What Would You Want In A New Blog?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by livefastdiefun, Sep 6, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. livefastdiefun

    livefastdiefun Silver Member

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    I know this is discussed ad neasueum (credit card pushing at least) but what would Mile Point members like to see in a new blog. There are ample complaints about about how blogs are now businesses and credit card pushing has become the name of the game but no one as yet to offer a readable alternative.
    Here are my observations:

    Trip reports are pretty much covered by Ben/Lucky. The FrequentMiler (who does a great job in my opinion) kills it on creativity and schemes. PointsGuy/MMS/Frugal are all kind of the same in terms of general points/miles/info.

    What else is out there that you would want to read about? What type of blog (not CC business) would make you a reader? Love to hear your input!
     
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  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I didn't realize that Lucky covers the entire globe and all its locations that I might be interested in. In fact, I don't actually read Lucky's blog anymore... got burned out on credit cards and trip reports that went into too much detail for my personal taste. A fifteen part trip report is just too much. I may be exaggerating but I think you get the point :)

    What I DON'T want in another blog is a rehash of something everyone else is already writing about. A 500 points offer from Priority Club for signing up for spam emails shouldn't really have to trigger a post in virtually every blog in my News Reader's Travel category. If it's lumped into a post with other deals (as some bloggers nowadays do), that's perhaps reasonable.

    Some of my favorite blogs are Cranky Flier and Wandering Aramean. Not suggesting that you copy them, but they are in many ways unique in their "focus".
     
  3. livefastdiefun

    livefastdiefun Silver Member

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    I like Cranky and Wandering Aramean as well.

    There is just so much discussion/hatred for the blogs yet no one has ever offerend an alternative. Its like saying we need to put a man on the moon but not offering a solution to get there.
     
  4. Mikus33

    Mikus33 Silver Member

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    Honestly, I'm not 100% sure, but "I know it when I see[read] it"

    Above all, I enjoy reading someone who's passionate about what they're writing about.

    Also, I love your online 'handle'/name. Welcome to MP.
     
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  5. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    Lucky's trip reports got tiring after he complained about the shower for the third time that week. He's a decent blogger and I still read him, but I agree about the exaggeration. If he doesn't like the froo-froo showers, he shouldn't stay at a W. Same reason I don't fly VX; the mood lighting and hipster attitude bother me.

    I recently had one of my best Hyatt stays this year and it was at the HR Santa Clara, a convention hotel in the middle of an office park.
     
  6. livefastdiefun

    livefastdiefun Silver Member

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    Forgot about your blog. You do a great job as well. Keep it up

    As I see it, in terms of general blogger content you have Mileage runs, trip reports, CC offers, schemes, news, how to complain, etc... After that, what else is left? What can a new blog offer that isnt already written about?

    love the discussion
     
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  7. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    I think there are already entirely too many travel blogs... or at least the ones out there just repeat what each other say or what they read here, so what's the point? :)

    But I for one like Lucky's trip reports... the shower business was actually informative as I like to use those trip reports as travel notes, from the airplane seats to the "eccentricities" of some hotels.

    I do agree though that 23 part trip reports get old after a while, and I don't wanna see any more pictures of ice cream. I do appreciate info on the different lounges and what-not though. :)
     
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  8. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Get a time machine and look at the blogosphere two or three years ago before everyone started hawking credit cards and come up with ever new angles of why I should apply for a certain credit card now.

    Wing and a Prayer was a great blog on Boarding Area. Not sure why it was decided to delete it when the author decided to stop (travel) blogging. Very unfortunate since he had a lot of great articles that even today would still be interesting to read.
     
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  9. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    What I'd like is a blog that does the following.
    1. Doesn't fly a lot for work; thus most of their travel exp is personal and not reimbursable.
    2. Doesn't talk about signing up for every new credit card just because of XX,XXX bonus. But instead if there is one that is truely a not miss then fine.
      1. Unless they write a trip report and throw in a section on what cards they might have used to get the award pointed needed for such trip.
    3. Doesn't always just talk about F/B class cabins and $250+/night hotels,
      1. again Unless they used award points for it, and sort of explain how they did it.
    I guess what I would appreciate is someone in my shoes, and help me expand my horizons. For me this is my way of thinking and most of my friends are also in the same boat.
    • I've only flown coach. I ONCE got B class from BKK - NRT when I was ~12; because my mother was in a wheelchair and had to have emergency surgery in BKK.
      • Not that I don't want to fly Prem Cabins, but to me 12 trips compared to 7 trips (USA -> Asia via UA miles) is worth it more. I'm still young and want to see more of the world. When I am older, I hope wil be well enough off to be in Prem Cabins every once in a while...
    • Hate paying more than $150/Night for a hotel room, yet does not want to stay at a Motel 6 type place.
    • Does not want to churn cards as
      • Credit is not over 750+
      • About to buy a house/car.
    That's my 2cents.
     
