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Travel bloggers reveal their secrets

24 October 2014 / 18:10:26  GRReporter
1361 reads

Anastasia Balezdrova

In recent years, people around the world have been travelling more frequently and technology development allows them to share their impressions in a faster and more direct way. We have all read, at least once, articles in travel blogs that take us as close as possible to places where it would be difficult for us to go or show us pictures of beautiful beaches and exotic animals.

In many cases, the authors of these blogs start writing for pleasure but gradually begin to deal with them professionally. However, they have to travel a long and difficult road to reach a large audience and attract the interest of advertisers and collaborators, such as large companies, to finance them.

How can you make your blog and photos popular and start making money from them? Some of the most successful travel bloggers in the world provided answers to these questions during the annual conference "Travel Bloggers Exchange - TBEX Europe 2014" that took place in Athens.

Creator of one of the most popular travel blogs in the world Bret Love revealed some of the secrets of the successful development of his blog for ecotourism greenglobaltravel.com.

He started the project after a trip to the Galapagos Islands, when he was still working as a freelance journalist. The number of the first 7,500 followers grew rapidly within six months and reached 50,000 due to several carefully taken steps.

"The secret is to create your own brand. You yourself must be aware of what you do and constantly stick to it. The second most important thing is to offer quality content to your readers."

Bret said that content is crucial for companies in their selection of blogs with which to collaborate. "When we started the project we contacted various PR and marketing agencies, and tourism organisations, and conducted a piece of research among them. 91% of them said that they pay the most attention to blog content."

The same research shows that 56% of companies worked with bloggers at least once per month in 2014, 83% indicate they will do so in 2015 and 77% use word-of-mouth marketing to find appropriate bloggers for their activity. "This is more than searching through Google or professional organisations," he said.

 
Therefore, according to Bret, to make your blog popular you have to do the following: choose the right name that accurately describes the topic, the description must be short, different, unique and easy to remember, and the content interesting and engaging, diverse, provoking discussions with readers and devoid of presenting the personality of the blogger, as much as possible.

According to Bret the use of social networks to promote your blog should be closely linked to its content and send the same message.

"We must remember that readers always come first and do not worry, when you are honest to the audience and to the brand you have created advertisers pay and respect that." He also advises bloggers not to refuse to provide their work for free, but only if this will bring some dividends in the future.

This is the advice of photographers Laurence Norah and Daniel Nahabedian who believe that photographers and bloggers should always license their photos. "The rights to them are always yours. What you sell is the right to use them," they said.

The main problem of photographers remains how to sell their work and show it to potential customers. "You can sell the photos through your own website or through specialised sites. In every case you have to include in your portfolio a few of your most beautiful and impressive photos," said Nahabedian.

Laurence Norah advises photographers to put a very small watermark on the photos uploaded on their websites or blogs, as well as on those that they provide free of charge. "I do not mind providing a free photo for a small website or blog as long as they put my name as its author. But in no case do I allow even small companies to upload my photograph and make money from it without buying it. In such cases, I call them and tell them to pay or to remove it from the website," he added.

Of course, professional photographers must perceive their work as a business. Therefore, they both recommend that photographers find a niche, look for the "right" people to whom to promote their work, offer their photos to all potential customers such as electronic and print media, companies, organisations, hotels and even embassies. "In particular travel bloggers need to think about what more to offer their customers, for example some special photos or a video to be used on the customer's website."

Another way in which photographers can show their work is by organising courses in photography or just be hired to photograph specific projects. As for the pricing of their work, they said that prices should be determined based on the costs of the photographer and the difficulty and effort put into the completion of the task. In addition, photographers can use the so-called pricing software that can be found on specialised photo sites.

Tags: EconomyTravel bloggersPhotographersConferenceAthensTBEXevents TBEX Europe 2014
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