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How to become a Travel Influencer in 2022

To become a travel influencer you need to be able to inspire people to travel and most importantly be able to monetise this. There are a variety of ways to monetise this, but in short you will either make money from Information/ Services you provide to people who want to travel (Google Monetisation, Guides, Tours Etc), or Travel Brands will pay you for connecting them with clients (Influencer Marketing, Affiliate Links). Generally travel influencers are great content creators and have a community of followers across multiple digital platforms that include (Blogs, Websites, Youtube, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter)

  • Build a community of travellers

  • Create compelling content

  • Inspire People to Travel

  • Provide Value

Solo Male sits on rock in huge landscape in blyde river canyon
Ali Gallop taken be me at Blyde River Canyon, South Africa

Economics of the Travel Industry.

The Travel industry is a multi billion dollar industry. In simple economic terms, there is a demand and Supply.

  • Demand Side: On the demand side there are Billions of People wanting to travel.

  • Supply Side: There are Millions of Travel Brands / Companies supplying a service or product for those people wanting to travel.

This is a multibillion dollar industry!

What is a Travel Influencer

A travel influencer connects people to travel brands. It is a person or brand or platform (that includes Social Media Platforms) that not only influences people to travel but helps connect travellers with brands. When people are connected with brands there is a flow of money.

Surfer standing with surf board at sunrise in Mozambique
Travel Influencer job for Amazon Kindle (Mozambique)

The reason there are travel influencers is that they help connect brands with people, hence helping brands make money and in return, you will receive payment, trade exchange or commission.

The key area of opportunity lies in connecting Travel Brands with Travellers.

What do Travel Influencers do?

In essence there are Millions of Travel Companies / brands that offer a service or product, and on the flip side there are billions of people that want to have beautiful travel experiences. The key area of opportunity lies in connecting Travel Brands with Travellers.

Moraine Lake Canada, Beautiful sunrise light
An Image I took in Canada for Contiki Tours, to promote their Canadian Tour

Since there is a lot of money flowing between Travellers and Brands there is an opportunity to help connect brands with travellers and earn money for doing so. In essence being a Travel influencer, means influencing a traveller to use a certain travel brand or company and you will be paid for doing so.

How to Narrow your Travel Niche

Trying to convince all people to travel with all brands is close to impossible. In the initial problem, we said there are Billions of People wanting to travel and Millions of Travel Brands.

Black and Asian Female influencers in Luxury hotel, white robs. Travel Influencers
Female Influencer I shot for One & Only Hotel. Luxury Travel

Choose a niche that you love and understand well. Rather Influence 100k people to travel with 100 different brands that are a good match for those people

Here are some Travel Niches

· Female Solo Travel

· Family Travel

· Luxury Travel

· Unique Travel Experiences

· Adventure Travel

· Surf Tours

· Travel Accessories

Running in Franschhoek Pass South Africa, 3 runners
An Image I took for RunJanji a lifestyle running Brand

There are so many niches and even sub-niches within Niches. I'm saying Niche a lot haha

The Main Segments are

· Demographics (Age, Gender, Employment status ect)

· Budget (Luxury, Mid-Range, Budget)

· Interests and Reasons for Travel (Explorers, Foodies, Art, Work)

· Stage of Life (Single, Married, Engaged, retired, have kids?)

· Country, Language and Culture

· Learning Styles (Reading, Photos, Short Form Video, Long Form Video)

The important thing to remember is, people are all different and people change. Try your best to understand which segments you operate in. in A later video, I’ll help you quantify your segments and help you understand what your clients are searching for (literally and figuratively)

Solo Female with Dog at Lake Louise Canada. Moody Misty Morning
Solo Female Traveller at Captured at Lake Louise, Canada

Here is an example. If you are a single female traveller who loves adventure, you could create content for other single females who love travel and deal with the issues they might have. This is way more valuable to another single female traveller than a broad travel influencer. Take this to another level, Image you speak Spanish, there are millions of female Spanish-speaking travellers that would like to see content in Spanish. You can always grow your niche as you go on.

Photographer  with Sony standing on cliff overlooking Ocean, in wild coast south africa Ocean
Wild Coast South Africa, with my favourite influencer Jordan Herschel

Say you meet a partner and now your content could be about travelling for couples, then you have kids and your content is about travelling with a family.

Which Digital Platform is the Best for Travel

This really depends on your objectives, strengths and Target market. You need to understand how, when and why people in general use various apps and digital platforms, then understand how your target market uses various apps.

My Summary of the main Platforms in Order of Importance

  • Web / Google: People use Google to find out information, learn and research, places and travel brands. It is generally also the place where bookings are made, which is why this is my number 1.

  • Youtube: Similar to Google, people use Google to Find out more information, learn and research. Youtube is owned by Google and it makes sense this is right up there with Web

  • Instagram: Instagram is interesting because it basically has the apps within an app. For Example, people use Instagram Posts, Stories, Reels and Videos differently. Personally, I look at Reels if I’m bored and want to be inspired and entertained. Posts I find more inspirational and less random than Reels. Instagram stories are great ways to follow the lives of people that inspire me.

  • TikTok and Instagram Reels are where people go to be entertained and see random stuff the algorithm thinks you may like.

Solo Female Traveler with backpack Pragser Wildsee, Italian Dolomites
Pragser Wildsee, Italian Dolomites

To Summarise

  • Google and YouTube are where people know more or less what they are looking for.

  • Instagram is a bit of a hybrid of searching and following people and things you are interested in, as well as being served up a random bunch of content the algorithm thinks you will enjoy

  • Tik Tok is very random content served up by the algorithm, however it is very powerful in terms of attention and reach.

Remember to take into account how different age groups use different platforms.

How Social Media Converts a Sale in Travel

  • You see an interesting post/ reel or TikTok on someone's account.

  • This will then pique your interest, they you may look for more IG/ TikToks.

  • You will want to find more information and turn to google or YouTube for additional Information

  • Booking will generally be done via the web

If you want to be a Long Term successful Travel influencer you will need to be able to speak to people on all digital levels.

Summary of how to become a Travel Influencer

  • Understand what a travel influencer is

  • Learn as much as possible from other influencers you respect

  • Learn About the different types of content

  • Create content daily

  • Understand how content works and its importance on all digital channels

  • Find your Niche

  • Learn How to monetise your content

  • Be able to build a website

  • Have good writing, photography and digital skills

  • Add value to your community

  • Grow your community

  • Become an industry expert

  • Have a website

  • Monetise

Friends under the milkyway at night
Under the Milkyway in Namibia

There is so much more I could write about this, so if there are any specific questions you have or would like me to explain. Please let me know in the comments.



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1 Comment

Victoria Graham
Victoria Graham
Jan 15, 2023

Thanks for the insight 😀 Can you elaborate further on the Google Monetisation you mention please?

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