  10. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    I stand corrected... I would read the hell out of that blog. Twice. Then buy a gogo pass just so I could read it again while on the plane.

    I've read too many "Oh I had half a million HHonors points burning a hole in my pocket so I figured I'd head to Male in F. Yay." I mean, aspirational trips are awesome and they give you some truly great redemption ideas, but at some point you have to realize that not everybody is lucky enough to accumulate millions upon millions of miles/points, and while it's great that you're there, it would be cool to read the whole story about how you got there -- or how I can get there as well. :)

    That's actually why I liked some of the recent posts from people that lucked out with the Singapore airlines inventory leak or the Hawaii / FI / AS business. Not necessarily "average" but just more relatable, I suppose.

    The hotel business I can absolutely relate to, even though I'll stay at an IC on a leisure trip "just because" rather than a Holiday Inn. Personally I'm a luxury hotel whore, but I certainly wouldn't mind if people paid more attention to the Crowne Plazas or Hyatt House and not necessarily the ultra high end places.

    And reading about the lounge/club at the hotel is nice, but what about the pool? What about the bar or the restaurant? What time did housekeeping show up? How hard is it to get to the hotel? Is valet ridiculously outrageous? Stuff like that.

    Quite a few of the blogs I read just talk about how awesome it is to have access to the lounge so you don't have to pay for breakfast or have light snacks through the day, but what about if I don't have access or I actually want to eat at the restaurant?
    Maybe it's just because I for one do a ton of leisure travel, so I'm more concerned about the stuff that affects me personally. It's rare for me to take a train to the airport or to stay somewhere and not use the pool, so that's the stuff that I care about.

    So... I guess I would read another blog after all. :)
     
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  11. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    LMAO +1
     
  12. livefastdiefun

    livefastdiefun Silver Member

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    There is definitely a middle ground in all of this. I for one fly coach & business always out of pocket and first only on a reward redemption. I rarely stay at major chain hotels and instead utilize Air BnB, guest houses, boutique hotels, etc.. and yet I've still manage to rack up 1Million miles a year.

    Im all for loyalty but paying $400 for a room at the W doesnt make sense when you can get a 5* apartment to yourself for $75. Sames goes for food. Why travel all the way to Tokyo to eat a steak at the hotel restaurant? Odd.

    @ebedka: Great suggestions!

    Great stuff everyone.
     
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  13. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    Hey, that sounds like me and my blog! (Although my credit is over 750, but that is partly because card churning has helped raise it.) You can read about my first trip to Asia in a couple weeks. SQ F is a great way to experience an international premium cabin for the first time... all downhill from there. :oops:

    [Or at least it's what I'd like my blog to be. Life got crazier this year than I expected and took its toll on the blog. The other Scott at MileValue has done a far better job at some the exact topics I had planned. Maybe I'll be able to improve to his level. He focuses more on points and I on paid travel, so I see potential for some good cooperation.]
     
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  14. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    We have some pretty hardcore miler bloggers out there. There are a good number of them who are earning way over the median US salary, and therefore, many of their examples aren't achievable by the average person. Also, there are many who feel like you have to get into as many questionable practices as possible (such is the plight of the single person, only responsible for themselves and their future), but even though I do find many of those blogs valuable at times, I don't connect with them as much.

