Friday, 09 January 2015 00:00

Gran Canaria Info Style Guide

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:

  • Fascinating
  • Gorgeous
  • Wonderful
  • Incredible
  • Amazing
  • Picture-postcard-perfect

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. 

Published in FAQ

 We read dozens of articles about Gran Canaria every week. Most of the time it hurts. In fact, you've got more chance of finding an original piece about the island as you do of finding a Canarian in the Puerto Rico Shopping Centre.

 Enough is enough.

We've decided to kill the cliché and murder the tired metaphor so we've put our heads together and set the bar high:

Here's our style-guide for Gran Canaria Info articles.

By the way, if we break our own rules, please feel free to shout at us.

 

The essential clichés

No article can be published without one of the following insightful themes:

 

Starting with a pun on the island's roundness

Saying it's like Spain but different

Setting out to explore the other, real, Gran Canaria

Revealing that it's an island of contrasts

Mentioning the tourist bight, sprawl, plague, etc, within two sentences

Referring to Gran Canaria as la Isla Bonita (that's La Palma)

 

Discover Stuff: You're an explorer

 

To write in an original way you must discover a secret beach, explore a hidden valley or scale a rugged peak. Seeing the resorts and popular beaches with a fresh eye isn't worth considering. Do not under any circumstances focus on details but rather always try to cram the entire island into 400 words.

Do stay in a resort and explore the rest of the island in a day on a Jeep Safari. You'll see it all. In your article only mention the day out.

Scrape the surface: Make as little effort as possible to find anything interesting during your visit. If you must delve, delve into Google.

 

Unique and wonderful vocabulary

 

Go heavy on the word unique. Use it at least every sentence and don't both to explain why anything is unique: The readers already know. If you think you're using it too often just switch to 'perfect'.

Fascinating, gorgeous, wonderful, incredible, amazing, picture postcard perfect, etc are also perfectly viable alternatives. All other describing words are redundant.

Use the words traditional and sustainable at least once per article. It doesn’t matter where: Just get them in. Combined with “perfect example of” they get you double points.

The word nice is due for a revival: Use it often as it makes your prose incisive.

The word literally is free. Slap it on the page.

Use words like impart, integrated, intense: Any word that you don't use in everyday conversation makes you sound clever. Better still, combine several beginning with the same letter in one phrase: Alliteration is always fun.

Help us get the word amazeballs off the Twittersphere and into quality prose. The world needs it.

English is too short: Make sure you puff out your prose with lots of wills, woulds, shoulds, coulds, can.

The active voice is nasty. Passive is always the way to go.

 

Mince the metaphor, crunch the cliché

 

In the lively resorts, hotels perch, pools are situated, 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 above you, remote villages nestle quaintly, views are panoramic and breathtaking, markets and fiestas are colourful and vibrant and full of friendly locals.

Food is always succulent, mouth-watering and delectable. You stumble upon charming local restaurants that are always hidden gems.

 

Facts get in the way

 Facts are so yesterday. Only check yours by referencing other articles found on Google. Get at least one basic fact per article so wrong that it makes the reader's teeth grind. It makes your words memorable.

 

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. If you must mention a local in any other context, make sure it's a barman with a dodgy accent.

 

Narrate to irritate

Refer to yourself in the third person. It's what the queen does and if its good enough for German pensioners, then it's good enough for you.

You need a nickname. Pick one that nobody has ever called you for real authenticity.

Tell the reader all about yourself. They care more about you than about the destination. Include lots of personal details that are unrelated to the content. Blurry photos of your family get you noticd on social media.

 

Engage with the audience

 

Beg for likes on social media: People will admire your determination

Post a link repeatedly just in case somebody missed it the first 23 times.

Join a web ring, blog ring, book club or any other network dedicated to sharing each other's content. Promote your buddy's irrelevant content to your audience.

Change the title of your old stuff and repost it as new. Do this often and without warning.

Photos are essential: Include blurry, cloudy and downright terrible ones to boost your reach. If your camera is broken use one of the 10 free photos available on Flickr or Creative Commons. Or steal from the internet: Never credit the photographer.

Want to submit a guest post to Gran Canaria Info? Please use the above as a guide and include plenty of links to your online casino or Viagra shop. We'll definitely publish it on the front page. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in Frontpage Blog
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