Luxury Travel and Food Bloggers Work Harder Than You Think

I’ve officially been a food and luxury travel blogger since the summer of 2011. It started innocently enough with one Sunday brunch write up in India and I’m very proud to say it skyrocketed from there because my blog has introduced me to some amazing people, led me to experience new things … and it’s become my #1 favourite hobby after travelling. I don’t have a huge following on social media but my luxury travel blog is successful because it ranks #1 on Google because of the hundreds of hours of dedication I’ve put into it. In fact, it has even been written up and recommended in Condé Nast Traveller magazine because it was India’s very first luxury travel blog and because of the strict quality controls I’ve set for it.

Generally speaking I think that people have a perception of food and travel bloggers – especially those in the ‘luxury’ space – that we just run around having fun and getting ‘freebies’ and that’s that. Normally if a friend or family member says this to me it takes the whole of 30 seconds for me to explain to them just how many hours of work goes into one blog post. They get it quickly because they know me and trust me but trying to explain this to a stranger is always a tougher sell.

Hey ya’ll >> if you want the juicy gossipy stuff, scroll down but come back and read the anatomy of a blog post after please!

ABCs of a Blog Post

Here’s the basic anatomy of a blog post … at least the way I do it, which is painting a picture of something with both words and images that Google can easily share with people looking for the same thing (sometimes pics, sometimes video):

  • Planning Time >> identify and reach out to a business or brand, or receive an email from them. Setup call and speak to owner or head of PR/marketing. Back and forth coordination to setup the review.
  • Travel Time >> depending on how far, what time of day this of course varies widely. The farthest I’ve travelled so far was 6 hours by car or 4 hours by flight, so double that for the return trip. Standard is half an hour to an hour so … 1 – 2 hours travel time.
  • Experience It Time >> again, this depends greatly on what is being experienced. A typical dinner or ‘blogger’s meet’ for a visiting chef at a 5-star hotel is around 2.5 – 3 hours. A product review (wearing clothes, trying a new wine or home delivery pastries) takes between a few minutes to an hour or so. A spa visit is 1 – 4 hours. A property review is generally 48 hours.
    NOTE: time spent ‘experiencing it’ also includes time spent during the initial tour upon arrival, interviewing key people, taking photos, shooting video, and taking notes (I have a terrible memory so I always have my laptop or notebook on me too).
  • Photo and/or Video Editing Time >> photography and video plays a large role for me and my team at AngelasBangalore.com because we don’t ‘review’ with black and white opinions but prefer to paint a picture of a business and allow people to decide for themselves if it’s their cup of tea. A good blogger will leave an experience with dozens to hundreds of pics that need to be whittled down to the best of each shot (for food I always try to provide one image above the plate and at least one close up, for a spa it’s the entrance + welcome drink + treatment room + products + my therapist + small decorating bits to show the ambiance and style, etc). All of this takes between 15 minutes to 1 – 2 hours if it was for a property stay. Add another .5 – 4 hours if there is video or photos that require a lot of Photoshop and/or watermarking of images, etc. THEN…last but not least each pic needs to be given a Google-friendly name so that it complies with the SEO strategy for the blog.

See a recent property review of mine here, this one for the W Retreat & Spa Bali in Seminyak.  It has pics of the property, food from 2 restaurants, the spa, the bar and the sunset session overlooking the Indian Ocean.

  • Writing Time >> sorting out the unique angle for a piece and how to organise the written content with the pics and videos takes time. Writing a Google-friendly title does too. Once it’s done, the piece should be proofread at least once (but again after it’s launched is my recommendation). This can take between 30 minutes to 4 hours if it’s a long one.
  • WordPress Time >> in WordPress it generally takes between 30 – 60 minutes to format the post, upload the images to the server, add in all of the SEO tags, descriptions, and last but not least select the best single image and resize it to represent the post whenever it’s shared and as its featured image.
  • Social Media Time >> spreading the love across Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Pinterest takes time too.

Pheewwwww…just typing that up made me wonder how I do it so much!

The funny thing is though, in 4 years I’ve never felt the need to defend myself over all these misconceptions about food and travel bloggers because no one has ever really bothered me enough about it I suppose.

Until now…

Seems someone has been talking about one of my ‘girls’ at AngelasBangalore.com, which has come from two separate sources now so they are really trying to gain some airplay with this bullshit. The basic crap they are spewing is that one of our luxury travel bloggers is being perceived as a bitch because of all the ‘freebies’ she receives now that she’s taken responsibility for all luxury product and travel reviews for brands and businesses in either North or South India (I can’t say which because then you’ll know who she is and who this gossiper is if you play in that local scene).

It’s just three of us running AngelasBangalore.com so it’s either ME (and I’m in Bali for 2 months and I already said it was about one of the girls so we know it’s not), or in the blue pool Deena Pinto in South India who is a fabulous fashion blogger also known as #skinnygirldiaries.in, or in the green aquamarine pool Smriti Shankar in North India who is a fabulous solo travel blogger who is also known as #travell1ngboots (do click over and follow both these inspiring women on Instagram!). Both are beautiful and VERY intelligent. Both are hard workers, enjoy life, are unpretentious and loving. And most importantly they both exude a spirit of gratefulness, graciousness, and positivity. Neither is a bitch, just like I’d like to say that I’m not either.

So what the hell is up with the person trying to bring one of us down and trivialise what bloggers do?

They are jealous.

Jealously is the #1 reason anyone tries to put someone else down, right?  Well, that or insecurity I suppose.  This sentence I’m about to write I’ve re-written a few times now because I have strong words I’d like to say to this sadly insecure and immature person because they made someone I care about very much…a really good person who would never say a bad word about anyone…feel guilty for her accomplishments.  However, given that I’m normally happier sharing positivity and happier at peace, all I shall say is that if anyone knew how much work our team – or any food or travel blogger – put into a single post (let alone building up a whole blog and growing it!) then they should realise how petty and jealous it sounds to anyone in ear shot when they say anything other than ‘wow, I’m so happy that she found a hobby she loves, she look like she’s having so much fun!’

#BloggersRock 🙂

XOXO Angela

© 2015, Angela Carson and Angela-Carson.com. All rights reserved. Do not copy and reproduce text or images without permission.

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Angela Carson

At 21 I left uni, jumped into my Jeep Wrangler, and drove from my native California to live an adventure in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I've explored 32 countries on 4 continents, residing in 7 of them (currently Kuala Lumpur is my home). By day I'm a digital nomad and by night I'm a passionate storyteller. I even have a private pilot's license and was shot at once by bandits!
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2 Comments on “Luxury Travel and Food Bloggers Work Harder Than You Think

  1. Hi Angela,

    Its always so interesting to read your blogs. They are very informative for a interesting for a traveler and traveler and resident to know what to expect instead of us experimenting ourselves. Thank you for all you write about, I just love it, Big love, Keith

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