Blogging as a Business Travel

How to Start Travel Blogging for a Living || The Travel Tester

How I Started Travel Blogging for a Living: The Full Story (+ Tips for You!)

The Travel Tester exhibits you what it actually takes to turn out to be a full-time blogger.

nlNederlands (Dutch)

Are you curious what it’s like to be a journey blogger? Ever considered turning into one your self? Then this submit is for you. No, I’m not going to inform you to give up your job and ‘get paid to travel the world for free’ and no, I’m not simply posting this text as a result of there’s yet one more running a blog course on sale and I’m wanting to increase my affiliate revenue. All of us hate these posts, proper?

Truly, to be trustworthy, in the intervening time I’m in one in every of my reoccurring running a blog funks (all full-time bloggers appear to have these) the place I’m not positive what precisely my objectives are, who I’m making an attempt to attain, what my mission is and the way I can actually make any significant contribution to this world…

I’ve a thousand concepts on issues to write and tasks to work on, however once I sit down behind my pc, I simply don’t know the place to begin. All the chances are so overwhelming.



I’ve all the time stated that the #1 factor that’s necessary in running a blog is to CHOOSE, to make a determination. It doesn’t have to be the suitable one (you’ll solely know after you’ve made the selection), however not selecting in any respect, and as an alternative making an attempt to do all the things will get you nowhere. However selecting is tough, it’s scary and you actually have to pay attention nicely to your self to know which path to take.

Among the best methods to make it easier to select, I’ve discovered, is to take a step again and to take a look at all the alternatives you’ve made up to now that both labored out for you, or didn’t. See what you loved doing, what introduced you ‘success’ (no matter success seems like to you) and what gave you a feeling of accomplishment.

So when I turned 35 final month, I figured it was a good second to look again a bit myself and write down my complete running a blog journey to see how far I’ve come, beginning at zero.



After virtually 5 years of running a blog as a enterprise, eight+ years of running a blog for enjoyable and in complete over 15+ years of constructing web sites and being on-line, you’d assume I’ve one thing to say about this matter, proper? Properly, let me inform you how this loopy life got here all about and what my largest classes, regrets and pleased moments have been.

I hope this submit will assist not simply me, but in addition you to perceive extra concerning the decisions you made up to now and the chances you could have to do some fairly superb issues sooner or later!

Get a cup of tea, this may take a whereas.


How I Started Travel Blogging for a Living: The Full Story (+ Tips for You!) || The Travel Tester


What we’ll cowl on this article


fase 1 – loving the web

Ever since we obtained our first pc at house within the ’90s, I’ve been a fan of video video games (principally fantasy/journey video games), text- and photograph modifying software program (I do know a good WordPerfect model once I see one) and most of all… the web. Sure youngsters, I’m a type of folks that grew up across the similar time the web did. *ugh* OLD *ugh*.

Round 1995, once I went to highschool, I began studying a little bit of coding (HTML) and commenced making my very own web sites. One website for my uncle’s faculty, one website for my dad’s historic membership, one website for my cousin’s band, one website concerning the X-Information (as a result of X-Information), one fan web site for the Dutch TV-series ‘Expeditie Robinson’ (that later turned ‘Survivor’ within the U.S.) and one website about a journey I used to be planning to Australia… besides that final one by no means went reside.

HAPPY MOMENT: Each time I labored on the web site of my uncle’s faculty, I obtained to select a gadget I needed to have, as they couldn’t pay me in money. That is how I acquired my first point-and-shoot digital camera. I additionally received a therapeutic massage chair later, however by no means thoughts about that.

BEST THING I DID: Studying HTML. Critically, LEARN THIS (the fundamentals are really easy). It has saved me a lot of cash having to spend money on a programmer for my website afterward, as I might simply change little issues within the again finish of my web site myself. I additionally broke a lot of issues due to this, however once more, by no means thoughts about that.

BIGGEST REGRET: By no means launching that Australia web site! Truthfully, a web site isn’t ‘perfect’, or ‘finished’, simply launch and develop from there. Apart from selecting (something!), this may be my largest tip to all aspiring bloggers: JUST START. Make a selection to start, begin writing, begin taking photographs, begin telling your tales and sharing your ideas. Life isn’t good and your web site additionally by no means will. It’s truly higher to get issues on the market when no one is wanting, so you can also make errors and tweak issues alongside the best way with out anybody noticing.

HANDY RESOURCES: Study HTML by means of and launch your personal first web site by way of (not the .com website, you gained’t give you the option to monetize (=earn cash from it) afterward).

Then get a area identify (=the ‘’ half) by way of (or one thing comparable) and internet hosting (=place the place your precise web site information are situated) by means of a website like (I used to be very proud of them, now I upgraded to as I obtained extra visitors, however they’re closing down finish of this yr, so wanting for new internet hosting now).

Then all you want is a easy WordPress theme (=the framework of how your precise web site appears), which you’ll be able to simply get from themeforest.internet (there are additionally many free ones, however I like to recommend paying for a good one which can also be mobile-friendly/responsive) and also you’re prepared to begin!


How I Started Travel Blogging for a Living: The Full Story (+ Tips for You!) || The Travel TesterOur pc state of affairs anno 2003


How I Started Travel Blogging for a Living: The Full Story (+ Tips for You!) || The Travel TesterMe for most of my teenage years – ever questioned how I developed again issues? That is how youngsters, that is how.

I assume it’s associated to the age (round 18), however in highschool I’ve all the time been drawn by (on-line) communities. Individuals with a comparable curiosity who get collectively and speak about simply that matter. I’ve by no means actually been good at ‘just making conversation’ and speaking about my very own life simply for the sake of it, however put me in a room with individuals which might be involved in the identical issues as I’m, and I get power for hours.

