Reasons why I don’t visit your blog

reasons why I don't visit your blog 2
As a blogger I (usually) enjoy reading and commenting on other people’s blogs
. My favorite blogs have a few things in common: they introduce me to new destinations, they are geared to the independent traveller, they’re honest in presenting a true picture of a destination or travel in general. I’m drawn to bloggers who travel full-time or who are expats that have made somewhere else their home (ie. people similar to us). Reading and commenting on other people’s blogs has helped us plan our own travels and has introduced us to other bloggers, some of whom we’ve met and now keep in touch with. In short, interacting with other people’s blogs is part of being in the “blogger community”.
It’s good being part of a community.

But there are blogs that I either won’t visit (I may once, before realizing that your blog’s not for me) or that, with time, I’ll no longer visit.

This post is about the reasons I probably don’t visit your blog.

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A. Instant turnoffs
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The title basically says it all. It’s usually about how you present yourself or your blog. Here are the ones that come to mind:
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1. Yoga poses all over the place.

Every 2nd photo of you is done posing in front of a monument like you’re Mahatma Gandhi or something (most of these bloggers are younger females who probably don’t even know who Gandhi was). Oh yeah, I get it, you suddenly feel so at one with nature standing there on the bow of a boat or at a memorial to dead people.
Give me a break. You just look like a frigin idiot.

can't stand yoga pose bloggers

Source


2. Posing in your bikini

Yes, you have a great body but there are more photos of you in a bikini than of the destination. Are you trying to get avid readers interested in what you have to say or just a bunch of guys pulling their monkey to your photos? I honestly lose a bit of respect for those of you who need to flash your body parts in order to get readers to your travel blog.
I’m not going to be one of your monkey pullers.

why sexy travel bloggers bug me

Source 1, Source 2

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Note: I find the above 2 categories often overlap and they really bother me more than anything. 

 

3. Vegan/Eco/morally-superior-type bloggers

We’ve met or dealt with a bunch of these categories of bloggers. We can’t seem to get along.

A few years ago we visited the Hutsadin Elephant Foundation and I was touched by the efforts the volunteers were making in saving abused or injured elephants. I wrote about it, then I reached out to a few of the larger Eco bloggers about sharing the post or just simply spreading the word about this foundation. What I received was either silence or these bloggers calling Hutsadin “horrific” and painting me as the guy promoting animal cruelty (post and comments here). I got pretty pissed off about it.

We met a few travel bloggers through our last few years of travel who promoted themselves as “Vegan”, “Eco” and “yoga”. Nice people. But after a few meetings we came to the realization that they ate meat and didn’t know anything about yoga. These were just labels that put them in a travel blogger niche. That also left us feeling a little jaded towards this category of bloggers. (note: Spanky has done yoga for over 20 years and we’ve even gone to yoga retreats. But it doesn’t define us anymore than drinking beer does).

So I’m sorry if I don’t have any interest, I’ve just learned that we don’t see the world the same way. Oh, and by the way, when we visit any kind of animal foundation we always pay for it and never ask for a freebie even if we end up promoting the place.

elephants

Big difference but not everyone sees it that way.

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4. Family Blogs

Family Travel Blogs are very popular and it’s understandable because many people have kids and are looking for kid-friendly destinations and advice. There’s absolutely nothing personal here – but I have a grown son now and family travel is not something I follow anymore.
Related: Our one and only “Family road trip” 10 years ago. It was a bit of a disaster.

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B. Content

 

Getting past that initial first impression of a blog, there’s content.  Here are a few things that bother me (in varying degrees).

 

1. You don’t have an opinion

What do you think of a place? If you’ve been somewhere I haven’t (or even somewhere I’ve been) I’d like your opinion on it. Maybe we won’t agree but that’s not important, in the end travel is about your experience and I want to know what you liked/didn’t like about a place. I can’t stand reading a post that’s wishy-washy all the while trying to figure out “did they like it there...??”. Especially if it’s a place I’ve never been but that I might be considering. An opinion (if it’s credible and not based on 3 hrs spent somewhere for lunch) helps me as a reader. When there’s consistently no opinion of any kind a blog gets boring.

 

2. You write about places you haven’t been

This seems to be a growing trend: writing about places you haven’t been and including all these great photos pinched from Flickr.
If you haven’t travelled you shouldn’t have a travel blog. That’s like me having a blog about dogs. I don’t have a dog.

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3. Your blog reads like a diary…I can’t get anything out of it.

It’s always a balancing act. You don’t want to be dry and boring when writing, you also don’t want to add too much personal stuff that readers won’t want to read  “…so then we checked in, freshened up, put on some clean clothes (I put on my polka dot dress, you know the one with the white sash along the waist), and went out for a walk…”.
Ok, I’m already bored.

 

4. Full of ads and/or sponsored posts

People want to monetize their blogs but if you have too many ads popping up or flashing it’s a major turnoff . Sponsored posts often suck even more because it turns good bloggers into mushy ass kissers (I was kind of guilty of that in Japan – but that was an exception because things were really expensive.We very rarely do sponsored posts or exchange reviews for free stays).

Below: oh yeah, totally selling out.

BBqbot-in-the-Princess-Kitty-Room-2

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C. Comments
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Hey, I like your blog! But here are a few things, all related to comments, that can result in me not bothering to come back to your site.
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1. Difficult leaving a comment

I honestly enjoy reading other people’s blogs and if I like a post I’ll comment. So why is your site so difficult to comment on? If you have Disqus or have to comment using Facebook I’m not going to bother.
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2. You don’t respond to comments

This is the most basic rule of blogging (I think) and I can’t believe there are so many bloggers who just don’t respond to any comments or questions posted on their blog. And it’s not just established bloggers (who are usually busier), I’ve seen it with new bloggers as well. In my books, a comment is like someone calling you or sending you an email. If you’re a blogger you should try to respond in a timely basis. If you can’t bother responding to a comment or question on your own blog why would I ever comment again?

