July 27, 2013

Travel bloggers organizing travel bloggers to leverage travel blogging for travel.

It's not just the old problem of how to monetize your blog. It's the special travel blogger's problem of needing to pay for the raw material for your writing, and these people can barely talk about the problem of writing well (or usefully) about things they've been given free in anticipation of good publicity.

You have to get deeply into this NYT article to get to the really complicated commerce that made me write the post title above:
In order to make a go of it, some [travel bloggers have] contractual partnerships with outfitters like G Adventures, which created Wanderers in Residence in 2010. The program currently includes five bloggers, who lead tours, do speaking engagements and write blog posts for the company (the bloggers are compensated monthly)...

A different sort of outlet is IAmbassador, which [a travel blogger] started in 2011. The program...  organizes bloggers and pitches campaigns to tourism boards. There are now about 40 bloggers participating in the resulting sponsored trips, Mr. Jenkins said; he has also formed partnerships with travel blogging networks in Germany and Brazil.
I'm not a travel buff and I don't care about travel blogs or other travel writing, but I understand the appeal of real life activities with other bloggers and the desire to have good travel companions, and why shouldn't some bloggers make money organizing trips? It's just another form of packaged vacation, but part of the organizer's clout is some sort of offer of good press. Once the freebie is acquired, do the bloggers feel compelled to be nice? I'd be inclined to be the blogger who calls bullshit on the other bloggers on my tour who effused too much. Maybe I'd get banned (as a troll).