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What is a Travel Influencer? How to become a Travel Influencer

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The term Travel Influencer is one that I hear a lot these days…. but what actually is a Travel Influencer and what does a Travel Influencer do for work? Well, a couple of years ago I did some academic research to find out more about this, and this is what I found out…

Travel Influencer. Fashion Influencer. Sports Influencer. Parenting Influencer. Gaming Influencer. Any other type of Influencer… they all essentially do the same thing!

Influencers. They’re everywhere nowadays, and they mean business. But what does it actually mean to be an ‘influencer’? Or more specifically- a Travel Influencer?

Jobs in travel and tourism

What is a Travel Influencer?

It has become trendy to be a ‘Travel Influencer’ or any other type of ‘Influencer’ in today’s society. You seemingly get to travel to a range of exotic destinations, take flawless photographs of yourself wearing fancy clothes and expensive make-up, stay in luxury accommodations for free, fly first class and still have a hefty sum of money in the bank. At least, that’s what some of the top travel influencers lead you to believe…

Many of us are chasing the influencer dream, only to end up disappointed and penniless at the end. But what does it take to succeed? What is a Travel Influencer?

The Travel Influencer: A definition

Well, it seems there is no formal definition of a Travel Influence. At least, not in an academic sense!

If you Google ‘what is a travel influencer’ you will be presented with a number of websites telling you anything but. The most helpful is this thread on Quora, which has a number of explanations presented by random contributors, none of which appear to be of any academic or industry stature.

Here are some of the comments:

‘A Travel Influencer generates quality content and post on high authority or high traffic website.’

‘Travel influencers can promote destinations, services, or products associated with travel by leveraging their social media influence.’

‘A Travel Influencer doesn’t have to have a huge following to be successful. But having the ability to engage with a sufficient number of people is a must. That said, the major role of a travel influencer is to help increase a brand’s profile and engagement. This is accomplished by publishing sponsored posts (either photos or video).’

‘As any other kind of influencer, Travel Influencers focus on creating content about travelling, tourism and culture for their blog or social media. They usually partner up with airlines, travel agencies, tour companies and local businesses on said destinations. Travel photography is also a big part of their content, which usually contains scenery, food or pictures of locals and traditions. Their purpose is to share a passion for travelling and to inspire others to go on their own adventures, or to follow their steps and discover pre-made journeys that they could also participate in.’

A couple of years ago I was sat at my desk whilst working as a University Lecturer (and part-time blogger) and I decided that it was about time that we had a bit more clarity about what a Travel Influencer actually is! And…. I actually wrote a research paper all about it. Now, I won’t bore you with all of the academic jargon and methodologies here, but I will give you a brief background of the literature that I reviewed in order to be able to define the term Travel Influencer.

From my perspective, it all comes down to two main aspects:

  1. EWOM
  2. Reference groups/relationships
virtual tourism

Travel Influencers rely on the concept of ‘E word of mouth’

EWOM, short for e-word of mouth, is big business and it is an important part of a Travel Influencer’s job.

Didn’t like the airline you flew with last week? Name and shame them on Twitter. Had a fantastic time at the holiday resort in the Bahamas? Check in on Facebook and share all of your gorgeous holiday snaps with your friends online. Want to share some important information? Ask your favourite Travel Influencer!

Throughout human history, we have always shared news via word of mouth. This has become so much more powerful since we started doing it online. No longer are we limited to only our own social networks. We now have hashtags, interest groups and targeted advertising. The algorithms used by our social media platforms are designed to facilitate viral EWOM. You only have to look at how many shares, likes or comments a post has received to see that this is true.

The importance of reference groups and relationships to Travel Influencers

When I was studying the background of the Travel Influencer, I also looked at the concepts of reference groups and relationships.

EWOM is all good and well, but we don’t tend to pay attention to just anyone. We form virtual relationships with these so-called Travel Influencers. These might be one-way relationships, in that you feel that you know the person that you follow on Instagram or Tiktok very well, but in reality…. they don’t even know your name.

But that doesn’t matter.

Travel Influencers have facilitated the formation of a new type of ‘reference group’. The concept of a reference group has a long tradition in social history; it is used to understand how individuals identify with and form relationships with other individuals or groups. A common understanding of a reference group is where a group of people or a person has the ability to significantly influence the behaviour of other individuals. Reference groups can be family groups, friends, sporting associates or work colleagues, for example. They can also be a group of people with a shared interest.

