NOMADasaurus is a popular adventure travel blog run by the dynamic duo Alesha Bradford and Jarryd Salem from Australia. The website formed at the end of 2013 as Lesh and Jazza embarked on an overland journey across Asia, and it quickly became filled with fascinating stories, captivating photography and tales of adventures and experiences. Now it is used as a worldwide source of inspiration for travel. Here’s their story of success and a bit of advice for other travel bloggers.
How long have you been traveling together as a couple and how long into it were you before you decided to start a travel blog?
Alesha and I first met in a hostel in Vancouver in 2008, and have been traveling together almost non-stop ever since. Before that we were both traveling solo.
After our 8-month journey through Central America we decided to start an overland mission from Thailand to South Africa without flying. Our friends convinced us to start a travel blog, and so that’s what we did at the end of 2013.
We’re very glad that we traveled the world for so long without a travel blog as it allowed us to experience a different, carefree side of travel that we can no longer do now that we have the blog. But now that NOMADasaurus has been created we would not change anything.
What sets you apart from other couples traveling around the world together? How have you managed to separate yourselves from the pack?
We like to believe we have a higher quality of writing and photography compared to a lot of other travel couples out there. We also put a heavy focus on adventure, culture and off-the-beaten-path destinations.
Besides focusing on content, we are also fully nomadic. While most travel blogging couples have a base that they return to (whether it is in their home country or elsewhere in the world), we are always on the move. For almost 3 years we haven’t settled anywhere for more than 19 days, which was in Brasov, Romania.
Lastly we aren’t afraid to travel on our own dime. While many travel bloggers simply bounce from one press trip to the next, we try to travel independently 95% of the time. That allows us more freedom to go where we want, when we want and do the exact things we and our readers want to see.
What are your main sources of income for the blog and what kind of other work do you do, such as freelancing?
Our main source of income comes from sponsored media campaigns, whether it is with tourism boards, tour companies and DMOs or simply social media and blog posts. Second is freelance writing and photography, as we regularly contribute to a number of large publications. Lastly is affiliate sales made through our website.
You’ve obviously built up some hefty social media numbers for a blog that’s just three years old. Have those grown through media appearances, from following lots of other people, or just banging away at it every week?
Our largest growth in social media numbers has always come from media appearances. Whenever we are featured on websites, TV or radio we always see a huge jump in followers. We also put a lot of time and effort into a social media channels, engaging with people and replying to all questions and queries we receive.
What advice would you give to other travel bloggers and writers who are trying to make a living in the new digital landscape?
The first thing we would recommend is to find a niche and stick to it. Even better pick something that sets you apart from the rest (photography or videography for example) and focus on honing your skills.
We have also discovered that, at least for our brand, being human and the obvious faces of NOMADasaurus has helped us grow a dedicated and engaged audience. People like to relate to bloggers so they can see themselves doing the same thing. Don’t be afraid to throw the odd selfie up, or publish a personal post now and then.
Lastly realize that it is a lot of work. Some people get lucky and soar to the top on the back of one viral article or feature. But for 99% of us success comes with persistence and dedication. It might take a few months, or even years before you see any financial returns on the blog. As long as you keep in mind that it won’t happen overnight you will be more likely to keep at it.
If you could beam yourself to anywhere in the world for two weeks that you’ve been already but you had to spend your own money after arrival, where would it be? If someone were handing you $5,000 to spend, where would that be?
We almost always spend our own money during our travels so this isn’t really relevant to us, but if we had to go back somewhere for two weeks it would be Canada. During our 3 years we lived in Canada we were very broke and could barely afford food some days (but that didn’t stop us from driving the length of Canada twice in our campervan). So it would be nice to go back now that we run a successful business and aren’t poor to experience a different side of the country.
And if we were given $5000 to spend, we would go to Iceland, rent a car and explore every adventure activity in the country.
Alesha and Jarryd are award winning writers and photographers, and have been traveling the world together since 2008. Adventure travel is their passion, and through their stories and images they promote exciting off-the-beaten-path destinations and fascinating cultures along the way. Follow their journey on their blog: www.nomadasaurus.com or connect with them on Facebook and Instagram.