With the growth of social media and the power we all have to influence others through our own social media profiles, more and more people are trying to find ways to reach the pinnacle of being an influencer, someone who others look to for inspiration and to live through vicariously. One of the most popular segments of the influencer market is travel. Everyone loves to travel in some form or another, whether it be cruising, backpacking, couch surfing, luxury travel, etc, and everyone loves to read about travel and see gorgeous photographs from around the world. But how does someone set themselves apart from the pack? How does one become a highly sought-after travel influencer?
To be a successful travel influencer, you need to dedicate a huge chunk of your time to the craft. The most popular travel influencers devote 50-60 hours a week to developing and curating content while working hard to get themselves seen among a sea of potential travel influencers. It’s a lot of hard work that won’t happen overnight. If you work a regular job on top of trying to become a travel influencer, it can take longer to reach the level of a true influencer. Many of the most popular influencers took the leap of quitting their day jobs to focus solely on cultivating their travel brand and eventually it paid off.
2. Write to A Specific Audience
One of the most important decisions you’ll make when starting out is developing your niche. What’s a niche? This is the specific topic you’ll focus on throughout your travels. If you bounce around from topic to topic, you’ll have a hard time developing a strong audience. People are looking for topics they’re interested in and will become more loyal readers if most of your writing is about what they like. Take, for example, Ashley Renne of Travel Lushes. Ashley writes about sustainable travel and has developed an impressive following who is interested in the same thing. Find your niche and you will attract a like-minded audience that will turn into loyal followers.
3. Be Prepared to Invest
Becoming a travel influencer is like beginning any business venture: you will need to devote a lot of time and money to your enterprise before you’ll start seeing a significant return on your investment. Unless you have a large savings built up or a financial backer, you may go into debt for airfare, lodging, food, excursions, photography equipment, clothing, blog, etc., at the start. These costs can add up, which is why a lot of travel bloggers keep their day job and travel part time until they’ve built up a large enough audience to quit their job and throw themselves into the world of travel influence full-time. Whether you decide to go all-in from the start or take a slower approach, develop a plan to cover your travel expenses, and be prepared to invest.
4. Research, Research, Research
One of the things you’ll want to do before beginning your travel influencer venture is research: a LOT of research, particularly into the niche you wish to focus on. Find out what successful travel influencers in that niche are writing about, what they’re doing to stay relevant, and what the hot travel trends are. It helps to also keep aware of emerging travel trends, what the predictions for future travel trends are, and what travel trends have been overused. If you focus on a trend that has been popular for a while, that trend may be becoming oversaturated, so you should put your focus on newly emerging travel trends.
5. Diversify Your Platforms
One mistake some promising influencers make is to put all their efforts into only one or two social media platforms. To become a true influencer, you’ll need to master the main platforms of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube. You’ll also need to maintain a presence on other platforms and keeping abreast of newly emerging platforms. Last year alone, there were dozens of new social media platforms introduced, though only a few reached the level of social staple.
Becoming a travel influencer can take a lot of time, money, and effort, but achieving that level of success is something most travel bloggers dream of. With the right amount of research, finding your niche, and keeping on top of all the social media platforms, you can create a successful brand that can influence a large audience. Just remember it won’t happen overnight.
Now that you have a starting point for becoming a travel influencer, where do you want to start your travel adventures? If you’re stumped on where to go first, here are some ideas for where you can travel once the world opens up again.