David: Thanks everyone for taking time out of the conference to join us today. How’s everyone enjoying Cancun so far?? We are hoping to keep this a very interactive session – so we have kept some time for questions and discussion at the end – but please feel free to stop us anywhere along the way with questions. You can also tweet us (you’ll see our twitter handles on the next two slides) with any questions you might have and we will try to answer them during the session – or anything we miss, we will follow up online after the session. Chris:
David: I am David Brodie, and I am the host and creator of the Travel in 10 Podcast. I started the podcast back in 2005 – making it one of the world’s first travel podcasts. I started to start it after deciding to take a year to travel around the world…yada, yada, yada… In addition to running the Travel Podcast, since 2006 I have been working in PR. Initially that work focused in mostly crisis communications and media relations for large Global brands like P&G, Ikea, Best Buy and Hyundai, but given my interest in the travel space I have also worked to develop our agencies North American travel team and we now work for brands such as Travelocity, Princess Cruises, Rocky Mountaineer and Destination BC. A campaign I developed for Destination BC last year was named the top Global travel and Tourism PR campaign for 2013 by the Sabre Awards, and I really love working with travel brands. So I bring the perspective on both creating and running a successful travel podcast and working with brands on that side, as well as working together with some of the world’s leading travel brands with their marking and online engagement.
David: So I imagine a lot of us here in the room today have had a common experience. We started a travel blog or podcast or a channel on Youtube – and suddenly we got our first 5,000 page views. Maybe we even started to get comments or fan email from people who appreciated the content we had created. People really started to notice what we were doing. Maybe you then set up some Google ads or signed up for a hotel affiliate program – and you started to think – “hey – I’ve really got something here!” Maybe I can make some money from this! Maybe I can quit my day job and make this into a full time career . Maybe I can be this guy! Well I hate to be a downer to start off the session – but we are here to say your probably not going to be this guy. No matter how many downloads you get, advertisers might not come breaking down your door and the Travel Channel may not be able to find room for you in their schedule. So you may want to think twice before quitting that day job!
David: But that doesn’t mean that developing your travel blog can’t be very rewarding and fulfilling – but we really think it’s about finding the right balance for you. A lot of people think to be a successful travel blogger you need to pack up, sell your house and become a digital nomad travelling the world on a shoestring until you get your first million downloads. During our session today we are going to be challenging conventional wisdom amongst the travel blogger community and looking at some other alternatives, that will let you increase your ability to travel and travel blog without giving up your career –and talk a little bit about why that may actually be a better option for you in the end. We will be looking at topics such as the types of travel content you can create from home, how to become a local travel expert and using you day job as a spring board to enhance your travel blogging. But first we wanted to talk about the top 5 reasons you may not want to quit your day job.
David: Firstly – you might actually like what you are doing. We’ve heard a lot of session and speakers at TBEX in the past begin their session with the premise that every job is a cubicle hell that people are looking to escape from and that’s why they travel blog. From both of our experience and many people we have talked to at the conference we know that just not the case – and a lot of those jobs are letting people make the living them allows them to travel and travel blog as much as they like. Chris:
David: #2 – you might actually like your house and sleeping in your own bed once in a while! The nomad lifestyle can be great for some people and some life stages – but this isn’t how everyone likes to travel. Chris:
David: #3 – You may be in a position in your life where being a nomad just doesn’t work right now. Maybe you have young family and kids in school (and yes this shot was a cheap attempt to work my cute kids into my presentation). Maybe you have an elderly parent or relative and you have obligations for care (and no unfortunatley I am not related to this lady pictures here – although I really wish I was). Or maybe you have student loans or other financial obligations that don’t make a lifestyle of full time travel a viable option for you).
David: #4 – maybe you have a job that is already helping to facilitate your travel blogging. These are just two examples of fellow travel podcasters that have leveraged their careers to help build out great travel content. Chris: (Talk a bit about Betty / Gary)
David: And the top reason you might not want to quite your day job is that…. jobs actually pay money! Travel blogging is a really, really hard way to make a living. Lots of people have found great opportunities to partner with brands to create great travel content through fam trip and other opportuities, lots are also making revenue off their blogs, but there are really just a handful that are making enough revenue solely from travel blogging to sustain themselves. There has not been a lot of research done in this area, but one informal survey I looked at of 115 travel bloggers found only 11% were making a living off their blog as their primary income source – and I would suggest if you were to look at a larger sample the real number is actually much smaller. Chris: Travel Author Conference Example
Chris David: You would be surprised at the people you can get to do interviews with you. I have had everyone from Travel Chanel TV Show hosts, to Arthur Frommer, to Olypmpic Gold Medalists on my podcast. For that matter I have even interviewed Chris Chistensen! It’s a great way of developing content and also leveraging the social followings of the celebrity guests you interview.