Regardless that I caught round a couple communities for some years, in the long run I by no means actually felt completely at residence in them. Not within the Expeditie Robinson Fan Group (I ran a fan web site and took part in a fan discussion board, we went to TV-recordings, hang around with the presenters, crew & members, even went tenting collectively). Not within the Competitors-Winners Group (once I failed my highschool exams, I took courses in simply 2 topics to re-do the exams for a yr and crammed the remainder of my time with getting into on-line competitions. I gained nearly the whole lot and the kitchen sink and sometimes met up with different ‘compters‘ at VIP movie premieres or other shows that we all regularly won tickets to) And not in the Crafting & Swapping Community (people all around the world getting together on a forum about crafting and sending secret parcels to each other filled with haberdashery and fun gifts -it’s a factor)

HAPPY MOMENT: Within the competition-community, I acquired in contact with a lady (Yvonne) who was in a wheelchair and wrote on her web site about her and her husband’s expertise travelling this manner. She was in fixed ache due to her situation and sometimes awakened at night time, not having the ability to sleep. That’s when she began collaborating in competitions. I obtained to meet her and her husband in actual life at some point and she or he was one of the crucial optimistic individuals you’d ever meet. She wouldn’t simply sit at residence, she needed to see the world, it doesn’t matter what!

She actually impressed me to by no means surrender attaining your goals. She additionally made me understand that there’s a cause individuals are drawn to sure communities and people causes could be very totally different than what you might assume at first. For her it was not about profitable as a lot stuff as potential, however about interacting with the group, assembly up, getting her thoughts off issues. I’ll always remember this!

BEST THING I DID: I adopted my passions (the TV-series, the competitions, the crafting/swapping) and actually received invested into the group round it. I additionally let go of them as time handed and didn’t really feel unhappy about that, however to understood that as time handed, your pursuits change and that’s completely effective.

BIGGEST REGRET: Not likely a remorse, as a result of I couldn’t have recognized then, however wanting again I can see why these communities didn’t persist with me: they solely crammed a short-term want, however didn’t deliver me one thing in the long run (the TV-series would finish, I wouldn’t find a way to make investments that a lot time on competitions as I had in that yr ‘off’ faculty and the swapping was nearly getting cool handmade stuff, not likely convey anything into my life).

I can advocate to actually do some soul looking about what you’re really keen about and in addition don’t assume that each pastime you’ve also needs to be (a part of) your enterprise instantly. It typically is best that they keep hobbies and you’ll take pleasure in them for much longer.

HANDY RESOURCES: Do a search on and see what teams yow will discover that resonate with you. Typically these individuals meet up in actual life too, so you’ll be able to see in case you actually join with these individuals or if it’s simply not the appropriate group power for you.


How I Started Travel Blogging for a Living: The Full Story (+ Tips for You!) || The Travel TesterAssembly up with the members and TV-hosts of the present Expedition Robinson (I’m within the again on the left). Pictured within the wine-coloured shirt is presenter Ernst-Paul Hasselbach, who sadly misplaced his life in 2008 in a automotive accident whereas capturing a TV-program.

fase three – taking step one

After (lastly) graduating, I made a decision to apply for instructor coaching school (referred to as ‘PABO’ in The Netherlands) in a little bit of a spur of the second. I reconnected with an old-fashioned pal who signed up to research educating in Amsterdam and with some academics in my household, I type of thought: ‘why not?’ and gave it a go. I actually loved the research these 4 years, met nice individuals and acquired a job supply at a main faculty in Amsterdam proper after: I obtained to take over one of many classed from a colleague that was about to go together with maternity depart. This was round June 2006. My colleague was due in January 2007, which meant I had 6 months free to do no matter I needed.

Hmm… *scratches head*

I acquired behind my pc and one way or the other discovered this previous Australia web site that I’d construct, however by no means revealed on-line. And I began considering: what higher to begin a journey web site/weblog than to write concerning the nation whereas I’m truly there?

Lengthy story brief, I took my mum to a meet-up of a Dutch, Australia-specialized tour organisation, crammed in some varieties, purchased a backpack and stood on the airport in September 2006 with a ticket, a digital camera and… a weblog. Little did I do know then how essential that determination can be for the remainder of my life!

HAPPY MOMENT: I all the time knew that I needed to go to Australia, so I assume standing on the airport (although VERY nervous) was the most effective feeling ever. In all probability not for my mother and father, however I’m positive they’ve forgiven me by now. Proper mother? RIGHT?!

BEST THING I DID: I listened to my intestine and didn’t care I had no one to journey with, no concept what to anticipate or something like that. I simply went as a result of it felt good to me. Greatest. Choice. Ever. By no means have your personal luck depend upon whether or not others be a part of you or not or in the event you’re scared about it a little, simply TAKE THE FIRST STEP and the universe will do the remaining for you.

BIGGEST REGRET: Once I began my first weblog, I by no means thought anybody in addition to my mother and father and a few associates would learn it. Boy, was I improper! I quickly received emails from strangers that adopted my tales and laughed out loud (my writing fashion again then was very humorous/sarcastic, if I can say so myself), or individuals afterwards that advised me they’d by no means missed an replace and even made journey plans based mostly on my ideas.

Nonetheless.. why oh why didn’t I find out about WordPress then (I used to be on ‘Blogspot’ (now ‘Blogger’) then and had to transfer every part over later). However most of all: why oh why did I not stick to this primary weblog and maintain including to it, as an alternative of letting it die after the journey was completed and beginning a utterly new weblog every time I made a new journey later? (After ‘Nienke in Australia’, I had ‘Nienke in Japan’, ‘Nienke in New Zealand’, and lots of, many extra) *slaps face*.

I made it actually arduous for folks that already knew my first web site to discover me for the subsequent journeys and all of the momentum I’d construct on that first journey was now gone and I had to discover new followers over and again and again. I’m at present engaged on including all of my previous blogs into this web site, however that’s a large process and the followers are gone already anyway. SO STUPID!

HANDY RESOURCES: You’re your personal greatest useful resource on this. What’s it you actually need? The place would you like to go? What subjects would you like to speak about? Sit down for 20 minutes or so and simply write down every little thing that comes to thoughts, regardless of how loopy it’s. You may be stunned what comes up!


How I Started Travel Blogging for a Living: The Full Story (+ Tips for You!) || The Travel TesterMaking (VERY critical) plans to journey the world. the dimensions of that laptop computer although! And once more woman, your again from 2018 is hating you proper now!


First time in Japan. EPIC!

fase four – pay attention to the inside voice

After this primary epic journey to Japan and Australia in 2006 (the place, by the best way, I first discovered about Fb to keep up a correspondence with journey buddies, haha, I AM SO OLDDDD!!!), in fact I had to return to Amsterdam as a result of I had to begin engaged on the varsity. And I did take pleasure in it, regardless that the educating was tremendous robust that first yr (the whole lot in life is hard the primary yr, simply so you realize). The second yr, I obtained my very own complete class from the beginning and it was a complete blast. I’ll always remember these youngsters and once I now look again, I feel I did a fairly good job.

