A recent survey from the Professional Travel Bloggers' Association revealed what everyone in travel blogging already knew: That too few people are making any serious money from their work.
The survey, What Travel Bloggers REALLY Charge, took in the responses from 120 working travel bloggers. It found that for most supplement poor paying, but reliable travel writing with a host of other, more ephemeral roles such as brand ambassadorships, social media curation and even modelling.
Ciné Souk surveyed its own roster of freelance filmmakers in March to understand the pay expectations of an Australian working travel journalist. The target earning of A$450 per day (US$375) is roughly in line with the PTBA's own survey.
Yet unlike staff travel journalists, whose ranks are rapidly depleting, nearly half the freelance travel bloggers surveyed by PBTA do not charge to go on a trip where all expenses are paid. Instead, they have to rely on resale of their tales or other sponsorship options.
Digital influencer agencies are also gaining a foothold in the new gig economy. Of the US$2000 often charged by bloggers to spruik a brand, roughly 15-25% is creamed off by talent agencies.
Worse still, follower fatigue has set-in. Fashion bloggers are being asked to prove their followers are real, a trend that will flow on to travel.
In the old days travel journalists used to supplement their income through photography sales. Instagram kinda killed that, prompting the shift to Instagram sponsored content.
Video footage sales are still lucrative, but the effort required to shoot, edit and upload good video is still a barrier for many. There are only 5% as many travel videographers as there are bloggers.
So that's why we created Vloggi, the world easiest video blog publishing tool. The simple interface captures, combines and captions video into 10-second montages. These then either stand alone as stock footage for re-sale or form the building blocks of a longer, themed video blogs.
Unlike stock video libraries, however, Vloggi is commissionable. We're working with around 150 tourism boards and travel industry companies on assignments that utilise Vloggi's power to create unique mosaics of travel video content from a single trip.
Our aim is to create a new income stream for travel bloggers, writers and photographers. We want vlogging to be so easy that you can do it alongside your existing commitments.
We have 200 founding filmmakers so far and we're now opening up our register to our next wave of vloggers.
Launching in June, we're capping our registered user base at 1000 for beta testing phase.