Written by Cece Zhou
Sights, food, culture, and arts galore! Many of us live vicariously through the hundreds of landscape pictures that clamor for our attention each day as we skim through social media, magazines, and the news while spinning around on our desk chairs and sipping on office coffee.
But there’s a lucky group that truly live the adventures, and by that, we mean they live off of them.
Here at the Abbi Agency, we surveyed more than 100 travel bloggers, many who get paid to write about their traveling experiences. Our survey picked their brains on everything from press trips to pet peeves in order to get the inside scoop on how they think, how they work, and what they want from PR professionals, and we created an infographic based on the responses.
Indeed, there will be time:
Witness the (inevitable?) rise of the 21st century self-published traveler
Traveling and travel writing is no 9-5 job for 68 percent of the bloggers surveyed, who say that they work and respond to emails at any time of the day. An impressive 50 percent say that blogging is their full-time job, which suggests that half of them find their earnings plentiful enough to live on. And there are plenty of companies who are willing to pay them: 72 percent of these bloggers have been asked to be brand influencers, and 95 percent said that they have agreed to doing sponsored posts.
These statistics align with travelers’ growing reliance on user-generated content to determine and plan their next trips. No longer are industry awards, magazine articles, and sidebar ads the only sources for boosting the appeal and awareness of a location – user-based ratings and comments, and personal experiences detailed by travel bloggers are now the crux of this industry shift.
You don’t know me:
Personalize your pitch to maximize response rate
Think travel bloggers only blog about traveling? Not so much. In fact, 79 percent informed us that their blog consists of not only their travel experiences but also topics like lifestyle (59 percent) and family (22 percent).
Thus, tread carefully when you’re preparing your pitches for these bloggers. Make sure you do proper research so that you know exactly what they write about because their #1 pet peeve is the irrelevance of pitches and press releases that come their way. One blogger explained that she gets annoyed when PR professionals don’t take “a few minutes to learn about us before reaching out. Most PR approaches are way off base for what we’d realistically do.”
Also high on the list of pet peeves for PR individuals are mass emails (#2), which lack personalization and suggest little if any research done on the blogger, and poor communication (#3), which is either a lack or inconsistent amount of follow-up from the source after the blogger responds to a pitch.
Why don’t we go, somewhere only we know:
Give them time and space, so they have something for their suitcase
Say you got through to a travel blogger, and they’re likely on board for a press trip you’re planning. Score! The next thing you’ll want to keep in mind is that the top attribute bloggers enjoy on a press trip is time set aside for them to explore the destination freely – which complements their biggest complaint, a packed itinerary.
While press trip organizers tend to want the bloggers to experience as much of the location as possible, bloggers stated time and time again in the survey that they prefer to have time on their own to relax, write, and seek out unusual venues that stray from pre-determined schedules but personally appeal to them.
There’s a growing market for travel bloggers. Pay them well, personalize your pitch, and give them some freedom to explore on press trips.
Want to know more? To see additional statistics, check out the infographic we created based on the survey results.
Infographic designed by: Elizabeth Brass (Intern)
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