I stored spending my free time writing about all my journey experiences on the weblog, at that time referred to as ‘Krookodil op Reis‘ (‘crocodile – croocodile – krookodile) travelling’, since ‘Krook’ is my final identify, get it? GET IT?) and I related with Dutch journey blogger Erik (@aroundtheglobe) who organised a yearly travellers meetup in The Netherlands. I additionally beginning writing some articles for his weblog.

On the finish of the varsity yr in 2008, there have been some modifications occurring on the faculty I used to be working. Principally cash, but in addition a little bit of politics that I don’t actually keep in mind the small print of anymore. Along with being in a relationship that was destined to fail, some friendships that weren’t working any extra and friction at residence, I felt one thing wanted to change.

Someday, in a staff assembly, the director was speaking about a few of employees having to depart due to all of the modifications that have been occurring and whereas my head has deleted the entire level of that assembly, all I keep in mind very clearly is that feeling I had inside actually SCREAMING to me: YOU.NEED.TO.LEAVE. It was virtually as if somebody was speaking to me, so clear was that internal voice I heard. I actually received tears in my eyes, talked about it with my mentor on the faculty, went house and resigned the subsequent day (I feel, or a minimum of fairly quickly after). There was no level arguing. I used to be leaving once more to journey. I’ve by no means been so positive about something in my life after that!

First, I arrange yet one more weblog (as a result of once more, I used to be an fool), then I booked an organised tour with Intrepid ( for one month round South-East Asia (, I booked a Kiwi Expertise move ( to tour round New Zealand and eventually, I booked myself a spot on a small island in Fiji the place I joined a native tribe and discovered spear fishing (story for one other time, however right here is a style on YouTube, sadly the undertaking is not operating in Fiji).

A pair weeks earlier than my departure for that journey I deliberate and booked myself, my brother informed me he was considering of maybe learning in Australia. Lengthy story brief, we ended up reserving a 2-month journey collectively to the Land Down Beneath, proper earlier than my very own second solo-trip would kick off. And that might -again- change every part. As a result of the day we arrived collectively in a hostel in Sydney, we met Nick. And everyone knows how that (by no means) ended.

HAPPY MOMENT: In Fiji, I met a Canadian (Steve) who’d given up all the things he owned, together with his profitable companies to journey the world indefinitely. At some point, we have been standing outdoors the primary constructing on the island, listening to the native Fijians singing/praying earlier than they have been having their dinner. We have been each so emotional that we simply cried like infants about how glad we have been that we had chosen for ourselves and that it doesn’t matter what others say, issues will work out the best way they’re supposed to. It was a very highly effective second and it nonetheless jogs my memory of how necessary it’s to comply with your coronary heart, all the time.

BEST THING I DID: Going travelling with my brother after which altering my journey plans a couple of occasions to meet up with Nick within the subsequent 7 months. Oh, and assembly my parents-in-law solely weeks after Nick and I first met. At Christmas dinner. In Australia with buddies of them I additionally didn’t know. Speak about having religion in somebody!

BIGGEST REGRET: Once I was running a blog as a solo-traveller, I had created this behavior of discovering an web cafe at night time (oh sure, displaying my age once more you youngsters -one didn’t journey with laptop computer then. there was no telephone to be swiped and no snap to be chatted to… I do know, un-buh-lie-va-bal, what did I DO all day?) anyway – so an web cafe at night time to write down my newest adventures onto the weblog.

Due to that, my tales have been in actual time and I additionally wrote extra in diary-style than a lot of the ‘practical’ articles I write today. I actually miss that method of writing (and being sarcastic and (kind of) humorous more often than not) and I’m nonetheless making an attempt to discover a good stability in simply blurting out what I feel and being helpful to readers and respectful to manufacturers and locations I work with (I don’t get away with simply saying one thing is crap any extra, I’ve to clarify why one thing was crap in my eyes and the way it may be totally different once you as a reader visits… yah-dee-yah).

Discovering your personal, distinctive voice is feasible one of many hardest issues in running a blog, belief me.

HANDY RESOURCES: If you need to grow to be a higher storyteller (and if you’d like to turn into a profitable blogger, you have to be), I like to recommend this course by fellow blogger and magic wordsmith Mike Sowden:

In case you are wanting for motivation to write, my good friend Frankie Thompson created this superb ‘WriteNOW Cards’ to assist you alongside:


How I Started Travel Blogging for a Living: The Full Story (+ Tips for You!) || The Travel TesterATG Meetup with Erik and Tikva (@gezinopreis), who I’m nonetheless in contact with lately!


How I Started Travel Blogging for a Living: The Full Story (+ Tips for You!) || The Travel TesterMy brother Reinout and Nick filming in Sydney, I don’t assume we ever watched that footage again… the video high quality have to be superb, haha!

fase 5 – launch & study

Quick ahead to 2011. After deciding my world journey had been adventurous sufficient after 7 months, I returned residence and met Nick ready on the airport with my brother and fogeys who he’d by no means met earlier than (I earlier than the sharks, he earlier than the sharks… Good sharks, in fact, good sharks mum).

I went on to train in Amsterdam for a few minutes after which moved in with Nick in Eindhoven in The Netherlands, the place I taught at an Worldwide Faculty. He graduated as an architect. There was no work in any way. We stated fuck it. We packed every thing up and went again to Australia (by way of India and Nepal) and ended up staying there for 2 years. Go Workforce!

In Sydney I discovered a job in a hostel, the place I labored at reception and bought excursions and actions to the friends. This was a little profitable aspect enterprise (yeah to fee!), which I actually fairly loved. On the finish, I ended up on so many ‘famil trips’ (from ‘familiarization’, a kind of a press journey for journey brokers the place you get to expertise the resorts/actions/excursions that you simply promote), that I needed to share my information with others as nicely… TADAAA: “The Travel Tester” was born.

After launching my weblog, I acquired actually focused on inventory images (=generic pictures of locations/gadgets/individuals which are utilized in advertising supplies/on web sites/and so on.) and skim each factor I might on promoting pictures on-line, in addition to pitching concepts to promote tales & pictures to magazines. That’s principally how I discovered about ‘blogging as a business’ and I started to uncover there was a entire group of individuals making a dwelling out of this.

