Want to be a travel influencer? These free online courses will teach you all the skills you need

PHOTO: Unsplash

It may sound paradoxical to think about travel when there is a worldwide lockdown in place.

But as the wheels of life depend more on hope than fear, we can and should make the most of all that's available regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in.

Being a travel influencer is not an easy job. It involves investing a great deal of time and money.

More than anything else, you have to be passionate about travel, possess a childlike curiosity about places and people, and be able to engage - on a daily basis - with a vast, restless audience on social media.

Here are a few free courses that may help you cultivate what it takes to be a successful travel influencer.

Languages open up barriers

Travelling far and wide - to busy cities and remote spots alike - stresses the need to know many languages, especially the national - and sometimes regional - languages of different countries.

It could help you connect a lot more with the local crowd, something that's indispensable for your travel to stand out.

Try these 3-month subscriptions from Rosetta Stone, or some free language lessons from online language portal Mango.

Or, for a fun twist in learning language, go to Fable Cottage for audio and video stories in French, German, Spanish and Italian (they are free for now!).

A picture is worth a thousand words

PHOTO: Pixabay

A picture is indeed worth a thousand words for those in the travel industry. Of course, the written blog matters, but most blogs have splendid pictures that support their stories.

Try Nikon School Online for free courses on the fundamentals of photography, pet photography, and landscape photography among others.

The company is opening up access to its courses through April and early May.

American photographer Scott Kelby also hosts free weekly photography webinars. His virtual learning platform has free courses for all those who want to learn a new skill while staying home.

Learn to engage with your followers

With so many travel influencers around, it would be good to inject some freshness into your posts and find an original voice that readers could relate to.

You may want to look at the different kinds of travel that exist - family travel, solo travel, sustainable travel, etc. - and see what it is that you are good at and interested in.

Skillshare is offering free classes in social media strategy, including ways to create and curate content, and find the right marketing tools.

You could also try author Jonah Berger's free online marketing course brought to you by Coursera.

It will give you a glimpse of how to create ideas that thrive so you could think up successful content marketing strategies and know the power of word-of-mouth marketing.

Research the competition

PHOTO: Pixabay

Regardless of what field you are in, it is invaluable to know what your competitors are doing. See what is working for them and what is not.

Study their posting patterns and check how they adapt to fast-changing technologies.

Know the pulse of your community by taking one of Udemy's free courses on social media monitoring. Get information on different social media monitoring tools and apply what you learn to develop your own website.

In the world that we are, it is important to know social media ethics and use it to create content that is useful, positive, honest and decent.

Eric Schwartzman's free course on social media ethics will give you a fair idea of what it means to be ethical on the Internet and how to use good judgement to demonstrate consideration for others on social media.

Polish your writing skills

PHOTO: Pixabay

Being an influencer means you rely on creativity and its expression, which is through pictures or words.

When it comes to writing, it's important to know how to string a sentence together in as few words as you can so it delivers the right punch.

Strong descriptive techniques and short, compact paragraphs are equally important to hold the attention of any reader and help him visualise places you want him to see and visit.

Sharpen your writing skills with this free course by author Fiona Veitch Smith or try this DIY MFA Writing Class to access tips that help you write better online, pace your work well, and strategize writing content so your readers are hooked to your blog.

Bonus, learn how to stop procrastinating once and for all!

This article was first published in Wego.