Successful Blog Trips & Blogger Campaigns – The Best Insights from Travel Blogging Conferences in the Last 5 Years! [5/10]

Successful Blog Trips and Blogger Campaigns - The Best Insights from Travel Blogging Conferences in the Last 5 Years! [5/10] || The Travel Tester
Have you always wondered how you can turn your blog into a business? Then this series is for you!

enEnglish (Engels)

In the past 5 years, I’ve visited over 30 (travel) blogging conferences and workshops. That is hours and hours of inspirational and practical advice that helped me turn blogging from a hobby into a full-time business. In this series, I finally open up my notebook to the world and share the insights that I personally found most valuable with you, so you can use them to hopefully make your own blog bigger and better. 

Today, we’re diving into the topic of the elements of what makes a blogger trip and campaign with bloggers great. Enjoy!

 

SUCCESSFUL BLOG TRIPS & BLOGGER CAMPAIGNS

 

Successful Blog Trips and Blogger Campaigns - The Best Insights from Travel Blogging Conferences in the Last 5 Years! [5/10] || The Travel Tester

 

BEFORE THE PERFECT BLOG TRIP

Are unpaid trips worth your time? Think about it!

– Kate McCulley (TBU Rotterdam – May ’13)

 

A press trip offers a window, the travel expert looks past the pane.

– Robert Reid (TBEX Athens – Oct ’14)

 

A well-planned custom trip reinforces your personal brand, you can build in unique aspects to your trip that no one else will have, you can build in downtime and work time, you get to pick the destination.

– Kate McCulley (TBU Rotterdam – May ’13)

 

Always travel in begin of season, so when you blog post comes out, it’s still relevant for your readers that same year.

– Becki Enright (STS Kitzbuehel – Sep ’17)

 

A blog trip takes at least 1 (or 2) months to plan. Ask yourself if the trip is exciting enough for you to still want to write about after 4 months. Do your research about the area, the activities and think if it aligns with your brand.

– Laurence Norah and Liz Carlson (TBDI Italy – Oct ’13)

 

Successful Blog Trips & Blogger Campaigns - The Best Insights from Travel Blogging Conferences in the Last 5 Years! [5/10]

 

 

PITCHING FOR A BLOG TRIP

 

Before you pitch, think: Do I actually want to do this activity? Do I want to write about it? Will this save me a lot of money? Will my readers want to read about it? If not, can I make this into an entertaining post?

– Kate McCulley (TBU Rotterdam – May ’13)

 

Always understand the DMO objectives and requirements before you start pitching.

– Becki Enright (STS Kitzbuehel – Sep ’17)

 

Both bloggers as brands: do research, think of your brand, set clear expectations and time frames, organisation, communication, allow spontaneity and give freedom

– Laurence Norah and Liz Carlson (TBDI Italy – Oct ’13)

 

Think thematically and also go beyond your niche. Find a thread and connect it. The possibilities are endless (e.g. a type of food you love, personal challenges, stepping out of your comfort zone, specific travel style, activities done in all countries you visit, interesting background that you haven’t brought into your blog yet, etc.)

– Kate McCulley (TBU Rotterdam – May ’13)

 

What travel editors look for are unique stories, unusual takes on a destination, writing that transports a reader to a destination, a rich narrative, stories with a strong angle, a thread of an idea running through a story, a good fit with their publication

– Sarah Lee (TBU Rotterdam – May ’13)

 

Why pitches work:
1. the trip is relatable
2. the average traveller can easily replicate it
3. the trip produces an in-depth guide (e.g. all regions of a destination, certain time of the year, wide variety of experiences)
4. clear theme with short name, yet all-encompassed

– Kate McCulley (TBU Rotterdam – May ’13)

 

Types of companies to pitch:
* City pass (easy to get)
* Competitive activities (easy, steep competition is your opportunity)
* Tours, excursions and activities (easy, most of the time it costs vendors little to nothing to bring an extra person or two along)
* Restaurants (more difficult, pitch with firm angle, go for tasting menus, unusual or famous dishes, themes that fit with your other work)
* Lodging (more difficult pitch with firm angle, pick hotels with a story, easier is to work with lodging provider like hostelworld, wimdu, roomorama, etc.)
* Transportation (easy, but varies widely, train is popular in developed countries, for public transport look into city pass, car rental can be difficult, airfare is always difficult, but also can be done for new routes/themed trips)

– Kate McCulley (TBU Rotterdam – May ’13)

 

Successful Blog Trips & Blogger Campaigns - The Best Insights from Travel Blogging Conferences in the Last 5 Years! [5/10]

 

DURING THE PERFECT BLOG TRIP

 

Be punctual, show professionalism, adaptability, preparation (bloggers), communication, information, infrastructure (wifi/allergies), schedule downtime, work time and social time (industry)

– Laurence Norah and Liz Carlson (TBDI Italy – Oct ’13)

 

Successful Blog Trips & Blogger Campaigns - The Best Insights from Travel Blogging Conferences in the Last 5 Years! [5/10]

 

What to do when things go wrong:
* it’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters!
* speak up when things go wrong
* the sooner you explain the situation, the better
* be open to alternative solutions

– Katie Hammel & Sara Robles (TBEX Athens – Oct ’14)

 

Successful Blog Trips & Blogger Campaigns - The Best Insights from Travel Blogging Conferences in the Last 5 Years! [5/10]

 

AFTER THE PERFECT BLOG TRIP

 

You don’t have to write about EVERYTHING that happened on the blog trip, especially if it didn’t fit with your readership. If a trip hasn’t turned out as expected, or activities don’t fit with your niche, try and be creative in how you tell your story. You can always turn the post into a photo essay.

– Laurence Norah and Liz Carlson (TBDI Italy – Oct ’13)

 

To make sure the content on your website is varied enough when there is a repetition of activity in an all-year campaign, you can write about destinations with a similar focus and spread the blog campaign posts out throughout the year. This way you stay relevant to a wider audience. You can also do social-takeovers on the DMO accounts to prevent over-saturation.

– Becki Enright (STS Kitzbuehel – Sep ’17)

 

Communicate content, provide trip report, give balanced feedback (bloggers), follow up, provide update on campaign outcomes, offer individual feedback (industry)

– Laurence Norah and Liz Carlson (TBDI Italy – Oct ’13)

 

After working with the brand, send a thank you email to vendors within 24 hours of activity. Say when the post will be live. Be honest in your writing. Disclose your trip was complimentary. Wait for a few comments/shares before sharing live post with vendor. Build a case study: include social media and site statistics, photos and feedback from readers

– Kate McCulley (TBU Rotterdam – May ’13)

 

Following up:
* share the results
* comment on other platforms
* show the love if you liked the experience
* make connections
* be proactive about expanding the partnership
* continue to follow protocol on future pitches
* be the person your contact looks forward to hearing from

– Katie Hammel & Sara Robles (TBEX Athens – Oct ’14)

 

Be blogger brands love to work with:
* over-deliver, stay true to yourself
* show that you authentically value the relationship
* be an unofficial brand ambassador
* make the collaborator’s life easier
* ethics and professionalism

– Katie Hammel & Sara Robles (TBEX Athens – Oct ’14)

 

Successful Blog Trips & Blogger Campaigns - The Best Insights from Travel Blogging Conferences in the Last 5 Years! [5/10]

 

 

The Travel Tester - Bookmark Time for Action

I hope you read something interesting that you can turn into an action step for your own blogging business. Let me know what your favourite insight was!

 

 

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