Hopefully you’ve already read our About Us page and already know a bit about us and our blogs. This page focuses on how we make money, what the disclaimers at the end of some posts mean, how we travel, how we choose who to work with… that sort of thing.
We thought we’d lay out a short code of ethics for the site that’ll let you see, transparently, what it is that we’re up to, how we make our money, and what our goals are for the two sites that we run (we also run Finding the Universe).
First, some basics. We’re full-time travel writers and photographers, and you, dear reader, are our audience. Hello!
Goals of Our Travel Blogs
We want to:
- Share our travel stories, travel tips, and photos
- Inspire YOU to travel and visit the places we go (and anywhere else you want to go!)
- Provide you with information to help you plan your trips
- Give back to the world in at least some small way
- Generate an income that lets up keep doing the above four things
The last point is the one we’ll focus on in regards to our Code of Ethics.
How We Generate an Income
Travel blogging is not the most lucrative career in the world but it is possible to earn a living doing it. Unlike most bloggers, we have no other job, sources of income, or trust funds so we do need to earn an income to be able to pay our rent, buy our coffee, keep our websites running, and fund our many travels.
Like most self-employed people, we make money in about a dozen different ways and these differ a bit each year. But here are the primary ways we earn our incomes and support our sites:
- Working directly for companies and producing content for them (photos, social media content, written articles, videos)
- On-site advertising through banner adverts. Yes, we know they are annoying, but they do help fund our websites.
- Selling photography services to companies, including event photography
- Generating affiliate sales. Sometimes we will recommend products to our readers that can be purchased online or recommend a booking site for hotels or car rentals. Purchasing a product or service from one of our links may earn us a small commission but it NEVER costs you anything extra. We only recommend products and services that we believe are both relevant and good quality. We have personally tried many of the services and products we recommend.
- Through sales of our online photography course. Laurence created an online photography course where he teaches users how to improve their photography. We receive the profits of those sales with Matt Kepnes who runs the platform for the Superstar Blogging courses.
- Marketing directly to our audience – sometimes a company want to share its story via our social media channels, an ad banner, through a giveaway or a product review, or similar. We will, again, only work with brands that we are excited about and genuinely believe in.
- Taking sponsored trips. We are often invited on trips to experience destinations, these are also referred to as “press” or “fam” trips. Usually these include our accommodation, transport and food, and they may also include a daily rate to cover our time and effort. Our goal on these trips is to produce create great content for both the brand and our readers, and we only go on trips that excite us. We do a few of these each year, but the majority of our travel is now self-funded.
- Through speaking engagements and doing photo workshops at travel and photography conferences. Some conferences may pay speakers.
Our Code of Ethics:
- Never recommend a product or service that we don’t believe in ourselves.
- Only go on trips, paid or otherwise, that we genuinely want to go on and write about. If we’re offered a trip and it’s not something we would have done normally, we won’t do it.
- Only work with brands that we believe in and are relevant to you
- Never allow our content to be dictated – we control everything that appears on our blogs, and we will only share our honest opinions. Our loyalty lies to you, our readers, not to any brand or destination that we work with. If we have a bad time or bad experience with a product, we’ll tell you about it! We aim to provide honest, objective, and balanced reviews.
- Strive to ensure that the majority of the content we share is unsponsored
- Always disclose clearly at the bottom of posts if the post was created as part of a marketing campaign and disclose clearly anything we received from a sponsor (flights, food, compensation) and the name of that sponsor.
- Adhere to the Professional Travel Bloggers Code of Ethics to strive for accuracy in our content, be accountable for our work, respect intellectual property of others, conduct ourselves with dignity, and act in a professional, respectful, and lawful manner.
- Try to make the world a better place, or at least not leave it worse off than we found it. We have a Carbon Neutral Policy where we offset our carbon emissions each year, and we also choose a charity to support with funds generated via our blogs each year.
We want to respect and protect your privacy. We will not share your email address or any other personally information you provide us unless specifically agreed upon.
For instance, if you enter a contest or giveaway on our blog (we run monthly giveaways), please read the terms and conditions carefully as some of your personal information (name, mailing address, contact information, etc.) may be shared with a partner. This is normally just for those who win in order to receive the prize.
If you sign up for our email list or to receive our posts by email, we do not share this list with anyone.
And that’s it, please feel free to email us if you have any questions. Thanks for reading!