This past week I attended Traverse where I met some amazing people, was inspired to travel to exciting places, attended insightful talks and drank a little too much wine. I cannot thank the founders and speakers enough for putting this event together, with the passion for travel evident at the very core.
Here are a few things I took away from my time at Traverse…
1) Authenticity is key
This echoed throughout all the talks I attended and it’s really simple… Just be yourself.
2) Know your niche
I am a travel blogger… okay great work Char but what makes you different? What is my take on travel? Mine is budget luxury for the full-time jobber. Even better!
It’s about giving yourself an identity, knowing what you like and exploring it. Attending Traverse really opened my eyes about the different types of travellers out there. If I’m honest, I just thought it’d be luxury travellers, the backpackers, and families. But there are SO many different takes on travel. We all travel differently, for different reasons and on different budgets.
This also works well for pitching to editors, publications and brands. I learnt that there are SO many publications out there, not just the glossies and tabloids that dominate the media. Lauretta Wright from homeandhorizon.com spoke about finding your niche and approaching a publication by using your said knowledge. The same goes for travel writing, if you specialise in backpacking, you’re not going to write about luxury hotel hopping. It doesn’t add up.
Essentially, when using your nice to approach editors you need to think about what your spin is, what you’re good at, is it timely and is it topical? Does your writing style fit the publication you’re aiming at?
3) Utilise what you are good at
Is writing your forte, perhaps photography is your thing, or maybe just being you is what you’re best at? Whatever content you create or channels you use, there is going to being one which works best for you. Can you monetize from these skills by giving training or consultancy? It’s all about not necessarily being an expert in your field but telling your story and the tools that have worked for you.
4) Success is not defined by money
I attended the ‘Money Too Tight to Mention’ panel with Breeny Lee, Rioch Edwards-Brown, Ronke Lawal and Joy Phiodo.
They determined that success is grown from a place of honesty, it’s about sharing something you know and as long as you stay true to your own personal brand the rest will fall into place. Rioch made a point of being strategic where you place your brand, don’t spam, think about how you yourself would like to approach and be creative!
Breeny and Joy also agreed that knowing what people come to you for is your unique selling point. Your audiences/tribes will seek out your content for a certain thing and if you try something else it may not be the best. However, in the early stages when numbers/stats are low, it’s the best way to experiment and see what works!
Ultimately success is objective, you may place value on the money side or you may see something as successful from engagement. It all depends on you and your own personal success measurement.
5) Personality and Persistence
Inject life into your work. I attended the talk on ‘How to get your book published’ with Amy Baker and it was clear that you need to find your voice. Whether you want to write a book or a blog post, it does take skill to really know what you want to write. Essentially you need to:
Ask for feedback
Not just from your mum or grandma, ask those around you who have no interest in your content. You’ll be able to get an insight in from their perspective
What feels comfortable, real?
Only you will know the answer to this.
Then here comes the fun part, GET ORGANISED.
6) You will drink copious amounts of alcohol
As I’m a 9-5er, I only attended a couple of the evening events but it re-ignited my love for wine and occasional mingling. I went to Traverse solo and if I’m honest I was a little anxious at first but everyone is SO friendly. You just have to be confident, approach others and get over it. A glass of wine will always ease you in any way…
7) You will want to book a trip ASAP
Spain. Hamburg. Hong Kong – EVERYWHERE.
There were so many amazing sponsors who shared details about what their countries had to offer. There is more to Spain than Ibiza and Barcelona (which are both lovely), but being an explorer is about exploring. Next time you’re thinking of going somewhere, think about the road less travelled. It could be right in front of you; history and culture are EVERYWHERE.
8) You will meet some AMAZING people
Traverse wouldn’t exist without all the amazing people who put it together, the bloggers who attend and the companies/brands who kindly host the events. Humans are social creatures, we want to tell stories, so I’d like to thank everyone who shared their stories with me! Also a special mention to Nicole and Gemma who put up with my drunken boat ramblings…
Essentially, when it comes to the world of travel blogging, there is no right or wrong way to do things. Do what feels right for you, have fun, be creative and remember why you started.