Responsible Blogging: How To Use Your Platform For Good [Ep. 44]
Interested in learning how to use your platform for good?
Well, you’re in luck, as in this episode of The Profitable Travel Blogger Podcast, we’ll be going over how to use your blog to put good into the world!
By the end of this episode, you’ll understand how to:
- Use your blog and social media channels to make an impact
- Raise donations through your content
- Create a content plan that keeps responsible blogging in mind
- Build an intentional mission-based platform
- And more!
Note: This episode on using your platform for good contains affiliate links to trusted partners!
Use Your Platform For Good [Podcast Episode Audio]
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Responsble Blogging [Episode Transcript]
If the story of how you got into travel blogging is similar to mine, you probably realized at some point that you loved travel and wanted to do it indefinitely.
Then maybe you realized you also enjoy writing, and that combining the two could be a great way to continue exploring the world and earning a living from your passion.
And this is great — but, in my opinion, your blog has the power to do so much more than simply earn you and income and help you to see more of the world.
In fact, I believe that through your blog you have the power to make a big impact in a variety of different ways. Which is exactly what I’ll be going over in this episode.
But first I want to direct your attention to the description box of this video, where I’ve linked my free Travel Blogger Resource Library.
Or, if you’re in the US or Canada, you can text the word “blogger” to 1-833-818-0342 to have it sent to you by text message. Again, you can text the word “blogger” to 1-833-818-0342.
Inside of the library, you’ll snag access to 35+ resources from cheat sheets to workbooks to workshops to video tutorials that can help truly turn your blog into a profitable business.
Feel free to even pause this episode to go grab those resources.
You back? Then let’s kick off this guide on how to use your platforms for good with…
Tip #1: Build your business around a mission.
Simply writing about travel isn’t a mission.
Instead, you want to consider who you can help and how you can help them, whether that’s empowering women to confidently travel solo, helping families travel full-time time on a budget, or something else. This is vital if you’re interested in full-time blogging and running your site like a business.
From there, you can create free content like blog posts and social media shares that fulfill this mission.
Additionally, you can create a profit plan that even further fulfills this mission — such as by creating digital products, promoting affiliates, and partnering with brands that help your audience while earning you money and boosting your travel blogging income.
By the way, for help coming up with digital product ideas check out this video:
Tip #2: Dive deeper into your brand + pinpoint partners.
Map out your blogging goals and consider what you ultimately want to create through your business on a higher level that also considers your core values and what you want to be known for.
For instance, maybe you’re obsessed with beach travel and your blog aims to help families plan memorable beach vacations.
Digging deeper, you might determine that your love of the beach also includes a love of the sea and its creatures, and that through your blog you want to make sure you’re also helping to protect them.
From there, you can create content that helps people have fun and sustainable beach vacations. Creating content from a place of service is a great starting point for making an impact with your blog.
This blog content planner template and content creation checklist can help you plan this out, as can this strategy on planning a year of blog content in one week.
Additionally, you can think about causes you care about or charities you can support through your blog. We’ll talk more about strategies for doing both, though note that when choosing charities to support, you absolutely want to do your research to see where any donations will have the biggest impact.
I read a really great book recently called The Life You Can Save by Australian philosopher Peter Singer that talks about how many people believe that charities with high administrative and fundraising costs aren’t worth donating to, but really a more effective metric to look at is the cost per person helped — as in, if it costs $30 to help one person through Charity A and $300 to help one person through Charity B, your money can stretch farther with Charity A.
Tip #3: Decide on your donation strategies.
If you want to use your blog as a way to raise and donate funds to relevant charities, there are many ways to go about this. I’ll share a few now that I’ve personally utilized, though note this list is in no way exhaustive.
First of all, you might donate a portion of your annual profits to a relevant charity.
For instance, through my NYC Photo Journeys tour company, I donate 1% of direct profits to 100cameras.org, a nonprofit focused on teaching kids how to use storytelling through photography to make lasting change in their community. As you can see, this partner charity aligns perfectly with the brand, since NYC Photo Journeys offers photo experiences in New York.
Another idea is offering to donate money based on a desired action. For example, through NYC Photo Journeys I donate $3 per review left on TripAdvisor to a local partner charity, which I rotate each year. This allows me to put money back into the community we operate in.
