Episode 135 | Travel Blogger Working with Brands with Jessie Festa

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Think Outside the Box while Working with Brands!

Would you love nothing more than to partner with brands and maybe travel the world while doing it? Does the idea of pitching a hotel or tourism board make you want to just stay home? Tune in as Jessie Festa shares how the limit of possibilities for working with brands is truly your own creativity!

Travel Blogger Working with Brands

"You know, I think people start blogging and they write and they think like, okay, when is the money coming? But you know, of course your content can be profitable, and it should be but you do have to be strategic."

Discussed in this episode...

Working with brands can be done in so many ways! Jessie and Bree broke down a bunch of them in this episode.

Promotional campaigns

This is a blanket term for several things!

  • Sponsored blog posts
  • A sponsored podcast episode
  • Sponsored social media posts/Reels/TikToks
Affiliate Campaigns

These are a great way for a new blogger to start working with brands right away! You can sign up for an affiliate program to earn commissions even when you don't have a large following. As an affiliate, you can promote things you're already using, and when people purchase a product through your links you receive a percentage or set amount. The cool thing is that these affiliate partnerships can lead to bigger campaigns that have upfront fees, down the line.

Press Trips

This is probably the most fun because you get to actually travel. Working with tourism boards or hotels is a great way to go. Jessie likes to work with tourism boards to create an itinerary based on how she would usually travel to create authentic content.

Freelance Writing for Magazines and Publications

Now, Jessie has found over the years that it has gotten trickier to find ones that pay really well. This is because they have smaller budgets typically than brands do. A way she has worked around this is by writing articles or blog posts for brands, versus a blog post or article directly for a publication.

Outside-The-Box Collaboration with Brands

Jessie is a perfect example of this! She has a membership for travel bloggers that she will sometimes bring brands into to teach a workshop (based on their expertise). She also conducts photo tours in New York City and has collaborated with brands to be stops along certain routes. There are so many options with this, based on your unique situation!

Ads on your Blog

You can work with brands by running ads on your site! Jessie works with media vine, which deals with the brokering and logistics part of those ads. You can also work one on one with brands though! You can pitch an ad placement on your sidebar, or a banner, to brands. If you're a newer blogger, that would be a great and much higher-paying option for getting started with ads!

Additional topics that we cover:
  • The right and the wrong way to approach hotels
  • What exactly are press trips?
  • How to find and approach tourism boards, and why you should work with them!
  • Why you should not be giving brands commercial photos for free!
  • Interesting pitfalls to avoid
  • All the details on pitching, booking and executing press trips!

You guys really don't want to miss this episode!!


Resources Mentioned

More about Jessie Festa:

Jessie is the creator of the solo travel blog, Jessie on a Journey, as well as the online ethical travel magazine, Epicure & Culture. Her passion for travel and content creation led her to start an online school for bloggers, which currently has over 7,000 students enrolled. When she’s not planning new adventures for herself and her community, Jessie is typically leading photo tours in NYC, in Tree Pose somewhere on a mountain peak, or on the beach reading a true crime story.


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