It was additionally the second I first found Pinterest *insert sounds of angels*. I consumed a lot (SO MUCH) info on branding, monetizing, writing and search engine marketing and a entire new, fascinating world began to slowly open up to me.

HAPPY MOMENT: Each time I bought the ‘mini travellers‘ pass for the Greyhound bus (the same ticket I used in 2006 to go on my own trip along Australia’s East coast), I felt so sensible and well-travelled and pleased that these individuals acquired to expertise what I had 5 years in the past.

BEST THING I DID: I FINALLY began self-hosting my web site, opened up a WordPress account, registered a correct area identify. Every thing I ought to have carried out …nicely, about 5 years earlier.

BIGGEST REGRET: Two issues: To start with I didn’t spend sufficient time researching internet hosting choices and went for, which gave me the worst customer support and all of the down-time (=time your web site is offline) of the universe.

Second of all, I ought to have actually invested in a correct theme for my website. I had my brother design a website that seemed precisely what I needed then, however it might have saved each of us a lot of time to simply purchase a strong template. The design in the long run is way much less necessary than the content material of your website, particularly at first, so simply get one thing respectable to begin with and don’t faff about. (Faff. Is that a phrase? I feel it’s. Cease faffing about you guys! Get writing as an alternative!).

HANDY RESOURCES: The inventory images / journey writing web site that I discovered first doesn’t exist anymore, however was re-branded to:, they now have many programs and are a nice useful resource to begin your journey.

Aside from that… GET ON PINTEREST NOW (it’s by no means too late)! That is my account to get concepts: (sure, I additionally began from zero!) and that is my Pinterest course I created years later:, which I’m up to date frequently.


How I Started Travel Blogging for a Living: The Full Story (+ Tips for You!) || The Travel TesterBlogging from the hostel the place I labored… The Funk Home!

fase 6 – assembly like-minded individuals

Australia had a lot, however after two years not every little thing we would have liked at that second in life, so we gave away most our belongings and moved again to Europe in February 2013. That’s why you all the time purchase Ikea once you transfer overseas youngsters, so you possibly can then purchase the identical gadgets you’re hooked up to out of the country once more and fake nothing has modified, besides the climate.

As luck would have it, I got here throughout the supply of one other journey blogger promoting his ticket to this ‘blogging conference’ that was going to occur in Rotterdam in The Netherlands in Might. I had no clue what it was, nevertheless it sounded fascinating, however I wasn’t positive it was one thing for me. It appeared very skilled and I’d actually solely simply heard about individuals utilizing their blogs to generate profits and all of that and I hadn’t wrapped my head across the logistics of all of it but.

Round this time, I’d been in touch with Brooke (@herpackinglist) about being a part of the Pinterest ‘Pin’ workforce for her web site and since she was going to converse at this convention, I requested her if she’d assume it will be value it for me as a beginner to tag alongside. “YES! OF COURSE!” She stated. It’s particularly nice for newbie bloggers and also you’ll study a lot. So I went. I booked a hostel, made my first blogger good friend there in Julika (@sateless-suitcase) and collectively we walked to the convention, being all nervous and giddy about assembly all these ‘famous’ bloggers like Adventurous Kate.


This convention modified the whole lot for me (I do know I say this a lot, however it did!) I discovered a lot from all of the panels and workshops, had such a good time speaking about nothing aside from running a blog and journey and met some unimaginable people who turned buddies through the years and I might find yourself engaged on many cool tasks with, like Kash @budgettraveller, Keith @velvetescape, Melvin @traveldudes, Michael @timetravelturtle, Sarah & Terry @livesharetravel, Alastair @mechtraveller, Francesca @viaggiaredasoli, Frankie @asthebirdflies, Sebastian @ofthepath, Bjorn @thesocialtraveler, Laurel @monkeysandmountains, Leyla @womenontheroad, Lucy @voyagesetvagabondages, Yishene @smallcrazy, Kerwin @passrider and Elena @creativelena (and doubtless many extra that have been there, however I forgot to point out!).

HAPPY MOMENT: Going reside on Dutch radio (twice) with Kash and speaking concerning the running a blog enterprise like I knew what I used to be doing, haha. I so did NOT, however then once more, again then no one actually knew what bloggers the place, so there’s that.

BEST THING I DID:  Going to my first blogger convention was the only most necessary factor I ever did to flip my weblog into a enterprise. You possibly can solely study a lot by yourself, you NEED to go our there to perceive the business, the necessary gamers and to make significant connections. It’s scary, however completely crucial. Oh, and it could possibly truly be enjoyable as properly 😉

BIGGEST REGRET: I want I had a higher concept of what my weblog was about (clear imaginative and prescient on who I used to be serving to with what) and I want I had understood the significance of treating my weblog as a enterprise. That idea took me years to grasp, as a result of I used to be studying so many new issues on the time it dazzled me. If I might return in time, I might pressure myself to sit down and write a marketing strategy. Simply something. You possibly can all the time change and tweak it later, however you want to begin someplace! Focus!

HANDY RESOURCES:  Listed here are some good recommendations on creating a weblog marketing strategy:,

I can HIGHLY advocate signing up for Fizzle (, a group, podcast and on-line course web site with video programs on making what you are promoting stand out, defining your viewers, google analytics, twitter, podcasting, utilizing WordPress, creating efficient and interesting content material, constructing an e mail record, productiveness, aim setting, affiliate marketing online, video, launching a course/product, running a blog and even journaling to discover focus.

One other nice course is The Blogger Course ( by ‘The Travel Hack’ Monica Stott. This final course additionally has a FANTASTIC Fb group the place you’ll study a lot from, extremely advocate it!


How I Started Travel Blogging for a Living: The Full Story (+ Tips for You!) || The Travel TesterTBU Rotterdam, what a blast! Additionally, my hair was SO brief then (am the one with the brown boots)


How I Started Travel Blogging for a Living: The Full Story (+ Tips for You!) || The Travel TesterHappening the Radio with Kash

fase 7 – community or die

Nick and I had moved to Amsterdam in 2013, the place I discovered a job at a massive hostel within the Amsterdam Vondelpark. By this level, I didn’t really feel like going again to educating youngsters any extra. I noticed I favored studying and creating myself greater than truly educating others on topics I already knew. I principally received stressed. Time to do one thing else! Nick was struggling to discover a job as an architect and would achieve this for the subsequent 7 months, which was all the things however motivating for him, to say the least.