Now, if you run promotions throughout the year you can attach a donation element to these. For instance, one thing I sometimes do when hosting a product launch of my travel blogging courses is say something like “X% of profits from this promotion will get donated to Charity Y” or “For every person who enrolls I’ll donate $X to Charity Y.”
By the way, if you need a product launch plan strategy, this video can help:
If you have a product that has the option to upgrade, you could say something like “From now until Friday, I’m donating $X to Y charity for every person who upgrades to an annual plan.”
If you don’t have your own products, consider promoting an affiliate offer and donating a portion of your commissions. Or, you might donate a portion of your monthly ad revenue if you run ads on your site or on YouTube.
Finally, consider if there is an event you can put on or a product you can create that has the main focus of collecting donations.
For instance, you might host a live webinar or workshop related to your blog’s mission or put together a t-shirt campaign through Bonfire where all or a portion of the profits go to charity.
Keep in mind, if you’re uncomfortable hosting your own events and creating your own products, you can also work with a partner charity to promote things they’re already doing.
A personal example here would be that I volunteer with Amnesty International in New York. One of their big campaigns is called Write For Rights, which entails writing letters for those whose basic human rights are being attacked.
Instead of trying to put together my own Write For Rights event, I promoted my local group’s campaign page and toolkit to my community to help them have a greater impact.
Tip #4: Realize that words have power.
While using your blog to raise and donate money to charity is great, it isn’t the only step you can take to make an impact with your blog and use your platform for good.
Also consider what you write.
Of course, covering sustainable tourism topics like how to travel plastic-free and support the local economy is great, but it goes beyond that.
As a blogger, you have the power to influence people’s decision as you share information. That means that you should a) be intentional about what you share and b) make sure that what you’re sharing is factual.
Additionally, consider your word choices. There are so many words that are commonly used that are offensive or that have lost their real meaning. In my niche of travel, this includes words like “gypsy” and “tribe.”
Tip #5: Consider what stories can have the greatest impact.
Just like how you want your donations to help the most people possible, the same goes with your stories.
This might mean reaching out to a local nonprofit in a place you’re visiting — if you’re like me and blog about travel — or a nonprofit that’s relevant to your niche and asking them their opinions on what stories need to get out to the public.
Reaching out to these organizations has the added benefit of a potential collaboration or at least them sharing your content once it publishes, especially if you include them in your story.
In my opinion, some of the most impactful stories are those that teach something that many people don’t know.
For instance, for a long time as a traveler I thought that giving money to begging children was a good thing to do, until I learned about the negative impact doing this can actually have. This led to me writing a story called “Why Giving Isn’t Always Good” on my blog Epicure & Culture.
Tip #6: Consider what blog post format can have the greatest impact.
Sometimes, a list of tips may be the best way to get your point across — though, even in this case, adding in anecdotes can help bring your advice to life.
Adding storytelling to your blog posts is an incredibly powerful way to help your readers connect to what you’re saying.
For instance, sharing a fact about how overtourism is hurting a certain city typically won’t be as impactful as sharing the story of how overtourism has sadly turned a historic local food market into a souvenir stand.
Oh, and speaking of stories, if you make a mistake while traveling that others can learn from, share your story. Allow it to be something that can help you grow as a person and help others travel more consciously.
Tip #7: Allow others to use your platform.
Remember that you are only one person with your own experiences, knowledge, and views. By allowing others to also share their stories and wisdom on your blog, you create a more well-rounded platform that can have a larger impact.
For instance, on Jessie on a Journey I do a series called “Inspiring Travelers” that is meant to empower other people to stop putting off their travel dreams.
Along with interviewing other solo travelers who have had experiences that I haven’t, I’ve also interviewed Black women traveling solo, travelers from the LGBTQ+ community, travelers sharing how to explore the world in a wheelchair, travelers from countries with weak passports, and more — all with the goal of sharing experiences that are important to share, but that aren’t my experiences.
Additionally, on my other blog Epicure & Culture I’ll often allow nonprofits to guest post in an effort to educate my audience about topics that I don’t have expanded knowledge on.
For example, you’ll find a post titled “A Unique Approach To Sustainable Marine Tourism” written by The Ocean Foundation as well as “I Volunteered At An Orphanage, And Now I Campaign Against It” by the Better Care Network, to name a few.
Of course, along with your blog you can also use your social media platforms to raise up other voices, whether through interviews, takeovers, or something else.
Alright, now I hope you enjoyed this episode.
I hope you feel inspired and empowered to use your blog to make a positive impact.
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