Are travel blogs still relevant? It depends on who you ask.
Almost thirty years ago, blogs were essentially unheard of. That’s because only a tiny few even existed. Most people got their life and travel news and advice from magazines or books, and many others simply just talked with friends and family.
And as websites became easier to make (largely thanks to the rise of web development platforms like WordPress), personal blogs became downright trendy. Travel blogs in particular rose to become some of the most prominent personal websites and social media pages in existence. But at a glance now, it seems they currently no longer hold the prestige they once did.
Browse through a lot of current travel blogs, and there’s an almost surprising amount of posts decrying what the “profession” has become. Real article titles include “Travel Blogging is Dying and Bloggers Killed It” (livingthedreamtw.com), “When Did Travel Blogging Get So Boring?” (thisbatteredsuitcase.com), “Why I’m Boycotting Travel Bloggers, and You Should Too” (Temporaryprovisions.com) and so on.
The negative outlook isn’t limited to just bloggers themselves, but many journalists have also jumped on the down-with-travel-blogging bandwagon. Mother Jones declared “old school blogging” to be dying, and that was in 2015. It also doesn’t help that an increasing amount of travel bloggers have come under scrutiny in recent years for disturbing local ordinances and cultural norms just to snap a photo. And in some cases, travel blogging individuals and young couples have even been called out for breaking the law.
But the key words here are “individuals” and “young couples”. Once the most desired demographic for blogging, they may no longer hold the relevancy they once did in the travel niche. However, that doesn’t mean that others are not thriving. Family blogs, for instance, are still a very strong area.
Faust Island is one example of a modern family blog that’s managed to succeed where those of individuals and young childless couples have failed. And perhaps it’s because blogs like this one are not solely about travel, but about life experiences in general. Nearly all of today’s online classes and articles that advise bloggers on how to gain followers also explain that modern audiences prefer influencers they feel they can get to know. So, it only makes sense that for travel advice and stories, they’re going to turn to the family they’ve already been following through everyday activities.
It’s also important to point out that blogs like the aforementioned Faust Island manage to appeal to a wide range of demographics. Here, readers will find an energetic color scheme and an instagram-like photo spread that includes images from all over the country, along with neatly organized sections that allow both experienced and new internet users to quickly find the categories they’re interested in (like travel).
So will travel blogging in general become a thing of the past, or will it remain a part of family blogs for decades still? At the rate of changing technology, this may very well be impossible to predict. However, it’s reasonable to assume that family blogs will meanwhile continue to keep travel blogging alive and well.