By Jen Leo
"Jen, check this out," my friend Sean Keener said when he started the Bootblog, a weblog that takes us behind the scenes of BootsnAll, my favorite travel website. That was the first time I was introduced to blogs and I immediately wanted one. Prior to that, I'd been thinking of creating a website for travel writers. I wanted to provide a resource that would enable people to turn their dreams of travel writing into a reality. But I took to the idea of blogging, and thought I'd start there first. Sean set me up with the software and my blog, Written Road, was born three years ago.
Many types of travel blogs exist. Some are resources that point you to daily or weekly news, others resemble a personal diary, and still others offer a point of connection between travelers and their friends and family while they're on the road. Today, travelers don't need to go through an editor to get their words up on their website, and the comments offer a way for those at home to communicate. Many travel websites offer free blogs to travelers and I wouldn't do it any other way if I were hitting the road now.
Written Road has many uses for me. Half of the topics are full of market leads, submission guidelines, book news, and other information travel writers can use for themselves to further their writing and gain publication. The other half follows my journey as a travel writer and book editor. When I went on tour for my first book, Sand in My Bra: Funny Women Write from the Road, friends and fans got to read along as I drove across country on my book tour. By the time I blogged the book tour for Whose Panties Are These?, there were people in my audience who turned up for the events because they followed the last tour on Written Road. From all this exposure, I've received writing assignments from Student Traveler, other blogs, and even TIME. Now, I'm starting a new travel blog, Viva Las Vegas Blog. It will be a destination planning guide for those traveling to the infamous Sin City, and will launch in just two weeks. So, I guess you could say I've become a professional blogger.
My favorite travel related blogs include:
World Hum: a thoughtful roundup of current travel lit news
Vagablogging: Rolf Potts weaves travel advice, interviews, and inspirational quotes with his own whereabouts
The Global Trip: 16 months around the world with Erik R. Trinidad
BootsnAll Travel Blogs: 380 travel blogs from Antarctica to Zanzibar with five-ten blogs being added every week
Gadling: Quality posting that will inspire you to get out there and do something
HotelChatter: The inside gossip to hotels everywhere
The beauty of writing a blog is that you can make it anything you want it to be. So, go on, start your own! Traveling is more rewarding when you can share your adventures, and learn from those that have gone before you. Here are some websites to help you get started: