I asked someone who runs a really big one, and reads a lot of articles for the job.
Haley Woods is more than an avid traveller, she’s the founder of one of the largest travel groups on Facebook, Girls Love Travel. Her story started when she left America in 2000, and came here to Australia. A three month trip to explore here sparked something inside of her, and that spark lit a candle which never goes out.
She’s not alone in her writing, and the blog adjacent to the Girls Love Travel group is very much member driven, but Haley did start it on her own as a way to tell her travel stories when her extended friend group on Facebook had enough of her drive to see the world.
What she looks for in bloggers for Girls Love Travel is, first and foremost, a passion for what they’re writing about.
In a group of over half a million women, there’s an abundance of passionate writers among them, which leaves a great variety of content – always great for a reader.
But are passion and good writing skills all it takes? For Girls Love Travel, pretty much. The whole mission of the forum is to be inclusive and accepting, and it is something that goes both ways: for moderators and contributors.
Really, it makes a great starting point for aspiring writers – as a place to practice and be published in a supportive environment. Honing skills is always important for young writers.
For once in journalism, monetisation doesn’t come into the equation, and without money, many other barriers come down too. That’s the unique beauty of a community, and a site managed by a worldwide group of volunteers.
The way I see it, it brings some creative spirit and worldly enthusiasm into travel writing, which sometimes goes astray in favour of promotion these days.
But hey, that’s just my view. Passion and hard work may not be the only things needed to be a travel blogger, but it’s still pretty bloody important, and shows in the finished product.