3. You can’t bother ever reciprocating

Part of being in the “blogger community” is to reciprocate. It doesn’t have to be constant or tit for tat, but you occasionally have to give something back. If you don’t that’s your prerogative, but if I see that it’s a one-sided relationship I most likely won’t come back to your blog (unless it’s super duper awesome) and I definitely won’t comment again. Again, I’m incredulous that many bloggers just can’t be bothered.
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D. Other odds and ends

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A few other blogger peeves while I’m at it.

– I wish bloggers would have a decent “About Us” page so the reader can get an idea of what you’re about. Don’t write about your love of unicorns and the sea, nobody cares about that. Tell us where you’re from, your background, how you travel. I see too many About Us pages that basically say nothing (sometimes not even including the name of the writer). It only helps people who want to engage with you 😉 .

– I’ve had a few blogs write me lately with “hey, we’ve just named you as one of the Top 50 Travel Bloggers. It would be great if you could promote our post and put our special badge on your blog”. When you ignore them they become more insistent “I just checked and we never got any response from you. I’m sending you our badge again so that you can promote this special badge on your blog, social media network on Facebook, Twitter, among friends and family members”. So basically you’ve put me on some sort of list (bet you never even read one post on this blog) and now I’m supposed to stick your stinking badge on my front page. That burns me. F*ck off.

– Bloggers (one in particular that I won’t name) doing the “Sexiest Male/Sexiest Female Travellers” posts which 1) pushes the whole sex sells agenda, 2) amounts to a whole lot of ass kissing in my opinion. It hit a new low this year when you were asked to pay to see the post. I unsubscribed. Pathetic.

– We’ve also had a lot of new bloggers who’ve asked us as more established bloggers if we would mind linking one of their posts in one of ours. I understand it and don’t get annoyed, but I won’t do it because nobody should give freebies. We’ve put in a lot of work on our blog to get where we are and if you persevere you’ll get there as well. So just do the work. No freebies. BUT – I’ll often give new bloggers an opportunity to contribute a guide to the blog and in that will give them as many links as they desire.

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Ok, that’s all I can think of right now.

 

What are your biggest issues/peeves about Travel Blogs?

 

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Comments

  1. I don’t like social media pop ups and I don’t like blogs that only promote luxury hotels. 🙂 agree with you about most of the points you’ve made too, especially about the not travelling somewhere but writing about it posts. that’s like me writing about canoeing or sewing, haven’t got a clue about it 🙂
    Tanja (the Red phone box travels) recently posted…Why we cancelled our Munich tripMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Social media pop ups: you’re right Tanja. One of the things I’ve done over the last 6 months or so is get rid of that pop up subscription box. Instead I’ve placed a subscription box at the bottom of every post. Subscriptions have more than doubled since then. I think people so sick of pop ups the natural reaction is to just click them shut without even looking at them.
      Luxury Hotels: not necessarily for us either but it’s a niche catering to a certain market. Nice to see places that we’ll most likely never splurge on…I see some of those posts and I realize how cheap we’ve gotten the way we travel (we’ve stayed in luxury places in the past but that feels like a lifetime ago).
      Thanks for the feedback.

  2. Yes! Yes! Yes! I agree a gazillion % on everything you just listed.

    Without exaggeration, I receive at least 3 emails each week asking to guest post on our site, “with exceptional content written expressly with our readers in mind” and all they “expect” (yes, expect) is the “favor” of a link back to their site. I have a standard reply that usually causes them to disappear, but I have to believe that a lot of bloggers (maybe newbies trying to find an audience) are accepting these “guest posts” or I wouldn’t be receiving so many inquiries.

    Agreed… if you’re going to advertise on your site, I don’t want to see it. That’s the key!

    And, I hate pop-ups when I’m in the middle of reading a post, so freaking annoying.

    And, B3, B3, B3, B3 … shoot me now.
    Patti recently posted…We Keep Moving Forward ~My Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Oh yes, I haven’t even gotten to those guest post requests sent by companies. I just ignore those. But the ones from new bloggers I’ll answer if it’s addressed to me. I get a lot where people don’t even address to to me…at least look up who you’re writing to.

      B3 – darn, I was going to tell you about what I had for lunch and how it went down. I’ll save it for when I meet you Patti 😉

  3. Spot on as usual Frank! Could agree more about those bikini poses (sex always sells, which is shame, as many of these bloggers travel to such fantastic places and really don’t need the arses/tits to entice people to read, or maybe they’re just rubbish at writing and shouldn’t be blogging!), and the high and mighty eco vegan yoga warriors. Niches are good, but only if they’re true to what you’re really all about. Have to admit we do accept a few sponsored posts here and there (usually they’re like buses and all come at once), it’s not something I like to do, but it’s easy money and for us to continue blogging (as well as having full time day jobs) it has to pay it’s way somehow. Like your idea of putting the newsletter sign up at the bottom of each post…we’ve never had a pop up as I can’t stand them, but as a consequence have very few subscribers relatively speaking. Might just have to pinch that off you 🙂
    Heather Cole recently posted…Visiting the Temple of the Tooth in KandyMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      “mighty eco vegan yoga warriors” – love that. We call them the “dirty backpackers” because most of them look like they don’t have two pennies to rub together and they always look dirty (I know, not nice). My issue is that they’re radical and oblivious to economic realities. God forbid a baby elephant does a 10 minute dance (per day), that’s exploitation. Never mind where that elephant would be if you didn’t have places like this (with volunteers doing this for free). I don’t want to go into that post here but the reactions I got, both in the comments and in private emails, still make me upset.

