Hello, if you came across this article, it is because you are looking to learn more about the profession of travel blogger/influencer. I have divided this article into several parts, and you will find, I am sure, very useful resources both to speed up your workflow and to monetize your blog if you want to get started in this field.
WHO I AM?
I think it’s important that you know me a little if you come across this blog through this first article. Some so many people call themselves professional travel bloggers and give absurd advice that I told myself that a little free feedback would be useful. I have been a professional travel blogger since 2011. (But I’m far from being the oldest in the French-speaking travel blogosphere.
I am also the co-founder of the French-speaking outdoor collective: Wonder Road Travel, which brings together travel bloggers specializing in the outdoors or having a great deal of affinity with the mountains. So, I have plenty to occupy my days when I’m not traveling.
These days, you don’t have to be an exclusive travel blogger anymore to do the same work that revolves around creating travel content as I do. You can be a “travel influencer” on social networks. See a single social network if our audience is large enough: Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, or even Tik Tok as is the case for some colleagues.
HOW TO BECOME A TRAVEL BLOGGER?
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE PRIMARY MOTIVATION FOR WORKING AS A TRAVEL BLOGGER?
To be a travel blogger and to last in the long term, you need to have a passion for travel AND that of creating content around travel. Well yes, the passion for travel, alone, is not enough! If you have chosen the profession of travel blogger in the hope of making quick money, traveling a lot, and working very little, you are on the wrong track. Of all those who have managed to turn their passion for travel into their profession as a travel blogger, I don’t know anyone, absolutely no one, who does it just for the money.
If I was given a million euros, I would continue to do what I do: travel and talk about my travels on my travel blog because I love what I do. I wake up with travel ideas, desires to create content that I like and that might appeal to other famous world travelers.
Some aspects of this travel blogger’s job, such as the administrative part, are not the most enjoyable: invoicing, going to trade fairs to find clients, raising invoices, sending lots of emails, and receiving few responses. It’s the creative aspect that makes up for it. Go where I didn’t think I could go and share this feeling with others so that they discover new horizons.
There may be a bubble, currently, in the travel blogging that is being created. Some think it’s easy to become a travel blogger. Just start your travel blog, a Facebook page, an Instagram account, and the world will be waiting for our wonderful content. It is not. Not everyone can be a professional travel blogger, places are limited. There will be a lot of disappointments. When this bubble explodes, it will be hard for many of us, but we are used to it. This is not the first time that the bubble has exploded. I survived the last one, I will survive, I think, the next one.
DO YOU NEED TO STUDY TO BECOME A TRAVEL BLOGGER?
No, you don’t need the education to be a travel blogger. You can become an actor, writer, politician without studying. Some even manage to be elected president. There is no travel blogger diploma if that was your question. You become an influencer by force of circumstances and, more preciously, by the audience. It’s the audience that makes us who we are the people who follow us on the media on which we express ourselves. It is you, in plain language, who gives legitimacy to the platform from which I am speaking. Anyone can create this forum (anyone can open a travel blog, a Facebook page, an Instagram account to express themselves…), there are no prerequisites. But it is not because we have a platform that we are going to come and listen to us.
But don’t worry. Some were just students, sports teachers, business instructors, etc… and they became travel bloggers. We find all the profiles in the end.
HOW MUCH DOES A TRAVEL BLOGGER EARN?
So, most US travel bloggers earn nothing or almost nothing. It’s a bit like football (in the operating system, not in salaries, eh). A minority of professional travel bloggers earn a very good living by having made their passion into a profession. A minority of travel bloggers is therefore the standard-bearer of a lifestyle that makes you dream. A majority do not earn anything because either they do not wish to embark on the path of professionalization because they already have a side job that amply satisfies them or because the principle of having to sell themselves to potential clients rejects them, or they do not have the audience and the notoriety sufficient to generate substantial income allowing them to live on it full time.
A few years ago, to hope to live decently with his travel blog, it was better to be an expatriate in a low-cost country. Travel blogs weren’t very well regarded, they weren’t taken seriously, opportunities to make a living as a content creator with his travel blogs were few and far between. Everything has changed since then. Some Anglo-Saxon travel influencers earn 6-figure annual salaries. Today, the media content creation operation (article, photo, video), the remuneration of travel bloggers ranges from 1000th to over 10000th depending on the notoriety, the quantity of content to be produced, and the travel blogger’s negotiating capacity (be careful, we are talking about turnover, not net income. Some use video editors, rent equipment, pay their expenses…).
