TravelTraveler Magazine

What Makes a Good Travel Blog?

Working at National Geographic is an awesome learning experience, in which I’m constantly surrounded by real talent, sound wisdom, unique minds and artistic people (I love it).

Among the strong and creative team that I work with is one-of-a-kind internet princess Marilyn Terrell (@Marilyn_res), Chief Researcher at National Geographic Traveler and a host of many other things, like a mother to five children (and one squirrel). Marilyn makes sure every issue of the magazine stays 100% accurate and authentic, a responsibility that has taken her all across the infinite spans of the internet. Honestly, I don’t know anyone else in the world who knows the web like Marilyn knows it.

I really am quite lucky to work so closely with Marilyn, and she is one of the many behind-the-scenes people that keep my blog happy, tidy, and fresh.

This week I cornered Marilyn in her office and asked her to share some of her knowledge on all things travel blogging. Unfortunately, neither of us could make it to TBEX this year, but if anyone knows the world of blogging, it’s Marilyn and bloggers everywhere can benefit from her intelligent insights.

For that reason, I urge you all to watch this full video clip. Here’s a few excerpts of Marilyn’s thoughts on blogging:

When traveling:

  • Look for the unusual
  • Be curious
  • Explore a place
  • Talk to people

When blogging:

  • Read great travel writing
  • Avoid jargon and cliche
  • Keep posts short
  • Write strong and startling headlines
  • Always include a great photo
  • Be committed (write regularly and for the long-term)

Marilyn also recommends some great travel blogs and bloggers to learn from and I can add my voice of support for all of the following:

If perchance there are any bloggers out there who live under a rock and have somehow failed to connect with Marilyn (impossible to conceive!), then you need to change that now. So follow @Marilyn_Res and enjoy the ride!

 . . . and thank you, Marilyn.