      If anyone does Sponsored posts well it’s you Heather. You’ll be honest to the point where I wonder why the heck they would want you doing a sponsored post/free stay on their hotel. Good for you 🙂 Most sponsored posts are syrupy and you know from the first sentence they aren’t worth reading. You keep yours interesting.

      When you first start a blog everyone tells you that pop ups are annoying but very effective. I didn’t find that the case at all and also had a few people mention to me they were annoying. That’s why I changed it. Much better results and nobody complains.

    • you call that “sex” ? to each his own, but these photos are NOT in any way “sexy”. Vulgar, sure,(I won’t start with the tattoos and piercings craze) but not sexy or even remotely “erotical”.
      We are not in the Victorian times anymore, when the smallest hint of young female flesh made people swoon.

      • Frank (bbqboy) says:

        I have no issues with a bit of flesh and I like a woman in a bikini or tight dress. I just don’t think it’s appropriate for a blog. What would you start thinking of me if every 2nd photo I was wearing my speedos? 🙂
        Oh, totally agree with you about tattoos or piercings. Turn off for me.

      • Lionel, the bloggers in question think they are sexy, and many of their viewers agree, and are no doubt ‘fans’ because they like a bit of butt, rather than because they’re actually looking for travel tips. Travel sells itself, it just annoys me that so many pretend to be travel bloggers when in reality they’re just slaves to their own vanity. And definitely agree about the tattoos, there really is no need.
        Heather Cole recently posted…Air Kenya review – catching the bus, bush styleMy Profile

  4. I agree 100% with everything you just said! Another thing I would add is female bloggers/social media influencers who are always posing in nature wearing some high fashion outfit, hair perfectly done etc. It’s so fake- no one in real life goes hiking looking like that!

    I’ve stopped reading quite a few blogs that I used to enjoy because now everything they write about is sponsored. If I wanted to read a marketing piece, I would stick to tourism board websites. Also, don’t get me started on hotel “reviews”…
    Rhonda Krause recently posted…How to Spend 3 Days in La Paz, Bolivia- Our ItineraryMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Yes, agree with the whole posing thing and the fakeness of it. You know they’ve probably made it to the trailhead, snapped their pic, and headed back to the parking lot 🙂
      It’s true that there’s definitely a lot of image for the sake of image going on, I guess just a reflection of society in general. I always like bloggers who keep it real, the good, the bad and the ugly.

      You’re right about sponsored pieces. I also have issues with some of the bigger bloggers writing a post and somehow working in every single affiliated company that they work with. It\s not even about the post anymore but somehow plugging everything they do. We all want to make a bit of money with the blog but it has to be seamless or as close to seamless as possible I think…It’s interesting to see in the comments so far how many people have an aversion to sponsored posts.

      Hotel Reviews – yes, I agree. I mentioned we did a few in Japan and had some incredible experiences that we would never have had otherwise (I’d never pay $700/night for a hotel room in real life). But it is the only place we’ve actually done hotel reviews and was actually a fun experience and we learned a lot from dealing with a couple of hotels there. But for us it’ll never be more than one post in every hundred…

      Thanks for the feedback Rhonda.

  5. A well put together post, Frank! I can’t help but agree with you on everything! What really irritates me, the most, are the yoga posts, and guest posters. Some are ok. But so many of them are overdone. There are a few blogs that I stopped following, because of that. As for overly done advertising, yuck.

    As for my blog, I guess mine can seem a little diary-like – but I’m trying not to be, too much! 🙂 But I guess that’s the nature of my current bicycle trip to Melbourne (only a few weeks, and riding for charity). When I start cycling around the world, I’m probably going to be much more relaxed on my posting – and post much longer posts. For the day to day, I’ll let my photos do the talking. 🙂
    Stephen Jones recently posted…Cycle Against the Beast – Day 5 (Yass to Bowning) – 20km of tough headwinds… plus a 90km lift to GundagaiMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Hi Stephen – I checked out your blog because I’m very impressed with your bike plans. Many years ago I did a bike tour around the Gaspe peninsula here in Canada and it was a wonderful experience. It’s really inspiring that you’re going to do an around the world tour by bike, including across all of Canada (I have to warn you though that the ride across the prairies is going to be boring as hell).
      And I hate to point this out but I tried leaving you a comment and when I press post comment nothing happens. It’s in lockdown. I’ve saved it in word if you fix it 🙂

      Thanks for the comment, nice to meet you on the blog.

  6. Thank you for this post. I do not currently have a travel blog (I do keep a painting blog), but I read a number of travel blogs and may start one soon. Your entry articulates many of the reasons I read your blog. I like your blog partly for your voice and partly because my husband and I think seriously about living the way you do now when retire. Beyond that specifics, photos, and opinions are what keep me reading. I’m unlikely to post many selfies especially not in a bikini. But your list of peeves is useful.

    Unlike you, we travel abroad only about a month and a half every two years. We hope to double that in the coming years as we send our girls off to college. What I’d like to provide is a guide to less visited sights worth seeing and hikes worth taking. Cooking may also be a theme. I enjoy the challenge of using vacation rental kitchens to produce fine food with minimal effort.

