Travel blogging has given my family and I the freedom to travel and experience new places. I’m sharing with you how I started travel blogging and a few tips to get you started.
When I started blogging a few years ago, I started out as a fashion blogger. That quickly got stale because I couldn’t afford to keep up with the trends and buying clothes consistently. I was in college with a baby in tow while working a full-time job. After moving to Orlando, I had no support system left. My husband and I were on our own as our family was hours away. I transitioned to a lifestyle blog after realizing that I had more to offer to my audience than cute outfits. Shortly after I transitioned and began adding more lifestyle content on my blog, I started travel blogging. My first travel partnership was to celebrate graduating college and it grew from there.
Now, one of the questions I get asked a lot by other bloggers is how can they get into travel blogging. The greatest misconception about travel blogging is that it’s easy. Most tend to think that it’s all fun and games on a free vacation. That’s not how it works at all. In my opinion the hardest blogging niche you could be in. A lot is required from partners and you’re “on duty” at all times during your trip so you must know how to be professional since technically you are in your work environment. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that travel blogging isn’t fun. It is. What I’m saying is that it’s very difficult to live in the moment while keeping up with your work requirements.
If you’re serious about getting into travel blogging, here are a few things I did to get started.
How I Started Travel Blogging
1. Start locally
The best way to ramp up the travel content on your blog is to start at home. Have you done a staycation or visited a theme park in your area? Document your visit and share it with your audience. Use your experiences as your portfolio. Reach out to local businesses and hotels to work with them first to get your feet wet. Staycations can help you get you slowly transition into travel and learn how to balance your time on trips. We love places like Island H2O, Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach and Alden Suites. There’s tons of great content you can create in your own city too.
2. Produce content on your own
If you pay for a trip on your own dime, don’t be afraid to reach out to a brand or hotel to share your content with them. Create killer blog posts and social media content from your trip and tag the brands. This is a great way to get on their radar.
3. Pitch your heart out
If you’ve never pitched before then you may want to start practicing so you’re comfortable. You’re going to get a lot of no’s but eventually you’ll get a yes. That first yes will stick with you forever. It’s empowering.
When you’re pitching, create a story angle that will resonate with your readers and will benefit your travel partner. What can you offer them? Hint, it’s not just exposure. Tell them what you can do for them and what you’d like in return. A partnership has to be mutually beneficial for both sides.
Once you’ve got your pitch put together, think about who you’d love to partner with. Reach out to them with your pitch and be ready to answer any questions they may have. If you need help, here’s a few tips to find brand PR contacts to get you started.
4. Engage online
If you don’t feel like you’re ready to start pitching just yet, that’s okay too. Start engaging with tourism boards, hotels, and destinations that are on your bucket list online. Tweet them and comment on their Instagram photos. Make your presence known to get on their radar. There’s nothing brands love more than bloggers who engage.
5. Know your audience
When you’re ready to jump in, make sure you know your audience and have your story angle ready. Destinations and hotel partners want to know who your story will be targeting. Are you targeting millennials, families, single women?
For me, I cover mostly family travel that are 3-5 days long but I dabble in solo travel as well. When I’m partnering with a destination, I make sure to let them know exactly who I’ll be writing my content for so they know what to expect.
Pace yourself and take it step by step when getting into this vertical. If you don’t, you can become overwhelmed and burnout quickly.
Photos by Emma Anne Photography