How to Become a Travel Influencer: GET PAID for Your Wanderlust

how to become a travel influencer

Influencer marketing is one of the fastest growing businesses out there! People like to roll their eyes when they hear the term “influencer,” but few people actually know what it means to be an influencer. Building your own brand takes real work and with the right plan and commitment, you can make money as an influencer and make it your full-time gig! 

One of the most popular niches out there is travel influencing. So many people have the desire to travel, but feel totally trapped in their traditional 9-5s and don’t know how to make it happen. Curating traveler content and sharing it with the world is a great way to gain influence and once you gain influence, you can monetize that influence. That means your adventures become marketable and you can finally get paid to travel the world! 

If you’re like, “SIGN ME UP!” This post is for you. We’ll go through the step-by-step process of becoming a profitable travel influencer. This is your ticket out of your current grind and to your absolute dream life and career! Here’s what you need to do:

how to become a travel influencer: get paid for your wanderlust

How to Become a Travel Influencer: Get Paid for Your Wanderlust 

Like we said, the travel influencer space is HUGE! Studies have found that 78% of all Americans book certain vacations and excursions because of a travel influencer’s recommendation. Whoa! That’s influence! But, it goes beyond social media. 

10% of all blogs on the internet are travel blogs, and they have over 50,000 monthly sessions from readers with travel bugs like you. Of all new blogs started in 2023, 18% of them are travel blogs. So, there is some competition (just like there is on social media). However, most bloggers and influencers don’t have the right strategy to grow and monetize. In fact, 80% of travel bloggers aren’t making any money on their blog and 59% of all bloggers eventually abandon their content. You’ll find similar stats when you look into the social media side of things! 

Follow our guide to actually make money and realize your dreams of being a full-time influencer! 

what is a travel influencer

What Is A Travel Influencer?

A travel influencer is someone who shares travel-related content with an audience to impact their lifestyle, decisions, or habits. This travel content can be shared on social channels, on a blog, in books, on a podcast, at public speaking events, and more! How you deliver content is up to the creator. The goal is to have enough influence over a certain niche that you can monetize it via brand collaborations, affiliate marketing, travel planning, ad space, and other influencer marketing opportunities. 

how to become a travel influencer

How To Be A Travel Influencer 

Step 1: Determine your niche and angle. 

Making content about travel isn’t specific enough to gain an audience and monetize your influence. It’s best to decide on a specific niche that you can reach, because that’ll get the attention of potential followers and foster loyalty. Plus, your followers know what to expect when you have a certain angle and you stick to it, and they’ll return to your content again and again for trusted insight! Here are some example travel niches: 

  • Solo Travel 
  • Travel Product Reviews
  • Luxury Vacations
  • International Culture Travel
  • Budget Travel 
  • International Cuisine 
  • Digital Nomad Lifestyle 
  • Family Travel 
  • Sustainable Travel 
  • Historical Travel 
  • RV/Van Life 
  • Wildlife and Nature Exploration 
  • Festival or Special Events Travel 
  • Inclusivity Travel 
  • Disney Trip Planning
  • Cruise Travel

Step 2: Develop your brand. 

Next, decide on your brand! You need to have a specific niche to focus on, but you also need a dynamic brand that makes you unique and memorable! Spend some time thinking about your voice, the name of your brand, your color scheme, and overall vibe. This will make sure everything is consistent from the beginning, making your brand look professional and aesthetic. 

Step 3: Establish a budget. 

Can you be an influencer with no up-front cost? Probably. However, if you want being an influencer to be your career, it deserves a little investment to kick start your successful brand. A small amount of money can really set you up for quicker growth and a more profitable venture. Influencing is a business for you; you need to treat influencing as a business

There are certain start-up costs to be an influencer, like building a website, getting editing software, and collecting the right equipment. Then, there are ongoing costs to being an influencer like web hosting fees, email marketing subscriptions, and SEO services. Sit down and figure out what your starting budget is and what your ongoing budget will be! 

Step 4: Make sure you have the right equipment. 

Take inventory of your equipment. You can do a lot with a little, but you’ll at the very least need a good laptop and camera. Other things you may want are a tripod, microphone, a portable lighting source, and a shutter remote. . . . You could also treat yourself to a cute luggage set! 

Step 5: Hone your photography skills. 

The influencer niches that don’t require much photography or personal images, but travel influencing is not one of those niches! Followers expect inspiring and breathtaking photos from travel content creators. These pictures are one of the most important parts of your brand they’ll grab visitor’s attention and urge them to check out the rest of what you have to offer! Everyone will want to see the sites you’re showing in your photos!

Step 6: Build your own website. 

A lot of people think of social media when they hear the word “influencer.” Yes, social media is a good tool for influencers, but it’s not the only tool. Study after study shows it’s better to own your platform, rather than constantly responding to the constant algorithm changes on TikTok and Instagram. 

When you own your platform in the form of a search engine optimized blog, you can draw in way more organic traffic, which requires much less effort. Plus, traffic from a blog is consistent and compounding. So, if your goal is to make a career out of your brand, don’t just be a “social media influencer” be a travel blogger! 

If you need tips on how to build your website, we have tons of resources on the InfluencerSEO blog. We recommend you set up your blog in WordPress, web host through SiteGround, get an SSL certificate, and be mindful of how web design could impact your SEO

Step 7: Learn about SEO. 

