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8 Things to Ask Yourself before Adding Sponsored Travel to Your Blog

8 Things to Ask Yourself before Adding Sponsored Travel to Your Blog | CosmosMariners.com

In the world of blogging, growing a brand can open up the doors to some amazing opportunities: from becoming a brand's ambassador to reviewing products, the possibilities for blog partnerships continue to grow as companies realize the immense power of the influence of bloggers.

As a travel blogger, adding sponsored travel to my site has been one of my biggest accomplishments--and challenges. Despite common preconceptions, sponsored travel isn't free travel (not by a long shot!).

Sponsored travel requires many hours of preparation before those crucial travel days. If sponsored travel is approached with some thought and plenty of planning, these partnerships with convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs), hotels, attractions, and travel brands can help you build your own blog.

Here's what you could ask yourself before diving into the world of sponsored travel:

1) What is my blog's niche?

If you've got a well-defined niche, you'll be able to align yourself with brands with the same audience and focus. If you're a food and travel blogger, reach out to a culinary tour company in a city you're planning to visit in the near future. If you're a parenting blogger who wants to add a family travel section to your blog, look into brands or attractions that have a kid-friendly following.

2) What do I want to gain from this experience?

If you're just looking for a free night at a hotel, you're probably not going to be successful in your pitching. If you don't want to use the sponsored travel as a way to build your brand (and instead just want a free vacation), there are probably better partnerships out there for you and your blog.

When approached with the right attitude, sponsored travel partnerships can open up many more doors for your blog and brand!

3) What do I hope to see or do in the location?

When pitching, you'll want to be super specific about what you're doing. This approach shows the hotel, attraction, or CVB that you're serious and that you've done your research before emailing or calling them. Make sure to highlight the overlaps in your two brands and audiences!

4) What am I willing to do for the sponsored travel?

Before you pitch, know your limitations, both blogging and personal. Most brands and CVBs are flexible and are willing to work with you to find the sweet spot for both sides. However, there are a few who ask for the world with little return for the blogger. If the demands of the brand seem too extreme or don't fit into your niche, be prepared to politely walk away. Sponsored travel only works if you're happy with every aspect of the experience.

5) When do I want to visit?

When pitching for sponsored travel, do your research to find out what the high and low seasons are for your area. You're much more likely to get a "yes" from the brand if you're planning on visiting in the low season--there's less competition for hotel rooms and tours.

6) How will a visit to this area fit into my blog's focus?

You'll want to consider what adding sponsored travel (tour reviews, restaurant reviews, hotel reviews, etc.) will do to your blog's overall focus. If you've done other product reviews or if you're a travel blogger, adding sponsored travel to your blog won't be a huge pill for your audience to swallow. If you've never done a sponsored post (travel or otherwise) on your blog before, it might be good to do some teasers on social media to help introduce your audience to this new element.

No matter what form your sponsored travel takes, you'll want to make sure it adds another layer to your blogging brand and sets you up for even more opportunities in the future.

7) What do I want my audience to learn from this partnership?

Getting a travel experience comped is fantastic for you personally, but you've got to ask yourself what that experience is doing for your audience. Are you helping to introduce a new hotel in a crowded market (like Orlando, Florida)? Are you showcasing a travel experience that aligns with your brand (such as a history-based kids' tour of New Orleans for your education or homeschool blog)?

As with everything you do in blogging, consider your audience first. Will your audience take you more or less seriously when they read about a sponsored travel opp? Will your travel experiences gain you more followers with similar interests to your current followers? Don't alienate your current audience just for a comped travel experience. You'll regret it in the long run.

8) How will this help my brand?

The bottom line with all sponsored travel is your blog's growth. Before pitching, ask yourself how this opportunity will help your blog immediately, in a month's time, and in twelve months' time. If you can come up with concrete examples on how this experience at this time will help your blog, pitch away and start packing that suitcase!

8 Things to Ask Yourself before Adding Sponsored Travel to Your Blog | CosmosMariners.com

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Want to learn more (lots and LOTS more) about sponsored travel? Sign up for my e-course here: it will tell you everything you need to know (from how to prepare your blog to writing a pitch letter to what a press trip is really like)!

This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase through one of the above links, I will receive a small commission at no additional charge to you. 


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