The Life of an Indian Travel Blogger

mridula-dwivedi

The life of an Indian travel blogger looks glamorous from the outside. After all, I get to travel to exotic places and the bill is footed by someone else! I am immensely grateful for the opportunities too. But travel alone does not pays my bills and therein lies the rub.

There is another aspect of the travel blogging life and relates to making money or even getting those sponsored trips. A lot of my interactions with PR/Digital agencies are thoroughly professional. But that is not the topic for today.

When I am in a mood to laugh, I call them fun interactions. But when I am not in a mood to laugh, this is what an Indian travel blogger’s life looks like!

Recently I was talking to a young person who represented a portal. The conversation went like this-

Guy: “I can give you one way ticket to any destination in India!” I initially thought I heard it wrong!

Me: “One way you said?”

Guy: “Yes”

Me: “No, this won’t work as I need to get back home too!” After all I can not walk all the way back home after flying one way, right?

The actual conversation was a bit longer but what I quoted above was the crux of it.

Most of the digital agencies which contact me for paid assignments also have a particular pattern. It goes something like this-

PR Person: “We have this digital campaign … can you give me the blog post (or whatever else it is) by tomorrow?”

Me: “OK but when will you pay?”

PR Person: “We pay after 90 days!” And most will pay after 90 days and several reminders later! There are only a few exceptions (one actually) who pay on time and I value them a lot.

Then there are mails that invite me to participate in contests. One went like this-

“Dear Influencer, Great news! You have been invited to the Instagram contest…”

I don’t like contests at many levels. But the voting based ones top my hate list. Do a Google search for ‘buy FB votes’or for that matter on any other platform. I know it, the participants know it, the organizers know it, so who are we kidding? I do not like contests at another level too. I have so many people offering me the same thing (a trip, phone etc) without any contests, so why would I take part in one where whether I win or not is not even certain! But it is certain that the organizers will get free publicity!

There, after this rant I already feel better. I have often shown the glamorous aspects of my life as a travel blogger, I thought it was time to show a bit of the other side too!

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55 thoughts on “The Life of an Indian Travel Blogger”

  1. Well put Mridula Ji…… Life of a Indian travel blogger is humorous & frustrating at the same time… Depends on how we take it at that point in time… I have been asked by many newbie bloggers on how to make money by blogging…. And I tell them that’s one trick I really don’t know!!

  2. Can so relate to it. And guess what, this we will pay you after 6 weeks…45 days… 90 days is where most of my deals don’t go through. And honestly, I have never felt bad about losing the ones who, once their job is done, ‘forget’ anything & everything about it!

    And yes, quitting my job makes sense in every other way but monetarily!

    Cheers,
    Rajiv

  3. I did quit whatever I was doing and haven’t started making money from my blog. So I think my life as an Indian travel blogger is quite hard! 😉 But hopefully one day I will know what you are talking about, from my own experience!

  4. Can related to that! The time most bloggers spend on the blog is no way proportional to the money we make from it… except for the few ones at the top of the chain.

  5. Made me chuckle :p so true! One way ticket was hilarious! I sometimes am appalled to see how PR professionals don’t see through the bought followers or likes or votes!
    Story of our lives when people think it’s all so glamorous! Tch tch!

    1. Divisi about the bought likes and all, it is a different game. I guess if the client is not well versed with social media PR can recommend anyone they want. I think they understand, they just choose to ignore it.

  6. I dislike vote-based contests too, Mridula.
    I like to take part in contests, but it’s tough to devote the time and effort for that high-quality post! Plus, my idea of quality doesn’t match the judges views 🙂
    You have rightly mentioned that there’s no certainty to win 🙂

  7. So sad! I never thought of this side of a travel blogger’s life. I was thinking of your hectic schedules and the tiredness you might have.

    Why not make a bloggers’ association? I know that’s like tying the bell in cat’s neck. But, still?

  8. We need to form our own rules about terms and payments. And if all of us bloggers adhere to that we should be able to make a change. I know what you mean. I have people wanting free coverage all the time;. I wonder if they ask land owners for free offices too.

  9. We pay after 90 days!” And most will pay after 90 days and several reminders later! There are only a few exceptions (one actually) who pay on time and I value them a lot.:)
    मुझे अभी बहुत समय नहीं हुआ ब्लॉग लिखते हुए तो समझना मुश्किल है इस दुनिया को अभी लेकिन फिर भी लगता है कि ब्लॉग से जीवन तो नहीं चल सकता , हाँ आप फिर भी भाग्यशाली हैं कि आपको इतना invite किया जाता है !! आप जैसा मैंने पहले कहा था – ब्लॉगिंग फील्ड की महान प्लेयर हैं !!

  10. “I am in the final year of engineering, quiet good at studies (according to people). But who wants to be an engineer. That daily 9-6 job… naahh…I don’t want to live that boring life. I want to be an explorer, without telling anyone I’ll leave my home and will live my life the way I want”
    -These were all my views before I read this post. But now I think I’ve to revise my decision again. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  11. Mridilaji big thanks for sharing this experience. Post like this coming up from you is really helpful for every blogger. Before blogging I was into advertising. I used to do freelancing and delayed payment was a common problem.

    1. Sandeepa thanks for letting me know that it is the same for freelancers in other fields. But we need to try and change it, at least in the ‘influencer’ domain! Otherwise what good we are as influencers?

  12. yess mam, I can see how it is tough in terms of monetary aspects as travel blogger.I also read few conversations on this on twitter also.
    I have full time job and not getting paid for travel is good idea as of now may be

    1. Getting paid is always a good idea, but yes with a job you don’t care much about it. I also took it as extra income when I was working full time. Delayed payments didn’t bother me much as my salary would come on time!

  13. Nice post! I am a travel writer and not so much of a blogger. That seems very glamourous too… honestly almost all my travels have been self sponsored and what I make from writing about the place covers very little of the costs.

  14. I still remember that “tweet”. Didn’t know you wrote a post on the same 🙂
    A realistic depiction of travel blogging ballgame in India and I really hope it changes in the near future. The only reason I’m still working waiting for the same 🙂

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Mridula Dwivedi

I started my India travel blog, Travel Tales from India in 2005. In 2016 I realized Travel Tales from India and Abroad better reflected my writings. I love to walk and ride in metros around the world. I have not been everywhere, I am not even close, but it is on my list. I also quit my job as a professor in 2015, it was a happening year! I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur ages ago!

If you wish to collaborate with me, please check out my media kit. You can write to me at mridulablog@gmail.com

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