It used to be that when we thought of celebrities, we imagined glamorous movie stars and pop icons on the Red Carpet. Thanks to social media, we have a whole new breed of famous people. Online influencers use Instagram, blogs, YouTube, Facebook, and other platforms to amass substantial followings.
Being a social media influencer can quickly become a full time job. As you become more popular, companies offer you endorsements, sponsorships, and other opportunities.
Travel bloggers are some of the most visible influencers. They’re prolific content-creators who document their exotic travels for all to see. We might feel amazed and envious of their lifestyle. How great would it be to get paid to travel? Is professional travel blogging really as glamorous and exciting as it looks?
In the hot seat today, travel bloggers give us the inside scoop behind those Insta-worthy shots we so often see.
Things are not always as they appear
Lifehack: How long on average can one spend being a travel blogger?
You only get out of travel blogging what you put into it. For some people, it’s just a hobby. I’m my own boss, and this is my full-time job. I put in some long hours.
Lifehack: Is this your full time job?
I get this question a lot. People think I’m on vacation all the time, but my lifestyle is similar to most freelancers’. I’m always working to manage periods of feast and famine, and I consistently network.
I definitely believe that having multiple streams of income is the key to making a full-time income. I’m working on an e-book, and I also do limited business from affiliate marketing. I get paid to be a brand ambassador, and sometimes I get to travel for free. Traveling for free isn’t the same as getting paid, though.
Lifehack: How long do you see yourself doing this?
I can see myself doing this for the rest of my life, but only if I can learn to strike a better work-life balance. I’m lucky that I can hire people to help me, and that’s making this more sustainable for the long-term.
Lifehack: How long does it take to get that ‘perfect’ shot?
Way longer than you think! My job is to make travel appear beautiful and glamorous. Real life does not always look Instagram-flawless.
Lifehack: Share some ugly truths about this lifestlye.
It’s hard on relationships. Finding someone that understands that I have to be away a lot, and that I won’t always be in the same time zone or have access to a phone is challenging.
Lifehack: Describe a typical day of travel blogging.
Usually, I travel overnight and try to sleep while I’m in transit. I get set up in a hostel, and then I try to find an angle for my destination that hasn’t been explored yet.
I’m always thinking about time zones as I go through my day. I try to schedule posts to hit during peak times so I can reach the widest audience. I am often on the prowl for wifi.
While I explore, I try to find exciting photo opportunities. I also jot down ideas for my blog. After an exhausting and exciting day, I either head back to the hostel, or I find wifi again to do more work.
Lifehack: What goes on behind every post?
For Instagram, the most important thing is getting a stunning photo. There’s a lot of setting up tripods, taking advantage of good light, and fighting the elements.
Blog posts require brainstorming, which I usually do as I explore. Making sure your content is outstanding is essential in this line of work. I only post things that I’d want to read.
Lifehack: What are the consequences of having a post that isn’t well-received?
It depends on why it’s not well-received. This hasn’t happened to me, but posting something potentially offensive could result in an online uprising. I do my best to be sensitive to others in my work.
If a post doesn’t get as many views as I’d like, I analyze why. One bad post isn’t going to end my career, but a string of them could.
Lifehack: What are some of the cons of being a travel influencer?
This job can be competitive since there are many influencers going after the same resources. I also find that I can’t enjoy travel as much because I’m focused on work.
I feel that the pros outweigh the cons. I get to see places I’ve never seen and meet incredible people. I get paid to do something I’ve always loved. I couldn’t ask for more.
It’s not all stunning sunsets and perfectly-plated meals
Travel blogging sounds like a great job, but it’s definitely more work than we thought it would be. So before you get all envious now, think again about what really goes on behind that one insta-worthy post.