I’m delighted to introduce my second How I Make It Work interview with the bubbly blogger and a brilliant mate Vicky Flip Flop. Here’s how Flippers (as she is affectionately known) makes life as a full-time travel blogger work for her.
Tell us about your blog and how long you’ve been working on it
I’ve been blogging about travel and festivals at vickyflipfloptravels.com for over 5 years now. For the last three and a half years it’s been my full time job.
Which aspects of blogging do you enjoy the most?
I like the writing and the creativity. I love coming up with ideas and have long lists of all the posts I want to write and videos I want to make, but then there’s just never enough time to do them all.
I also really enjoy all the awesome people I’ve met on press trips. There are some great travel bloggers out there who naturally, I have a lot in common with.
And the least?
I don’t like all the games, and how competitive it’s become. People buying followers, likes for likes, people inflating figures, bloggers exaggerating how much they earn – it’s all bad for the industry and really puts me off reading their blogs.There’s a real grabby nature to travel blogging right now, people acting like divas and thinking they’re owed the world, literally. It didn’t used to be like that!
What are your main revenue streams?
I write about travel for other people – for agencies, websites and online publications. I also have a good affiliate income from Amazon and I’ve recently started using MediaVine ads. I’ll also do the occasional paid press trip, and have some sponsored content on my site. Most of my money comes from writing for others though.
What’s been your most popular content/campaign to date?
I rank very well in Google for Vietnam. It was the first country I visited in Asia and I really loved it, so I went back again. I think that passion comes through in the writing so the posts do well.
(Eds note: I’ve met people here in Oz who have told me they followed Vicky’s Vietnam advice word for word. #NailedIt)
I love a good press trip, but the trouble is you miss that valuable research stage in planning a trip. This is when you find out how to get to places, the golden nuggets of advice to share and when you get to ‘bond’ with your destination before you go. It just makes writing useful content more difficult when you get home. Press trip content tends to be more inspirational, rather than practical.
What campaigns have you enjoyed working on the most and why?
Most recently going to Greece with you and Olympic Holidays, of course! I loved the freedom Olympic’s PR, Karen Tippett, gave us to explore. This made for a more natural way to experience a destination and made it easier to take photos and video. We rented a jeep and drove around three islands – Alonissos, Skopelos and Skiathos. I love Greece anyway, but this was a really great trip.
I also really enjoyed travelling to Florida with the tourist board – again I was given a car, restaurants and hotels and told to explore – and I did an incredible trip to Costa Rica too. We were flown business class, had a really good group of bloggers and had a diverse itinerary which meant we saw a lot in just a week.
With hindsight, what would you have done differently on your blog?
I spend way too much time writing and creating blog posts. I use a lot of pictures and usually write over 1500 words. I just want to be helpful. Having looked at the figurative success of other bloggers who started when I did, I should’ve spent more time on social media and the distribution of these blog posts, but that’s just not where my passions lay.
I definitely should’ve spent more time with Pinterest and Instagram – I feel like I can’t catch up now.
(This sounds very familiar!)
What does success look like to you?
Being able to do what I want, and go where I want, knowing that my work is respected and that I will earn enough money at the end of the month.
Where do you see your blog in 5 years time?
Five years is a long time! I can’t even imagine where blogging will be by then. I hope that I will still be creating helpful and interesting content, and that I haven’t been left behind in this crazy, fast moving world of blogging. I’d also hope that I manage to get a better grip on time so I can make some sort of dent in my to do list. Oh, and I need to travel South America, and go to Antarctica too…
The travel blogger’s wish list is never done! Thanks so much to Vicky for sharing her story. If you’re a full time travel blogger willing to spill all please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org for an interview.