In effect, a Travel Influencer acts as the ‘head’ of the social group. People look to him/her for advice and reviews about all things travel related, or simply to follow their activities or opinions. Whilst the Travel Influencer may not be familiar with all of his/her followers, *they* are very familiar with the influencer. This bond facilitates a level of trust, almost like a friendship. This level of trust is difficult to establish through traditional marketing mediums and is why more and more organisations are turning to influencers for their marketing efforts.

Am I a Travel Influencer?

What is a Travel Influencer? How to become a Travel Influencer

Whilst the above gives a brief background into why examination of the concept of a Travel Influencer is important, it still doesn’t answer the question ‘what exactly is a Travel Influencer’.

In summary, a travel influencer is essentially a person(s) who promotes a product, service or company by distributing eWOM through their online digital channels and presence. These digital channels and presence come in the form of:

  • followers
  • subscribers
  • views
  • organic/paid reach
  • domain authority (trust flow etc)
  • search engine optimisation (SEO) 

To put it simply, a travel influencer can thus be defined as;

‘a person who has the ability to influence the behaviour or opinions of others within the area of travel and tourism’.

Interestingly, there is no prerequisite for any set number of followers, views, engagement rates etc, although it goes without saying that these metrics will play a role in how successful you are as an influencer. Quite simply, a Travel Influencer is a person who can influence others, on whatever scale that may be.

How to become a Travel Influencer

What is a Travel Influencer? How to become a Travel Influencer

If you want to become a Travel Influencer there are a few things that you will have to master.

1- Travel Influencers need to be an expert in their field

You could be a general Travel Influencer or you could focus on a specific location (e.g. my friend who blogs at Peak District Kids) or you could have a specific focus, such as Travel Mad Mum who focusses on family travel or The Wise Travellers who focus on sustainable travel.

It doesn’t matter what your exact focus is, but if you want to gain respect from your followers you need to demonstrate that you know your stuff!

2- Travel Influencers need to be good at marketing

I used to hate marketing when I was at college, but ironically that is the industry that I have found myself in recently by becoming a ‘Travel Influencer’!

Travel Influencers will generally become a brand- often their brand is them- it is made up from their personality and viewpoints and by the things that they share.

Many Travel Influencers will work with brands and organisations, such as hotels, credit card companies, tourist boards etc who wish to promote their products and services- this is marketing!

3- Travel Influencers need to be patient

Becoming a Travel Influencer rarely happens overnight. Whether your main platform is your blog or social media (Tiktok, Instagram, YouTube etc), it takes time to build up a following.

Don’t fall for the ‘sub-for-sub’ trap- numbers are not the main things that is important as a Travel Influencer- instead it is how much influence you have. Brands want to pay people who can help them to enhance their own business, whether that is by selling more handbags or hotel rooms or by getting more traffic to their website- just because you have a lot of followers on Twitter, does not mean that any of those people are actually listening to what you have to say! Let your following build naturally and then the followers will be a much higher quality who are more engaged with the content that you produce.

4- Travel Influencers need to master social media (usually)

Being a Travel Influencer usually involves social media. But when social media is your job it is very different from when you might normally use it. No longer should you aimlessly swipe through Instagram stories or Tiktok videos, when you work in social media you need to analyse accounts, key terms, hashtags etc. You need to be strategic and plan what and when you post strategically.

Working in social media actually requires a lot more work than many people realise. It is for this reason that most Travel Influencers will choose what is their main social media account and focus mainly on that. This is because being a YouTuber and an Instagrammer and a Tiktoker (is that what they are called?) and everything else is extremely hard work! It is generally best to do one thing amazingly well than to do lots of things to a mediocre standard.

Making money as a Travel Influencer

What is a Travel Influencer? How to become a Travel Influencer

Whilst some people will choose to become a travel influencer as a hobby, many will look to monetise their influencing methods. This is something that I have also been looking into in recent months and it seems that it can be a very competitive business!

If you’re looking for specific methods of monetising your influencer business I highly recommend you take a course and learn from some of the best. I have had this blog since 2011 (wow, where have the years gone!?), but I find that I still learn new things about blogging and influencing all the time! I have recently signed up for two courses, which have been super helpful in helping me identify suitable monetising strategies and increasing my blog traffic. 

