Have a passion for travel but still have to pay the rent? Blogging may be the answer to how you can get paid for traveling.
For its first conference, Nomadness Travel Tribe put together a panel of black bloggers who have been able to get paid for traveling. Speakers included Teri Johnson of Travelista Teri, Oneika Raymond of Oneika the Traveller, and Tracey Coleman of Brooklyn Travel Addict.
The basics of travel blogging are passion and dedication, according to Johnson. “You have to have an authentic voice,” she said. And it helps to find a niche.
Raymond echoed that advice: “The people who are making it financially are people who were there first or who are really consistent.”
The panel offered these tips that can help beginner bloggers get paid for traveling:
1. Engage your audience.
“It’s important to know who your audience is,” Raymond said. “Think about what type of problem you’re trying to solve for that reader. Why should they be engaged with what you’re saying?”
“As an online content creator you’re looking for those ride-or-die people,” she continued. “Work on making people stay before you work on getting more followers.”
On social media, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work and engagement doesn’t go one way.
“One thing that’s key is to know that there are different audiences on different platforms. You don’t use the same thing for Instagram and Facebook and Twitter,” Coleman said.
“Also be a part of the community. It’s not always about driving people to your stuff, it’s a place for conversation,” she continued.
2. Be brand friendly.
Brands want to see that you have done your homework and that you can deliver an audience. “Show them that you’ve researched their brand and their market and you can add value,” Raymond said.
“Companies want to see that you’re talking and people are talking back to you,” Coleman added.
In terms of actual revenues, you can pitch yourself as a brand ambassador, make money through sponsored posts, write e-books, or market yourself as an expert.
And don’t ignore the small players. “A lot of smaller brands have money,” Johnson said. “They might be very interested in working with digital influencers.”
3. Learn from your peers.
“Be tapped into the [travel blogging] community to get advice on pricing, day rates for press trips, Instagram takeovers, etc.,” Raymond said.
She suggests joining Facebook groups for travel press and the business of blogging.
“Invest in your craft. Produce good stuff. And it’ll come back to you tenfold.”
The 2016 #NMDN ALTERnative Travel Conference takes place in New York City on Sept. 24, and features panels on travel hacks, travel emergencies, and LGBTQ travel.