Earlier this week I learned CheeseWeb was listed in Almost Fearless’s list of Best Travel Blogs of 2010. Colour me speechless.
First of all, Christine of Almost Fearless is kind of my hero. Her blog was the first to show me it’s ok to not want a McMansion and a white picket fence. She and her husband are true digital nomads – something Andrew and I dream of being. If you aren’t reading her blog, you should; Even if you have no desire to travel the world with a newborn. Her writing is evocative and heartfelt, not to mention funny. Seriously, I’m sounding a little stalker-ish here, but it’s that good.
So the fact that she’s even noticed CheeseWeb is pretty amazing. But then there’s the other travel blogs on the list. Big. Time. Bloggers. Yeah, it’s some pretty incredible company we’re keeping here.
One of the best things about the list is the, very handy, subscribe to all in Google Reader button. 100 blogs instantly in your RSS reader; How cool is that?
Yesterday, I was feeling a bit under the weather so I decided to take the time to dive into the list. Some of the blogs I knew well but others are new to me. (I’ve discovered some great new finds so keep your eye on my links page as some new ones will be appearing very soon.)
I already have hundreds of blogs in my Google Reader. Reading through Christine’s list, some blogs became instant favourites I will return to again and again, while others I will probably eventually unsubscribe from. So how do I know when a blog gets the boot?
5 Reasons I’ll Unsubscribe from your Travel Blog Feed
- Wikipedia? So why would I read a blog that spews information without a sense of who you are? Sure, we all write the occasional list post (Um, case in point) but if all your posts are “The 10 Best Beaches in Borneo” or “8 Best Hostels for Partiers.” I’m probably going to drop you. All of my favourite blogs really reflect the personality of the bloggers behind them. I feel like I know each and every one of them personally, even if we’ve never met in real life. No Personality – There is more information on the internet then you could ever need. Ever hear of a little site called
- Not my niche – You won’t see a whole lot of backpacker blogs in my Reader. I’ve never backpacked; I probably never will. It just isn’t me. On the flipside, you won’t find a lot of blogs about staying in luxury resorts in the list either. As much as I wish I could, I just can’t afford them. So for the most part, I don’t read about either; Unless the blog in question has a great personality (see #1). I’ll probably never bungee jump in Africa, but I still love reading Dave and Deb’s blog because I feel I’m living vicariously through their adventures. Likewise I’m not travelling with an infant but reading Almost Fearless still inspires me with its great writing.
- Not providing the full feed – I know there’s a lot of debate about this. I only offered partial feeds on CheeseWeb for a while too. It’s tempting to get the click-through traffic to your website. I started providing full feeds when I realised how annoying it is to have to leave my reader, every time I wanted to read a post. These days, if I don’t see the full feed, I usually unsubscribe simply because of time constraints. The few partial feeds I keep on my list are from friends or blogs I really love (hint hint guys!)
- Bad feed formatting – similar to the above, but make sure your feed is actually readable. Maybe you blog but don’t use a feed-reader. That’s ok, but make sure you at least know what your blog looks like in one, because many people DO read your blog this way. There is one blog I frequent whose photos always appear broken in the feed. Another doesn’t have any paragraph formatting. This is distracting and detracting from the great writing on the blogs.
- No Way to Share – Ok, to be fair, I probably won’t unsubscribe to your blog for this reason, but you will lose some traffic. If I read an interesting or well written post, I often share it on Twitter and/or Facebook. If you don’t offer me a way to do this in your feed, I probably won’t bother. I’m lazy that way (and I bet a lot of your other readers are too).
With so many great travel blogs out there, competing for attention, don’t neglect your RSS readers, or we just may neglect you.
Do you read blogs in a feed reader? What makes you subscribe or unsubscribe?