Nomadic Matt’s Superstar Blogging

The first course is Nomadic Matt’s Superstar Blogging. This is a comprehensive course that walks you through all of the stages of turning your blog into a successful business. This is a ten-week programme that is perfect for beginners and more established bloggers (like me). Matt provides lots of details about his course with student reviews etc here- Superstar Blogging

Ready Set Blog for Traffic

I have also been working my way through Elna’s course called Ready Set Blog for Traffic. This is a shorter (and cheaper!) course with a totally different focus. It addresses the two main areas of SEO (search engine optimisation) and Pinterest. When I started my blog back in 2011 SEO wasn’t really a thing and until recently I had never dabbled with Pinterest. I have since found that these are two fantastic ways of driving traffic to your website and I have doubled my traffic in the past few weeks since starting her course! It is pretty generic so suitable for any type of influencer, whatever your niche. You can read more about her course here- Ready Set Blog Traffic

The Psychology of Persuasion

My final recommendation is the book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. This gives an excellent overview of the methods that you can use to influence and is highly recommended amongst many successful influencers! You can find the book on Amazon here

Not only do you need to make sure that you have the right techniques and skills (which you can learn in the courses named above) you might also need to invest in a few things to begin with. Travel influencers who are successful in monetising their blogs do need to invest in their business (if you plan to make money from your blog then you are essentially turning it into a business- Neil Patel’s article is super helpful if you want to know more about this). Common things that influencers spend money on include:

As you will see in my research report, 84% of respondents stated that they would classify themselves as a Travel Influencer, with a significant 10% being unsure. This in itself indicated to me that there is an uncertainty in the air about what a Travel Influencer actually is – hence the need for me to research it!

How to make money as an Influencer

It is clear that there are big Bucks to be made as an influencer, whatever your niche might be. However, it is also true to say that most of us don’t make anywhere close to that amount!

If you’re wondering how much the average travel influencer makes, I have revealed all in this post.

My research found that the top influencers operating in the travel sector earned an average of £30,000 per month. Whilst many influencers claim that it is difficult to be amongst these top earners, others, such as World Travel Family, say that it is actually very easy, if you know how!

Whilst I can only dream of a day when I might made as much as £30,000 a month from my blog and social media accounts (you can give me a break though, I haven’t long finished my PhD and have since been busy juggling full time work with motherhood!), there is lots of information available on how you can make this possible. I have summarised this below for you.

Build a foundation for influencing

You can’t just open up a shop and make money. You need to invest in your business, both in terms of money and time. Cas from Y Travel Blog, for example, states that ‘You can’t build a skyscraper on a one-inch slab of concrete. Build your foundation!‘ This really could not be more true. You ned to be prepared to put in some hard work with little rewards at the beginning. This means spending a little bit of money and probably a lot of time. The rewards will come… it just might not be instant!

There are several key things that you must do in order to build the foundation of your influencer or blogging business and thus to yield an influencer income of up to £30,000 each month!

1- Establish your ‘brand’

You might not think of yourself as a ‘brand’, but that’s effectively what influencers are! And that’s what your followers buy in to!

Some people claim that you need to have a specific niche, whereas others say that it’s easier to keep your blog broad in scope. Elna, from Twins Mommy, knows her stuff about SEO and ranking in Google (which I’ll come to later), and she explains how keeping your niche specific can help you to rank easier. On the other hand, I recently read an article on World Travel Family where they claimed that they felt a little restricted by the title of their blog now that their children were almost grown up and that in hindsight a more generic title may have had more longevity and scope.

So it seems that the consensus is varied and that whether you have a tight niche or whether you keep your blog/ influencer activity more open, you are still in a strong position to make an influencer income.

The important thing is, however, that you have a strong brand.

For many influencers, their brands is simply themselves. Your personality and the way that you share information essentially becomes your ‘brand’. For me, my brand is all about making the most out of life, which I portray largely through my content on family travel, travel in general and academia. I also have two secondary websites which focus on Cabin Crew and TEFL tourism. Whilst my content varies, the brand stays the same- it’s all about getting out there and achieving the things that you want in life.

Many people will choose to represent their brand by using particular logos, colours, fonts etc. I recommend investing a little bit of time into making sure that your styling sufficiently represents your brand. I recently got a new logo, designed specifically for me by a graphic designer.

