I just spent the last 3 days in Austin, Texas at TravelCon, the first travel blogger conference of its type. Here’s what I learned, and why I can’t wait to go back next year!
Travel blogging is big business, but building that business takes time. The unofficial theme of the conference was building something that lasts. Nomadic Matt (Matt Kepnes, founder of TravelCon) really drove it home in his keynote - grinding it out leads to burn out so don’t think about the immediate, think about the future. Focus on your “why” to stay motivated, find your tribe that will support you no matter what, and take a break to enjoy your life.
Travel bloggers create community wherever they go. I’ve been to a lot of conferences in my day, and I can sincerely say I’ve never been to a conference where everyone wanted to meet you, share stories, and become friends. The idea of collaboration (not competition) ran through every session and every conversation I had, and it was refreshing and rejuvenating. Travel can unite people of all ilks, and when you go in with a mindset of unity, you’re going to come out of the experience a closer-knit group.
Travel bloggers take advantage of everything…and you should too. There was no room service for most of these folks. There was a lot of socializing, meeting up, touring, and independent exploration of Austin. Even though they were there to work, they were also there to have fun and experience new things.
Sure, I learned a lot about writing better, SEO, email marketing, and affiliate programs, but what I really stuck was the sense of adventure, the sense of community, and the sense that when you start something, build something that lasts. All great inspiration for anyone starting anything, not just blogging.
I learned about so many new blogs and travel resources. There is a niche for everyone’s interest. Here are a few of my new favorites:
https://ryanholiday.net/ (on creating something long-lasting)
https://youngadventuress.com/ (on solo female traveling, New Zealand, and beautiful birds)
https://viewfromthewing.boardingarea.com/ (on frequent flyer info and hacks)
https://girlslovetravel.org/ (on creating a strong community of women travelers)
http://thetravelingchild.co/ (on traveling with kids - “if kids live there, kids can visit”)
http://www.muslimtravelrocks.com (on encouraging Muslim families to explore the world)