Never before has there been a time in history, when one could travel the world for free, by using their video camera.
Everything is in place – the equipment needed to produce broadcast quality videos is cheap and readily available, social networking sites like facebook and couchsurfing help develop international connections, and the internet provides a worldwide broadcast platform. Youtube really is to world’s largest television station.
Where to start
First you need a good lightweight backpack filmmaking kit, then you need to set up a successful youtube travel channel and work hard on both developing your style and getting both subscribers and views of your videos.
Numerous studies point to video as the best online marketing tool available and clever venture capitalists, such as turnhere, have already realized the huge potential of online video.
You need to be able to tell tour operators, hostel owners, bus companies etc why online video is of value to their business. Here are some key points:
* YouTube is now the second most popular search engine in the world and is owned by Google, which is the most popular. This means youtube videos are highly placed in google search.
* “Streaming video delivers nearly three times higher brand awareness and message association, and more than 100% higher purchase intent and online ad awareness than non-rich media ads.”
* More than 83% of travelers in the U.S. use the Internet to research or book travel, according to Prospectiv’s 2006 nationwide Travel Poll.
* 62% of adult Internet users surveyed in April 2009 have watched a video on sites like YouTube (up from 33% in 2006). In contrast, 46% of adult Internet users are active on social networking sites, 19% download podcasts, and 11% use sites like Twitter.
Get free Trips, Accommodation, Transport
Once you have developed a popular travel video channel on youtube there is no reason why you should ever pay for a tour, accommodation or transport again. Inform tourism businesses that you will make a video of their product and put it on your youtube channel. But remember, they have a brand they have worked hard to develop, if your videos are sloppy and boring, don’t expect success. Also, take into account cultural differences – some countries will be more open to having videos made than others.
Produce business profile videos
Another option is to actually get paid to produce an online video for a tourism business. Look at working with local travel companies or chains that have overseas ventures. This way you are not breaking any international labor laws.
If you are not keen to produce video advertisements for travel business, there is a great alternative. Certain sites will pay you for your videos. Youtube is the most lucrative whereby when you become a youtube partner you share in any ad revenue for ads surrounding your videos. The more times your videos are watched, the more chance there is someone will click on an ad and you make a nice passive income stream that allows you to keep traveling.
Other sites like lonelyplanet.tv and tripfilms may also pay or offer rewards for premium content. And when you develop a real internet presence you will be surprised the number of sites that may approach you looking for quality video content eg. ninemsn, compulsive traveler, blinkx.
So as you can see, there are numerous ways to use your video camera to travel the world for free, and the exciting thing is, the gold rush has only just begun. Online video is still in its infancy and we are yet to see its full potential.
So get out there and start making vids. Everything is in its place for you to have your own travel show.