This post is primarily aimed at those who blog about travel and want to become a better travel blogger. We received so many great tips from knowledgeable travel bloggers during the Matka fair and Nordic Bloggers Experience in Helsinki that we feel we have to share them! We briefly present the content of five of the conference's lectures for travel bloggers.
Blogging as entrepreneurship
Is travel blogging always just a hobby or can it also be a business? Sarah & Terry from Live Share Travel talked about how to take blogging to another level. Their advice to anyone who wants to make money from their travel blog is not to work for free for clients, even at the beginning of your career. "If companies get used to you working for free, it's hard to suddenly change your mind and start charging.
A week's blogging trip often requires three weeks of work to review and edit photos, write articles and report back to the client. Sarah & Terry emphasised the importance of seeing yourself as a "business person" (which they said most bloggers don't!) and the importance of working on your confidence. Concrete tips were to make sure you have a media kit and to be very clear when negotiating - what is included in your offer and what is the price for it.
Successful co-operation with companies
Angelika Schwaff from the German travel blog fellow travellers talked about how to succeed in cooperation with companies. She says that you can start a cooperation with a company by following three steps: 1) research, 2) negotiate and 3) implement.
The first step is important and involves finding out the facts about the company and identifying weaknesses where they may need your help as a travel blogger. Then when you pitch the company, keep it short, have a sensible introduction and give the company a reason to want to work with you.
To be able to partner with companies, you need to have either an established blog with a large readership or a niche blog that reaches a specifically defined readership. Not there yet? Work on it! It's never a good idea to cheat with numbers and statistics, according to Angelika who says "Karma is a bitch".
How to make your blog grow
Erik van Erp from Around the Globe talked about how travel bloggers can use SEO (search engine optimisation) to increase traffic to their blog. To begin with, he said that you should be careful to find a good web host.
He also emphasised the importance of a logical structure on the page - which he said most travel bloggers fail to achieve! Categories and labels should be logically organised, and a category can be never have the same name as a label.
Other tips were about avoiding duplicate content (the same text being on several different addresses), and this applies both to your own site - and if someone else steals your content! It's also important to make sure that your site's speed is high enough and that you allow indexing on Google. To keep track of the statistics, you can use Google Analytics and to check for errors on the page you can use the Google Webmaster Tools.
The persuasive power of digital influencers
At the NBE Keynote speak, UK-based Abigail King from Inside the Travel Lab, Japanese Kei Shibata from Travel.jp and the South African Mariette du Toit-Hembold from Destinate. We heard various examples of the incredible power of digital influencers - whether for positive purposes or to recruit new members to IS forces.
As far as the travel market is concerned, the Asian market will overtake all the other markets and in Asia it is primarily mobile phones, not computers.
Social media for travel marketing
During Friday's NBE Talk, we heard from Catherine Fischer from Germany's future of tourism, Anni Aarni from Tui Nordic, Norwegian Jannicke Hansen from Nordic Travel Bloggers Collective and Finnish Konsta Punkka from @kpunkka.
There was talk of new social media, which Periscope and Snapchat, and Tui Nordic talked about how they started using Snapchat to reach the younger generation with their messages. Konsta Punkka, who has 635,000 followers on Instagram and makes a living out of it, talked about how important it is to maintain high quality throughout and only collaborate with companies that you want to be associated with.