Coronavirus restrictions depart journey bloggers and social media influencers struggling for readership

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Bloggers have said that travel restrictions have made them feel “rudderless” as the coronavirus outbreak continues to result in enforced bans around the world.

Paul Farrugia of GlobalHelpSwap: A Responsible Travel Blog said until a few weeks ago that they had had a record year in traffic.

Now Paul and his wife Karen are stuck at home in the UK and, like many travel bloggers, are faced with the dilemma of what to write about when few people travel.

He told the Evening Standard: “All campaigns have been suspended so there is no revenue from there.

Paul and his wife Karen said their travel blog has been badly affected by the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus. (Paul Farrugia)

“The advertising revenue is completely gone and all of the affiliate marketing we had like with hotel bookings has fallen off the cliff too.

Paul said he turned to writing alternative posts like “Best Food You’ve Had Abroad”.

“We had a record year and then just a ‘boom’. I think as soon as it started in Italy, our traffic dropped massively,” said Paul.

“I didn’t know where to go for the first week, I was pretty rudderless.”

Paul decided to use his free time to sign up for the NHS Volunteer Service program, which saw the number of people signing up for help overnight skyrocketing.

Victoria Philpott of VickyFlipFlopTravels said her website traffic was “low” for the first time in nine years since the blog started.

Victoria said her website traffic was bottoming out. (Victoria Philpott)

“It has been slowly falling, two or three weeks now lower than it has been in years,” said Victoria.

“I’m losing money on advertising because I have about a tenth of my blog traffic. It’s really not a good time for bloggers.”

Victoria’s blog is focused on festivals and she was due to travel to Grenada for the Chocolate Festival in May, but like many other events, this has been canceled.

The Portsmouth blogger advised people not to attend festivals that have yet to be canceled as they still pose a safety risk when it comes to social distancing.

She said, “I don’t want anyone to waste their money when festivals are canceled.

“I have entered a phase of acceptance where this is now my life.

Victoria on her travels in Thailand. (Victoria Philpott)

“I spent a lot of time updating old posts.

“We really have to encourage people to stay here. I’m not going to write about travel because I don’t want people to travel now.”

Paul added that news from travel bloggers in China indicated that there was “a glimmer of hope” that enforced bans will eventually come to an end.

Marketing expert Taryn Williams told The Telegraph that while times are difficult for travel and food bloggers, influencers promoting fashion and beauty are still in demand.

She said: “Many are switching from wholesaling to retailers to dealing with influencers.

“I think it’s going to be an interesting mix. There will be brands that see this as an opportunity to own another part of the market.”

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