You’ve just set-up a travel blog, but you’re not traveling every day. How do you continue to find new blog post ideas when you’re not always on the road? The answer is closer than you might think…
Your hometown and surrounding areas are a destination for someone— and with them, you can generate local content for your travel blog and build credibility for your travel writing at the same time.
Here are 10 tips to get you started:
1. Email your local Conventions and Visitors Bureau and ask to get on their press release list. This will not only let you know when new attractions and restaurants open but it will provide information on new exhibits in museums or an attraction’s new location that could become an easy blog post. For example, a recently got a press release about a museum in our town moving from a standalone building to inside our local shopping mall. This was a great topic to blog about because it’s relevant and fresh and it’s likely something people in my town are searching for online. I blogged about the museum’s new handicap accessibility, new layout, and a trend on new uses for disappearing shopping malls.
2. Check out your city’s website as if you were a tourist. My city’s website has a flyer of 150 things to do in town. I’ve lived in this city my entire life, and there are things on the list that I didn’t even know existed until I became a travel writer. Check your city’s website out. I bet there are things there you didn’t know about.
3. Redefine local. The town or city you live in is certainly the obvious choice for “local” stories: however, there are other towns and cities within 50 or 100 miles of your city. Grab a map and draw a circle representing a specific number of miles from your town. You’ll be surprised what falls within that circle. Investigate.
4. Consider going to places that are famous for a certain season and revisit them in the off-season. For example, I once blogged about winter activities in a local park famous for free summer concerts. Then later I blogged about free things to do on a date night that included this same park.
5. Do an internet search on specific topics; “wineries near me,” “breweries within 50 miles,” or “free things to do with kids.” Frequently ideas will show up on a search like this that wasn’t on the city’s list in step 2.
6. Join your local Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA) program (see www.ctanetwork.com for details). They have free mixers at venues that will unveil things to do in your town. You’ll meet other CTAs that work in the travel industry, and when they know you’re a writer, they’ll be excited to tell you about their venue.
7. Tourism boards, specialty stores, and other venues have press or media tabs on their sites. Frequently these tabs have lists of story ideas. Check those out.
8. Ask your social media contacts about their favorite things to do in your town. It will also increase your interactions.
9. Post about festivals. Even small towns have their share of festivals. I stay on top of mine as a new and fresh way to see my city and blog about it.
10. When all else fails, find a new way to tell an old story. Round-ups are great for this. You can explore three yard stores and write a blog post for each, then group them all together and write a post about the three and how they compare.
Ideas are often elusive. Keep an ongoing list that you can add to when the idea fairy pays a visit. And use that list when you sit down to write.
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