Advice for Travel Bloggers & Influencers
Hello all! I spend a good amount of time each day answering questions and thought I would share with everyone my advice on a couple common questions that I get.
Q: I want to start a travel blog and use it to help pay for my travels. Where do I begin?
A: The first piece of advice I like to give out to travel bloggers (and one that I wish someone had told me early on) is to invest time in thinking about how you will specifically earn income. It sounds simple but so many people get wrapped up in creating their blog, building a following, publishing content etc. that they forget the ultimate goal of being able to monetize their efforts and bring in real money.
Take some time and visit the blogs of people that are successful.
When you visit their content, look specifically for their sources of income. It may be affiliate marketing, or advertising, or selling of their knowledge (eBooks, online courses). All successful, long term bloggers have one thing in common, they bring in income. The trick is to figure out how they do this and then set up a plan for yourself. You can emulate their model or think of a way to set yourself apart.
Also, I always tell people to treat their endeavor like a business. Every business needs a product that is valuable to paying customers.
Physically sit down and write out what your product is/will be. Define who your customers are. What value does your product deliver to your customers? How will your customers pay for your product? Keep this in the back of your mind as you progress with your endeavor.
The travel blogging market is a little over saturated these days but there are still opportunities. Figure out what people are looking for. What value can you bring to an audience. Go to the fb pages of other bloggers and read the comments from their followers. Often times you will be able to pick up on unmet needs/desires. Think about how you can offer a solution to these unmet needs that are being identified. When you do this, you can create a valuable product (a solution to the unmet need) of which you know there is already an audience.
Q: I want to be an ‘influencer’. What do I need to know?
A: Let’s face it, the world is full of self-proclaimed ‘influencers’. But in today’s day and age of social media marketing, followers and influence can be bought. I know of many influencers that buy followers and utilize fake bot accounts. However, companies that work with influencers are catching on to the games they play.
If you are thinking about going the influencer route, consider elevating yourself to the top of the market by focusing on offering a measurable return on investment. I always tell people in my sponsorship course, never approach your sponsorship/marketing requests with a , “Look at how awesome I am! Give me money!” approach. Rather, approach your sponsorship endeavors with a , “Look how awesome I am at understanding your wants/desires and delivering you a return on your investment!”. I am amazed by how many people fail to present themselves as a valuable means of delivering a return on investment.
Remember, this is business not charity and successful campaigns are dependent on mutual benefit.
Also, when you turn the focus from follower count to a measurable return on investment, you now don’t need a massive follower count to be considered a value to your sponsoring company.
Ok, so you are probably asking, “How do I provide a measurable return on investment?”. There are many ways that I cover in my sponsorship courses but one example I’ll share is offering search engine optimization (SEO) service.
Let’s say that you want to approach a small resort for a free stay. Traditional influencers could pitch the offering of social media posts, blog review, etc. and cite their massive following as evidence of value. Now let’s think about the real value of this to the resort. Do they think a few mentions & maybe a dedicated blog post is going to translate into sales? Have you ever booked a hotel or resort stay because you saw an ‘influencer’ promote it? Maybe but more often than not people book their stays by Googling their destination and checking out properties. So, you could pitch to offer to help the resort improve their SEO ranking making sure to highlight the measurable return on investment they will receive in the form of increased bookings.
Yes, it may take a little investment in your own time to learn about SEO and how you can provide this value but in the long run it’s pretty easy and allows you to deliver a solid product. This is just one example that I cover but hopefully the general idea of making yourself into a valuable investment is clear.
I really hope this is helpful! Feel free to leave any comments you may have and if you are interested in learning more check out my Travel Sponsorship Courses here: http://georgpapp.teachable.com/