Everywhere I turn, there’s a blog. There are blogs about cheese. Blogs about dogs. Blogs about clogs. Blogs about blogs, and blogs about blogs about blogs. But hold up, not everyone’s a 5-star blog nut.
So I figured I’d hit the pause button for a moment, to fire over a few ways to improve your experience with the STA Travel Blog, and other blogs around the internet.
If you rally through all five of these, I figure it will take you about 4 minutes and 32 seconds. I know this, because I just timed our Intern.
Your experience with the STA Travel Blog is about to get a whole lot cooler | Photo by megan leetz
If you can think of other ways you’d like to be involved, right here on your favourite travel blog, be sure to let me know via the comment blocks below this post.
Hopefully these five quick tips will improve your understanding and experience with blogs in general. There’s still a fair bit of misunderstanding around blogs, but if I can impart one piece of wisdom into you today, it’s that blogs are all about collaboration.
If you imagine your favourite pub, websites are portrayed by the tables of people, where very specific topics are mulled over by groups of like-minded people and a bag of bacon crisps. A blog, however, is best portrayed by the bar. There are a few people serving (that’s us writers and editors), but there are dozens of people coming and going, trading ideas and adding to the atmosphere.
Once the realm of super geeks, blogs are now one of the core platforms for travellers researching their next trip, and getting clued up on the customs, cultures, and inside track on almost every destination you’ve ever heard of.
1. Subscribe via RSS
This is by far the most confusing of the line up, which is why I’m hitting it first. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, which I accept is equally as confusing.
The key to benefiting from RSS is finding an RSS reader. Google provide an excellent free option, called — wait for it — Google Reader. Once you’ve set up your account, you can subscribe to as many blogs as you like, and catch up with them all in your Google Reader, without having to remember the ever-growing number of web addresses. It’s a little like creating your own magazine, full of your favourite writers.
You can see the option to subscribe to the STA Travel Blog in the top right of this page: the blue square with the three lines curving through it. It’s more commonly orange, but as with everything at STA Travel, we like to make things a little more individual. Go ahead and click it, it won’t bite.
2. Show Yourself!
It’s no fun talking to the back of someone’s head (I’ve tried), so tool yourself up with a glowing profile picture to really bring your comments to life. To do this, you’ll need to grab yourself a Gravatar. Once you’ve uploaded a photo, whenever you post a comment on the STA Travel Blog, or other blogs around the web, your smiley face will beam across Internet Land.
Don't hide away; get your mug out with a free gravatar! | Photo by Dave_B_ in our Flickr Group
3. Share content on Social Media
I’m a mahooooooosive fan of social media, and we use it a lot here at STA Travel. We’re all over Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, and Google Plus. You’ll see buttons for many of your favourite social media buttons all over the STA Travel website, which provide a quick and easy way to share the content you like with your friends. Scroll down a few centimetres, and wave hello to a trio of them. Give them a clickle, they like it.
4. Share your Opinion
One of the major plus points of blogs, is that they’re designed to be organic. We throw you our thoughts in a neatly laid out blog post, and you throw your two penneth worth into the mix via the comments. There’s nothing scientific about it. Think about it as a conversation.
5. Supply the Art
We hope you’ve noticed, that we’re huge fans of cool photography on the STA Travel Blog. If you want us to feature your photos to illustrate future blog posts, you’ll need to join the all new STA Travel Flickr Group. We attribute all images back to photographers, so others can seek out your creative skills.