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Build a Meaningful Platform: The 5 Types of Travel Experts

We live in a busy time. How do you get noticed in an increasingly loud world? Start with a platform. In days not so long ago, communities gathered at the town square to hear news on politics, religion, and anything worth value. Speakers used soapboxes to be heard above the crowd.

Today town square is the internet. Your soapbox is your platform or mode of delivering a message. Now, it may seem a little self-centered to create your own platform. But if you don't who will?

You can use a platform to deliver valuable content that people need. If you want to attract an audience, write about what people care about.

"Wait a minute. Does this mean I have to sell out? Is a writer doomed to focus on mundane topics like social media, marketing, and business," you ask? Of course not. The key here is to find the happy medium. Write about your passion/skills in a way that’s useful to others.

Author Chris Guillebeau puts it this way:

Where passion or skill meets usefulness, a microbusiness built on freedom and value can thrive.

So the question then becomes how do I write about my passions/skills in a way that will be useful to others?
If you want to attract an audience, write about what people care about.
Position yourself as the expert in a given field. Experts provide value. There are of course many different types of experts. Jeff Goins, one of my favorite authors, has identified at least five types of experts. I have adapted these expert personalities for the traveler within us all.

The Reporter

The reporter thrives on curiosity.

The only requirement here is to ask great questions.

A fantastic author who does this is Rob Gifford. Gifford's China Road blends his quest for answers about a rising world power with his travel across the country. His search for truth hooks readers from start to finish.

When I first started my blog I was hesitant to ask questions and think outside the box. Then I stopped waiting to be picked. I chose myself.

Questions fuel my writing. What makes a blog post attractive? How can a person who hasn’t traveled much change their mindset in preparation for travel? What does a person need to do to make a living?

If you are a naturally curious person you may be the reporter.

The Traveling Artist

The traveling artist builds a platform by creating art through photography, music, or food. Of course, these art forms only scratch the surface.

Josh from California Through My Lens uses photography to highlight stunning sites throughout the state. By unleashing his creative side he not only does what he loves, but he gives useful advice to those looking to travel to CA for the first time.

You don’t have to be a photographer to get started. All you need is a passion to share beauty in a useful way. I love to sharing bike rides and hikes from my hometown.

The Travel Teacher

The travel teacher builds a platform by teaching others how to...well, travel.

People are dying to know what you know. To experience the same style of living that you do. Share with them tips, guides, and gear that will help them in travel cheaper. A perfect example of a travel teacher is Nomadic Matt. Just take a look at his slogan:

I’m here to help you travel anywhere better, cheaper, and longer.

He has positioned himself as the travel guru. People take his advice because he writes from his personal travel experience. The same could be said of any teacher.

Take what you love, what you know, and position yourself as the blogging guru on that subject. You're a teacher if you love helping others achieve something you already know about.

The Storyteller

The storyteller builds a platform by sharing interesting stories about life. As a traveler, you are in a unique position to tell fantastic stories.

Travelers connect with diverse people, food, language, and culture. A great example of a blogger who built a platform using a travel diary is Aileen Adalid. Her blog, I am Aileen, captures an audience worldwide due to a nice mix of travel photos and beautiful stories of her adventures abroad.

But you don’t have to travel the world to share your stories. You can start by visiting a neighboring town or city you have never been to. The main requirement for any storyteller is having a love for descriptive, detailed stories.

The Travel Rogue

The travel rogue builds a platform by challenging the norm.

Common examples include backpackers, campers, and digital nomads. They defy the norm by offering examples of alternative lifestyles.

One of my favorite examples is Chris Guillebeau. The common wisdom suggests that we should all go to college, settle down at a decent job, and accept mediocrity as the standard.

Guillebeau challenges the norm by telling people to quit their job and turn passion into a profitable business. He also offers travel advice in the form of travel hacks.

Do you constantly find yourself challenging established ideas on travel? Become a travel rogue and help people fight against the norm.

What type of expert will you be?

The key is to pick the travel personality you feel most comfortable with. Don’t try to copy a style simply because you have seen it work. Pick a style that fits your writing and be consistent.

While every blog post may not be completely similar, focusing on becoming a specific type of expert will narrow your focus and drive more authentic visitors to your site.


  1. Thanks for including me on this list, I appreciate it. Great way to breakdown the different types of travel blogs out there and something important for those looking to enter the space!

    1. Thanks Josh I'm glad you found this article useful!


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