A few of you are quick to send me links whenever a travel blogger tries to “rant.” I don’t read many blogs, but always click the links you guys send. Frankly, these so-called rants are an embarrassment. As a public service, I’ve decided to write an open letter to bloggers about their attempts at ranting.
Why not stick with the things you know how to do? Take pictures of hotel rooms. Talk about your favorite champagne in First Class. Maybe write more of your wordy “articles,” which are really cleverly disguised advertisements. But this ranting thing…it’s not for everybody. And it’s clearly not your specialty. Why would I say such a thing?
- It requires writing talent – How do I put this? Oh, yeah…you’re not a good writer. A rant is an expression of emotion. Which means you need to have a strong point-of-view. Unfortunately, you’re not very interesting. Sure, you can spew some facts. And you can definitely take some pretty pictures. But your personality is bland. You’re just not brave enough to be interesting. That makes you a bad writer. And a terrible ranter.
- Fear of making enemies – You talk about a travel blogging “community.” You can call it whatever you want, but I’m not a part of any buddy system. And you are. I don’t share hosting, I’ve turned down offers to speak with people I don’t respect, and I do my own thing 100% of the time. You, on the other hand, worry about preserving your friendships with other bloggers. Again, this contributes to your uninspired rants.
- Having your hands tied – Between relationships with bloggers and limitations from your advertisers, you can only say so much. Even if you were a better writer, you still wouldn’t be allowed to express what you wanted to say. That fact is death (in the world of rants).
- Debating something obvious – Not everything needs to be debated. Some things are clear to anyone who opens their eyes. Most of the rants I read are related to money. Yes, some bloggers have sold out. Obviously. This is a tired rant subject. It has been talked about to death. Let’s break it down one last time:
- Making money is not a bad thing.
- Affiliate links on a blog aren’t automatically evil.
- Advertisements disguised as blog posts are shady.
- Do you make posts you wouldn’t normally make just to post an affiliate link? Slimy. And it makes you a sellout.
- Do you tell readers about the “best credit card offers” for them while hiding better bonuses (because those don’t pay you money)? Many bloggers do it. And it’s slimy. Major sellout material.
- Being a polyanna – Most crappy rants use phrases like, “There’s too much hate on the internet.” It’s a cowardly tactic. Think about it. If tons of people are pissed at something you’re doing…maybe it’s actually your fault (gasp). Maybe you should feel bad about it. You’re inspiring anger in some way. Aren’t you interested in exploring why? Or would you rather plaster a robotic smile on your face? Funny how the people who do something worthy of hate are the ones so tired of hate.
- Idiot readers – Everything until now has been your fault. But you’re not fully to blame. No matter how much you improve, you’ll never make everyone happy. Look at me. I make it hard to be criticized. I’m pretty much bulletproof here. I’ve worked at this for years and have spent more money than I’ve made. 99.9% of my readers get it. They know I always try my best to help. They see it and appreciate it. But even for me, it’s not enough to make everyone happy. No matter what you do, it will never be enough for some morons. For example, if there were free Uber airport rides this weekend, I’d post that deal. I’d use my Uber link because I was going to make the post anyway. Nothing wrong with that. But someone might say I didn’t disclose the link. Well, here’s the thing…it’s their rule, not mine. I’ve earned full trust. Other bloggers like you are making six-figures a year by selling out your integrity. I’ve earned the appreciation I get. But I still hear the occasional whining. So, if your rant is intended for that very small minority, don’t bother sharing it. Most readers will be confused and morons will continue to be morons.
- Fear of seeming arrogant – The biggest problem with your rants is that you don’t keep it real. Listen…people can sense when you hold back. They know when they’re being manipulated. So don’t worry about seeming “humble.” Just keep it real. Again, almost every single person who reads this blog trusts me implicitly. They know I would never screw them over. Is that arrogant? Not if it’s true. So for an effective rant, don’t censor yourself. Get to the point, even if it comes off as cocky.
Look, you might not ever be a skilled ranter. And that’s ok. People like TravelBloggerBuzz have turned ranting into an art form. You should stick to your specialties. Worry about advertisers, Google rankings, pageviews, and all the bullshit I don’t know anything about. But let’s agree to stop with all the watered-down rants. Deal?