By Akriti Mattu:
As a child, my brother and I were encouraged to travel a lot. When the rest of the world was busy investing money on building huge houses and buying fancy cars, our parents were happily investing in us. Taking from the maximum exposure of this world, the travel bug hit me.
Yearly, we took trips to different parts of India and I decided that someday I’d blog about different locations of the world. Little did I know that I won’t just blog but create a global community of travel bloggers.
Two decades later, while returning home after work, I was searching online for the best places to visit in Pondicherry (I planned to take a trip soon). It was then that the subsequent idea struck me – “Why not start a platform where each traveller is encouraged to contribute unique content that helps other fellow travellers understand and connect with a destination more?” Smartphone in my hand, I looked at the screen and signed up on WordPress and 30 seconds later my start-up, Budget Wayfarers was launched. A workshop on website creation helped me convert the free WordPress blog into a fully functional website.
Unlike any conventional ‘a.m. to p.m.’ platform, bloggers at Budget Wayfarers work through different time zones in flexible-timings. It’s work-from-anywhere!
A coffee shop, college canteen, office boardroom, beach and even a trek (Yes! That’s happened!).
Today, at Budget Wayfarers, hundreds of blogs are written by travellers across the globe catering to an audience who find our stories useful. 100% original content is our benchmark owing to real travel experiences.
Once onboard, each blogger is given the opportunity to earn per article. They’re trained, mentored, offered detailed feedback, and then published with us. The underlying principle of our platform is to learn and earn.
We have a mom of two who left her job due to household responsibilities. She never thought she’d get back after 10+ years of work gap. One day, she found us online and dropped us her first email in over 10 years. Since then, there’s no looking back for her. Onboard Budget Wayfarers, she became a travel blogger. Not only did she create, learn and craft excellent content, but the experience also uplifted her confidence. Using this acquired skill, she launched her own portal. We couldn’t be prouder of her as a platform!
Being the founder of a travel startup, I ‘m always on the lookout for travellers with a good eye. When I discovered the SHEROES Travel community, I thought it was a great way for women travellers and bloggers to showcase themselves and their experiences. I was invited to be a community guest moderator for a day around the theme #BudgetTravel, and it was an eye-opening experience. Many women opened up about lack of confidence to travel solo, and also wanted to know how to travel without going broke. Additionally, I hosted a community chat, where I got to share my nuggets on travel blogging, vlogging, and planning.
As an entrepreneur, I love the fact that I was able to single-handedly turn an idea into something valuable; having a global audience has also really boosted my take-charge spirit. But there are some challenges.
My support wishlist as an entrepreneur includes schemes, programmes and platforms by the government or private organizations with the sole intent of helping women leaders grow professionally. I’m sure any budding entrepreneur like me will scout for start-up development topics and means to implement them.
In this aspect, I find SHE Starts Up!, an entrepreneurship support community on SHEROES, helpful. I joined this community of SHEpreneurs and wannabe SHEprenuers and it’s amazing to see the collaborative environment bridge the gap between women at different stages of their business journeys.
Here are my tips to wannabe SHEpreneurs of the community:
About Akriti Mattu:
Born amidst snow clad Himalayas in the dreamy town of Shimla, with roots from Kashmir, I’m a free spirit in every sense of the term. A storyteller who loves travelling, I’m happily spending my days building the largest global community for travellers and bloggers at Budget Wayfarers. At heart, I’m a die-hard vlogger. Content makes me alive. Travel makes me live.