    I have 2 wishes:

    1) I'd love to see a blog that was geared toward the average American couple without kids, rather than the single jetsetting type - because those people really already know the game. I travel like the average person, maybe 4-5 times a year on a plane, and that's it, but we drive and stay in hotels a bit more often. I love travel in general, and am enthralled with the programs. A lot of the blogs have beginner posts, and they were extremely helpful, but they have too many readers to answer a lot of the inevitable questions that comes with pandering to beginners. I really like Scott Grimmer's blog. I think it's probably the most valuable one out there for me at the moment. But, I'm still a bit of a novice, and I'm not really the type that needs status or to fly in first/business class on international trips. I would prefer quantity (with SOME substance, not RyanAir or Allegiant) over quality, because I don't get the chance to travel as often as the truly 'frequent' flyers do. A lot of blogs stress quality/status/elitism, or spending more (because it's a great savings over a standard trip price - but in the end for me, it's spending money I wouldn't have otherwise regardless if it's still 50% off). I want a blogger who is truly frugal who can show how to maximize your miles from credit card spend, bonus offers and partner programs while spending the very least amount of actual cash possible. Kinda like an extreme couponer type. I don't want to EVER buy miles, unless I'm getting them for half a hay penny on the dollar to top off an award. I want to travel for the lowest taxes and food as often as possible.

    2) My other desire would be to have a blogger who was dedicated to an airline. They could talk about the partners and alliance (if they belong to one), but if you're gonna call Delta miles Sky Pesos, why write about em? (I happen to agree though from everything I've observed recently) For example, have a dedicated AA blogger, who not only writes about AA itself, but writes everything from when to use their shopping portal and when to get cash back on a card that can eventually transfer over to AA miles, as well as what hotel and bank credit card offers can transfer into that airline or one of its partners/alliance members. I don't care if some card is offering 15% cash back that doesn't end up transferring to the program I'm focused on at the moment. If I can get 3x miles on AA to get me to the award I want faster, then that's more valuable to me, unless they could show me a more attractive alternative. Then, that blogger would also be more receptive, and even more in tune with how to deal with award bookings on that airline and more savvy as to other reward programs with the specific goal in mind of accruing that airline or alliance's miles. Every blogger tries to focus on everything all at once, and it's incredibly overwhelming, unless you're already knee deep in it all. At least MileNerd keeps it simple, and I appreciate that.

    I'm really frugal (except for cars). That's why I started this. I believe in giving credit where it is due, but I can't justify paying for an award booking service when I doubt I'd ever have such a complicated booking that I'd be wanting to shell out an extra $150 per ticket. I would, however, love to have someone that could confirm that I've made the right award choice for my desired travel time and destination, but who doesn't put me in a queue behind paying customers (not saying that happens anywhere, but it's just a preference). I would be willing to offer something for that, but I'm not sure exactly what would be appropriate.
     
  15. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    I think there are a couple of blogs like this already, AAdvantage Geek or whatever it's called and someone related to Delta? Quite frankly there are too many blogs already so I don't really notice one from the other and they tend to "blend" into a BoardingArea mess, which is why I like that Million Miles guy and Scottrick, because at least they look different. :)

    But I agree... someone that's truly hardcore about an alliance or particular airline would be great. Most people don't have the luxury of having elite status and huge mileage balances across multiple alliances, so concentrating on how to maximize your earning and redemption possibilities within a particular airline or its partners is always helpful.
     
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  16. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    I've used Google Reader to manage all the blogs, and it allows me to more easily identify and delete duplicate posts about deals. I didn't know about AAdvantage Geek though, thanks for the heads up!

    Of the legacy carriers, AA and partners are the best option for my future Int'l award destination choices, as well as my domestic paid fares (for the most part - WN wins for SDF) since I'm coming out of MCO and MIA is so close by. That AAdvantage Geek blog doesn't seem to talk about awards or bookings at all (I've only perused the last 2 months of postings though - it's promos and general info about the airline) though. Milevalue had a great post today about booking awards through the AA portal though. Knowing where to look for a specific thing is hard though when you're searching for specific how-to's.
     
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  17. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    He was a little busy lately and hasn't posted quite as much (some of the bloggers have real jobs... me, I just don't know how to prioritize my job and my blog). But he's a super nice guy. Usually retweets my stuff any time I mention him.
     
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  18. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Other than maximizing points so I fly up front half the time, that's basically what I (try to) write. I haven't had someone else pay a dime for my travel in a long, long time. And I stay in really cheap, crappy hotels. :p

    Actually, I mostly stopped writing about my flights unless something special happens or it is a new aircraft/carrier experience for me. How many "LH C NYC-FRA" reports can one read, much less write. I'd rather share details about the crazy and amazing things to do in Ukraine (secret Soviet submarine base, anyone??) than spend hours droning on about how the seat isn't fully flat and the AVOD selection sucks.

