When I started Charlie on Travel, like many other travel bloggers I really just wanted to reach an audience who appreciated my writing and connect with like-minded travellers, bloggers and readers. As time went on, my niche as a sustainable and slow travel blog really started to come out and my readership began to grow much more than I had ever expected.
My travel blog was becoming more than just a bit of writing on the side for me. It wasn’t just a journal about my travels – it was my portfolio for finding freelance work, a kind of profile for homeowners interested in our house sitting services, a way for me to connect with other travellers and travel-related businesses, and a talking point when we’re on the road.
Of course, when you get talking about your travel blog, people inevitably ask if you have a business card so that they can look you up later. I’d seen other travel bloggers quickly dig into their bags and pull out a shiny new travel blog business card at any opportunity, but for quite a while I didn’t appreciate the importance of networking offline, as well as online.
Now, Luke and I have a set of joint travel blog business cards so that we can exchange them with the awesome people that we meet offline and get in contact with them online.
Travel Blog Business Cards for Press Trips
I’ve heard that other travel bloggers often bombard people with their business cards when they’re on press trips or conferences and that they end up getting lost amongst hundreds of other cards, so it’s important to have a design that really stands out and captures someone’s attention.
As someone who appreciates and advocates doing things the simple way, my travel blog business cards don’t have some wacky out-of-the-box design, luminous colours or pop-out features. Instead, they’re simple – but they have everything they need.
I took along a whole load of my travel blog business cards to my first press trip about sustainable tourism in Thailand because I wasn’t sure how many I’d need. I didn’t hand them out to everyone I met though. I shared them with a select few other travel writers whose own work I genuinely wanted to read and who I wanted to stay in touch with.
That might not be the best tip for someone who wants to gain ground and network with as many people as possible, but for a niche blogger like me being selective isn’t always a bad thing.
Pinning Up Your Travel Blog Business Cards
Aside from handing out my travel blog business cards to people that I want to connect with online, I’ve found them to be really useful for pinning onto pin boards in places that are relevant to my blog.
Whenever I find myself staying in eco-friendly accommodation, eating in vegetarian or vegan restaurants, drinking coffee in an ethical cafe and so on, I always pin my travel blog business card up on the board and have a browse to see what other cards are up there.
This is actually an awesome way to reach out to new readers who may not be actively searching online for travel blogs to read but would be really interested in the kind of things that you write about (so long as your card is pinned in the right place).
I see a lot of budget backpacker travel bloggers sticking their cards in hostels for example, and most recently I was excited to see that Giselle and Cody from the great vegan travel blog Mindful Wanderlust had pinned their travel blog business card on the board at a vegan restaurant in Bangkok where I was pinning mine. Small world.
Where to Get Your Travel Blog Business Cards Printed
Networking offline with business cards is starting to sound like a pretty good idea, right? One of the reasons I was slow to get on board with the whole business card thing was because I wasn’t sure where exactly to get mine printed or just how my design should look. Before you go gung-ho and invest in buying hundreds of business cards, here’s my advice:
Think About Why? Think about the purpose of your business cards. Do you want to increase your travel blogs exposure and connect with more readers? Do you want to focus on building your social media following? Do you want people to email or call you? Think about all the information that you really need to communicate on your business card before you design it.
Call to Action: From working in marketing, I’ve realised that you need to clearly communicate what you want people to do and incentivise them to do it. You see it on websites all the time – pop ups asking you to like a Facebook page, a sidebar widget offering you a free ebook download, a sticky post encouraging you to enter a competition etc. Your business card can have this too.
On mine, I added a green banner at the bottom to highlight that Luke and I are house sitters as we’d love people to get in touch with us about house sitting work.
Get a Test Pack: My first move was to order a free pack of tester business cards from MOO.com. Not only is this a good way to see if the kind of design that you had in mind actually works, but you can also check the quality of the business cards.
Consult a Designer: Some business card printers also have a design service with a team who can help you decide on your business cards look and feel. I worked with the team at StressFreePrint on my most recent business card design to make sure that the artwork looked good and the angle I was going for was clear.
The Final Print: Shop around to see where you can get the best deal for you on your business cards. For me, I wanted a large quantity that were good value for money, but it was also important to me that the cards were printed on recycled paper. Compare the design process and prices of a couple of websites before making that final purchase.
Thanks to StressFreePrint for my new business cards, which are simple, smooth and nicely finished.