'How Blogging Works:' How-To Get 'Free' Trips Around The World And Why You Don't Want To (The Press Trip)
I think there are two main categories of responses that I get when people find out that blogging is the side-dish, or dessert, to my main course career as a flight attendant. It's colorful, can be delicious, and just like the after dinner sweet, something I look forward to doing. Even more than writing, I like to blog. I didn't know that I would enjoy writing when I started my website— TheFlightAttendantLife.com. I didn't even know that I would like blogging. Starting a blog just seemed like a good idea at the time, and it has been a good idea (most of the time). (please refer to the previous posts about 'How Blogging Works').
Blogging has opened up many opportunities and allowed me to travel even more than I already do. One of the perks (if you really want to call it that) of travel blogging is that the blogger— i.e. myself— gets invited on Press Trips.
'The Press Trip' is a way that companies, tourism boards, and businesses can market to a specific audience— an audience that trusts a publication or blogger— by offering an experiential media experience of a destination or place. The Press Trip's goal is to gain publicity for the company, and bloggers are a necessity in crowded digital media and advertising space to reach consumers.
The statistics show that something like 80 percent of people will buy, purchase, try, trust, love what they read on a blog. Opposed to a billboard or magazine insert, blogs are a treasure trove of accessibility and influence for companies and public relations agencies.
To get a press trip, you need to have numbers; in the form of a large social media following and unique visitors to your websites. Companies will sometimes request a Media Kit or the last three months of your Google Analytics data. What I believe to be more important than numbers though is your voice; your authenticity, niche, and honesty. Companies are beginning to pay more attention to the "real bloggers" as opposed to just influencers with large numbers.
The thing about press trips is that if you are just wanting free trips so you can travel, it's not worth it. Often, the trips are unpaid and you still might have to cover your flight expenses. And, to give you an idea of how much work goes into blogging: If I had the time to do everything I wanted for my blog, youtube channel, and monetization, it would be between 30hrs-40hrs per week! PER WEEK! And on a good month, I'll bring in an income through blogging and writing of only about $500-$800 USD. That is no a livable income and WAY below minimum wage in the Western World. Can you understand now why I still want to be a flight attendant?!?
Granted, many of these bloggers do make money and live only off the income generated from their blog, but they are working SO hard. It's not easy being a blogger and that is why only the best are surviving. What I'm saying essentially is that if you want to start a blog, and the sole reason is so that you can travel for free, forget it! You will end up hating blogging and hating travel. It took me 4 years before I even started getting noticed by larger companies, but it did happen. I've been lucky enough to work with brands like Hotels.com, WeTransfer, and Red Bull Media House.
The reason I like press trips is because it allows for a different access that regular travelers do not have when they travel. I also like that I have a commonality with people and a reason for the trip. It's great when all expenses are covered, too.
What I don't like is that press trips take away all the fun of travel, the freedom to be creative, and the enjoyment of being somewhere. There isn't time. Someone else is pushing you to do activities you might not care for, and you are working. Press trips make blogging feel like work to me and I always said that when I begin to hate blogging— that will be the day that I stop.
If you want to get a press trip, start pitching companies, tourism boards, and places you would like to visit. Tell them how you will help them and what you have to offer. DO YOUR RESEARCH. BE SELECTIVE. MAKE IT PERSONAL.
And because I really need to get on my way to work now, that's all I have time for right now. If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email through the contact form on this site:)