By Osiris Brizuela
Have you ever thought about becoming a travel blogger, I'm sure many of us have had that thought cross our minds once or twice, I for one, am guilty. I mean, it sounds like #lifegoals, who wouldn't want to make a living traveling the world? Unfortunately, travel blogging has become so popular that in 2020, travel bloggers are having trouble keeping up with the competition. Travel blogger Gary Arndt is a first generation travel blogger and had this to say about the travel blogging competition in 2020, "The environment in 2020 isn’t the same as when I launched my travel blog in 2006. Today there are tens of thousands of travel websites you have to compete with, some of which are sites like mine with over a decade of content behind them." [1*] Travel blogging is very competitive but there is also a large audience of people out there who love reading them. Attempting to catch the attention of that large audience has become a big part of the job.
Travel bloggers are something I have recently become interested in learning more about, as I mentioned before, I have become guilty of wondering how to run a successful travel blog. Take this blog post as my test run. The research part of writing a blog is something that I was not looking forward to doing, but luckily, I used Addy to help me research this topic further. Addy helped me organize my research, turning web searches into topics. Having my research organized into topics allowed me to get deeper and quicker details, rather than reading five articles and attempting to organize everything myself in a different document and causing further disorganization. Throughout this blog I will discuss how Addy was able to help me with this blog, perhaps writers and bloggers reading this can find relevance in how Addy can help you. If you want to try the tool yourself, sign up for a free trial.
Why people love travel blogs
It's obvious to me why people love travel blogs, it's a bunch of cool photos and stories of amazing adventures. Many of us do not have the time to travel nor the finances to take magical trips like the ones travel bloggers write about, so we use these travel blogs as an escape; one can only wish. Then there's some of us who are interested in traveling and use travel blogs as guides to inspire our next adventure. Whatever the case may be, travel bloggers give a lot of advice/recommendations on the ideal places to stay, visit, tour and take instagram worthy photos at. For my recent trip to Milan, I definitely looked up some blogs to fill in my itinerary on places to stay and visit.
Research from Addy
Using other travel blogs to achieve my future travel goals and traveling myself gives me an insight as to what it takes to become a travel blogger. Of course traveling is the best part about being a blogger in this industry, but writing and research is also part of the job that is just a little less fun. If I am being honest, having a research and writing routine is the part that has kept me from starting my travel blog career. I would much rather spend my time taking photos and touring during my travels than spending it on taking notes and doing the research to really get the writing flowing. While researching this topic, Addy really came in handy by helping me save time on the process itself and the best thing is, there is an integrated workbench where I can also write my blog. The really cool part is that I can make clips (snippets made from reading through articles) from my research that go directly to the workbench where I can simply drag and drop my clips to the writing area. In addition my clips are sourced with the link of the article and automatically composes a source list at the bottom of the work area. I know many writers may have a specific process or style to their writing, but Addy can really help you get started while the creative juices are still flowing, then just simply download the report to add anything else you want. The workbench also allows you to upload your own photos which is a huge plus! Below, I included some visuals with a small description to better explain how I used Addy.
Addy’s Overview page gives you a high level overview of your selected search topic. My Project is called “Travel Blog” and it holds all of my travel related search models. This screenshot is showing an overview of my “what to do in Milan Italy” model.
Addy has filters you can apply to your model results to help find details faster. Here I clicked on the top word “gothic cathedral” and clipped the section that discusses some facts about it. After clipping this section, I visited the workbench.
The cool thing about Addy is that I can conduct my research, organize my notes (in the form of clips) and write my blog all on one platform. In the workbench you can view your clips to the left, where you can simply drag and drop them into the workspace.
My Milan Trip
Since we’ve decided that this is my first attempt at travel blogging, I will share with you all a little about my recent Milan trip. Let's start off with my first impression of Italy, I previously visited Italy in the summer of 2016 and had the privilege of visiting the beautiful city of Rome. You’ve probably heard the saying, "Rome wasn't built in a day", well after visiting I now always respond with, "and it looks like it's still not done being built". If you haven't visited Rome I really do recommend it, there are many ruins, rich with history that is worth learning about. So going back to Italy, with the opportunity to visit the city of Milan, I was expecting a similar experience as I would still be in Italy. Surprisingly enough, Milan was so different from Rome, Milan has more of an artsy city feel, which I really enjoyed. Since I was in Milan for the short period of two days, I definitely took advantage of some of the things travel bloggers recommended to do.
One of the top recommendations of things to do in Milan, was to visit the famous Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper painting. "The famous painting Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci is located in the refectory of Santa Maria Delle Grazie Convent and you can visit it. The 15th-century painting is one of the top things to see in Milan and to be able to admire it you must book your ticket in advance. I’m not joking, to see the Last Supper in July or August you must book your ticket in May." [2*] Thankfully we struck luck, our hotel had guests who couldn't make it and were trying to sell their tickets two hours before the scheduled tour. We had no concrete plans for the day so we took the opportunity to see the famous painting. It was stunning!
I also visited the 4th largest cathedral, El duomo di Milan translated to Milan Cathedral. Since this is the most recognized attraction, many travel bloggers make sure to put it as a high priority of attractions to see. “The cathedral took nearly six centuries to complete with an exterior that is covered in Candoglia marble, which gives it its off-white pinkish colour. Make sure to visit both during the day and at night for an entirely different experience." [3*] This travel blogger recommended visiting the cathedral both during the daytime and at night, which I took to heart. The many lights beaming throughout the cathedral at night makes it look like it was glowing! It was absolutely breathtaking.
Right next to the cathedral is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the oldest active shopping mall of Milan. "For some upscale designer shopping, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is the place to be. It is considered one of the world’s oldest and most beautiful shopping malls, and its most impressive feature is an arching glass and cast iron roof. "[3*] There you can shop at the many luxury stores occupying the beautiful historic building as well as enjoy the many available cafe's and gelato shops.
There was a short distance within all of these locations so it was very convenient to visit them all in one day. So if you ever find yourself planning a quick trip to Milan, these are the best places to visit in a small amount of time. Photography tip alert! In most cases, popular locations like these are occupied by many tourists, more so during the day. Try coming back during the night to attempt less tourist filled pictures.
So while travel blogging has become a competitive industry, tools like Addy, can really give bloggers the upper hand. Find what you are looking for at a glance not just a part of it from the 5th link of a traditional search method. Write your blog as you are still feeling creative and not after your brain is too overwhelmed with unorganized research notes and the feeling of, “where do I start,” starts sinking in. Don’t take my word for it, try it yourself by signing up for a free trial.