After which I obtained my first ever invitation for a blogger journey. By way of bloggers Terry & Sarah Lee, who I met at TBU Rotterdam, I used to be launched to the stunning Elena (@creativelena). I’d missed the chance to speak to her at TBU, however now she was organising a journey to her residence city in Austria and she or he had a spot left as a result of somebody cancelled. One way or the other, I used to be thought-about, nonetheless unsure why, nevertheless it occurred. In my wild enthusiasm, I instantly booked a flight to Vienna (I discovered later that really on press journeys, the organizer pays for your flight, haha) and off I went. It was a incredible journey and I felt like a Queen in a fancy lodge, consuming fancy meals and doing all these cool actions. Nice first press journey expertise, I’d say!

A pair months later, I acquired an e-mail invite from the German Vacationer workplace if I needed to take part within the #YouthHotspotsGermany marketing campaign. It turned out to be a combined blogger and journalist journey (by no means a good concept, however that’s a story for one other time) and somebody thought it was doable to ship us to the cities of Hamburg, Bremen as Berlin in three days. It wasn’t. Additionally they put us in probably the most uninspiring hostel on the edge of every metropolis and forgot that bloggers would wish WiFi to truly do the reside social media updates we have been requested to do. The truth is, the attending woman from the tourism board requested us why we have been on our telephones on a regular basis and we had to clarify to her what Instagram was. *facepalm*.

Nevertheless it was considered one of my first press journeys, every little thing was paid for and I discovered a lot, so I can solely be grateful for that at this level in life, however I shortly discovered that press journeys can are available all totally different styles and sizes and you actually have to get up for your self, do your analysis and ensure all the things is taken care off, earlier than you allow and even say sure to the invitation.

Initially of October in 2013, I had came upon about one other running a blog convention referred to as TBEX (Travel Blogger Change). It was going to be held in Dublin in Eire and since I’d by no means been there, I booked a ticket, flight and went with an open thoughts. I reconnected with most individuals I met earlier that yr in Rotterdam and had, once more, the time of my life.

It was for the primary time that I noticed that these have been ‘my’ individuals. This was the group I’d all the time been wanting for. It was so inspiring simply being round all these individuals working their asses of to create a life they liked, it blew my thoughts a bit. So when there was one other weblog convention in Italy referred to as TBDI (Travel Blogger Vacation spot Italy) two weeks later, I didn’t even blink and made positive I used to be there as properly. Once more there have been some acquainted faces and friendships grew stronger!

In the meantime, Nick acquired a job supply in London and at that time was so fed up ready and making use of for jobs he stated sure and moved inside the span of a week. I adopted three weeks later, after ending my job on the hostel in Amsterdam. Proper on the time of our transfer, a huge journey commerce present referred to as WTM (World Travel Market) was on in London. I used to be nonetheless on a excessive from TBEX and TBDI that I just about went straight into a week of press conferences, networking occasions and a entire lot of events. I didn’t need to miss a second and was all the time the final individual to depart the celebration. Nick wasn’t too completely satisfied about that, understandably, however I simply felt that I wanted to be there, or I might miss out, or one thing. And it was the perfect factor for my enterprise I might have accomplished.

Earlier than the top of the yr, I secured one other press journey after assembly somebody at WTM, this time to Puglia in Italy, with fellow bloggers Dylan (@thetravellingeditor) and Sophie (@oohmyworld), together with another journalists. The journey was round meals and was simply a good finish of an unimaginable, life-changing yr.

HAPPY MOMENT: Being invited for that first press journey meant a lot and it got here immediately from being on the occasions and connecting with individuals. Even the truth that my unique flight received cancelled whereas I used to be already on the gate and I had to actually RUN again to the check-in desk to ensure that I used to be on the subsequent one, this was such an unimaginable expertise. I’ll always remember it. Perhaps additionally as a result of sauna was a part of this system. Which in Austria is bare. Or: how to make buddies shortly. Yeah.

BEST THING I DID: I invested time, cash and all my power (I’m an introvert, should you didn’t know) in attending all of the totally different conferences, making enterprise playing cards, media kits and working towards my pitch. All these social and networking occasions actually paid of at first and I feel as a newbie blogger, getting on the market and making buddies is among the neatest thing to do for your corporation.

BIGGEST REGRET: No actual regrets I feel, for me personally, 2013 was a fairly good yr for science. I simply want Nick had extra success with discovering work although, as a result of 2013 for him was something however thrilling and we have been in utterly totally different states of thoughts.

HANDY RESOURCES: Whereas TBEX has gotten a little bit of a dangerous rep through the years, I nonetheless assume that as a newbie blogger, you’ve to begin someplace and these conferences are a good place to begin, so take a look at (they’ve conferences in North-America, Europe and Asia).

That stated, I might advocate Traverse ( over TBEX although (particularly should you’re based mostly in Europe), because it’s fairly a lot smaller and there’s extra of an present group already, as they cater to each newbie as established bloggers, so there’s a nice combine of data.

Additionally PING Helsinki ( and the Nordic Bloggers Expertise in Helsinki ( are nice.

In the event you’re already a pro-blogger, then the Social Travel Summit ( is the place to be.

And don’t overlook to take a look at blogger conferences in different niches (assume: Professional Blogger, The Hive, Meet the Blogger, Blogtacular, BritMums Reside, and so forth. There are a million of them, simply do a Google in your area of interest!)

Different good networking occurs at Travel Large (, all around the globe. In case you’re a bit additional alongside in running a blog and would really like to attain out to manufacturers, then World Travel Market in London ( – additionally somewhere else on the planet), ITB in Berlin ( and IMM Worldwide Media Market ( are nice locations for you.

To get on press journeys, do the networking at these occasions, create a media package (do a google, there are lots of on the market as examples) and be a part of the next teams: Skilled Travel Bloggers Affiliation ( and EWE Travel Press Journeys ( or Travel Blogger Press Journeys (, for instance. However once more, the most effective methods of getting invites is to get on the market and community with individuals IN PERSON.


