Nowadays it’s so easy to create a website, open social media accounts and claim I am a blogger. As an expert, let me explain what you have to do to be recognized as a true influencer by hotel brands and stand out from the crowd.
As a preliminary, I have to mention that in this article I will not speak about how to make money with blogging. I don’t even think that’s possible, or just enough to cover website’s hosting expenses.
By doing luxury travel blogging you will become an influencer, meet interesting people and build a network in the luxury industry. These are the rewards you should target, but not cash money. And of course, you can expect getting invited by some beautiful five-star places.
What is a luxury travel blogger ?
It’s important to define exactly what’s a luxury travel blogger for me. I believe that such a blogger is someone who will influence the public through his/her passion for traveling, writing and luxury in general. If you miss one of these three elements, you can stop here.
You will find plenty of wannabes with a simple Instagram account, posting pictures of their trips, and that’s it. Does it work? No. Only a very few have a large number of followers, mostly because they are posting pictures half naked. And even with many followers, brands are not trusting them (believe me, I work in this industry since years).
Create the basics
Ok, now let’s check the basics to become a real luxury travel blogger.
- It’s key to have a catchy name. I recommend to personify your blog’s name, because a blogger is a person. You are not a brand or a company. And make sure your exact name is available as a domain with a “.com” extension.
- Build your website : many free tools exist on the market, the most popular and easy to handle is definitely WordPress. It is also very SEO-friendly, which helps to be referenced on Google and gain an audience.
- Open some social media accounts. Here many strategies are possible, but I think that Facebook and Instagram are more than enough to start with.
- Create dedicated means of contact, at least a dedicated email address like “email@example.com”. I strongly recommend not to use a Gmail/Yahoo/else address, nor a shitty “bryan6539@…”. I mean, that’s the most amateur thing ever.
- Write a short bio about yourself. You will use it for the “About” page of your website and also in your media kit. Your audience and the potential hotel brands contacted need to know who you are.
- Ideally, define a specific scope : it can be a niche market of hotels, a particular region/country of the world, etc. The more specific you are, the more you will be identified as an expert blogger. This is my advise, but you might have noticed The Luxe Insider doesn’t have a specific scope :)
- Of course now you have to write unique and interesting articles (read below).
Travel a lot
Sounds obvious. But is it easy? No. It requires time and money. But that’s absolutely mandatory, otherwise you will be just a guy writing about destinations or hotels he/she never visited and you will get no inspiration at all, nor good pictures to share, and your audience will feel it.
Having a primary job that makes you traveling is of course a great help. That was my case during the years 2012-2017, I was traveling in all finest places worldwide and staying in stunning five-star hotels. I keep traveling today of course, but out of business trips. Anyway even if you don’t have this luck, you can make it : plan your weekends, your holidays to be dedicated to destination and hotel reviews. That’s what I am doing today.
Building credibility is not a simple task. You will not get it in two weeks, but more in two years I would say. It’s necessary to :
- Post articles regularly, one per week as a minimum. 400 to 700 words per article.
- Have a nice and unique writing : DO NOT copy and paste content from other websites.
- Take your own pictures, that’s not mandatory but that really helps.
- Put yourself forward, in the pictures or even in the story of the article.
- Give genuine advises, recommendations and tips about the places you visited.
- Engage with other bloggers, directly on their website or their social media.
- At the end, your number of followers on social media should increase a lot.
- Create a media kit with your website traffic stats, your bio, your most significant articles.
Of course this is not an exhaustive list. Having an artistic sense, being able to take nice pictures, feeling the public trends, etc. are all important and subjective aspects that will make a blogger good or not.
Get in touch with hotel PR teams
This is the goal every influencer is trying to reach. Once your credibility is established, it will be time to contact Public Relations offices from hotels and resorts you wish to visit, in order to get complimentary invitations and more amazing content to share.
Don’t be afraid to approach them. What do you risk? Nothing. If your blog has a real credibility, at minimum they will propose you a media rate (usually 30% to 50% off the public rate) and if influencers are part of their marketing strategy, they can offer you a complimentary stay (usually 1 or 2 nights). In the worst scenario, PR will politely indicates that they have “no room available at that time“.
Thanks to brand’s PR, you will be able to travel more easily at a reduced cost, and most of time you will have a behind-the-scenes tour guided by a PR representative. In other words : unique and great content for your blog!
Want to know more?
If you are about to start and want to know more, feel free to reach me out directly here. I will be happy to answer your questions and go more in detail!