity chefs, people can tell — and they’ll be interested in following you. If you don’t participate in social networks like Facebook, Google+ or Twitter, this might be a good time to sign up. There’s no faster way to find a following.

Sources. If you’re an expert, you’re the source. But you have friends, don’t you? You hear things. Build a network, and reinforce it with a good RSS feed stocked with the top travel blogs. I use Google’s RSS reader, which allows me to quickly check thousands of news sources by scanning headlines. (Nothing teaches you to write a good headline like reading lots of headlines.) Which ones are the top travel blogs, other than yours? Here’s a pretty reliable list.

An editor. Everyone needs an editor – a second set of eyes to read your posts or a producer who can listen to your podcast and make sure it’s engineered right. Show me an exception, and I’ll show you a blog that’s on the fast track to nowhere. But the editor doesn’t have to be there in any official capacity. For example, not every post I publish is edited the way a magazine article is. But commenters jump in to point out typographical errors, headline problems and grammar issues (of which, I can assure you, there ain’t no shortages). This kind of crowdsourcing often works better than having a single editor and best of all, it’s free.

Ideas, ideas, ideas! If you’ve chosen the right topic, you won’t be able to stop writing. Still, at some point in the process, you might say, “That’s it, there’s nothing left to cover.” Oh, but there is. Look inside, and you’ll find there are a thousand different ways of writing about the same topic over and over. That’s when you turn to your own audience again and ask them what they’d like to read about. Polls can be incredibly helpful. The reporting tool you’ll need to pull this off is creativity. Ideas are powerful. Please don’t make me quote the movie Inception. No, I won’t do it.

An almost obsessive drive to be the best travel blogger on the planet. I’m not going to mince words on this final ingredient. If you don’t think you have it in you to become the very best blogger in your category, you may encounter some challenges. Many of the top names in this business really think they are God’s gift to travel blogging. A few of them actually are. (It’s not the ones you think.) But they’re definitely on to something. When you work in a traditional newsroom, as I have, you learn that many of the best reporters — you know, the ones who win Pulitzers — have oversize egos. It’s no different in travel blogging. You have to be convinced of your awesomeness, and that confidence is infectious. Your readers believe you are awesome, too. I may be one of the few exceptions to this rule. I have no ego. I have to write a series of posts on travel blogging to validate myself. Oh, who am I kidding?

Above all, be yourself

If you only remember one thing, it’s this: Be yourself. Be your fabulous self. Every day, I see new reports about the dying media. It saddens me because I was trained as a journalist and hate to see a good thing collapse. But that’s not the case in the travel blogosphere. Here, where the only real rule is “never bore your audience” our best days are still ahead. Our strength is our ability to be ourselves, and our audience loves us for it.

They will love you for it, too.

(Photo: NFSA Australia/Flickr)

Underwritten by

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by

With nearly 20 years in the industry, over 128 airport covered in the U.S. and Canada, and over 1,000 Hotel and Parking Partners-we provide travelers the best options on how to get to the airport when flying. Whether you want to; drive yourself and park near an Airport (Airport Parking), stay the night before your flight at an airport hotel and leave your car (Hotel and Parking Package), or take a shared Shuttle/Private Car/Limo to the Airport- we got you covered. The best deals can be found online, and booking a reservation has never been easier. You can explore all of our options by visiting us at,,, and

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Generali Global Assistance

Generali Global Assistance has been a leading provider of travel insurance and other assistance services for more than 25 years. We offer a full suite of innovative, vertically integrated travel insurance and emergency services. Generali Global Assistance is part of The Europ Assistance (EA) Group, who pioneered the travel assistance industry in 1963 and continues to be the leader in providing real-time assistance anywhere in the world, delivering on our motto – You Live, We Care.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Seven Corners

Seven Corners has helped customers all over the world with travel difficulties, big and small. As one of the few remaining privately owned travel insurance companies, Seven Corners provides insurance plans and 24/7 travel assistance services to more than a million people each year. Because we’re privately held, we can focus on the customer without the constraints that larger companies have. Visit Seven Corners to learn more.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Sodexo North America

Sodexo North America Sodexo North America is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 80 countries. Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food, facilities management and other services that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life for millions of customers in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports and leisure, government and other environments daily. Learn more at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelex Insurance Services

Travelex Insurance Services is a leading travel insurance provider in the United States with over 55 years combined industry expertise of helping people dream, explore and travel with confidence. We offer comprehensive travel insurance plans with optional upgrades allowing travelers to customize the plans to fit their needs. Compare plans, get a quote and buy online at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by AirHelp

AirHelp is the world’s leading flight delays compensation company, helping passengers apply for compensation following a delayed or canceled flight or when boarding has been denied. It is AirHelp’s mission to fight for passenger rights by holding airlines accountable for flights disruptions that are out of passengers’ control. AirHelp has already helped 5 million people, taking the stress out of applying for compensation and making it as hassle-free as possible for travelers around the world.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Allianz Travel Insurance

