Blog Spotlight with Tom Mcloughlin, editor of Top Backpacking Destinations

Passport: check. Flipflops: check. Deet: check. Read Top Backpacking Destinations? Check! Top Backpacking Destinations is a guide to the best places to visit around the world for backpackers on a budget. Destination guides, travel tips and personal travel experiences from someone who has been there and done it.

Tell us about your blog, how did you get started? Why did you choose your subject?

I wanted to get a writing job and needed to boost my portfolio. I thought a blog would be a great way to do that. I’ve travelled a lot and love discussing it with people, so thought that would be a great topic. I had plenty of content from my trips and I knew there were a lot of other travel bloggers out there to interact with and get advice from.

How do you source content for your blog?

It’s mostly from my own travels. I write about specific destinations I’ve visited and give my insight into what’s good and what’s not. Guidebooks are often outdated so I think blogs are a great place to get more up-to-date information on this kind of thing. I also accept content from guest bloggers who come and share stories of their travels. This allows me to build out the blog with details of destinations I haven’t yet visited but which my readers might want to know about.

Do you write reviews? How many people read your reviews?

Not regularly; the focus of the content is usually on actual places and experiences rather than on reviewing products, etc. I am open to it if the opportunity arose for relevant products, but so far I haven’t done a lot of it.

How did you build a following for your blog?

I interact a lot on social media, particularly Twitter, where sharing my posts gets some good traffic. I also interact on other people’s blogs in the comments and have tried to make the blog as SEO-friendly as possible to try and get traffic from search engines too.

Are you a PR friendly blog? Do you accept contributions and content for your blog?

Absolutely, as long as it’s good quality!

How best do you like to be approached by PRs?

Email or Twitter is best.

Blogging is great because….?

You can share great experiences and knowledge with like-minded people and all benefit from it. It’s also a great outlet for creativity, whether that’s in writing, designing or any other kind of web work. As was the reason for me starting the blog, it can also be a great portfolio for the skills you have when trying to get into a career.

You can find Tom tweeting @BackpackerBoy.

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