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Thanks for the comment Jenny, appreciate the kind words. It sounds like you have a pretty good idea of what you want to blog about which is a great start. I think the key is to just enjoy it and just do anything you feel you want to do. Don’t listen too much to others or feel the pressure to conform, it’s your space 😉
      Frank (bbqboy) recently posted…Reasons why I don’t visit your blogMy Profile

  7. Frank, I chuckled all the way through this post. We all have the same frustrations…well, most of us. I think the thing that burns me up the most, though, is when someone writes about a place they’ve never been. As far as the bathing suits….I wish I could do that…but alas….I have to rely on other talents at this stage in my life. Enjoy! Hope we run into you guys again soonish! Corinne

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Thanks Corrine. Yes, I had never noticed that until someone mentioned to me that writing about places you haven’t been is a thing people do. Then I started to notice it everywhere. Unbelievable right? What a cost cutting way to travel.
      I’m holding hope that one day I get to see you in a bikini Corrine 🙂

  8. I like how you say things as they are. It helps when you don’t have to pay the bills with the blog – you can stick to your thing and do as you will. The number one thing I dislike about blogs is the clickbait titles – you know the typical “This place’s dish will shock you” or equivalent. I supposed I’ve fallen into the same trap lately, having to put the site on a mostly guest posting spree as real life kicks me in the ass. I guess having posts that are typical lists are better than having no posts… Thoughts on clickbait blog titles?

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      I don’t think anyone should be in a situation where they have to make money with the blog. Many more easier ways to make money and I think if people go into it to make money that’s the wrong approach.

      Click bait: Like “why you should NOT go to Croatia”. They had those going on for a while…then you click and it’s just another article and how beautiful it is blah, blah. Or “Scammed in Bangok” and you read about how he was overcharged on a tuk-tuk (hardly what you would call scammed unless you are the cheapest person on earth). You are right, very annoying.

      Busy these days at Boeing? Yes, noticed you haven’t been writing much in the last little while.

      • Hung Thai says:

        Heheh I’ve actually seen some of those articles you mentioned – super annoying! Work has been pretty stressful lately. I’ve been trying to close a major project for the last few months and the end is another 5-6 months out.

        I agree that going into blogging for the money might be a tad optimistic and that’s another pet peeve – people telling other people to start blogging, saying how rewarding it is and how you can travel the world for free. All that ends up happening, most of the time, is you get the person paid and you’ll end up quitting in a year or two when you haven’t managed to make anything.

        • Frank (bbqboy) says:

          It must be a cool place to work, I always wanted to work in aviation when I was younger.

          There’s another peeve: the selling of the “travel blogger travel the world for nothing dream”. Certain bloggers have made a career of selling that dream.

          My philosophy has always been have fun with the blog, build it up with time, and the money will come (maybe) at a certain point. We don’t chase anything yet we get some sponsored posts and links. Another thing I don’t do is just accept anything. I ask for a lot which most people say no to. But I always say I’d rather have very few ads for a bit more than many crappy ads on the low side.
          But the main thing has always been to enjoy blogging and connect with people. I’ve mentioned before that I blogged for about 7 years on one of those obscure hosted sites before getting my own domain. No traffic, no comments but I’ve always enjoyed it. So those people who quit after a year or two I don’t understand. They got into it for the wrong reasons.

  9. YES!!! These are all seriously true. Obviously, you know my pet peeves out there, but some newer ones are definitely the ‘holier than now’ eco-bloggers. I do like when people write about that stuff, because I try to travel sustainably and ethically, but when it comes across as though they are better than others, it rubs me the wrong way. I also am so turned off by people taking sponsored posts that are not related, etc. There is no way you will be able to make Nestea relevant to your travel blog, so just don’t try! Sorry. Have a Tim Horton’s email in my inbox (pretty sure if they ended up reaching out to me that a lot of people got it) and as much as I’d love to write about my love for Timbits (American, not Canadian here haha!) and their everyday coffee, I actually can’t think of how that would relate to a single reader of mine or what I write about. I could go on and on…. But…. I am going to fix my ‘About Page’ now as it lost formatting during my redesign as has been sitting there with an ‘Under Construction’ notice for over a month. Aghhhhh!!! Don’t head to my page and check it out 😛 Great post!! Such an enjoyable read!!!
    Megan recently posted…Sandoy, Faroe Islands: The Perfect Day Trip from TórshavnMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Hey, that’s funny Megan because I got an email the other day from a guy called Tim Horton (not the company though). Sure it’s not the same guy? He wanted to do a sponsored post on the blog that (yup, you called it) had nothing to do with a travel.

      My issue with the vegan eco bloggers (aka dirty backpackers) is that most are ultra radical and would rather see a village burned down than have an elephant do a 10 minute dance for tourists. It might not be ideal but there are foundations who do their best with the help of private funds, volunteers plus short tourist shows (just to get by). Unfortunately they don’t get the celebrity endorsements and funding of Elephant Nature Park (which is the one they always cite). Other places have just as noble intentions and are working towards it but need support…the alternative is much worse, most of the elephants there had horrible stories. They should get off their high horse and actually promote places trying to make the world a better place and not slam them down just because they’re not 100% perfect. These foundations know it’s not 100% ideal but they’re doing their best considering local mentalities and useless governments…
      Anyway, enough of that.

      Of course I had to check out your About Page after all that 🙂 . I don’t see anything at all wrong with it.
      Thanks for the comment Megan.

  10. MeganStarr told me to check out this post and it’s hilarious and so true. I completely agree with your number 1 and 2 points, but also basically the rest. I for an e-mail from someone asking for me to link their blog and I responded saying I wasn’t interested. Apparently something wasn’t working and they e-mailed me 2 more times each time becoming more pushy. I responded to ALL THREE e-mails. My last e-mail was very rude, but I hope they got it.