I also have standardised headers for all of my social media accounts, using my logos. I’m relatively new to Pinterest so I am experimenting with pin designs at the moment, but many people also recommend having set designs that incorporate your branding for all of your pins (I’ll get to why you need Pinterest shortly).

2- Optimise your blog and social media accounts

If you want to turn your blog or social media campaigns into a business and make an influencer income then you need to make sure that it is optimised. Yes, you can do a lot of this for free, BUT this will limit how much you can achieve!

I started out using a free WordPress.com account for this blog. This was absolutely fine at the time as I had no intentions of monetising my writing, it was simply an online journal while I went travelling to keep my friends and family back home updated on what I was doing. Plus, it was 2011- was influencer income even a thing back then?? If it was, I certainly didn’t know about it!

If your intention is to make an influencer income, however, a free WordPress blog is no good. There are a lot of limitations on layout and design and it doesn’t give you the option to put adverts etc on your blog (which is one of the main ways that influencers make money- I discuss this later in the post). Instead, you will need to invest in a hosting provider and migrate/set up your blog using WordPress.org or which ever other platform you choose.

There are lots of host providers to choose from and it can be difficult to know which is best for you! Personally, I am not very technical-minded and I am always finding myself caught out with various different things. Just last week, for example, I couldn’t figure out why my new logo was appearing on a desktop, but not on a tablet! If you’re anything like me, you will want to choose a host that’s both affordable and also available to help you out when you need assistance. My website is hosted through Dreamhost, who have been super helpful and are always there when I need them! You can find out more about Dreamhost and their current prices here.

Once you have a self-hosted blog up and running, you also want to make sure that it looks good and runs fast. This is where your theme comes in. WordPress have a lot of free themes for you to choose from and I would recommend trying some of these out at first to get a feel for what you like and what you don’t like.

I used the free WordPress theme Photolite for years and it worked just fine. But that was it- fine. It wasn’t actually until recently that I found out how important themes are and how my free theme was actually slowing my website down!

Why does this matter I hear you ask? Well, it all comes down to Google. Google wants to provide their users with the best possible search engine experience and so they carefully monitor all websites to assess whether users are likely to have a good experience with them or not. There are lots of different metrics that are taken into account with this and nobody outside of the Google staffroom really knows the exact science behind the algorithm changes, updates and ranking preferences, but what we do know is that a slow performing website is not likely to be highly ranked by Google.

So, this means that if your website is running slowly, you will be unlikely to rank. If you don’;t rank you will have less visitors to your site. If you have less visitors you will be sacrificing your influencer income. It’s as simple as that!

The good thing is that this is an easy fix. Was soon as I became aware of this important fact I started researching the best performing WordPress themes and I found that there was a very strong support amongst the Online community for Studio Press. Studio Press enables you to purchase one of their genesis themes. This is a one-off fee that is pretty reasonable. You can then buy further child themes at a lower rate, starting off at around $30. My website has performed much better since I installed my Studio Press theme and any stats have been gradually increasing each day, I kind of regret not spending a few Pounds sooner! You can find more information about Studio Press themes and their prices here.

For more details on how to set up a blog, I recommend that you visit this post.

3- Set up social media

Once you have your blog set up you want to create and grow your social media channels. Some influencers choose to focus solely on one or two social media channels. There are a lot of Instagram influencers, for example. Others decide to use several.

Believe me when I tell you that having multiple social media accounts across different platforms can be extremely time-consuming! I was pretty lapse at keeping up with my social media until I decided to automate a few things. You will find your own way of doing things that works best for you, but here are the tool tools that I use: Buffer and Tailwind.

I have built up my social media presence over a number of years (yes, this will take you some time!). What I have come to realise in this time is that my followers on my different accounts are actually very different!

On Twitter I have around 25k followers (you can find me here), but my engagement is generally quite low. I am not an expert on hashtags but I have found a few that work for me. My most popular posts on Twitter are, without a doubt, my PhD-related posts such as how to write your PhD faster or Should I do a PhD? 5 reasons for and against. This is largely because of the active community using the hashtag #phdchat.

In contrast, my almost 5000 Facebook followers (click here to join me on Facebook) rarely click on anything academic or PhD related. Instead, they prefer personal status updates about my daughter, travel mishaps or engaging questions. They also love it when I share photos and videos with them.