How I Started Travel Blogging for a Living: The Full Story (+ Tips for You!) || The Travel TesterOn my first ever press journey! Oh the thrill! (and sure, the one photograph I’ve of myself on this journey is that this blurry one, haha)

fase eight – determining how to make it work

2014 can greatest be described as a curler coaster and I discovered some exhausting classes on what the true lifetime of a journey blogger is actually like. Let’s begin by saying that at this level I used to be making no to little cash out of running a blog. My essential revenue was a nanny job paying £9 an hour and the remainder of my time was spend writing articles for a meals tour firm for £35 and weblog posts alone web site for, nicely… nothing. I dabbled a bit in associates and sponsored posts, however greater than £100 a month I wouldn’t say I created from that both. But I used to be considerably ignorantly bliss about it. I beloved the writing, modifying, speaking about journey and creating content material. I simply didn’t actually have a marketing strategy to go together with it.

After which I obtained invited on my first ever iambassador marketing campaign (iambassador.internet) to Canada, which was a HUGE deal. Iambassador is a community of professional journey bloggers working with manufacturers and locations on huge advertising campaigns. On the time they invited me, I had solely simply handed 4000 distinctive guests a month, so I knew the uncommon alternative this was and I knew I had to step up my recreation and do properly to show I used to be value it.

Whereas for the individuals again house, this journey maybe confirmed as ‘just another fun trip’, I knew this is able to be an necessary ‘career move’, so to say and I discovered a lot from my journey buddies Keith from @velvetescape, Melvin from @traveldudes, Becki from @bordersofadventure and cameraman Caspar from @storytravelers.

Upon returning, I discovered that I used to be truly additionally getting paid on prime of the free ski-trip to Canada and but once more, I used to be amazed. I might truly do that for a dwelling?! In fact I understood that getting a cost / every day charge on prime of a press journey isn’t commonplace and on a few of my subsequent journeys I had to work arduous to justify my time overseas.

However I quickly discovered to be artistic. On an unpaid press journey to Luxembourg, I bought a set of 20 photographs. On a journey to Austria and later to Cardiff in Wales, I obtained Nick to journey with me to stability issues out. To Malta I travelled instead of another person and obtained a day by day charge for writing articles for their website. There have been all these prospects of creating this work, even with my very own website being nonetheless pretty small!

One other massive occasion this yr, was that I used to be requested to converse on the running a blog convention ‘TBU’ in Nantes, France about Pinterest. I did two periods, one for bloggers and one for business and I beloved it, it truly went fairly nicely. Turning into a speaker is such a great way for you to get observed and seen as a skilled blogger, that I extremely advocate it.

Whereas issues have been going alright, my go to to the TBEX running a blog convention in Athens on the finish of 2014 did make me understand that I nonetheless had a great distance to go. In a dialog with Terry Lee (who I met on that first ever running a blog journey to Austria), he defined the significance of getting a strong marketing strategy and ensuring I received paid for what I used to be value. As a result of, in his pretty phrases, ‘nobody is going to look after you but yourself. If anything happens, you’re screwed. If Nick handed away, you’re going to be an previous woman, alone together with your cats, however with no cash left’. Cheerful, proper? Haha, nicely truly this was precisely what I wanted to hear. It did make me cry (I cry very simply, thoughts you), however that was as a result of I noticed that not solely did I wanted to change some issues to make more cash now, but in addition simply how a lot I needed this new way of life to work out and hold working for me in the long term.

Simply to put issues in perspective: from the full of 11 blog-related journeys I took this yr…

  • 2 have been conferences I had to pay cash for to cowl transport and lodging (ITB Berlin and TBEX Athens)
  • 1 was a convention I spoke at and all the things was coated (TBU Nantes)
  • 1 was a convention I obtained hosted for, however had to pay for transport (Nordic Blogger’s Expertise in Helsinki + post-trip to Tallinn)
  • 2 have been unpaid press journeys I travelled solo to, however every little thing was coated (Luxembourg Metropolis in Luxembourg and Cesenatico in Italy)
  • 2 have been unpaid press journeys the place Nick joined me and every little thing was coated (Vienna in Austria and Cardiff in Wales)
  • three have been paid campaigns, on prime of the truth that the whole lot else was coated (Canada and Malta with iambassador and Senigallia, Italy with TBnet, an Italian blogger community)

So I spend extra time on journeys that both value me cash or simply coated my bills, quite than engaged on tasks that really introduced me cash to reside off. On the finish of the yr, it was time for one other World Travel Market. This yr, I had a higher media package, a higher pitch, higher connections and a higher concept of what I needed. Slowly, however regular, I began to study the ropes of this bizarre, however fantastic enterprise.

HAPPY MOMENT: I used to be so extremely grateful of being invited on the Canada journey and getting the prospect to not solely show my value, but in addition journey with four individuals I had tons of respect for, that almost day by day sooner or later I had to make a run for the toilet as a result of I couldn’t maintain in my tears (completely happy tears, once more: I cry simply). I knew then and there that this life can be my job and this job can be my life. I simply had to work out a means to make it worthwhile and ‘sell’ this concept to Nick as nicely…

BEST THING I DID: Pay attention to Terry Lee. We should always all pay attention extra to Terry Lee, to be trustworthy 🙂

BIGGEST REGRET: I had so many press journey alternatives, however virtually by no means requested if these individuals had an additional finances to work with on prime of masking bills alone. There was SO MUCH cash left on the desk over the previous few years and the one one to blame is myself, as a result of I by no means requested.

HANDY RESOURCES: You’ll find all the teachings I discovered from running a blog conferences that I visited within the final 5 years on the weblog, in addition to a video of me behind the scenes of a weblog journey and my recommendations on how you need to strategy running a blog conferences. Hope it’s helpful to you!


How I Started Travel Blogging for a Living: The Full Story (+ Tips for You!) || The Travel Tester#LoveWinter Marketing campaign in Canada. The Greatest!

fase 9 – leaving a mark

2015 was the yr I began doing issues a bit in a different way. I stated no to a lot of unpaid work, and I ended up happening 13 journeys, of which:

  • 1 was an unpaid press journey with every thing coated (to Hadrian’s wall within the UK with English Heritage)
  • 5 have been paid campaigns on prime of every thing being coated (Germany twice by means of iambassador, The Netherlands via the #MustLoveFestivals challenge, Paris for the NS, a Dutch practice firm and Dublin via iambassador once more)
  • 1 was a convention I had to pay every little thing for myself (ITB Berlin)
  • 2 have been conferences the place I used to be invited to converse and acquired coated bills (TBEX in Costa Brava, Spain and TBDI in Rimini, Italy)
  • 1 was a convention the place I used to be invited to converse and received a payment on prime of coated bills (Meet the Blogger in Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
  • 1 was a convention the place I helped the organisers out and received coated bills (STS in Hamburg, Germany)
  • 2 have been a ‘REAL’ vacation with Nick that we paid for -yes- ourselves (a weekend to the New Forest in England and a week to New York)

See the shift right here? Whenever you begin saying NO to issues that don’t pay, you’ll make area for issues that do pay you… and also you’ll have time left to truly take a trip. As a result of PRESS TRIPS ARE NOT A HOLIDAY.

