Sarah Gallo is a blogger and world traveler who has turned a passion for travel into a successful business. Her website thefivefoottraveler.com not only features write-ups and helpful how-to’s on travel all throughout the world, but also features courses on how to become a full-time freelancer and “digital nomad.” Gallo has turned a passion into a career and has been able to use her marketing and freelancing skills to establish growing relationships with numerous businesses, monetize her writing and website and teach others how to do the same. With a social reach of over 175,000 followers across all platforms and millions more reading her yearly, Gallo is a rising star. Here at Five Tier, we wanted to learn more about her courses on freelancing, her marketing prowess, travel and more! Read below.
In an interview with Future Sharks, in 2017, you had this to say: “After spending years educating myself on how to properly monetize The Five Foot Traveler and continue to grow my social media presence, I have learned how to travel the world full-time by a combination of working with various brands around the world and utilizing my affiliate marketing skills.” — What was this monetization education process like? Also, how have you adapted over the past two years or what has changed?
The most important thing for me was getting a mentor – someone who has “been there, done that” so that I didn’t have to repeat the same mistakes in the industry that he did. I invested in myself, my education, and my business to ensure that I was implementing the latest marketing tools, techniques, and software. While there were costs involved in the mentorship and softwares, this helped me not to take any shortcuts and to build my business the right way from the start.
What would you say is the best first step for an individual to begin monetizing their blog or social media presence?
There are many ways for someone to monetize their blog or social media presence! My largest source of income is through affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing programs like Amazon or Booking.com pay out 5-20% commissions; these are great to include on a blog. Other affiliate marketing programs that are attached to social media courses, for instance, are higher ticket items and payout 30%-50% commissions; this means that people will be paying for a more expensive training, but you’ll earn a much higher payout. High ticket affiliate marketing is a great way to monetize your social media accounts when starting out.
What is the most important thing you have learned about marketing your own services? Also, how did you start to get brands and companies involved?
You are your greatest asset, remember that. It’s incredibly important to always be authentic and transparent in your marketing. Leverage your results, but never “fake it until you make it.” People will always appreciate your honesty – both your audience and industry clientele – and you want them to know, like, and trust you. When I first started working with brands and companies, I did barter contracts. So, for instance, I’d get a free hotel or tour in exchange for a review on my site, photographs, and social media exposure. As I solidified my brand and grew my client list, I was ultimately able to switch out barter contracts for paid contracts; today I work with clients all over the world to promote their destinations, provide great exposure, and capture some epic photographs.
What is the ultimate bucket list place you haven’t traveled to yet? What’s one place you never want to go back to?
French Polynesia is calling my name! Hopefully I will have the opportunity to explore those stunning islands in the near future. Every place has its own unique characteristics and charm to them, so I have yet to visit a place in which I wouldn’t return. That said, there are certainly a few countries that could use a “do over” that have nothing to do with the country itself necessarily. For example, food poisoning in Morocco left a bad taste in my mouth (pun intended!), an incompatible travel companion made my trip through Vietnam challenging (to say the very least), and a sub-par tour guide lead to an unfulfilled experience in Jordan (despite the beauty). With that said, none of those circumstances were due to the country as a whole and I would certainly (and hope to!) return to all of them.