90% of travel writing is SEO-optimised, cliche-riddled drivel. Or at least it feels that way when you live in Gran Canaria.
When did travel writers stop writing about their experiences and become review monkeys? When did mediocrity become the bar? When did they just give up?
Don't do this
We've had enough of grinding our teeth every time the Google Alert hits our inbox so we've put together this guide for travel writers heading this way.
The essential clichés
All articles must have one of the following in the first paragraph:
- A pun on the island's roundness
- Saying it's like Spain but different
- Mentioning the other, real, Gran Canaria
- Revealing that it's an island of contrasts
- Mentioning the tourist bight, sprawl, plague, etc
You're an explorer
Explorers discover things during adventures. Then they write about them. In the third person. The only way is epic.
- Discover a secret beach
- Explore a hidden valley
- Scale an unknown peak
Had a boring Gran Canaria week short on epic events?
Just cram the entire island into 600 words. Capture its essence as nobody has before.
You know you can do it.
Location, location, whatever
Book a package because it's cheap, stay in a resort because its convenient, do your exploring in a Jeep Safari with a foreign guide.
There's no need for more. It's only a little island and you can see it all from the road.
In fact, why come at all?
Google is your friend.
Unique and amazing vocabulary
Go heavy on the word unique but never provide context: It needs no explanation.
Don't forget the other essentials:
All other describing words are redundant.
Use the words traditional and sustainable. It doesn’t matter where: Just get them in.
The word literally can literally be used anywhere.
Words that you don't use in everyday conversation make you sound clever. Like a writer.
- You partake in food
- Have classes imparted to you
- Finds things that are situated in locations
Alliterate alot always
Cuddly, fluffy and mild
English is too short: Puff it out with wills, woulds, shoulds, coulds, cans, be able tos, etc.
The active voice is nasty. It scares people. Passive and cuddly is best.
Never check facts and always hedge in case somebody disagrees.
- Gran Canaria could be the roundest island in the world
- It's said that Gran Canaria has the tastiest bananas.
- I've been told that 80% of ...
It's better to be vague than risk negative comments. Google doesn't like negative comments.
Mince the metaphor, crunch the cliché
In the lively resorts, hotels must perch, pools shimmer, you hit the sun-drenched beaches along with hordes of tourists, cash is splashed, the Yumbo is nudge, nudge, wink,wink (insert funny joke).
Off the beaten track the mountains float in the air, remote villages nestle quaintly, views are panoramic and breathtaking, markets and fiestas are colourful and vibrant and full of friendly locals.
Fataga is picturesque.
Food is always succulent, mouth-watering and delectable. You partake of it in hidden gems that you stumble across..
Locals, what locals?
There are no local people in Gran Canaria except friendly ones dressed up in traditional costume dancing charmingly at authentic local fiestas. Or charismatic ones manning hidden gems. If you must mention a local in any other context, make sure it's a resort barman with a dodgy accent.
Engage with the audience
Once your article is published your work has just started:
- Beg ceaselessly for likes on social media
- Post links repeatedly, frequently
- Join a web ring, blog ring, book club or any other circle of mediocrity
A retweet is a read. A review is a book deal.
You're almost there.
Bonus bleeding edge tip: Change the title of your old stuff and repost it as new. Do this often and without warning.
Got an original, quality piece of writing about Gran Canaria? Sure? Let us know and we'll publish it on Gran Canaria Info with a link back to your personal website.