Instagram lends itself well to travel photography, so it is here that I share my favourite photographs, with an engaging caption. You can’t share links directly in your updates, so this content naturally differs from that that I post on Twitter and Facebook (I’d love to have you follow me on Instagram- you can find me here).

Whilst many travel bloggers won’t necessarily choose to focus their attention on Linkedin, this is one of my most worth-while social media channels. Because of the academic context that I put across in many of my blog posts, I am often able to engage a totally different audience through Linkedin. Here I have fellow academics, students and industry practitioners who read my content. I write my updates in a different voice and tone on Linkedin to what I use on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. If you would like to join me on Linkedin, click here.

As you can see, I have quite different audiences on these different social media channels, who respond differently to different types of content. This means that a one-size-fits-all approach simply does not work. Whilst a status of ‘yes, I did poo in a bush *embarrassed face* which links to my post of the Kilimanjaro toilet experience might be a hit on Facebook, it would be cringe-worthy to share this on Linkedin with my professional colleagues!

As a result, I need to create different content for each of my different social media channels at regular intervals. When this became too overwhelming for me, I decided to invest around £10 a month on Buffer. Buffer is a scheduling tool that lets you connect up to ten social media accounts and to schedule up to 100 statuses for each account. You will need to figure out what is the optimum amount of scheduling for you and your followers, but to give you a guide, this is my breakdown-

Twitter- 3x per day

Facebook page- 4x per week

Facebook group- 3x per week

Instagram- 2x per week

Linked- 2x per week

I also share any new posts and adhoc content in addition to this. If you would like to know more about social media activity amongst travel bloggers, take a look at my research findings, which explains more about average number of followers, frequency update etc.

Whilst these social media accounts to bring in some page views for my blog and do have potential to bring money in (I will cover this shortly), the social media platform with the biggest potential is definitely Pinterest.

If you’re not familiar with Pinterest, then I Will tell you know that you need to become familiar with it! I really lost out by not signing up for Pinterest during my first eight years of blogging, because my traffic has at least doubled since I started using it a few months ago!

Pinterest is classed as a social media platform, but really it is more like a search engine. You create a vertical pin and link it to your content and click share. It’s as easy as that! Once your pin is floating around in Pinterest it stays there for people to click on and repin. In order to make the most out of Pinterest you do need to spend some time managing it, which is why I recommend that you sign up for Tailwind. At only a few Pounds a month, Tailwind has enabled me to schedule all of my pins and to analyse which ones are performing the best, which has allowed me to optimise my pinning schedules. They say that the optimum amount of pins for a new Pinner is around 30-50 a day. This would be impossible to distribute evenly manually, so Tailwind has been a life-saver (the proof is in the pudding, oh-I mean, stats!). For a free trial on Tailwind, click here.

4- Get the know the ‘influencer scene’

The last thing I would recommend in building the foundation for your influencer income is to really understand the business and the market within which you are choosing to operate in.

Get to know other influencers in your niche. What type of content are they posting? What do they seem to be doing well? We can learn from others who are more established than us!

These past few months I have decided to focus more on my blog and I quickly realised that a lot has changed in the business since I first set up my blog in 2011. So I signed up for two courses, which have been super helpful in helping me identify suitable strategies to increase my influencer income.

The first course is Nomadic Matt’s Superstar Blogging. This is a comprehensive course that walks you through all of the stages of turning your blog into a successful business. This is a ten week programme that is perfect for beginners and more established bloggers (like me). Matt provides lots of details about his course with student reviews etc here- Superstar Blogging. 

I have also been working my way through Elna’s course called Ready Set Blog for Traffic. This is a shorter (and cheaper!) course with a totally different focus. It addresses the two main areas of SEO (search engine optimisation) and Pinterest. When I started my blog back in 2011 SEO wasn’t really a thing and until recently I had never dabbled with Pinterest. I have since found that these are two fantastic ways of driving traffic to your website and I have doubled my traffic in the past few weeks since starting her course! It is pretty generic so suitable for any type of influencer, whatever your niche. You can read more about her course here- Ready Set Blog Traffic

My final recommendation is the book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. This gives an excellent overview on the methods that you can use to influence and it highly recommended amongst many successful influencers! You can find the book on Amazon here

Methods of making money as an influencer

Know that you know how to build a foundation for yielding an influencer income, you are probably asking how exactly do you make money?

