How Blogging Works (The Life Of A Travel Blogger) Part 1— The Inside Scoop On Making Money Blogging, Leveraging A Digital Brand, & Building A Successful Platform
I get asked quite often how to start a travel blog, how to monetize a blog, or how travel junkies (like myself) can get tax write offs. There are a variety of reasons why people start blogs. The reasons vary from person to person, but the reasons why some achieve relative success in blogging and others don't, hinges on a few key points.
I am not the expert in blogging, but I have learned a few things about it over the past five years. Why I wanted to create this 'how-to series' is because most people don't really get it. "You get free trips?" "Do you make a lot of money?" "What's SEO?" "You have an agency that manages you?" "How can I start a blog?" All of these questions have multi-layered and multi-faceted answers, and I hope that I can take a stab at your confusion and bring a little understanding to my blogging world.
Namely, I categorize myself as a 'Travel Blogger,' but really, I'm just a girl who found a way to tell a story that people (thankfully) cared to hear. I didn't exactly plan to become popular, and I don't even know if it's that, but it's bigger than I thought it would be. Saying, "It just happened," would be a lie. Getting google page ranked, landing free trips, shoes, or an audience did not come without A LOT of work. This work though— for me— was and is always worth it.
Five years into my side-gig as a flight attendant travel blogger, I've had the privilegee of working with Hotels.com, WeTransfer, The Independente Luxury Hostel & Boutique Hotel, Abraham Tours, Abraham Hostels, Airlineshoes.com, and more. Tomorrow, I leave on a trip to Israel thanks to a company invite. How cool is that?!? There are tons of perks to being a blogger, but if you want to blog, you'll have to find more motivation than just the random free trips.
The market is so saturated with travel blogs that— to be successful— you will have to make sure you do the following:
- Niche your blog— Don't try to compete with the bazillion straight up good and popular travel blogs out there. You'll never win. Find an unmet audience who wants to hear what you have to say. Give them great content in a specific field.
- Follow a theme— If you find a theme, it will be so much easier for you to create amazing content and so much easier to capture readership. People will know how to follow what you are saying. Luckily, I landed on a perfect themed site with The Flight Attendant Life. Pretty self-explanatory, and even though it surrounds the story and lifestyle of being cabin crew, I can deviate slightly because people begin to know me. Deviation from a theme is fine, but coming across as inauthentic is NOT. (which leads me to...)
- Authenticity— STAY HONEST, AUTHENTIC, & REAL. This is SO important. Don't dish all of your secrets, mistakes, and escapades, but be the truest version of yourself that you can find while still keeping a bit of mystery. Your audience will love you, respect you, and admire you for it.
- Consistency— If you want to be a high ranked blogger, vlogger, or content creator, I cannot stress this enough— YOU MUST BE CONSISTENT. You must be constantly creating new and fresh content on a timely basis. If you can't be consistent, your audience will never grow.
- FUN— Most importantly— as a blogger— if you are not having fun and enjoying the experience of blogging, just stop. You'll never get far. I have worked so incredibly hard for so long, and although there have been rewards, it wouldn't be worth it if I didn't love blogging. Blogging is my favorite creative endeavor which is perfect. I wish I could do it more, but am often pulled away by freelance writing clients and flying.
Generally, you aren't going to get rich from blogging. Blogging is a tool and creative adventure that will lead to amazing opportunities. You'll connect with individuals you never thought you would have the chance to meet. Go to places as "Press." Be given free stuff, be invited to TV show castings, and have someone (companies) give you trips to incredible destinations. There are so many bloggers who are much more popular and have more followers than I, but the advice I just listed above is true across the board. Stay true to you and find something you love.
I'll have part 2 of this 'How Blogging Works' series up as soon as I can. Until then, make sure you follow my next blogging trip from November 11-21 to Israel, with a few days spent in Paris. It's bound to be exciting!
Here's how to keep up:
Facebook: The Flight Attendant Life
YouTube Channel: TheFALife