We live in the era of digital consulting, where social media marketing and content creation is king; dreams of full-time travel can become your reality. Travel bloggers, vloggers, instagrammers are everywhere and thriving, they’ve skipped the traditional 9-5 and paved their own way with a laptop, wifi connection, and a goal to report to no corporate "massa."
You may think that the travel blogging industry is saturated, you’re partially correct, however there are vast differences between travel blogging and travel stunting. Creating engaging, beneficial, and meaningful content that not only inspires others but helps them plan trips is still an underserved opportunity when it comes to the black male perspective. I have listed below four reasons why being a black male travel blogger is one of the biggest opportunities right now! Let’s get into it!
1.) Everyone's Doing It. No Ones Owning It.
We log onto Instagram every.single.day, seeing images of intense wanderlust, thinking…I so want to do that, I’d love to live that lifestyle! So….we dive in, we blog, Instagram, or Facebook a couple of trips, grow an audience of sorts, share some killer selfies, but we don’t treat this lifestyle as a job because that’s what it is, a legitimate profession. It’s completely fine to blog a la carte, but then you become just like the rest, and excuse my French, a half-assed blogger. I can count the list of full-time professional black male travel bloggers on one hand, how sad yet how very exciting for us! No black man is decisively owning the title of professional travel blogger, however there are quite a few full-time black female travel bloggers killing it! The landscape is wide open for my brothers and me; there is bread at the table and we should share and create together! Find your individual and community voice and work it until you become an authority amongst us and beyond. We need you to see the world, speak your stories, share your images, because your content redefines the narrative the world has constructed about us.
2.) The Black Travel Movement is an Unstoppable Force
With online Facebook groups numbering in the hundreds of thousands of members, communities like Black Travel Movement, Black Travel Bloggers Chronicles, Black Travel Movement Men's Group, The Black & Abroad® Man, black male travel bloggers have networks to share their content with like-minded individuals who may become consistent supporters. Instagram accounts such as @SoulSociety, @TravelistheNewClub, @TheBlackTourist, @BlackTravelFeed, @WeWorktoTravel, @BlackGuysTravel, @BlackandAbroad, @WeGoTooWorld, and more are great accounts to have your travel images featured. It’s a competitive space, but once featured it helps push each accounts massive audience to your page. Have fresh new blog content linked in your bio, because potential new followers will explore you!
It’s no secret, black women travel far more often than black men do. These digital clubs are predominately run and followed by black millennial women. This is a great advantage because black women typically support black men who are striving for greatness, forging a purpose-filled life. I can personally attest to the support of women, as 68% of @TravellersBazaar readers and social media supporters are women. Capturing this audience equates to serious capital which we discuss in the next pointer.
3.) Companies Know they Need to Target our Demographic
Top travel bloggers, vloggers, and influencers are earning close to six figure salaries, while jetting across the globe. However, look past the beautiful images and exciting videos; gaining the trust of corporate entities takes consistent time and effort investing in and defining your brand voice. As a black male travel blogger you have the upper-hand because many products such as haircare, skincare, shaving and grooming products are tailored specifically to our community. Additionally, companies may be looking to make inroads in the ‘urban market’ and need a personality with a strong social presence to help connect the dots. So start building your audience and defined voice/style, and with a solid engaged following, you can start pitching yourself to brands. Be specific and smart as to who you reach out to, go for brands that cater to the modern black man and woman. Aim for brand ambassadorship versus sponsored posts. A brand ambassador's content creation spans a certain period of time, promotes you and your brand, and pay tends to be far more lucrative.
4.) Non-Black Millennials Need You
In our new digital lives, we live vicariously through so many people, and travel is one of the hottest trends that attracts supporters. Millennials are bravely independent in thinking and action, but they do need someone to believe in; a sort of torch-bearer who has done it before them. Travel is no better an example to use, seeing black faces in strange places on Instagram inspires many. It says, “Hey, you can do this too!”
It also opens the digital doors of communication for different races to interact and (respectfully) ask questions they may be too afraid to ask in-person. For example, I follow Gloria Atanmo - theblogabroad.com / @glographics and have witnessed how her audience is incredibly diverse although she writes, at times, from a fiercely black perspective. Her quirky, fun, and informative blogs give non-black persons the opportunity to engage her and feel like she is a genuine friend. What keeps them coming back is her willingness to respond in a comprehensive dialogue to almost every comment.
Additionally, while traveling on the road, you more than likely will connect (and should!) with non-black travellers and locals over great conversations. Being in a strange far-off place does something powerful; it pulls down the walls of communication, helping to build bridges and diversify your reach. Showing that you have a strong black following to brands is important because it’s your natural niche. However, do not plateau there because in order to reach the top of the industry, you need a diverse audience. Aim to build this following while on the road, as making travel friends translate into highly engaged new digital followers. With constant efforts, you can propel yourself as the face of 'Black Travel and Beyond.'
In closing, I want to stress there is no quick way to dominance in this industry. Your best friend is high-quality content, powerful niche blog articles and travel videos. Google loves fresh new content which aids in your brand's search rank. Invest in Instagram, but keep a balance and nurture your blog and Youtube Channel if you create videos.
If you have any suggestions, questions, or comments on this article, drop a line at the bottom of this page. I look forward to discussing my experiences and yours too! See you at the top!
Hi I'm Quinn, creator of Traveller's Bazaar. I'm an architectural designer on a mission to inform, inspire and help travellers like you, plan the trip(s) of a lifetime. Thanks for visiting!