Greetings! I realize it has been a few weeks since my last post and I apologize for the delay in getting new posts up. The life of a travel blogger (especially one like me that does this for fun on the side) is, unfortunately, not all premium cabin travels and champagne. So I figured I would share some insights into what it is like to be a travel blogger.
As many of you know, this site is not a full-time gig for me. I am not one of the few fortunate ones who makes hundreds of thousands of dollars a year off of credit card signup referral links and advertising. And I am OK with that since I actually really do love this award travel stuff. The reviews and redemptions you see on this site are real and I never disclose ahead of time to companies that I am a travel blogger that will be reviewing a product. It’s more realistic that way in my opinion.
For those that are wondering, I do not make a dime off of any of the credit card signup referral links on my site. Instead, I earn the same points bonus that you would as a cardholder if someone signs up through certain of my referral links. All of the ad revenue from the banners and links you see on the site goes towards paying the yearly hosting fees and other fees associated with keeping this site up and running. And that is never enough to fully cover the expenses associated with running this site (though I really and truly appreciate your clicks on the ads on this site as just the click helps generate some expense covering revenue!). And that is true of most of your smaller travel bloggers out there. So if you think being a travel blogger is going to turn you into Scrooge McDuck diving into a pit of money, think again!
I earn my points and miles the same way you all do – through signup bonuses, credit card spend, promotions and regular paid travel. The tips and tricks I write about here on the blog are the same tips and tricks I use to get the best deals on travel. So that brings me to my first point – where to find content?
Where to find content is probably the most difficult aspect of being a travel blogger. There is no shortage of information available online in this day and age, but I also do not want to write exclusively about things that have been extensively covered already by other bloggers. I tend to be pretty active on places like Reddit AwardTravel and Churning and FlyerTalk and that tends to be where I get a large majority of my news from. Other places I get news from include Twitter and the airlines/hotels/rental car companies/whatever themselves via their promotional e-mails. While you guys might send those e-mails straight to the trash or your spam folder, I read every single one of them and the terms and conditions of the promotion looking for loopholes to exploit. It is probably the only time my legal background comes in handy with travel blogging!
(At least the view from the “office” doesn’t suck!)
There will always be a plethora of things in the award travel game to write about, but finding the time to sit down and write out quality posts can also sometimes be difficult. I try to write multiple posts at a time and then schedule them for posting days later so there is new content regularly. But as the only writer for this blog, sometimes my personal life interferes with my posts for the blog. And that is what has happened the past few weeks – my personal life decided to kick my ass and take my focus away from writing. I won’t get into the specifics, but for those of us who do this blogging thing for fun on the side, it is one of the hurdles we run into. Thankfully things have started to settle down and the regular posts should start flowing again shortly!
Then there is the research that goes into posts. I try very hard not to put out “pump and dump” style posts on this site. I want the information here to be useful and relevant and insightful and helpful! Posting up 17 different posts about how the increased signup bonus on a given card is the “best deal ever in the history of the world since the dawn of time and if you don’t get this card now the world as we know it will end” doesn’t really help anyone out. But the posts that do provide quality information take hours and hours of research. And in the case of posts like Using Miles For Star Alliance Upgrades, it actually took several days worth of research and work just to get that post finished. But don’t get me wrong – it’s not that I mind doing the research or the legwork for the posts. It’s just that I never really realized how much time went into quality posts before I started doing this!
For many of you that utilize points and miles for award travel, you start to relax the moment you enter the airport lounge on your way to your destination. For the travel blogger, that signals the start of the picture and note taking on the trip. So what should be a relaxing time away from the office and everyday life, is actually more work. And you get a lot of weird looks from people when you start photographing the food at the lounge, your seat on an airplane, the snack basket in the galley, etc. And I mean A LOT of weird looks. But for me, that is an oddly enjoyable experience. I like fully exploring the lounge, seat, room, etc.
(OK, maybe I get to relax a little when I travel too)
With all of that said though, travel blogging is still one of the most enjoyable and most fun “jobs” I have ever had. I have seen places and met people that 10 year old me never would have thought possible. I have taken the long way many times so I could get extra reviews or have more time on the ground to review multiple lounges at a given airport, simply because I wanted to. I have flown products I otherwise would not have (looking at you Hong Kong Airlines) and uncovered interesting redemptions I don’t think I otherwise would have had it not been for travel blogging.
But the best part? The best part is still receiving the e-mails, Tweets and Facebook messages from people saying thanks for writing any given post because it helped them figure out how to book a dream trip. I love to travel. I have the wanderlust gene. I know what traveling the world has given to me on so many different levels. And I know I am extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to experience what I have. So to be able to help someone else live that experience is just downright awesome. And at the end of the day, that, to me, is what is at the core of being a travel blogger – helping others experience as much of the world as possible.
And if any of this sounds intriguing to any of you and you want to write for The Jet Set Blog, drop me an e-mail @ Adam@ThePointsJetSetter.com with some of your ideas and we can talk about bringing you on as a contributor to the blog! The pay sucks (there is none), but at least you can make your own hours and can include your own referral links in posts to generate some bonus points for future travel!
I love what I do here at The Points Jet Setter. I love being a travel blogger. I love finding the little loopholes and writing the reviews. But most of all, I love interacting with my fellow points/miles enthusiasts and travel junkies. And as someone who is in a profession where I constantly speak with people who are upset with me over something (their legal bill, how long their case is taking, how unreasonable the opposing party/opposing counsel/judge/world is being to their cause, etc.), it is a pretty awesome feeling to know that the information I put out helps others find their happiness in traveling. I know travel blogging is not likely to make me rich, but damn has it been a fun ride so far!
Have any of you ever thought about becoming a travel blogger?
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