But, in France, there is a handful of us, I would say roughly twenty, able to live on it full time. I repeat, most family travel bloggers earn nothing and often work for free in exchange for visibility and recognition from their readers.
If you were hoping to do this travel blogger job to travel by eye and get rich quickly, you did not choose the right path.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO BECOME A TRAVEL BLOGGER?
time to climb to the top of the mast to take a photo in Mallorca as a GoPro ambassador and to come back down without breaking anything…
You can launch your travel blog, the Facebook page associated with your travel blog, your YouTube channel, and your Instagram account in an intense morning of work.
On the other hand, if you want to be a travel blogger “at least known and recognized by peers and professionals” then I would say, with a lot of work, at least one year. Most of the time, breaking into a travel blogger will take you at least 2 years. Some, very talented content creators, have managed to rise to the top within a year and make it a full-time job but it’s very, very rare. That’s not to say it’s impossible but it will take a lot of time, work, talent, and a touch of luck.
Overall, from what I have observed, being part of the old strains of the travel blogosphere is still visible, it is more than a year before some travel bloggers stand out and start to stand out for the quality of their job. Yes, it’s long, difficult, and very competitive, which is why we are so few at the finish line.
WHAT DOES THE DAILY LIFE OF A TRAVEL BLOGGER LOOK LIKE?
A trip to Nepal
The daily life of the travel blogger depends on whether he is traveling. When working for a client, we take care of a lot of content creation, research, and information cross-referencing … and it can end very late. Recently, in operation, we finished with my colleague around 2 / 3 am to resume at 8 am.
Apart from these operations, each travel blogger continues to work on his communication media: blogs or RS, we prepare mother daughter trips. Concretely, this means posting publications, articles on his travel blog, editing videos, working on his photos… there is also the administration. Respond to emails, requests, send invoices, payment reminders, accounting… there are professional appointments. Travel blogger is not just cocktails by the beach at sunset, far from the…
When you’re not creating content as a travel blogger, you’re also doing training and monitoring. We learn new techniques, to use new tools (editing software, retouching)… if you are not looking to renew yourself, to progress, you, unfortunately, do not have your place in this sector.
Mainly, in the field of travel, our daily life will be rather made up of… trips and the creation of content related to these trips. This is not a vacation. Whether it’s in a personal or professional capacity, it’s hard to stop being “in work mode” as a travel blogger. Our personal adventures end up most of the time in the form of photos, videos, articles on our travel blog because we can’t help but produce content (because yes, we continue to travel for ourselves and fortunately for that matter). It’s a bit of a professional distortion, we like it, it’s our passion. And sometimes, we have our heads in the handlebars. All in all, I must be on the move for about 6 months a year so it is not and will not be obvious to the person who shares your life. And justly…
HOW DO YOU MANAGE TO BE A COUPLE AS A TRAVEL BLOGGER?
So, as I said above, my work as a travel blogger involves a lot of… travel. There is enormous pressure on my personal and social life. Currently, I am not a father, but it will probably happen one day. Some of my colleagues are and it is far from easy to manage. When this is the case, then I will probably have to limit my current lifestyle during the first year or more. Becoming a gaga traveler daddy of his little one but concretely, I do not know if this will be possible because I tend to evolve, with my outdoor blog 1001 pas and my collective of Wonder Road Travel, towards much sportier and committed trips… we’ll see if mom will let me take my mini-me on treks on the other side of the world.
Am in a relationship with a wonderful woman who has a more “normal” job in the human resources sector. Think our relationship does not explode because we take the time to keep the flame of feelings alive, by reserving time for ourselves. My partner’s patience concerning the demands of my profession also plays a big role. I don’t think everyone can handle long-distance relationships. Some blogger couples have exploded in flight. And I won’t hide from you that there is sometimes tension between us because the distance, whatever we do, remains heavy. Indeed, my absences can last up to 2 months. But we are still far from the military or the merchant navy for whom these periods can be much longer. Overall, alone or as a couple, if you need to be very close to your family and friends, it will be very difficult to reconcile everything.
