Yoshke Dimen and Vins Carlos are two newbie travelers who always find themselves getting ripped off, whose time is always wasted getting lost, and whose trips are always spoiled by the rain. They make mistakes, lots of them. But every trip is a lesson, and these lessons are what they share with the world. The Poor Traveler, Yoshke and Vins' travel blog, has emerged as one of the biggest in the region in terms of traffic and social media presence.
Here are Yoshke and Vins' answers, tips and thoughts on what it takes to become and succeed as a travel blogger today:
What advice would you give to travel bloggers who are trying to make a name for themselves?
Find what sets you apart from the rest. Given the number of travel blogs out there, it may not be enough to set up a travel blog. Ask yourself: What about travel? What will make it different from the others? Look inside you, look around you, and you’ll find that the things you enjoy — be it food, fashion, adventure, even the little quirks — can be an angle or a niche that can serve as a key differentiator.
How can travel bloggers ensure their content’s different from everything else out there?
Personality. What will make your blog unique is YOU. Your voice, views, and character will give your blog a flavor different from everyone else’s. Taking blogging down to a personal level will help your blog stand out.
Would you say that social media’s a vital tool for bloggers?
Absolutely. A great fraction of our traffic comes from social media sites, and it insulates our blog from the drastic effects of the changes in search algorithms. Also, social media provides a real connection to your readers. You may not always update your blog, but posting on social channels is easier, allowing you to take them with you in real time.
Which articles/stories did far better than you expected?
15 Great Destinations Near Manila. A significant chunk of our followers are from my hometown, most probably because much of my content are tailor-made for them. But what we did not expect was that many of them were not aware that there are a lot of amazing destinations in close proximity.
Have you ever been surprised by a lack of interest in a piece which you thought would do really well?
Paris. We thought our readers would be ecstatic that we would finally be writing about a destination outside Asia, but there seems to be not much engagement on the blog post itself and on the social media posts. I have yet to crack what would make them more interested.
How often should a blogger be posting new content online, and should most of it be written content? Can video content be just as popular?
Yes, there are a lot of successful video bloggers out there. As for the frequency, we have no idea what works for everyone else, but we find that posting at least weekly keeps my readers interested.
Which travel bloggers do you rate at the moment?
Right now, we enjoy Stupid Ugly Foreigner by Michael Em. His wit just makes his writing such an entertaining read. Unfortunately, he expressed that he won’t be writing again anytime soon, but we still continue to enjoy his past articles.