How I Scored My First Sponsored Trip Travel Blogging, and How You Can Too!
Getting sponsored trips as a travel blogger can seem like a foggy and convoluted business, like it is some mythical beast that is unattainable.
I am going to show you that, while difficult, you CAN lasso yourself a Pegasus, if you look hard enough and in the right places, and ride that baby to some free trips!
1) Don’t sit idly by twiddling your blogging thumbs!
Hoping something is going to land in your lap won’t get you a sponsored post, or really anything for that matter. Be proactive. Start going out and meeting new people, sneak in that you are a travel blogger, search for businesses that are up and coming and propose a deal.
Do research before you arrive to a destination. If there are activities you are dying to do, talk to the business, show them your enthusiasm (but don’t be too giddy) and tell them you will blog about the experience. Places like these give out freebies to employees and hostel staff all the time, so why not you? I had originally contacted Nomads Hostels to try and get free accommodation for a review, but it evolved from there.
2) When opportunity slaps you in the face, take it!
When it happens, don’t curl up in a little ball and cower from it. Whether or not you have an opportunity present itself, see everything, however small, as a possible opportunity. If someone mentions they are starting a new rafting business, tell them you’ll write about it.
I missed out on working at a traveling taco stand a few hours a day that will hit every major concert in New Zealand this year. I told them I had to think about it, and later the position was filled. Do you know how amazing it would have been to have free entry and exposure to the major festivals, with free food and transport? I was nervous about saying yes right away, go watch “Yes Man” and use that as motivation!
3) Get creative, think outside of the box!
This is important. Some people think blogging is just writing a “Dear Grandma” letter about the good time you had, but it isn’t. We are the ones traveling, out in the thick of this scary World, so think of different ways your travel blogging can benefit the both of you. Look at Where The Hell Is Matt, he dances everywhere, and scored a Visa commercial!
In my case, after tossing around ideas, Nomads Hostels and I thought it was a hilarious idea to write a blog as their fake camel, so I mentioned some funny things we could do with it, and voila!
4) Be confident, but don’t be an arrogant douche!
“I am kinda sorta a travel blogger and maybe I was thinking we could hopefully...”
That won’t get you anywhere. Believe in yourself and that you can write well and influence people, and let them know. Be careful not to cross the line to arrogance though, bragging about numbers and how they are missing out if they don’t choose you will get you a middle finger.
5) Learn the pitch before you strike out!
You only get a first impression -- you got it, once. Just like scriptwriters pitching to big movie execs, if you speak with someone over the phone or in person, you may only have 90 seconds to spit out your pitch. Know a basic line of what you will say to someone you meet with. And make it count!
6) Drop an email bomb!
If you are traveling somewhere, before you arrive, look up local businesses and excursion companies, and email ALL of them. Mention in the email that your are traveling through, and you are looking for activities to tell your readers about. Chances are if you contact enough companies, someone is bound to bite. I haven’t tried this myself, but I will be doing this today in hopes to score some freebies for when my friend arrives.
7) Attack Their Social Networks
Social networking is a powerhouse now when it comes to exposure for businesses. Everywhere you look advertisements have Facebook and Twitter information on them. Find out what the companies social networks are, and mention them in some posts like you are trying to decide on what to do in the area. Some might say PICK ME! Others might say PICK ME and we’ll throw you out of a plane.
Travel bloggers are going to revolutionize the travel industry, and our influence is growing. The reason for this is because travel companies are considered an entity, not an actual person people can relate to.
Companies also don’t have the time to create personalities for camels, or blog about tips and tricks they found out for themselves that will benefit travelers. They have time to write destination descriptions, not real life.
Bloggers are marketing and social network gurus, because we have to be to make this our job, so that is how you will score your sponsored trips. Offer to write about your actual real experience, and tell the world about it.
Here is an awesome article by Amanda of A Dangerous Business travel blog about How to Work with Tourism Boards and great advice on pitching.
Any tips you have for travel bloggers hoping to get sponsored?
Travel tip shared by JustChuckinIt