This travel blogging tips post has been sitting in my drafts for the past several months, so I’m excited to hit publish on this post after working on it for a while. Several years ago, I started incorporating travel into my writing and my brand. I partially arrived at this around the same time that I realized I was not a fashion blogger (gasp, I know). When I rebranded to I’m Fixin’ To, I sat down and wrote out my goals and vision for my brand. I started writing a blog in 2010 as a way to keep in touch with friends post college and it gradually evolved from a pseudo diary and horribly grainy outfit photos in a floor length mirror to what you see here today.
Part of what I’ll share in this post is knowing what your goals are and using that to make your pitch. It is also important to note that while I use social media as a means to guide traffic to my site, I spend the majority of my time writing for my website and my newsletter. Social media is a great way to share snippets of my brand; however, I prefer making my own rules for my website instead of relying on algorithms.
Travel Blogging Tips: How to Improve Your Brand Pitch
All right, so let’s get into how to build or improve your brand pitch as you incorporate travel into your content.
Know your Brand
Before you even begin pitching, know what your brand is about and what your goals are. Spend some time creating a media kit to outline who you are, what your brand offers when you partner with a business, and any previous collaborations you’ve had with similar companies. I have a couple of different media kits that I use depending on what I am pitching. Canva is a great place to create a media kit with a variety of templates available.
Know your Audience
Spend some time reviewing your Google Analytics to see what types of posts do the best for you, what your audience is interested in, and your stats including page views, unique visitors to your site, demographics, and geographic locations. I include that information in my media kit, and I also highlight those stats in my email when pitching a hotel or visitor’s bureau.
Know What you are Offering
Whenever I am researching a trip, I outline what I’m going to offer. It will vary depending on if I’m emailing a hotel with a restaurant or a visitor’s bureau. Part of that will include how I will share my experience, what I will share, and what I’m asking for in return. An example of this might include a night’s stay at a hotel with drinks at the hotel bar in exchange for 1 round of social media shares, a series of Instastories, a dedicated blog post to the hotel and then a link back to the hotel stay in the travel guide I write for the area.
Do your Research
Once you have prepared all of that information, figure out who you are pitching. Hotel websites often have a Press tab or a Contact tab that will provide contact information of someone at the property or their PR firm who you can email your proposal. If you are pitching a visitor’s bureau, they may have a contact tab with email addresses or they might have an online form to complete. I always make a point to link to posts from my website so that the hotel and/or visitor’s bureau can see samples of coverage to similar properties or how I compose my travel guides. I also find it important in highlighting examples of trips with David, or girls’ weekend trips, or even trips where we’ve brought the dogs.
Know your Niche
I really like covering historic properties and hotels, so I often pitch places that fit that brand for me. I also specialize in writing about North Carolina, where I enjoy highlighting where to eat, what to do, and where to shop. I keep those categories in my travel guides for consistency both for readers and for the brands I partner with on travel. While it took some time for me to find the format that works for me, it has been helpful in preparing to write up these travel guides and hotel experiences as well.
My biggest piece of advice is knowing what your desired outcomes are before pitching a hotel or visitor’s bureau. From there, align your brand with your pitches and always over deliver on your commitments. It goes a long way in maintaining brand partnerships.
If you’re interested in more blogging tips, be sure to check out this page. And my friend, Heather, wrote a great post about what it really takes to run a blog as a small business. She and I are similar in that we rely on our blogs to drive our traffic and supplement with social media, and her post is exceptional! PS.. she and I met at the Blog Societies Conference a few years ago in Charleston!
Do you have any travel blogging tips? Let me know in a comment below!