Chris David: You may find a lot of brands and DMOs still don’t really grasp how the internet works. Often their perspective is that if you live in Iowa – then you must have a lot of followers in Iowa paying attention to your content (not realizing you actually get twice as many downloads in a week from China as in your hometown). This can be to your advantage though as they are often looking to work with someone based in their region on developing content
David: Now we want to talk about a few ways you can actually leverage your day job to help grow your travel blog
David: Firstly, I want to talk a little bit about something that I call the “Smartcation”. This is a term I coined for a campaign I worked on with Pauline Frommer back in 2011, when we were looking for a name for trend we were seeing where more and more people where starting to take advantage of business travel as a way to explore more of the world. This could anything from timing you vacation and work travel together – so for example if you are flying to New York on business taking a few holiday days so that your flight costs are already factored into your business travel. This could also be things like timing for business travel around long weekends that allow you to stay longer in the destination your are visiting – or even just leaving yourself one night free on a business trip to experience a great restaurant you have heard about and blogging about it.
I think the smarcation trend has really replaced the old trend of the staycation – now instead of staying home or vacationing in their backyard more and more people are looking for smart ways to further their vacation time and their vacation spending by leveraging business travel. Also more employers are starting the embrace this trend as a way of attracting and retaining top talent. A couple of policies my company has embraced in the last two years include allowing staff to work on assignments out of our other Global offices, and also putting in place a work from anywhere policy, that basically puts the trust back in the hands of employees to meet their productive objectives from wherever the want to as long as client needs are being met. If you are looking to step up your travel blogging looking for employers that embrace policies like this might be something you really want to consider.
David: If you do have a career or find a career that involves business travel, there are also lots of ways you can leverage that to extend your ability to do travel blogging. For example I have a colleague whose company not only encourage working from their other offices around the world, but also encourages people to swap at the same time and trade housing. As a result people end up not just getting somewhere to stay, but great reccomendations on the best things to see and do when they arrive in the destination from their work colleagues, who know the area better than anyone and can recommend the latest restaurants, attractions and more.
Business travel often gives you the ability to participate in awards programs. People often think to register for airline programs, but fewer take the time to register for similar frequent guest reward programs offered by hotel chains and rental car companies. SPG who is here at the conference is one of the best for this in my opinion. I started collecting SPG points early in my career and now have been able to do two round the world trips staying largely at their properities, where weeks of business travel to places like Winnipeg and Toronto, helped me earn stays at villas in Fiji. There are a bunch of great resources to find out more about these programs including forums like flyer talk and as well many points focused blogs, many of who are here at TBEX. A very important factor to consider when looking at ways to leverage business travel is you should always, always error on the side of favoring your employer, or you may not be doing business travel for long. Don’t ever take a flight or stay somewhere that is going to cost your employer more just to get the points, but if the costs are equal this is a perk that most employers are happy to see you take to offset some of the inconvenience of business travel (believe it or not there are lots of people who hate travelling on business – so if you show your interest in doing it you can often find opportunities).
Chris: Just because your job sucks, doesn’t mean all jobs suck
Chris: Move and can I stay employed // As long as they can be contacted
David: Now that we have had a chance to tell you some of our thoughts about how to leverage your day job to travel more and some of the ways to create great travel content without leaving more we would really love to open up the conversation and hear more from you? We would love to hear about other people’s experience in finding the right balance for them.
Don't quit your day job: Finding the right balance for you - David Brodie & Chris Christensen
Don’t Quit Your Day Job
Finding the right balance for you
David Brodie & Chris Christensen
• Travel in 10 Podcast & Blog
• Citizen Relations since 2006:
PR for Travelocity, Princess
Cruises, Destination BC,
• 2013 Sabre Award for Top
Global Travel & Tourism PR
@brodiedavid | @travelin10
• Amateur Traveler
podcast / blog
• This Week in Travel
• T+L SMITTY 2014:
Travel Journalist /
@chrisx2 | @amateurtraveller
What we are going to talk about today?
How to increase your ability to travel and travel blog
without giving up your career
•Good Reasons to Keep Your Job
•Travel Stories You Can Create from Home
•Becoming a local travel expert
•Using your day job as a spring board
Good Reasons to Keep Your Job
1) You actually love your job!
Good Reasons to Keep Your Job
2) You really don’t want to be a nomad
Good Reasons to Keep Your Job
3) You really can’t be a nomad right now
Good Reasons to Keep Your Job
4) Some jobs help you travel
Good Reasons to Keep Your Job
5) Jobs actually pay money!
Myth Busting! You can run a successful travel blogging from home
How To Travel
• Frequent Flier Miles