The Allianz Travel Insurance company has built its reputation on partnering with agents all around the world to provide comprehensive travel insurance for their clients. Contact Allianz Travel Insurance for a comprehensive list of coverage.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Chubb

Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company, and recognized as the premier provider of insurance for successful individuals and families in the U.S. and selected international markets, offering coverage for high-value automobile, homeowners, recreational marine/aviation, valuables and umbrella liability coverage. As an underwriting company, Chubb assesses, assumes and manages risk with insight and discipline, and combines the precision of craftsmanship with decades of experience to conceive, craft and deliver the best insurance coverage and services to individuals, families and business of all size.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Fareportal

Fareportal’s portfolio of brands, which include  CheapOair and  OneTravel, are dedicated to helping customers enjoy their trip. Whether you want to call, click, or use one of our travel apps, one thing is clear: We make it easy to take it easy.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by

An independent provider of low cost CDW/LDW insurance for use with rental cars. Up to $100,000 cover with no deductible. Policies available on a per day, per trip or per year basis. Also works with overseas rentals. Try  Insuremyrentalcar.comnow.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by

Since its inception over three decades ago, G1G has continued to revolutionize the travel insurance industry by being the only aggregator to operate a customer portal, placing all of the user's primary needs in one place. We have continued to innovate and disrupt the market by reimagining the way travel insurance can be delivered to the end user in ways no competition can. Simply put, no one knows the market as well as its founders and no one else shares G1G values and mission.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Mediacom Communications

The nation’s fifth-largest cable operator, serving the smaller cities and towns in the Midwest and Southern regions of the United States. We are a high-performance broadband, entertainment, and communications company that brings the power of modern technology and quality customer experience to life inside the connected home by combining ultra-fast gigabit speeds with personalized local and over-the-top entertainment choices that fit your lifestyle. Details at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Arch RoamRight

Arch RoamRight is one of the fastest growing, most-highly rated travel insurance companies in the United States. Travel advisors love working with us, and travelers feel protected with our trip cancellation and travel medical insurance coverage. We also make it easy to file a claim online with our fast, paperless claims website. Learn more about RoamRight travel insurance.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Virtuoso

The leading global network for luxury and experiential travel. This invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency locations with 17,500 advisors in over 45 countries, and holds preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world’s finest travel companies. Virtuoso advisors collaborate with their clients to create personalized itineraries featuring exclusive perks, while also providing advice, access, advocacy, and accountability. For more information, visit

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by VisitorsCoverage

VisitorsCoverage is one of the world’s most trusted providers of travel insurance for millions of global travelers in over 175 countries. Working with top-rated travel insurance partner providers, VisitorsCoverage’s award-winning search, compare and purchase technology simplifies the travel insurance process and finds the best deals for the coverage you need to explore the world with confidence. Get insurance for your next trip at VisitorsCoverage.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by MedjetAssist

Medjet is the premier global air-medical transport, travel security and crisis response membership program for travelers. With a MedjetAssist membership, if you become hospitalized more than 150 miles from home, we will get you from that unfamiliar hospital all the way home to the hospital you trust. All you ever pay is your membership fee. MedjetHorizon members add 24/7 personal security and crisis response benefits. readers enjoy discounted rates. Travel safer with  MedjetAssist.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Southwest Airlines

The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by makes it fast and easy to compare and buy travel insurance online from top rated providers. Our unbiased comparison engine allows travelers to read reviews, compare pricing and benefits and buy the right policy with a price guarantee, every time. Compare and buy travel insurance now at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Squaremouth

Squaremouth helps travelers easily and instantly compare travel insurance policies from all major providers. Only companies that meet the strict requirements of Squaremouth’s Zero Complaint Guarantee are available on the website. Compare policies on to save over 70 percent on your next purchase.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travel Leaders Group

Travel Leaders Group is transforming travel through its progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Travel Leaders Group assists millions of travelers through its leisure, business and network travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands including All Aboard Travel, Andrew Harper Travel, Colletts Travel, Corporate Travel Services, CruCon Cruise Outlet, Cruise Specialists, Nexion, Protravel International,, Travel Leaders Corporate, Travel Leaders Network and Tzell Travel Group, and its merger with ALTOUR. With more than 7,000 agency locations and 52,000 travel advisors, Travel Leaders Group ranks as one of the industry’s largest retail travel agency companies.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelers United

If you’ve been mistreated by the airlines, Travelers United is your voice in Washington. Join the #1 travel advocacy organization working with Congress to improve and protect travelers. Plus, get $400 of annual benefits you can use for travel for only $29/year. Add your voice to ours. Make travel better.  Join today.

Send this to a friend