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15 Questions I Get Asked Most As A Travel Blogger


I receive e-mails and DM's almost every day with generally the same 10 or so questions and I thought it would be informative if I answered them in a post! I also got some great questions from my fellow Travel Bloggers and I've linked to their blogs as well, so make sure you visit them!

Just as a background, I've been Travel Instagramming & Blogging for almost 2 years. During this time, I've worked hard and consistently on writing and growing my 'brand'. I'm no means a top Travel Blogger or able to work full time as one. However, I've had the pleasure and honor of working with some amazing brands!

With that said, let's get answering the 15 questions I get asked most frequently as a Travel Blogger!

1. What camera do you use?

I use my iPhone 6S Plus! This is tied at one of the most frequently questions I receive. The only thing I use in addition to my phone is my favorite iPhone lens ever. These aren't branded, reasonable, yet high quality and can't recommend them enough!

To this answer, I normally receive a follow up question of if I would ever buy a "real" camera. Sure, maybe eventually but it's not high on my priority list. I've enjoyed the surprised reactions when people realize I only use my phone, or when people tell me they they're happy to learn that they don't need to spend hundreds or thousands on a camera!

2. Do you have a job, or is this your job?

The short answer is yes, I have a job that helps pay bills. While my Instagram/Blog generates some income, it is in no way the main source.

The past 7 years, I worked in corporate hospitality. When I closed my office door almost two years ago, one of my priorities was to earn my Master's degree in Hospitality Digital Marketing & Revenue Management (and I did!). I also own my own business related to my degree.

I always make it a point to tell all that ask, that I had a lot of money, miles and hotel points saved up before I quit. Enough to even cover Ivy League tuition without taking out loans, enough for rent, bills, etc. I didn't just decide, "I'm going to become a Travel Blogger next week and quit my job!" - I may live in LA where people come to 'make it' but I'm no fool :)

With that said, I'm also lucky enough to have a remote job in the educational field. Due to the confidentiality policy of the company, I can't provide details but if you have a teaching degree from the United States and interested in a part-time opportunity, feel free to send me an e-mail. This job gives me anywhere from 8-40 hours a week and primarily helps pay for bills.  

3. Who do you travel with, or do you travel solo?

I would say, 80% of the time I travel with my fiancè, 10% with family, 5% with friends and 5% solo!

4. How do you edit your photos?

99.9% of the time, I use Snapseed! Best photo editor app ever, in my opinion.

5. How much do you get paid blogging & Instagramming?

There are several ways to make money: affiliate links, adsense, product reviews, sponsorships, etc.

Most of my income comes through Instagram and blog posts as those are the 2 platforms that I have the most followers/viewers on. Using platforms like SocialFabric, SocialNative, Revfluence, Whalar, fullbottleco, Activate is a great way to connect with brands. If you're not sure of your rate, use Social Blue Book and see what your rates would be.

As a Travel Blogger, I consider airfare, other transportation, meals and hotel stays as 'payment' as they carry a retail value I otherwise would have had to pay.

For now, I don't do affiliate links, adsense and product reviews. I've quit affiliate links and adsense due to the small revenue and do not accept money in exchange for positive product reviews.

If you're a new blogger, make sure you read the next question!

6. Do you have any advice for soliciting sponsored posts or ads on your blog? What kind of following do you need for this? (Asked by Liana & others)

First piece of advice: create a Media Kit! A Media Kit is a great way to showcase your blog, tell your story and list your social reach in one place without having to direct someone to several platforms. If you'd like to take a look at my Media Kit, let me know - or if you need help creating one, click here!

Second, I highly recommend new bloggers to collaborate with brands on a pro bono basis. When Bloggers with low influence only accepts payment, they won't have very many brands to work with. However, if you offer a post or photos in exchange for a product, you gain experience working with brands and can add it to your Media Kit.

As for the question regarding followings, again it will depend on the brand and situation. However, most platforms and brands will want to see a 10,000 follower count on any given platform. That does not mean you can't work with brands, though! For example, I got my first discounted room rate (not free!) from a Marriott property with about 5,000 followers on Instagram and 4,000 views per month on my blog. I was so grateful for the opportunity to work with a Marriott and be able to have a well known brand to list on my Media Kit!

