|Image courtesy of Steve Keenan|
Travel bloggers are a diverse bunch. There are some who are globe-trotting with a backpack, tasting independence for the first time before settling down. At the other end of the spectrum, some are selling their businesses to travel the world, seeking thrills and visiting the must-see locations in the world. In between there are parent travel bloggers who essentially write about going on their holidays.
This was the gist of Jen Howze’s opening statement at a parent travel bloggers ‘think tank’ held in conjunction with BritMums, the parent blogging network run by Jen and Susanna Scott, and Travel Perspective, a digital editorial agency run by Steve Keenan and Mark Frary.
As a family travel blogger who fills in time between holidays writing about ‘other stuff’ it can sometimes be difficult to feel part of the wider travel blogging community. I was delighted, therefore, to be invited to London to discuss issues with some like-minded writers and professionals in the field of travel.
This inaugural meeting, with just a small number of bloggers, gave me the opportunity to learn what’s new in the travel writing business. I found out what other bloggers are doing to link with brands, I learned the pros and cons of self-publishing with expert tips from Terry Lee of LiveShareTravel and was able to discover, from Steve Keenan, former Times and Sunday Times online and print travel editor, the challenges travel writers now have as the shift moves from print to digital.
I couldn’t fail to be inspired by the effervescent character of Jaume Marin, marketing director of the Costa Brava Tourist Board. If ever there was a man to enthuse and engage an audience, Jaume is your man. Never mind about your Klout score and your Twitter reach, Jaume wants bloggers to create reliable content with unique stories and life experiences. This made me happy. When I write a travel post I try to find the funny moments in the trip, the bizarre sights, the situations which have made me laugh or my heart sing. I may make fun of my husband, his penchant for fixing things with duct tape and our constant car conflicts, I may moan about having to partake in energetic activities when we are on holiday, but hopefully I give my readers a taste of a location which they might remember when choosing their own trips.
The family bloggers who attended the day – Lucy, Kirstie, Gretta, Sarah and Selena, with Jen and Susanna – I am sure took away some valuable pointers as I did. We hope to have future meetings to discuss creative writing, technology and how to create media packs. But most of all, we want to build on the connections and friendships which began to develop in one day of conversation, coffee and cake.