There’s strength in numbers, we all know that. When it comes to all the solo travel bloggers blogging about all over the globe that statement has never been truer. If you want to go far collaboration, or at least friendship, with at least a few of them is key.
The Travel Chicks
When I first started out travel blogging in February 2012 I was in a little group called the Travel Chicks. We never quite managed to think of a better name – I’ve got used to the cringe now.
- Jai from savoirthere.com
- Monica from thetravelhack.com
- Jen from shegetsaround.co.uk
- Arianwen from beyondblighty.com
- Becki from bordersofadventure.com
We’d all started at the same kind of time-ish and met at a travel event in London. We started going out together, drinking lots of wine and sharing our experiences with our blogs as well as life. It was lots of fun, and really interesting too.
I’ll warn you now that the trouble with being friends with travel bloggers is that they travel. By December 2013 they’d all left London and I was the lone travel chick left.
But what I’m trying to say is that during that time we were all a great support to each other. Each of us were approaching travel blogging from a different view and with different experience and it was really great to have a group of friends interested in the same things so I didn’t have to bore my non-blogger friends with WordPress and travel chat.
We have a Facebook group where at the time we could post questions, interesting points and the latest from the industry. It was a safe place where the six of us were just working this whole travel blogging thing out and supporting each other. The fact that all of us are still at it out of so many who drop by the wayside I think is testament to the solid and friendly foundation we built when we all started.
I’ll always love the Travel Chicks but sadly, thanks to schedules and objectives that never matched, we don’t do much together anymore. But there are plenty of ‘coalitions’ that do…
Travel blogger alliances
Getting yourself some travel blogger buddies is a great idea. There are loads of unofficial groups within travel blogging who’ll share each other’s stuff on social media, comment on each other’s blogs and recommend each other for press trips. So long as you all pull your weight you can really help each other to increase your presence online and your influence.
“The iambassador team of bloggers includes some of the best known travel bloggers in the world and award-winning television and video producers. The bloggers are specially selected based on a variety of criteria including the quality of their blogs, niches, social media reach and the ability to work in a team.”
This is probably the biggest alliance, in terms of the amount of people and their reach. There are about 20 different bloggers involved in this, including Nellie from wildjunket.com, Keith from velvetescape.com and Abigail from insidethetravellab.com. They do loads of trips together and are literally taking over the world.
“The Travelator Media audience is the 40+ UK-based traveller with an above average annual household income. They are quality travellers seeking premium travel experiences.”
- Heather Cowper: Heather on her Travels
- Gary Bembridge: Tips for Travellers
- Zoë Dawes:The Quirky Traveller
- Kathryn Burrington: Travel With Kat
These guys have united with more of a niche audience. By joining their audiences they can appeal to a wider range of PRs and they can share their focused audiences with each other to increase their potential reach.
A Brit and A Broad
“A Brit and A Broad is a travel video blog bringing people and places to you. We want you to be inspired to do something different on your travels; for that we’ve got to be inspirational. Not only are we going to tell you how do this, but we are going to show you how with some beautifully cut videos.”
Three friends who’ve used their different talents to come together and create an awesome travel series on YouTube. Macca Sherifi (author, blogger and photographer) Brianna Wiens (actor, director and photographer) and Brian Ceci (cinematographer and videographer) have used their skills and friendship to travel through South America making videos of Guatemala, Oaxaca and Vancouver. Love their work.
If you have some travel bloggers you’re on a similar level to and are good friends with, have a think about setting up something together. It doesn’t have to be serious or only work based but it makes sense to leverage each other’s skills and audiences. Sharing is caring.