    Also, I HATE when people call themselves “travel bloggers” but every other post is a sponsored one, like “How to throw the best Super Bowl Party.”
    Jasilyn recently posted…Shikhan Tora TauMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Ha! It just sounds like someone posting anything that will pay. Yes, including an ad for a Super Bowl Party in a travel blog sounds like a bit of a stretch…

      Usually I ignore an email like that because I know the person is just making the rounds. They’ll usually go away. But like you, I get peeved if they start getting insistent.

      Thanks Jasilyn for taking the time to comment 🙂

  11. Well Frank, you pretty much nailed it here. Of course, I do look fabulous in a bikini, so I’m going to keep it up despite your objections.

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      I said chicks in bikinis. No reason why we can’t wear one 😉
      Last summer couldn’t believe when I saw this guy here in Croatia walking down the street wearing the Borat swimsuit. My Croatian friends catcalled him, he looked so embarrassed…

      • actually that kind of swimmsuit was the norm for men a century ago, so why catcalling him ? I tend to be tolerant in terms of swimsuits because I had some negative reactions when I was wearing my speedos in the US, whereas it’s completely normal in Europe.

        • Frank (bbqboy) says:

          Are you sure we are talking about the same things Lionel? I’m talking about this.
          Yes, I know Americans can be prudish about swimwear.

  12. Right On , Frank !

    I ditto everything you mention – and more …. Think too many blogs are about me, myself and I (after all its very much the “Me” Generation, and the age of Self indulgent Individuality and technologies..) and too little about the place itself. The very nature of a blog is to be interestig , informative etc for others. Otherwise , why a blog ? A personal diary album would do the job just fine…

    The other thing that bugs me is the wishy, washy, non-commital nature of so many comments on so.many blogs, invariably so politically correct and ‘nice’ they make one want to throw up. Travel is one of the greatest character and opinion forming (educative..) processes in the human experience, worht a kot more indeed than a yoga pose infront of temple stairs – or whatever. I also often feel blog commentators themselves only seem capable of looking at the pretty pictures , but are largely incapable of excercising even minimal reading interest or capacity… ! I’ll sign off before I become one of them !

  13. Haha!!! Sorry that you hate my red dress with the sash! 🙂 . WTF is a sash? Isn’t that what the Miss USA pageant wears? I love this post and l’m so glad you got around to writing it. You know what my pet peeves are and l remember you mentioning the bikini wearing bloggers. I almost lost it when you said they asked you to pay to read about the sexiest bloggers. Insane! I have done l think 3 sponsored hotel reviews in 3 years, and truthfully wouldn’t mind doing more, maybe 3 a year….BUT I am totally lazy :-), and often, l plan the trips on the fly. I always love getting those “would love for you to post this on your site that was written especially for you” but no name..and from people who haven’t even bothered to read the blog. I actually googled “bloggers who write about real things” in so many forms as a l stopped following so many blogs. They all went the sponsored route for every post or only do a top 10 of every place (I find that so boring and soulless. I know they are the most popular, but does it have to be every post?). I want stories and yes, opinions and experiences. Didn’t know Spanky did yoga? Cool. I tried it a few times on the wii :-).
    Kemkem recently posted…Awesome Victoria and Albert Museum Delights. Why Visit?My Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Jeez, I don’t know Kemkem, I’ve never worn a dress. I meant something like this. Now you know why Spanky hates shopping with me.

      I’m actually surprised by how strong the reaction is here to sponsored posts. I much prefer to charge for a link which some advertisers will do, it blends in and usually not noticeable.

      Lissette was very big on yoga and meditation and one day wants to get back into it. We even went to yoga classes together and I always enjoyed it.
      So you did yoga on the wii? I did boxing on the wii. In both cases a pretty piss poor substitute for the real thing though 🙂

  14. Yes, Yes, Yes! Also included with the bikini and yoga posting bimbos are the blogs that talk about partying, drinking and barfing their way around the world, hooking up with any and all, traveling on some minute amount of money daily or carrying all their earthly belongings in a lunchbox like there’s some sort of competition going on. My favorite blogs, like you mentioned, feature bloggers with an about page that give you a sense of who they were and are, and are a story that keeps evolving no matter where in the world they happen to be. Thoughtful, informative and occasionally snarky get my vote every time! P.S. That “Hello Kitty” pic cracks me up!
    Anita recently posted…Wenceslas Square in Prague, Saints and StatuesMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      “Partying, drinking and barfing their way around the world, hooking up with any and all, traveling on some minute amount of money daily or carrying all their earthly belongings in a lunchbox” – you’ve just described many of the teens who come to Croatia in the summer (many American) for the cruises along the coast between Split and Dubrovnik. I’m told it gets pretty bad and I often wonder what the parents think. Imagine the bugs getting passed around. Gee, I wish I had known girls like that when I was a kid…

      Glad you liked my Hello Kitty pic 🙂
      Thanks for the comment Anita

      • Just read my comment again and realized how much I sound like my mom! HaHa! I was an enthusiastic partier before I got a little bit smarter but hopefully not quite as in-your-face as some of the bloggers I was refering to! And your “wish I’d known girls like that” comment got a good laugh!
        Anita recently posted…Wenceslas Square in Prague, Saints and StatuesMy Profile

        • Frank (bbqboy) says:

          I liked to party as well when I was younger – but that was before social media and before having your own blog even existed.
          Boy, I feel old now…:)

    • wasn’t there a film of Julia Roberts (the “action” is in Indonesia , Bali ?) where she was doing exactly that “love,eat , pray” I think ?

      • Frank (bbqboy) says:

        Yes, it was in Bali. But I don’t remember her doing crazy yoga poses all over the monuments.