Here's a post I wrote on How to Negotiate Free Stays at Hotels!

7. When you began blogging, how did you let others know about your website? (Asked by Amanda)

Ads: When I started blogging, I advertised my blog through other Travel Bloggers. I used to do that through Passionfruit, which was a website where bloggers could sell ad-space. Unfortunately the company doesn't exist anymore, which is why I created my own place where bloggers can purchase adspace on my blog.

Link-Ups: I also participated in a lot of link-ups! I've loved creating a link-up with Chloe, as some of you may know, which is Fly Away Friday. Link-ups definitely helps with exposure for your blog so make sure you join us every other Friday and check for other Travel Blog link-ups!

Facebook Groups: Join Facebook Groups for Travel Bloggers! The daily threads will help you share your blog and discover others!

Comment: Comment, comment, comment! Go to other Travel Blogs and leave meaningful comments along with your link. Not only will that Blogger visit, other readers will notice you too!

8. What app or software do you use for Pinterest images? (Asked by Liana and others)

I use Canva to create Pinterest images since they make is so easy, and it's free!

9. How did you grow your Instagram & Pinterest accounts? (Asked by Katherine and others)

For Instagram, I personally grew it by engaging like crazy, especially in the beginning. In addition to following other travel accounts, I commented and liked photos whenever I had a moment. I linked my Instagram to every blog post and participated in Instagram threads on Facebook groups. Every photo I posted, I made sure that it was of good quality, the caption interesting and utilized tags and hashtags. Oh, and I was always adamant about keeping the grid aesthetically pleasing as well!

As for Pinterest, I actually only started getting into it about 6 months ago (compared to almost 2 years of my Instagram/Blog) after I realized how big of an impact it has on my viewership. I'm still working on it but I do suggest organizing your boards and creating title images to each board (I did this on Canva). I spend a lot of time making the Pin image eye-catching for my posts and composing a SEO friendly caption for each Pin. Joining and contributing to group boards increases your exposure as well. Fly Away Friday has a board, so if you're interested in contributing, send me a message!

10. How do you decide on your next destination? (Asked by Wendy

I have no idea, haha! I don't have big plans of traveling the world or anything, I'm just happy and grateful to be able to travel, wherever I end up!

11. Which is your favorite place you've visited? (Asked by Mariana and others) 

I get asked this often and it's so difficult to answer! I've loved places for different reasons but if I had to choose a few, it would be Honolulu, Kyoto, Dublin, Toronto and Washington D.C!

12. How do you balance travel, writing, & life?

This may sound like a copout answer but all my friends would vouch for me! I am the most organized person ever. I'm actually so organized that it annoys everyone, haha! I can't live without my 2 planners, 1 desk calendar and iCalendar that's organized hour-by-hour, even on my days off! It's kind of in my blood that I'm organized and don't have life-changing advice, unfortunately!

13. What are a couple of pieces you pack when traveling? Do you have pieces or an outfit that you feel fit in wherever you are in the world? (Asked by Moira)

Hmm! I would say, a plain white t-shirt and comfortable black shoes! My favorite white t-shirt is from Boohoo and my go-to shoes are black Vans slip-ons! I think both of those can work wherever I am in the world...to an extent :)

14. If you could plan the ideal vacation, where would it be? (Asked by Alex and others)

Our ideal vacation that we talk about a lot is a month long trip through Europe! We're hoping to do that in the next year or so!

We also haven't planned our honeymoon yet but have ideas about going to Fiji and New Zealand!

15. What's the 'right' way to travel?

This could be a controversial topic but I personally can't stand reading those articles about "How Not to Be a Tourist" or "How to Travel Properly". I disagree with them wholeheartedly. What's wrong with being a tourist? I think it's ridiculous to encourage people 'not to be a tourist'. If it's your first time in a new place, why not visit places they're known for? Why not experience the things that draws visitors?

I could probably write a whole opinion piece about this but you get my point! There's no 'right' way to travel! Travel exactly the way you want to travel! Whether your style is a jam-packed day or a play-it-by-ear day, you do you!

♡♡♡

Thank you for reading and I hope I answered your questions! If I didn't, please leave a question below or feel free to e-mail me and I'd love to chat! 

