Writing a travel blog appears as easy as sipping a latte. In theory, you just waft from cafe to cafe, tapping out a report on your latest hilarious minor mishap on the road in the hope that droves of people come to your site and mistakenly click on your artfully camouflaged Google ads. In your dreams, a heavyweight publisher is soon knocking on your door, keen to sign you up as the new Bill Bryson or Mark Twain. In reality, maybe your mother will read your blog to check you have not been run over or murdered. It is hard to lure a large audience because there are so many travel blogs. The Web hosts more than 13,000 websites tagged 'travel blog', and about 40,000 blogs tagged 'travel' that may cover other subjects too, says Jennifer McLean, a spokeswoman for Technorati, the blog search engine site. The most prominent is The Cranky Flier (crankyflier.com), which won two 'Travvies' - awards for best travel blogs - last year, is written by US-based Brett Snyder, 30. It feels authoritative and tells you everything you need to know about the aviation scene. The headlines are intriguing - 'Virgin Atlantic Thinks You're Pretty Enough', for example - and the stories are good for a blog purely devoted to the politics of flying. The most inviting travel blogs marry candour, wit and the X factor: bad luck. A shining example from a Canadian author known as 'Barrett Bingley' concerns a trip to Hanoi, Vietnam, after a lousy time in Laos. 'We got three hours down the road and the bus broke down,' he begins. 'After people getting choked at the driver that no contingency plan was in place, I flagged down a bus and we headed back to Vientiane - another three hours.' After a day, the writer boarded another bus, where a loud, Bangkok-based Chicagoan was holding court. Hours of delay at the Vietnam border gave way to 'the scariest cliff-side ride ever', accompanied by the whining of puppies in a bucket. The author and other westerners started grumbling, which led to the puppies being placed in the luggage stowage. The driver filled the vacuum with karaoke, only for the vehicle to break down. Meanwhile, a Russian passenger adamant that Canada and the US are the same country asked the author if he had been unlucky in Laos because his country bombed it so heavily. His tale has it all. Snyder suggests travel bloggers should have something interesting to say coupled with solid communication skills. 'If you have a unique opinion and can combine it with strong writing skills, you will find an audience.'