  15. Frank, I can’t remember when I last enjoyed reading a blog post as much as this one! Talking about expressing your opinions – I love your honesty. Totally agree on pop-ups and ads. I was told by many people I should include google ads, but I am resolute against it. I want my blog to read like a clean book. I also find eco bloggers a bit snooty – whenever I reached out to them, I never got a reply. I subscribe to many travel blogs and what really annoys me when a travel blogger can’t be bothered to send a super quick reply if I ask them something. I mean, you subscribers are your most loyal readers – wake up to that! I think I replied to more than 3,000 emails from my subscribers in the last 2 years. And some of those replies were quite long and elaborate, almost planning a travel itinerary for many of them. Hope you’re enjoying living in Split 🙂
    Andrea recently posted…How to get from Zagreb to paradise? Hike amazing Medvednica MTMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Thanks so much for the great compliment Andrea!
      Totally, totally agree with your about subscribers being the most loyal readers. Blogging isn’t just about writing and then going away. I know one popular big blog that I’ve always liked..but they never reply and I’ve noticed now they never get comments. So what’s the point?
      Honestly, I don’t know if google ads and any other ads on the page work. Maybe if you have huge traffic you’ll get the odd person who clicks. But I think for most of us (as readers) it’s 1) unattractive (totally get what you say about clean book), 2) reeks of desperation. Again, these are things we get ‘told’ when we are new bloggers but it’s almost like someone is colluding to pull the wool over our eyes. It’s like the pop-up subscription box that I mentioned to someone else – I’ve gotten a lot more subscribers since I got rid of that. Everyone tells you that you need a pop-up subscription box…
      I think it’s all an elaborate plot against travel bloggers Andrea 🙂

  16. Travlermb says:

    My biggest issue: the instant experts, especially the blogger who fly and write about 1st class think they know everything about the airline industry.

  17. Love it, Frank. You are one of a kind and honest I agree with your comments. Pop ups, ads and exit intent boxes give me the irritable. I recently visited a big blog and was stunned to be faced with irrelevant ads, about 6 in the one post and a flashing one in the sidebar. Grrr. Well rotten post!
    Jane recently posted…Melbourne Attractions & AccommodationMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Like one of those gambling pop-up sites??
      I don’t know who reads some of the bigger blogs, many are so boring. Congratulations to them, they had the foresight to get in early. But I can name many blogs, that get no readers, where the quality of writing is so much more superior to that on the bigger blogs.

  18. Well written..not rotten post…

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      I thought maybe it was one of those Aussie expressions that sounds bad but is in fact good 🙂

  19. Now, that was an interesting post! Personally I do not read sponsored posts anymore and I tend to find most blog posts boring for one reason or the other. And I really hate these “10 things to do in…” or “What to do in 24 hours in …” posts. And I do not even get the idea of writing about destinations you have not been to. After much struggling with our blog we have come to see it as a possibility to keep in touch with people all over the world. Most of them we have met at one point or another, some we know only through the virtual world.
    Natascha (WESTWARDS) recently posted…Gaudí’s modernist cathedral – UNESCO sites in BarcelonaMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      This is a great comment.
      1) YES, totally agree with the lists and the “what to do in so many hours” posts. Too many of them and so boring. Again, they could be taken from Trip Advisor.
      2) speaking of which, you reminded me of “packing list” posts. How damn difficult is it to pack a damn bag? I don’t think I’ve ever clicked on one in my whole life.
      3) Here’s another: “Best Chairs to take with you Camping”, “Best socks for cold winters”, “Best outdoor pants for Hiking”. Sometimes you see a blog full of posts like that. That’s pretty bad.
      There’s just too much crappy content out there.

      Its true that the blog is a great way to meet new people. Over the last month we’ve met up with 3 couples who’ve followed our blog: 2 non-bloggers and 1 blogging couple. It’s nice to connect like that.

      • Mix it up a little bit and it gets more interesting – “The best chairs for cold winters” – “The best socks for camping” or “The best oudoor pants for 24 hours in Barcelona”. I DO like lists with personal tips you do not find in any guidebook or trip adviser or lists about topis – like “Best Egyptian Museums” or “Best Zen-Gardens” provided that the writer has actually been there and can compare the sights.
        Natascha (WESTWARDS) recently posted…Gaudí’s modernist cathedral – UNESCO sites in BarcelonaMy Profile

  20. One reader left a comment to my post, “Wow! I didn’t know that a travel post can be interesting.” I was very pleased, but it forced me to think, “Hmm… So, are the most of travel posts not interesting?!” YES! Unfortunately.

    Frank, this your post is interesting. Thank you.
    Victor recently posted…Hadrian’s Villa, Villa d’Este, and Tivoli are Three Different Planets! The Last is the Worst!My Profile

  21. On the bright side, I’ve discovered an excellent “vlog” (sorry for the brackets, but it takes a time for me oldie to get used to new tech words) that you would I think appreciate a lot : hobotraveler.com

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Thanks for the Lionel.
      I ‘m not generally a fan of vlogs because I just don’t like listening through a video. But you’re right this is good and maybe I can play it in the background while doing other stuff.