One other shift I made, was that I had developed the identify of ‘Pinterest Queen’ (though I nonetheless hate that identify) after rising my very own account to over half a million followers (with assist to: 1. my very own habit 2. a collaboration with Lonely Planet three. a function by Pinterest themselves…) and that this matter received me to converse at fairly a lot of conferences, the place I might then do the networking for free.

I can HIGHLY advocate choosing one matter to grow to be an skilled in / recognized for (could possibly be associated to your weblog, comparable to ‘adventure travel’, however may be running a blog associated, reminiscent of storytelling or images, or social media, and so forth, something goes!), so you possibly can train others about it. You’ll get sick of the subject itself, belief me, however it does allow you to develop your identify, your enterprise and get many extra alternatives than should you unfold your self too skinny.

This yr, I additionally began working as a blogger outreach advisor for Expedia, which was nice! I acquired to search for an invitation Dutch and Belgium blogger to write content material for the Expedia web site (in Dutch), and had a lot of enjoyable doing that. It was tremendous versatile (I principally labored from house) and I acquired to ship work to a few of my running a blog colleagues, which is all the time nice!

In 2016, I additionally lastly began working with an assistant for my, then virtually 10, Pinterest shoppers. I needed to develop the enterprise, however it was clear that I couldn’t do it alone. Jenna (upandawaymedia.internet) turned out to be superb and is taking good care of a lot across the Pinterest enterprise, that I’ve time to work on different tasks.

For the entire yr, I ended up happening 11 journeys (not together with journey to and from my household in The Netherlands), of which:

  • 2 have been conferences I used to be invited to converse and received hosted (TBEX Stockholm, Sweden and STS Inverness, Scotland)
  • 1 was a convention I acquired invited to and was a hosted blogger, nonetheless paid for transport myself (NBE Finland)
  • 1 was a convention I received tickets for, however paid for my very own transport and lodging (Traverse in Cardiff, Wales)
  • 2 have been paid campaigns on prime of every little thing coated (Paris with Nick to write on the location of our good friend Kash @budgettraveller and solo to Grado, Italy with TBnet)
  • 2 have been REAL holidays that we paid for ourselves (weekend to Glasgow, Schotland and Austria to go snowboarding with Nick and his household)
  • 1 was an unpaid press journeys the place Nick might be a part of me and the whole lot was coated (Okinawa, Japan on invite of the vacationer workplace)
  • 2 have been unpaid press journeys that I used to be invited on solo, every part was coated (Northern Eire as a part of the STS convention and Goa, India with a volunteering firm and the tourism board)

It appears although that there are all the time a most of two years the place I do issues in a comparable method, at the beginning shakes up once more and modifications utterly, so let’s transfer on to the ultimate 2 years of this journey, in case you’re nonetheless there with me!

HAPPY MOMENT: For me, it was actually essential that I acquired the help of my household and particularly Nick on my running a blog journey. In fact, they have been a bit skeptic at first, once I began incomes from my weblog, they noticed it was truly one thing sustainable. I really like that Nick is now pals with most of my running a blog associates, that he goes alongside to some community occasions and even conferences and that we will speak about the way forward for the enterprise collectively a lot. He even went on a couple of press journeys and weblog campaigns with me, which is in fact superb. I’m so fortunate!

BEST THING I DID: Whereas I’m all the time wanting to create revenue instantly from and across the weblog, I feel it’s sensible to concentrate on as many revenue streams as attainable. With one greater shopper that may cowl the payments (Expedia in my case), I might focus all my additional time on experimenting and gaining further revenue on issues reminiscent of associates, product critiques and campaigns, which aren’t common revenue at first, however require a while to develop.

BIGGEST REGRET: On the finish of 2016 I had extreme again issues, that I had to get an MRI to see what was incorrect. They couldn’t actually discover something, however I took fysio and signed up for the native health club to do train and much and plenty of yoga and Pilates and it helped me a lot. At one level I couldn’t even stroll, so dangerous was the ache, however when you see me now, that’s utterly totally different. I’m nonetheless cautious with my actions and principally my sitting positions when working behind the pc, however issues are a lot better. I remorse for not taking good care of myself sooner, as a result of your well being must be prime precedence!!

HANDY RESOURCES: When you’re not prepared to begin hiring employees, the very first thing you are able to do to create extra time is to schedule your life. Schedule Twitter & Fb with Buffer ( and Pinterest & Instagram with Tailwind (, schedule your weblog posts with CoSchedule ( and schedule your e mail newsletters with MailChimp (

Rising what you are promoting additionally signifies that you want to develop your cash mindset. Three of my most favorite assets to assist me with this are: (all about cash mindset for ladies), (cash mindfulness, very sensible course, beloved it!) and (getting higher at accounting and funds normally).


Nienke Krook Speaking - The Travel TesterTalking on Stage… Terrifying, however nonetheless enjoyable to do!How I Started Travel Blogging for a Living: The Full Story (+ Tips for You!) || The Travel TesterNick and I in Okinawa, Japan with the blogger crew, one among my greatest press journeys to date!

fase 10 – increasing the enterprise

2017 and the primary half of 2018 glided by so quick, I don’t assume they even occurred, however to sum it up, I’ve been travelling to one other nation just about each single month and went from feeling on prime of the world and completely in management to fairly low to the bottom and contemplating a profession change at numerous occasions all year long. Not solely enterprise clever, but in addition as a result of within the 10 years since I met nick in 2008 (wayoo!), we’ve lived overseas for most of that point. I’m horrible in maintaining in contact (with anybody, for that matter) and also you simply begin to understand that you simply don’t actually know what your family and friends undergo again ‘home’ and you may’t be there for them at occasions once they may want you probably the most, and that’s arduous!

