Have you ever wondered how a drone can help you grow your travel blog? Want to know epic drone tips and tricks for creating epic content?
Then you’re in the right place, as this episode of The Profitable Travel Blogger Podcast is essentially an ultimate guide to drones for travel bloggers. If you’ve ever wondered “Should I get a drone?” you’ll know the answer by the end (spoiler: it’s yes!).
In fact, our special guest for this episode, Christine Lozada of Where In The World Is cL, has used her drone to take her own travel brand to the next level – both in terms of content as well as monetization.
In this episode, she’ll be sharing her tips with you, including:
- Why you need a drone in your creator toolkit
- The best drone for travel bloggers
- Drone tips and tricks for creating amazing content
- If you need a permit for a drone
- How your drone can help you make money blogging
- And more!
On that note, let’s dive into the episode.
Disclosure: This episode + post on drone tips and tricks for travel bloggers contains affiliate links to trusted partners I think you’ll love!
Drone Tips & Tricks For Travel Bloggers [Podcast Episode Audio]
Bonus Tip: Make Money Travel Blogging [Video]
While using a drone is one tool to grow your blogging income, it certainly isn’t your only option.
As a blogger, it’s wise to have multiple revenue streams. To help, the above video shares five additional ideas for how to monetize a travel blog.
Combine these with a drone content creation strategy to truly create a profitable blogging business for yourself!
To help you really jumpstart your blogging success, I’ve added 45+ blogging resources like printables, video tutorials, and workbooks into a FREE resource library for travel bloggers.
These resources are meant to help you grow your traffic, community, and income faster and with less overwhelm!
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Create Better Drone Content With These Helpful Tools
–Blackbox. This tool helps you sell your stock media.
–DJI. The world’s largest manufacturer of drones and Christine’s recommended company to go with.
–Free Brand Pitch Templates. In this episode, we discussed how using a drone can help you more easily land paid brand collaborations. These plug-and-play pitch templates will help you know exactly what to say in your pitches!
–1-Minute Drone Tutorials. Christine regularly shares short but powerful video tips for those trying to improve their drone skills.
–Free Drone Resources. Christine has a number of drone resources, from tutorials sharing drone tips for beginners to free virtual workshops to a community Facebook group. You can find all of these on her Drone Resources page.
Create Engaging Content With These Helpful Past Episodes:
Drone Flying Tips, Workflows & Monetization Ideas [Episode Transcript]
*Note: This is the edited down and paraphrased version of the episode. For the full episode, listen to the audio version linked above.
Are you looking for a way to create content that not only better engages your audience, but that can also increase your income?
If you’re nodding your head then this episode is for you, as our special guest – Christine Lozada from Where In The World Is cL – is here to tell us all about drones; why you should get one, how to use a drone to tell captivating stories, how drones can help you get blog followers and make money, and more.
1. So, Christine, thank you so much for taking the time to share your tips! To start, can you tell us more about yourself?
I’m so excited! I love talking about drones. And everything I talk about is either drones, travel, or badassery.
I have been a travel creator for the past few years and I recently started flying drones and it is my passion and mission in life to help as many people to get to flying as quickly and as easily as possible.
2. Okay, so in your opinion, why should a travel blogger get a drone? What are some good things about drones for creators?
I would say there are a few key reasons.
First and foremost is that you can create jaw dropping content very easily because drones have that perspective that you can’t easily get elsewhere. It’s a very simple and straightforward thing to do.
And especially from a travel blogger perspective, think about what people love. They love that plane view, right? The view out the window from the plane. They love the feet hanging out of the helicopter. They love going to rooftops in New York City and getting a view. They hike up tall mountains just to get a view.
But now, imagine you’re a busy travel blogger with a lot of things you need to do.
With a drone, you don’t need to do the hike. You don’t need to pay the $20 for the glass of wine plus mandatory 20% gratuity in New York and you don’t have to get in the helicopter. Now, you can also sit aisle seat if you don’t want to sit window and you can get this style of shots very very quickly and very very easily with a drone.
So, in short, I would say you’re feeding people’s love for these styles of shots very easily.
Aside from being able to get that bird’s eye view very easily, you can capture a place very quickly.
Going back to being a busy travel blogger, an example of that is when you’re traveling you want to get the job done well – but as quickly as possible so you can go enjoy your trip.
