As I was filling in the arrival card while sitting on a plane about to land to Ho Chi Minh City, I wasn’t really sure what to write in the ‘profession’ section. I mean, what am I? A travel blogger? Does that count as a job? Entrepreneur? Would that be better? What is it exactly that I do? If even I can’t explain it, no wonder my grandmother still thinks I’m a flight attendant.
So what is it exactly that I do? How does my job allow me to travel the world this much?
Well before I’ll let you in on that, let me briefly explain how I got here.
I first got into travel by studying a Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism in Haaga-Helia, Porvoo Campus, from where I graduated in spring 2014. I also did part of my studies in The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. During studies, I worked at Helsinki Airport in security, check-in and boarding gates. I was also writing my blog actively during studies. After graduation, I was hired as a marketing manager for a travel startup CreateTrips. Then from this spring on, I became a fulltime whatever you want to call it. Blogger. Social media consultant. Writer. Freelancer. Lecturer. Wizard.
So how is it exactly that I make a living travelling the world?
1.Helping businesses with their social media
After years of managing social media for the blog, and for CreateTrips, I became somewhat a social media guru, especially on Instagram. Now I have 4 social media clients who I’ve created a strategy for and now manage their social media accounts on daily / weekly basis.
I also specialise in influencer marketing and help brands to run successful influencer marketing campaigns on Instagram.
2. Public speaking
I find myself to be somewhat a natural speaker these days and ended up doing lectures in tourism schools right after graduating from one. Next week, I will have a lecture on Storytelling in Tourism Marketing for some tourism students. Other topics I cover are Airport Management, all things social media and tourism marketing.
And these days it’s not only schools I speak in, the other week I was speaking about Instagram in travel marketing in Vietnam.
3. Social media workshops for brands
On the side of running social media accounts and creating strategies, I also do half day workshops for brands to teach them all there is to know about social media marketing. Most of my clients have been hotels for now, which I find really exciting! After the workshop, I usually monitor their social media success for 3 months to ensure it wasn’t a waste of money.
4. Travel blogging
While this blog is often an important part of my income, it varies every month – like a lot. Haha. Most of the income in the blog comes through some sponsored posts, but mainly through campaigns with tourism boards. Next, I will be heading to Italy, and am paid to write about my experience (always, my honest experience – my opinion cannot be bought).
I also have some advertising on the blog from Suomen Blogimedia, but that is only a tiny fraction of my income.
5. Writing articles and translating texts
I have a few clients I write for about travel to their online publications in Finnish and in English. I also help brands to translate content from Finnish to English and am for example ghostwriting a book.
6. Organising and hosting blog trips
Coming from a background of tourism, blogging, and PR, I believe I know how to organise a successful blog trip. I’ve partnered up with the fabulous Inna, from Innastus, and together we help visit organisations to host bloggers at their destinations.
My life as a full-time freelancer started wilder than I ever could have hoped for. For now, I have work planned until the end of February, which is not too bad for a beginner. From February on, I, of course, hope to continue in the same field of work, but also hope to have managed to write an e-book and to have created an e-course!
Being my own boss has thought me to take life as it comes, day by day. At first, I was terribly afraid of losing it all in one day. At times it felt too good to be true, and I was sure someone would take it all away from me. But today, I’ve learned to make the most of the freedom I’m blessed with, and if I ever have to return back to a normal day job, at least I’ll do it with some amazing memories and experiences.
The rest of the year, I will be spending in Chiang Mai, focusing on a bigger writing project. Then I return to Finland for Nordic Bloggers’ Experience. And then, let’s see where the wind blows.
Are you a digital nomad? Or a travel blogger? Or dreaming of turning it all into a business?