Because who wouldn’t want to travel the world and get paid for it, right?
Well, what if we told you that it is a possibility. That getting your foot in the travel industry could be as simple as starting up your own travel blog.
In the first of our ‘how to score your dream job in travel’ series, we chat to Nastasia Wong of Dame Traveler, a leading female travel blog aimed to connect, inform and inspire women from all over the world. With over 160k followers across her social channels, she must be doing something right! She gives us an inside look with helpful tips and tricks at what it takes to become a successful travel blogger.
My name is Nastasia Wong, I am 28 years old and the founder of travel blog Dame Traveler. I graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a nursing degree but my heart always belonged to traveling the world. And of course, when the universe senses your unhappiness, something is bound to happen to shift your energy towards something else. Two months into my career as a Labor & Delivery nurse, I severely injured my already fragile back and fell into bed rest. While I was on bed rest, I decided that I needed a project to keep me occupied.
Photography, my other passion, introduced me to a community of travel photographers on Instagram where I shared my own travel photos on @NastasiasPassport. I started to notice that there were tons of fashion and beauty blogs/Instagram galleries but a lack of communities for women who love travel. This is what inspired me to start my own community of lady travelers – Dame Traveler.
So without further ado, here are 6 tips to becoming a travel blogger:
#1 – Collaboration is key.
It’s one thing to create content all day but it’s another to spread that content as much as you can. Collaboration and distribution go hand in hand. There are so many travel bloggers out there that are willing to collaborate! Go out there and find a community that suits you and don’t be afraid to network.
#2 – There are tons of resources out there.
I taught myself the bulk of what I know today simply by reading articles on Pinterest, and seeking inspiration (but never copying) from other blogs. I’ve spent hours in bookstores, reading about the ins and outs of blogging and the business. Bloglovin is a great resource and I also refer to Flipboard and Adweek for reliable and up to date information.
#3 – Join Facebook groups related to the topics you blog and are passionate about.
These Facebook groups are great because you can share links to your social channels and meet like-minded people that you can learn valuable information from.
#4 – Be authentic and original.
I cannot stress this enough. There are plenty of copycat blogs out there but it’s important to create a niche and stick with it. It’s easy to completely rip off someone’s idea and call it your own. It’s a lot harder to create something new, but that’s where you will stand out in the end because you’ll be great at it. One of my favourite bloggers out there is Emma Kate Co, she is as lovely and authentic as they come.
#5 – Photography, in my view is extremely important.
Don’t be afraid to sharpen your skills and invest in high-quality equipment. It will make all the difference, especially since the king of social media is Instagram.
#6 – If you love something enough, you’ll find a way for it to sustain you.
Dame Traveler has taken me to Thailand, an invite to the White House in DC, Hawaii, Colorado, California, Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Argentina and it will take me to France, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, China, Singapore, Vietnam and Cuba in the next few months! I traveled significantly even before I started the blog, and will always make travel a priority in my life.
It seems travel blogging is on the uprise these days. What separates Dame Traveler from a lot of other travel blogs?
I chose the name Dame Traveler because it takes a lot of courage to travel outside of a comfort zone and to become totally immersed in another country’s culture. Though, the reality is that a life of travel isn’t always glamorous and it takes guts to travel, especially as a solo female. Yet, there are thousands of solo lady travelers out there that do this every day! And so the definition of ‘Dame’ in the dictionary is ‘the title of a woman who has been awarded the Order of the British Empire’. I wanted it to exemplify strength and fearless courage.