Reasons to be friends with travel bloggers
- Travel bloggers are fun, interesting and awesome
- You can advise each other
- Keep an eye on each other
- Monitor the industry as a team
- Recommend each other
- Support and mentor one another
- Have someone to hang out with at conferences
- Inspire each other
- You’ll have a network of friends around the world
How to make friends with travel bloggers
Go to events
Yep, the first one will be scary as hell. Don’t worry if you’re a shy one. The nature of blogging – nerding out in the back end of WordPress – means there’ll be plenty of other shy ones, probably shyer than you, to chat awkwardly to. And the nature of travellers – awesome people with a story to tell – means there’ll be some fun people to mask the awkwardness. Mix that together with free flowing alcohol and you my travel blogger friend have a good time on your hands. You’ll soon make one friend, which will lead to two and before you know it you’ll have at least four.
The lovely Emily Ray from cosytraveller.com has some networking tips for shy people if you need.
Travel massive operates in Manchester, Newcastle, Dublin, and London regularly. As you get better known you might also be invited to PR events where you’ll get to meet even more interesting people. Every one of these events is an opportunity to make more travel blogger friends. Traverse, TBEX and WTM are also a good chance to meet more people interested in travel blogging – I’m planning on TBEX Bangkok this year so maybe see you there!
Monica from thetravelhack.com is one of my best travel blogger friends. We started chatting when she worked at Gap Deamon and I worked at HostelBookers, as our company accounts. When I first met her in real life we admitted we were the voices behind the companies and soon became friends.
Jayne from girltweetsworld.com is another one of my favourites. I stalked her blog and career a good few months before I actually met her. Introduce yourself online and then when you do finally meet at an event you’ll both know who each other are.
The roles were reversed when it comes to Helen from heleninwonderlust.co.uk. Monica and I arrived at the TBEX conference in Dublin late and she bounded over to us having already been on the Guinness and so full of love.
“I really think we could all be friends, can we hang out?”
Of course we were both flattered and just an hour or so later she became another one of my favourites.
Leaving comments on blogs is a really important part of widening your travel blogger social network. Lucy from absolutelylucy.com comments on my blog a lot and from noticing that I went to check out hers and now she’s one of my top travel bloggers to follow. We’ve chatted on Twitter but not met IRL yet.
Top tips for making friends
When you have such a shared passion as travel blogging it’s easy to get chatting whether online or in real life. You already have common ground and plenty to talk about.
Remember not to judge anyone on first meeting. Shyness, thoughtfulness, a conference hangover or just wanting to talk to a friend can all be mistaken for rudeness or off handed was when you meet someone for the first time. Give everyone three shots, if they’re still a douchebag then yeah, write them off and find someone else to hang out with. Out of the hundreds of travel bloggers I’ve met over the years I’d only put two, possibly three, in this category.
My travel blogger friends
I love my travel blogger friends and miss the carnage of the London Travel Massive when I’m away. One of the best things about being friends with travel bloggers is that you now have a network of people all around the world to hang out with. Make friends on Facebook and you might see they’re heading to the same destination as you and you can link up. One of my favourite people I’ve met at Travel Massive is Hayley from lovepuffin.me. She’s funny and enjoys a
glass bottle of wine, just like me. We’re hopefully going to be in India at the same time this year and I’m looking forward to meeting up for some chai.
Make friends with other travel bloggers and you also have the most incredible network of travel advice around the world. It’s thanks to Paul and Karen from globalhelpswap.com and Victoria and Steve from bridgesandballoons.com that I found out about San Pancho in Mexico. A little town that became my favourite place to go in Mexico, along with Oaxaca.
Travel blogger lovers
Of course, there are always those who take things a little too far. Isabelle from isabellestravelguide.com and Chris from theaussienomad.com are now married and have a child on the way, thanks to meeting through their blogs. And Jayne from girltweetsworld.com and Justin who created 48houradventure.com (before selling it on) have just got engaged. Audrey Berger from thatbackpacker.com and Samuel from nomadicsamuel.com walked up the aisle six months ago. have also tied the knot recently. Sure there are loads more I don’t know about to add to that list too.
Hmm, maybe there’s a blogger boy for me out there?!
People who travel are the best, we all know that. Creating and updating a travel blog is your doorway into a world of hundreds of travel lovers happy to meet up for a beer and a chat wherever the two of you may be. So go forth and strike up that conversation!