I’ve been writing my blog, Eye Prefer Paris, since June 2006. My blog is an insiders’ blog about Paris, featuring posts three times a week about what’s current in the city, with topics such as culture, history, food and restaurants, fashion, shopping, and hotels.
Since my blog is about current things going on in Paris, the lockdown during the COVID-19 crisis has greatly impacted what I write about.
Gone is the freedom to go to a new restaurant and report about the special truffle menu or take in the latest museum show and write about it, or photograph spring in Paris, when the parks and gardens are bursting with color and the trees are flowering.
So my dilemma was, how do I create fresh and relevant content, in the parameters of my subject matter, without being able to go out? I didn’t want to only write about how COVID-19 was affecting the city, since I believe people have already been bombarded and overwhelmed enough with negative reports about the virus.
Many blogs were showing photos of their cities filled with empty streets and devoid of people, and I chose not to promote that image of Paris.
My first blog post the day after the lockdown, addressed the crisis and its effect on the city but I added photos from last year of the cherry blossoms blooming in the Palais Royal gardens to make things hopeful. I received many positive comments and feedback.
I wrote about how I was now only going out to my courtyard garden in my apartment building, but I posted some nature shots of the leaves and plants in my garden. I interviewed a pharmacist about how she and the pharmacy were dealing with the virus, and what measures they had to keep in place. I put a zoom lens on my camera, and got some great shots of the Paris rooftops by just looking out my window.
The conclusion of this is that with a little creativity, I was able to maintain my blog and still engage my audience.
Here are some tips to keep your travel blog up to date and relevant during the crisis:
- Keep Your Posts Positive: Even if you are feeling down about your current circumstances, promote positivity. If you make your readers feel good after reading your posts, they will come back for more.
- Repost a Popular Story and Add Something to It-: Take a popular post you wrote a while ago and update it. This could take the form of either adding more text to it or additional photos relating to the current situation.
- Continue a Story from Before: Say you wrote a post about the five best leather shops in Madrid, name five more, or if you wrote a popular post showing photos of the gardens of Charleston, expand on that post and add more photos.
- Write About the Best Alternative to Actually Visiting a Destination: We all know it’s almost impossible to travel now, so give your readers a visual or stimulating alternative. I just wrote a blog about the Five Best French TV Shows available to watch in the U. S. How about the 10 Best Books About the American West, Great YouTube Videos About the Greek Isles, or Five Top Movies about Rome?
- Write a Profile or Do an Email Interview with a Local You Met on Your Travels: If you had a great tour guide on your travels, interview him or her. If you hit it off with a shop owner who had a unique store or products, write a profile.
- Write Something More Personal: I recently posted a personal story about how I met my partner and how we are celebrating our anniversary this year. It had nothing to do with Paris, but it received more comments and emails than any post since I started my blog in 2006. You can write a travel related, personal story, like My First Trip to Paris with My Grandparents, or Our Unforgettable Family Reunion on a Mediterranean Cruise, or How I Met My Husband at a Flea Market in Pennsylvania.
So, as you see, being in quarantine doesn’t have to bring your blog to a halt. Stretch those creative muscles and get writing.