  22. Frank, refreshingly honest. No one can accuse you of being boring, you certainly have a gift for saying the things we all want to say, but just don’t have the courage. Agree with all your points. I am sure I am probably guilty of some of those :(. I enjoy commenting on the blogs I have made a connection with, I really enjoy the interactions, I will always answer to anyone who has bothered to comment on any of my posts, for me that’s what is all about. I like blogs that feel real, personal and don’t just read like a travel guide but offer an insight into what it feels like to visit that particular destination. I am about to go for early retirement at the end of this year, so my travelling life has not fully started yet, I look out for blogs like yours to show me what life is like when you have the freedom to do what you want 🙂
    Gilda Baxter recently posted…Discoveries Down Under Part 4 – Sydney And The Blue MountainsMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Thank you Gilda for the nice comments. I thinks its ok to be honest, I’m not naming or singling anybody out. And even if I did the internet is public and I believe that if you’re going to put yourself out there that at times you’ll get people who don’t agree with the way you do things or will call you out on your bullshit. I’ve actually had someone write a whole blog post about me because she took personal insult at my thoughts on Lisbon, her adopted city. Which is actually a compliment isn’t it? I definitely got under her skin 🙂

      Thanks for your feedback on your preferences, yes, I know you like depth to your blog posts. I agree that I want to know people’s true feelings about a place or what led them there if they are thinking of spending significant time there. Yes, “realness” is what I think is often lacking in blogs.

      Good for you about early retirement! There are a few other bloggers who are also changing their lifestyles significantly this year: Patti from Oneroadatatime and Paula from atravelerspostcard. Its exciting and I’m looking forward to reading about your experiences and how it affects your outlook as you travel more.

      Thanks for the comment Gilda.

  23. I am so glad I found this post – I agree with SO many of these! Especially the yoga poses, it seems to be so “in” right now. I am new to blogging and I’m having a lot of fun with it. I think these are some great things to keep in mind as I continue. Thanks for sharing!
    Olivia Deihs recently posted…How to be Eco-friendly while TravelingMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Hi Olivia! Thank you for taking the time to comment. I newbie blogger huh? I’ll make sure to have a look at your blog 😉

  24. I commented the other day using my phone, but apparently it didn’t take – because I know YOU will always reply.

    Hahaha, leave it to you to bring up this topic, you’re sooo entertaining lol. My biggest pet peeve… bloggers who don’t reply, it seems so ungrateful. We all lack those times of no wi-fi, but when a person just doesn’t respond at all, it’s just wrong and distasteful.

    As you know, I’ve been silent for a few months while I’ve been getting ready for my journey. I could have wrote about places I haven’t been just for content, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. It’s like on Instagram where people post other people’s photo’s – that totally irks me.

    Wow! I just looked up to the comment above and you mentioned my blog! Thank you Frank for the shot out. I totally appreciate it 🙂 See, everything works out as it’s supposed to, if my other comment took, then I might have missed you mentioning my blog . I love how the Universe works 😉
    Paula recently posted…Goodbye USA – Hello WorldMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Agree Paula, I think it’s just rude if someone doesn’t reply. Somebody just made the effort to come to your blog, to read a post, and to spend time writing something – they should at least be given a few moments of your time.

      I don’t use Instagram which makes me a bit of a dinosaur I guess. People post other people’s photos? You mean like pinch them?

      Pleasure giving you the mention, I was just struck that quite a few bloggers in my circle (including you) going through many life changes. I look forward to reading about your travels, you’ve got exciting plans!

  25. I know one pet peeve I don’t have… visiting your site! This post was awesome and details many of my own pet peeves (except family travel since I’m smack dab in the middle of little kid-dom 🙂 ). Keep up the good work!
    Katrina recently posted…Finding Small-Town America – Mount Airy, NCMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Thanks so much Katrina. I’ll still visit your site, you often like to cut people as well and I like your nasty side. Hope having a kid hasn’t made you all nice and stuff… 😉

  26. Great post Frank, wish I had written it – it would have been great therapy as I spend an unhealthy amount of time looking at blogs that wind me up and then complaining like hell about them to Kirsty over an evening beer or two. A total waste of time, I know that!

    Interesting that none of the bikini/bragger/sponsored-posts/self righteous wankers/never-been-there/even though I got this free, my opinions are my own (*)/we used to be OK but have now sold out in return for free trips/I’m going to go somewhere really stupid like Pakistan in order to get your attention and make me look cool (idiots!)/I tell you I travel on $10 a day but in fact my bank account is full of money I’ve made from blogging type bloggers have written in their defence on your post. I’m pretty sure some of them would have seen it but the beauty is, they genuinely don’t think they fall into any of those categories!

    (*) this type of blogger especially annoys me!

    I agree with most of your points but not necessarily the one about commenting on other blogs. We get comments from those that are purely looking for comments in return and I’m not going to get drawn into that game (‘awesome read, thanks for sharing, I really wanna go there now and will put it on my bucket-list!!’). I think it is best to only comment on blogs you are genuinely interested in. I also partly write my bits of our blog as a kind of diary as I’m getting old these days and it’s the only way to remember things :-).

    Sorry, bit of rant there – you”ve hit a nerve! Do you want to do a collaborative post and name all the bloggers that wind us up :-). I wish I had the nerve to do it!!
    Mark recently posted…Three Weeks in Morocco: Our Itinerary, Impressions and some Images…My Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Ha! No, that would be mean. I’ve made some allusions but I haven’t named anyone. But one day we’ll meet for beers and we can go over our lists Mark;)

  27. The ads and pop ups always annoy me in some blogs. I automatically close that tab -__-
    Archer recently posted…Best Long Range Rifle ScopeMy Profile

  28. Frank, this article is right on the bull’s eye. I think I might have agreed with everyone of your comments. Favorite critiques include, excessive yoga poses, bloggers writing about destinations they have not been to, and difficulty in leaving a comment. Spot on and a funny read.
    Gaz recently posted…Ghardaia, Algeria – Off The Beaten PathMy Profile

  29. This was such a good read, love your honesty and did make me laugh out loud particularly the reference to monkey pullers! Cutting through the abundance of travel blogs out there is time consuming but when you find the gems it’s is so worth it. Being part of the travel bloggers community has been very rewarding, and reading posts like this is really refreshing. We will strive to be braver and more opinionated in the future!
    Paul and Carole recently posted…Khao Lak, Thailand – 8 things to do by Paul and CaroleMy Profile

  30. Hey there! Thank you so much for putting in the time to create this truly useful and step by step guide 🙂 I appreciate you and hoping for some new posts man!