    As for hotels, I'll write about them a bit more than flights but, again, only if I think they are a great deal or something interesting happens. Otherwise it is just another bed and shower.

    The CC thing is a hard one. There is a lot of money to be made there - thousands of dollars a month if you work at it. That's why so many are tempted by it.
     
  19. philatravelgirl

    philatravelgirl Silver Member

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    This is great thread thanks for starting it and the wonderful comments as I've been thinking of a blog for my friends to show them how I travel with a bit of how I do it-accounting for points, etc and disclosing the budget/costs. Am solo leisure traveler, no churning, using BA and US points for great trips (Safari up next). Part corporate travel manager so good access to travel info (GBTA and local BTA) I plan travel for friends/families already so this is central location for my info, etc. Was also thinking of a philly section for all things Philly since i tour people for work and film festivals. hope to get this started soon (probably after chicago seminars) as I think I have some interesting stories to tell.
    Hardest part is thinking of name.
     
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  20. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The hardest part is producing quality content on a consistent basis. Everything else is a joke.

    I've got a standing offer in another thread to host WordPress sites for folks who want to set up a travel blog. I'll repeat it here as well.
     
  21. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    That's why I read yours & I recall about your choice of hotels from the podcast :p

    I agree yours is also less about OMG Dream trip vs lets nickle and dime here/there to maximize points. So keep it up :)
    ---
    I guess with me; I don't have lots of time (in another thread i stated that I get 2wk vacay that needs to be submitted in dec of the previous year :() nor lots of money to be spending on flights for MRs etc. I'm 30yr old and about to get married/buy a house. No extra income avail for any of that frivolousness shiznats ... :-p

    However I guess I am luckier than some other folks as I get 2 to 3 trips a year via work ... and if i time everything correctly & the promo go as planned, by Jan of next year I'll be 1) AA Gold (or maybe Plat if that promo code is valid) 2) SPG Plat (I might have to 1 or 2 nights bed runs) and for sure gold. Thus I am extremely happy with that. But while reading other ppl who churn and always take Bus/First its kinda like ... oh wow that's cool. But Naw no time/money/points to do that.
     
  22. tahsir21

    tahsir21 Z Representative

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    You know, I only recently got into this travel blogging "business." I say it lightly because I book award travel for other people. I never advertise for anyone and probably never will. I started my blog because I just wanted there to be a simple easy to read blog. I didn't want to be hammered with ads all over the place. I just wanted to post quality content and creative ways to get the most out of points that people have. You see, as a college junior, I don't make a lot of money. The only money I make is when I book award travel or when I actually provide a service for someone. To me, it feels good because I know I worked hard to get that money. As long as I can make a reader say "wow, I didn't know that." It's all about being creative in this blogging atmosphere and as I grow my blog, hopefully the reader can grow with me as well!

    www.bengalimilesguru.com
     
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  23. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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  24. sendbillmoney

    sendbillmoney Silver Member

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    I want a blog with the right allocations, that's smart and thorough and sharp as a tack ...

    Seriously, just 1) get the scoop out there on deals (flights/hotels/status acquisition and retention), 2) tell people how to maximize those deals, 3) throw out the occasional trip report so people can see what's possible if you follow the first two.

    Yes, #1 will include credit card offers. They have a legitimate place in the travel blog universe, and they've given me some travel opportunities I wouldn't have otherwise had. There's a point where it gets off-putting, though.
    Some blogs have come to a point where they look like those script-written Google traps meant to suck the reader into a clickfest. I realize that There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch, but some blogs are seriously pimpin' it to the point of turning off loyal readers.

    Last item of concern: I've read some bloggers' work in which they appear to be holding forth on matters well outside their established experience and training (effects of a credit card churn or application-fest on one's credit score, for example). With or without disclaimers, it seems irresponsible to give such advice. It really sets off my alarm bells when it's given in the same post (or comments under same) as an affiliate link. Yes, we're all adults and caveat emptor ... but come on, now.
     
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  25. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    Personally, I believe the points-and-miles blog space is full.

    Any "opportunities" are in the broader travel space. To be successful I imagine a travel blog would have to focus on some specific, perhaps offbeat, area of travel -- maybe combining a second area of interest (travel and food, travel and beer, travel and fashion). I'm also drawn to photoblogs with genuinely good photography.
     
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