Its time for a little celebration.Today, the blog celebrates its 10th anniversary and I have a been a travel blogger for a decade now. It all began in 2005 when I was curious about the medium called a “blog”, I started it primarily to share my travel experiences, to practise my writing skills and to find like minded people from all over India and the world.
Ten years and the blog has brought me lots of accolades, opportunities, recognition and friends – people like you who have journeyed with me vicariously and virtually through the blog. People who have shared their thoughts and commented on the posts, who have added their experiences, who have created and added memories – after all, travel is about memories not just places.
Travel blogging has become such a huge part of my life that it is my mainstay. Its been my identity ever since I quit my career in media to travel, write and blog.However there is a huge paradigm shift in blogging over the last decade and this is my learning in the last ten years
What started as a hobby is now a profession
Travel blogging is no longer just a hobby. We travel and we blog because we are passionate about travel and sharing our experiences. We go on trips on our own to places we fancy and fantasise about and then we tell you about those places.
But then as we started our journey as bloggers, in stepped in marketeers, agencies, travel entrepreneurs, tourism boards luring us and asking us to visit places and endorse their brands, We were happy to do so, after all we were getting to travel, which is all that we wanted. And we did it happily But then we realized that we were not valuing our work or our blog. We learnt that internationally, travel bloggers are professionals. They value their work and brands value their time. And we realize in India, neither of that happens.
In the last year or so, I have worked with a few brands who have ackowledged that we are here to offer our expertise. They see our blogs as another published media, sometimes even better in reach than some niche magazines. That does not mean that we will randomly promote anyone and everyone who pay us. The reader to me is extremely sacrosanct and balancing content with sponsorship, promoting contests and initiatives which I feel will benefit the reader takes the priority. Contrary to what many think, not every trip we do is sponsored. There are many places we head out on own, to seek out experiences that we can share with you. But then if we have to endorse or benefit a brand, there is a value attached to it – for our work and our time.
Dear readers, content is still the king and rest assured, no brand will influence the content we write irrespective of whether they pay us or not. Thank you for being part of the journey so far. My blog and I have gone places only because of you. And its only fair that I share with you, this new perspective of bloggers as professionals which is here to stay. Thank you. And cheers..the journey continues