Think about the times that you have had to get to different locations. One of the things that I love about drones is you can send the drone without having to physically go all the way to that place and you can get lots of angles very quickly because you can fly your drone around the space.
So when I think about saving time as a traveler blogger, a drone is this tool that can help you to get the job done faster than a lot of other things.
3. What are some ways drones can help bloggers increase their income?
This is a question I get a lot! Everyone wants to know how to make money blogging.
Let’s step back for a second. A drone is not something you just pick up in the aisle as you’re checking out in the grocery store, right? It’s an investment. And you want to be able to make back that investment.
I would say there’s there are three key ways that are the simplest ways to make money with a drone as a travel blogger:
-Sell drone stock footage. Selling your photos and videos on sites like Blackbox, which pushes your drone content or other media out to various sites including places like Getty or Shutterstock.
-Use a drone as a tool in your blogger toolkit. In other words, when I’m pitching a brand collaboration – or if I’m trying to land a press trip with a tourism board or hotel – it’s so much easier for me to be able to seal the deal or get the job or close the pitch because I have this tool in my toolbox and brands want to be able to share their brand through this unique content.
-Sell your drone footage back to brands and businesses. If you work with a brand or tourism board, you can add a folder of drone shots.
For instance, once you fulfill the objective of your contract, you can then say, “I just want you to know I have these amazing drone shots that I can offer you. You can buy the whole bundle for X amount or individual shots for Y amount”.
Also note that because drones fly so far up you’re likely capturing other things. For example, let’s say I have a work-related job with the tourism board and they’re also hosting me at a hotel. Maybe now I can also sell the footage back to the hotel as well as the tourism board.
Finally, keep in mind that while it’s great to get paid for brand collaborations, it’s also great to save money. So your drone can be a tool that helps you barter and save money on the expensive parts of travel like accommodation.
4. Now, going back to the beginning for a moment, what is the best drone for travel bloggers?
I’m not sponsored by any means by DJI, but I push a lot of people to get a DJI drone for a few reasons.
First of all, these drones are made for everyday people – including kids.
Additionally, they own over 70% of the consumer market. This means they’re on the hook if something goes wrong.
So they’ve made the technology so simple to understand and the safety features of it so easy to understand that your drone will tell you if you’re doing something wrong.
One of the biggest fears a lot of travel bloggers who just start flying drones come to me with is “I am so scared to send up my drone because I don’t know if I’m going to do something illegal”. Well, if you’re flying a DJI drone it won’t let you.
For instance, if you fly over the allowed height of 400 feet, it will beep and let you know. Or, if you’re near the White House, your drone won’t take off.
5. One common concern I hear about drones from travel bloggers is that they have a fear of navigating the different location-specific laws around drones. How do you navigate this?
There are many apps out there – like the DJI App, Airspace Maps, Aloft App – where you can go and read a map to understand if you can or cannot fly.
Basically imagine something that is like a color-coded Google map. You can tap your finger around it and it will tell you if you can fly there.
So with airmaps it is very simple – and a lot of these apps make it even more easy for people all the time.
But I would also advise combining these maps with common sense.
For instance, let’s say you want to go fly at Disney. Do you think Disney wants a brand new drone pilot who has never flown before having their drone really close to roller coasters while a lot of little kids are running around?
Probably not. In fact, they probably have rules in place against it.
Also note that there are only about 30 countries out there that say absolutely no drones.
6. What do you need to fly a drone? Do you need a permit for a drone?
I would say there are two levels of understanding here.
One is registering your drone. What that means is you get a number – basically a sort of license plate – associated with it. This way if your drone lands in front of the White House they can pick it up and know whose it is.
And you can choose to register your drone or not depending on its size. Basically, if you have a toy drone – which includes the DJI Mavic Mini series – you don’t have to register your drone. Anything larger than 250 grams you need to register.
It’s about $5 and takes only a minute to register, so it’s very easy.
Second is it may make sense to become a licensed pilot. One reason to do this is to make money from your drone, as technically you have to be a licensed pilot if you are monetizing your drone footage.
To get the license, you basically study for a 60-question exam – and it’s technically not a drone pilot license but an unmanned aircraft license. So, the questions on the exam aren’t about your drone but are about airspace, reading airspace maps, and sharing airspace with others.
