Our table by the window of the 16th-floor restaurant was the perfect spot for watching the sunset. The sun reflecting on the bay that stretched beyond the rolling hills of the golf course, as we sipped key lime pie martinis and dined on medium-rare filet mignon, finishing our meal with chocolate bananas foster. After dinner, my husband and I retired to our room a few floors below the restaurant in this luxury Great Lakes resort, a room with a Jacuzzi tub and the same magnificent view. The evening before, a local tourism executive and his wife took us out for drinks and a meal at a popular brewpub. And, during the day we browsed boutiques and specialty shops, explored beaches and lighthouses, and tasted wine at several wineries. The cost for this three day, two-night weekend? Only our gas to get there. Everything else was free. I’ve taken similar free trips with travel writing at least twice a month since I put into practice what I learned in The Ultimate Travel Writer’s Program and the Money-Making Travel Blogs course. The Ultimate Travel Writer’s Program gave me the secrets of writing articles that make the reader feel she’s living the experience… and how to make the connections that will start the flow of free trip invitations. The Money-Making Travel Blogs course helped me understand the technicalities of building a blog from the bottom up, how to promote it through social media and networking, and how to monetize it. If you have a passion for travel and want to share those experiences through writing, here are a few suggestions to start the ball rolling toward free trips and income once you have your blog built and are ready to go…
- Write several articles about places you’ve already been or places close to home, and post them in your blog. Write them in a voice that sounds like you’re talking to your best friend.
- Promote your blog. Send a message to your e-mail contacts asking them to subscribe to it. Get active in social media, especially Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
- Write to the tourism bureaus of the areas you’d like to write about, asking to be added to their media list. Tell them about your blog, what your niche is, and who your typical reader is. Let them know you’re interested in visiting their area, but don’t outright ask for a comp trip.
- Apply to Google Adsense and affiliate advertising agencies to put ads on your blog. As your blog following grows, your income will grow with it.
Once you’ve established a decent following and continued visitor bureau networking, invitations for trips will come to you, sometimes even without you soliciting them first. Share on Facebook [Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel. Sign up today here and we’ll send you a report, Get Paid to Travel as a Travel Writer, completely FREE.]