This page contains the publishing principles of The Travelling Tom travel blog. Our mission is to help people plan and enjoy incredible vacations, road trips, city breaks and long-term travels. We want to provide people with the best possible advice for people who want to travel short and long-term. However, The Travelling Tom is also a business and needs to make money.
Therefore, it’s important to have an editorial policy that, when followed, delivers a sustainable business model without conflicting with our mission. The editorial process was developed by the founder of The Travelling Tom and it plays a big part in how content is produced on the site.
Table of Contents
Editorial Guidelines of The Travelling Tom
The 4 pillars of our editorial guidelines are:
- Make the content as useful as possible
- Make the content as accurate as possible
- Be transparent about how we make money
- Ensure the content is monitored and updated to maintain quality
1. Making The Content As Useful As Possible
The aim with every post that we publish is to create content that helps people. The way we do this is by creating posts that are thoroughly researched and draws from my personal experience of visiting a destination or undertaking a road trip. I try to place myself in the shoes of the people who read the blog and build useful content in a way that helps people to plan better trips in line with the missions this site was built to assist with:
- Planning a road trip
- Planning city breaks
- Inspiring people to travel more
We believe experience and enthusiasm are important parts of creating useful content. I am a huge enthusiast of travel just like our readers. In writing these posts, I draw on my experiences, which will help the reader when they plan on visiting these destinations.
2. Making The Content As Accurate As Possible
All of the content on this website is extensively checked and reviewed before publishing. Our content is fact-checked and I always strive to provide external citations and evidence within our content so that the reader can trust our information and check it for themselves.
3) Being Transparent About How We Make Money
In our advertising disclosure, we clearly outline how The Travelling Tom makes money. In the blog posts/articles on this website, we clearly label sponsored content in order to separate it from our own original editorial content. There are also affiliate disclosures throughout this site that aim to ensure our readers understand when we may receive a commission from the purchase of a product or service we have discussed or recommended in our content. Any brands that The Travelling Tom works with or mentions are thoroughly vetted during the editorial process. We hope that this helps to build trust with our audience.
4) Ensuring The Content Is Updated
We monitor the content and pay specific attention to content that naturally requires updating over time. Although this is challenging, to the best of our ability we try to ensure that the information is up-to-date and accurate. This also includes periodic vetting of brands.
How The Content On The Travelling Tom Is Created
With the above editorial guidelines in mind, it’s important to explain how the content on this website is created and how we’ve tried to align that process with the principles discussed above and our mission.
In the planning phase, content ideas are conceived with a view to increasing the usefulness of the website. Generally speaking, this involves creating content that helps our audience with one of the core challenges that this site was built to help with:
- Planning a road trip
- Planning city breaks
- Inspiring people to travel more
Crucially, this means building clusters of content that are linked together to provide a good experience. We try not to publish lots of loosely connected content that doesn’t align with the stated mission of the website.
The content is written by a human writer who may use a variety of tools and resources to assist them. We will discuss the use of AI/automated technology later. Topics are researched thoroughly and rely on the real-life experience and expertise I have acquired over 10 years of travelling. For example, I have lived in three countries and done road trips in a variety of different countries. We reference sources of information by linking to them within the content so that readers can check the information for themselves if they wish. We also publish information on all of the authors so that you can understand who created the content and why they are qualified to do so.
Prior to publishing the content is always thoroughly checked and edited by Iain who is the founder. In addition to considering the accuracy of the content, he is also trying to think of ways to make the article more useful.
As stated above, much of the content is monetized. You can read more about this on our Advertising Disclosure page. We always disclose when we are making money from an aspect of the content. Many goods and services exist to solve real-world problems and make things easier. What we try to do is recommend things that we have either used ourselves (with good results) or have thoroughly researched to the point where we are confident that it is benefitting the reader to receive the suggestion of that product or service. Recommending something closely related to the topic of an article can benefit the reader.
Updating content is crucial in an ever-changing world. What we try to do is monitor content clusters and update them periodically. This involves reading through the content and updating information as required and also trying to make it better by adding new things.
We do our best, but of course, this is a challenging task. What we try to do is implement Google’s guidelines for creating helpful content.
How The Travelling Tom Uses AI To Help Create Content
The Travelling Tom primarily uses AI to assist with content creation. No article on the site is written fully by AI, with all articles relating to my own experiences travelling. That said, AI may be used in certain circumstances to help the writer which are listed below:
- If a human writer wants to include 5 key pieces of information in a paragraph AI can help write this more concisely. – This helps readers get more information faster.
- AI is good at helping to draw insightful conclusions between multiple pieces of information that would otherwise take a human a lot of time. For example, AI can process the text on a travel insurance policy page and cross-reference it against the most common things which travelers make claims for – This helps writers create more useful content
With the above in mind, The Travelling Tom will start to utilize this technology in the content creation process. The aim is to leverage the technology in a way that is consistent with the stated editorial guidelines to increase the helpfulness of this website.
An example might be: A writer outlines 5 crucial pieces of information that they wish to be conveyed to a reader within a single paragraph, to give the reader an accurate answer to their query in the fastest amount of time.
From our testing, we have found AI to be superior to a human writer at this task. Therefore a human writer may use AI to help construct paragraphs to insert into the content.
Content will always be thoroughly checked by a human before publishing. We hope that the use of AI will improve the usefulness, readability, and conciseness of our content.
As previously discussed, it’s part of our mission to ensure our content is up-to-date and accurate. We will endeavor to correct any errors or misleading information within our content as quickly as possible after it is discovered.
To contact the editorial team regarding an error on this website please email Tom at the following email: [email protected]