Behind The Scenes of The Travelista with Blog Hop

The Travel Blogging community is pretty awesome. Since starting my blog nearly a year and a half ago, I’ve become friends with a bunch of awesome bloggers who are just like me. We blog, we have jobs and we work our asses off to marry the two together. The best part about it is that we all share the same boarder-line obsessional love for travel (and if that ‘aint going to bond you nothing will). Everyone chats regularly on Twitter, meets up for networking events and shares advice with one another. One other cool thing going around at the moment are these Blog Hop posts, so when Virginia from The Well-Travelled Post Card kindly nominated me to take part in, I thought I’d give it a go.

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Nothing beats sitting down to write with a good coffee

It’s a common misconception that there are tonnes of bloggers, like me, sitting around every day making an easy living from running a pretty little blog. This is outrageously untrue and, whilst a small selection of fab bloggers do earn a full time living from their little corner of the internet, the reality is that most of us either have a ‘proper’ job along side their blog. Some bloggers I know work in fields totally different to their blogging interest, but mine happen to cross over rather nicely. I work full time as a Freelance Group Editor for a luxury lifestyle start-up magazine as well as write freelance pieces for various other mags both online and in print. With my specialism in Travel, the majority of my pieces do tend to be travel related, but I ‘aint shy of a celeb interview or two either – they’re pretty fun. So hopefully by answering these Blog Hop questions, you will get a better idea of what I do and how I juggle my blog and full time journalism work.

1) What am I working on/writing?

My next big piece I will be working on is a print travel article for The Player Bookazine about my press trip to Rome. I visited Rome back in March this year and was commissioned to write a feature about my experience of the luxurious Jumeirah Via Veneto Hotel. I had an incredible trip so am quite looking forward to writing the piece as it always takes me back to the place and the experience. Once I complete my articles, I always check with the PR’s to see if I can publish a similar style post on my blog too. 9 times out of 10 they always say yes, as it’s some handy extra digital coverage for their client.

The difference between blogging and print travel articles is that my blogs will go up instantly after I return from a trip, whereas my travel articles could be written months after. This is because each article is scheduled into a publication way in advance (unless it was for a monthly mag or newspaper), so my deadline is only just looming now. It’s no problem though, as I take tones of notes whilst I am out there to re-jog my memory. That’s when I am on proper travel journalist mode.

I am often Knee Deep in flat plans and deadlines for my Freelance Editor work - and can set up camp almost anywhere!

I am often Knee Deep in flat plans and deadlines for my Freelance Editor work – and can set up camp almost anywhere!

2) How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre?

(Answered in relation to my blog) I like to think that when you read my blog, you feel like you’re reading a letter or a post card from your best friend. In a nutshell, it is an informal tone of voice. I would describe my writing style is punchy, bite sized, honest and (hopefully) a little bit entertaining. Whilst I get to experience some amazing luxury travel, I like to come across as a real human being rather than a pretentious weirdo about my experiences. I am very down to earth and grounded so would never under-appreciate the experiences I have. I get the most enjoyment from writing when I can write in my own words and phrases, which is why I set up The Travelista along side my journalism work. It enables me to express my adventures exactly how I see them.

I also like to think my writing and blog content differs from other travel blogs because as well as documenting my travels, I also love writing advice posts about blogging. Setting up your own blog can be a really daunting prospect and I know blog fanatics who have toyed with the idea for years before plucking up the courage to do so. I write advice posts to help people like these, who would probably kick ass at blogging if they just took the plunge! These posts are always the ones that generate the most engagement hands down, which is so nice to see.

Relaxing on the bed of dreams at The Alpina, Gstaad

Relaxing on the bed of dreams at The Alpina, Gstaad

3) Why do I write what I do?

Firstly, being a writer is in my blood. I have had a way with words since I was tiny and English was always my favorite subject at school. I get enjoyment writing in lots of different styles and in lots of different genres, but to me, there is nothing more thrilling than writing about travel. When I write about travel I feel like my imagination is strong enough to transport me to the place I am writing about and I love to think about the 5 senses. What did I smell, touch, feel, taste, see and hear? Writing about the senses are the best way to paint a picture of the place you have been.

To me, the 5 senses is the perfect way to write about a travel experience. I always think back to the senses to paint a picture for the reader.

To me, the 5 senses is the perfect way to write about a travel experience. I always think back to the senses to paint a picture for the reader. For example, on the Spanish Steps in Rome I remember hearing a cocktail of different languages from the many tourists around, touched the cold stone as I walked down the steps and could smell fresh churros from a nearby food van.

4) How does my writing process work?

As I mentioned earlier, I like to make my posts ‘bite sized’. This is because I know I respond well to reading things in small chunks, so think others may too. When preparing a post or article, I like to use sub headings and split everything I want to say into it’s relevant section. Once I have done this, I fill in the paragraphs. I often end up changing the title of the post once I have finished it, as the piece naturally develops as I write it. I think that whilst it’s important to have a Search-Engine-Friendly title, it’s more important to have a title that will really grab people’s attention.

Whilst other bloggers are quite systematic and structured about what they write, for me “it’s all up here” (Imagine me tapping my head as I say this). Because my brain is constantly on overdrive, I have pretty much prepared exactly what I want to write abut before I put finger to keyboard. I can write half a blog post after running 10 minutes on the treadmill and for some bizarre reason, always come up with the best blog titles just before I fall asleep. If I am on to a real winner, I will always write it down or put notes in my phone. I am constantly thinking of new posts and angles for my blog and would love to find the time to write each and every one. With all my travels and great concepts like Blog Hop, I am never ever short of things to blog about!

Writing on the move!

Writing on the move!

So that’s it! I hope you enjoyed a little insight into how my strange brain works and how I pull this blog together. The next part of Blog Hop is to nominate 3 more bloggers to take part by also answering these 4 questions and revealing what goes on behind the scenes of their own fantastic blogs. So I am going to nominate these lovely ladies…

1. Char from Taylor Hearts Travel Blog

Shortlisted for “Best Female” in the lowcostholidays Blogger Awards 2014, and featured in Company Magazine’s High-Street Edit as a favourite bloggerTaylor Hearts Travel is a stylish travel blog to inspire amazing travel; from ideas for epic bucket list ticks to suggestions for local weekend trips. Char was the first fellow blogger friend I met last year at World Travel Market.
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2. Ayla from Mrs Ayla Adventures Travel Blog

Having grown up in a family of holiday-goers and travel-fanatics, the desire to explore has been ingrained in Ayla since birth. When she’s not researching, talking, dreaming or bugging her husband about distant shores, you’ll either find her with my head in a book or at the cinema. I had the pleasure of meeting Ayla at the lowcostholidays Blogger Awards, where she won ‘Best Female’.

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3. Lucy from Absolutely Lucy  Lifestyle & Journalism Blog 

Meet Lucy,  an Anglo-Mauritian Norfolk-born girl who escaped her home town long enough to graduate from the University of Hertfordshire with a 2:1 in English Language and Communication and English Literature. Language and books  are her passion and, like me, she is a self-confessed writing addict, so naturally, I couldn’t think of anyone better suited to take part in Blog Hop!

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Go Girls!….

Have you enjoyed reading this post? Can you relate to my writing styles or have you got any tips? If you have any more questions or enjoyed this post, simply drop me a comment in the box below! Thank you for reading x 

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