You typically take the exam at smaller airports. It costs about $175 and lasts for two years, which is when you’ll need to retest.
7. I’d love to chat about your workflow! Let’s say you’re going on a trip to Tulum – since I know you go there often. What does your workflow look like for planning out and creating YouTube content + social content with your drone?
In the same way that travel bloggers often know their post headlines before they go on a trip, I have an idea of what YouTube videos I’ll be making.
And then from there, I work my creative storytelling skills. To do this, I create my social media strategy by thinking about how I can turn my “main meal” – which is my YouTube video – into smaller “snacks” for social. Like, what kind of compelling story or piece of that vlog will I put on social media and what photos and videos will I need to support that?
With this, it’s also important to think about composition and how you’ll edit the shots.
For instance, at this time, drones don’t take vertical photos and videos. So, you need to compose your shots in a way that they can be cropped for vertical stories, reels, and TikToks. Maybe, for instance, you have your drone fly higher and center yourself in the frame vs taking a close-up shot.
Additionally, I’m always making sure I have a mix of photo and video and things that will work both vertically and horizontally.
One of the quickest ways I will do that is even when my drone is in the air or if I’m shooting with something else I am just going back and scrolling through the photos and videos on the spot and making sure I can envision the story both on YouTube and other social channels.
Finally, one of the unique things about being a travel creator is that even when you pre-plan content you’re also often discovering a place upon arrival and as you get your footage. Make sure you’re capturing the things that are getting you excited and that you would want to know when planning a trip, because your audience will probably want to know them, too.
8. I know when I’m traveling I kind of go crazy moving between my mirrorless Nikon, iPhone, and Insta360 camera. How do you streamline your blogging workflow using your drone, phone, and GoPro when getting content for a trip?
Let’s say you’re shooting for multiple platforms and across devices and SD cards.
What I like to do is use different SD cards in, for example, my drone, for different things. For instance, I’ll have an SD card with my shorter videos and then a separate one if I need to shoot longer content. I’m basically separating out my different workflows.
Another thing I do is I use different devices to work on different things. My GoPro is used for all of my videos where I’m speaking into the camera, while all of my phone footage is now vertical content that can be used for social storytelling.
So, you’re delegating social media to the phone. You’re delegating YouTube videos to the GoPro.
9. What are some of your top tips for creating amazing drone content?
There are two main drone tips for beginners I usually like to share:
-Fly slower. If you haven’t seen a drone controller before it basically looks like a Playstation controller where it has two sticks. And because of what we learn when playing video games, we’re so used to going full throttle with all of them each time.
Instead, treat it the same way you treat your car when the light turns green. Do you slam on the gas, pedal to the metal? No, you ease into it. It should be the same with your drone.
-Fly high, but also change your angles and fly low sometimes. A lot of drone pilots get excited that they can get way, way, way, way up there without having to be in a helicopter or plane.
The other thing is they will fly too high all the time – and I was guilty of this, as well. All of my drone shots were at 300-400 feet all the time.
Yes, some of them should be, but you also want to have a variety of shots. If you see something beautiful, yes, get it at 300-400 feet, and then bring it down to 30-40 feet.
Remember, you can get amazing drone shots both near and far.
10. On the other hand, what are the biggest mistakes you see new drone fliers make?
One of my favorite things about a drone – especially as a solo female traveler – is it will take your photos or videos for you without you needing to set up a tripod or give your camera to a stranger.
However, many new drone pilots do a poor job of styling themselves in their shots.
Whether it’s that they’re looking at the drone as they’re taking the video and it’s so obvious that they’re really scared that their drone is going to hit something or they keep looking at their controller wondering if everything is okay.
The fix for this is, the same way you practice wearing your new high heels around the house before taking them to the nightclub, you should do a practice run with your drone first to get used to it and make sure the weather is okay.
Then put down the controller and wave, dance, and have fun while knowing your drone is going to perform exactly the way it just did when you practiced.
11. Thank you! I think by now, everyone who was wondering “is it worth getting a drone?” knows the answer is yes! Before we sign off, can you let everyone know where they can find you?
- Website (with many drone resources)
- Drone Party Facebook group
- Create With cL (Drone tutorials)
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