Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Secrets of the Travel Blogging Industry and the Myths Revolving Around It

(Photo by Ruthie on Unsplash)

The Misconceptions

I think it is important to address the "Travel Bloggers" misconception that some people have about the travel blogger industry and that every individual involved in it gets everything for free. In some cases, this is very true and some travelers get hotel stays, flights, and products for free. In other situations and more often the case, it's kind of an illusion that is being portrayed. I want to share some information I've gathered over the past few months on this exact topic of "how can you travel and not work a real job?" travel bloggers myth. (Because this is not about the travel bloggers I specifically spoke with, I am just going to give you an overview of my research from speaking with various individuals who are part of the travel and blogging industry.)

(Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash)

Career Travelers

First, let's start off with the individuals who travel as part of their career and therefore are able to take photos in magnificent luxurious places around the globe while conducting business. I've dubbed this group the "Career Travelers" because they travel as a need for their job and to sustain an income. They do the job they are hired to do, travel to where their career takes them, and then snap gorgeous photos in the personal downtime they have. Thus, "Career Traveler" social media influencer pages like Instagram or Pinterest and at times company sponsoring and collaborations unfold and take shape. This group isn't the most photo editor savvy, do not have the greatest websites, or even take the most professional photos. However, they manage to make it work and do a good job at learning quickly and making moves to create possible new revenue streams. 

                                                         (Photo by Olu Eletu on Unsplash)

Travel Bloggers

Then, we have the "Travel Bloggers" who spend every waking moment they have gaining financial momentum utilizing their travel website/blog and social media pages (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) to reach major brands that may consider sponsoring, collaborate, and/ or work with them when they travel and wanderlust. This means they dedicate all the time they have to write, live, and breath the globetrotting and social media life.  Content produced from their personal experiences and the breath taking photos taken are to make a living and continue on to the next adventure. From purchasing the correct photography equipment, the right luggage to travel, backpacks for wild adventures, clothing, and accessories, building a website, SEO for the best optimization, to everything in between for creating an income opportunity. Everything is strategic and well thought out for travel bloggers and every post must be successful is they want any sort of monetary gain. 

(Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash)

(Photo by Alexandre Chambon on Unsplash)

(Photo by Dariusz Sankowski on Unsplash)

Press Trip Travelers

Next, are the "Press Trip Travelers" (FAM Trip) who have the ability to travel as part of being social media influencers. Press Trip Travelers get swept away to some of the most beautiful, exotic, hidden and magical destinations one could ever imagine. Media relations, public relations and/or tourism boards set up these specific type of expeditions. These trips are intended to gain new visitors and awareness to the areas being traveled to, while the overall focus and goal are to generate income to some places that don't get a lot of visitors normally. These trips are filled with very specific attractions and destinations with a "to-do" list that keeps them busy from the moment they arrive, until the moment they leave. (Not to mention all the work that comes after taking a press or FAM trip.) They are obligated and need to create content for their website/blog, go through hundreds of photos for the "winning" Instagram photo(s), and then they must share the finished product to their social media following to gain momentum on audience eyes to the area just traveled to. Press trips are fun filled, adventurous, and yet very tedious adventures to do work for at the same time.

(Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash)

(Photo by Mark Solarski on Unsplash)

Hobby Travelers

"Hobby Travelers" are the next group I identified. Hobby travelers work very hard every day with what we consider the "normal" day to day jobs to survive. Saving money earned for year-around travel and enjoyment of global exploration when they want, how long they want, and to destinations of their choosing is why some hobby travel. It is not about wanting to gain fame, money, or get free hotel stays and food along the way. They just love to travel and genuinely want to share their journeys and experiences with interested viewers. They have websites, social media sites, and even belong to blogging communities so they can share their adventures with the world. However, they aren't focused on how to make money off the photos and content they have created. 

(Photo by Himesh Kumar Behera on Unsplash)

Family Money Travelers

Lastly, we have the "Family Money Travelers" who are able to travel the world using the family money. They are able to have the best of the best and explore without many restrictions such as where to go because of finances. They are able to travel without having to work, can globetrot without being sponsored by a brand or company, and are able to take life by the horns and run with it for as long as they wish. Some of these social media stars have been to the most exotic faraway oasis's, create the best websites, the best SEO and marketing, and are able to pay someone else to post finished products online to gain attention. Some of these stars edit, write, and not quite as transparent as some of the other groups when it comes to exactly how they get to some of these destinations, but that really isn't important at the end of the day. Sharing the beauty found on this earth while we still have it around is the important thing to me. 

(Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash)

(Photo by William Iven on Unsplash)

Final Thoughts

Some of the most influential and watched travel bloggers today that have skyrocketed to fame originate from one of these 5 travel blogger groups. It seems like everyone wants to judge and ask the question "How is it you can travel as much as you do and actually make a living?" and the answer is not simple. The truth is that some will make it, some will not. Some will get noticed and travel the globe for money, some will not. Some photos may get published and shared with millions of viewers, and some will just not. Yes, when you have a lot of money it does make it easier, but at the end of the day, hard work and dedication also pay off! 

(Photo by Leio McLaren on Unsplash)

What do you think about my research on this topic? Leave me comments to discuss your views on things. 

Thank you for taking the time to read my article.

Amanda Monique
Green Travel Girl

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