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Thinking of starting out as a writer? A few simple tips

I have just returned from a morning at a local school where I was answering questions from pupils who were interested in a career in writing/journalism. It had me thinking back a little under 4 years to the start of my efforts at cobbling together a freelance career. While that hardly qualifies me to claim […]

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Why this blog is a waste of time for travel brands

What follows is one of those periodic navel-gazing exercises. If you have no interest in the rather strange world of travel blogging, stop reading now and find something more interesting instead (may I humbly offer you this post). Reading from the many round-ups of the recent travel blogging conferences the route to getting a return on […]

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Trusting what you read: does full disclosure matter?

Read an article in any travel-related publication (blog, magazine or newspaper) and it’s increasingly likely that the author has been hosted for their trip. In some cases this means that they travelled on a group press trip and had their itinerary pre-arranged by the local tourist office in collaboration with a PR agency. In other cases […]

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The benefits of a non-commercial travel blog

In May 2009 I set up 501 Places and posted my first entry. At the time I knew nothing about blogging and had decided to set up this site with the simple aim of keeping to a discipline of writing 500 words a day while I pitched for freelance work. Two and a half years […]

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Why we need a clear definition of a ‘travel blogger’

Update (26/8):  this post has clearly generated a lot of strong opinions; mainly I suspect as a result of me not articulating what I wanted to say very well. I won’t alter the original text in any way (that would be wrong given the many comments below that provide far more of value than the […]

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The business case for blog trips: a bloggers’ dilemma

Last night’s debate in London, organised by FourBGB and TravelBloggersUnite, brought together bloggers and travel companies and (as far as I am aware) set a precedent in this respect. Both sides listened attentively and I think most in the room would agree that not enough is known about what one side might want or need from the other. […]

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More than words: why a writer’s own back-story matters

There’s an oft-quoted fact that 70% of our communication in a face-to-face encounter is non-verbal. In other words, we absorb more information from tone of voice and body language than we do from the actual words that we hear; that speaking to another person by phone risks losing much of the impact of our words […]

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501 Places is 2 years old; so what next?

Two years ago I published my first post on 501 Places. Since that day I’ve posted another 463 posts and enjoyed many online conversations and face to face meetings that have come as a result. I look back and see that I wrote a post on a similar theme 12 months ago, so perhaps it’s […]

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Travel Bloggers & Travel Businesses – A topic that won’t go away

This week’s guest post comes from Ben Colclough, a founder of Tourdust and in recent weeks a contributor to the illustrious Huffington Post. As the title suggests, the subject in question has been covered several times already on other blogs, usually from the perspective of the blogger. It is refreshing therefore to read Ben’s insights […]

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Are travel bloggers looking in the wrong place for their pot of gold?

Today’s post is the 400th entry on 501 Places. I make that somewhere in the region of 200,000 words – it sounds like a lot when I put it that way. My first 100 posts took me a mere three months to write; the road from 300 to 400 has taken over six months. So […]

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