There is a new ponze scheme that’s going around like a viral YouTube video. It was introduced to me by a friend who attended a social media conference last weekend. This premise is this. Start a blog about your favorite hobby or past-time. Travel is an especially popular choice because the world is so eager for more aspiring travel writers. With this under your belt post an article about destinations that you visited. It’s just a matter of putting fingers to keyboard and hacking away until something coherent arrives on your screen. Post photos of you in these locations looking serenely at an iconic site. Now, for those technically inclined, add in a reciprocal link.
This is part of the “social media strategy” that you will need to employ. The other part involves spamming your friends on Facebook and Twitter to let them know about your newly created blog. Now sit back, let the sponsorships flow in. Don’t settle- you should expect to be jetted around the world (first class, of course) and all incurred expenses will be happily borne by your sponsors. You have created the ultimate alchemy, turning your words into dollars and exotic travel.
Okay, now back to reality. Maybe I am overly cynical. Admittedly people genuinely do travel the world and support themselves with a blog. But here’s what I think the panel forgot to explain. My guess is that these people have a penchant for their craft. Had they been born before the internet they would be professional writers, had they been born in the age of film they would be photographers. I almost resent the idea that a room full of people at the lecture left thinking they have suddenly discovered the secret to the good life and we are all fully capable of a lucrative career as travel bloggers. Of course, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe those who attended the conference just took a first step towards a new career, and I just wasted over an hour publishing something that should’ve demanded a plane fare to warmer climes.