Turning Your Travel Blog into a Travel Agency

At university, I made a friend who was interested in TV presenting. She started a travel blog and over the summer break, she would upload videos from her adventures. It was pretty interesting stuff. She began to receive messages from like-minded travel enthusiasts asking for recommendations. Now and again, people would ask if she could organize hotel discounts or cheap excursion tickets.

She eventually went into presenting, but for a time she was almost a travel agent. If you curate a successful travel blog, you may be wondering how to turn your talent into a profitable online booking platform. There are a few things to consider first.

Your Media Library

You need to think about creating a cross-channel brand complete with a media library from the outset (see brand guidelines info for ideas). Everything from your logo, banner ads, and outdoor photoshoots to promotional videos and simple images and brochures must be stored in a searchable and effective way. If your content is saved in emails, on laptop hard drives, and in your phone media files, you are going to run into issues with ease of sharing information when you need it most.

Whether you are working with other companies, other writers, or simply communicating with your audience, your media library is the backbone of your endeavor. Without easy to search and easy to share secure content, you will likely run into administration issues around the clock. Centralize your media data, organize it into clear groups (such as channels and campaigns), and collaborate or work alone in a fraction of the time.

Develop a Niche (you need a USP)

If you held the desire to sail away on a round-the-world cruise, the chances are slim that you’d approach a local group of camping enthusiasts for advice. Likewise, thrillseekers who love to spend their vacation time jumping out of planes or kayaking over cliff edges can seldom be found perusing the pamphlets for golf and spa retreats.

In the early setup stage, you will be tempted to throw open your doors and welcome any paying customer that has found their way into your service and care. But you must avoid the temptation. For now, at least.

As your brand grows, you can add different types of vacations to your “menu.” But for now, stick to what you know best. If your most popular content to date centers on trawling the markets of Milan for Italian fashions and trinkets, perhaps consider choosing northern Italy as your niche. Everyone needs a unique selling proposition (USP). Without it, you risk developing a U-USD (Un-Unique Sloppy Disaster).

Go for Visibility over Profit

Profit will come if the small things are in place. Don’t chase success until your setup is water-tight. At this early stage, your business will benefit more from increasing your online visibility rather than focusing your efforts on a few meager sales. If nobody knows you, they won’t trust you, and likely won’t book through you.

Leverage your blog, adopt social media tactics, and look into outreach schemes.

Put another way, “Build it and they will come”, as the famous misquote goes (it’s actually, “Build it, and he will come”, but that’s not half as catchy!).

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Author: Joseph Hanover

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