This is a question that I am asked frequently and one that can be easily answered! In fact, there are lots of revenue streams for influencers. My advice is never to put all of your eggs in one basket, because if you over-rely on one revenue stream and it dries up, this could cause you problems!

This actually happened to me a couple of years back. Whilst I didn’t make a lot of money, I did have a steady stream of sales from my self-published book that I was selling on Amazon- Becoming Cabin Crew. Almost all of the sales came from links that I placed on this blog. At the time I was getting about 1000 views a day for half a dozen posts on Cabin Crew, which converted to around one sale per day. Overnight, however this dropped dramatically. A change to Google’s algorithms had occurred and my posts were no longer ranking as they were. My views plummeted over the course of the next few months, with a low of around 100 a day- a 10th of what they were! This meant that less people were seeing the links to my book and therefore sales dropped (and have never recovered!).

So this is an example of why you should always invest in multiple income streams in order to yield an influencer income that is as reliable as it can be! Here are some tried and tested strategies:

1- Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is when you promote a product for somebody else receive a commission in exchange. If done well, this can be extremely profitable for influencers. There are a wide variety of affiliate programmes that you can join.

Amazon is very popular as it allows you to link to any product on the website. The bonus here is that the reader doesn’t even need to buy the item that you suggest, if they click on your link and then proceed to purchase ANYTHING on the site, then you receive a commission! You can sign up to the Amazon Associates programme here.

Share a sale is another popular affiliate network. This is a company which hosts lots of affiliate programmes from a wide range of merchants. They have categories for most niches including parenting, travel, lifestyle, fashion and sports. The good thing about this network is that they add up your affiliate income from all of the different merchants and give you one flat payout each month. You can sign up for Share a Sale here.

Many individuals will have affiliate programmes for their own products. If you do an online course or come across a blogger with an Etsy store then the chances are they will have an affiliate scheme. Many influencers will offer very attractive commission rates too (the one’s that I’ve seen tend to be 25%-45%).

Depending on your niche, there are often more specific affiliate networks that could work for you and your influencer income too. If you write about travel, for example, you may find that the booking.com and Skyscanner affiliate programmes are good for you.

There are also programmes that don’t offer money but instead offer free subscriptions or discounted services.

The key to succeeding with affiliate marketing is to promote the right products or services to the right people. There’s no point in trying to sell nappies to somebody who doesn’t have kids…. think about what affiliate programmes you join and recommend them in your influencer content genuinely.

2- Place advertisements on your content

Another popular way of making an influencer income is through joint an ad network. When they are first starting out, many people will join Google AdSense. I have never considered joining an ad network until recently, when I signed up for Google AdSense. Whilst some people do claim to make large amounts of money from Adsense, you really do need a lot of traffic to make this happen! I made around £6 last month….

Many people will aim to build up their traffic enough that they will qualify for a higher paying ad network. I certainly know this is my goal. One of the most highly recommended is Mediavine, who require you to have at least 25k sessions per month to be eligible to join. I am monitoring my Google Analytics carefully and I am hoping I will get there soon! I have heard that people have doubled or tripled their Adsense income upon joining Mediavine…. so watch this space!

Another way of growing your influencer income through adverts is to host private sale ads. You can sell banner space, sidebar space or in-text space and agree your own terms and conditions. This can work out to be pretty profitable, although this is more difficult to come by.

3- Sponsored posts

Sponsored posts are essentially posts that include a do-follow- link. This is when companies want to promote their business, usually by ‘buying link juice’. You will likely be approached via e-mail and asked to place a sponsored post on your website for a particular fee. This is usually negotiable.

Whilst there is an ongoing debate about whether influencers should allow sponsored posts on their blogs and what the impact of this might be (remember- I said Google takes lots of things into account when deciding how well your site will rank), many people do choose to do this as a way to make profit. This is one of the areas that I looked at as part of my research.

4- Paid campaigns

Lots of companies run promotional campaigns and will pay you as an influencer to be a part of this. There are lots of different ways that you can be included. Here are some examples:

-Facebook live

-Facebook/Twitter/social media status

-YouTube video

-Blog post

-Instagram photo

I actually recently watched a Netflix documentary about how a bunch of influencers were paid to promote a festival in the Bahamas. I’d recommend a watch if you’re interested! Here is the trailer-

5- Sell your own products

Many influencers make an influencer income from selling their own products. You can create your own Etsy store, Amazon shop, sell physical or digital products or courses, to name a few. I

Developing products to sell can be timely and sometimes it might be more worthwhile to sell somebody else’s through affiliate marketing so don’t think that this is necessarily a ‘get rich quick’ scheme.

