You might be surprised to learn who’s hiring travel writers; it’s not just the tourism industry. Local businesses in virtually any location like to keep tabs on travelers as a potential source of revenue.
Entertainment venues, restaurants, and media companies often need to reach out to an international audience. It’s time to think outside the box, make some attractive pitches, and pack your bags!
Establish your travel cred
This might seem like a Catch-22 for bloggers who have little to no travel experience. You can still establish cred by writing about your local tourism industry and attractions, however.
Showcase nearby popular hotels, eateries, and entertainment venues. Essentially, you want to demonstrate your blog’s value to potential sponsors.
Scour your newspaper and make a calendar of upcoming expos, conferences, tourist attractions, and events. Get out into the field, take interviews, mingle with attendees, and snap hundreds of photos.
Contact local publications and see if they need journalists to cover any particular events. This will help you build an attractive portfolio for future sponsors.
All right, so you’ve got work samples that cater to traveling audiences. Now how do you snag the attention of potential sponsors?
Look at other tourism blogs and business travel websites to see what the market looks like. Companies generally exchange sponsorship for exposure on your blog and affiliated networks.
Can you ramp up the value by offering superior blogging services and social media connections? Build some appealing blog packages using concrete products and services, such as “Five Tweets per week with company mentions.”
The goal is to demonstrate how your sponsored travels could bring exponential benefits to a client company.
Get your promotional materials together! It’s time to visit trade shows, product expos, and venues. One of the best ways to get your name out there as a travel blogger is to meet with companies in person.
When your products and services are digital, it can be difficult to get the right people to pay attention. Grab screenshots of your most influential blog and social media posts, and assemble them into a clear, visually appealing album.
Introduce yourself to every business you encounter. Show these contacts how you can infuse fun and enthusiasm into every meeting and exploration. Make sure to exchange business cards, so you can reach out with follow-up emails and phone calls.
Create a list of questions and topics to cover during these interactions. For example, you’ll want to find out how each business targets a tourist audience.
You might discover that a company is promoting its services to audiences in Cape Town, and needs someone to research accommodations in South Africa. Once you begin a conversation with a business, see if you can get in touch with the person in charge of their social media and marketing.
Learn about their branding strategy for outside audiences, and then describe your success with travel blogging. You’ll be surprised at how naturally the conversation will shift. Illustrate the value of your product with success stories from your portfolio.
Travel bloggers mustn’t be afraid to interact with potential clients, make pitches, and craft service packages in exchange for sponsorship. While it might seem like a lot of hard work, the payoff is immensely fulfilling. Get out there, network, and start planning your itinerary!