Confessions of a travel addict – an interview with travel blogger Ankita Sinha
Bitten by the travel bug and one who calls herself a “freaky fellow who loves to have the highway on her toes, Ankita Sinha is an avid travel blogger by profession. Read on about her career choice.
Tell us about yourself - being a travel blogger is such a different and fun thing to do! Is it your profession or hobby?
I am a travel and adventure blogger and I basically pen down my experiences and make videos of the places I go to. I usually cover adventure sports and I also take interviews of people who have done adventure sports. I go to events and I blog about my overall travel and adventure experience. I tell people how to go about a place on a budget – it is information for people who don’t want to spend huge amount but want unique experience.
It is not a full time profession for me. I was working at an IT company for four and a half years and then I left my job and joined an adventure firm in their marketing division. But I left that job too and now blogging is my full time hobby you can say. Professionally it has been a challenge because you don’t get much financial support –I use the savings I have from my previous work. It is difficult to get financial support from other sources unless you have a base of about one or two years then perhaps you can get sponsors etc.
How did you get this idea of becoming a travel blogger?
The monotony of life – the same old corporate stuff – the marketing thing - got boring. I knew I liked travelling and I thought of pursuing something in that field which would be useful for others. I didn’t want to just bore people by writing my experiences. People won’t want to read long write-ups and I wanted to make it interesting and informative for people so that they would really know how to go about a place after reading about it on my blog. This way I help people and I indulge in my passion for travel
Why does travel appeal to you?
Everything about it is appealing – but mainly it’s about the change. If you stay in one place you get bored, at a new place u get to see everything from a new perspective, you experience a new culture, food, people – everything - you make new friends. I am a very social person and it helps me grow as a person as well.
What is the best thing about having a blog?
It helps me interact with others, it breaks the monotony and you meet a lot of people who are like you. You meet interesting people with their own stories, there are so many travel magazines that have come up, they want your inputs etc. I think this is the best option right now if you like writing and travelling. I go to travel blogging meets and I meet people who have been blogging for years – I know someone who has been writing travel blogs for 10 years now!
How do you reach out to your audience?
Social Media Marketing and promotion plays a great role in spreading the word about my blog. It is important to keep your eyes open to the world of contests, tweetups, blog sites, blog listings and various other promotions online. Like for example,6 months ago, FOX Traveller was running a feature on their FB Page to highlight travellers who travel offbeat and are adventurous. It was then my first chance to seize the opportunity. I wrote to them, and I was chosen as their Friday guest editor. It's also important to reach out to audience through published work. It might just be a small article in print, but there will be many readers. So when I got my first article published in Outlook Traveller and HT,I knew there would be people who would get to know about me through the print media. Similarly as my blog has large chunk of video content, I knew using it as a promotion will prove beneficial as people are more drawn towards visually beneficial travel videos, so I promoted you tube videos separately on my blog sidebar. These days its easier to promote oneself being part of regular tweets, online meet ups, Facebook page, online interactions, blog interactions, travel road shows, travel fairs. Twitter is a strong medium to reach out to online audience, brands and get appreciated as well.
What is the most exotic/different place you have been to?
I went to Maldives on a budget – people think it is expensive etc. but it isn’t. It was a challenge to do because I didn’t get any information on the net about a budget trip there. I randomly booked two hotels and tickets on a site but then I went there and found really sweet people. We spent Rs 25,000 for six days including air fare – which is extremely affordable. We really enjoyed ourselves – we cooked, danced with the locals etc. It was fabulous!
What is the most important feature of a travel blog? What would you advise those who want to start one?
I personally think visuals are important – I make videos etc. and post a lot of pictures, so that makes it visually appealing – people don’t like reading a lot of writing. Make it as interactive as possible. And for those who want to start a travel blog I would suggest that they have a lot of patience because initially when you start you don’t get a good response. It isn’t something related to fashion, food or lifestyle – travel is something that grows on people gradually and you have to keep checking hits on your blog, trying to be as interactive as possible, spend time on your blog, posting on social media etc. You have to put in a lot of effort. Promote yourself as far as possible, it entails hard work. When you travel always keep in mind that you have to pen down everything – so it is not just fun.
What are the range of topics you cover on your blog – we see there are fashion posts, posts about new initiatives and of course, travel.
Travel and adventure is the main theme – I wrote personal stories etc too. I have also started my personal style blog, which is based on a theme- if I am wearing something and I am writing then I write about why I am wearing it. It’s a personal connection with the readers, you can say.
Where is your ideal travel destination?
I would love to backpack across Europe – I plan to go next March. A lot of people have done it but I am collecting info on how to do it in the most budgeted way. Travel doesn’t have to be expensive, you just have to do a lot of research and plan it out carefully. Then it won’t be too hard on your pocket.
Describe yourself in a sentence
I am an explorer by heart and a travel blogger by choice!
Look up her website www.ankionthemove.com to get an idea of how to budget your trips and where to go, amongst other fun reads on fashion, beauty and events.