When creating and selling your own products you also need to consider marketing. When I launched my first online Cabin Crew course I spent more money on advertising than I made in profits! If you plan to promote your products yourself then make sure that you have the means to do so successfully i.e. sufficient traffic/social media followers.

6- Leverage work from your blog

The last method of making an influencer income that I will outline is to leverage work from your blog or social media platforms. This type of work can come in many shapes and forms and may be adhoc or permanent. Here are some examples-

-Freelance writing for other websites/print publications

-Virtual assistant work

-Pinterest/social media management

-Public speaking

The list of possibilities is endless and will vary depending on your niche. For example, as a University Lecturer I have been asked to write courses and deliver guest lectures, but this wouldn’t be appropriate for everyone. I suggest that you explore the options most applicable to you.

A ‘do-follow’ link is link that search engines crawl and count as votes of quality (according to an article by Raven Tools). Authors of websites like ‘do-follow’ links because it helps to increase their domain authority, in turn ranking them higher in search engine results.

Search engines, Google in particular, try to keep an open playing field for Internet content. They do this by allowing the best websites to work their way to the top, and the worst to fall towards the bottom. But many companies try to play the system. They play the system by paying to have their links added to various websites, often in return for money!

Whether or not you should place links on your site for a fee is a heavily contested topic. There are claims that bloggers and website owners have been penalised by Google as a result of hosting such links. In effect, Google has lowered their page rankings and subsequently decreased their online presence. Other bloggers live off the money that they make from hosting ‘do-follow’ links on their sites.

You may have received requests for a guest post or sponsored post that includes a ‘do-follow’ link. These generally come from marketing agencies, or from individuals who are looking to obtain more ‘link juice’ to their website. Beware of companies offering to provide you with ‘free content’ but not offering adequate compensation. I have seen some bloggers accept as low as $5 for a sponsored post! If this is you I would advise you to be VERY careful as this could have a detrimental impact on your DA score. Read on for more info… 

According to Moz, domain authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score which predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages. Domain Authority scores range from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank. The more ‘do-follow’ links that there are to your website, the higher your DA score.

When placing a ‘do-follow’ link onto a website, the DA score of the host website will determine how much influence the new ‘do-follow’ link will have on the website which is being linked to. In other words, the higher the DA score, the more improvement it will have on the DA score of the website being linked to.

Given this fact, it seems pretty obvious that websites with higher DA scores are more valuable to those wanting to sell links than those with low DA scores.

In my research, I found that almost half of all travel influencers charge for ‘do-follow’ links. The fee charged ranged from £15-£750, with the average being £190.

My data demonstrated that there was a clear correlation between the fee charged for a ‘do-follow’ link and a blogger’s DA score. As the DA score increased, the fee increased.

Now there is no hard and fast rule for how much you should charge for a ‘do-follow’ link on your website, if indeed you decide to charge at all. But I appreciate that it is important to have some guidance to work from. So I put together this fee sheet, demonstrating the average ‘do-follow’ link fees charged by influencers according to their DA score.

‘do-follow’ link

As you can see, those who are just starting out or who have a small blog with a low DA score, do not generally charge a very high fee for a ‘do-follow’ link. The amount charged does increase quickly though! It seems that the sky is no limit when it comes to fees for ‘do-follow’ links, with the highest charge being £750 by a blogger with a DA score in the high 40s.

In my experience, companies will try to entice influencers to include ‘do-follow’ links for free or for very little compensation. Given that the impact could be a decrease in your own online presence, I would personally recommend that you don’t sell yourself short. Charge a reasonable amount or turn the business away. It also benefits the whole influencer community by not driving down fees.

How can I increase my DA score? 

If you want to charge more for a do-follow link, the obvious thing is to increase your DA. The best way to do this is to write useful content that your readers and other bloggers will naturally link to and share. Whilst there are other methods such as link swaps and social media sharing groups, Google is very clever and the bots have their methods of detecting this type of activity. 

Personally, I would recommend that you work on your business plan. To do this, focus on some of the techniques employed by successful bloggers and influencers. These methods are tried and tested – it is always a good idea to learn from the best! 

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