Pin for later!

28 comments

  1. YESSS! So many great tips for new bloggers and glad to see that this is fun for you and not just a source of income! :)

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    1. Yay, thanks Wendy! You need to have fun or love doing it whether or not you're getting paid! Or else you won't last, that's for sure! Thanks for reading :) xo

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  2. Can I just say how USEFUL this post is? There is very little honest information about tips on working with brands, etc. and I wowed to write one myself once I gain enough confidence and experience. Thank you so much for your tips Kana, you are awesome! xoxo, nano

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    1. Nano! You are so sweet, this comment totally made my day! I tried to be as honest and helpful as possible, so I'm glad that came across! I'm so glad you enjoyed it and thanks for stopping by as always :) xo

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  3. Ah yes, I can relate to these! Especially about what camera I use and whether/how much I get paid! That's really great you have a remote job which helps pay the bills. I think most travel bloggers have something else to keep them afloat until such time they can earn a full time income from their blog - but that's not every travel bloggers' wish, anyway. Great post!

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    1. Definitely! You can't just quit cold turkey and hope you make money traveling! Thanks for stopping by, Juliette! xo

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  4. That's really great advice, Kana, and I love that you address a number of contentious issues like revenue streams and the "right" way to travel. I especially appreciate the part about affiliate links, adsense, and product reviews - great tips. I am passionate about travel and culture, and sharing my love of that with the world; and I think that for others who are as well, your message resonates strongly. Two thumbs up!

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    1. Thank you so much for the kind words! I'm glad you enjoy traveling and sharing your experience - looking forward to visiting your blog soon! xo

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  5. I love your honesty Kana. Thank you for being such a grand help to new bloggers.

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    1. Aww, thank you for the support and always reading, Cherie! xo

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  6. An awesome list, and thanks for answering my question Kana :)

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    1. Thanks for asking a question, Kat! :) xo

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  7. Great post - thanks for sharing your answers - it's so helpful hearing about how other bloggers have done things and found success! x #FlyAwayFriday

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    1. Yes definitely! Sometimes people hide their process so I wanted to give honesty and transparency a shot :) xo

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  8. Really helpful post! I just started diving into affiliate marketing but I'm not totally sure if I want to use it long-term. I do love reading about how others incorporate blogging into their lives.

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    1. Yay, I'm glad you found it helpful! Affiliate marketing is ok but since I'm not a fashion blogger, I don't use it often, which means the commission is very, very little! Best of luck though, let me know how it goes! xo

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  9. I love your last answer. I hate the traveler vs. tourist debate. Does it really matter? Everyone is different and are drawn to different traveling styles. No one traveling style is the best, it just depends on what you're looking for. #FlyAwayFriday

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    1. YES! It totally doesn't matter! Glad you agree!! xo

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  10. Oooh, I had been looking forward to this! And, it was as good as expected. Thanks for including a couple of my questions. All of your answers were so helpful. I just put the camera lens in my Amazon shopping cart. Too bad you don't do affiliate links and won't make the 10 cents on it. ;-)

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    1. You're always so kind Liana! Thank you for asking great questions and being so supportive! Haha, no joke - you'll love the lens, though! Let me know when you play around with it! xo

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  11. Kana, this is so great - you ended up getting a lot of good questions! Glad mine made the final cut. A basic white tee and sneakers are great travel go-tos! xx. M #flyawayfriday

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    1. Thanks Moira - you asked a great question that I've never been asked! Thanks for the support as always! xo

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  12. I love reading these types of posts! I never knew about social blue book and some of the other resources you mentioned - thanks! :) #flyawayfriday

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    1. I'm glad I was able to share some new resources with you Tiffany! Thanks for stopping by! xo

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  13. This openness and honesty in this is amazing. Loved this post - thank you for sharing it!

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    1. Hooray! I'm glad you approve, Adam :) Thanks for reading! xo

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  14. Really enjoyed reading this post, and I appreciate the honesty! I also second the love for Canva. I really love how it makes creating Pinterest images so easy!

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    1. Thank you Bryna! I appreciate that! Yes - love Canva too! :) Thanks for stopping by! xo

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