There’s something I’ve noticed on travel blogs lately and while, this is not the kind of post I would usually write, it’s been at the back of my mind for long enough that I just feel like I need to call it out. That thing is a programme/scheme called Travel Blog Success (I refuse to link to it) and I’m not going to beat around the bush here – I really don’t like it!
I didn’t start blogging to have a go at anyone or have general rants, I started to share places, things and experiences I like however, seeing something like this which I feel takes advantage of people, makes me really want to speak up! Before I carry on, I would like add a few caveats:
1.) I have never used Travel Blog Success so I’m not the best qualified to speak about it. I have however had conversations with other people who have used it and read reviews from non-affiliates who have bought the course.
2.) While I dislike Travel Blog Success, I have no problem whatsoever with the bloggers who are trying to sell it. Indeed I read quite a few of their blogs and even though I cringe whenever I see the Travel Blog Success posts, some of these bloggers are still some of my favourite Travel Blogs to read.
What is the problem I have with Travel Blog Success?
I think it takes advantage of new bloggers. Blogging, whether it is intended to or not, helps foster a community of like-minded individuals and seeing as only last year, I was just starting out as a new travel bloggers, seeing schemes like this which charge around $1,000 for tips and tricks to start your blog is ludicrous. They are capitalising on the hunger and appetite to grow your blog by offering unrealistic shortcuts to success.
I think the biggest drawback I have seen on the internet is that the only people who have anything good to say about this are people who make money off the programme. They are also early-adopters of travel blogging and so have had years of getting their blogs to become as successful as it is (mind you, without using Travel Blog Success). The very fact that this programme/scheme is touted as some kind of blogging equivalent of a ‘get rich scheme’ (except you pay $1,000 for the privilege) is deeply frustrating.
I know blogging is sometimes a popularity contests. I honestly never started blogging to get popular or get paid by it yet I was pretty much bouncing off the walls the first time our blog hit 6 figure traffic numbers each month. I understand the drive to want to build something popular. I also understand what it’s like to start a new blog and I dislike the thought that someone would want to take advantage of other people’s enthusiasm.
What I love about blogging is that it is a FREE way to express yourself and while you can choose to pay for extras, it’s infuriating to see the Travel Blog Success people actively putting barrier to entry for new bloggers by promoting their course in a way that makes it seem like if you don’t have it, then your chances of success are very limited. It’s not true and there are too many fantastic and established bloggers out there who are testament to the fact that your path to owning and running a successful blog is unique to you and not prescribed by someone trying to see you a course!
How do I think Travel Blog Success could work properly in the future?
1.) For one, they need to stop making promises they can’t keep. Blogging in general takes time and effort and sometimes for very little payback. Even the most seasoned bloggers will tell you that they still get surprised by what posts end up becoming popular and those which don’t. The point is, there is no magic cure or tool to help you automatically grow your blog overnight. There’s hard graft, some skills, a bit of patience and a whole lotta dumb luck which can to where you would like to see your blog in the future and for these guys to market it as anything other than that is just wrong.
2.) I’m all up for people trading their expertise and knowledge to make money. I get it! Money makes the world go round and even travel bloggers have to eat (and buy expensive equipment 😉 ) The problem I have is that the false advertising means that they can charge exorbitantly high prices for very little payback. They should still feel free to charge (they have put in the work after all in building something that people will find useful), they should however make those prices more in line with the real value they’re delivering which means it should be A LOT lower than what it currently is. Most of the stuff they’re charging close to $1,000 for in total is already free on the internet (including these secret Facebook groups).
Long story short, I think Travel Blog Success is a something of a scam in how it’s promoted as something akin to a magic love potion and I really hope new bloggers (and even more established bloggers) don’t end up falling for their scheme.
And to put my money where my mouth is, I promise to constantly look for ways to help fellow travel bloggers (especially new bloggers) by collating free and hopefully useful information to help your blog look and feel like it’s a true reflection of you. That in itself, is really one of the most under-rated measure of blogging success available!