Writing for Travelicious – scam or not

I will be honest with you – it’s half a scam but not really.

I did write for them and I got published and paid as a freelance travel writer. Fairly quickly – actually all this happened within a week.

I applied through Facebook – the only way they let you apply, validating you’re a real person. I filled in a short application form – a little bit about myself, my skills/hobbies and my education. Within 24 hours they replied that my application was approved.

And here comes the BUT.

All good but before you actually get to write, they require you to have a self-hosted blog. Which you have to make through their link.

And this is part of how they make their earnings – through an affiliate program with GoDaddy hosting. I paid around 10 euros for an yearly subscription. Also, they will get a commission every time (yearly) when my subscription is renewed.

That said, this is somewhat fine.

The fee is cheap enough and having a blog of your own isn’t a bad thing at all, especially if you’d like to build your practice and audience e.g. if you’re serious about having a shot at being a travel writer. The downside is that they dictate which platform (GoDaddy) to use and they do make you sign up through their program, so you just feel slightly manipulated.

But we know it could be much worse.

In my case, I measured the benefits and downsides and decided to give it a green light.

One of the good things about Travelicious is that they have their own training on how to set up a blog, how to upload content, set up social media pages, edit photos, create logos, and loads more. I got the feeling that what they are actually trying to offer is this “writes academy” as a future product and income provider. But for now it’s free.

After I set up my blog (it took me one evening to create a basic look on it), they approved it again within 24 hours.

So the next step for me was to write this article: On the coast of Bulgaria – driving to the tip of the most south-eastern point in mainland EU. That in itself took a couple of hours plus formatting. They have their guidelines which you need to follow through, such as having headlines, links, keywords, etc.

The article got published within 48 hours and I got paid (40 AUD or 27 EUR) even before the article was live, upon approving it.

And here comes the other catch.

They don’t let you post another article. It’s a one time gig. Well, they do tell you that you have to have written a sponsored post first (on your blog) and then you’ll be able to write for them a second piece.

Which means they want you to grow your audience to a point where a sponsor would notice you and would want you to write a paid post for them. In other words, you have to be pretty big.

And that in itself is fine because if you’re serious about being a travel writer, you do want that of course.

The sneaky part though is that when you have build up your audience, whenever somebody clicks on your article linking to their website they get SEO credit. You can read more about it here (comment by Sarah).

Bottom line:

+’s:

  • you get an article published (on a fairly not popular site)
  • you get paid (once – 27 euros)
  • you have a blog (if you already don’t have one)

-‘s: 

  • you’re being used to profit somebody else’s business (the truth conveniently omitted)
  • you’re being manipulated (into committing to an action not of your won choice)
  • you never get to publish a second article on their platform (probably not a great loss)

Personally, this is a commitment to myself and my ambition to write about my travels. I will probably discontinue my profile (if I have the option to do so), and will put this experience behind my back. I will focus solely on creating quality content, documenting my journey and sharing useful tips and advice.

It’s up to you! Good luck and if you have some experience with Travelicious already, make sure to share it in the comments.

Be sure to sign up and stick on for the ride!

16 Comment

  1. Gl.amour says: Reply

    Thanks for the article! It was very useful for me! The last two days i was thinking to give it a try or not, and was searching for information from people who have already written articles! And it was nice to understand the truth)

    1. Hi, you’re welcome! I’m glad you found the article helpful. Best of luck, Vilina

  2. olgatsu says: Reply

    Hi, my article was also published and paid. One is better than nothing!

    1. Hi, that’s great that you got published! And indeed it is a start 🙂 Feel welcome to share your experiences if you find any other legitimate platforms out there. Best of luck! Vilina

  3. Victor says: Reply

    Hi! Thanks for the advice! That was a nice explanation! I have one doubt though, after the one year domain time is over, if you don’t manually cancel maybe they will charge for another year perhaps, no?

    1. I’d say they definitely will. So it’s up to you to decide whether you want to have a website with this hosting company or not. The fee is very small but if you don’t want to keep a self-hosted site, then don’t go for it or cancel your subscription before the year is over. Best of luck!

  4. kaushiwanders says: Reply

    Hi,

    Useful article. I created my domain on Godaddy, set up some initial things on the blog and sent the domain to them for approval. But I got an e-mail saying that due to lot of fraudulent doamins, they will have to manually verify my domain with GoDaddy and this would take a FEW WEEKS(?!!). Sounds a bit suspicious huh? Did any of you encounter such a situation?

    1. Yes that sounds like a long time. Perhaps they’re having quite a few applications at the moment but still.. You need to decide whether you are willing to wait or move on on other projects. They can still come back to you quicker. Best of luck!

      1. kaushiwanders says: Reply

        Thanks Vilina, I finally wrote an article for them and got paid. I think it is time to sever their ties and continue with my blog 😂

        1. Hi, it’s great to hear back from you – glad you get paid and you’re ready to move on 🙂

  5. Hey, thank you for this article, it is really useful. I was thinking about starting a blog through them. But since you wrote it’s only one paid post and then I need to find a sponsor… I might just stay with my hungarian blog. 🙂

    1. Glad I could help. Best of luck with your travel adventures!

  6. Chris says: Reply

    Thank you for taking your time and to share your experience. I saw their advertisement on facebook and started thinking about it. But I already have a blog and am not interested in opening another one… for one article…
    All the best!

    1. Thank you for your comment Chris. Good luck and all the best to you too!

  7. Fernanda says: Reply

    Hi Vilina, great to have read your article. I was just deciding on whether to use travelicious or not. I wanted to ask you a question… after your first and only article gets published with them, can you keep using the blog and write other articles for your own use?

    1. Hi Fernanda, thanks for your comment. To answer your question – yes you can continue using your blog the way you want (I have). You will only have to pay your yearly hosting fee which isn’t too much but that’s how Traveliscious are making their money – they receive commission every time someone pays their hosting fee. Hope that helps. Good luck and all the best!

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