Okay, we just talked about search engine optimization, but what is it? SEO is the practice of curating and formatting content to specifically cater to search engine algorithms. Doing this shows search engines your content is high quality, driving it up the search engine results pages. The higher you are on the results pages, the more likely you are to get hit. This is where all that organic traffic comes from on your website! 

Search engine optimization is a simple concept, but learning all the ins-and-outs of SEO best practices takes time. Start with learning some SEO terms and getting familiar with keywords. Then, read this post on how to write SEO-friendly blog posts before creating content of any kind. Or, better yet, hire an SEO service to take care of the optimization for you, so you can focus on the creative stuff! (And, traveling the world, of course.) 

Step 8: Create your social media channels. 

Should you still be on social media? Absolutely! Yes, SEO is more beneficial when it comes to growth, but an Instagram account or other social media platforms are perfect for connecting with your followers, networking with other creators, and promoting your blog content. Basically, SEO and social media work together

That means you should get to creating your social media channels and branding them to perfection. Figure out where your audience likes to hang out, and go there! Maybe you jump on YouTube and post vlogs? Or maybe you jump on Instagram and Pinterest? Perhaps TikTok is your game. Start with one or two and grow down the road if needed!

Step 9: Make a plan for monetization. 

If you want to be a successful travel influencer, you need to be generating an income from your content. When you’re just starting, you’re not going to have a sphere of influence to monetize yet, but you will soon! So, it’s best to plan now. Ask yourself how you’d like to make a business out of your content creation. Here are a few ways to make money as a travel blogger and influencer:

Step 10: Create a content calendar and write blog posts. 

Now it’s time to get writing! At this point, you have everything set up and ready for all your high-quality travel content. It’s important that you be consistent with your article uploading schedule, so decide how often you’ll post (1-5 times a week is best) and plan at least 3 months ahead using a content calendar. This way, you never sit down to write and find yourself stuck with no ideas and a serious case of writer’s block

Then, write at least 15 blog posts before you start uploading. This will ensure you’re far enough ahead that if you get sick, hit a snag, or just straight-up forge to write a post, you can continue to post consistently. 

If you need some ideas and guidance on the blogging side of things, we got you. Here’s how to write a travel blog and here’s a long list of travel blog post ideas you can add to your content calendar! 

Step 11: Post regularly on your socials. 

It’s not just important to post regularly on your website you need to keep up on socials too. Luckily, if you’ve got a strong SEO-strategy, you don’t need to be a slave to social media. However, it’s a good idea to use an app like Planoly to create a content calendar and keep up with regular posting and engagement on social platforms. Whether that’s posting an Instagram story once a day or uploading a reel once a week. You just need to be consistent and let your followers know you’re there!

Step 12: Network with others in your niche. 

One of the best ways to grow your brand is by collaborating with other travel influencers! Just hunt for another travel influencer on Instagram, Pinterest, Google wherever! Find someone with a similar following size to you, and ask them to collab. You could make a post on their page and they post on yours. The two of you could guest blog on each others’ website. Maybe they have a podcast you could join or you could market each other on your newsletters. It’s totally up to the two of you! 

The goal is each of you get exposed to a new set of potential followers who already engage in your niche. It’s one of the best ways to grow and support the community! Here’s more on how to collaborate with other bloggers

Step 13: Focus on consistency. 

Now that you’ve got started, just stay consistent. We can’t emphasize it enough! 59% of bloggers abandon their brand before they ever find success don’t be a part of the statistics. Keep posting and keep grinding. If you need inspo to keep growing, read these quotes for bloggers.  

Step 14: Engage with your audience. 

Yes, keep feeding your audience content on a regular basis, but don’t forget they want to engage with you! The more connected your audience feels to you, the more loyal and committed they’ll be to your brand and growth. So, respond to their comments, answer their DMs, ask them for their feedback, jump on live Q&A do whatever you can to make your brand more engaging for your followers! 

Step 15: Track analytics and insights. 

To see how your efforts are paying off, keep a close eye on your analytics and insights on social media and on your blog. You can see how your website is doing using Google Analytics 4/Universal Analytics. And, you can get a free SEO evaluation here! All this data should help you understand what’s working well with your growth strategy and what’s not, allowing you to revise your plan and keep grinding! 

Step 16: Monetize your influence. 

Once you hit micro influencer status, it’s time to start pursuing monetization. If you’ve been planning and setting yourself up for monetization like we instructed, you should be ready to go at this point! Influencer marketing is a growing industry, which makes affiliate marketing and brand collabs the perfect way for a travel blogger to generate an income. But, the travel industry is super monetizable, so if collabs and affiliate links aren’t your thing, get creative with your products and services or sell ad space on your website!

Here are some must-read posts on monetizing:

Step 17: Get paid to travel the world. 

That’s it! Now go be a digital nomad and get paid to travel anywhere you want! Continue to grow your monetization avenues, connect with your audience, and share more incredible travel content with the world!

Be a travel influencer and get paid to do what you love!

See? Being a travel influencer is not only a viable career, it’s totally possible with the right strategy! Use the tips in this post to build your brand and live out your dreams.

Of course, keep up-to-date with the InfluencerSEO blog for all the need-to-know info on blogging and SEO, but we also recommend looking into our SEO services and Pinterest services that’ll accelerate your path to travel influencer success! Wheels up, let’s do this!

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