ARE THERE ANY USEFUL RESOURCES I CAN REFER TO TO BECOME A TRAVEL BLOGGER?
So, I don’t have the method to become an influencer on specific networks like Instagram, Snapchat, or YouTube. Even if, of course, the quality of the content produced matters a lot. (Subsidiary question: how to recognize quality content? Is it beautiful content or content that elicits interaction? A good method is already to identify what works and to analyze why it works. Not to copy the style but to identify common characteristics. Tip: The quality of the work produced is one of the sources of all success. Second tip: the personality and the universe created around this personality also have a lot to do with it. It will be up to you to place the cursor between personality and quality of content. What do you want to highlight the most? Some prefer to stay in the shade, others bloom in the light.
There are also very useful meetings for travel influencers or just influencers. My colleague Xavier Berthier created 2 trade shows for influencers. The first is specially dedicated to travel influencers and I will have to be there for my second participation (except for last-minute change):
- the bloggers’ fair (which will be held this year in Brittany, but which is only accessible to French-speaking travel bloggers)
- the influencer fair which is open to everyone
This kind of show is useful because it allows personal and professional meetings, formal exchanges: through conferences, debates, or informal: at the café, between debates, etc.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE QUALITIES TO BECOME A TRAVEL BLOGGER?
So, you must love to travel. It must be your passion before imagining making it your job. You must be perfectly aware that making your passion a job will require you to make many concessions that could perhaps distort the experience of your trip. If you are phobic to RS and you want to become a travel influencer because you like to travel, I fear the onset of schizophrenia. it is incompatible. Moreover, if you like to travel, there are plenty of other careers to pursue that will allow you to discover and travel the world… You can be a digital nomad, an international speaker, a technical expert in a large company, a cook, a mountain guide, a diving instructor, a teacher, a translator, an airplane pilot, a sailor, a soldier. … And the list continues.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST PART ABOUT BEING A TRAVEL BLOGGER?
I will speak for myself. This is a bit like rephrasing what I said in the article I mentioned above: travel bloggers are useless
The hardest part for me, as a travel blogger and, more broadly, as a content creator is facing the gap between us and talented colleagues. I’m not teaching you anything. But we are not all equal in terms of quality of writing, photography, video production, speed of learning. It’s hard to fight for your place knowing that we are not playing with the same weapons. That we can never match the level of some. There is no question of jealousy, resentment, resentment. It’s about finding your place, your style, your voice. His way. It is a perpetual questioning of oneself. A questioning about his personality, the goal, and the scope of what we do and is sometimes heavy.
This makes me think that I could add your or rather your criticisms as a difficulty of the influencer job. But it is not the most difficult to live and endure. You get used to it quickly. We each have our trolls after all. Any success, however relative, calls for criticism. However, an important point, I am not a woman. We do not criticize or dissect my choice of life, my physical appearance, my sex life … The criticisms of men are more virulent. There can be real twists, stalkers, people who take sadistic pleasure in breaking your spirits, in virtually humiliating you. This is often the case with YouTubers … men and women. Are not equal in the face of the intensity of harassment in this area.
HOW DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE AS A TRAVEL BLOGGER?
What will be the concrete role and tools that travel bloggers will use tomorrow? I have no idea; everything is moving so fast. Facebook was only recently an important source of visibility. Now it’s Instagram, Twitter is back in force, Tik Tok is coming… the landscape is constantly changing. Personally, tomorrow is already too far for me. I focus on the present, one task at a time. On here and now. On my projects as a travel blogger. This is how I have operated for years. Time and time again the death of the travel blog has been predicted. That Facebook will replace us, that YouTubers will eclipse us. Yet we are still here. E-readers have not replaced books. TV has not replaced the radio. The Internet has not replaced TV. Everything comes together. Nothing disappears,
If I enjoy doing what I do, as a travel blogger, I don’t think, I don’t want to stop. I like to write, take photos, post videos. I like to give strength and desire to strangers behind the screen; to discover their region or to go alone to the other side of the world. I don’t think it can stop. Unless my heart stops. I will always find, I think, a way to retrain myself somewhere. Somewhere else. The lowest common denominator between what I do and what I will be able to do is that it should make me happy and should be able to finance my share of the couple (because yes, women also work these days…