  31. Oh boy I’m actually guilty of a few of these.

    #2 – Posing in your bikini. I actually saw a post where there was literally one photo of the place and the rest were just pictures of the author where you can’t even tell where it was taken. It got 4k shares in a span of few days and ranked on page 2 of Google. I have this feeling that nowadays great content isn’t really what sells, but the “dream” you’re presenting.

    #3 – Your blog reads like a diary. Yep, guilty of this too. In fact I’d probably kept at at if it weren’t for the fact that we get a lot of inquiries. So I started writing more informational articles. Now trying to do more thoughtful articles rather than just diary entry types haha.

    With regards to comments and emails, specifically questions, I always try to respond. A lot of our messages though are from readers who obviously didn’t bother reading the post (seems to be a common trait of Filipinos – and yes I am one so I know what I’m talking about) or don’t want to do their own research for the most basic things. For example, asking for the budget we spent when there’s a whole section dedicated to budget and expenses. We also get asked a lot about upcoming dates for “our” tours. I don’t know if this is a message from the universe that we should establish our own travel agency, we are not communicating our message clearly or again some readers don’t just bother reading. This type of messages I ignore. What do you think about this?

    About the Sexiest Male/Female Travelers, hey, I was included in that! 🙂 In my defense though I wanted to have a backlink from a well-established blog as that was the month I started building up our DA and thought there’s going to be an accompanying post along with the pdf. Nonetheless I was still happy with it – I think because I was really fat in college and couldn’t seem to outgrow the image.

    For your question, I wouldn’t call it necessarily a pet peeve, but those bloggers who seem to like everywhere they go to? That doesn’t seem real to me. It’s like every place is a “paradise.” I think it’s misleading and obviously written solely for the benefit of the readers regardless of how they – the bloggers – actually feel about it, unless of course they’re really just that happy to go anywhere.
    Katherine recently posted…Newbie Challenge: Making Friends When You’re a New BloggerMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Unfortunately you are right about point #2 Katherine.

      I also get emails asking us about “our best price” to spend 2 weeks in Switzerland or something as if we were a travel agency…I guess some people don’t know the concept of a travel blog.

      Ah, so you are one of those Sexiest Female Travellers huh? I don’t know, I wasn’t going to pay for the PDF. As a newbie blogger how did you get on that esteemed list?

      Portraying everything as paradise – yup, as you said in your 1st paragraph it’s all about selling the dream.

  32. I didn’t realize that having a facebook comment plugin was a turn-off. I always looked at it as making it easier. My pet peeve is having to sign into 50 million places just to leave a comment. I guess it depends on your demographic. I have found most of the people who read my blog have a Facebook so for them it’s just easy. Good to hear another perspective.
    Courtney Blacher recently posted…Long Beach Visitors GuideMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      I just hate 3rd party sites. I’ll use social media to get people to my blog, that’s it. I also generally find people who leave comments on FB put a lot less time and effort doing so.

  33. Frank you are right. All the points you mentioned in this blog are valid.

  34. Thanks a lot for sharing such a wonderful post.

  35. Awesome article. We’d like to add one thing that annoys us: lack. of transparency. Most of the time, readers have no idea what is an ad and what is not. We made a special button with the help of a short code that indicates that an article contains ads (even if they’re just affiliate links). With a click on the button, readers can read our transparency manifesto. Of course, every affiliate link is also marked with a little star (*).

    Although the rules over here in Europe are quite strict regarding advertising, nobody seems to care, yet.
    Alina & Deian recently posted…3 beautiful summer days in the city RiminiMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Interesting point Alina/Deian.
      I think if someone does advertising it shouldn’t be noticeable to the reader. In other words, it should be incorporated in a way that a link or mention doesn’t appear unnatural in the context of the subject matter. Which is why we do so few sponsored posts (as I’m sitting here typing wearing my very comfortable North Face pants which I bought on Amazon 🙂 )
      On the hand, I wouldn’t go as far as you for the simple fact that you are calling out an ad which can be a distraction in itself.
      I think readers don’t have issues so much on affiliate links because it’s a soft sell – they might be booking through booking.com or Airbnb anyway so it’s not costing them anything, it might even be saving them money.
      Where I have issues is hard selling or even dishonest blogging in order to sell something (example: I just did the El Chepe train through Copper Canyon. If you read certain blogs you would be under the impression that you need to buy first class tickets online to do that trip. Not at all the case).
      I think generally people just don’t want to be hit over the head with advertising and they don’t want a bunch of popups or flashing buttons. And they just want to read stuff and get information without feeling you’re selling them something.
      Thank you for taking the time to comment!

  36. Hello Frank,

    thanks for your response. Regarding the advertising: It is not really in our hand as we are based in the European Union and they make the rules; and those state that every single ad has to be marked as such, be it on your website or social media. Sometimes, you can see hashtags like #ad on twitter or Instagram, for example. Most people ignore this rule, but we bet that there will come a time that will bite them in the butt. Even words like advertorial are not strictly allowed depending on the language you write in. Our website is multilingual and in German, we actually use the German word for advertisement, because the word advertorial isn’t understood by most Germans. So, all in all, we are extremely careful with this topic as consumer laws are very strict over here. We know that rules for people living abroad are very different, but sadly, we have to play by the EU rules — and others living here should too.
    Alina & Deian recently posted…3 beautiful summer days in the city RiminiMy Profile

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