Welcome to another installment of #BloggingDesk, where we discuss everything blogging! One of the things that I have found over the years of blogging, is that a lot of bloggers still don’t fully utilize their blogs or see the potential for what they can actually do for you. And yes, there are ways to monetize and bring income, but many people forget that there are actually a lot of ways that blogging can offer a lot of options other than monetary income. So today, if you aren’t sure if you want to fully monetize your blogs, here’s how to make your travel blog (or any blog really) work for you in other ways that are still amazing!
Reach out to Brands.
One of the most under-utilized aspects of blogging is working with brands. Most bloggers think you have to be a big blogger with thousands of followers to work with brands, but in fact, that’s just not true. Just because brands aren’t reaching out to you, doesn’t mean they won’t work with you. Reach out on your end, explain your situation and what you’d like to work on with them and you’ll be surprised at how receptive they are. Brands are all about working with digital influencers these days, so just be clear about how the partnership would work and what you would get out of it.
I work with big and small hotel chains all the time, whether I get free stays out of the deal or maybe just a free round of drinks, every little bit helps and it’s all from reaching out on my end.
Use your blog to leverage Media Stays.
I don’t make much money from Land of Marvels, mainly because I write here because I love to, not because I’m trying to make money. However, that’s not to say I don’t get a ton back from Land of Marvels. I travel a lot already due to my circumstances, so a couple years ago I started reaching out to hotel brands before our travels to see about complimentary stays or media discounts. Nine out of ten hotels want to work with me after I reach out, either by letting me stay for free in exchange for a review on LOM or they’ll offer me an inexpensive media rate on hotel stays. I’ve been able to stay all over the world for incredible prices all because I reached out before hand. Just because your blog isn’t monetized, doesn’t mean you can’t get something out of it!
Don’t forget about Social Media optimization.
Most bloggers have decent social media followings which can really add to your potential for working with a brand. So when you’re looking for opportunities, don’t forget about optimizing your social media reach. A lot of places – hotels, restaurants, tourism boards… they’ll all pay or offer free things for a shout out on social media because they know it will bring them business. So often times if I know I’ll be at a restaurant, I’ll let them know and maybe they’ll comp part of your meal or offer a free drink for a social media shout out.
Get business cards for your blog.
One of the things I should have done long ago (and just did recently) was make business cards for Land of Marvels. This is a great way to introduce yourself to people and brands, it will help them remember you. It’s also a great way to show “proof” that your blog is legit and during your travels, if something comes up last minute, handing someone a business card might open the door to other things you never expected!
Keep contacts and relationships.
When you’re reaching out to all these brands – keep those contacts and maintain the relationships. I’ve been introduced to some amazing people and have connections really high up in some of these brands all because I’ve kept that connection. It’s also led to connections in my design business as well, so be sure to network and keep those connections you make alive – you never know when they might come in handy!
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