Being a travel blogger is awesome: I’m writing this en route to my press trip in South Africa.
Back in January 2012 I was working as a Content Editor at HostelBookers. I’d been reading travel blogs for a few months since I’d started the job and decided that to complement and support my role at Hostelbookers I’d set up my own blog too, just as a test.
On February 1st 2012 vickyflipfloptravels.com was born. 19 months later and it’s easily one of the best ideas I’ve ever had.
The friends I’ve made and people I’ve met through it are without a doubt the main reason for that bold statement. Thanks to meet ups like Travel Massive (where I’m now the co organiser) and conferences like Traverse and TBU I now count more than a handful of fellow travel bloggers among my closest friends. I talk to some of them online every day and when we meet up there’s never enough time to cover all we have to say. As I ‘spiritedly’ declared at the Brighton Traverse, “I bloody love travel people”.
Having my own blog also got me a job as Content and Social Media Manager at gapyear.com, part of Flight Centre – one of the biggest travel companies in the world. I have no doubt it was the skills and connections I gained running vickyflipfloptravels.com that meant I pipped everyone else to the post. It certainly gave me a lot to talk about in the interview.
As I said earlier I’m now the co organiser of the monthly Travel Massive in London. It’s an awesome meet up for any travel obsessive. Once upon a time I’d been interested in events management so organising this event for over 100 every month is the perfect antidote. You should definitely find one in your area and attend.
As a travel blogger you never know what opportunities you’ll be presented with next. Whether it’s an evening out at a bar you’ve never been to in London, a chance to go on a street art tour in a neighbourhood you’ve visited many times but never really looked at, or this, the trip of a lifetime to South Africa.
Get serious about running a travel blog and instantly you’re a member of a brilliant community. There are plenty of official ones on Facebook, but there’s also the wider community too, get active on your social media feeds and you’ll soon get known. Like any group, there are a few grouches, a few meanies and a few know it alls, but as us travellers know it takes a lot of different people to make the world go round. My ‘celebs’ have become my fellow bloggers, and meeting them and learning from them is brilliant.
I’ve never been more inspired. There are so many things I want to do, projects I want to work on and ideas I want to achieve right now – it’s exciting. When I was younger I always used to moan, “I’m bored”. I’d drive my nan crazy. I don’t think I’ve said anything close to that for over a year. I always have a few things on the go and I love it that way. I’ve worked in a few different industries now and I’ve never felt so passionate about any as I do about travel blogging.
I love reading, and I’m nosy, getting to snoop in people’s online diaries is awesome. Did you used to have a Live Journal? I did, and the only reason I had it was so I could read other people’s. On blogs people happily reveal all, and I sit back with a metaphorical bag of popcorn and take it all in.
As a blogger you can write, photo, film, whatever the hell you like. You’re the publisher, marketer, designer, IT guy and everything else – there’s no one managing you. Of course people will try to tell you what’s right, and how you should do things, but the truth is, no one actually knows. Everyone’s measure of, and road to, success is totally different so pave yours and enjoy the route.
I’ve learned so much. Before I got my job at HostelBookers I was debating doing an MA in something digital – so, so glad I didn’t. I believe you learn best by doing, and I’ve learned so much in launching, running and marketing this blog I bet I could out-exam anyone on any digital course.
I love being vickyflipflop – I get called it all the time now and it’s up there with Potty and Filthpott as one of my favourite monikers.
I’m so grateful I have this diary I can look back on. Blogging opens my senses to my visited destinations, makes me more desperate to explore and keener to focus on the details to make life easier when it comes to writing up my adventures.
I get to inspire people to travel, what better present could you give someone? I love it when readers tell me I’ve inspired them, they just needed that first little oomph and they’re off.
I’m a bargain hunter and discount devotee – the knowledge and skills I’ve gained through this blog has meant I’ve got discounted travel on all of my trips taken over the past year. You have to work for them, trust me, but having a steady travel blog is a cause for excitement for most marketing departments.
I love travel blogging, and I have no qualms in admitting life is pretty awesome right now. Perspective is the key to happiness for anyone and being offered discounted travel, getting to write about whatever I like and having my own website where I can do exactly as I like, makes me very happy.
I’ve been asked how I manage to keep it up with a job that keeps me away from my projects for 60 hours a week, an excellent boyfriend and a vicious wine and dine habit, but I honestly just love doing it. While other people watch reality TV and waste time doing nothing I’m writing and improving my site. I guess I have an over active imagination and it just helps me centre and chill out when I get home.
If you have an inkling that you’d like to be a travel blogger: go for it!
Just remember, you don’t have to be number one to enjoy it, you don’t even have to be number 90. You don’t need the best-looking site, mad skills or even to have travelled the world. And you definitely don’t need loads of money, or to give up your job. Being able to express yourself and have that little space on the internet to call your own and do what you want with is awesome. Do it!