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You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

Travel Bloggers Unite Conference in Rotterdam

The excitement in the room is palpable. The general manager of Hotel Mainport, this year’s venue for the Travel Bloggers Unite Conference, talks to us about how the hotel has literally opened up just in time for the event, only five days ago. A round of applause: Let’s hope the WiFi does not break down just yet. And then, somebody, quietly at first, without flashes or fanciness (indeed, without even a presentation to back him up) shows up on stage, and talks to us about making good art. For about thirty minutes. Compelling, captivating, Marks Richards aka “Best Dad I Can Be” proves being a great storyteller and a beautiful British humorist, for as much as I can say from my Austrian point of view.
I love how he hits home message after message about his take on blogging, essentially saying: “These days, everybody can make a movie or write a book. And everybody has.” Dot. So: “Do what you can do, as best as you can.” And do it now.

We clearly enjoy doing what we can do: Meeting Monika & Petar Fuchs of Travel World Online at the Opening Party of Travel Bloggers Unite in Rotterdam.

We clearly enjoy doing what we can do and hope to be inspiring many more future and aspiring travel bloggers: Meeting Monika & Petar Fuchs of Travel World Online at the Opening Party of Travel Bloggers Unite in Rotterdam.

Being welcomed to the Netherlands by the Netherlands Tourism Board as well as the City of Rotterdam Marketing, I can't help putting one of the clichés out there for you to enjoy. Lovely tulips great us on the day prior to the conference #TBURTM. :D

Being welcomed to the Netherlands by the Netherlands Tourism Board as well as the City of Rotterdam Marketing, I can’t help putting one of the clichés out there for you to enjoy. Lovely tulips great us on the day prior to the conference #TBURTM. 😀

 

Making Good Art: Mark Richards aka “Best Dad I Can Be”

One of the best, and perhaps most obvious tips Mark Richards gave in his introductory speech at TBURTM (Travel Bloggers Unite Rotterdam) was about knowing your audience as a blogger: “I know my audience. I know who they are, and I know what they want.” The second step would then be to give them what they want in the content you deliver. Obvious, you may say. However, perhaps not always as easy to achieve as markets (and readers, and indeed yourself) are all evolving, and fast. So Mark went for “being the best Dad he can be“. And hit the nail on the head.

Mark Richards entertains us to his (dry) British humor coupled with excellent, and very amusing, storytelling. Wonderful!

Mark Richards entertains us to his (dry) British humor coupled with excellent, and very amusing, storytelling. Wonderful!

In the fast-paced world of (travel) blogging, experiences, travel tips or indeed food ;) get shared easily and rapidly. Well done Sarah for spotting !

In the fast-paced world of (travel) blogging, experiences, travel tips or indeed food 😉 get shared easily and rapidly. Well done Sarah for spotting !

Travel Bloggers Unite Conference opens on 16 May, 2013 with a great welcoming event including dance & music performances, abundant delicious food and a great venue at Rotterdam's Maritiem Museum.

Travel Bloggers Unite Conference opens on 16 May, 2013 with a great welcoming event including dance & music performances, abundant delicious food and a great venue at Rotterdam’s Maritiem Museum.

Prior to the start of the conference, we enjoy a video workshop working on & honing our skills with the five angle shot technique. Video coming up soon guys!!

Prior to the start of the conference, we enjoy a video workshop working on & honing our skills with the five angle shot technique. Video coming up soon guys!!

 

Creating Content For Travellers

In a second introduction to TBURTM, Gary Bembridge (Tips For Travellers) reveals the results of a survey conducted among 280 travellers and 180 bloggers, highlighting two rules to success. The first: Give people what they want. Second: Do it better than the alternatives. It all sounds very business-like, and indeed just shows the way to go in professional travel blogging. Thirdly, he stresses, it is important “to look at content through the eyes of travellers, not bloggers.” From a consumer’s point of view, the most important type of content in travel blogs according to the survey was money-saving adviceaccommodation reviews & advice as well as useful tips / “how-to’s”. DON’T do “pop-ups”, spelling mistakes or bad grammar or post links that don’t make sense / sponsored posts off topic. Content should always be delivered in a user-friendly environment.

Creating content among ourselves: Lunch-time talks with fellow travel bloggers at Travel Bloggers Unite Conference in Rotterdam.

Creating content among ourselves: Lunch-time talks with fellow travel bloggers at Travel Bloggers Unite Conference in Rotterdam.

Gary Bembridge and his survey results: "Travellers versus Bloggers" needs in creating content on their websites.

Gary Bembridge and his survey results: “Travellers versus Bloggers” needs in creating content on their websites.

 

The Main Reasons to Read Blogs?

  1. Opinion of others
  2. Unbiased and honest
  3. Real-life experiences

I think we can all agree to that, especially with regards to authenticity & personality in a blog. Personally, I love the way I can choose to portray real-life experiences through the myriad of ways offered to me as a Social Media & website publishing writer (implying bloggers require a multitude of skills, including persuading readers to “keep coming back for more” – tips, advice, inspiration).
Another interesting point mentioned by Gary was that “travellers do not travel very much, actually“. Under six weeks a year. Half of travellers travel only once or twice a year. So, one of the main points in creating content for travellers should therefore be to “help travellers to reduce risk by making the most out of limited time: Be like a trusted friend.

Gary Bembridge runs his own website & podcast training sessions through www.tipsfortravellers.com . Go check it out!

Gary Bembridge runs his own website & podcast training sessions through www.tipsfortravellers.com. Go check it out!

Further images & photo impressions of this year’s Travel Bloggers Unite conference in Rotterdam can be found here: Enjoy!

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Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
Blogger-Greet at the North Sea: Visiting Elke Weiler & MEERBLOG
Travel Bloggers Unite: Storytelling, Skills & Strategies for Travel Bloggers

9 Comments

  1. Alastair McKenzie

    Good post Elena 🙂

    Reply
  2. Elena

    Thank you very much for your feedback, Alistair. I appreciate it!

    Hope to catch you later at the conference, or elsewhere (in Austria)? 😉

    Reply
  3. Simone

    Nice post, nice foto’s. You just give the readers what they want 🙂

    Reply
  4. Elena

    Thank you Simone! I appreciate your feedback 😀

    Hope to catch you soon again xxx

    Reply
  5. pointsandtravel

    Thanks for the highlights, since I wasn’t able to make it! Love Gary! He is always so practical.

    Reply
  6. Elena

    Thank you, Points And Travel! Hope to see you around next time and that you find more useful content about the highlights of this conference on my website 🙂

    Gary Bembridge has proved to be really inspiring to us and provide us with practical feedback on quite a few issues concerning the travel blogging world. Been good!

    Catch you next time, Elena

    Reply
  7. Anja van der Vorst

    Another great post, Elena, with really good pics! I already left the conference and we did not meet in person. Too bad. Maybe somewhere sometime…;-)

    Reply
  8. Stefanie

    Great post to learn from as an aspiring travel blogger who has not been to Rotterdam – thanks!

    Reply
  9. Elena

    Thank you Stefanie! Great to have your feedback and I look forward to meeting you in person one day at the next travel bloggers’ conference. Will you travel to TBEX – Travel Bloggers Exchange in Dublin in October 2013? Will be there 🙂

    Reply

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