Apart from from many journeys forwards and backwards to the Netherlands for birthdays, weddings, infants, sick grandma’s and common catch-ups, I’ve travelled principally in Europe: Austria, Germany, Spain, Italy, Wales, Belgium, Luxembourg, Finland and Iceland and even WON two journeys at networking occasions (one to Fiji, the place we additionally tagged on a go to to one other ‘home’: Sydney) and Morocco (that we’re doing in a few month’s time). There’s additionally a journey to Northern Eire, Sri Lanka and a handful of UK journeys nonetheless on the calendar earlier than the top of this yr.

The largest change lies in the truth that I not work with Expedia (due to some inner modifications, such a disgrace, liked working there!), however quickly discovered a good match in area media firm ‘Space Nation’, of which you could have been already studying a lot about on this web site. Listed here are all of the articles in a single place:

This firm is wanting to make area journey obtainable to everybody and have a greater mission of creating life on earth (and past) higher by focusing not solely on the technical points, but in addition on the physique, thoughts and social expertise of the area travellers of the longer term. I’m writing articles for them (on, handle their Pinterest and Twitter accounts and am a basic ambassador for their firm.

Some of the superb journeys I’ve completed in my whole running a blog profession goes to Iceland with Area Nation. We travelled within the footsteps of the Apollo astronauts that did their subject coaching right here within the 1960’s and we climbed volcanoes, went paragliding, did survival missions, drove a mars-rover and even rescued somebody from a cave within the worst climate you’ve in all probability ever seen. This journey might be was a net collection (launching in September 2018 – preview right here) and it was EPIC.

Although Area Nation, I noticed that I’m A) truly not that horrible on digital camera as I all the time thought I used to be and I would like to do extra video B) I beloved working in a workforce for the primary time ever and C) I discovered a new ardour in area/tech/geeky subjects and would love to incorporate that extra on the weblog!

One other massive change is that I began engaged on one other ardour challenge of mine, which is ‘The London Tester’ (, a web site serving to Dutch travellers plan their journey and/or relocation to London or the remainder of the UK, Eire and the Channel Islands. Sure, it’s one other challenge that I truly ought to have began 5 years in the past once I simply moved to London, however higher late then by no means and I already see some nice outcomes from the location, so I’m undoubtedly planning to keep it up and develop it additional.

A final undertaking I’ve been actually engaged on extra within the final years is product evaluations. I completely love testing (web site’s received a nice identify for that already) journey gear, particularly backpacks and clothes, and I feel there’s a lot I can do with that on the location, aside from writing about locations alone.

All collectively, I might say that I’m on the level that I’ve so many tasks I’m engaged on, that I can’t hold doing this all on my own. I want to begin turning into extra sensible in investing a part of my revenue in hiring assist to produce content material, create video, and so on. There’s a lot potential for progress, however provided that I get extra arms on deck. How I can organise that greatest is one thing I’m at present engaged on and I’m undoubtedly not a person who likes asking for assist and giving issues out of hand, however I’ll want to so as to not solely develop the enterprise, but in addition to maintain sane on the similar time 🙂 I’ll hold you posted on this.

HAPPY MOMENT: This yr, a marketing campaign I labored on with Go to Britain, Go to England and iambassador (The ’24 Hours in Britain’ Marketing campaign) gained a prestigious prize on the World Travel Awards. Not solely can I now say that I’m an ‘Award Winning Travel Blogger’ (which all the time seems to be good in your media package), however it was undoubtedly a workforce effort that I used to be fortunate to have been in a position to do with some nice running a blog pals. I might love to work extra on some artistic campaigns like that sooner or later!

BEST THING I DID: As a result of I’ve been engaged on Pinterest for so lengthy and have grown a robust account, in addition to a lot of concentrate on optimising my web site for web optimization, I used to be in a position to enroll for promoting company ‘Mediavine’ ( for their advert program. This now brings in a massive chuck of my revenue each month, which I can use to develop the enterprise even additional.

BIGGEST REGRET: I don’t assume that within the final 1,5 years I’ve had many regrets, however I do want typically that I’m extra targeted and dealing on a clearer aim. Working from residence asks that you’re very self-disciplined and whereas for probably the most half I’m, I do assume that I may be far more environment friendly within the work I do and sometimes am too straightforward on myself, pushing essential duties ahead, not ending sure issues once they get a little bit to troublesome and get out of the best way of confrontation as a lot as potential.

If I actually need to turn out to be extra critical as a business-woman, then I additionally want to work on issues I don’t like or am a bit scared about. Work in progress, I assume!

HANDY RESOURCES: I consider that as a blogger, you’re by no means accomplished studying new issues, so I can extremely advocate to hold going to conferences, networking to study from fellow bloggers and taking over on-line courses.

One in every of my favorite web sites for that is Artistic Stay (, the place you possibly can watch courses about just about any matter reside for free (!) after which you should purchase the course + different supplies afterwards for those who favored it. They’ve programs on WordPress, Webdesign, Images and every thing associated to cash & enterprise, corresponding to: Time Administration, Advertising, PR, Branding, Podcasting, Freelancing, Launching and Creating a Enterprise.

One other nice useful resource for that’s Masterclass (, the place a few of the prime business leaders share their information with you. For instance, take a class on Investigative Journalism from Bob Woodward, writing from James Patterson or Malcolm Gladwell and take a class on Images from Annie Leibovitz.

I additionally advocate listening to enterprise podcasts similar to: What She Stated, The Fizzle Present, Braveness and Readability, Sensible Passive Revenue, Naptime Empires… if you realize any others, I’m eager to hear about them!


66 Degrees North Clothing Review: Soft Shell Jacket Women: 66 North Snaefell Jacket Review (NeoShell Jacket) || The Travel TesterDiscovering my love for geek subjects and product evaluations in Iceland

How I Started Travel Blogging for a Living: The Full Story (+ Tips for You!) || The Travel Tester




How I Started Travel Blogging for a Living: The Full Story (+ Tips for You!) || The Travel Tester

PLEASE  NOTE: This text incorporates some affiliate hyperlinks. If you are going to buy something via these web sites, I’ll earn a small fee at no additional value to you. All these services, I’ve used myself and am completely happy to advocate to you.

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