If you’re a woman interested in starting a travel-related business, this empowering annual conference is for you.
I’ve been writing about food and travel since 2012. During that time, I’ve reached many of my goals like being published in The New York Times and Travel + Leisure. I still have so many things I am hoping to accomplish. This is part of the reason I moved to New York City
I had the opportunity to attend Women’s Travel Fest over the weekend and it was enlightening and inspiring to hear from a host of different women about how they made travel a fulfilling and lucrative career. Here’s what I took away from the conference. Maybe it will help you too.
Persistence is Key
Professional dancer Mickela Mallozzi jolted awake one night in 2010. She knew she was destined to host a television show where she would travel around the world connecting with people through the medium of dance. She shot her pilot that year in Italy using her own money. The show didn’t air nationally on PBS until 2016! Her journey included signing a deal with a 3rd party production company that ultimately went nowhere and too many no’s to count. She never gave up or wavered in her determination to get her passion project off the ground. Today, she has won four NY-Emmy
Do the Thing that Scares You Most
In a particularly powerful moment at the conference, writer
Two other speakers embodied this idea of confronting your fears. Tenny Ostrem and Claire Wernstedt-Lynch became the first people to walk the thru-length of the United States/Mexico border in 2018. Friends warned the girls might be kidnapped and held for ransom. Ostrem and Wernstedt-Lynch said the six-month-long journey was extremely challenging and at times scary, but they found that anyone they came into contact with who was trying to cross the border was much more fearful of them.
Being an Influencer is Hard Work
Travel influencers take pretty pictures in beautiful places, but they’re hardly on vacation. Influencers have to post constantly, go after brand partnerships, drive traffic to their websites and always show Return on Investment (ROIs) to partners who have facilitated the trip. If this is a path you choose to go down, know it’s all about the hustle.
Be Social Media Savvy
The influencers featured at the conference said Instagram is the most important social media platform. While sponsored posts on Instagram are the primary way many influencers seek to make money, they spoke about many other revenue streams including affiliate marketing programs like Amazon Affiliates, developing online courses, and even starting group travel trips. Another piece of advice I really found useful: Pinterest drives far more traffic to websites than other platforms.
Find Your Niche
Why would someone want to follow and trust you? Why would someone want to write about you? What impact are you making on the industry? Alyssa Ramos, of My
A Place is Not a Story
I thought Travel Writing 101 was one of the most useful seminars. Even though I’ve been writing about travel for over six years, it’s always smart to listen to seasoned professionals talk about their craft. Hearing New York Times writer Jessica Colley Clarke say these six words: “a place is not a story” was a good reminder that I don’t always push myself far enough to find an interesting angle in a destination I want to cover. I’m going to make
Women’s Travel Fest 2020 will take place March 6-8.